1. ORGANIZATIONS: Spell out group names in first reference. On later references, writers may abbreviate the names of organizations familiar to readers or that are used so often that the organization’s full name would waste large amounts of space. If the abbreviation does not appear within two paragraphs of the first reference, place the abbreviation in parentheses after the name: Black Students United (BSU).
EXCEPTIONS: Abbreviations like SUNY, S.A., etc. are well-known and do not require parentheses on first reference, even if the next reference is more than two paragraphs down. Other well-known abbreviations such as FBI, CIA, NCAA, ECAC, USOC, NFL, ERA, etc. do not need to be spelled out on the first reference.
If abbreviations are three or more letters, no periods are needed between letters. Use periods in a two-letter abbreviation: U.S., USA, S.A. for Student Assembly. “U.S.” should only be used as an adjective; use “United States” or “America” as the noun form.
AP (Associated Press), ID (identification), GM (General Motors), TV (television) and are the only two-letter abbreviations that do not need periods.
Use shortened names for unfamiliar organizations (the committee, the agency). Avoid acronyms whenever possible. Avoid creating an acronym that doesn’t already exist.
Use an apostrophe to pluralize an acronym only if just adding an “s” would make the meaning unclear. To create a possessive, always use an apostrophe.
2. TITLES: Abbreviate and capitalize: Prof., Sen., Rep., Gov. Do not abbreviate Attorney General, District Attorney or Detective. Abbreviate titles before names, but never when used alone: Sen. Hillary Clinton, the senator, Lt. Rocket Calley, the lieutenant.
3. ELECTED OFFICIALS: Use abbreviations for government officials as follows:
a. U.S. SENATOR: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
b. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.).
c. COMMON COUNCIL MEMBER: John G. Schroeder ’74 (D-4th Ward).
d. STUDENT ASSEMBLY, UNIVERSITY ASSEMBLY AND OTHER ACADEMIC GOVERNING BODIES: Arts and Sciences Rep. Joe Smith ’04 or Joe Smith ’04, Arts and Sciences representative.
NOTE: This rule does not apply when the individuals are referred to in a sense apart from their official function. See Section V, page 11.
4. LOWERCASE ABBREVIATIONS: These usually take periods: c.o.d., a.m., p.m., m.p.h. However: AM, FM (radio bands). For “m.p.h.,” use “miles per hour” in first reference, except in weather summaries.
5. DEGREES: B.A., B.S., BFA, D.D., LL.D., LL.M., Ph.D., Ed.D., Psy.D., M.A., M.S., MFA, J.D., JSD, MBA, LL.B., DVM, M.D. Whenever possible, avoid using these in favor of: John Jones, who has a doctorate in psychology. Use apostrophes in “master’s degree,” “bachelor’s degree” but not in “Bachelor of Arts,” “Master of Science.” (NOTE: This is a change from previous incarnations of Sunstyle.)
6. MONTHS: Abbreviate all months except March, April, May, June and July: Sept. 25. Spell out the month when not using a specific date: August 1971, late November.
7. YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW: Always use “yesterday,” “today” or “tomorrow” instead of the name of the day. For up to four days before or after the date of publication, use just the name of the day. After that, start using “next” and “last.”
8. DATES DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR: In referring to dates, use the year as part of the date if it is not part of the current academic year: If today is Jan. 1, 2003, March 31, 2003 and Sept. 15, 2002 are written as March 31 and Sept. 15. Use March 31, 2002 and Sept. 15, 2003, however.
9. ADDRESSES: Use “St.,” “Ave.,” “Blvd.,” “Pl.”: 115 Eddy St. When referring to a street with no address, spell out the whole thing: College Avenue. Plural: College and Stewart Avenues.
10. DATELINES: Except for cities and towns in Tompkins County (which take no datelines), use state abbreviations with city/town names, unless they are of large enough population or importance to be nationwide: GREENVILLE, S.C. — , LOS ANGELES — .
IMPORTANT: Datelines are ONLY used when both of the following are true: The story involves occurrences in the given location, AND the story was written FROM that location with quotes from people in the area. Thus, a reporter writing a local Cornell story from another state does not use a dateline. AP and U-Wire stories already come with datelines if they are necessary; U-Wire datelines must be edited so that they all look like this: WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — , CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (U-WIRE) — . Note all caps for the city and also that there is a space on BOTH SIDES of the dash (use Option + Shift + – to insert dash). For a list of proper state abbreviations, consult a current AP stylebook. Those stories appearing on a State page do not need “N.Y.” in the dateline. If you are reporting sports from Harvard, be careful. Most Harvard athletic facilities, including the soccer field, football field and hockey rink, are actually in Boston, not Cambridge, Mass.
11. Except in a list, do not abbreviate “Company” (“Co.”), “Corporation” (“Corp.”) or “Department” (“Dept.”). Never abbreviate “Association,” “Commission” or “Committee.”
12. CITIES AND STATES: Use AP style when referring to a city and state: Providence, R.I.; Elmira, N.Y. The following cities need no mention of the state they’re in (all other cities do; this is a list of U.S. and Canadian cities, and there are other international cities that also apply): Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Montreal, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Quebec City, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto. For Washington (the city), use: Washington, D.C. The following cities in New York State need no mention of the state (this is an exception to AP style): Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York, Syracuse. Places in Tompkins County also need no mention of the state.
13. CAMPUS BUILDINGS: Do not abbreviate the names of campus buildings unless in Daybook (“GS,” “MVR,” “WSH” included). For the list of correct building names, see Section VIII, #5, page 19.
14. Do not use apostrophes in plurals of uppercase abbreviations or numbers: POWs, WASPs, in his early 20s, mid-1950s, late ’60s.