Summary: Williams College Style Guide
Last updated October 2011
Editorial style makes writing easier for writers, editing easier for editors, and reading easier
for readers. The goal of this style guide is to provide clear, simple guidelines for you, the
writer, on grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage in materials produced by and for
Williams College. In most instances, our style is based on the Associated Press (AP)
Stylebook online, Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate
Dictionary, 10th ed. This guide was developed by the Office of Communications.
The style guide is organized alphabetically and updated regularly. If you have questions or
items to be added, contact the Communications Office at 413-597-4277 or by email at
academic courses Capitalize the names of academic courses: Fundamentals of Modern
Literature, including informal names of courses: Psych 101, Intro Psych. See capitalization;
course titles; titles of things.
academic degrees Capitalize abbreviated degrees and use periods (B.A., B.S., and Ph.D.)
Lowercase cum laude, magna cum laude, and with honors, as well as bachelor's, master's,
and doctorate. See capitalization.
academic majors Do not capitalize academic majors (i.e., history major, chemistry major)
unless a major includes a proper noun (English major, American studies major). See
capitalization; titles of things.