Tips for SUNY Cortland Writing Style

These tips were developed to foster a consistent appearance in all campus communications. They show SUNY Cortland’s writing style.

1. The College name is written:

  • State University of New York College at Cortland or SUNY Cortland.
  • College or Cortland can be used in subsequent reference.

2. Buildings and Rooms

  • Rooms that have a number are written as Old Main, Room 204-C or Miller Building, Room 408.
  • Rooms that don't have a room number are written with the building name followed by the room name: Corey Union Function Room.
  • Alumni Arena does not include “Ice” in its name.

3. Office and Department Names

  • Academic units are generally called departments and administrative units are offices.
  • Our style is to write the name followed by the word “Office” or “Department:” President’s Office, Provost’s Office, English Department. Refer to the department and office list in the online directory for the correct names.

4. Dates

  • Months are abbreviated when written with a date, except March, April, May, June and July: Feb. 28, 2017.
  • Avoid writing ordinal numbers such as 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th when writing dates.
  • Days of the week are written out: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, etc.

5. Times

  • Write a.m. and p.m. with periods: 6 a.m.
  • Minutes are included only to indicate a specific time after the hour: 6:30 p.m.
  • Write noon for 12 p.m. and midnight for 12 a.m.
  • When indicating a beginning and an ending time, use a hyphen with no spaces: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. On the web or in email, write “to” instead: 6 to 8:30 p.m.

6. Phone Numbers

  • Write phone numbers with hyphens after the area code and exchange: 607-753-2011.
  • It is preferred to write the entire phone number rather than just an extension.

7. URLs

  • URLs for College Web addresses, and many others, are written without the www., as in

8. Punctuation

  • Capitalization is reserved for proper nouns. Avoid unnecessary capitals. An exception is College when used to refer to SUNY Cortland.
  • Exclamation marks should be used rarely.
  • Only one space is used after periods and colons.

9. Ampersand (&) and At (@) Symbols

  • Avoid using the ampersand (&); write “and” instead. Write “at” instead of @.

10. Underlining

  • In electronic communications underlining should be reserved for hyperlinks.