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Editorial Style and Usage Guide

This guide is the established editorial style for e-mail announcements, the Colgate Magazine, pages and stories, brochures, newsletters, letters, and more.

Have a suggestion for the style guide? Contact Rebecca Downing at

For answers to common questions, see our Quick Tips

NOTE: All entries, in bold type, indicate lower case or capitalization as appropriate

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Proofreading tips

  • Read through several times. With each pass, look for a specific set of criteria: grammar and spelling; dates, page numbers, and factual accuracy; and fonts, tabs, spacing, and other layout concerns.

  • Read aloud to yourself.

  • Don’t just read the text; compare it to your original version or source materials, if available.

  • Grab a partner. Read the original version and intended changes aloud to the other person, who should be looking at the updated version. Spell out proper names and say punctuation aloud.

  • Find fresh eyes. If you have originated a document, ask someone else who is not familiar with the material to proofread it for you.

  • Read the entire document backwards; you’d be surprised at the mistakes you can catch!

Following are the items that the communications staff asks clients to have verified and checked before turning copy over for editorial review.
  • People and proper names — spelling, job titles

  • Class years

  • Proprietary facts or data (information known primarily or exclusively by your office)

  • Dates

  • Addresses

  • Phone numbers