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Various Style Notes

Last updated on Jun 29, 2018

Serial/Oxford Commas

Please use the serial (or Oxford) comma. It provides clarity when you’re listing items in your writing. Let’s take a look at this example from Grammarly. Say you want to list a few things you love. With an Oxford comma, your list would look like this:

  • I love my parents, Lady Gaga, and Humpty Dumpty.

It’s clear, thanks to the commas, that those are three different items in the list. That second comma before the “and” (which I’ve highlighted in bold) is what we’re talking about when we talk about Oxford commas. Let’s look at an example of what might happen if we didn’t use an Oxford comma:

  • I love my parents, Lady Gaga and Humpty Dumpty.

In this sentence, it sounds like you’re saying you love your parents, who just so happen to be Lady Gaga and Humpty Dumpty. You can see how this might be a bit confusing, right?


This one might be obvious, but if you’re writing headlines, please make sure to capitalize them. This is especially important for Announcements, as style/brand guidelines dictate that the titles for these pages be written in what’s known as “sentence case.” For example, a headline about approaching class signup deadlines would look something like:

“Last day to sign up for class approaches”

Note the omission of the period and any terminal punctuation. The only terminal punctuation you should add is a question mark.

As for top-level navigation and sub-navigation menus (i.e., section pages, landing pages, basic pages), “Initial Case” is required. That’s just making sure that you capitalize the first letter of each word.


If ever in doubt, refer to the AP Stylebook for the nitty-gritty details. The style guide for is also based on the AP Stylebook.