This is how we sound: Quick Tips

Everyone has their own unique writing style, and so does NYU Wagner. Follow these quick tips to make sure we’re all writing in the same style.

  1. SPACING BETWEEN SENTENCES. Use one space after a period, not two.
  2. OXFORD COMMA. Use the Oxford (or serial) comma. That means use the 2nd comma in a list of three or more things. Example: We offer MPA, MUP, and EMPA degrees.
  3. ACTIVE VOICE. Use active voice instead of passive voice whenever possible. Example: “The student wrote the paper” is active; “The paper was written by the student” is passive.
  4. NONPROFIT. Nonprofit is one word, and there is no hyphen.
  5. HEALTHCARE. Healthcare is one word.
  6. EMAIL, WEBSITE, ONLINE. The words email, website, and online are one word, no hyphen, and lowercase. However, web page is two words.
  7. DEGREE NAMES. The degree name is singular: Master of Public Administration (not Master’s). But you would say she got a master’s degree at NYU Wagner.
  8. ALUMNI. When referring to alumni, use alumna for one female, alumnus for one male, alumnae for plural females, and alumni for plural males or plural males and females. The term “alum” or “alums” may also be used as an informal way of referring to graduates. When referencing NYU Wagner alumni, please use the following format: Name (Degree Year). Example: John Smith (MPA-PNP 2014)
  9. SCHOOL NAME. For external audiences (prospective students, donors, etc), reference the school as NYU Wagner or NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (for more formal usage). For internal audiences (current students, alumni, staff, faculty, etc), it’s fine to use Wagner. We do not use the term “the Wagner School.”
  10. FULL-TIME, PART-TIME. Full-time and part-time are one word, and hyphenated.
  11. FACULTY. Faculty is singular, but faculty members are plural. Example: The faculty is meeting today. Faculty members are attending the meeting.
  12. DATES. For dates, use just the number, not the ordinal figure. Example: say March 6, not March 6th.
  13. TIMES. For times, am and pm are lowercase and don’t need periods. Example: 6:00pm or 10-11am
  14. NUMBERS. Numbers zero through nine get written out, and 10 and up get figures. The exception is if you’re starting a sentence with a number—then it gets written out no matter what.
  15. PHONE NUMBERS. Telephone numbers are written with periods, not parenthesis and dashes. Example: 212.998.7400

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