Areas included here include:

courtesy titles (primarily for news releases or obituaries [Accents]) • academic titles • professional credentials • professional titles • honorary titles • publication titles (poems, plays, songs, etc.) • musical compositions

Courtesy Titles

  • Use courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Dr.) in Accents obituaries. They are not used in a feature story about a deceased person.
  • Mr., Mrs. and Miss should not be used in press releases.

Academic Titles

  • Dr. and full names can be used on the first reference. Dr. and first name are dropped thereafter in press releases. In news releases, use Dr. only for individuals with medical degrees.
  • Dr. is used only for earned degrees. Do not use Dr. if the degree title follows the name.

WRONG: Dr. John Doe, Ph.D.

RIGHT: Dr. John Doe

RIGHT: John Doe, Ph.D.

  • Titles before a name are capitalized and have no comma. Titles after a name are lowercase.

Vice President for Student Affairs Cindy Frost

Scott Cooper, vice president for academic affairs, chaired the meeting.

  • A faculty member’s full title is used on first reference only.
  • In official listings for the college, the provost is always listed immediately following the president, regardless of alphabetical order.

Professional Credentials

  • Certifications such as CPA, RN, LPN, CAT and PA follow the persons name in all capitals with no periods and are set off by commas.

Professional Titles

  • Vice President has no hyphen. Both words are capitalized before the name, lowercase after the name, and set off by commas.
  • President is capitalized before the name, lowercase and set off by commas after the name. This is more appropriate when accompanying the whole name.

EXCEPTION: President of the United States is always capitalized, even when the phrase stands alone.

  • The Rev. is used before a clergyman’s or clergywoman’s first and last name on first reference. On second reference to members of the clergy, use only a last name. Do not spell out “The Reverend” as a title before a name.

The Rev. Billy Graham delivered the sermon. Graham read from the Bible.

EXCEPTION: When addressing envelopes or correspondence or when used in listings in programs (e.g., Commencement), “The Reverend Mr./Dr.” is appropriate.

Honorary Titles

  • Honorary degree titles are not used.
  • Exceptions are sometimes made by executive fiat.
  • The proper title for a judge is Honorable. In a list use the abbreviation Hon.

The Honorable James B. Mackie
Hon. James B. Mackie

Publication Titles

  • Italicize:

collections of poetry and long poems
long musical compositions
titles of drawings, statues, works of art
titles of plays
motion pictures
published books, pamphlets, periodicals, newspapers and sections published separately

  • Quotation marks should be used with

short poems
songs and short compositions
TV and radio programs
titles of articles and features in magazines or newspapers
chapter titles and subheads
short stories

  • Use italics for the name of a whole series such as a book series or TV mini-series. Segments of a series or chapters of a book go in quotes.

Musical Compositions

  • Do not italicize or use quotation marks for titles of musical compositions that contain only the name of a musical form and a key or number. Use quotes or italics with an attributed title and place it in parentheses after the designation of form and key.

Beethoven’s Sonata in D major. op. 128

Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E-flat (St. Anne)

  • The words opus and number are lowercase and abbreviated op. and no. in Heritage Center copy. If number follows opus it is lowercase; if it is part of a composition’s title, capitalize the n.
  • In a composition title, Major is uppercase, minor is lowercase. The key is always in uppercase.

RIGHT: Beethoven’s Sonata in D Major

Grieg’s Concerto in A minor

WRONG: Beethoven’s Sonata in d Major

Grieg’s Concerto in a minor

RIGHT: Prelude in E-flat minor