• Capitalization

    ·        Proper Nouns and the first word in a sentence (especially when filling in the blank) should always be capitalized

     

    Writing numbers

    ·        0-19 should be written out as zero, one, two, three, … eighteen, nineteen

    ·        Numbers that begin sentences should be written out (Two thousand people were killed in the 1893 Louisiana Hurricane.)

     
    Use commas to make large numbers easier to read

    ·        Correct: 2,057 or 250,000 or 700,000,000,000

    o       Incorrect: 2057 or 250000 or 700000000000

     

    Exceptions:

    o       Day numbers in dates (July 4, 1776), numbers following dollar signs ($5 million), and decimals (2.1 million) should not be written out

    o       Do not insert commas in years (2008 not 2,008)

     

    Writing dates – no “-th” or “-st” or “-rd”

    ·        Correct: July 4, 1776, September 11, 2001, December 1

    o       Incorrect: July 4th 1776, September 11th 2001, December 1st

    o       Incorrect: 7/4/76, 9/11/2001, 12/1

     

    ·        Correct: 1800s, 1900s, 1980s

    o       Incorrect: 1800’s, 1900’s, 1980’s

     

    Writing fractions

    ·        Correct: one half, one third, three fifths (you may also hyphenate fractions: one-half)

    o       Incorrect: ½, 1/3, 3/5

     

    Using pronouns

    Do not use pronouns until you have identified the noun they replace

    ·        Make sure that the pronoun always refers to the same noun

     

    ·        Correct: Officials decided to load the bodies onto barges and bury them at sea. Days later they washed back ashore. (They and them always refer to the bodies)

    o       Incorrect: They loaded the bodies onto barges and buried them at sea. Days later they washed back ashore. Finally, they cremated them.

     

    ·        Correct: Conquered cities gave crops, clothing, gold and precious stones to the Aztec.

    o       Incorrect: They gave them crops, clothing, gold, and precious stones.

     

    ·        Correct: King John did not give Columbus the money and ships he requested because the king thought he was a big talker. (He always refers to Columbus)

    o       Incorrect: He did not give him the money he requested because he thought he was a big talker.

     

    Abbreviations

    Do not use abbreviations in complete sentences

    ·        Correct: When news of the flood reached New York, reporters hurried to Pennsylvania.

    o       Incorrect: When news of the flood reached NY, reporters hurried to PA.

     

    ·        Correct: January, February, … December

    o       Incorrect: Jan., Feb., … Dec.

     

    Writing names

    Always include first and last names when first identifying someone

    ·        In subsequent sentences, you may refer to historical figures using his/her last name

     

    ·        Correct: George Washington was elected president in 1789. Washington was re-elected in 1792 but did not seek a third term in 1796.

    o       Incorrect: Washington was elected president in 1789. George was re-elected in 1792 but did not seek a third term in 1796.

     

    Exceptions:

    ·        Kings, queens, princes, etc. who do not have family names

    ·        Continue to use full names or use first names if talking about two or member of the same family (Both Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt were elected president. Theodore was the youngest person to be president, while Franklin was the only president elected more than twice.)

     

    Subject/verb and subject/predicate agreement

    Singular subjects use singular verbs; plural subjects use plural verbs

    ·        Correct: Pueblos, or towns, were established as centers of trades.

    o       Incorrect: A pueblo, or town, were established as a center of trades.

     

    ·        Correct: A presidio, or fort, was usually built near these religious communities.

    o       Incorrect: Presidios, or forts, was usually built near these religious communities.

     

    ·        Correct: Many of the 2,000 killed in the hurricane were poor fishermen.

    o       Incorrect: Many of the 2,000 killed in the hurricane were poor fisherman.

     

    Punctuation and quotation marks

    Punctuation should be written inside quotation marks

    ·        Correct: Florida’s state motto is “In God We Trust.”

    o       Incorrect: Florida’s state motto is “In God We Trust”.