UWA Staff

Punctuation

The UWA staff site provides easy access to information for new and current staff. This includes procedures and planning, Human Resources, the induction process, Financial Services, Research and Teaching and Learning, as well as details of facilities, parking and transport information, and all about UWA’s social side.

The University has adopted the following punctuation rules and styles to ensure consistency across publications and the website.

  1. Spacing
  2. Apostrophe
  3. Brackets
  4. Hyphenation
  5. Italics
  6. Quotation marks
  7. Lists in official print publications
  8. Lists on the website

Spacing

Always use one space, not two, between sentences. The practice of using two spaces originated in the era of typewriters, but word processing programs use variable spacing to deal with the ends of sentences.

Back to top

Apostrophe

The apostrophe s is used in the description of generic degrees but not in the title of a specific degree:

He has a bachelor's degree.
They received Master of Arts degrees. She now has two master's degrees.
but
honours degree (without the apostrophe)

The apostrophe is often dropped for names of institutions that contain a plural noun ending in 's' if the word is more associative and descriptive rather than possessive or if it is inanimate. However, the final style used should reflect the official name of the institution.

Secondary Teachers College
Libraries Board

Back to top

Brackets

Brackets are always round (...) unless there is a hierarchy of brackets, in which case round brackets are used within square brackets:

[see Rule 2.(c)]

Back to top

Hyphenation

Part time and full time, first year, second year, etc. are hyphenated only when used as adjectives:

In the first year of his course he took two part-time units. The following year he studied full time as a first-year student.

Class of honours is not hyphenated:

first class honours; second class honours

Directions have no hyphen (southeast) and are capitalised only as part of a place or area name (Southeast Asia) or in designating a district (WA's South West) but not otherwise (southwestern Australia).

Hyphens are used in words with a prefix/suffix causing juxtaposition of the same vowel:

re-enrol
micro-organism (not microorganism)

Exceptions:

cooperate
coordinate

Words prefixed with 'e' (meaning electronic) are hyphenated.

e-commerce
e-learning
e-book
As a title or start of a sentence: E-learning

Exception:

email

Back to top

Italics

Compositions (in the widest sense, including books) are set out in italics:

Trio in F
Moby Dick
A Poem for Mary

Chapters of books, individual plays and names of radio programs are in single quotes:

'The Final Chapter'
'The Ham Funeral' (as might appear in Patrick White, An Anthology)
'Radio Daze'

Back to top

Quotation marks

Single quotes are used around a chapter title, section heading, phrases and other quoted text which is not active speech:

Refer to 'Information and advice' under the section 'Courses available in the Faculty'.

Double quotes are used for active speech, with single quotes within double quotes:

"Mary and I are going to the theatre to see 'The Cherry Orchard'," said Bob.
Mary told Uniview, "I thought the acting was superb."

When several consecutive paragraphs are quoted, quotation marks are repeated only at the beginning of each paragraph and closed at the end of the last paragraph. Alternatively indent the whole quoted passage and omit quotation marks.

Back to top

Lists in official print publications

When a list follows on from an opening sentence use an em dash (—) at the end of the opening phrase to show continuity in the text:

The scholarship is awarded by the selection committee to the eligible applicant who, in its opinion, best demonstrates—

  • (a) academic achievement; and
  • (b) an interest in the mineral resources industries.

When there is a list of separate items or people, use a colon at the end of the opening phrase:

The selection committee for the scholarship comprises:

  • (a) the Dean of the UWA Business School, or nominee;
  • (b) the Deputy Dean or nominee; and
  • (c) a representative of Rio Tinto, or nominee.

Note that in both lists semicolons are used to separate the items. The word ‘and’ is placed after the semicolon on the penultimate item on the list.

Back to top

Lists on the website

Lists on the website use minimal punctuation.

Lists of full sentences

Normal sentence rules apply with a colon at the end of the introductory sentence, capital at the beginning of each dot point and a full stop at the end.

The committee came to two important conclusions:

  • Officers from the department should investigate the matter.
  • Research should be funded in three priority areas.

Stand-alone lists

Stand-alone lists are typically used as navigation but also appear in main text. Each dot point is very short.

They take an initial capital letter and no full stop at the end.

They are normally introduced by a heading.

Further information

  • Contact us
  • Faculties
  • Course information

Sentence fragments

Lists that comprise only parts of sentences have an introductory sentence with a colon.

The sentence fragments do not have initial capitals or punctuation.

Assistance is available in several forms:

  • monetary assistance for students with special needs
  • equipment modifications to ensure access to courses
  • advisory services regarding careers and courses

Back to top