Punctuation

Ampersand 
Use the ampersand (&) only for formal company names and composition titles. Always spell out and unless the ampersand is part of a formal name. 

 

Bulleted lists 
In a bulleted list, the bullet takes the place of punctuation (such as commas or semicolons) between items in a list. Don’t use any punctuation at the end of bulleted items that are not sentences. 

Example: 
  • Join the alumni association and receive the following benefits: 
  • Special invitations to all VCU sporting events 
  • VCU’s alumni magazine 
  • Discounts on auto and home insurance 
  • Free T-shirts for you and your family 
 
There is also no need for a concluding period at the end of a bulleted list, even when that list continues a sentence. 

Example: 
  • These conclusions led the alumni association to: 
  • Create an incentive for membership 
  • Plan a fall event for recent graduates 
  • Start a local chapter 
 
Keep bulleted lists consistent. If some of the items in a list are sentences, make all of them sentences and use appropriate ending punctuation. 

Example: 
Residence hall basics: 
  • Residents must use their VCU ID cards to access the buildings. 
  • Computer labs, mail service, laundry facilities, lounges and basic furnishings for each room are provided in all residence halls. 
  • Students living in the freshman halls must subscribe to a meal plan, except students assigned to Gladding Residence Center III. 
  • All rooms are wired for internet access and cable TV. 
 
If some items begin with verbs, begin all items with verbs. In addition, always capitalize the first word of each bulleted item, whether it is a sentence, phrase or single word. 
Comma 
In general, do not use the serial comma (the comma following the second-to-last item in a series). When the absence of a serial comma compromises clarity or when the items are complex phrases, you may use the comma, even though it has not been used throughout the remaining text. 

Place a comma after all dates that include the year. Example: According to her June 10, 2016, letter, Amy will be here in August. 

Commas do not separate seasons and months (without dates) from their years. Example: The report will be released in August 2016. 

Place a comma after all cities when followed by their states. Example: She talked to the Richmond, Virginia, reporter. 

Do not use a comma before Jr. or Roman numerals that are part of the name. 

 

Quotation marks 
Use single quotation marks in headlines. 

Quotation marks are not required in formats that identify questions and answers by Q: and A. 

 

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