Jackson Academy Style Guide

This style guide is set up in alphabetical order by topic.

In general, the Associated Press Stylebook is the main source for Jackson Academy’s style guide. There are a few exceptions to Associated Press Stylebook that JA uses such as those found in the Chicago Manual of Style. Exceptions to the Associated Press Stylebook are listed below along with items commonly used by us in print or web.

After School Program

Do not to use the word “care” in their description, to avoid confusion with daycare.


Apple one-to-one initiative
Jackson Academy launched the first K-12 Apple one-to-one initiative in the Southeast.
iPod Touch, NOT “iTouch” (it is a different product)
iLearn–our JA digital initiative


Alumnus – singular male
Alumni – plural male
Alumna – singular female
Alumnae – plural female
Alumni is also used to refer to both male and female as a group

Facility Descriptions

JA uses the following term and spelling to describe the following facilities:
Black Box Theatre (Spelled is Theatre rather than Theater)


Capitalization of letter following a colon
We typically capitalize the first letter after a colon when the words following the colon form a complete sentence.


(JA Colors used for printing and website) Questions about colors should be discussed with Patti Wade or Brian Byrd in the Office of Marketing & Communication.


JA Navy
Pantone 289 C
CMYK 98 84 46 51
Hex 0E2340
JA Gray
Pantone 429 C
CMYK 0 0 0 30


JA Light Blue
Pantone 283C
CMYK 40 8 0 0
Hex 98C6EA


Additional Gray (if needed)
PMS 423 C
CMYK 0 0 0 55
Hex Gray 8A8C8E

Secondary Colors

 PMS 564
CMYK 41 0 20 1
HEX 99ccc3
PMS 123
CMYK 0 21 88 0


PMS 7492
CMYK 17 1 45 3


PMS 467
CMYK 3 12 34 10
HEX D2C295


PMS 7491
CMYK 43 10 83 39
HEX 738639


PMS 476
CMYK 32 67 63 78
HEX 4C3327


PMS 1635
CMYK 0 47 50 0


PMS 426
CMYK 91 74 51 93
HEX 191D1F


Use a Serial Comma: the comma before the and we will use a serial comma on website and JAAM copy. We will not use a serial comma in press releases sent to media.

Example or serial comma: Machines developed by students included go-carts, candy machines, catapults, cranes, a drawbridge, and an elevator.

Course Titles

Write them without italics or quotations. Capitalize main words.

The University of Minnesota’s Style Manual puts this at the top of the “do not italicize” list.

“Do not italicize or use quotation marks around:

University course titles; capitalize initial letters of major words”


Follow AP style
If mention of degrees is necessary to establish credentials, the preferred form is to avoid an abbreviation and use a phrase such as:

Bill Jones, who has a doctorate in philosophy, will join the staff in June.

Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, etc., but there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. Also associate degree is not possessive. Capitalize the degree when using the formal reference to the degree, such as: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Business Administration.

When the above forms are cumbersome, you can use abbreviations such as B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. after a full name and set them off in commas. The degrees are never used after just a last name.

Example: Ralph Page, Ph.D., spoke about electronics used on WWII Navy vessels.

Juris Doctor is italicized


Use lowercase except when it is part of the formal title.
chair of the UMMC Department of Emergency Medicine
chair of the department of emergency medicine
the emergency department


Upper School
Middle School
Lower School
Preschool – no hyphen
K3 means 3 years old and PK means 4 years old

References to entire school:

Using Each
Professors John C. Hodges and Mary E. Whitman, Harbrace College
Handbook (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1972).
Mr. Bryan A. Garner, A Dictionary of Modern American Usage (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)

If the word “each” comes before a compound subject, use the singular.

(a) Each boy and each girl is to work independently.

(b) Each boy and [each] girl has reasons to be unhappy.

If the word “each” comes after a plural subject, use the plural verb

(mentally ignore the word “each”).

(a) The athletes each are seeking more than $50,000 …. (What’s the subject? Answer: athletes. Therefore: are.)

(b) The conservative and the liberal each have voiced his opinion. (What’s the subject? Answer: The conservative and the liberal. Therefore: have.)


(a) That book does admit that some people would use “has” in the sentence above. I strongly recommend that you do NOT.
(b) That sentence comes from a 1972 book. Many people currently do not like the use of “his opinion.” They say you should say “his or her” or “their” opinion. You could just say “an opinion.” And — of course — it is OK to say “his” if both are men; it is OK to say “her” if both are women.

EM Dash, EN Dash, and Hyphen

Em Dash

Use an em dash (called this because it is the width of an M) to set apart words in a sentence for emphasis or abrupt change. No space on either side.


Example of em dash: The initiative—dubbed “iLearn,”—began in 2012.
How to: Use Option, Shift + hyphen to create em dash—

En Dash

Use en dash for periods of time
Example: 2012–­13
How to: Option + hyphen to create en–


Guidelines for HTML, Mac and Windows commends for Em and En
·  Type an En Dash
Create en dashes with Option-hyphen (Mac) or ALT 0150 (Windows) — hold down the ALT key and type 0150 on the numeric keypad.
·  Type an Em Dash
Create em dashes with Shift-Option-hyphen (Mac) or ALT 0151 (Windows) — hold down the ALT key and type 0151 on the numeric keypad.
·  Use En Dashes on Web Pages
Create en dashes in HTML with & #0150; (ampersand-no space, pound sign 0150 semi-colon). Or, use the Unicode numeric entity of & #8211; (no spaces).
·  Use Em Dashes on Web Pages
Create em dashes in HTML with & #0151; (ampersand-no space, pound sign 0151 semi-colon). Or, use the Unicode numeric entity of & #8212; (no spaces).


Hyphen is used to hyphenate words, such as God-given gifts


Capitalize and abbreviate as Gov. before a name: Ex., Gov. Phil Bryant


Spell out grades in text so that we are consistent throughout the grades (as opposed to AP style that shifts from words to numerals at 10)
First, second, third, eleventh, and twelfth
Exception: In a chart, it is acceptable to use 1st, 2nd, 3rd. 11th and 12th
Also acceptable is reference to entire school as K3-12


Example: 1970s – no apostrophe

Numbers in General

Spell out whole numbers below 10; use figures for 10 and above. (AP Style)
They had three sons and two daughters.
They had a fleet of 10 station wagons and two buses.
She ran four miles, and he walked 11.


Source GrammarBook.com

Rule 1
Use parentheses to enclose words or figures that clarify or are used as an aside.
I expect five hundred dollars ($500).
He finally answered (after taking five minutes to think) that he did not understand the question.
Commas could have been used in the above example. Parentheses show less emphasis or importance.
Em dashes, which could also have been used instead of parentheses, show emphasis.

Rule 2
Use full parentheses to enclose numbers or letters used for listed items.
We need an emergency room physician who can (1) think quickly, (2) treat patients respectfully, and (3) handle complaints from the public.

Rule 3
Periods go inside parentheses only if an entire sentence is inside the parentheses.
Please read the analysis (I enclosed it as Attachment A.).
Please read the analysis. (I enclosed it as Attachment A.)
Please read the analysis (Attachment A).

Phone Numbers

Use dots and not hypens
Example: 601.364.5440 (Do not use 601-364-5440)

a.m and p.m

Use a.m. and p.m. (Do not list AM/PM or A.M./P.M.)

Photo Identification

When it is necessary to identify a group in a photo always check spelling of names and always count the number of people and make sure you have a name for every person in the photo. Newspapers identify back row first.

Members of the 2013 council are (from left) Joe Smith, Jim Page and Patti Phillips.
(back, from left)
(middle, from left)
(front, from left)
(seated, from left)

Quotation Marks

AP Style
The period and the comma always go within the quotation marks.
Example: “The period and the comma always go within the quotation marks,”  said the teacher.
The dash, semicolon, the question mark, and the exclamation point go within the quotation when they apply to the quoted matter only.
He asked, “How long will it take?”
They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence.
Who wrote “Gone With the Wind”?


First place, second place

Use AP style: spell out numbers less than ten, use numerals 10 and above
21st century, but first century
For proper names, follow the organization’s practice:
20th Century Fox, Twentieth Century Fund


Capitalize to indicate region, such as South or East
Directions are lower case, such as “JA is located on the east side of Ridgewood Road.”


Spell out states when they stand alone in text.

Ex., We live in Mississippi.

When listed with the city in a sentence, we will use AP abbreviations for states, rather than the postal abbreviations.

Example: Jackson, Miss. Rather than Jackson, MS

When used in charts.

(From AP Style Guide – The following are the state abbreviations we use, followed by the postal code abbreviations in parentheses)

Ala. (AL)
Ariz. (AZ)
Ark. (AR)
Calif. (CA)
Colo. (CO)
Conn. (CT)
Del. (DE)
Fla. (FL)
Ga. (GA)
Ill. (IL)
Ind. (IN)
Kan. (KS)
Ky. (KY)
La. (LA)
Md. (MD)
Mass. (MA)
Mich. (MI)
Minn. (MN)
Miss. (MS)
Mo. (MO)
Mont. (MT)
Neb. (NE)
Nev. (NV)
N.H. (NH)
N.J. (NJ)
N.M. (NM)
N.Y. (NY)
N.C. (NC)
N.D. (ND)
Okla. (OK)
Ore. (OR)
Pa. (PA)
R.I. (RI)
S.C. (SC)
S.D. (SD)
Tenn. (TN)
Vt. (VT)
Va. (VA)
Wash. (WA)
W.Va. (WV)
Wis (WI)
Wyo. (WY)

Eight are not abbreviated: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah.


Generally, we use lowercase titles in body copy.
Peter Jernberg, president of JA, received an award from MAIS.

However, if the title precedes the name, it should be upper case.
President Peter Jernberg received an award from MAIS.

Also, if we are using the title with the name at the end of a letter or standing alone as a title or with a photo, we would capitalize the title, such as:

Ebony Welch
Annual Giving Coordinator

Website Headers

Type headers in upper and lowercase, for example:
Only at JA
A Question of Character
Schedule Options

Avoid all upper case.

Header options are (use upper and lowercase):

H1: Dark blue, with thin blue line; use for main headers such of the left navigation, such as Only at JA, Preschool (K3, PK, and K), Admissions Procedures.

H2: Gray with thin blue line; Use for sub-heads of main headers, such as under Only at JA, subhead, Our Traditions, Your Child’s Future or under Tuition and Financial Aid, subhead, 2013-14 Tuition and Fees.

H3:  Light Blue with faint grey line, — currently this is used in band, ensembles

H4: Grey, faint line

H5: Grey,  no line smallest font of headings

H6: Blue, centered; Use when you want to insert a special message or call to action into text; it is centered and is blue with thin line above and below.
Example for H6: Re-enrollment Forms Due February 1
The headings will only show up in the live site so we have to look what we have chosen there, and WordPress does not have a way around this at the moment, according to Brent. He is going to provide us a PDF Tutorial of the WordPress set up soon. You can see where we have applied H3 under Band, Sections.


“The Elements of Internet Style,” EEI Press Editors, 2007
“The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, AP, 2011
“Chicago Manual of Style”
University of Minnesota’s Style Manual
Professors John C. Hodges and Mary E. Whitman, Harbrace College
Handbook (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1972).
Mr. Bryan A. Garner, A Dictionary of Modern American Usage (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)