Editorial style guide - C

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capital letters

Proper nouns, official titles and course titles use initial capitals when written in full.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Koen Lamberts

When referring to such titles in running text or using a word such as history in a generic sense, don't use an initial capital.

The University is about to appoint a new vice-chancellor
Applicants must study history at A Level

Department names use initial capitals, but the word department always uses lower-case d, unless it begins a sentence.

The Department of English Literature
Our department has an excellent reputation.

When referring to the University of Sheffield as the University use an initial capital. When referring to a university use all lower case.

Don't use initial capitals for the small connecting words in titles.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

See also title case and headings and titles

carbon dioxide

If you're writing this using the chemical formula then make sure the 2 is formatted as subscript.

Giant icebergs play key role in removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

careers adviser

not careers advisor
careers advisory service

Care 2050

Two words.


In keeping with our general guideline on numbers, we use words for everything up to ninth. From 10th onwards, use numerals.

For nouns, use: fourth century, fifth century and so on, then: 10th century, 21st century. For adjectives, use a hyphen: fourth–century philosopher, 21st–century furniture.

See dates and times and numbers


Upper case C.

The current University Chancellor is Rt Hon Lady Justice Rafferty DBE.

CITY College

See International Faculty

Clearing and Adjustment

  • Clearing always has an upper case C and Adjustment always has an upper case A, whether they are being used together or on their own
  • Advance Register has upper case A and R
  • helpline in has a lower case h unless it appears in full as as Clearing and Adjustment Helpline, where the h should be upper case
  • results has a lower case r unless it appears as Results and Clearing, where the R should be upper case

colon (:)

Use a colon to introduce a list in a sentence:

Research topics include: gender and politics in France, French cinema, 20th–century literature.

Colons can also be used to separate statements in a sentence, when the second statement explains the first:

The Department of Chemistry has some of the best facilities in the country: its laboratories are state-of-the-art.

Never follow a colon with a dash (:-).


In a simple sentence there is no need for a comma before and:

The building houses computers, seminar rooms and a library.

In a more complicated sentence you can use a comma to add clarity:

The most popular subject areas were archaeology, biology, and animal and plant sciences.

compass points: north, south, east and west

Lower case for general regions. Use a capital letter for part of the name of a county or province.

The Royce Translational Centre will support growth and jobs in the north.

Sheffield is in South Yorkshire.

compliment or complement

You pay someone a compliment. You have a full complement of students.

A book review may be complimentary. Two types of medical treatment or two colours can be complementary.


Hyphenated when used as an adjective as in computer-aided design.

contact details

If a telephone number is given there should also be an email address. Web addresses are strongly recommended.

Landline numbers should always follow the format +44 114 XXX XXXX. Remove the area code zero and don't use brackets. This will ensure that the number should dial out from anywhere in the world when tapped on a mobile phone.

Mobile numbers should follow the format +44 7XXX XXXXXX.

See also addresses


Contractions such as 'you'll and 'we'll' help establish an informal, friendly tone. They help you to replicate the flow of everyday speech, which makes your copy easier to read.

Some contractions can have the opposite effect. 'There've', for instance, looks strange and sounds forced.

See also abbreviations


The University Council has an upper case C.

The Council is responsible for overseeing the discharge of the University's legal and regulatory responsibilities.

If you need to refer to council as in local government, make the meaning clear by using the full name when you write it the first time.

The project is also backed by Sheffield City Council.

course titles

The correct way to write a course title is BA(Honours) History or BA(Hons) History. Note there is no space between BA and (Honours).

Award abbreviations

  • A Level (not hyphenated)
  • GCSE
  • BA(Honours)
  • PgCert
  • BEng(Honours)
  • PgDip
  • BSc(Honours)
  • MA
  • MPhil
  • PhD

See also capital letters

cue up

When describing the preparation of something, use cue up, not queue up.


Use this instead of 'curricula'. Try to avoid this plural if possible.