Grammar: Capitalization and punctuation


A job title is only capitalized when it immediately precedes a person’s name. If the title follows the name or stands alone, it is not capitalized:


Student Life Coordinator Jill Smith organized the event.

Jill Smith, student life coordinator, organized the event.

Associate Professor of Journalism Bob Woodward led a panel discussion.

Bob Woodward, an associate journalism professor, led a discussion.

Departments, offices, committees, and boards

Capitalize the formal names of departments, offices, committees, boards, and institutions, but do not capitalize informal names.


The Department of Criminal Justice is composed of 10 faculty members.

She works for the criminal justice department at UA Little Rock.

Buildings and places

The names of buildings or rooms that include proper names are capitalized.


The event will be held at the Ted and Virginia Bailey Alumni and Friends Center.

If you’d like to reserve the Bailey Center for an event, contact Linda Martin.

The Calvin R. Ledbetter Jr. Assembly Hall is located in the Donaghey Student Center.

Ledbetter Hall is located in the DSC.


Do not capitalize majors, programs, or concentrations unless they are a “brand name” or a standalone proper noun.

EXAMPLE: She was a history major, but she studied Spanish and traveled abroad through the Donaghey Scholars Honors Program.

Capitalize the formal names of courses.

EXAMPLE: After enrolling in Designing with New Technologies, he wanted to take more art classes.

Capitalize the formal names of standardized tests.

EXAMPLES: ACT, GRE, Test of English as a Foreign Language:

For faculty who have earned an advanced degree (Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.), it is acceptable to use the formal title Dr. or Drs. before the full name of an individual(s), with these two exceptions:

a) News releases sent to media

b) When there is a bulleted or similar list naming many individuals

In such instances, an academic abbreviation is used after the full name and set off by a comma

EXAMPLE: John Snow, Ph.D.


Lowercase fall, winter, spring, and summer unless referring to a formal name.


The spring semester begins in January.

Many vendors will be available during the Fall Career Fair.


Place commas inside quotation marks for direct quotes.

EXAMPLE: “A new season is beginning today,” the chancellor said. “Little Rock is now poised to serve as a national model for improving educational and developmental outcomes.”

UA Little Rock Style adheres to the serial comma. (This is an exception to AP Style.) When using commas in a series, a comma is placed before the “and.”

Example: The chancellor greeted faculty, staff, students, and guests to the event.

Names followed by Jr., Sr., or a roman numeral do not have a comma after the last name:

Examples: Martin Luther King Jr., Waldo Aloysius Johnston III


Capitalize the first word and proper nouns only.