Editorial Guidelines

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Spectrum Guidelines for Usage and Mechanics

Spectrum uses standard United States spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, and follows the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS).

Commas are required between compound sentences; commas are not needed between sentences with compound verbs.

Commas are needed after introductory subordinate clauses, introductory phrases, and introductory adverbs.

Commas are not needed for subordinate clauses that follow independent clauses.

In a series of three or more words or phrases, the Oxford comma (the final comma before “and”) is needed.

Both semicolons and colons are equal to periods; they end sentences. They should not be followed by fragments.

Double quotes indicate emphasis or quoted words; single quotes indicated quotes within quotes. Single quotes are not used for emphasis.

Commas and periods are always inside quote marks, except when a citation is used at the end of a sentence.

The hyphen and the dash are different. A hyphen connects two or three words; a dash separates or emphasizes phrases.

Ellipsis marks only indicate words missing from a sentence; they do not add emphasis.

Full words, not abbreviations, should be used.

Full words, not contractions, should be used, especially in formal essays.

In titles, the verb "is" and other being verbs need capitalization.

Italics are needed for titles of long works (books/magazines/newspapers/movies/TV shows) and quotes marks for short works (poems, short stories, articles, song titles).

Pronouns need to match the antecedent noun; pronouns should be consistent within a section, (e.g., not mixing we, you, he without clear reference).

The pronoun "it" is needed for singular entities (e.g., committees, companies, institutions).

Bold and italics should be used sparingly and only for emphasis or headings. Underlining should not be used.

Spectrum Guidelines for Adventist and Christian-specific verbiage

Bible is capitalized, but biblical is not.

Seventh-day Adventist Church is the correct hyphenation and capitalization of the world church body.

When using Hebrew or Greek words, they can be italicized for emphasis.