Guideline: Spell out numbers under 10. Exception is when comparing and using quantities, e.g., 2 out of 12 doctors agree we rank 3 out of 20.


    • A typical undergraduate degree takes four years to complete.


Guideline: Dates should be spelled out as month, day, year. So, instead of 10/3/2013 say October 3, 2013. This is easier to read and won’t confuse users not from the United States. For dates use numerals (January 5) instead of ordinals (January 5th). Note:Shorthand may be used by the web team in the design of an events calendar.


    • Madame Curie was born on November 7, 1867.


Guideline: For times use numerals, followed by a space and a.m. or p.m. For durations, insert an en dash (–) between both times with no spaces on either side. For times on the hour, it is not necessary to add :00.


  • 5 p.m.
  • 4 p.m.
  • 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Telephone numbers

Guideline: Use 10-digit telephone number separated by hyphens: 612-625-5000

Money / Currency

Guideline: Use the word cents with amounts less than a dollar. Use the $ and the figure for amounts more than a dollar. Do not use zeros if the amount has even dollar amounts, unless part of a series.


  • That coffee cost 60 cents.
  • Mini Medical School costs $60.
  • Student tickets are $2.50.
  • The price ranges from $25.50 to $50.00.
  • The researchers earned a $5 million grant.


Guideline: In text, use the word percent as opposed to using the symbol %. Reserve use of 50% for pie chart or other graphic where this shorthand is needed, or for statistics-heavy copy.


  • 50 percent
  • 50–75 percent of the population (if using percent symbol: 50% to 75%)
  • 30 percent of students purchased their books online.