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Frequently Asked Questions

Here at the Editorial Help Desk we strive to offer our customers with the best customer service we can muster. Here you can view common and frequent questions that customers such as yourself have asked.

Q. Is afterschool one word, two words, or hyphenated?
A. The adjective is hyphenated—after-school, otherwise use two words.

Q. Do we write “the OCIP,” or “OCIP?”

Q. Do we capitalize the word white as we do in African American, Asian American, and Hispanic?
A. Yes, we capitalize White.

Q. How do we write web site?
A. website.

Q. What is the correct way to use em dash and en dash?
A. Em dash—Use to separate an interrupting clause from the rest of the sentence.

It is also used to separate a word or words from a phrase that summarizes or explains those words. En dash—It is equivalent to the word to. It is used to separate letters and numbers, especially when a range or time span is given. Note: There should be no spaces before or after em and en dashes.

Q. Would you recommend the Gregg Manual, as a good grammar and style guide?
A. If you do mostly correspondence, you should have the MCPS Correspondence Manual and the Gregg Manual. For reports and other long documents, use the standard reference for educational writing-the American Psychological Association Manual of Style.

Q. Do we capitalize the word unit in an office name?
A. No, use the name as listed.

Q. Do we capitalize Internet?
A. Yes we do.

Q. What is the correct way of writing first-come, first-serve?
A. First-come, first-served.

Q. Do we say students’ achievements or students’ achievement?
A. Students’ achievements. Plural possessive should be followed by a plural noun.

Q. Is rollout a noun or a modifier?
A. It is a noun, but when used as a modifier, it is an adjective.

Q. Can we use a space after each bulleted item?
A. Yes, as long as it is consistently done throughout the document.

Q. What is the correct way to write nonvested?
A. Non-vested.

Q. Should we capitalize “awards” in the Marian Greeenblatt Excellence awards?
A. No, use lowercase.

Q. Do we say, “The SSE were pilot tested” or should it be was?
A. The correct sentence should read: The SSEs were pilot tested.

Q. Do we write Class of 2008 or class of 2008?
A. Class of 2008

Q. How do you handle lists with just one bullet and no lead-in sentence?
A. Make the one bullet a simple sentence; and put “and” between the 2-bullet list. Ideally, a bulleted list should consist of no less than 3 items.

Q. Do we say or write, “Legislature process or legislative process?”
A. Legislative Process

Q. How do we refer to attachments that are part of another attachment?
A. Call it a section of the attachment.

Q. What is the preferred way to write the name of an MCPS form?
A. The most common style is as follows: MCPS Form XXX: This is a Test.

Q. How do you record the name of a Web link in a document that is not an instructional manual?
A. Put the name of the link in italics.

Q. Can we use “So” at the beginning of a sentence?
A. It depends on how formal the document is. In a more formal document, you would use something like “Therefore” instead.

Q. Do we say, “Teachers in Grades 1-5” or “teachers of Grades 1-5?”
A. Teachers of.

Q. What is the politically correct way to note a female master of ceremonies?
A. Mistress of ceremonies.

Q. How do we abbreviate the word prekindergarten?
A. pre-K.

Contact Donna M. Marks or call the Editorial Help Desk at 301-517-8139.