do not include the accent if the word is in common use
use the accent for people's names and proper nouns
Médecins Sans Frontières
are used to indicate ownership (possession)
singular common nouns
the apostrophe is placed before the 's'
the university's mission
the apostrophe is placed after the 's' for singular nouns ending in 's'
plural common nouns
the apostrophe is placed after the 's'
the apostrophe is placed before the 's' for plural nouns not ending in 's'
do not use an apostrophe with possessive pronouns
yours, his, hers, theirs
to show the omission of a letter(s)
descriptive rather than possessive
it is increasingly common to drop the apostrophe for phrases that are descriptive rather than possessive
five years work experience
the same rule applies to some names of organisations
Nurses and Midwives Board
and place names
Mrs Macquaries Chair
note that some organisations retain the apostrophe
Sydney Writers' Festival
it's is a contraction of 'it is'
It's time to update the website.
its is the possessive of 'it'
The faculty is updating its website.
no apostrophe in expression of time
in the 90s
there are three types of brackets: parentheses, square brackets and angle brackets
use parentheses to enclose additional information, abbreviations, clarifications, comments and definitions
use to insert words within quotations
Mr Jones said: 'Julia [Smith] has my full support'.
are sometimes used to enclose email and web addresses: this is not UTS style
use to introduce a word, phrase or clause that amplifies, summarises or contrasts with what precedes it
use lower case for the word following the colon
There were four seats: one for each student.
use to introduce a bulleted list, indented material and quotations
use to separate clauses (the sentence must still make sense if the word or phrase between a pair of commas is removed)
use to break up lists of words in a sentence
don't use only one comma where there should be a pair
shows the omission of words
use a space before and after, and three dots (with no spaces between them)
John said … and nothing else.
em and en dashes
see also em and en dashes in writing for the web
do not use a hyphen where a dash should be used
use an em dash to signify a change in a sentence, to introduce further explanation or amplification or to include a parenthetic expression
insert a space before and after the em dash
The three new buildings — Broadway, Dr Chau Chak Wing and Engineering and IT — were nominated for the award.
use an en-dash in spans of figures and in expressions of time or distance
use an en-dash to signify an association between words that retain their separate identity
the Asia–Pacific region
use sparingly and only ever one
use at end of sentences
do not insert a double space after a full stop
minimise the use of hyphens: do not hyphenate words such as 'cooperate', 'coordinate', 'email', 'online', 'postgraduate', 'undergraduate' and 'website'
hyphenate two words when used adjectivally
first-year student (but 'students in their first year')
full-time study (but 'to study full time')
in-depth look (but 'to look in depth')
do not hyphenate if the compound adjective contains an adverb ending in 'ly'
internationally recognised research
a highly regarded course
do not hyphenate 'email'
other words retain the hyphen
use a hyphen when 're-' is followed by 'e'
do not use a hyphen when 're' is followed by any other letter other than 'e'
the exceptions are where confusion with another word could arise
hyphenate the following
non-current school leaver
use an initial capital, a colon after and an initial capital for the first word
Note: This course has been discontinued.
use single quotation marks around article, chapter, essay, lecture or report titles
Students should attend the lecture 'Politics in Australia'.
use single quotation marks for quoted material (direct speech), with double quotation marks for quotes appearing within quotes
'Students should attend the lecture ''Politics in Australia'' on Tuesday', said the course coordinator.
punctuation and quotation marks
if the punctuation mark is part of the quote, keep it within the quotation marks
'Have you done your homework?', asked the teacher.
if the punctuation is not part of the quote, place it outside the final quotation mark
'It is difficult', said the lecturer, 'because class sizes are so big these days'.
use to link two related clauses that are better as one sentence than two
use in lists within sentences that contain commas
Students may study law; business; nursing, midwifery and health; design, architecture and building; and science.
do not put at the end of list items (see lists)