Style Guide for The Mirror, Northwood School’s Student-Led Newspaper 

Created August 2018.
Revised September 2018
, December 2020, June 2021. 

When this style guide does not provide guidance, use “The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, 2018.” Copies are available in the classroom. Published to The Mirror on 6/29/2021.


a lot Not alot. 

Advanced Placement Acceptable to abbreviate as AP on first reference (note no periods). When referring to specific courses, place AP first: AP U.S. History, AP Environmental Science. 

advisor all students have a faculty advisor (note spelling) 

ages Always numerals: He has a 14-year-old brother. His sister is 8 years old. 

all right Not alright. 

alumni Use “alumni” when referencing a group or more than one, or use “alums” in more casual instances. Use “alumnus” for one male or “alumna” for one female, or “alum“ for either in more casual instances. 

AP See Advanced Placement. 

art and literary magazine Kobl is an art and literary magazine, not a literary magazine. Do not use lit mag, except in quotes. 

assistant coach    Do not capitalize. 

auditorium Do not call it the theater. “Flinner Auditorium” is acceptable. 

backward Not backwards. 

CD Acceptable on first reference for compact disc. But when a band or singer has a new release, it is a new album, not a new CD. Those things made out of vinyl are called records or LPs. 

class president Capitalize when before a name, lowercase in all other uses: Senior Class President Jane Smith. Do not refer to the class by the graduation year, just use ninth-gradesophomorejunior or senior. 

class year use ‘XX to indicate the graduating year of a student or Northwood School alumni. For example: “Faculty member Don Mellor ‘71 ate four slices of pizza after climbing the Chapel Pond slab.” Never use both the grade and class in a single reference. For example, “Sophomore Owen Pierce ‘21 has arguably the coolest dog on campus” is unacceptable. The sports editor may choose to follow a slightly different format when citing graduating classes of student-athletes in game recaps. The apostrophe before a class year should look the same as in a contraction like “that’s”.  You can accomplish this by typing the apostrophe than the two-digit class year and hitting the spacebar. If you don’t do this, the apostrophe appears backward.   

Coach Lowercase in all uses. 

course titles Capitalize when referring to specific courses. It is acceptable to capitalize when using the commonly used name for a course instead of its official name: AP Statistics instead of Advanced Placement StatisticsHuman Bio instead of Human Biology and Anatomy, etc. Do not use slang names for courses in articles: APES, APUSH, AP World, AP Lang, etc. For progressive courses, use numerals: French 4, etc. 

The Dance Sanctuary is the name of the dance studio that provides instruction to Northwood students. Always include and capitalize The. 

dates No need to include the year when it’s the current year you are writing about: The game is Feb. 3. See months for which months get abbreviated and how to abbreviate them. You may use the day of the week if the event is going to happen within a week of publication. Never say next Friday or this FridayThe game is at 7 p.m. Friday. If the event was in the past, always use the date. 

departments Do not capitalize, except English and ESL. Some departments have an “official” name, but we use what it is commonly referred to as. When identifying a teacher, use the department unless the context of the story requires you to mention a specific course. Here is the list: humanities department, STEM department, foreign language department, English as a second or other language (ESL) department, arts department, innovation, engineering, and entrepreneurship (IEE) department. The leaders of the department is the “chair” or “chairperson,” not chairman or chairwoman. 

Dining Hall is the name of where we eat our meals. Not “lunchroom” or “cafeteria.” Dining Room is an acceptable alternative.   

Epitome The official name of the yearbook is Epitome, not The Epitome. Leave off “the” when referring to the book itself but include it when referring to elements of the book or staff, in which case “the” is not capitalized: Students can pick up their copies of Epitome starting Monday. All members of the Epitome staff went to the conference. 

ESOL Acceptable on first reference for English as a Second or Other Language 

events Use the time-day-place format: The event is at 7 p.m. on Feb. 2 in the library. The show is at 8 p.m. tonight in the auditorium. 

faculty and staff All first references to faculty and staff will include the honorific (Mr. Ms., Dr., as appropriate) first and last name. Subsequent references may use last name or honorific + last name. References to administrators will include the person’s title in the first reference. “Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Laura Paul said….” “…added Paul.” 

forward     Not forwards. 

freshman    Avoid the male gendered “freshman” and “freshmen,” except when quoting a source. Use ninth-grader or ninth-graders instead. Sophomore or tenth-grader may be used interchangeably, as may junior (eleventh-grader) and senior (12th-grader). 

girls’ and boys’ sports It is boys’ hockey, not, for example, boy’s or boys hockey. The same for all sports that are played by both sexes. But it is football, baseball, softball, etc., for those sports only boys or girls play. 

Head (and Assistant) of School Mr. Michael Maher is the Head of School. He is not the Headmaster. Mr. John Spear is the Assistant Head of School. 

head coach Do not capitalize. 

high school Always two words. 

Hockey teams We offer a Prep Team, Varsity Team and Girls’ Team 

Huskies, The The official mascot of Northwood School is The Huskies. It should always be capitalized and should never be spelled “Huskys.” If he singular form is appropriate it should be spelled “Husky.” 

internet Do not capitalize. This differs from AP. 

Kobl The official name of the art and literary magazine is Koble. It should never be spelled “Cobble.” 

Lake Placid shall not be shortened to “Placid” in copy. 

LEAP The acronym may be used to reference Northwood’s experiential learning program, but every effort should be made to explain the program shortly after its first mention. 

Learning Center Use Learning Center in first reference. LC is acceptable in all subsequent references. 

lecture hall Do not capitalize. 

library Do not call it the media center. Do not capitalize. 

many Avoid vague adjectives. If you write, “Many students dress in Northwood colors for the soccer games,” nobody really has any idea how many “many” is. If you can’t give actual numbers (or justifiable estimates), just write about specific students. 

Mirror, The    Northwood’s student-led school paper is The Mirror. Always include and capitalize The. 

months Abbreviate when used with a specific date. Here’s what’s abbreviated and what’s not: Jan., Feb., March, April, May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. 

nicknames Many students and faculty have nicknames (Reno, Brody, etc.). It is never appropriate to use a nickname, except when quoting a source. 

Olympic Center                Capitalize in all references. 

percent    Always write percent in copy. The symbol, %, can be used in infographics. 

PG may be used for post-graduate student on first reference. post-graduate when spelling out, note the hyphen. 

Robotics Team Not Robotics Club. 

Saranac Lake Do not shorten the town name to “Saranac.” 

scores    The winning score goes first. The Huskies lost 5-4The Huskies won 3-2. Avoid using by the score of in a sentence. 

secretary Follow the rules for vice president when referring to the secretary of the different classes. 

Soccer Northwood’s elite soccer program is official called “The Black Rock Football Club Residential Academy at Northwood School.” In articles we write we refer to the team as varsity soccer. Northwood sometimes has a recreational soccer team, which may be referred to as rec soccer.  

state (or regional) Do not say states when referring to the state championship for a sport or activity, unless used in a quote. Teams go to state championships, not states. Same for regional championships. 

Student Handbook Has no nickname or abbreviation. 

SUNY (short for State University of New York) may be abbreviate in all instances. 

theater The plays are put on in the auditorium, not the theater. Unless part of a proper noun, it is not spelled theatre. 

time Common examples: 11:50 a.m.noon (not 12 noon); 3 p.m.4 o’clock (but 4 p.m. is preferred). The time element comes first when giving the details for an event: The play is at 7 p.m. on Friday in the auditorium. 

titles CDs/albums/songs: “Born to Run.” Books: “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Magazines: Sports Illustrated (no quotes). Newspapers: The Washington Post (no quotes, but note the capital on The.) No italics for titles of any kind. 

toward Not towards. 

treasurer Follow the rules for vice president when referring to the treasurer of the different classes. 

varsity Not Varsity. 

versus Use the word against in copy, headlines and captions. The game tomorrow is against Centreville, not versus Centreville. When referring to court cases, abbreviate to v.Tinker v. Des MoinesAll other uses, abbreviate to vs., with the period. 

vice president Capitalize when before a name, lowercase in all other uses: Sophomore Class Vice President Jane Smith. Do not refer to the class by the graduation year, just use ninth-gradesophomorejunior or senior 

web Do not capitalize in any usage: website, webcam, webcast, webmaster, web page. This differs from AP. Acceptable on all references to the worldwide web. Technically, the web and the internet are not the same thing. The internet consists of many components, all websites and email being two significant ones. But they are often used synonymously by lay people. 

wi-fi Do not capitalize. This differs from AP. It is short for “wireless fidelity.” 

The Mirror was established in 1927
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The Mirror's Policy Manual and Style Guide.
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