Grammar and Usage

Guidelines for contributor reference on principles of composition, rules on grammar, usage, capitalization, and punctuation.


In addition to the the guidelines defined on this page, contributors can reference The Associated Press Stylebook and The Elements of Style.


There is no minimum or maximum page length for However, the quicker you get to the point, the greater chance your visitors will find what they’re looking for. Here are some content length recommendations:

  • Titles: 2-5 words
  • Headers: 3-7 words
  • Sentences: 8-15 words
  • Paragraphs: 50 words or less
  • Pages: 500 words or less
  • Bullets: 10 words

Spacing Between Sentences

One space, not two, should be used after any punctuation that ends a sentence (e.g., period, colon, question mark, exclamation point, or closing quotation mark).

Line Spacing

No vertical space (i.e., empty paragraphs or blank lines) should be left between paragraphs.

Phone Numbers

To maintain consistency across the website, phone numbers should be formatted in one of the following ways:

  • (505) 224-3000
  • (505) 224-4000 ext. 51507


Always use numbers, except for "noon" and "midnight" and do not use ":00" in any circumstance:

  • 7 a.m.
  • 3:30 p.m.
  • Noon - 1:45 p.m.


Dates should always be written using cardinal numbers:

  • May 2, 2021
  • Graduation on May 2

Ordinal numbers should only be used for specific contexts:

  • On the 2nd of May
  • 2nd Friday of every month

Ordinal Numbers

When using ordinal numbers to indicate a position in relation to other numbers, spell out the word up to ninth and use "th", "nd", "st" from 10th and up:

  • Spell out: First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth
  • All other numbers: 10th, 22nd, 31st, etc.

Note: This guideline does not apply to ordinal numbers as they relate to dates (see above).

Word Usage


Classes (i.e., Schedule of Classes) are the specific time-and-date offerings of Courses. 

CNM Foundation

CNM Foundation on first reference, Foundation on subsequent references.


Campus is always capitalized when referencing a CNM campus (e.g., Main Campus); all other uses are lowercased.


The portal to Outlook, Banner, and Brightspace is myCNM. When referencing myCNM on the website, "my" should be lowercased followed by "CNM" in caps; it should be one word. 


President Tracy Hartzler on first reference; President Hartzler thereafter.