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The Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
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Section 9.2


Unless you are following a style guide that specifies otherwise, observe the following conventions.

Italicize titles of journals, books, newsletters, and manuals; letters, words, terms, and equation symbols that are being highlighted for discussion; foreign words; words or phrases that are being emphasized; and names of specific vessels.

Titles of Journals, Books, Newsletters, and Manuals

the Journal of the American Chemical Society

Aviation Week and Space Technology

Handbook of Physical Constants

Operator's Manual: TD-100 B&S Spectroscope

Pollution Abstracts

Letters, Words, Terms, and Equation Symbols That Are Being Highlighted for Discussion

If either 1 or 2 is negative, Equation 8 describes a convex reflecting surface.

How does one program the computer, for example, to pronounce the letter combination gh? In the word thorough, gh has no sound; in enough, it is pronounced f; in ghost, it is pronounced g.

The term dielectric is used here to refer to all. . .

Foreign Words

Against the criminally stubborn conviction of the professional officer corps that courage, elan, and naked steel must carry the day, the machine gun was the ultimate argument.

Bohr returned to Göttingen as a Privatdozent working under Born. [In German all nouns are capitalized.]

--Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb

The SPOT (for système probatoire d'observation de la terre) views the area in question every 2.5 days.


The Chernobyl reactor surged from its standby level to 50 percent of its capacity in just 10 seconds.

Names of Specific Vessels

Do not italicize the model's class, manufacturer, or model number.

The experiment is scheduled to be performed during a future mission of the space shuttle Enterprise.

He returned on a Boeing 757.

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