Style Guide

Raising Early Achievement in Literacy = REAL

RAM = random access memory

Random access memory = RAM

random-effects model


  1. Compounds formed with the prefix re- are usually closed (CMS 17th, 7.89):
    reacquaint, reexamine, reapply, reinforce, redefine, relocate, reeducate, reread, reenact/reenactment
  2. In a few cases, they are hyphenated to avoid misreading:
    re-cover (to cover again), re-creation (to create again)

read-aloud (adj. or n.)

read aloud (v.)

Read, Eat, and Discover (READ)

read only memory = ROM

reader response theory

Readers Theatre (note initial caps, r-e ending, and no apostrophe)

readers' workshop

Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking = RWCT

Reading First

Reading Is Fundamental = RIF

Reading Online = ROL

reading readiness (n.)

a reading-readiness approach (hyphenate as adjective preceding its noun)

Reading Recovery (registered trademark for early intervention program associated with M. Clay)

Reading Research Quarterly = RRQ

Reading Research Quarterly

The Reading Teacher = RT

reading wars
The editors of have requested that the following guidelines be observed in writing about the joint ILA/NCTE project and its website:

  1. We prefer not to use the acronym RWT because we don't think people outside of ILA know what it is. It's OK if authors or reviewers refer to the site this way in a quotation, but otherwise, please avoid it.
  2. ILA writers and editors should refer to the project and website by its full name, Because we don't own, we have started to use .org as part of our name so that people know our full address. We're hoping to avoid having users enter ReadWriteThink in their browsers and then have the browser automatically assign the .com extension. Obviously, this can get repetitive, so in a short body of text we do sometimes alternate back and forth between ReadWriteThink and But in headings, headlines, or the first time the site is mentioned in a text, we always try to include the .org extension.

REAL = Raising Early Achievement in Literacy (program of University of Sheffield, England)

real life (n.)

real-life (hyphenate as unit modifier preceding its noun)

real time (n.)

real-time (hyphenate as adjective preceding its noun)

reason is because
This phrasing is always redundant. Avoid it.

  • Nonstandard and simplistic: "The reason many children cannot read is because they never had adequate instruction."
  • Better, though still simplistic: The reason many children cannot read is that they never had adequate instruction."
  • Best of all, "Because they never had adequate instruction, many children cannot read."


Recorded Books
This is a registered trademark and should not be used as a common noun. Instead, refer to books recorded on audiotape, audio books, or something similar. See trade names.

Redundancy is needless repetition. Redundant phrases say the same thing twice, usually because one word already implies the other(s). Examples include end result, future goals, future plans, preplanning, upcoming, to get off of, to get on to, to summarize briefly, a period of time, a leadership role, to repeat a second time, whether or not, the reason why





reference lists

reflexive pronouns (see myself)

in regard to / in regards to / with regard to / regarding / as regards
Some sources cited in M-WDEU regard in regard to and regarding as preferable in all cases to in regards to, with regard to, and the similar phrase, as regards. Others condemn in regards to but allow the other four. Still others claim all these phrases are wordy and advise us to use on or about instead.

Best advice: If the simpler words on or about don't serve the purpose, stick with in regard to or regarding: "I am writing in regard to your recent statement that good writing has become a lost art."


The basic rule is simple: When used to designate directions, words like west and western, north, south, eastern, and so on, are lowercased. When used as part of the formal name of a place, the words are capitalized. Difficulty arises, however, when the terms are used to name regions. Use of the capitalized form in these cases presumes that the reader will understand which region is being referred to, and accelerating cultural changes make confusion increasingly possible. (If we say that Ronald Reagan was a firm believer in Western values, are we referring to the western United States., to so-called "Western civilization," or something else?) ILA authors and editors should be wary of using the capitalized forms unless their meaning in context is very clear to the reader.


relation / relationship
In a distinction rarely observed, relation refers to an association of objects, and relationship to an association of people. Thus, "Researchers are studying the relation between phonemic awareness and reading skill," but "In his story 'Bartleby, the Scrivener,' Melville explores the relationship of an employee and his employer."

Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, but our state representative

research-based (hyphenate as adjective preceding the noun it modifies)

Reserve Officers' Training Corps = ROTC

Response to Intervention = RTI

When referring to Tiers within RTI programs, title-style capitalization and Arabic numbers should be used (e.g., Tier 1, Tier 2).

Responsive Classroom (RC) approach 

restrictive and nonrestrictive modifiers

  1. A restrictive modifier limits or restricts the word it modifies, in the sense of "not all, but only some," and is thus essential to the meaning of its sentence. For example, in the sentence "People who have big feet need big shoes," the relative clause "who have big feet" restricts "people," the word it modifies. Not all people need big shoes, but only people with big feet.

    • Note that restrictive modifiers should not be set off—by commas, or any other punctuation mark—from the words they modify. (see commas, rule 1c)
    • Note also that, should the question arise, a restrictive clause should be introduced by the word that, rather than which. (see which/that)
  2. A nonrestrictive modifier does not limit the word it modifies, but merely supplies additional information about all (or practically all) members of a class. Thus, it is nonessential to the meaning of its sentence. In the sentence "The Book of Genesis, which deals with the origins of humans and nations, is regarded as sacred by three world religions," does not have the sense of "not all Books of Genesis are regarded as sacred, but only the one that deals with origins." Instead, there is only one Book of Genesis, it is held as sacred, and it does deal with origins.

    • Note that nonrestrictive modifiers should always be set off—usually by commas, but sometimes by dashes or parentheses—from the words they modify. (see commas, 1c, above)
    • Note also, should the question arise, that nonrestrictive clauses should be introduced by which, rather than that. (see which/that.)

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program = RSVP

RFP = request for proposals

RIF = Reading Is Fundamental


role-play (hyphenate as noun or verb)

ROL = Reading Online

ROM = read-only memory

Roman numerals (APA 6th, 4.36; CMS 17th, 9.65)

  1. Roman numerals that are part of established terminology should be retained: Type II error; Title I programs.
  2. Parts of books should appear in arabic numerals: Chapter 21, Part 4, Volume 10. Exception: folios in front matter of some books may appear as lowercase roman numerals (pp. iii–xlvi); this pagination should be retained in citations (not changed to arabic numerals).
  3. In reference lists, volume numbers that appear in roman numerals should be converted to arabic numerals: not Vol. CXIX, but Vol. 119.

ROTC = Reserve Officers' Training Corps

roundtable (n. or adj.)
(Note: This usage differs from WNWD.)

round trip (n.)

round-trip (adjective preceding noun)

RRQ = Reading Research Quarterly

RS = Running Start (a program associated with Reading Is Fundamental)

RSVP = Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (associated with Experience Corps)

RSVP (no periods)

RT = The Reading Teacher

RTI = Response to Intervention

RTy = Reading Today

Running Start = RS

RWCT = Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking

Avoid this abbreviation except in casual speech. See