Style Guide


  • a table, the tables (generic)
  • the Table (if there is only one in the book, article, or chapter)
  • Table 2 (as title, with numeral)


See Tables and Figures

tape record (v.)

tape recorder

tape recording


TCP/IP = Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

teacher researcher (no hyphen)

teacher's aide

teacher's edition (but student edition)


telephone numbers

  1. As of November 19, 2014, ILA style calls for the use of periods, rather than parentheses, slashes, hyphens, or commas, to set off the area code: 302.731.1600. Note that "ext." has been truncated to "x" with no period: x 319. 302.731.1600 x 319. One space before and after "x" is used.
  2. ILA's 800 number works only in the United States and Canada; for items that will reach an overseas audience as well, be sure to include an alternate 302 number: 800.336.7323 (U.S. and Canada) | 302.731.1600 (all other countries). Two spaces before and after center pipe are used, lowercase "a" in "all."
  3. Do not include the code 011 when listing international telephone numbers. Use of the plus sign (+) before international telephone numbers is encouraged as a reminder to the reader that a country code will be required for that call. No blank space appears between plus sign and number (+67, not + 67).
  4. The ILA standard abbreviation of telephone is tel., not phone.
  5. When the words email, tel., or fax are included in an address or contact line, they should not be followed by a colon. Thus, PO Box 8139, Newark, DE 19714-8139; tel. 302.731.1600 x 292; fax 302.368.2449; email (not tel.:, fax:, or email:)

television / TV
Use the full spelling wherever possible.

For journals, research should be expressed in past tense (e.g., Rosenblatt (1977) stated) per APA 6th, 3.06 (p. 42). For books, research should be expressed in present tense (e.g., Rosenblatt (1977) states) per CMS 17th, 5.129 (see second example).

TESOL = subject (teaching of English to speakers of other languages), or group (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages)


  • Titles of tests follow standard rules of capitalization of titles but are not underlined or italicized.
  • Except for noting year or edition, ILA authors and editors should not cite tests in the text of a book or article nor list them in the reference list.

test takers (n.)

test-taking (hyphenate as adjective preceding its noun, as in the phrase test-taking strategies)

text-based (hyphenate as adjective preceding noun; otherwise open)

text-to-self connection, text-to-text connection, text-to-world connection

thank-you (hyphenate as adjective preceding noun; otherwise open compound, no hyphen)

that / which (see which / that)

think aloud (v.)

think-aloud (n. or adj.)

Third World
The term "Third World" has fallen out of favor and should be avoided in most contexts. Use "developing countries" instead.


thought-provoking (adj.)

tie-in (adj., n.)

Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 (RTI levels)

time, duration

  • Noun and adverb forms are not hyphenated: The test lasted 20 minutes.
  • Adjective forms preceding the noun are hyphenated: We administered a 20-minute test.


Time For Kids

time frame

timeline (not time line)

Time magazine, or Time

time of day

  1. Use AM and PM (upper case/no periods) for all ILA conference, ILA Next, and ILA Intensives assets. Use a.m. and p.m. (lower case with periods) for ILA Digital Events programming, such as ILA at Home Webinars.
  2. For assets such as social media copy and graphics where character count is a consideration and design space is at a premium, omission of the first time designation in a time range is acceptable as long as the two time designations are the same: 5:00–6:00 p.m. ET. But 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
  3. When using indicators in a time range, an en-dash is used in place of a hyphen to connect both ends, and there must not be any space between the en-dash and the times. See example in #2.
  4. When using the indicators a.m. and p.m., note that periods are required (with no space after the first period) and that letters should appear in lowercase or in small capitals, not in regular capitals.
  5. When using numerals with a.m. and p.m., use full form (i.e., 8:00 a.m., not 8 a.m.).
  6. Beware of redundancy: Say, "tomorrow at 8:00 a.m.," or "tomorrow morning at 8:00," rather than the redundant "tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m."
  7. Use generalized time zones: PT (Pacific Time), MT (Mountain Time), CT (Central Time), and ET (Eastern Time). ILA does not enforce standard or daylight time distinctions.



Title I (note Roman numeral)

title case
This term refers to a style of capitalization that is applied to the titles of works. For a description of ILA's title case, see the entry that follows.

titles of works: alphabetization

Per APA 6:

  1. Alphabetize letter by letter.
  2. Ignore spaces, capitalization, hyphens, apostrophes, periods, and accent marks.
  3. When alphabetizing titles or group names as authors, go by the first significant word (disregard a, an, the, etc.).
  4. When alphabetizing titles that begin with a numeral, treat the numeral as though it were spelled out (e.g., alphabetize "5" as if it were "Five").

titles of works: capitalization

  1. Capitalize the first word. Also capitalize the first word after a colon, including those words listed in point 3.
  2. Capitalize all nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adverbs. Capitalize all adjectives, conjunctions, and prepositions except those listed in point 3.
  3. Except as first word or first after a colon (see point 1, above), lowercase all articles (a, an, the), all coordinating conjunctions (and, or, but), and all prepositions of three letters or fewer. In keeping with APA style, prepositions of four letters or more should be capitalized (with, from, into, over, etc.). See APA 6th, 4.15

titles of works: punctuation

  1. Titles of most* complete works are printed in italics but with no quotation marks: Books, journals, monographs or studies, brochures, magazines, newspapers, movies, long musical compositions (album, compact disc, symphony, opera), paintings, sculptures, television series. Examples: The Reading Teacher; Pen in Hand: Children Become Writers; Reading Today. Acronyms of works whose titles are italicized should themselves be italicized (e.g., RT, JAAL, TMPR).

    *Note the following exceptions: titles of tests (e.g., Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children), software (Microsoft Word), and book series (e.g., the IRA-NRC Literacy Studies Series), which follow standard rules for capitalization of titles but are not italicized.
  2. Titles of most* works that are normally published as part of a larger work should be printed with quotation marks but no italics: stories, essays, articles, poems, songs, episodes, chapters, papers, conference presentations. Examples: Twain's "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,""The Raven," by Edgar Allan Poe, "The Star-Spangled Banner," "A Qualitative Examination of Distractors in an Urban Sixth-Grade Classroom."

    * Note titles of fairy tales, myths, and other "generic" short works (i.e., those that exist in many different versions or renditions) are exceptions, unless a specific edition or translation is being cited: Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs, the Labors of Hercules, the Gilgamesh Epic, Genesis, the Nativity.
  3. In text or reference lists, use a colon to separate a subtitle from a title. Note as an exception to this rule: When a title or subtitle ends with a question mark or an exclamation point, no other punctuation follows (CMS 17th, 8.164, 14.89).
    Example: Glen, P. (1990). It's not my department! How to get the service you want, exactly the way you want it! New York: William Morrow.

titles and short titles of works: distinguishing topics from titles


  • The Association has participated actively in the movement to establish standards for the English language arts in U.S. schools. One tangible result of this effort was publication of Standards for the English Language Arts.
  • In the months since its first release, Standards has proved invaluable for school administrators and policymakers.... (the book)
  • In the months since their first release, the ILA standards have proved invaluable for school administrators and policymakers.... (the standards themselves)

to-do list

tool bag



toward / towards
There is no semantic difference between toward and towards, which are variant spellings of the same word. Although towards seems to dominate in the UK and Commonwealth, toward is the prevailing form in the U.S. and the preferred spelling in our dictionaries. ILA standard is toward. (See spelling.)

trade book
WNWD (2007) lists this compound as two words. The closed form, tradebook, should be considered nonstandard.

trademarks / trade names

  • Capitalize trade names whenever they appear. According to CMS 17th, 8.153, "Although the symbols ® and ™…often accompany trademark names on product packaging and in promotional material, there is no legal requirement to use these symbols, and they should be omitted wherever possible."
  • Do not use trade names as common terms: refer to "a tissue" instead of "a kleenex" and "to photocopy" rather than "to xerox."

transactional theory (not capitalized)

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol = TCP/IP

trial and error (n.)

trial-and-error (adjective preceding noun)


t-test (n. according to; note that hyphenated noun is a change from previous style guide entry)

t-test results (adjective preceding noun)

Tukey's post-hoc test

turn around (v.)

turn-around (adj.)

turnaround (n.)

turn-taking (n., adj.)

Use television instead.

21st-century (adj.)

twofold (adj.)