IRA Style Guide

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G - H - I


Gates–MacGinitie Reading Test (note that test titles are not italicized)
GED = General Educational Development (test), or General Equivalency Diploma
genres (standard plural of genre)
GMAT = Graduate Management Admission Test

god / God
In cultures strongly influenced by Greco-Hebraic and European traditions, the lowercase god is a generic term that could be applied to any of a number of divine beings, especially those recognized in polytheistic religions. The capitalized God is a term reserved for the one creator and ruler of the universe recognized by monotheistic religions, especially Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Nontraditional use of these terms may be offensive to some readers and should be negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the author.

Gothic novel

Modified 12-12-03:

"-grade" compounds
1. As an adjective preceding the noun it modifies, a compound ending in grade is hyphenated. Thus "a first-grade student"; "a fifth-grade teacher"; "third- and fourth-grade mathematics"; "a primary-grade classroom."

2. As a noun, first grade is not hyphenated. Thus, "She teaches first and second grade."

3. As a noun equivalent of "a student in first grade," a phrase like first grader is not hyphenated: "Our sample included 28 second graders and 28 third graders."

grade 7
Use lowercase "g." Note that this change in IRA style also differs from APA 3.15 and 3.42f.

grades 7–9

grass roots (noun)
grass-roots (adj. preceding noun it modifies)
gray (not grey)
GRE = Graduate Record Examination
grown-up (adj.)
grownup (noun)


Hague, The (capitalize the)
hand out (verb is open two-word phrase)
handout (noun is closed, no hyphen)
hard copy
hardcover (not hardback)

Always lowercase. (Note this change from earlier editions of the Style Guide.)

Head Start
high-risk (hyphenate as adj. preceding its noun, as in "high-risk behavior")
high school (not hyphenated, even as adjective); thus, high school teacher

According to APA 2.15, "Depending on where a person is from, individuals may prefer to be called Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, or some other designation. Hispanic is not necessarily an all-encompassing term, and authors should consult with their participants. Naming a nation or region of origin is generally helpful (e.g., Cuban or Central American is more specific than Hispanic)."

historic / historical
1. Historical is the more general adjective, meaning "about history" or "of history"; thus, a historical account, a historical survey, a historical novel. Historic refers to something that is, or is likely to be, recorded in history; thus, a historic occasion, a historic battle, a historic place.

2. Use the article a -- not an -- with the words historic and historical. (see a/an)

holistic / wholistic
WNWD lists holistic as an adjective, referring to a system or process as an integrated whole, rather than as separate parts. Thus, "a holistic approach to" medicine, teaching, etc.). RH has a similar definition for holistic and lists wholistic as a variant.

The Style Guide subcommittee has chosen the closed form, homepage, as the IRA standard spelling.

Don't begin a phrase, clause, or sentence with this word. Don't use hopefully to mean "I hope," "one hopes," or "it is to be hoped." Use hopefully only in its literal sense, to mean "in a hopeful manner": The children entered the classroom hopefully, but they were soon disappointed.

the House of Representatives, members of the House

how to
1. The phrase how to is usually followed by a verb ("how to do," "how to be," "how to make," "how to become," etc.). In such cases it is not hyphenated.

2. In a less common, colloquial usage, the phrase how-to (alone) can be used as a noun ("She knows the whys, wherefores, and how-tos of the entire project."). In such colloquial usages it is hyphenated.

H.R. 1234 = House Resolution 1234 (a bill in the House of Representatives)
H. Rept. 1234 = House Report 1234
HTML = Hypertext Markup Language
HTTP = Hypertext Transfer Protocol (see also URLs)



IBBY = International Board on Books for Young People
ID = identification
IDEA = Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

Abbreviation of the Latin id est, meaning "that is." This abbreviation requires two periods and a comma after the second period. It should not be italicized or underlined. As a conjunctive adverb it is sometimes preceded by a semicolon, and sometimes by a comma (see conjunctive adverbs). Often confused with e.g., (see e.g.,). As is the case with similar Latin abbreviations, i.e., should be used only in parenthetical material. In regular text, use the English translation, "that is" (APA 3.24).

IERI = Interagency Education Research Initiative
ILC = International Leadership Conference

illiterate (See bias-free usage)
Use this term with caution. It connotes a complete inability to read that is rare in developed countries. Authors or editors who ignore this may draw scolding letters from readers. "Functional illiteracy" is dangerously vague. "Low literacy" or "problems with literacy" are more acceptable and likely more accurate descriptions. UNESCO materials still refer to illiterates; for societies lacking universal education the term may be more accurate. Outside of UNESCO-derived materials, it may be better to describe exactly a particular person's difficulties with literacy than to label that person illiterate.

illustrator names in reference/literature cited lists
IRA reference style conforms to APA style in excluding illustrator names from individual entries in a reference list or literature cited list.

In recent years the use of impact as a verb has increased dramatically, usually in the context of business- or government-related jargon. Although W-MDEU defends this usage as "standard and reasonably well established," most IRA readers find it questionable at best. IRA writers and editors should avoid using impact as a verb. Instead, use affect, influence, have an impact on, or a similar, more standard construction.

important, more important, most important (not more importantly), etc.

imply / implication
To imply is to send a message that is not explicitly stated but may be assumed from the context, the words that are used, and the tone or manner of their delivery. An implication is a message that is not explicitly stated but is conveyed by the context, word choice, and tone of the statement.
Example: This is the brand that doctors recommend most. (Implies that this brand is best.)

in-class (hyphenate as adjective preceding the noun it modifies)

1. Follow this verb with a selected group, never a complete listing. The sentence, "My favorite authors include Shakespeare, Dickens, and Poe" implies that you have other favorites that you have not named. If these three are your only favorite authors, you should say, "My favorite authors are Shakespeare, Dickens, and Poe." Likewise, you should not say, "My household includes a wife, husband, two children, and a Labrador retriever" unless there is at least one additional household member who is not mentioned in the sentence. If your list is "all-inclusive," it would be better to say, "My household comprises a wife, husband, two children, and a Labrador retriever."

2. Do not insert a colon (or any other punctuation) between include and the example or examples it is introducing (see colon).

inclusive language
1. Avoid terms and ideas that give unfair preference to one type of person or that disparage others, and avoid stereotypes based on sex, race, or other characteristics (see bias-free usage). Examples: the assumption that a nurse must be female, that a police officer must be a male, or that a person's ethnic or racial background will predispose that person to particular values, attitudes, or abilities

2. Do not use "he" when a person of either sex is meant. The easiest way to avoid this is to use plurals (Not, "A child reads best when he can read what he likes "; instead, use "Children read best when they can read what they like." When just one person is meant, use "he or she" or "she or he." Do not use "she" to replace "he." Do not alternate the two pronouns. Do not use "s/he" or other forms using slashes.

3. Remember that the International Reading Association has members around the world, and avoid such errors as referring to "our country" when the United States is meant.

The literal meaning of this word is "not believable" or "beyond belief." A careful writer or editor will not use this adjective to describe something that he or she knows to be true. As a figure of speech, incredible has been badly overused—to the point that it has become a cliche, an empty, almost meaningless expression. Choose a more precise term, like astonishing or amazing.

in-depth (hyphenated as adjective preceding noun; otherwise in depth)

indigenous peoples
Whenever possible, use the name of the particular nation or group, such as Cherokee or Inuit. If the name is not widely familiar—"Athabascan," for example—explain it. For larger groups or more general references, the terms indigenous people and native people are less culturally loaded and probably more accurate than American Indians, aboriginal tribes, Native Americans, and similar terms.

infer / inference
To infer is to derive a meaning from a statement in which that meaning is not explicitly stated but may be gathered from such clues as context, word choice, and tone. An inference is a meaning that is not explicitly stated but may be gathered from the context, word choice, and tone of a statement.
Example: She said she couldn't go out with me tonight because she had to water her cactus. (I infer that she doesn't want to go out with me.)

in-house (adverb or adjective; this compound is hyphenated wherever it appears)

Although many style guides (e.g., APA 4.11; CMS 14.2) call for inserting hard (i.e., nonbreaking) spaces between two or more grouped initials, IRA style calls for such initials to be closed. Thus "T.S. Eliot was reading about J.E.B. Stuart" (not T. S. Eliot, J. E. B. Stuart).

inner-city (as adjective; noun is inner city)

Capitalize only as part of a full formal name: IRA Institute on Adolescent Literature. Lowercase in all other cases: an institute, the institute, a series of institutes.


international address standards
International Leadership Conference (ILC)

international perspective
International Reading Association authors and editors should bear in mind that IRA materials have an international audience. References to "our government," and "this nation" should be changed to "the U.S. government" and "the United States." Regional names should also be identified: not "a city in the South," but "a city in the southern United States."

the Internet
inter-rater reliability

introduction / Introduction
Capitalize introduction if the word is used as the name of a part of a specific book (e.g., “In his Introduction to the third edition of The Elements of Style, E.B. White mused on the history of his involvement with the project”). Otherwise, lowercase (e.g., “E.B. White never would have contributed an introduction to a book as carelessly written as this.”) See book parts or sections for further discussion.

IRA / the IRA
1. To prevent confusion with the Irish Republican Army, commonly called "the IRA," writers and editors should take pains never to refer to our Association as "the IRA."

2. Though preferable to "the IRA," even the plain "IRA" can have negative connotations internationally. Therefore, minimize use of the acronym by spelling the name out completely or referring to us as "the Association" whenever possible.

IRA mailing addresses
IRC = Illinois Reading Council
ISD=Independent School District
ISP = Internet Service Provider
IT = information technology

and titles
Titles of long works (books, journals, newspapers, monographs) are printed in italics.

and underlining
Typewriters traditionally cannot print italics; instead, typewritten manuscripts used underlining to indicate words that the typesetter should set in italic type. With the advent of word processors, authors and editors can also use italics. Whoever marks up copy for typesetting should indicate clearly which words should be set in italics, and which underlined.

words-as-words, letters-as-letters
In text copy, italics are used to indicate a word being used as a word or a letter being used as a letter. Thus, "Kevin is clearly a dispirited child. The word can't appears frequently in his writing." "How many i's are in Mississippi?"

for emphasis (CMS 6.64)
Use italics sparingly to emphasize a particular word or phrase in text. Thus, "That a successful person always finds time to read is no mystery; the mystery is how anyone could ever hope to be successful without reading."

ITBS = Iowa Test of Basic Skills

it's / its
The form with the apostrophe is not the possessive. It's actually a contraction of it is. A personal pronoun never needs an apostrophe to form its possessive. It forms its possessive without an apostrophe.

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