“Therefore,” “thus,” and other conjunctive adverbs

When “therefore,” “accordingly,” “nevertheless,” “consequently,” “thus,” “next,” and other such conjunctive adverbs begin a sentence, they are followed by a comma. Sometimes when they are in the middle of a sentence, they are functioning more as plain adverbs, to add emphasis, and you may or may not use commas around them. Omitting the commas is appropriate with the short adverbs: “thus,” “then,” “first,” “next.” When a longer pause in the sentence is desired, use a two (or more) syllable adverb (e.g., “therefore”) and use commas around it. When only a small break is desired, use the short form (e.g., “thus”) and no commas.

Examples: Accordingly, the profits rose.

Thus, the returns are abnormally skewed.

The returns, therefore, are abnormally skewed.

The returns are thus abnormally skewed.

The product has a peculiar sales pattern; thus, the returns are abnormally skewed.


Organizations take the pronoun “it.”

Example: CFA Institute revised its policy on smoking in 1991.

If a pronoun is referring to an individual and you do not know whether the person is male or female, use the “he or she” forms. You can also vary the forms within a text (i.e., balance the use of “he” and “she” or “his” and “her”).

Example: If an individual places all of his or her assets in one stock, then that portfolio is not diversified. One investor put all his money in stocks; another investor put all her money in bonds.

Consult CMS for guidance on navigating gender bias with pronouns (5.34, 5.222) and special uses of personal pronouns (5.45).

To simplify and keep sentences from being overloaded with pronouns, try to switch to the plural.

Example: Change “if an investor wants his or her portfolio to be . . .” to “if investors want their portfolios to be . . .”