University Writing Style Guide — H-R


Do not use this construction when trying to be gender sensitive in an article. Instead, use plurals when possible: The students decided they wanted to enroll at UNC.
home page
The front page of a particular website.
Uppercase when referring to UNC's homecoming event. Needs year to be considered a proper noun. The 2009 UNC Homecoming will be the best ever. Lowercase for generic usage: He was his high school's homecoming king.
Honors Program
The official name is University Honors Program, but Honors Program also is acceptable. Uppercase. However, honors classes and honors professor are lowercase.
historic, historical
Historic is an event of important occurrence, one that stands out in history. Sept. 11, 2001, is a historic event. Historical is any occurrence in the past. The debate over the wording of the First Amendment is part of the historical record.

Use a hyphen to avoid ambiguity: He was a small-business man.
Hyphenate modifiers that follow forms of the verb to be: The cancer program is world-renowned for its innovative treatments.
Hyphenate compound modifiers except when the compound modifier follows the noun: She is a part-time worker. She works part time.
EXCEPTIONS: No hyphen is needed for compound modifiers using the adverb very and all adverbs ending in -ly: She was a very qualified candidate. This is not such an easily remembered rule.
However, note that when family (which, of course, is not an adverb) is part of a compound modifier, the modifier is hyphenated: family-owned business.


The Internet is a proper noun so it should be capitalized.


Avoid at all times.


Latin honors
summa cum lade (3.90 – 4.00 GPA)
magna cum lade (3.80 – 3.89 GPA)
cum lade (3.70 – 3.79 GPA)


magazine names
Italicize the names of magazines: Newsweek.
Lowercase magazine unless it is part of the formal title: Harper's Magazine; Time magazine.

Note: This is a departure from the AP Style Guide.

magna cum laude
With great distinction; italicize and lowercase: magna cum laude.
Capitalize. He's majoring in Music Education.

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
The Monfort College of Business is the first and only business program to receive the award from the Office of the President of the United States (2004). Note that there is not a second d before the g.
M. Lucile Harrison Award
Bestowed by the Provost's Office, the award recognizes a faculty member with a long career of professional excellence and is the university's top faculty honor. The award is named after Professor Emeritus of Elementary Education M. Lucile Harrison, whose long and award-winning career included co-authoring a national reading series.


Italicize a newspaper's name.
Capitalize the definite article if that is the way the publication prefers to be known: The Courier-Journal.
However, do not capitalize the definite article in a story that mentions several papers where some papers use the as part of their name and others do not: the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Courier-Journal and the New York Times.
Where location is needed but is not part of a newspaper's name, use parentheses: The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.
Note: This is a departure from AP Style.
In general, no hyphen when used as a prefix: nonprofit; nonentity.
EXCEPTIONS: Use a hyphen before proper nouns and in awkward constructions: non-English speaking people; non-nuclear submarine.
Northern Colorado, northern Colorado
Always use University of Northern Colorado on first reference. UNC is acceptable on second and successive references.
EXCEPTION: National and state media started referring to UNC's intercollegiate athletics teams as Northern Colorado teams to avoid confusion when referring to University of North Carolina teams. UNC's Athletics program has adopted the practice to be consistent.

            Note: The term northern Colorado refers to the geographic area of the state that    includes Weld and Larimer counties. Also see UNC
Spell out those for nine and fewer; use numerals for 10 and above.
Always spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence, except for calendar years: Five years ago today she graduated from high school. 2001 marked the beginning of increased airport security. (Avoid this construction when possible. INSTEAD: The Challenge for Excellence plan began in 1998.)
Always use numerals for percents, credit hours, ages, parts of a book: 7 percent; 3 credit hours; 2 years old; The information can be found in Chapter 2.


on-campus, on campus
Use on-campus as a compound adjective. She lives in on-campus housing. Use on campus as an adverbial phrase. She lived on campus all four years at the university.
One word as an adjective or adverb, not hyphenated. He took two online courses this semester.He took two courses online this semester.


Use numerals and spell out percent: 3 percent; 55 percent.
Follow AP style (some of the more commonly confused instances are noted here).
While some style guides say that singular nouns ending in s sounds (such as x and z) may take either the apostrophe alone or 's, for consistency AP style is to always use 's if the word does not end in the letter s: the fox's lair; Marx's theories.
EXCEPTION: Words that end in an s sound and are followed by a word that begins with s: for appearance' sake; the appearance's cost.
SINGULAR COMMON NOUNS ENDING IN S: Add 's unless the next word begins with s: the hostess's invitation; the hostess' son.
SINGULAR PROPER NOUNS ENDING IN S: Use an apostrophe only: Kansas' school system; Hercules' labors.
JOINT POSSESSIVES: Use an apostrophe after the last word only: John and Sue's car.
No hyphen; use as an adjective only: He was a postgraduate student at Yale. NOT: He was a postgraduate at Yale.
Uppercase only before the name: former President George W. Bush; George Bush, former president of the United States. President Kay Norton; Kay Norton, president of UNC. When used without the name, always lowercase: The president visited Denver.
Capitalize only before the name; lowercase when it stands alone. I enjoy     Professor Smith's classes. He's a professor of philosophy.
Capitalize only when program is part of the formal name: the center's visiting scholars program; the University Honors Program.


quotation marks
Periods and commas always go within the quotation marks. Dashes, semicolons, question marks and exclamation points go within the quotes when they apply to the quoted matter and outside when they apply to the whole sentence.


Constructions indicating a range (of time, for example, or other inclusive numbers) use a hyphen: 9-11 p.m.
Robert and Ludie Dickeson Presidential Prize for Leadership
Acknowledges and rewards student leadership on the UNC campus. Named after former UNC President Robert Dickeson and his wife, who bestowed the prize.

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