University Writing Style Guide — S-Z
- Although SAT still officially stands for
Scholastic Assessment Test, the abbreviation is sufficient even on first reference: SAT, no periods. Score totals are written without a comma: 1300. As with
GPAs, federal law prohibits releasing individual student scores without the
explicit written permission of the student.
- Lowercase except for named awards: He received
an athletic scholarship. She received a National Merit Scholarship.
- schools and colleges
- Also see academic units.
- Always lowercase, even when naming an issue of a
publication: the fall 2003 issue of Northern Vision.
- Academic semesters are lowercase with no comma
preceding a year: fall semester 2006.
- Semicolons may be used to separate the elements of
a series when the elements themselves include commas. He has a daughter,
Jane Doe of Greeley; three sons, Jim Doe of Denver, Jack Doe of Greeley and Joe
Doe of Loveland; and a sister, Mary Smith of Topeka. Do not use semicolons
in a series if commas will work.
- When semicolons are used, include one before the
conjunction at the end of the series.
- state names
- In text, always spell out state names when they
stand alone: She visited Colorado for the first time to go skiing.
- When used in conjunction with a city or town,
abbreviate per AP style and set off with commas: Greeley, Colo., is the
site of the Independence Day Stampede.
- Do not abbreviate Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa,
Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah, unless as part of an address with a ZIP code.
- Avoid racial and sexual references or mention of
debilitating physical conditions if they are not germane to the topic of your
writing. The phrase people with disabilities is preferable to the
disabled; the term disabled is preferable to handicapped.
- Don't say afflicted with or the victim of;
instead: She has a spinal injury.
- Don't use a disease as a descriptive: He has
diabetes. NOT He is a diabetic.
- EXCEPTION: Survivor of is acceptable, as
in He is a survivor of cancer.
- Student Senate
- Formerly the Student Representative
Council, Student Senate is always written out. Never abbreviate.
- summa cum laude
- With greatest distinction; italicize and lowercase: summa cum laude
- telephone numbers
- The preferred form is to set off the area code with
a dash. This is a departure from the AP Style Guide. People are now accustomed
- CORRECT: 970-555-1212
- INCORRECT: (970) 555-1212; 970.555.1212
- Do not use the numeral 1 before area codes,
including 800 numbers.
- that, which, who, whom
- Use that and which in
reference to inanimate objects and to animals without a name. Use who and whom in referring to people and to animals that have a name.
- Use commas with which. No
commas with that. The lawn mower, which is broken, is in the garage. (Adds a fact about the only mower in question). The lawn mower that is
broken is in the garage. (Tells which one).
- theater, theatre
- Use theater unless theatre is part of
the official name. The School of Theatre Arts and Dance offers numerous
theater classes. At Northern Colorado, officially it's Langworthy
Theatre, Little Theatre of the Rockies,
Norton Theatre and Garden Theatre.
- Don't use 0s to designate hours and
lowercase with periods: 8 a.m.; 11 p.m. Noon is 12 p.m.; midnight is 12 a.m. Both times are better expressed without the number as simply noon or midnight. Do not use A.M. or P.M. or am or pm.
- Avoid redundancies such as 10 a.m. this
- Avoid constructions using o'clock.
- In general, capitalize formal or courtesy titles - president, dean, professor, senator, coach - before names of individuals and lowercase
when they follow names. President George Bush; She is the president of the
- Lowercase descriptive or occupational titles except
for professor: editor John Doe; Professor Sue Smith.
- Use full names on first reference. On second and
subsequent references, use only last names, without courtesy titles, for both
men and women regardless of marital status.
- EXCEPTION: To distinguish between a husband and
wife quoted in the same story, confusion often can be avoided by using first
names: John and Jane Smith collaborated on the study. We reported our
findings at the next conference, Jane says. It was an interesting session, John
- As a general rule, titles containing more than four
words should be placed after the name.
- TITLES OF EVENTS: Capitalize, in quotation marks,
the full, formal titles of workshops, conferences, seminars, speeches and
similar events: A workshop titled The Use of the Library will be held next
week. Use lowercase for subject matter: Michener Library will offer a
workshop on library use.
- Also see academic
titles, composition titles
- Acronym for the University of
Northern Colorado. UNC is acceptable upon second reference.
- Note: 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, and use of Northern Colorado as a shortened form of the
university's full name by those outside of Athletics is discouraged.
- Capitalize only when used as part
of a complete formal name or title; lowercase otherwise. She attends the
University of Northern Colorado. The university is providing her with an
- university community
- A collective term used for UNC students, faculty,
staff, alumni who may be on or off campus.
- See also campus community
- vice president
- Do not hyphenate. Do not capitalize in text unless
the title precedes a person's name: Vice President Dan Hall; Dan Hall, vice
president for university relations.
- Visitors Center
- No apostrophe; capitalized. The center isn't a
possession of our visitors.
- website, web page
- Do not use www as an abbreviation within a
sentence; instead, use the web.
- Also see URL
- work study
- Of or relating to any of various
programs that enable students to engage in part-time employment while
continuing their studies.