Avila University
Office of Marketing and CommunicationStart a Project
STYLE GUIDE - WRITING STYLES

A     B     C     D     E     F     G     H     I     J     K     L     M     N     O     P     Q     R     S     T     U     V     W
(Everything referenced in purple is an example)


A


abbreviations and acronyms

Avoid abbreviations in running text, except when part of names, street addresses,
courtesy titles or academic degrees.

Missouri Undergraduate Psychology Conference
The College of Humanities & Performing Arts, not the Coll. Of Hum. & Perf. Arts.

Avoid acronyms on first reference unless they are so well known that most readers will recognize the reference at first glance, such as NAACP, IOU and IQ. In general, acronyms may be used beginning with the second reference, providing it would not be difficult for the reader to understand for what the acronym stands. If the acronym would not be easily understood, do not use it or use the following rule. If an acronym must be used and is not well-known, it may be placed in parentheses following the reference. However, do not use an acronym in parentheses in the first paragraph (lead) of a text, especially news releases. This makes the lead too cumbersome.

Intensive Language & Culture Program (ILCP).
the program (ILCP)


Do not use periods in acronyms, except for academic degrees.

Acronyms should be set off with parentheses after a first reference if they are not well known, as in Intensive Language & Culture Program (ILCP).

To create the plural form of an abbreviation, add s. To create the possessive form of an abbreviation, add an apostrophe before the s.

VIPs
AU’s basketball program is wildly popular.


See also academic degrees; academic and administrative titles; addresses; grades; Jr., Sr., III; Dr.; MO and AU.


academic degrees
Avoid abbreviating academic degrees in text that is meant for general audience readers. Rather spell out the degree
name. If an abbreviation is used, it should be on second reference. Use periods and no spaces in the abbreviation. Use commas to set off degree designations in running copy.

Wrong: The student earned her M.A. from AU in 2001.
Correct: The student earned her master’s degree from AU in 2001.


Use commas to set off degree designations in running copy.
Use the designation only if it adds needed detail to the information.

Mary Jones, Ph.D., was named dean of the School of Business

When writing official Commencement information, spell out the name of the degree. If the degree has been or will
be conferred by Avila University, check with the Registration & Student Records Office for an official degree name. All words, except prepositions, that are part of the official degree name, should be capitalized.

Master of Arts
Bachelor of Science


academic departments
Capitalize academic departments when used as a formal name and lowercase when used as an informal name. Do
not abbreviate the word department in either form.

Formal: The Department of Music
Informal: The music department
Formal: The School of Visual & Communication Arts
Informal: the visual and communication arts school


academic and administrative titles
Titles such as professor, dean, vice president and president are capitalized when used as titles preceding a person’s name. When following a name, the title is lowercased. Academic and administrative titles are never abbreviated.
Dean Laura Sloan
Richard Woodall, dean of the School of Business


A.D., B.C.
Acceptable in all cases for designating the appropriate time period.


addresses
Use official names of offices and departments in university addresses.

Office of Marketing & Communication, not Marketing & Communication Office
Office of the President, not President’s Office


Spell out names of buildings. In many cases, it is acceptable to leave off the given name or names of a person after
whom a building, center, etc., was named. The proper names for the Avila University buildings and facilities are as
follows (please note that Dallavis Center is the only center spelled with an “er”):
Blasco Hall
Borserine Nursing Education Center
Carondelet Hall
Dallavis Center
Foyle Hall
Goppert Theatre
Hodes Center
Hooley-Bundschu Library
Mabee Fieldhouse
Marian Center
O’Rielly Hall
Orscheln Memorial Chapel
Ridgway Hall
Schlumpberger Facility
Thomas R. Zarda Family Athletic Complex
Thornhill Gallery
Whitfield Center


Follow AP style for state abbreviations in text.
• Mo.
• Kan.

When listing mailing addresses on envelopes, use the two letter postal abbreviation for the state and the nine-digit zip
code when possible. Most AU addresses follow this format:
Avila University
person or office
building
street address (if applicable)
city, state and zip code

Avila University
Attn: John Smith
Blasco Hall
11901 Wornall Road
Kansas City, MO 64145



adjunct
An adjunct professor has a temporary faculty appointment. Lowercase.


Admission, Office of
No “s” on Admission.


adviser
Use the -er spelling, unless the -or spelling is part of an official name.


African American
When used as a noun, African American is not hyphenated. When used as an adjective, it takes a hyphen. This word is not synonymous with black. It is to be used for American people of African descent.


Alumni Association
The organization and office should be referred to as the Avila University Alumni Association.


alumnus, alumna, alumni, alumnae

Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school.
Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a woman.
Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women.


American College Test

ACT is acceptable in all references to this test.


a.m., p.m.
Acceptable in all uses for time designation.


art gallery
Avila has an art gallery, Thornhill Gallery located adjacent to Whitfield Conference Center.


Asian American
Acceptable for Americans of Asian decent. Hyphenate as an adjective.


Athletic Association

It is Eagle Athletic Association, not Athletics Association.
However, Avila has an athletics department and an athletics director.


Avila Day

Capitalize both words



back to top
B

baccalaureate
Use the less formal bachelor’s degree, or bachelor’s. In some cases, such as documents for Commencement, use the more formal baccalaureate.


bimonthly
Means every other month; semimonthly means two times a month.


black
Preferred usage for those of the Negro race. If specific ethnicity is known, use that.

African-American
Caribbean
African



Board of Trustees
Capitalize in reference to Avila’s governing body; lowercase single-word second references.

The Avila University Board of Trustees
the board
the trustees



building names
See list under the address section


back to top

C

call letters
Capitalized and followed by a hyphen and designation of either FM or AM.

KRBZ-FM


campus security
Public Safety is the preferred term at Avila.


campuswide
Do not hyphenate.


capitalization
Capitalize formal or official names of offices, buildings, schools, colleges, departments, programs, institutes, centers, committees and task forces. Capitalize names of celebrations. Do not capitalize seasons, semesters or academic periods. The exception is Spring Break.

Avila Day, Harmony Month, Spring Break
fall 2005, summer session, orientation, finals week



Catholic
Capitalize.


chairperson
University preference is to use chairperson instead of chairman or chairwoman. Do not use “chair” as a title. In references to people who work outside the University, use their preferred titles.

Right: Chairperson John Smith
Wrong: Chair John Smith
Right: women’s studies chairperson
Wrong: women’s studies chair coach


Uppercase when used without a qualifier before a name, but lowercase when used with a qualifier.

Coach Max Smith
men’s basketball coach Max Smith



Commencement
Capitalized when referencing the spring graduation ceremony of the University.


composition titles
Capitalize all principal words, including first words and conjunctions and prepositions of four or more letters. Put quotation marks around the titles of all works (books, songs, plays, operas, chapters, television shows, speech titles)
except the Bible and composition that are primarily catalog or reference materials, including newspaper and magazine names; do not italicize.

“A Tale of Two Cities”
“The Tonight Show”
The New York Times
Rousseau’s “War,” not “La Guerre”
“The Star-Spangled Banner”
“Gone With the Wind”


Capitalize but do not put quotes around the descriptive titles for orchestral works. If instrumentation is not part of
the title, but added for explanation, lowercase the instrument names. Use quotes for non-musical terms in a title.

Bach’s Suite No. 1 for Orchestra
Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony
Beethoven’s Serenade for Flute
Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major (the common title) for violin and viola


Translate foreign titles into English.


company/corporation
In news releases, abbreviate as Co./Corp. when used at the end of a company name. In brochures, spell out each.

JC Penney Co.
Intel Corp.



Country Club Plaza, The

After the first reference, Plaza may be used.


course titles
Use the specific title as it appears in the official course schedule. Capitalize official course titles, except for articles,
conjunctions and prepositions. If course numbers must be used, capitalize the letter prefix.

Dramatic Theory Criticism
New Testament
EDU 123



course work
Two words.


credit hours
Use numerals to refer to credit hours.

3 credit hours



CSJ
Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Use CSJ without spaces or periods.


back to top
D

dance team
The official title is the Avila University Dance Team.


dean’s list
Lowercase.


Department
Capitalize only proper names of departments and offices.

Office of Admission
the admission office
Department of History
history department



dining hall

The preferred term at Avila. Not cafeteria.


disabled
Do not use this word as a primary adjective, as if a disability is a person’s most important trait. Instead, use “people with disabilities,” “people who are blind” or “people who are deaf.” Avoid using altogether unless there is a compelling reason to use.


dormitory/dorm

Use residence hall instead.


Dr.
When writing for a general audience (press releases, newspapers, external non-academic publications), use this abbreviation ONLY as a formal title for a person who has a doctor of medicine, dental science or veterinary medicine degree. For all others, use Ph.D. or the appropriate degree abbreviation. This is an effort to avoid confusion in a general population that associates “Dr.” with hospitals more than academics.

back to top
E

Eagles
Capitalize. The Avila University mascot.


Eagles’ Nest
Capitalize. A gathering place for students in lower Marian Center.


e-mail, e-mail addresses

Lowercase the “e” in e-mail and use a hyphen. Avoid breaking e-mail addresses if at all possible. However, if it cannot be avoided, e-mail addresses in text can be broken with spaces if needed at a section end in the address. The preferred break being after the @. Do not add hyphens to break the address.

Her e-mail address is First Name. Last Name@Avila.edu


emeritus/emerita/emeritae/emeriti

Honorary title used to denote a retired faculty member. Their title corresponds to that held last during active service. To be a professor emeritus of Avila, one must retire from Avila. People teaching at Avila, moving to another school, then retiring are professor emeriti of those other institutions. Use emeritus when referring to men, and emerita for women. Emeritae is the plural feminine form; emeriti is plural for a group of men, or a group of men and women.


entitled
Use this word to mean a right to do or have something, not the title of a composition.

According to the rules, she was entitled to additional time on the test.
The speech, titled “A New America,” was presented.



ethnic and racial references
Use only when necessary to add required detail to text. Capitalize all proper names; lowercase designations of color. Compound proper nouns, such as African American, generally do not need a hyphen. However, when used as an adjective, such as African-American studies, hyphenate. See individual entries for specific references.

African-American student
Thai faculty members
black and white students

back to top
F

faculty
When used as a collective noun, faculty takes a singular verb form. The faculty at the Avila University listens to students.


fax
Short for facsimile; don’t capitalize unless it begins a sentence.


first reference
Use full official names and titles on first reference; spell out all abbreviations and acronyms, unless so common they would be easily recognized.


foreign words and phrases

Do not italicize the many commonly used foreign words, such as ex officio and vis-à-vis. Do not use a foreign word unless it is known to most of the audience. English-language alternatives are preferred.


freshman
First-year student is the acceptable term.


fund raising

fund raising (n.), fund-raising (adj.), fund-raiser (n.)

The vice president was in charge of fund raising.
Fund-raising activities include bake sales.
A fund-raiser was held.


back to top
G

gay
Acceptable as popular synonym for both male and female homosexuals (n. and adj.), although it is generally associated with males, while lesbian is the more common term for female homosexuals.


grade point average, GPA

GPA is an acceptable acronym in all references.


grades

Use a capital letter when you refer to a grade. When pluralizing, use an apostrophe before the s.

She made all A’s last year.

back to top

H

his/her
To avoid confusing and sexist writing, use plural nouns and pronouns such as “they,” rather than a singular noun that then requires a singular pronoun. Also avoid the use of possessive pronouns when talking about workers.

Correct: Students who study please their professors.
Incorrect: A student who studies pleases his or her professor.
Correct: the department staff assistant
Incorrect: His staff assistant


Hispanic
Refers to people of Spanish or Spanish-and-Portuguese ancestry or Spanish-speaking persons of Latin American origin living in the United States. Use an individual’s country of ancestry, such as Cuban American, if such designation is pertinent.


home page
Use in reference to the first page of a Web site.


back to top

I

I-435
Capitalize and hyphenate.


ID
This is an established acronym that needs no explanation.


incorporated
Abbreviate as Inc. when used at the end of a business name.


international students
This phrase is preferable to the phrase foreign students.


Internet
Capitalize it - it’s a proper noun. Also capitalize the Net when referring to the Internet, and Web when referring to the World Wide Web. Addresses should be placed in a self-contained paragraph at the end of a composition, but may be included earlier if they are vital to the text at that point and do not disrupt the flow of the text. Do not use the http:// prefix.

Correct: www.avila.edu
Incorrect: http://www.avila.edu


Attempt to avoid breaking addresses into sections.
However, if an address needs to be broken, break it after a “/.”

Correct: www.avila.edu/
admission
Incorrect: www.avila.
edu/admission

Other common Internet words:
BBS: Bulletin Board System
Browser: software used to navigate the Internet
HTML: acronym for hypertext markup language
HTTP: acronym for hypertext transport protocol
URL: acronym for Universal Resource Locator
Usenet: Worldwide system of discussion areas called newsgroups
Web site: a location on the World Wide Web
Web page: a page within a Web site
World Wide Web: Graphical information area of the Internet
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Intranet: An internal Internet-like communication system

back to top
J

Jr., Sr., III
Abbreviate junior or senior after an individual’s name. Note also that no punctuation precedes these. However, in using signatures, use the preference of the person signing.

Martin Luther King Jr.

back to top
K

Kansas City
To avoid confusion, specify Kansas City, Kan. or Kansas City, Mo., even in datelines. The Kansas City area is acceptable when the entire metropolitan region is intended.

back to top
L

Le Puy, France
The homeland of the original six Sisters of St. Joseph, which later founded Avila.

library
Hooley-Bundschu Library

back to top
M

M.D.
Words such as physician or surgeon are preferred. The abbreviation Dr. is acceptable when referring to doctors of medicine, dental science or veterinary science. Also see Dr.


midnight

Use midnight instead of 12 a.m.


months
In press releases, abbreviate when followed by a specific day. No comma is needed in a month-and-year construction. A comma is needed between the date and the year and after the year in a specific date construction.

The party was held in December 2001 in Marian Center.
The reception was held Dec. 25, 2001, in the Marian Center.



multicultural

Do not hyphenate.

back to top
N

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
NAIA on second reference. Avila’s athletic conference.


Native American

Native American is preferred, but American Indian is also acceptable. Whenever possible, try to ascertain a person’s tribal affiliation. Note that many Native American tribes have been recognized as sovereign nations within this country; therefore, many Native Americans prefer the term nation rather than tribe. The adjective form is not hyphenated.


noncredit
Do not hyphenate.


nonsexist writing
Eliminate words, like co-ed or housewife, that reinforce sexist stereotypes. Try to use the plural pronoun they instead of the singular he, since they is inclusive. Instead of using man or mankind, use humans, human beings, humanity, women and men, people or individuals. Replace manmade with artificial. Chairperson is preferred over chairman and chairwoman.


No. 1
Abbreviate and capitalize number and use figures when used to indicate position.

No. 1, No. 34


noon
Use instead of 12 p.m.

back to top
O

on campus, off campus

Use two words, without a hyphen, unless used as an adjective before a noun.

Jill works off campus.
Jill has an off-campus job.



online
Spell without the hyphen in reference to the computer connection term.


orientation
Lowercase this word when referring to the student orientation program.

back to top
P

passive voice
Avoid the passive voice whenever possible; use active voice. Using the passive voice weakens what we say, and it also hides the subject.

Passive: The story was read to me.
Active: Mother read the story to me.
Passive: The money was requested.
Active: The coalition asked for money.



percent
Use the word percent instead of the symbol %. A numeral is required before the word percent unless it comes at the beginning of a sentence.

She gave 7 percent of her income to charity.
Ten percent of her income was given to charity.


phone numbers
Do not use parentheses around the area code. Use dashes or periods to divide numbers.

816-942-8400
816.942.8400



pre, post

Do not hyphenate words that take these prefixes unless the first letter of a prefix is the same as the first letter in the second word.

postbaccalaureate
postsecondary
preregistration
pre-enrollment



president
Capitalize when used as a title preceding a name.

Avila President John Smith
John Smith, president of Avila public safety
Used instead of campus security

back to top
Q

quotes
Quoted material that runs more than four lines is usually set as a block quote. Quotation marks are not needed. When quoting and paraphrasing, be precise and accurate. Look for quotes to illustrate your story and to advance it with the reader. Choose interesting quotes, and don’t feel compelled to use every word the person said. Don’t change the person’s meaning by leaving out words or paraphrasing.

Don’t use a quote that repeats information already stated.

Take care with ellipsis, particularly if you want to shorten direct quotes. Make sure the meaning remains the same.

When attributing quotes, simply use the word “said,” and in printed material, give the attribution at the end of the sentence. In material that will be broadcast or read (such as a speech), attribution should come before the quote.

Print: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” President John F.
Kennedy said.

Spoken/broadcast: President John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what
you can do for your country.”

back to top
R

regions
Geographical terms commonly accepted as proper nouns are capitalized.

the Midwest
Western Missouri
the Southeast
Northern Missouri
Central Missouri
the Far East
Eastern Missouri
the South and the North



registrar
Lowercase unless referring to the official name or used as a title before a name.

The registrar’s office
Office of the Registrar
Registrar Sally Smith
Sally Smith, registrar at the university



resident assistant
Paraprofessional undergraduate student living in a residence hall and working with residence directors.


resident director
Paraprofessional staff member living in a residence hall and supervising residence assistants.


residence halls

Use residence halls instead of dormitories or dorms.

back to top
S

sabbatical
A sabbatical is a leave from routine employment duties. Sabbatical leave is redundant.


Saint
Abbreviate with place names, such as St. Louis. For personal names, spell it the way the individual spells it.


schools and colleges

Avila University has eight schools and one college.
College of Humanities and Performing Arts
School of Business
School of Education and Psychology
School of Graduate Studies
School of Nursing
School of Professional Studies (Avila Advantage)
School of Science and Health
School of Social Sciences and Social Work
School of Visual and Communication Arts


semesters
lowercase

fall semester
spring semester
summer session



Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
Abbreviate saint. The sponsor of Avila University.


Spring Break
Capitalize.


student worker
Term used for an Avila work-study student.

back to top
T

TDD
Use Telecommunications Device for the Deaf on first reference.


theatre
Preferred spelling is with the RE ending.
Goppert Theatre


times
Use numerals and omit the zeros in text. Use noon for 12 p.m. and midnight for 12 a.m.

Correct: 9 a.m. (preferred construction) or 9 o’clock
Incorrect: 9:00 a.m. or nine a.m.



titles of people

Capitalize official titles when immediately preceding a name. Lowercase otherwise. When referring to a title a person formerly held, capitalize the title but not the word former.

Dean Mike Smith
Joe Little, dean of the nursing school
AU Trustee John Doe
The Commencement speaker for 2001 was former Avila Trustee John Smith.



top-20
Hyphenate when used as an adjective; lowercase top; always use the numeral 20, not the word twenty. Do not hyphenate when used in a noun form.

Avila is striving for top-20 status
Avila ranks first among the nation’s top 20.



toward
no “s” at the end

back to top
U

under way

Two words, unless used in its nautical sense, then underway is acceptable.


underclassmen
Use first-year students and sophomores instead.


United States, U.S.

United States is the proper noun; U.S. is the adjective.

We are U.S. citizens.
I like living in the United States.



university
Capitalize when referring to Avila University.


university-wide
Hyphenated when used as an adjective. This is an exception to the rule governing words ending in “wide” and is meant to make the word less cumbersome.


upperclassmen
Use juniors and seniors instead.

back to top
V

vice president
Do not hyphenate. Capitalize when used before a name.

John Smith, vice president for student affairs
Vice President John Doe


back to top
W

Web page
a page within a Web site


Web site
a location on the World Wide Web


well-being
Hyphenated.


workforce, workplace
Both one word.


World Wide Web
Part of the Internet. The Web is acceptable on second reference. Capitalize Web when referring to the World Wide Web.


World Wide Web addresses
Long cumbersome Web addresses should be placed in a self-contained paragraph at the end of a text. An address may be included earlier if it is vital to the text at that point and does not disrupt the flow of the text. Do not use the http:// prefix. Do not use brackets or underlines to indicate the address. Avila’s home page is www.avila.edu/.


work-study

The term student worker is used instead.


Wornall Road
The main street at which Avila University is located.

back to top
 
11901 Wornall Road    :    Lower Blasco, Building 1    :    816.501.2434    :    omc@Avila.edu