UMAC Media Relations

Press Release Archives

Contact Us

EIU Publications Style Guide

The EIU Publications Style Guide dictates the proper capitalization, abbreviation, punctuation and usage of words and phrases used by the Department of University Communications; we would like to see it used throughout campus to ensure consistency, but this is not mandated.

The style guide is a work in progress, and suggestions for additions are welcome. Please contact Josh Reinhart at jdreihart@eiu.edu or 581-7400.

The style guide is based on Associated Press style. An asterisk (*) denotes a departure from AP style.

 


 

adviser not advisor
building/facility/office names at EIU Booth Library, Health Service, Lantz Arena, Library Quad, Life Sciences Building, McAfee Gym, O'Brien Stadium, Physical Science Building, Martin Luther King Jr. University Union or MLK Jr. Union.
central Illinois
commas don't use a comma before last item in a series unless it considerably helps readability
committees capitalize when referring to the formal name of the group (Presidential Search Advisory Committee), but lowercase when using an informal/shortened version (search committee)
course titles * capitalize (Nutrition in a Global Society)
degrees Avoid abbreviations if possible. Instead, use bachelor's degree, master's degree, doctorate, bachelor of arts, etc.
department math department, captialize if part of proper name (Department of Math)
department chair * (not chairman or chairwoman) Capitalize when directly before a name (ex.: "math department Chair John Doe," "John Doe, chair of the math department")
Dr. only use Dr. if the person is a medical doctor; for others with doctorates, use Ph.D. after the name (ex.: "Mike Smith, Ph.D., won the award."), if necessary
east-central Illinois
email (AP changed to this format in 2011)
fall lowercase unless referring to the academic calendar
grade point average
Greek (Note: We no longer use lowercase when referring to sororities and fraternities -- updated March 2013.)
Internet
Jr. Ray Parker Jr. (no comma before Jr.)
log on (verb), logon (noun)
majors/minors don't capitalize
months Spell out months when used with a year (January 2004), but abbreviate when used as part of a full date (Jan. 3 or Jan. 3, 2004). When abbreviating: Jan., Feb., March, April, May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.
more than not "over," unless you're addressing a spatial issue
OK not "okay"
online
phone numbers 217-581-7650, 800-555-5555
president lowercase unless directly before the name
semicolon Use when a series includes an item that contains one or more commas (ex: "He attended Bagelfest; Red, White and Blue Days; and the Coles County Fair."). Can also use to connect two sentences (ex.: "He loves to paint; she loves to shop.").
spring lowercase unless referring to the academic calendar
statesUse the following abbreviations when used in sentence form: Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kan., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Neb., Nev., N.C., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.D., Okla., Ore., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo. (Don't abbreviate Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas or Utah.) With full addresses that include a ZIP code, use standard, capitalized two-letter USPS abbreviations.
summer lowercase unless referring to the academic calendar
theatre *
times Don't use ":00" on times on the hour (it's 7 p.m., not 7:00 p.m.). The proper format for a.m. and p.m. is as follows: 9 a.m. (space after the numeral; periods after both letters).
titles always lowercase unless directly in front of the name (ex.: "Lou Hencken, president, spoke." "Speakers included President Lou Hencken.")
vice presidents' titles Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Blair Lord; Vice President for Business Affairs William Weber; Vice President for University Advancement Robert Martin; Vice President for Student Affairs Dan Nadler (don't capitalize a title if not directly in front of a name)
website, webmaster, web page*, the Web (This entry was modified to reflect, in part, changes made in AP Style in April 2010.)