Writing style guide

Appalachian State University uses The Associated Press Stylebook as its editorial guide, which is in keeping with the communications industry and UNC General Administration. The following list of common uses and the A-Z Index include highlights of AP style and provide policies for consistently representing Appalachian in your communications.

 

Common AP Stylebook uses

  • Academic degrees – Bachelor of Science degree, bachelor’s degree; Master of Arts, master’s degree
  • Comma – no comma before “and” or “or” in a series; also, no comma before Inc. or Jr. (Ex: Appalachian State University Foundation Inc.; John F. Kennedy Jr.)
  • Composition Titles – use quotation marks around them, no italics (Ex: Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”); names of academic journals, however, use no quote marks
  • Days of the week – always spelled out
  • Dollar amounts – used without zeros (Ex: Tickets are $12.)
  • Department or center names – uppercase on first reference (Ex: Department of History); lowercasing on second reference, such as history department, is acceptable
  • Dr. – If the person has a doctorate, say so, and be consistent for all doctoral-level names within a document. For individuals without a doctorate, no courtesy title is used.
  • Job titles – uppercase before the name and lowercase after the name (Ex: Provost Darrell Kruger, or Dr. Darrell Kruger, the university’s provost)
  • Months – abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. when used with a specific date; except spell out all when used alone. The others – March, April, May, June and July – are always spelled out.
  • Numbers – spell out nine and under, use numerals for 10 and above; use a comma in 1,000
  • Telephone numbers – dashes between sets, no parentheses around area code (Ex: 828-262-2342)
  • Time of day – use periods in p.m. and a.m., no zeros needed (6 p.m. is right, 6:00 p.m. is wrong)
  • State names – always spell out in a story, even when paired with a city or town
  • University name – always Appalachian State University on first reference; Appalachian or university (lowercase) on second reference. See A-B and Abbreviations below for further instructions

 

A-Z Index

A-B

  • adviser
  • African-American
  • All-American
  • academic programs (lowercase, unless it is the name of a language such as English or French)
  • alumna (female)
  • alumnus (male)
  • alumni (plural)
  • ampersand (&) - "and" is always preferred, except in advertising, signage or title marks where space is an issue or if "&" is part of an official name
  • Appalachian Community
  • The Appalachian Experience
  • Appalachian State University (full name on first reference, Appalachian on second reference.) ASU is not acceptable. Use of the term Appalachian State is restricted to Athletics only. App or App State is to be used only in informal uses. Questions? Contact University Communications.
  • Asian-American
  • Bachelor of Arts degree
  • baccalaureate
  • bachelor's degree
  • Belk Library and Information Commons (library on second reference)

C-D

  • campuswide (adj.)
  • Chancellor Sheri N. Everts (Chancellor Everts or just Everts on second reference; chancellor when used alone)
  • checklist
  • college (not uppercased)
  • comma (do not use before "and" or "or" in a series)
  • co-curriculum
  • co-sponsor
  • composition titles follow these rules: books, movies, plays, poems, songs, TV/radio programs, recordings, lecture titles and works of art have quote marks around them; reference materials such as professional journals, encyclopedias, etc. have no quotes and no italics.
  • decision making (n.)
  • decision-making (adj.)
  • department names (uppercase on first reference, such as Department of History; lowercasing on second reference, such as history department, is acceptable)
  • doctorate
  • dorm (residence hall is preferred)

E-F

  • email
  • emerita (female)
  • emeritus (male)
  • fax
  • first-year (adj.)
  • freshman (singular)
  • freshmen (n. plural)
  • full-time (adj.)
  • fundraising

G-H

  • grade point average (GPA)
  • graduation year after a name is used this way: Jim Smith '09
  • harassment
  • high-quality (adj.)
  • Hispanic

I-J-K

  • iBackAPP
  • i.e. (that is)
  • Internet
  • it's (contraction for it is)
  • its (possessive pronoun)
  • intercollegiate
  • interdisciplinary

L-M

  • long-term (adj.)
  • -ly (do not use a hyphen between adverbs ending in "ly" and the adjectives they modify; wrong: a nationally-recognized program
  • Master of Arts degree
  • master's degree
  • multicultural

N-O

  • Native American
  • Nonresident (out-of-state student is preferred)
  • off-campus (adj.)
  • on-campus (adj.)
  • online

P-Q

  • part-time (adj.)
  • postbaccalaureate
  • pre-professional (adj.)
  • preregistration
  • prerequisites

R-S

  • re-admission
  • re-evaluate
  • reinstatement
  • residence hall, not dorm
  • Rivers Street
  • room numbers -- correct format is "Room 420 (Parkway Ballroom) in the Plemmons Student Union". See list of student union room numbers.
  • school (not uppercase)
  • service-learning (noun and adjective)
  • short-term (adj.)
  • spring/spring 2011
  • state-of-the-art (adj.)
  • student-athlete
  • study-abroad (adj.)
  • the 3E's of sustainability (when referring to economics, equity and the environment)

T-U

  • university (While AP style dictates that "university" should not be capitalized except when used in an official title, Appalachian has traditionally used the uppercase "University" in certain official communications. When in doubt, default to using AP style.)
  • theatre, when used with Department of Theatre and Dance
  • titles are uppercase before the name, lowercase after the name (Ex: Dean Joe Smith, and Joe Smith, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences)
  • transgender
  • undeclared (adj.)
  • underrepresented (adj.)
  • unique (avoid)
  • university-wide (adj.)

V-W-X-Y-Z

  • vice chancellor
  • web manager
  • website
  • well-prepared (adj.)
  • well prepared (adv.)
  • work study
  • X-ray

Misc.

Capitalization

  • Cap academic titles only when they precede the name: Dean Sara Smith; Sara Smith, dean; Assistant Professor John Smith; John Smith, assistant professor
  • Cap colleges/departments only when part of official title: the Department of History; the history department; the College of Arts and Sciences; the college's graduates; the university
  • lowercase cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude

Abbreviations

  • ASU is not acceptable; see Appalachian State University
  • B.A., B.S.
  • M.A., M.S., M.B.A.
  • Ed.D., Ph.D.
  • GPA
  • RNs (plural)
  • U.S. (adj. and noun)
  • The following months when used with a date: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.

Numbers

  • Spell out one through nine in text; use figures for 10–above
  • 2,800/17,000/14 million
  • $10 million
  • 5 percent
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • noon, midnight (not 12 noon/12 p.m., or 12 midnight/12 a.m.)
  • Friday, June 10
  • November 2010
  • the sixties/ 1960s / Class of 2012
  • 18-year-old (adj.)
  • 18 years old
  • 828-262-2000
  • Joe Smith '89 or Joe Smith, a 1989 graduate of Appalachian
  • the 3E's of sustainability (when referring to economics, equity and the environment)

Punctuation

  • Commas
    • Do not use a comma before "and" in a series; for example, it is correct to write red, white and blue.
    • Set off appositives: Sarah Smith, chair of the economics department, said today...
    • Use comma to connect two main clauses: The long semester is finally over, and now I can go home.
  • Colons
    • Main clause should precede colon.
      • Bring the following: paper, pen, books and interest.
      • Bring the following:
        -paper
        -pen
        -books
  • Dashes
    • Make sure there is a space on either side of the dash: He listed the qualities – intelligence, humor and independence – that he liked in an executive.

University Communications

Promoting the strategic initiatives and special character of Appalachian State University.

Need help with...?

• Communications Planning
• Critical Communications
• Publications and Graphic Design
• Photography, Video and Podcasts
• Mobile Apps
• Audio/Visual Setup
• Media Coverage
• Web Design / Redesign
• Writing and Editing
• Social Media
• Signage
• Event Promotion
• Paid Advertising

Visit uc.appstate.edu 

Licensing products

Through the licensing program, Appalachian State protects and enhances its reputation by ensuring that only licensed and approved products displaying University trademarks appear before the public. Additionally, the program enables the institution to share in the benefits derived from the commercial use of these trademarks.

For more information, please visit the Office of Trademarks & Licensing.

Next Communications Liaison Team Meeting

  • September 13, 2017
    1:00pm - 2:30pm
    I.G. Greer Room 224 (Conference Room)


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