Editorial style guide

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People are often introduced to the University through the written word, either in our publications or website. We want them to focus on our messages and not be distracted by inconsistencies in style, spelling or even punctuation. This editorial style guide provides a set of standards to help you in your communications with our external audiences so they are consistent, accurate and reflect well upon the University.

The University of Akron Style Guide is to be used as a reference for names, terms and information specific to the University. It also includes guidelines for general and electronic terminology and points of style. The current edition of the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law is the primary source for this guide and the reference for all questions not answered herein. The current edition of The Chicago Manual of Style is a secondary reference.

The guide can be searched in the alphabetical directory listed here, or by topic in these three sections: University Style, Electronic Terminology and Points of Style.


AACSB — Acceptable in all references to Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the accrediting organization for the College of Business Administration.

academic degrees and programs — Capitalize when the full title is used: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Master of Arts in Music, Juris Doctor, the Aerospace Systems Engineering Program. In shortened and casual forms, use an apostrophe in bachelor’s and master’s, and do not capitalize: bachelor’s degree in psychology; master’s degree in geology; he is studying aerospace systems engineering this fall. It is an associate degree, not an associate’s degree. The general rule for most degrees when abbreviating is to capitalize and use periods: B.A. in Music; Ph.D. in Chemistry; J.D. (MBA is an exception.) When used after a name, the abbreviation is set off by commas: Sally Smith, Ph.D., was hired last spring. Instead of Ph.D., it is preferable to say a person holds a doctorate in an area of expertise: Christopher Colson holds a doctorate in physics.

academic titles — Titles used before a name are capitalized; and titles that come after a name, or that are used alone or informally, are lowercased: Professor John Jones; John Jones, distinguished professor; Abigail Andrews is a senior instructor; the department hired a new assistant professor; the president will speak at the event; President Smith will speak at the event. Named titles are always capitalized: John Smith, the David L. Brennan Associate Professor of Law; A. Schulman Professor of Polymer Science Dwight Johnson. See dean and president.

addresses — The abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. are used with a numbered address (always use figures for an address number): 185 Hickory St. Spell out street names in addresses without numbers: the building is on Hickory Street. The similar words alley, drive, road and terrace are spelled out in all instances. Spell out and capitalize ordinal numbers used as street names, using figures for 10th and above: 1500 Fourth St., 25 15th Ave. See campus addresses.

advisor — The University’s preferred spelling, an exception to AP style.

ages — Use when appropriate, and always use figures: The man is 24 years old. Use hyphens for ages expressed as compound modifiers or as nouns: The 150-year-old building. See hyphen. The child is 7 but behaves like a 2-year-old. When age is implied by context, set off figure with commas: Kevin, 42, has a brother, Jeff, 38.

Akron Global Polymer Academy — AGPA on second reference.

Akron Law — Acceptable substitute for School of Law on second reference.

alumna, alumnae, alumni, alumnus — Alumna is used for one female graduate; alumnae for more than one female graduate; alumnus for one male graduate; and alumni for multiple graduates of male, mixed, or unspecified sex. In text, one’s academic degree and year of graduation are indicated as follows: Charlie Miller, B.A. ’73, was recognized for his contributions to the University. Use an abbreviation for the degree. (See academic degrees and programs for rules about abbreviating degrees.) Use an apostrophe and figures for the year. If multiple alumni and their degrees and years are listed, separate each name with a semicolon: Charlie Miller, B.A. ’73; Denise Gonzales, B.A. ’93, M.A. ’95; Robert Thompson, B.S. ’80, M.S. ’82, Ph.D. ’88. If a year of graduation is mentioned without an academic degree, do not set off the year with commas: Charlie Miller '73 will speak at the luncheon.

Ambassadors — The student organization that represents the University on behalf of the Office of the President at events and functions.

among or between — Use among when there are more than two items, and between when there are exactly two items: The candies were divided among the three children. Although Frank and John are twins, there is not much in common between them.

amount, number — Use amount for things that cannot be counted individually: the amount of water in the bucket, the amount of joy she felt on her wedding day. Use numbers for things that can be counted individually: the number of cats in the alley, the number of letters in the word. Use less for things that cannot be counted: less sunshine, less risk. Use fewer for things that can be counted: fewer pencils, fewer pounds.

ampersand (&) — Not used in the names of UA departments or programs (unless Board-approved). The symbol is only used in publications when it is part of the official name of a business or organization.

app — Short for application, a type of computer program. Acceptable in all references.

associate degree — Associate degree, not associate’s degree. Capitalize when full title is used: Associate of Applied Science in Construction Engineering Technology. In shortened and casual forms, lowercase — associate degree in hospitality management. When abbreviating, capitalize and use periods: A.A.S. in Construction Engineering Technology. See academic degrees and programs.

athletics facilities — The official names of Department of Athletics facilities are listed below. Visit GoZips.com/Brand for abbreviated forms on subsequent references.

  • Benjamin and Nancy Suarez Family Strength and Conditioning Center
  • FirstEnergy Stadium — Men's and women's soccer stadium.
  • InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field — On first and subsequent references to UA's on-campus stadium, the full name should be used. When appropriate, at The University of Akron should be included. Here are the official names of locations within the stadium:
    • C.P. and Cornelia S. Chima Athletics Ticket Office
    • Huntington Club Level, fifth floor
    • Eugene Waddell Presidential Suite, sixth floor
    • Derek Chima Director of Athletics Suite, sixth floor
    • Montrose Auto Group Press Level, seventh floor
  • James A. Rhodes Arena
    • James A. Rhodes Arena Weight Room
  • Lee R. Jackson Baseball Field
  • Lee R. Jackson Practice Field
  • Lee R. Jackson Softball Field
  • Lee R. Jackson Track and Field Complex
  • Louis and Freda Stile Athletics Field House
    • Louis and Freda Stile Athletics Field House Weight Room
  • Oliver J. Ocasek Natatorium
  • Robert A. Pinn Shooting Range
  • Tommy Evans Lounge


baccalaureate — Acceptable term for bachelor’s degree. See academic degrees and programs.

bachelor’s degree — Capitalize when full title is used: Bachelor of Arts in English, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. In shortened and casual forms, lowercase and use an apostrophe: bachelor’s degree in history. When abbreviating, capitalize and use periods: B.A. in Communications. See academic degrees and programs.

Board of Trustees — Always capitalize all references to The University of Akron Board of Trustees, Board, or Trustees.

Buchtel Common — Main walkway through campus.

Buchtelite, The — The University’s student-run newspaper.


campus addresses — U.S. mail that is addressed to the University's primary ZIP code, 44325, could be returned to the sender if it contains a street address other than 302 Buchtel Common. Only the recipient's name or department name, the city, state, ZIP code and the ZIP+4 number, if known, should be included. See addresses.

campus buildings — Refer to UA buildings and Facilities online for a complete list of campus building names and correct abbreviations.

catalog — Not catalogue: the academic catalog.

city — Capitalize city in proper names and well-known nicknames: New York City, Kansas City, Windy City, Rubber City. Lowercase in other uses: the city of Akron, city council.

cocurricular — No hyphen, and not synonymous with extracurricular. Cocurricular activities are directly related to academic experiences, while extracurricular activities need not be so related.

coed — Acceptable as an adjective to describe coeducational institutions and groups: the coed rifle team. Should not be used to refer to a female student.

Coleman Common — The open space south of Buchtel Hall and between the Student Union and Memorial Hall.

collective nouns — Use singular verbs and pronouns for nouns representing a single, collective unit: board, class, committee, faculty, group, orchestra, staff, team, etc. Example: The class is voting for its new president. Use plural verbs and pronouns for plural subjects: Students are voting for their new class president. It is increasingly common for the words faculty and staff to be treated as plurals: The faculty are excellent; the staff are working hard.

colleges, schools, departments and campus units — The official names of colleges (listed below), schools, departments and campus units are capitalized and given in full on first reference: the College of Engineering and Polymer Science; the School of Law; the Department of Philosophy; the Center for Film Study offers a variety of classes. In subsequent references, the initialisms listed below may be used: The dean of the CBA; the BCAS is the largest college. Official names may also be shortened and lowercased, so long as the referent of each is clear: She is a prominent faculty member at the college. The center offers classes in the study of film. The department awards ceremony is next Tuesday.

  • Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences (BCAS)
  • College of Business (CB)
  • College of Engineering and Polymer Science (CEPS)
  • College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS)
  • School of Law

comma, serial (,) — Generally, do not put a comma before the conjunction in a series unless clarity requires it: Her children are Sam, Harry and Betty. But: She will divide her estate equally among Sam, Harry, and Betty. (The construction Sam, Harry and Betty might suggest, misleadingly, that Sam is to receive 50% of the estate, while Harry and Betty are to share the other 50%, rather than each receiving one-third.) It is preferable to use a comma before the conjunction in a complex series: You may retake your exam if you have no missing assignments, if you send me an email before Thursday requesting the retake, and if you are available to take the exam immediately after school Friday. See the entry on commas in the most current AP Stylebook for additional usages.

In a series, use semicolons to separate units that contain commas: Speakers at the event include Sam, the president of the club; Harry, the treasurer; and Betty, who, this past Monday, was named secretary.

company names — Check the national stock exchanges for the full name of a given company: the New York Stock Exchange, www.nyse.com, or Nasdaq, www.nasdaq.com. Do not use a comma before Inc. or Ltd., even if it is part of the formal name. Use the abbreviations Co., Cos. or Corp. when a business uses the word Company, Companies or Corporation, respectively, at the end of its formal name.

complementary, complimentary — Not interchangeable. Complementary items complete or enhance each other: The complementary voices of the choir. Something is complimentary if it is given free of charge, as a gift or courtesy: The complimentary breakfast at the hotel.

composition titles — Capitalize principal words in titles, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. Use quotation marks around titles of the following: books, movies and plays; short stories and poems; magazine, journal and newspaper articles; musical compositions; lectures and speeches; art exhibits or individual paintings; television and radio show titles; titles of individual episodes of a show; and computer and video game titles. The names of magazines, newspapers, reference works and journals are used in editorial text without quotation marks around them.

contractions — Generally reserved for informal speech and writing. Use with care.

cooperative education — Co-op is acceptable on second reference.

corequisite — No hyphen.

course load — Two words.

course names Capitalize principal words, without quotations marks: Constitutional Law, Introduction to Statistics.

courseware — Educational software; one word.

coursework — One word.

Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy — The full name is Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology. The following are acceptable on subsequent references: Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, CCHP and Cummings Center. The center houses the National Museum of Psychology, the Archives of the History of American Psychology and the Institute for Human Science and Culture.

curriculum — Singular. The plural is curricula or curriculums.


dash (—) — Dashes indicate an abrupt shift in thought or a pause: The teacher rambled, the students dozed — and suddenly the fire alarm sounded. Use dashes to set off phrases containing a series of words separated by commas: Many have suspected that the author — brooding, fretful, cold and distant — patterned his protagonists after himself. Put a space on both sides of a dash.

data — Plural. The singular is datum.

dates — See months and years.

days of the week — Capitalize them and abbreviate only for tabular formats. These three-letter forms are used without a period: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat and Sun.

dean — Lowercase except when used as a formal title before a name: The dean is friendly. I am excited to meet Dean Michael Smith. The dean of the college, Michael Smith, spoke at the luncheon.

Dean’s List — Capitalize. An exception to AP style.

decision-making — Hyphenate.

degrees — See academic degrees and programs.

degrees with distinction — Lowercase cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude. The cum laude (“with honors”) designation is given to students in the top 10% of a graduating class, magna cum laude (“with high honors”) to students in the top 5%, and summa cum laude (“with highest honors”) to students in the top 2%.

departments — The official names of departments are capitalized and given in full on first reference: Department of Anthropology. On subsequent references, the official names may be shortened and lowercased, so long as the referent of each is clear: the department is restructuring its curriculum. See colleges, schools, departments and campus units.

dimensions — Spell out inches, feet, yards, etc. Use figures. Hyphenate when used as compound modifiers: she is 5 feet 2 inches tall; the 5-foot-2-inch woman; the 20-foot python; he ran 64 yards for a touchdown; 2 inches of rainfall; the 3,000-square-foot building. See hyphen.

directions and regions — Lowercase compass directions such as north, northwest, south, southern, east, etc., and capitalize geographic regions — the Midwest, Northeast Ohio, the East Coast, Southern states, Western culture.

doctoral, doctorate — Doctoral is an adjective: she is pursuing a doctoral degree in engineering. The noun is doctorate: Daniel Dennison, who has a doctorate in education, delivered the keynote address. The use of doctorate is preferable to Ph.D. See academic degrees and programs; Dr.; and Ph.D., Ph.D.s.

Dr. — For those who hold a Ph.D. or Ed.D., the use of Dr. can be used as a courtesy title on first reference for University publications. On second and subsequent references, the person’s last name is used. See academic degrees and programs; doctoral, doctorate; and Ph.D., Ph.D.s.


each other, one another — Two people talk to each other, while more than two people talk to one another.

e-book — An electronic book.

e-business or e-commerce — Lowercased, with hyphen.

e.g. — Abbreviation of Latin phrase exempli gratia, meaning “for example,” always followed by a comma.

E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall — Thomas Hall, or hall, on second and subsequent references.

ellipsis ( … ) — Use an ellipsis to indicate the omission of one or more words from a quotation. It is constructed with three periods, without spaces between them, and with one space on both sides of the ellipsis: “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us … that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain … and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Ellipses should not be used to distort or misconstrue the meaning of the quoted text. They may also indicate a thought that the speaker or writer does not complete: What was I going to say? Let me see …

Do not use an ellipsis at the beginning or end of a direct quotation.

email — Lowercase, no space or hyphen. But: Capitalize e at the beginning of a sentence.

emeritus — Use with care. At UA, this is an honorary title conferred by the Board of Trustees. Not every faculty or contract professional retiree has emeritus status. Other forms: emeriti (plural for male, mixed-sex and unspecified), emerita (singular female), emeritae (plural female).

esports — Pronounced e-sports, short for electronic sports, multiplayer video games played competitively for spectators. Lowercase, no space or hyphen. But: Capitalize e at the beginning of a sentence and when writing the official name of UA's esports program, Akron Esports.


Facebook — Popular social network. The University’s Facebook page can be found at facebook.com/universityofakron.

Faculty Senate — The legislative body of the University, as delegated by the Trustees.

Fiat Lux — UA motto, meaning “Let there be light.”

FirstEnergy Stadium — Men's and women's soccer stadium. See athletics facilities for other facilities.

Founders Day — On the first Friday in May (also the last day of spring semester), the University celebrates its founding and honors new and past retirees at a luncheon.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid — Capitalize and spell out on first reference, FAFSA on subsequent references.

freshman, freshmen — The adjective and singular noun is freshman: The freshman class. She is a freshman. The plural noun is freshmen: the course is designed for freshmen.

full time, full-time — Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: The full-time professor. But: He works full time. The same rules hold for part time and part-time. See hyphen.


grade, grader — Spell out first through ninth; use figures for 10th and above. Hyphenate compound modifiers: a seventh-grade student, an 11th-grade student, third-grader, 10th-grader. See hyphen. But: She is in the second grade. See numerals.

grade point average — No hyphens; GPA on second reference. Use figures and two digits after the decimal: 4.00.

Greater Akron — Capitalize.


hashtag (#) — A term preceded with the hash or pound sign (#) in a social network post, used to identify and categorize the subject of the post to facilitate a search for it.

headlines — In headlines, capitalize the first word, proper nouns and the first word after a colon.

health care — Two words.

holidays — Always capitalize: Thanksgiving, Easter, Groundhog Day, etc.

home page — Two words.

hometown — One word.

hyperlink — One word. A link from one webpage to another.

hyphen (-) — Hyphenation is often a matter of personal discretion and taste. Generally, when a compound modifier precedes a noun, use hyphens to link words in the compound to prevent confusion: an aged-wine enthusiast, not an aged wine enthusiast. When the meaning is clear and commonly understood, no hyphen is necessary: political science major, not political-science major. Hyphenate well- combinations before a noun, but not after: well-known actor, the actor is well known. Similarly, some compounds hyphenated before a noun are not hyphenated after: the full-time student, the student works full time; the on-campus event, the event is on campus. Generally hyphenate compounds of three or more words: state-of-the-art facilities, out-of-state student. When "very" or adverbs that end in -ly precede an adjective, do not hyphenate: a very persuasive salesman, a highly regarded author. Suspended compounds require hyphens: first- and second-generation college students. See full time, full-time or part time, part-time.


ID — Acceptable abbreviation for identification on all references: Zip ID. Do not use as a verb: the police officer ID’d the suspect.

i.e. — Abbreviation of Latin phrase id est, meaning “(that is) to say,” always followed by a comma.

InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field — Use full name in all references to UA’s on-campus stadium. See athletics facilities.

Instagram — A social network in which users share photos and videos through a mobile app. The University’s Instagram account can be followed @uakron.

intercollegiate athletics — In all references (not sports or intercollegiate sports).

interdisciplinary — No hyphen.

internet — Lowercase.

it vs. they — Use “it” for singular and collective nouns: The band said it will go on tour. Use “they” for plural nouns: Band members announced they are releasing a new album. See collective nouns.


Jean Hower Taber Student Union — Use full name in all references.

junior (Jr.), senior (Sr.) — Abbreviate as Jr. and Sr., without a preceding comma: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Juris Doctor — This law degree is capitalized and can be abbreviated as J.D. See academic degrees and programs.



Lakewood, The University of Akron — The University’s satellite campus in Lakewood. Use full name on first reference and UA Lakewood on subsequent references. See University of Akron, The.

lay, lie — Lay is a transitive verb: Lay the money on the table. Its past tense and past participle is laid: We laid bricks. Many soldiers have laid down their lives. Its present participle is laying: We are laying the foundation for the future. The word lie is an intransitive verb meaning to recline along a horizontal plane: I would like to lie on the bed and rest. Its past tense is lay: The child lay in the grass all morning. Its past participle is lain: Grandpa has lain on the hammock since noon. Its present participle is lying: He is lying down. This is to be distinguished from the other verb lie, meaning to tell a falsehood, which is conjugated lie, lied, and lying.

like, such as — Like is used to introduce a similarity: The world is like a box of chocolates. Have you ever tasted anything like this before? The term should not be used to introduce examples: I enjoy fast-paced sports like basketball and soccer (this statement denotes that the speaker enjoys sports that are similar to basketball and soccer, and not necessarily basketball and soccer themselves). Instead, the term such as should be used to introduce examples: I enjoy fast-paced sports such as basketball and soccer.

LinkedIn — A social media site used for professional networking.

lists of sentence fragments — Introduce the list with a colon, and capitalize sentence fragments after the bullet point. Conclude each with a semicolon, except for the second to last, which should use “and” after the semicolon, and the final item, which takes a period. Think of these lists as extended paragraphs, with capitalization used to make the items easier for the reader. Example:

Film study majors will:

  • Learn the fundamentals of filmmaking;
  • Develop effective oral and written communication skills; and
  • Become analytical thinkers, problem solvers and decision-makers.

lists of sentences — Similar to the sentence fragment, except the introductory sentence and individual points should be constructed to use periods, rather than a colon and semicolons. Example:

The Department of Film Study offers students many benefits.

  • Students have access to career-specific scholarships.
  • Student-to-faculty ratios are 10:1.
  • Students receive hands-on training with the latest in filmmaking equipment.

lists of words or short phrases — Introduce the list with a colon, and unless your words are proper nouns or the titles of departments, do not use caps. Do not use semicolons, periods or other punctuation after each item. Example:

The Department of Film Study offers:

  • scholarships
  • internships
  • practicums
  • cooperative education
  • work-study

Living-Learning Communities — Capitalized, with hyphen. LLC on second reference.

login, log in — One word as a noun: Access email with a login. Two words as a verb: You need to log in to your account.


master’s degree — Capitalize when full title is used: Master of Arts in Economics, Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction. In shortened and casual forms, lowercase and use an apostrophe: master’s degree in political science. When abbreviating, capitalize and use periods: M.A. in Philosophy. See academic degrees and programs.

meal plan — Not board, as in “room and board.”

media — Plural. The singular is medium. Increasingly, though, it is common to use media in the singular: Everyone thinks the media is biased.

Medina County University Center — The University's satellite campus in Medina County. Use full name on first reference and MCUC on subsequent references. See University of Akron, The.

Mid-American Conference — Formal name of the athletic conference of which UA is a member. MAC on second reference.

military titles — Capitalize formal titles before an individual’s name. On subsequent references to the individual, use only the person's last name. See the entry on military titles in the most current AP Stylebook for abbreviations and additional information.

money — Use figures for all monetary units. Spell out the word cents (lowercase) for amounts less than a dollar: 10 cents, 25 cents. Always lowercase the word dollar: folded dollar bills. Use the $ sign and decimals (if necessary) for amounts larger than a dollar: $5, $12.50, $29.99, $125. It is preferable to spell out million, billion or trillion: $10 million, $325 billion. Use decimals where practical, but do not exceed two decimal places: $2.5 million, $7.65 billion, $8,406,200, $2,972,650,000. In headlines, abbreviate millions and billions as M and B, respectively: $1M raise, $25.8B deficit.

months — Always capitalize. The following months are abbreviated when used with a specific day: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out the month when using alone or with a year; no comma is needed between the month and year: November 2017. When editorial copy includes a month, day and year, place a comma after the day and year: On Jan. 1, 2008, UA's mascot, Zippy, won the Capital One Bowl Mascot of the Year Challenge.

In a tabular format, these three-letter forms are used without a period: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov and Dec. (The only exception is in a formal invitation, where the month may be spelled out with the date and year: January 1, 2010.)

more than vs. over — More than specifies an amount: UA was founded more than 135 years ago. The word over refers to spatial relationships: The Goodyear Blimp often flies over campus.


names — Use full name on first reference to an individual and last name only on subsequent references.

National Center for Education and Research on Corrosion and Materials Performance — NCERCAMP on second reference.

National Polymer Innovation Center — State-of-the-art research facility on the UA campus.

NCAA — Acceptable in all references for National Collegiate Athletic Association.

New Landscape for Learning — The University of Akron’s campus enhancement program between 1999 and 2015, when we added 21 new buildings; 18 major additions, acquisitions and renovations; and 34 acres of green space.

nonprofit — No hyphen.

nonresident — No hyphen.

Northeast Ohio — Capitalized; not Northeastern Ohio.

Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) — Use NEOMED on second reference, and do not precede full name or acronym with the word "the." Formerly Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM), this state medical university, located in Rootstown, was created in 1973 through a consortium of The University of Akron, Kent State University and Youngstown State University (Cleveland State University joined in 2008).

numerals — Spell out numerals used at the beginning of a sentence (with the exception of years). In text, spell out numerals one through nine and use figures for 10 and above: four books, 12 friends, seven-course meal, 11th grade, 5 million people. In a sentence where a series of numerals is used, follow the same guidelines: You can take four classes and earn 16 credits. Of the 10 people surveyed, three agreed. Always use figures in text for addresses, ages, centuries, course numbers, court decisions, credit hours, dates, decades, decimals, dimensions, distances, fractions larger than 1, monetary units, page numbers, percentages, rankings, ratios, room numbers, speeds, sports scores, telephone numbers, temperatures, times, weights, votes and years. See addresses; ages; alumna, alumnae, alumni, alumnus; campus addresses; dates; dimensions; grade, grader; grade point average; money; months; percent; room numbers; telephone numbers; temperatures; time; weights; and years.


online — One word.


part time, part-time — Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: The part-time adjunct professor. But: She was hired part time. The same rules hold for full time and full-time. See hyphen.

PC — Personal computer, acceptable in all references.

percent — Spell out when used alone and use the symbol (%), in text and tables, when preceded by a numerical figure. No space separates the figure from the symbol: The six-month placement rate for graduates with bachelor's degrees in engineering is 94%.

Ph.D., Ph.D.s — It is preferable to use the word doctorate followed by the area of expertise, both lowercase: He holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering. If using the full title, capitalize: Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry. When abbreviating, capitalize and use periods: Ph.D. in History. When used after a name, the abbreviation is set off by commas: Nancy Nevins, Ph.D., received tenure. See academic degrees and programs; doctoral, doctorate; and Dr.

Pinterest — A social network in which users collect and share images in thematic collections called pinboards. The University has a Pinterest account (uakron).

postbaccalaureate — No hyphen.

postdoctoral — No hyphen.

postgraduate — No hyphen.

postsecondary — No hyphen.

president — Lowercase except when used as formal title before a name: the president gave a speech. President Nicholas Wilson visited the college. See academic titles.

program titles — Capitalize when official title is used: the Pre-Pharmacy Program. Lowercase in shortened and casual forms: she is studying pre-pharmacy. See academic degrees and programs.



real-world — Hyphenate as a compound modifier. See hyphen.

residence hall — Not dorm or dormitory.

room numbers — Use figures and capitalize: Room 312.

ROTC — Acceptable in all references to Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

Rust Belt — Capitalize.


schools — The official names of schools are capitalized and given in full on first reference: School of Law. On subsequent references, the official names may be shortened and lowercased, so long as the referent of each is clear: the school received a $300,000 grant. See colleges, schools, departments and campus units.

seasons and semesters — Lowercase references to seasons and academic semesters: fall, spring semester.

Snapchat — A mobile messaging app in which users share photos and videos for a limited period of time. The University has a Snapchat account (uakron).

spacing — Use a single space, not two spaces, after a period at the end of each sentence.

state-assisted — Hyphenate. UA is a state-assisted institution, one of 14 four-year public universities in Ohio’s higher education system. See hyphen.

state names — Follow Associated Press Style and spell out state names in text when they stand alone: California. Use standard abbreviations only when a city and state are included in the text, and place a comma after the city name and state name: Scranton, Pa., is home to Steamtown National Historic Site. Eight states are never abbreviated: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. Note: U.S. Postal Service two-digit codes are only used in addresses, such as OH for Ohio.

STEM — The acronym, acceptable in all references, for science, technology, engineering, mathematics/medicine programs.

student-athlete — Hyphenated.

Student Recreation and Wellness Center — SRWC and Rec Center are acceptable on second reference.

syllabus — Singular. The plural is syllabi or syllabuses.


telephone numbers — Include the area code and use hyphens: 330-972-7100.

temperatures — Use figures for all temperatures except zero degrees. Do not use a minus sign for temperatures below zero. Temperatures get higher or lower, not warmer or cooler. Examples: The temperature reached minus 15. School will not be canceled unless it is 20 below zero. Tomorrow’s high is 75. That’s 5 degrees higher than yesterday’s temperature. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 60s on the following day.

than, then — Than is a conjunction used in comparisons: Shakespeare was a better writer than Robert Greene. The word then is an adverb used to express temporal or logical sequence: I discovered Shakespeare and then decided to become a poet. If you like poetry, then you should read Shakespeare.

that vs. which Use "that" to introduce a clause that is essential to the meaning of the sentence: Police officers found the vehicle that had been stolen. Use “which” to introduce a nonessential clause, which is set off with commas: He took his new surfboard, which is red and white, to the beach. See that vs. who.

that vs. who Use “that” to refer to inanimate objects and to animals without a name: The telephone that never stopped ringing; the dog that bit me. Use “who” to refer to people and to animals with a name: The telemarketer who kept calling me; her dog, Charlie, who bit me. When “who” introduces a clause that is essential to the meaning of the sentence, do not set off the clause with commas: His cousin who lives in California is visiting this weekend (where it is necessary to distinguish one cousin from others). When “who” introduces a nonessential clause, set off the clause with commas: His cousin, who lives in California, is visiting this weekend; his cousin, who enjoys cheesecake, is visiting this weekend (where the man has only one cousin, or when the clause is not intended to distinguish one cousin from others). See that vs. which.

theatre — The preferred spelling for entertainment venues on campus: Paul A. Daum Theatre in Kolbe Hall, Gardner Theatre in the Jean Hower Taber Student Union, Sandefur Theatre in Guzzetta Hall.

time — Use numerals in all cases, except for noon and midnight. Always lowercase a.m. and p.m. and use periods. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes: 1:30 p.m. Do not use zeros indicating minutes for on-the-hour times: 9 a.m. Use a hyphen to indicate spans: 2-5 p.m. But: use “to” for spans including both a.m. and p.m.: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Avoid redundancies: 7:30 p.m. tonight. It is acceptable, but not preferable, to use o’clock: 8 o’clock.

titled, entitled — These terms are not interchangeable. Title means “to name”: The book is titled “Pride and Prejudice.” To entitle means “to designate rights or benefits”: This coupon entitles you to one free soft drink.

titles and official names See academic degrees and programs; academic titles; associate degree; athletics facilities; baccalaureate; bachelor’s degree; Board of Trustees; campus buildings; colleges, schools, departments and campus units; company names; composition titles; dean; Dean’s List; Dr.; emeritus; Juris Doctor; master’s degree; military titles; names; Ph.D., Ph.D.s; president; program titles; schools; titled/entitled; and University of Akron, The.

Twitter — A social network on which users share content in the form of tweets. The verb is to tweet. The University’s Twitter account can be followed @uakron.


UANet — The University's network, which encompasses all services and access to services for University electronic properties, including databases, servers, websites, collaborative services and, where possible, third-party services contracted by the University. Access to the network and services, by authorized faculty, staff and students, is accomplished through the issuance of credentials, i.e., a UANet ID. Use of the network and the ID are governed by the rules and regulations of the University and at its discretion.

UA Network ID — UANet ID acceptable in all references.

unique — One-of-a-kind, not permitting of degrees or comparison. Something cannot be somewhat unique, very unique, more or less unique, most unique, etc..

United States — Use periods in the abbreviation, U.S., within text, acceptable in all references. Use US, without periods, in headlines.

University Council — This deliberative and representative body makes recommendations to the president on long-range planning and informs decisions on other substantive matters that affect the well-being and common interests of the University community.

University of Akron, The — On first reference, the full name The University of Akron should always be used, with The capitalized. On subsequent references, University, always capitalized, is preferred. UA may be used sparingly. Omit or lowercase "the" when University of Akron is used adjectivally: the University of Akron community; a University of Akron degree; five University of Akron professors. Satellite campuses include:

  • The University of Akron Lakewood — UA Lakewood on second reference.
  • Medina County University Center — UA Medina on second reference.
  • The University of Akron Wayne College Campus (Orrville) — Wayne College Campus on all references.

University of Akron Alumni Association, The — The alumni association or association on second reference.

University of Akron Bookstore, The — University Bookstore or UA Bookstore on second reference.

University of Akron Foundation, The — Foundation on second reference.

University of Akron Research Foundation — UARF on second reference.

URL — All caps, acronym for Uniform Resource Locator, which is the term for World Wide Web addresses.

URLs — World Wide Web addresses should be lowercase, with no spaces between the characters. In print publications, the UA website should appear as uakron.edu, followed by the remainder of the URL that directs a person to the desired webpage. Contact UCM if a URL should be shortened due to space limitations or for simplicity. In electronic documents such as Word or on the UA website, See our “Writing for the web” resource for creating useful hyperlinks.


video game — Always two words.

viewbook — One word, no hyphen.

voicemail — Always one word, no hyphen.


Wayne College Campus (Orrville), The University of Akron — The University’s satellite campus in Orrville. Use full name, Wayne College Campus, on first reference and Wayne Campus on subsequent references. For other regional campuses, see University of Akron, The.

web — Short for World Wide Web; alternate term for internet.

webpage — One word.

website — One word.

weights — Use figures: The puppy weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces. The 350-pound linebacker sacked the quarterback.

who vs. whom — Use “who” when referring to the subject of a sentence or clause: Who planted these flowers? The person who planted these flowers did a good job. (In both examples, “who” refers to a subject that can be replaced with the pronouns I, he, she, it or they: she planted these flowers.) Use “whom” when referring to the object of a verb or preposition: They hired whom to plant the flowers? The flowers were planted by whom? (“Whom” is the object of the verb “hired” in the first example and of the preposition “by” in the second example. In both examples, the word “whom” can be replaced with the pronouns me, him, her, us or them: They hired me to plant the flowers; the flowers were planted by them.) When “who” or “whom” introduces a clause that is essential to the meaning of the sentence, do not set off the clause with commas: The architect who designed this building was brilliant; the person whom they hired to design this building was brilliant (where it is necessary to distinguish the architect or designer from others). When “who” or “whom” introduces a nonessential clause, set off the clause with commas: Patricia, who adores the color violet, paints sunsets; Patricia, to whom nothing is more beautiful than the color purple, paints sunsets (where the clause is not intended to distinguish Patricia from other artists). See that vs. who.

Williams Honors College, The Drs. Gary B. and Pamela S. — The full name is The Drs. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Honors College. Use Williams Honors College or Honors College on second and subsequent references. Students in the college are known as Williams Scholars.

WZIP-FM — Student-operated radio station on campus (88 FM).



years — Use figures, without commas: 2018. Set off month, day and year constructions with commas: Nov. 26, 1990, is his birthday. Use an s without an apostrophe when indicating spans of decades or centuries: the 1990s, the 1700s. Lowercase the word century (unless part of a proper name) and spell out numbers under 10: the third century, the 21st century. For decades, use an apostrophe to indicate omitted numerals: the ‘70s, the Roaring ‘20s. Years, unlike all other numerals, can be used to start a sentence: 1968 was a tumultuous year. See months.

YouTube — A network owned by Google where users share and view videos. The University runs its own YouTube channel.


Zip Card — Campus ID card, two words.

Zippy — The University’s mascot, a female kangaroo.

Zips — The official name used for all of the University’s men’s and women’s sports teams. Do not use the term Lady Zips.

Z-TV — Student-operated television station on campus.