Style Guide - University Marketing and Communications
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Style Guide

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh style guide is a general resource for consistency in writing across all University communications.

A style guide is a tool to help UW Oshkosh communicators. It’s a list of choices that have been made to ensure consistency. Consistent style helps solidify the University’s brand platform and content strategy.

The style guide outlines specific rules and usages followed by the writers and editors of the University Marketing and Communications team. UW Oshkosh defers to The Associated Press Stylebook when conflicting information exists.

The guidelines are for general use.

 

University Name

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Full name, first reference: University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Preferred second reference: UW Oshkosh
Third reference and beyond: “UWO” and “the University” may be used interchangeably.
Preferred abbreviation:
 UWO

  • There is no hyphen in University of Wisconsin Oshkosh or UW Oshkosh. (The hyphen is only acceptable in athletic marketing materials).
  • When referencing UW Oshkosh, capitalize University. When referencing other universities, do not.
  • The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is not a location. Instead of “meeting will be held at UW Oshkosh,” the preference is “meeting will be held on the Oshkosh campus.”

 

Campus Names

Oshkosh Campus

Full name, first reference: University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh Campus
Alternative first reference: Oshkosh campus of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Preferred second reference: Oshkosh campus

Fond du Lac Campus

Full campus name, first reference: University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fond du Lac campus
Alternative first reference: Fond du Lac campus of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Second reference: Fond du Lac campus

Fox Cities Campus

Full campus name, first reference: University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fox Cities Campus
Alternative first reference: Fox Cities campus of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Second reference: Fox Cities campus

  • Do not refer to the Oshkosh campus with terminology that denotes higher value than the other campuses, such as the “main” campus or the “central” campus. 
  • The Fond du Lac campus and the Fox Cities campus may be individually or collectively referred to as “access campuses.”
  • Do not use “centers,” “colleges,” “extensions,” or “satellite campuses” when referring to the Fond du Lac and Fox Cities campuses.
  • Do not use “Fondy” when referring to the Fond du Lac campus.
  • Do not use “Fox Valley” or “FV” when referring to the Fox Cities campus.
  • Do not use “FC” when referring to the Fox Cities campus.

 

UW Oshkosh Style Guide

Adviser

  • Use instead of advisor.

 

Alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae

  • Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended school.
  • Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a woman.
  • Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women.
  • Include graduating year with all alumni names (first reference only).
  • Use comma after year.
    • Example: Milton Baerwald ’52, is the foremost expert on sleep psychology.
  • In the case of multiple degrees, indicate abbreviated degree name with master’s degrees only.
    • Example: Zhou Na ’97 and ’99 MSE
  • Make sure the apostrophes are, in fact, apostrophes, as opposed to single quote mark. ( use ‘ not ‘)
  • Do not include expected year of graduation for current students, unless it is part of a student writer’s byline.

 

Ampersands

  • Use the ampersand when it is part of a company’s formal name or composition title.
  • Substitute “and” for ampersands in University college and departments.
    • Example: College of Education and Human Services

 

Attribution

  • When using a quote in writing, use the name of the person being attributed before the word “said,” except when using their title.
    • Example 1: “I went to the store,” John Smith said.
    • Example 2: “I went to the store,” said Dean John Smith.
  • When using a photo, no credits are needed for UMC staff photographers. If the photo is submitted, indicate under photo.
    • Example 1: PHOTO BY TARA MULLINGS
    • Example 2: PHOTO COURTESY OF THE OSHKOSH PUBLIC MUSEUM, OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Colleges

  • Names of colleges should be spelled out and capitalized.
    • Example: College of Business
  • Avoid abbreviations, such as CON an COEHS, in articles and briefs. Instead, use “the college” in subsequent references.

 

Commas

  • Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the final conjunction in a series, unless another conjunction in one of the final two items would confound the meaning.
    • Example: Faculty, staff and students attend the inaugural all-campus piñata party; attendees attacked the piñata with sticks, hatchets and bows and arrows.
  • For alumni, use comma after year.
    • Example: Milton Baerwald ’52, is the foremost expert on sleep psychology.
  • Always use a comma before a conjunction separating two independent clauses (compound sentences), but not before a conjunction separating dependent clauses.
    • Example: “I allow my students to text and surf the Web in class, but I can’t tolerate daydreaming. NOT: “A new nationwide initiative, LAMO aims to enrich student’s experiences in the classroom, and to building collaborations within the community.”
  • Use a comma before the coordinating conjunction “so,” but not before the correlating conjunction “so that.”
  • Use a comma in “not only, but also” constructions.
    • Example: “Not only did the grammar professor hate excessive commas, but also she loathed the improper use of semicolons.”

 

Composition titles

Apply composition title guidelines to book titles, magazine and article titles, computer game titles, movie titles, opera titles, play titles, poem titles, album and song titles, titles of lectures, speeches, journals and works of art.

  • Italicize the title. NOTE: This rule differs from AP Style. 
  • Do not put quotation marks around a title. NOTE: This rule differs from AP Style. 
  • Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters.

 

Dashes

  • Em dash: Use and em dash (―) for abrupt changes in thought. A space should be left before and after.
    • Example: The editor ― usually a calm individual ― became infuriated whenever an em dash was misused.
  • En dash: Use an en dash ( – ) for a span of time. No spaces should be included. An en dash should be used when writing UW school names besides UW Oshkosh
    • Example: 1–2 p.m., Dec. 3–5, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
  • Hyphen: Hyphens are joiners. Use them to avoid ambiguity or to form a single idea from two or more words. Hyphens are also used in school years.
    • Example: The 2011-2012 academic year.

 

Degrees

  • Leave general degrees in lower case, including associate degree, bachelor’s degree in music, master’s degree, doctoral degree and doctorate.
  • Avoid official names of degrees, if possible. When using them, however, capitalize the degree.
    • Example: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Business Administration
  • Do not include Ph.D. after names of faculty members within text. In more formal invitations and programs, it is acceptable to use the Dr. title for Ph.D.-holding faculty members on first reference only.
  • Avoid unnecessary prepositions.
    • Example: Use “English department,” not “department of English”

 

Departments

  • Names of academic departments should be kept in lower case, except for proper nouns.
    • Example: English department
  • Avoid unnecessary prepositions.
    • Example: Use “English department,” not “department of English”
  • Capitalize names of nonacademic departments.
    • Example: University Marketing and Communications (UMC), Instructional Resource Center (IRC)

 

Ellipses

  • Use an ellipsis to indicate the deletion of one or more words in condensing quotes, texts and documents.
  • In general, treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, constructed with three periods and two spaces.
    • Example: She used ellipses … very carefully.

 

Email

  • Avoid using email as a verb, instead use “contact.”
    • Example: For more information, contact the Alumni Relations Office at alumni@uwosh.edu. Not: For more information, email alumni@uwosh.edu.
  • Use a hyphen when referencing other e-terms, such as e-book, e-business, e-commerce, etc.

 

J. J. Keller

  • J. J. Keller Field is located at Titan Stadium and should be mentioned whenever the Oshkosh Sports Complex is referenced. A space must be placed between the Js.

 

Maiden names

  • Maiden names should be included whenever possible when referencing an alumna.
  • Place the maiden name in parenthesis between the first and last name.

 

Phone numbers

  • Always include area code in parenthesis, including (800) numbers.
    • Example: (920) 555-5555

 

States

  • Follow the updated AP style and spell out state names.
  • Use ZIP code abbreviations for full mailing addresses only.
  • Use “Wisconsin” after the names of Wisconsin cities that are obscure or are more recognizable as locations in other states.

 

Students

  • Major, year in school and hometown should be included when using student sources.
    • Example: “This is the best place in the world,” said Vincent Cruz, a freshman political science student from West Allis at UW Oshkosh.”

 

Titles

  • Capitalize titles when they precede the individual’s name.
    • Example: Dean Earl Boden
  • Avoid unnecessary prepositions
    • Example: Leah Chedid, psychology professor, not Leah Chedid, professor of psychology
  • Do not include Ph.D. after names of faculty members within text.

 

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

  • Use University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (no hyphen) on first reference. (The hyphen is only acceptable in athletic marketing materials).
  • Use UW Oshkosh upon second reference.
  • Use The University and UWO interchangeably in future references.
  • When referencing UW Oshkosh, capitalize University. When referencing other universities, do not.

 

Websites

  • URLs should not end with a slash (/). There is no need to use http://  or www with web addresses.
    • Example: uwosh.edu/admissions