Writing Style Guide
Editorial style at Asbury University typically follows Associated Press conventions as detailed in the latest edition of the Associated Press Stylebook. Notable exceptions and additions follow.
Academic degrees—Note periods (B.A., B.S., M.S.W., Ph.D., M.A., M.S., M.Div.). When spelling out academic degrees, they should be as follows: bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, master of arts, master of science, master of social work, master of divinity, master of business administration. In cases where the field is not mentioned, it should be as follows: master’s degree in history, master’s degree, bachelor’s degree in media communication. Plural: Ph.D.s, Possessive: Ph.D.’s
Aldersgate Commons—The proper name of the apartment-style campus housing complex. "Aldersgate" is acceptable on second reference.
Alumnus—is the singular reference for a male graduate; alumna, the singular reference for a female graduate; alumni, the plural reference to a mixed group of male and female graduates or male graduates only; alumnae, the plural reference for female graduates only. Do not use the terms alums or alum in formal documents or articles. Exceptions include the Young Alum Award given by the alumni office.
Asbury University—Always use the full name on first reference; on second reference, “the University” (note capitalization) is acceptable. When the adjective “university” refers specifically to Asbury University, it should be capitalized. Please refrain from using “Asbury” alone to avoid confusion with Asbury Theological Seminary.
Asbury University Ambassador—The quarterly constituent magazine produced by the Marketing & Communications Office. Within the magazine and in other internal contexts, “the Ambassador magazine” or “the Ambassador” are appropriate first references. The publication’s formal title does not include the University’s name or the definite article; thus, only “Ambassador” is italicized.
The Asburian—The student-produced campus yearbook
Asbury University Bulletin—An exception to the general rule of italicizing book titles. “Asbury University course catalog” (note capitalization) is acceptable on first reference for audiences that may not recognize the publication’s content.
The Asbury Collegian—The student-produced newspaper at Asbury College. “The Collegian” is acceptable on first reference in internal publications.
Campus buildings—In general, buildings are identified using only the last name of honored individual(s) and the shorter form of the on first reference ("Kinlaw Library," "Johnson Cafeteria"). More formal situations may call for the full name. The definite article is not used for most facilities.
Campus Post Office—Use the full form with all external audiences (including alumni). Internal publications may use "CPO" (no periods) on first reference. Do not use the definite article with the abbreviated name.
Class years—When referencing alumni and current students, please use their graduating class years, for instance, Jason Parmer ’03. For women with a married name, place the class year after the maiden name, Lisa Falin ’90 Harper. For current students it is acceptable to say John Doe, a senior, or senior John Doe. Do not capitalize the class years (i.e. freshman, sophomore, junior, senior). For graduates from our master’s degree programs, please use the following in the class notes section only of the alumni magazine: Sally Jones ’09MSW, James Smith ’08MA. For all other references, use periods and commas for class years. See entry on academic degrees.
Corbitt Hall—Note spelling of the media communication building.
Directions—toward, backward, forward are all singular. For instance, “The students walk toward the Luce Center” or “Please move forward.”
Doddridge-Holland Theatre—Note spelling.
e-mail—Note spelling; not capitalized.
Eagles—All sports teams are the Eagles. The women’s teams are not to be referred to as the “Lady Eagles.” They are always the Eagles or the women’s team. Also, all female teams are to be referred to as women, not girls’. All male teams are the men’s team, not boys’. (i.e. women’s basketball, men’s soccer).
Equine Center, equine program—Not "equestrian." Equestrian refers to a specific sport, which Asbury University does not offer. Equine refers to the horse. The program’s facility on College property is also known as Palisades Farm.
Hamann-Ray Science Center—Note spelling, referred to as Hamann-Ray.
HPER—General abbreviation for the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. "HPER Department" is acceptable on first reference in internal publications.
initials—In general, do not use middle initials. In cases of individuals who are known by their middle names, use their leading initial only in formal situations (programs, etc.). Exceptions include Sandra C. Gray, Paul A. Rader.
Kinlaw Library—Does not use the definite article in written reference.
Luce Center—Acceptable on first reference in internal publications and the Ambassador and on second reference in all contexts. “The Luce Physical Activities Center” is appropriate on first reference in external publications. Uses the definite article.
media communication program—Part of the School of Communication Arts, not a department unto itself. Note the singular use of “communication.”
Numbers—When referencing numbers always say “More than” instead of “over." The College offers more than 40 majors. Numbers 1-9 are spelled out in text.
offices and departments—Capitalize references using the full name (i.e., "Office of Public Relations" or "Public Relations Office"). If using less than the full name, do not capitalize ("Contact public relations for more information"). Major administrative divisions (Academic Affairs, Business Affairs, Enrollment Management, Institutional Advancement and Student Development) are always capitalized.
One Macklem Drive—Asbury University’s street address. Always spell out the number. The U.S. Post Office requires using the numeral “1” in business reply.
the Physical Plant—The facility by the reservoir is not named in honor of anyone but uses the definite article and is capitalized. The department does not use “office” or “department” with its name and may or may not be capitalized depending on context.
residence halls—Per Student Development preference, campus housing facilities are not "dormitories" or "dorms." "Hall" is acceptable after the given name when the facility’s use is clear; otherwise, use "Residence Hall" (i.e., "Glide-Crawford Hall is home to 308 women." But "Renovations to Trustees Residence Hall included new carpeting.").
The Salvation Army—The article is always capitalized, acronym is TSA.
second references (individuals)—A.P. style is followed in press releases (last name only, unless more is needed to avoid confusion). In other publications, style is less rigid and is based on the publication's audience and the individual discussed. In general, courtesy titles are often used in programs and other formal situations. The following guidelines apply to articles in the Ambassador:
- Current and former presidents and first ladies of the University use the courtesy title. ("Dr. Kinlaw")
- Current and former faculty members typically use the courtesy title ("Prof." or "Professor" in the case of faculty members without doctorates).
- Courtesy titles are unnecessary if Ph.D., Ed.D., or M.D. follows the name.
- Older alumni (age 60+) generally use the courtesy title, though exceptions are sometimes made in informal Ambassador articles, in which first name is used.
- Younger alumni and current students generally use first name only.
- Other individuals usually follow the pattern of alumni of comparable age.
- If in doubt, be more formal and use last name and courtesy title.
Correct uses of courtesy titles:
Dr. Edward McKinley, professor of history
Dr. Sandra Gray, president
Incorrect uses of courtesy titles:
Dr. Bill Brown, Ph.D.
Dr. Sally Smith, M.D.
states—In press releases, follow AP abbreviations. In other contexts, spell out the full name of the state in body copy. In lists, addresses or agate copy such as alumni notes, use US Postal Service two-letter abbreviations.
Ala. Fla. Md. Neb. N.D. S.D. La. Iowa
Ariz. Ga. Mass. Nev. Okla. Tenn. N.C. Maine
Ark. Ill. Mich. N.H. Ore. Vt. Wyo. Ohio
Calif. Ind. Minn. N.J. Pa. Va. Alaska Texas
Colo. Kan. Mo. N.M. R.I. Wash. Hawaii Utah
Del. Ky. Mont. N.Y. S.C. Wish. Idaho
telephone numbers—Standard format is "(859) 858-3511, ext. 2411," with the closing comma after an extension if it is used in the middle of a sentence. Do not use a "1" prefix with toll-free numbers.
time—For the Web use AP style. For instance 7 p.m. or 9:30 a.m. Times on the hour do not need :00 after the number. It is not necessary to say "9:30 a.m. in the morning" or "7 p.m. in the evening." Changes to this rule have been made for printed graphic design purposes only such as in invitations or post cards. In this case a.m. and p.m. should appear in small caps only and printed consistently without punctuation.
titles (books and other creative works)—Follow AP style in press releases and situations in which italic fonts are not available. In other contexts, italicize book titles, magazine and newspaper names and multiple-movement musical works. Use quotation marks around film titles and the titles of smaller written and musical works.
titles (individuals)—"Dr." is typically the only title used in copy on first reference. In faculty lists, "Professor" (or "Prof.") may be used for individuals without doctorates. See the entry on second references for more information on the use of titles.
urls—Do not use the preceding http:// in most situations and depending on the audience do not use www.
Web site—Two words, first word is capitalized.