Is it alumnus or alumna? Dr. John Doe or John Doe, Ph.D.? The 1980’s or 1980s? Anyone who writes or edits university communications will encounter questions like these. Editorial style guides, which suggest consistent treatment of dates, names, capitalization and abbreviations, offer answers to such questions.
Our editorial style is a major component of how we present ourselves to the public. Having a common style helps us project a consistent, professional image.
This guide is for anyone who writes, edits or proofreads Texas State University communications, including brochures, booklets, posters, postcards, websites, invitations, etc. Academic papers and publications often follow separate, field-specific style guides.
Social media managers should also refer to our social media style guide.
Our guidelines draw heavily from the Associated Press (AP) style because it is familiar to readers and easy to use. But since the university’s needs are not the same as those of the news media, some exceptions to AP style are made. In those instances, the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, is referenced. For instances not addressed in this guide, reference the current edition of the AP Stylebook and then Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition.
Please contact us if you have questions or suggested revisions.
Use “a” before words that begin with consonants or before words beginning with vowels that sound like consonants: a union; a once-in-a-lifetime event. Use “an” before words that begin with vowels or vowel sounds. When a word begins with “h,” use “a” if the “h” is pronounced: a historic event. Use “an” if the “h” is not pronounced: an hour; an honor.
The accreditation organization of the McCoy College of Business Administration. AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the name of the organization. On first reference, correct usage is the full name of the organization, AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; on second and continuing references, it is acceptable to use AACSB International or AACSB.
No apostrophe is necessary. It’s plural, not possessive.
Lowercase names of degrees, fellowships and the like: a master’s degree; a doctorate; a fellowship; a master of business administration. Please note the capitalization and punctuation used in the following examples:
Abbreviations: Use an abbreviation such as B.A., B.F.A., B.M., B.S., M.A., M.B.A., M.F.A., M.S., M.S.W., Ph.D. or Ed.D. only if writing out the full name of the degree is too cumbersome for the context (such as in an advertisement), on second reference after you have written out the full name of the degree, and after a full name, set off by a comma: Jane Doe, M.A. ’97, won the award.
Cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude and with distinction receive no special treatment in running copy: She graduated magna cum laude.
The university’s style for academic titles follows that of the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition.
In general, capitalize a formal title used directly before a name. Lowercase and use commas to set off a title following a name. Lowercase and spell out titles when not used with names.
Exception: In formal contexts, such as a displayed list of names and titles in an annual report, titles are usually capitalized even when following a name. Exceptions may also be called for in promotional or other contexts for reasons of courtesy or politics, as long as capitalization is handled consistently within a document or suite of documents.
Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as chancellor, dean, president, chair, professor, associate professor, assistant professor, etc., only when they directly precede names. Lowercase elsewhere. Chair is the name for the heads of Texas State departments. Use chair rather than chairman, chairwoman or chairperson. Note the capitalization and format of these examples:
the professor; John Smith, professor of literature; Professor Smith but history professor John Smith (a label rather than a title); professors Smith and Jones
the chair; Ann Jones, chair of the Department of Finance and Economics; Professor Jones
the provost; Bob Williams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; Dr. Williams
the president; Jane Smith, president of Texas State University; Dr. Smith or President Smith
the dean; John Jones, dean of the College of Education; Dean Jones
named professorships: Joe Williams, Texas State’s Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Chair in Creative Writing; James Jones, McCoy Endowed Chair in Business
Dr. may be used on first reference before the name of a person who holds a doctorate. Unless the context makes it clear that the person is not a medical doctor, the person’s specialty should be stated in the first or second reference. Avoid using Dr. before the last name in subsequent references; last name only is preferred. Do not use Dr. before the name of a person who holds an honorary doctorate.
Also see titles.
Accept means to receive; except means to exclude: Everyone accepted the invitation except for Mary.
Don’t spell out the full name of this entrance examination, even on first reference. It is widely known. (This also applies to SAT, GMAT, GRE, etc.) Use Arabic numerals in constructions such as SAT-1. Use figures for ACT, SAT and similar test scores. Do not add commas to SAT or other scores that reach into the thousands: His SAT score was 1200. Her GRE composite score was 2070.
Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with numbered addresses: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Spell them out and capitalize when part of a formal street name without a number or with just a block number: Pennsylvania Avenue, the 1200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. Lowercase and spell out when used alone or with more than one street name: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania avenues. Exception: Abbreviations are acceptable on maps if space is limited.
All shorter words (road, alley, lane, drive, etc.) are always spelled out in running text or address listings: 601 University Drive. It’s acceptable to abbreviate these words on a map if space is limited.
Always use figures for an address number: 7 Green St.
Spell out and capitalize first through ninth when used as street names; use figures with two letters for 10th and above: 1202 Sixth St.; 100 12th St.
Abbreviate compass points used to indicate directional ends of a street or quadrants of a city in a numbered address: 222 E. 42nd St.; 600 K St. N.W. Do not abbreviate if the number is omitted: East 42nd Street; K Street Northwest.
See the list of Texas State streets for the proper spelling of the names of streets on the Texas State campus.
A center at Texas State that trains first-responding law enforcement officers. Write out the full name on first reference, and use ALERRT on subsequent references.
Not adviser. Used when referring to a person who offers advice in an academic setting on degree programs, course work, etc. (This is a deviation from AP style.)
Affect is always a verb: Your vote will affect the outcome. Effect is used most often as a noun but is sometimes a verb: We aren’t sure what that effect will be, but we hope it will effect positive change.
Use a hyphen when used as a noun or an adjective. The AP Stylebook prefers “black,” but African-American is acceptable if you are certain the person is indeed African-American. Be sensitive to the true ethnicity of other black people, such as Jamaican-Americans, or black people from other countries. Other terms to consider: minorities, ethnic minorities. (Note: The national month of observation is called Black History Month.)
No final “s” is needed.
Always use figures for ages of people, animals and inanimate objects. When the context does not require years or years old, the figure is presumed to be years.
Ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun use hyphens: 5-year-old girl, but the girl is 5 years old. The boy, 6, has a sister, 10. The woman, 29, has a daughter who is 2 months old. The race is for 60-year-olds. The 18- to 34-year-old demographic is elusive to advertisers. The man is in his 40s.
The formal name is the Albert B. Alkek Library. Alkek Library is also acceptable on first reference. The building was opened in 1990 and named in 1991 in honor of Alkek, a Houston oilman and philanthropist.
To be selected as the best (as at a sport) within an area or organization. Capitalize when part of a formal name: All-Sun Belt Conference, All-American, but lowercase when used generally: all-conference.
Never allright or alright.
The name of the university’s song. Capitalize the first letters of each word and enclose this song title in quotation marks. If not referring to the name of the Texas State school song, lowercase the term alma mater, which refers to a school or university one has attended and is also the general term for a school or university’s song.
Not alot. (But avoid using “a lot” in anything but the most informal of writings.)
alumnus – the male or nonspecific gender singular
alumni – the masculine or mixed-gender plural
alumna – the feminine singular form
alumnae – the feminine plural
The formal name and preferred usage is the Texas State Alumni Association. Use the full name on first reference. When referring specifically to Texas State's alumni association, Alumni Association (capped) is acceptable on subsequent references. When referring generally to an alumni association, always lowercase.
In 2014 this building was renamed the Center for Student Retention.
Lowercase with periods. Avoid the redundant 9 p.m. tonight or 10 a.m. in the morning. See also times.
Use between when referring to two items; use among when referring to more than two items.
Use only if it is part of an official title; otherwise, spell out the word “and.”
And or but may begin a sentence. This approach can be useful in providing a transition, but it shouldn’t be overdone.
Do not use the term “first annual.” Instead mention that plans are to hold the event annually. Do not use annual as a synonym for yearbook.
Anxious has a more negative meaning than eager. Someone is anxious if they are extremely uneasy or worrying about some contingency. Someone is eager if they are enthusiastic or have an impatient desire or interest.
Avoid this word. Use about.
Preferred spelling (rather than archeology).
Avoid overusing “as well as” in place of “and”; the phrase “as well as” has the sense of “too” or “also,” rather than simply “and.”
Athletic is an adjective; athletics is a noun: He attended an athletic event. Athletics are exercises, sports or games engaged in by athletes.
Capitalize all three words. San Marcos is part of the Austin Metropolitan Area.
Capitalize the word “award” only when it is part of the official name of an award.
No final “s” is needed.
Not barbeque, BBQ or Bar-B-Q, unless it is in the formal name of a business.
Use “because” to note a cause-effect relationship. Avoid using “as” in place of because: He went because he was told; not as he was told. Use “since” to note a time element: He has been sick since Tuesday.
Since 1963, the university has given the award to an outstanding senior woman based on leadership, scholarship, character, potential and loyalty. It is named for Sallie Beretta, who served on the university’s board of regents from 1933 to 1951.
“Better” refers to quality. “More” refers to quantity. This book is a better book than the last one I read. I need to buy more books.
See among, between
Not Big XII.
A room located on the west concourse of Bobcat Stadium. The room is a hospitality area for former Texas State letterwinners and is open during halftime of all home football games.
The term preferred by the AP Stylebook and considered acceptable in all references. Always lowercased. See also African-American.
Texas State University is governed by The (capitalize “The”) Texas State University System Board of Regents; the Board of Regents is acceptable on second reference.
Capitalize when referring to the Texas State mascot or a Texas State student. Lowercase when referring to the animal in general. When referring to a Texas State athletic team, use "the Texas State Bobcats." Never refer to a women's sport team as "the Lady Bobcats." All Texas State student-athletes are Bobcats.
Capitalize all three words in this official name of the location where the Bobcat baseball team plays.
Bobcat Buck$ is a convenient, secure purchasing feature for students' BobcatCard (student ID). It is a prepaid, university-managed flexible spending account for purchases both on and off campus.
The Texas State community’s largest annual student-run public service event in which students participate in neighborhood cleanups, nursing home cleaning, school playground work, green space and river cleanups.
A Texas State student ID card
A memorial service that honors students, staff, faculty and alumni who died during the year.
A program that all incoming freshmen are required to attend prior to the start of the fall semester to help ease their transition into college life.
(Frequently referred to as the West Campus Athletic Complex) Texas State's women's soccer team uses this facility as do several club sports, including lacrosse.
Capitalize all three words in this official name of the location where the Bobcat softball team plays.
Texas State’s 30,000-seat football stadium. In November 2003, the field was renamed Jim Wacker Field in honor of the former football coach who died that year.
Capitalize the name of Texas State’s Bobcat mascot.
Capitalize only proper nouns: spring break, winter break, Thanksgiving break.
Capitalize the word “building” as part of the name: the J.C. Kellam Administration Building, the Supple Science Building. When referring to a room in a building, give the building’s name and the room number and capitalize “Room”: Flowers Hall, Room 234; Old Main, Room 102.
Use dining hall or name the hall specifically: Commons Dining Hall, Harris Dining Hall, Jones Dining Center, the Lair or the Den.
Note the preferred spellings.
All one word. All lowercase unless used at the beginning of a sentence.
Capitalize names of centers at Texas State when using the formal name (Center for International Studies). Lowercase “center” when not using the full formal name: The center opened in 2005.
Formal names of centers at Texas State University:
Capitalize both words when referring to this region.
Lowercase and spell out numbers less than 10: the first century; the 19th century. For proper names, capitalize and/or follow the organization’s practice: Century 21 Realty; Twentieth Century Fund. Hyphenate only when the century forms a compound modifier: 18th-century architecture.
Use this term to describe the head of an academic department at Texas State. (This is a deviation from AP style, which prefers chairman or chairwoman.) Do not use those terms unless they are part of an official title. See also academic titles.
A professor who holds the chair in a discipline should be referred to as the professor of the discipline, keeping the name of the chair capitalized, even in shortened, casual references: Ann Wiliams, McCoy Endowed Chair in Accounting, led the discussion, or Ann Williams holds the McCoy Endowed Chair in Accounting.
The hill that Old Main and Hill House sit on.
Use check in as a verb: Check in the equipment after using it. Hyphenate as a noun or an adjective: The check-in is at the conference. The check-in materials are at the front desk. Use checkout as one word when used as a noun or attributive noun: Please pay at the checkout. She works at the checkout counter. Use check out as two words when used as a verb: Please check out by noon.
A day care center and teacher training facility located near San Marcos Hall on West Campus. Avoid using CDC on second reference when the communication will be received outside the university community, because CDC is a well-known abbreviation for Centers for Disease Control. Use “the center” on second reference instead.
In prose, do not capitalize, even when referring to specific classes: the class of 1989, class of ’89; 50th reunion class.
Don’t capitalize freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate, postgraduate, postdoctoral, nondegree, or any similar designation, unless it is part of a title, a headline or the official name of an organization.
Capitalize when used before a name: Coach Bob Williams. Lowercase in all other uses.
Don’t use this term as a noun to refer to a female student. It can be used as an adjective to indicate both sexes, however, such as a coed residence hall; no hyphen.
Capitalize the formal names of Texas State’s colleges. Lowercase when referring to the colleges generally or when not using the formal name: the business college. When referring to more than one college, do not capitalize “colleges”: the colleges of Applied Arts and Health Professions. The formal names of Texas State University colleges are:
Capitalize the first letter after a colon if the clause that follows forms a complete sentence. Exceptions: titles of papers, articles, chapters and books, where the first word after colons will always be capitalized. Colons will usually go outside of quotation marks, but it depends on their use.
Do not abbreviate. Capitalize when part of a formal name: the House Appropriations Committee.
Do not capitalize committee in shortened versions of long committee names: the Special Senate Select Committee to Investigate Improper Labor-Management Practices, for example, became the rackets committee.
An annual, Texas State-wide program of themed speeches, films, exhibits, debates and other events designed to cultivate a common intellectual conversation, get students involved and foster a sense of community. Always put the year’s theme in quotation marks.
An all-you-care-to-eat dining facility located in Commons Hall.
Comprise means to contain or to include all. The whole comprises the parts: The College of Liberal Arts comprises nine departments. Compose means to create or put together: The College of Liberal Arts is composed of nine departments.
Contractions listed in the dictionary are acceptable. Use them as appropriate for your audience, avoiding them in more formal communications.
Always use the “of.” Never use “a couple people” or something similar. Also, a phrase such as this takes a plural verb: A couple of people were at the table.
Avoid including course numbers. Capitalize the important words when using the formal name of a course: Introduction to Creative Writing, Editing for Clear Communication. Do not capitalize if using the course’s informal name: a biology class.
Two words. Not coursework.
Hyphenate this term.
Named in 2008 for Texas State alumnus and benefactor Darren Casey, this facility is located on the corner of Charles Austin and Aquarena Springs drives. It is the base office for Texas State Athletics. The facility houses the internal and external operations of the department, including facilities, athletic marketing, media relations, compliance, the Bobcat Club and the business office.
Not daylight savings time. No “s” at the end of “saving” and no caps.
Capitalize them and do not abbreviate, except when needed in tabular material. Tabular format is the first three letters: Mon, Tue, Wed; no periods. See also dates.
Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name: Dean Jane Smith. Lowercase otherwise: Jane Smith, dean of the McCoy College of Business Administration. See also academic titles.
Should always be lowercased when used in a sentence.
Use numerals to indicate decades of history. Use an apostrophe to indicate numerals that are left out; show plural by adding the letter s: the 1950s, the ’70s, the Roaring ’20s. See dates.
See academic degrees.
Located on the first floor of the Academic Services Building South, the Den is a food-court-style dining hall.
Capitalize names of academic departments when using the formal name (Department of Biology). Usage of the formal name is preferred, but if the order of the words in the formal name must be reversed, drop the “of” and retain the capitalization (the Biology Department). Lowercase, except for words that are proper nouns or adjectives, when referring to departments in a general way: one of the best biology departments; the English department. Formal names of Texas State University departments:
Capitalize names of administrative and other departmental offices at Texas State when using the formal name (Office of Disability Services). Lowercase “office” when not using the formal name: The marketing office publishes these guidelines. Formal names of offices at Texas State University include:
Not different than.
Use numerals and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc. Hyphenate adjectival forms before nouns: the 17-foot-long trailer. The trailer was 17 feet long. The suspect was about 5 feet 6 inches tall. The 5-foot-6-inch man.
Avoid “cafeteria.” Use “dining hall” (lowercased) or name the hall specifically: Commons Dining Hall, Harris Dining Hall, Jones Dining Center, the Lair Food Court and the Den.
When writing directions to campus, abbreviate Interstate 35 as IH-35. Capitalize Exit and do not use # or number. Example: From IH-35 take Exit 206.
Lowercase east, west, north or south when used as a directional reference: Go south for the winter. Capitalize for a region: Central Texas, the West Coast, the Rio Grande Valley.
People are disabled, not handicapped, and buildings that accommodate them are accessible. Avoid constructions such as “the disabled.” “People with disabilities” is better.
Do not capitalize the names of academic disciplines or major or minor areas of study, except those derived from proper nouns. When the name of the discipline is used as part of a title, such as that of a department, capitalization is necessary, but don’t use it when speaking of the discipline in general terms: I studied American history and English at Yale; Graduate students in biology must complete six hours of thesis or nonthesis research. Following are instructions for applying to the doctoral program in physical therapy.
The administration of Texas State University is divided into several divisions. Capitalize the names of these divisions, which include:
Avoid this term; residence hall is the preferred term for on-campus university housing.
A sign made by holding up the right hand in the shape of a Bobcat paw that is usually made while saying, “Eat ’em up, Cats!”; use quotation marks around this term when referring to the hand signal and use an apostrophe, not an opening single quotation mark, before ’em.
There is no apostrophe in Edwards, and “Aquifer” should be capitalized.
Located in the Freeman Aquatic Biology Building, this center provides a public service in the study, understanding and use of the Edwards Aquifer. EARDC is acceptable on second and subsequent references within a document.
Affect is always a verb: Your vote will affect the outcome. Effect is used mostly as a noun but is sometimes a verb: We aren’t sure what that effect will be, but we hope it will effect positive change.
The abbreviation e.g. stands for exempli gratia, which means for example. The abbreviation i.e. stands for id est, which means that is or in other words. So e.g. is used to cite an example from a longer series, while i.e. clarifies exactly what is included in the series.
Use three periods (no spaces between them, but a space on each side) to signify that something has been left out of a direct quote or that the writer is leaping from one topic to another. A complete sentence will have its own period, followed by a space, then the ellipsis, a space and then the next sentence.
No hyphen. Use a lowercase “e" unless it is at the beginning of a sentence or to be consistent with a capped headline style.
One retired from professional life but permitted to retain as an honorary title the rank of the last office held. Emeritus status is not automatic; it is an honor conferred, usually upon retirement. Use the descriptor after the title. Examples: One person, by gender and placement: Professor Emeritus John Doe; Professor Emerita Mary Smith; Jane Doe, professor emerita. Multiples by gender: professors emeriti (for all men or mixed group); professors emeritae (for all women). Reference to all the faculty and staff who hold emeritus status is, simply, “the emeriti.” Note: At Texas State, a woman may choose either professor emerita or professor emeritus as her title; follow a person's preference.
This is classification is awarded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Texas State was classified as an Emerging Research University in 2012. Capitalize each word.
Located in the south end zone of Bobcat Stadium. It is home to Bobcat football. Capitalize each word of this formal name.
Always use Ingram School of Engineering. It is part of the College of Science and Engineering.
Capitalize only “English.” ESL is acceptable on second and subsequent references within a document.
“Ensure” means to assure or guarantee. “Insure” means to protect against risk or loss with insurance.
Use it to mean a right to do or have something. Do not use it to mean titled.
Every day is an adverb: I study every day. Everyday is an adjective: I wore my everyday shoes.
Capitalize Exit when using with directions: From IH-35 take Exit 206.
Faculty can be singular or plural. If you are uncomfortable using faculty as a plural noun, you can use faculty members.
“Farther” refers to physical distance: We walked farther today than we did yesterday.
“Further” refers to an extension of time or degree: We need to look into this further.
Fax is short for facsimile and is not an acronym. It should not be in all caps. But use fax, not facsimile.
Capitalized only when used with the complete name of a government agency or a business: Federal Trade Commission, Federal Express. Otherwise use lowercase: federal government.
Use “fewer” for individual items: Fewer than 100 people attended. Use “less” for bulk or quantity: My new car uses less gas.
Not “flyer,” when referring to a handbill or an aviator. “Flyer” is the proper name for some trains and buses.
The Fighting Stallions is the formal name (note the italics) of the statue that presides over the western end of the Quad and has been a landmark on campus since 1952. The statue was donated to the university by well-known American sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876–1973) and her husband. In the early 1970s, the 17-foot-tall statue was the focal point of the campus free speech zone, and it remains a student gathering spot today.
This is the official name of the university’s financial aid office. Note that office is not part of the official name, so when used with this phrase, “office” should not be capitalized.
This former city hall/fire station, built in 1915, was purchased and restored by attorney Anthony “Lucky” Tomblin in 1984. Texas State purchased the recording studio from Tomblin in 1993 and established the first sound recording technology program in higher education in the Southwest.
The term gets hyphens when used as a modifier before a noun but no hyphens when used after a noun: There will be food served on a first-come, first-served basis. It is first come, first served.
A 12-month period used for bookkeeping. The fiscal year for the state of Texas and Texas State begins September 1 and ends August 31.
Forego means to go before. Forgo means to abstain from.
Do not capitalize the titles of forms or informal documents: exemption request form, housing contract, leave request, etc.
No final “s” is needed.
Spell out amounts less than one in stories, using hyphens between the words: two-thirds, four-fifths, etc. Use figures for precise amounts larger than one, converting to decimals whenever practical. But use a forward slash in the fraction: 1 2/3, 3 4/7, etc.
Acceptable on all references. Do not refer to them as frats or their members as boys.
Harold M. Freeman donated this ranch, located north of San Marcos on Ranch Road 12, to the university in 1981. The Freeman Center serves as an educational laboratory where classes are taught and faculty and students conduct research.
The area on the Quad between Evans and Derrick halls by the Fighting Stallions statue. In this area, students may play music, set up booths and tables, and protest.
Terms denoting student classification are lowercased and never abbreviated. Use freshman when referring to one first-year student, freshmen when writing of more than one. Use freshman (singular) as a modifier: That is generally considered a freshman course. She lives in the freshman dorm with 400 other freshmen.
Hyphenate only when used as a compound modifier: He works full time. She has a full-time job.
Both are always one word.
Either is acceptable, just be consistent within your document or suite of documents.
The name of the official school flower, also known as Indian blanket. This wildflower grows in most parts of Texas and is sometimes known as the Mexican blanket. Its color is maroon and gold, which are also Texas State’s school colors. The names of plants and flowers should be lowercased, except for words that are proper nouns.
Established in 1925 by the editors of The Pedagog to honor outstanding and accomplished students. At halftime of the homecoming football game each year, the award is given to 12 students. The name of the award was derived from the gaillardia, the official school flower.
A rotating art exhibit housed in the Honors Coffee Forum in the Lampasas Building that is part of Texas State's annual Common Experience program.
Make your writing as inclusive and gender-neutral as possible when representing Texas State or its programs or services. To make your language inclusive: Use the second person (you and your): You have many options when choosing your major. Or, use plural nouns and pronouns. If you choose this option, be sure to change verbs and other nouns and pronouns as needed: Students have many options when choosing their majors. Avoid the awkward “he or she” or “his or her” construction whenever possible.
Operated by The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment to allow visitors to tour Spring Lake.
An outdoor theatre located on West Campus next to Blanco Hall. See also theatre/theater.
The name of the Texas State fight song; use quotation marks around the names of songs.
Use the capital letters A, B, C, WP, etc., with no quotation marks. No apostrophe is required in the plural: He made two As and two WPs.
A graduate is an alumnus or alumna. A graduate student is working toward an advanced degree beyond the bachelor’s. Someone who attended the university but did not graduate is a former student.
Always use "The" capitalized when writing about The Graduate College at Texas State.
Always use the “from”: He graduated from Texas State in 2012. Wrong: “He graduated Texas State in 2012.” Also avoid the passive “He was graduated from Texas State in 2012.”
The formal name of the body within Student Government made up of representatives of all graduate students at Texas State University, as selected by each college dean.
Don’t spell out the full name of this entrance examination, even on first reference. It is widely known. (This also applies to ACT, SAT, GMAT, etc.) Use Arabic numerals in constructions such as SAT-1. Use figures for ACT, SAT and similar test scores. Do not add commas to SAT or other scores that reach into the thousands: His SAT score was 1200. Her GRE composite score was 2070.
This club’s members are individuals who have included Texas State in their estate plans. Deferred or planned gifts are arranged during people’s lifetimes and are given to the university usually after the donors’ deaths or the deaths of their beneficiaries.
An all-you-care-to-eat dining facility located in West Campus. It was named to honor Thomas Green Harris, the first president of Southwest Texas Normal School (1903 – 1911).
People do not “head up” committees; they head them.
Use healthcare as a noun or adjective. The university's style differs from Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary on this entry.
A sign made by holding up the left hand in the shape of the state of Texas with the two outside fingers pointing down toward the palm to indicate the location of the university; use quotation marks around this term when using it to describe the hand signal.
Use figures: The man was 5 feet 5 inches tall; the 6-feet-5-inch man. See dimensions.
The university magazine; italicize the name.
Hyphenate as a noun or adjective.
This is a broad term for people from Spanish-speaking countries. Use only when the country of origin is unknown. Otherwise, be specific: Spanish, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Peruvian, etc.
Use HSI on second reference. Texas State received recognition as a Hispanic-Serving Institution in 2011. To receive the HSI designation, an institution must have an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic. The designation makes Texas State eligible to apply for grants that expand opportunities and academic offerings for all students.
“Historic” means important, momentous or history-making. A historic meeting will take place on Tuesday. “Historical” refers to any event in the past.
Capitalize when referring to Texas State Homecoming. Lowercase otherwise.
Two words, lowercased.
Formerly the University Honors Program.
A study lounge, coffeehouse and art gallery located in the Lampasas Building on the Texas State campus.
This is an adverb that means “with hope.” It is a mistake to use it to mean “I hope” or “it is to be hoped.”
Don’t include http:// in a URL when it is clear that it’s a web address. Browsers don’t require that it be entered; it’s easier for the reader to remember a URL without it; and eliminating it can make it easier to fit the URL on a single line.
No periods: Texas State ID card.
Acceptable on all references for “intelligence quotient.”
Use “important” with “more” or “most” rather than “importantly”: Most important, we have a plan for the future.
Abbreviate incorporated or limited when used following a business name.
Not “in regards to.” Better yet, just use “regarding.”
Part of the College of Science and Engineering; NEVER the Bruce and Gloria Ingram School of Engineering.
Hyphenate when used as a modifier before a noun. However, use “Texas resident” or “nonresident” to describe these types of tuition rates at Texas State.
Capitalize names of institutes at Texas State when using the formal name. Lowercase “institute” when not using the formal name: The institute is the best on campus.
Formal names of institutes at Texas State University include:
Insure means to protect against risk or loss with insurance. Ensure means to assure or guarantee.
Not foreign students.
Lowercase unless used at the beginning of a sentence.
“It’s” is the contraction of it is: It’s time to go. “Its” is the possessive form of it: The university is proud of its history.
The official name of the field inside Texas State’s 30,000-seat football stadium. In November 2003, the field was renamed Jim Wacker Field in honor of the former football coach who died that year. Capitalize as shown.
Titles of persons holding offices such as those listed below are rarely used before names as part of the names, often because of their length. Preferred usage is to lowercase occupational titles and use commas to set them off following names. Note the capitalization and format of the following examples:
A dining facility on the Texas State campus named to honor Billy Mac Jones, the fifth university president (1969 – 1973).
Texas State’s athletic complex, located next to Strahan Coliseum. It was named to honor Milton Jowers, the school’s basketball coach from 1946 to 1961.
Terms denoting student classification are lowercased and never abbreviated.
Use kick off as a verb; use kickoff as a noun or adjective.
Texas State’s student radio station (89.9 FM). Capitalize as shown and identify as a radio station.
A food-court-style dining facility located in the LBJ Student Center.
“Lay” is an action word. It takes a direct object: Please lay the book on the table. “Laid” is the form for its past tense and its past participle: She laid/had laid the book on the table. Its present participle is “laying”: She is laying the book on the table. “Lie” indicates a state of reclining along a horizontal plane. It does not take a direct object: Please lie down on the floor. Its past tense is “lay”: He lay down on the floor. Its past participle is “lain”: He had lain on the floor. Its present participle is ‘lying’: He is lying on the floor. When “lie” means to make an untrue statement, the verb forms are lie, lied, lying.
LBJ Student Center is the full name of this building, named to honor Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th president of the United States who graduated from the university in 1930. LBJSC or “the student center” is acceptable on second and subsequent references. The university’s Welcome Center is located within the student center.
Capitalize when preceded by the name of a state. Retain capitalization when the state name is dropped but the reference is specifically to that state’s legislature.
“Lend” is a verb: Please lend me your book. “Loan” is a noun: I got a loan from the bank.
Use “less” for bulk or quantity: My car uses less gas than yours does. Use “fewer” for individual items or people: There are fewer people here today.
A living-learning community is a group of students living together based on a common interest, while taking one or more classes together.
“Log in” and “log on” are verbs; login, logon and logoff are nouns: You must log in using your login. Log on to the website. People log in to, but they don’t log onto or log into.
Always hyphenate this adjective.
“Loose” is an adjective: My tooth is loose. “Lose” is a verb: Don’t lose your lunch money.
Do not use a hyphen between adverbs ending in -ly and the adjectives they modify: an easily remembered name, a badly injured person.
Preferred spelling; used when writing about the St. David's School of Nursing.
Lower case when writing in general about the music, a band or a musician. Capitalize when used with a specific band or event: Feria del Mariachi, Mariachi Vargas.
A hospitality room in Strahan Coliseum where pre-game events, halftime receptions and other special events are held.
A program that develops model programs, including summer math camps, to engage K-12 students in high-level mathematics.
Known for decades as Aquarena Springs Resort, this property came under the stewardship of Texas State University in the mid-1990s. Now known as The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, the focus is on developing and promoting programs and techniques for ensuring sustainable water resources for human needs, ecosystem health and economic development.
Capitalize Austin Metropolitan Area. San Marcos is part of the Austin Metropolitan Area as defined by the Office of Management and Budget.
No hyphen is needed when used as a noun or an adjective.
These are capitalized when referring to the forces of the United States, such as U.S. Army or Air Force. Don’t capitalize informal references such as military science. ROTC stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, but the abbreviation ROTC is acceptable in all references to this program. Use Air Force ROTC (AFROTC on second reference) when referring to Texas State’s aerospace studies program and Army ROTC (AROTC on second reference) when referring to the university’s military science program.
A room located on the west concourse of Bobcat Stadium.
Acceptable in all uses to indicate greater numerical value.
Use last name only on second and subsequent references. As a general rule, spell and punctuate people’s names the way they prefer them to appear. Don’t use spaces between initials. Terms such as Jr., Sr., II, III are not set off by commas when used in a name unless the person prefers that the comma be included.
Capitalize the proper names of nationalities, peoples, race, tribes, etc.: Arab, American, Japanese, Jewish, Nordic, Sioux, etc. Lowercase black, white, etc. Do not use “colored.” See African-American, black and Hispanic.
NCAA is acceptable on first reference. Texas State is in Division I in all sports. The Bobcats play football in the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision.
The preferred term, rather than freshman orientation or transfer orientation, for these Texas State programs: New Student Orientation for freshmen or New Student Orientation for transfer students. Capitalize first letters of each word when referring to the specific Texas State event. Do not capitalize when talking about such events in a general sense: Many universities hold new student orientations.
Use as the abbreviation for “number” in conjunction with a figure to indicate position or rank: No. 1 choice.
No hyphen. The term applies to anyone who did not go directly from high school to Texas State. Nontraditional can apply to anyone who transferred from another school, went to a community college first or took time off, for example. Avoid use of this label unless it is essential to the clarity of the communication.
Always use St. David's School of Nursing. Part of the College of Health Professions.
Hyphenate when using as an adjective, but not as an adverb. Examples: I want to live off campus. The club will have an on-campus meeting.
Do not use “okay.”
This building was the first classroom building at Southwest Texas State Normal College.
Do not use “on” before a date or day of the week when its absence would not lead to confusion: New Student Orientation is July 16.
The headquarters for the Outdoor Recreation Program at Texas State. This center houses equipment rentals and reservations for University Camp and the Adventure Trip Program.
Acceptable in all uses to indicate greater numerical value.
Names of paintings should be italicized: The Monarch of the Hill Country by Clemente Guzman; Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
These are two different groups at Texas State. Double-check which one is correct when you encounter it in text.
Note spelling and capitalization. Located in the Performing Arts Center, which opened in February 2014.
A small, on-campus convenience store located near the Evans Liberal Arts building.
The Pedagog was the official yearbook of the university. It was the oldest tradition, and it recorded the first year of the school’s existence. In 1975, when most colleges and universities were phasing out their yearbooks, the university administration dropped the Pedagog. It was reinstated in 1984 then discontinued in 1999.
Capitalize in all references.
Opened in February 2014. Capitalize all three words. Contains the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre and the Recital Hall.
Texas State’s official literary magazine, sponsored by the Department of English. Capitalize and italicize its name.
The preferred form is to say a person holds a doctorate or doctoral degree and name the individual’s area of specialty. See academic degrees.
Lowercase with periods. Avoid the redundant 9 p.m. tonight or 10 a.m. in the morning.
To form the possessive of singular nouns, add ’s. To form the possessive of plural or proper nouns that end in "s," add only the apostrophe:
A few irregular plural nouns take ’s to form the possessive:
Never put an apostrophe in these pronouns that are already possessive: its, hers, yours, ours, whose.
The genitive case (indicating a possessor or source) also requires the ’s or s’ construction:
An attributive noun (a noun acting as an adjective modifying another noun) doesn’t require the ’s or s’:
Hyphenate when used with a word to mean after: post-game, post-graduate, post-election. Do not hyphenate with other uses: post office.
“Presently" means in a little while or soon. "Currently" means now. In most cases you don’t need to use currently. “We are revising the plan” is better than “We are currently revising the plan.”
Capitalize before a name: President Jane Smith. But lowercase elsewhere: Dr. Jane Smith, president of Texas State University; the president of the university. See academic titles.
The name of the official residence of the president of Texas State University. Capitalize both words.
Two words as a noun; hyphenated as a compound adjective: problem-solving skills.
See academic titles.
Try not to use program in place of major or department. Program often implies a separate administration or faculty. When describing a student’s activities, it may be best to use department, major or degree program rather than simply program.
Capitalize the word “program” only when part of a formal name. Following are the formal names of some Texas State programs:
For names of speakers or presenters listed on an event program, use the full name and title on first reference and the full name only in subsequent references.
The tree-lined mall near the center of the Texas State campus: Students often pass through the Quad on their way to class.
Periods and commas always go within the quotation marks; dashes, colons, semicolons and question marks go within the quotes when they apply to the quoted matter and outside when they apply to the whole sentence.
Use figures and hyphens: A 2-to-1 majority.
Not reknowned. “Renown” means well-known: He is a renowned expert in physics. There is no such word as reknowned.
The preferred term for on-campus university housing; avoid using dormitory or dorm.
The supervising body of Texas State residence halls. RHA is acceptable on second and subsequent references.
Not residence assistant. RA is acceptable on second and subsequent references. See titles.
Note the accent marks over the e’s. Follow these simple steps to replace the regular e’s with the proper symbols: In Microsoft Word, select Insert and then Symbol. Then choose Symbols and highlight the e with the correct accent mark. Select Insert. (Or search for "symbols" or "special characters" in your wordprocessing program's help index.)
This is Texas State’s wordmark; in running text, capitalize only Texas and do not enclose in quotation marks.
Use the following form when referring to rooms in buildings: Building, Room Number.
Example: Old Main, Room 102; Evans Liberal Arts building, Room 102.
The name was changed in 2012 to The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. Do not use River Systems Institute.
Formerly the Round Rock Higher Education Center. Capitalize all words of the formal name: Texas State Round Rock Campus. Use Round Rock Campus on second reference. Students at the Round Rock Campus can earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees and certificates in many subject areas. Located north of Austin in Round Rock, the campus opened in 2005.
A room in the End Zone Complex where meetings and special events are held.
Opened in fall 2010; located at the Texas State Round Rock Campus.
The springs are the headwaters of the San Marcos River. Texas State is the only campus in Texas on which a river begins and flows. The small dam below Saltgrass Steak House was built in 1849 by General Edward Burleson, one of the founders of San Marcos and a hero of the Texas Revolution, to power a gristmill. The springs are on the Balcones Fault Zone.
Don’t spell out the full name of this entrance examination, even on first reference. It is widely known. (This also applies to ACT, GMAT, GRE, etc.) Use Arabic numerals in constructions such as SAT-1. Use figures for ACT, SAT and similar test scores. Do not add commas to SAT or other scores that reach into the thousands: His SAT score was 1200. Her GRE composite score was 2070.
Lowercase fall, spring, summer and winter in all uses. For a semester, do not add “of”: fall 2006 semester, not fall of 2006 semester.
Capitalize only those words that are part of the full official name of a scholarship or fellowship. The word “scholarship” or “fellowship” may or may not be included in the name. Following are some examples of well-known scholarships and fellowships:
Names of Texas State scholarships include:
The official names of other university scholarships should be double-checked with the Financial Aid and Scholarships office or with the department, college or other entity that handles the scholarship program.
Several academic departments at Texas State carry the designation of “school.” Their names should be written as follows:
Lowercase “school” in other uses, such as graduate school.
Terms denoting student classification are lowercased and never abbreviated.
Not Sessoms (no “s” at the end) Drive or Street. See also addresses.
Originally Riverside Park, this park next to Strahan Coliseum was renamed in 1946 to honor mathematics professor S.M. Sewell. In 1916, Sewell led the campaign to clean the river and create the park.
Hyphenate when used as a noun or an adjective: sign-up sheet. Do not hyphenate when used as a verb: I’ll sign up tomorrow.
Use “since” to note a time element: He has been sick since Tuesday. Use “because” to note a cause-effect relationship: He went because he was told he would get extra credit for the class.
All one word. All lowercase unless used at the beginning of a sentence: Smartphones are becoming more and more common. Just about everyone has a smartphone.
See Bobcat Soccer Complex.
See Bobcat Softball Stadium.
Place in quotation marks. See also titles.
Terms denoting student classification are lowercased and never abbreviated.
Do not refer to sorority members as girls. Use "women" or "sorority members."
Do not capitalize.
In 1849 General Edward Burleson built a dam to power a gristmill, thus forming Spring Lake. Spring Lake is home to The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment.
San Marcos’ courthouse square. Students and San Marcos residents commonly refer to this area as “the Square,” so it is acceptable to capitalize it with a lowercase “the” preceding it. See capitalization.
Always use the full name. Part of the College of Health Professions.
One word when used as a noun or an adjective to describe a new business venture.
Spell out state names when standing alone or used in conjunction with a city, town, village or military base. If abbreviations are required for lists or tabular material, use the following AP Style abbreviations: Ala., Alaska, Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Hawaii, Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont. Neb., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., N.D., Ohio, Okla., Ore., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Texas, Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W. Va., Wis., Wyo.
Use the two-letter postal abbreviations only with full addresses, including ZIP code.
Place one comma between the city and the state name, and another comma after the state name, unless ending the sentence.
The university’s 7,200-seat gymnasium. The name is pronounced "Stran" (rhymes with "bran"). The gymnasium is named to honor Oscar W. Strahan, who was instrumental in the building of the university's first gym. He served as athletic director at Texas State for 42 years, from 1919 to 1961. He coached football, basketball, and track and field.
The proper spellings for names of streets adjacent to the Texas State University campus are provided below for your reference.
The name of the Texas State dance team.
Hyphenate this term.
SACA is acceptable on second and subsequent references.
Always spelled out, never an acronym or abbreviated. Capitalized before name: President John Smith. Otherwise in all lower case. The student body president is the elected representative of all students and chief executive officer of the Student Government.
Always spelled out, never an acronym or abbreviated. Capitalized before name: Vice President Jane Smith. Otherwise in all lower case. The student body vice president is an elected representative of all students and chair of the Student Senate and Graduate House.
Always spelled out, never an acronym or abbreviated. Student Government is the body comprised of Senators and Graduate Representatives elected or selected to represent the student body of Texas State University and provide the programs and services it finds important to students.
On second or subsequent reference, “health center” or “the center” is acceptable.
On second or subsequent reference, SLAC is acceptable. See also Supplemental Instruction below.
“SRC” is acceptable on second reference and subsequent references. In informal communications, “the rec center” is also acceptable on second reference.
The formal name of the body within Student Government made up of the elected representatives of all students at Texas State University.
Hyphenate when used as an adjective: a study-abroad program. Use as two words when it is a verb: She plans to study abroad.
Texas State Athletics is in NCAA Division I and a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
The name of the university's athletic logo featuring the Bobcat head.
A trademarked, copyrighted name for a tutoring program offered by the Student Learning Assistance Center. Both words must be capitalized.
The computer lab in McCoy Hall used by business students to experience real trading and investing. It was funded by a $1.5 million donation by alumnus T. Paul Bulmahn, chairman and president of ATP Oil & Gas Corp.
No apostrophe is needed in "teachers" in this usage because there is no possessive meaning.
Separate each series of numbers with a period: 555.555.5555. (This is a deviation from AP style.) Do not use “1” before long-distance or toll-free numbers: 800.555.5555.
This facility is home to Texas State's varsity women's tennis team and is located on Sessom Drive across from the J.C. Kellam Administration building.
TOEFL is acceptable on second reference.
Write out the full name of the center on first reference. Use TREC on subsequent references without "the" before the letters: TREC is a center that administers tests and maintains information on the credits by examinations, institutional and other examinations. In materials with a student audience, on first reference use "Testing Center (Testing, Research-Support, and Evaluation Center "TREC")" and then just "Testing Center" on subsequent references. When citing the center's location in an address or other listing, use "Commons Hall, First Floor."
A program that develops model programs, including summer math camps, to engage K-12 students in high-level mathematics.
Use Texas State University on first reference and either Texas State University or Texas State on subsequent references (one or the other used consistently within your document). Never use TSU.
See Board of Regents.
Capitalize only Thanksgiving.
“That” is used to introduce an essential clause (one that cannot be eliminated without changing the meaning): This is the restaurant that I told you about. Use “which” to introduce a nonessential clause: We ate at the new restaurant, which had received a good review in the newspaper. An essential clause must not be set off from the rest of the sentence by commas; a nonessential clause must.
Use “that” when referring to inanimate objects or animals. Use “who” when referring to people.
Either spelling is acceptable, but use of one or the other should be consistent throughout your document or suite of documents. In formal names, take care to use the spelling used by the entity: Texas State’s Department of Theatre and Dance; the Glade Theatre; Theatre Center; but LBJ Student Center Teaching Theater and Alkek Teaching Theater.
This building, easily recognized for its drum shape, is located on Moon Street. It houses several classrooms, lecture/recital teaching theatres, a studio theatre, a full costume and scene shop, and a main theatre.
a.m. and p.m. are used lowercase with periods in both lists and sentences. Do not use :00 for times on the hour. Examples: 5 p.m. or 5:30 a.m. To avoid confusion, use noon and midnight instead of 12 p.m. and 12 a.m. Do not use 12 noon or 12 midnight. See also a.m., p.m.
TOEFL is acceptable on second reference for the Test of English as a Foreign Language.
Texas State University’s College of Education developed the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award to honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience. The award was established in 1995 and was named in honor of Dr. Tomás Rivera, a distinguished alumnus of Texas State University.
No final “s” is needed.
Texas State Intensive English language program. Spell out on first reference and use TSIE on second and subsequent references.
Use “Texas resident” or “nonresident” to describe these types of tuition rates at Texas State.
Use “under” only use when referring to spatial relations: The cat was under the table. Use “less than” for quantities: The meeting took less than 30 minutes.
Always two words.
This is not a synonym for unusual. It means one of a kind. Something cannot be “more unique” or “most unique.”
The abbreviation U.S. is acceptable as a noun or adjective for United States.
The preferred guideline for Texas State communications such as periodicals, websites, brochures and other marketing materials, including advertisements, posters, direct mail pieces, etc., is to lowercase “university” when used alone and capitalize it only when used as part of a proper name: Texas State University, Harvard University; Texas State is a great university. However, in some more formal contexts, capitalizing the word “University” when it stands alone but refers specifically to Texas State University is acceptable: Texas State University was founded in 1899. The University opened its doors in 1903.
A 126-acre recreation area on the Blanco River near Wimberley. It was a gift from Sallie Beretta, who was once a regent for the university.
UPD is acceptable on second reference.
The official student newspaper of Texas State.
See http://. If you bold or italicize the URLs in your document, be consistent.
Unveiled in 2013 outside Old Main. Bill and Sally Wittliff donated the 18-foot statue to celebrate Texas and Mexico's shared cowboy heritage. Capitalize Vaquero when used as the name of the statue. Lowercase vaquero when referring to a Mexican cowboy.
Do not hyphenate. Capitalize before a name: Vice President Ann Johnson. Lowercase after a name: Bill Smith, vice president for Student Affairs. See titles.
See Jim Wacker Field.
Lowercase web, the short form of World Wide Web, a proper noun. The web is a subset, not a synonym for, the internet.
Don't use "http://" or "www" with web addresses unless it is required for the URL to work. See http://.
Lowercase and one word. Also, webcam, webcast, webmaster are lowercased and one word.
Use figures and spell out the unit of measurement: The baby weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces. She had a 6-pound, 13-ounce baby.
The balcony on the second floor of the End Zone Complex at Bobcat Stadium.
Capitalize. This part of the Texas State campus was the San Marcos Baptist Academy until 1979 when the university purchased the land and buildings.
Formal name is Jerry D. and Linda Gregg Fields Bobcat Stadium West Side Complex. Use West Side Complex on second reference.
“Who’s” is the contraction for “who is”: Who’s there? “Whose” is possessive: Whose book is that?
Do not capitalize.
The Southwestern Writers Collection, the Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection and the Lonesome Dove Collection are known collectively as the Wittliff Collections. Whenever possible, refer to the Wittliff Collections as a whole. Use a plural verb with "the Wittliff Collections" and a singular verb when referring to the institution as "the Wittliff." Always use "the Wittliff Collections" as the first reference in text.
Don’t include "www" in a Web address unless it is required for the URL to work.
Not ya’ll; it’s abbreviating you all, not ya all. Use only in a direct quote.
ZIP stands for Zoning Improvement Plan, so it is always all caps. The word “code” should always be lowercased. Do not place a comma between the state name and the ZIP code.