Editorial Style Guide
About this style guide
Which is it: Bay Area or bay area? U.C. Davis or UC Davis? e-mail, E-mail or email? And what about those commas in a series—should you put one before the “and”? And does it matter?
Answers to those style questions, and more, can be found in this guide. And yes, style matters!
Consistency in style helps readers concentrate on the content without being distracted by variations in spelling and punctuation. That helps writers communicate better. And it makes editors’ jobs a little easier—they don’t have to reinvent a rule every time a new publication (or a new writer) comes along.
Adhering to an agreed-upon style also benefits the university—giving each campus publication a “voice” that harmonizes with those from other departments, schools and colleges.
This style guide serves as a supplement to two principal, widely circulated style guides, The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law and The Chicago Manual of Style. In general, the guide looks to AP for guidance in word usage, spelling, grammar, capitalization and use of corporate names and trademarks, while the Chicago Manual serves as a reference for academic and professional titles, word breaks and most punctuation (a notable exception is the use of the comma in a simple series before the word “and,” which Chicago espouses and this guide does not). This guide also incorporates a number of style rules from “Writing About Music: A Style Sheet from the Editors of 19th-Century Music” by UC Davis music professor D. Kern Holoman.
The dictionary of record for University Communications is Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. It should be consulted for spelling and hyphenation and is the final authority on word breaks.
Audience composition, ease in usage and consistency were the factors that determined which style to follow.
For questions or comments, contact:
Style Guide Editor: Kathleen Holder (530) 752-9607, email@example.com
Director of Campus Communications and Strategic Initiatives: Mitchel Benson (530) 752-9844, firstname.lastname@example.org
Key to entries
This style guide is organized alphabetically. Here is a typical entry and accompanying explanation.
names. In general, follow Chicago Manual of Style guidelines unless otherwise indicated.
CAMPUS DEPARTMENTS AND UNITS. Capitalize formal names (an exception to AP style) and lowercase informal references: Department of History; history department; but do say English department. For proper names of academic departments consult the UC Davis General Catalog; for names of non-academic departments and units check listings in the “campus departments” and “UCDMC” sections of the campus telephone directory. Also see Chicago 8.73.
MAJORS. See the separate academic majors entry.
Entries, in bold red type, indicate lower case or capitalization as appropriate.
Some entries include one or more subordinate headings, in CAPS.
Examples of correct and incorrect usage are shown in bold blue type.
Body text explains usage. Sources cited are shown in italics.
Some references to the Chicago Manual of Style include chapter and paragraph numbers. (Referrals to Associated Press Stylebook subject headings are listed within quotation marks.)