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UW-Platteville Publications Style Sheet

The UW-Platteville Publications Style is used in all publications across campus (that are non-news communications). This editorial style guide helps campus communicate effectively and consistently.

The style guide is based largely on the Associated Press Stylebook, 2016. However, there are several exceptions. Please note the following UW-Platteville Publications Style entries that are exceptions to the Associated Press Stylebook.

In all other instances outside of these exceptions, University Communications will defer to the following:

  • Associated Press Stylebook, 2016
  • The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition

UW-Platteville Publications Style Guide Exceptions to Associated Press Stylebook

Typically, DO NOT follow the first spelled-out reference with an acronym or abbreviation in parenthesis. However, if it is not a commonly used acronym, and listing it in parenthesis would bring clarity for the reader, an exception can be made. Consider the audience when making this decision.

Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in lists (serial comma)

Composition Titles
For books, movies, articles, and titles of computer games, theatrical performances, magazines, journals, songs, poems, and works of art:
-Put the name of a standalone work in italics.
Grease, the movie and play – in italics
Beowulf – in italics
The American Medical Journal – in italics
Time Magazine – in italics
Wisconsin State Journal – in italics
The Simpsons – in italics
Swan Lake – in italics; ballets, oratorios, operettas, operas, and musicals are also set in italics.
Rodin’s The Kiss – work in italics; paintings, sculptures, and other works of art are often set in italics, unless identified as part of a formal collection.

-Names of works within other works should be identified with quotation marks.
The song “Grease,” as seen in the movie Grease.
The scholarly article “Methodologies of academia” as seen in Academia Today.
The episode “Tales from the Public Domain” of The Simpsons aired March 17, 2002.

For marketing material, such as posters, invitations, and postcards, as well as the covers of programs, formatting of dates can vary from Associated Press style. The standard is to abbreviate the month if it is associated with a specific date, and to not list the current year, however exceptions can be made to both of these rules on the above-listed materials.

En and Em Dashes
En dashes (–) are used to convey ranges of values or connections and are substitutes for words such as to or through.
Leave no spaces before or after the en dash. The en dash also joins two-word proper nouns or already hyphenated words.

Don’t use the en dash for times or numeric designations, like aircraft (DC-10) or highways (I-94). Do not use the en dash for rations; instead use 10:1 or 10-to-1 ratio.

En dash examples:
The New York–London flight; Thursday–Sunday; May–June; the North Dakota–South Dakota coalition; non-European–non-Asian population; 2–3 p.m. 2014–15 academic year.

Em dashes (—), also simply called dashes, denote an abrupt change. Use these dashes to attribute quotes, interject thoughts, and within datelines. Leave no spaces on either side of the em dash.

The faculty—recently given paper clips—started organizing everything.

Job Titles and Names
Capitalize and spell out job titles on first reference.
Chancellor Dennis J. Shields
Dean Elizabeth Throop, Ph.D.
Chemistry Department Chair John Smith, Ph.D.
Dr. Brian May, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Dr. Tabitha Gilman, Assistant Professor of American history
Jim Johnson, Resident Assistant and student

​Note: Only capitalize a job title if it is the person’s current job.
He is an Associate Professor in the chemistry department. Previously he worked for 10 years as a project manager.

On second reference, names should be appropriate for the intended audience of the publication. If a publication is intended for only internal colleagues, perhaps first name is appropriate. If it is external audience, always use last name on subsequent references.

Exception: on second reference, always use Chancellor Shields

If someone has a Ph.D., use either Dr. or Ph.D. on first reference. Do not repeat “Dr.” with name on subsequent references.

Lowercase and spell out titles when not used with an individual’s name—even if referencing a specific person.
The provost provided a list of students; the professor taught a class; the chancellor will speak today at noon.

Phone Numbers
Phone numbers in publications should use dots to separate all portions of the phone number. In this example, dots separate the area code, the exchange, and the subscriber number.
Correct: 608.342.1194
Incorrect: (608) 342.1194

Quick Reference Guide

The following list is meant to be a quick reference for university communicators, and includes higher education- and UW-Platteville-specific terms that come up frequently in communications. For any entry not found here, consult the Associated Press Stylebook, 2016

academic degrees
Do not abbreviate degrees (for example, B.A., B.S., etc.) with the EXCEPTION of Ph.D.
When writing out the full name of a degree, capitalize it.
Examples: Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Science; Master of Science

When the full name is not written out, it is not capitalized.
Examples: associate degree; bachelor’s degree; master’s degree

Likewise, the academic area in which the degree pertains to is only capitalized if the full name of the degree is written out.

He received his Master of Science in Education from UW-Platteville.
He received his master’s degree in education from UW-Platteville.

alumna (singular, female)
alumnus (singular, male) alumnae (plural, female)
alumni (plural male or mixed group)
If the publication is intended for an alumni audience only, identify the alumni by using the last two digits of the graduation year. (Use the backward facing single apostrophe (’) instead of the forward-facing apostrophe (‘) to form a contraction with the graduation year.)
Example: Jane Doe ’99 lives in New York.

If the publication is not intended for only alumni audiences, identify an alumni as follows:
Example: Jane Doe, a 1999 UW-Platteville alumna, now lives in New York.

colleges, UW-Platteville
Spell out on first reference; abbreviate after first reference.

College of Biology, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture
Abbreviation: College of BILSA

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science
Abbreviation: College of EMS

College of Liberal Arts and Education
Abbreviation: College of LAE

Not capitalized

Not capitalized

day care
Two words

dean's list
Lowercase in all uses; example: She made the College of LAE dean's list.

department/unit/office names
Department names are capitalized when the full, proper name is written out as such:
The Department of Chemistry is holding a reunion during Homecoming.
The UW-Platteville Department of Chemistry is holding a reunion during Homecoming.

Department names are not capitalized when referred to generally, not using the proper name.
For example: The chemistry department at UW-Platteville is holding a reunion during Homecoming.

The word “Office” is only capitalized if it precedes the office’s name.
The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs sponsored the event.
The Multicultural Student Affairs office sponsored the event.

Take note of departments/offices/divisions that do not have “Department” or “Office” as part of their proper name and are therefore still capitalized. Examples include:

Dining Services
Residence Life

Always capitalize when referring to UW-Platteville's Homecoming.


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