Brand > Brand Standards > Writing Guidelines > Editorial Style Guide
abbreviations and acronyms
Use the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses after the first reference is spelled out: Community-based Service Learning (CbSL), College of Science and Health (CSH). In subsequent references, use the abbreviation or acronym alone. Do not put an abbreviation in parentheses after a first reference if the abbreviation is never mentioned again.
With dates or numerals, use the following: A.D., B.C., a.m. and p.m. Abbreviate the following months: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec., when used with a specific date: Jan. 1, 2017. Spell out all other months when used with a specific date or alone.
Abbreviate states when used with the name of a town or city: South Bend, Ind. The AP abbreviation for Illinois is Ill. It is not necessary to include the state abbreviation with Chicago. Abbreviate all states except Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. Use two-letter Postal Service abbreviations only with full addresses, including the ZIP code.
Capitalize degrees when they are spelled out: Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts. The area of study is generally lowercase, unless the area is part of the official degree title: Bachelor of Arts in history, Master of Public Health, Bachelor of Music, Master of Fine Arts. Use the apostrophe and lowercase when using descriptive terms: bachelor's degree, master's degree in sociology. The exception is associate degree (no possessive).
If abbreviating, do not use periods for degrees and professional designations: BA, BSC, EdD, JD, MBA, MD, MFA, MS, MSW, PhD, CPA.
When the abbreviation follows the name, it should be set off with commas. Sally Smith, PhD. It is assumed that most professors have a terminal degree, so, generally, it is unnecessary to cite it. In general, do not use Dr., except for those with medical degrees. See also president of DePaul University.
Capitalize the formal name of academic departments: Department of Sociology. Lowercase informal references, unless they include proper nouns or adjectives: geology department, English department.
Capitalize and spell out such titles as professor, provost, dean, vice president, etc., when they precede a name: Associate Professor John Smith. Lowercase the title when it follows the name: John Smith, associate professor of chemistry.
Named and endowed professorships and chairs are capitalized in all cases: Vincent de Paul Professor, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Chair, George L. Ruff Professor in Real Estate Studies.
Abbreviate Ave., St. and Blvd., when used with a numbered address: 2400 N. Sheffield Ave. All other designations, such as Drive, Road and Circle, are spelled out. Spell out and capitalize when naming the street with no number: Fullerton Avenue, Jackson Boulevard. Lowercase the words street, avenue, etc., when used alone or with more than one street name: the corner of Fullerton and Sheffield avenues.
Alumnus is male; alumni is plural. Alumna is female; alumnae is plural. Use alumni for mixed-gender groups. A Double Demon (note capitalization) refers to an alumnus or alumna with two degrees from DePaul. For cases in which alumni are identified by college and graduation year, use the following format, noting the direction of the apostrophe: John Smith (LAS ’06); Jane Doe (CSH MS ’06, PhD ’08)
BIG EAST Conference
DePaul competes in the BIG EAST Conference. BIG EAST is acceptable on second reference.
Capitalize the word campus when used with the full campus name, but not when used alone or referring to multiple campuses: Lincoln Park Campus, the campus, the Lincoln Park and Loop campuses.
DePaul style is based on the AP Stylebook, and, generally, we avoid unnecessary capitalization. This applies to things such as boards of directors, board of trustees (Three leaders have joined DePaul’s board of trustees), and titles that follow names. See other entries for additional guidance.
centers and institutes
Capitalize the full names of centers and institutes: Center for Latino Research, International Human Rights Law Institute. Lowercase when used in general reference or informally: the center, the institute.
colleges and schools
Capitalize the names of colleges and schools when using their full names: College of Communication, The Theatre School. Lowercase when used in general reference or informally: the school, the college.
DePaul’s colleges are the Driehaus College of Business (BUS), College of Communication (CMN), College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM), College of Education, College of Law (LAW), and College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (LAS) and College of Science and Health (CSH).
DePaul’s schools are the School of Music (SOM), School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) and The Theatre School (THE). Note: "The" is capitalized in the latter reference, and the school and the Merle Reskin Theatre use the “re” variant spelling for theatre. The Kellstadt Graduate School of Business (KGSB), the School of Accountancy and Management Information Systems, and the School of Hospitality Leadership (SHL) are part of the Driehaus College of Business. The School of Public Service (SPS) is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The School of Computing (SoC), the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) and the School of Design (SoD) are part of the College of Computing and Digital Media. The School of Nursing is housed in the College of Science and Health.
The Congregation of the Mission is the religious community that founded DePaul. Use only after the full name of a Vincentian fathers and brothers and set off with commas: The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., is DePaul’s chancellor.
Use quotation marks around the titles of books, plays, poems, songs, television shows, movies, operas, works of art, as well as titles of lectures, speeches, book chapters and magazine or journal articles. Do not use quotation marks or italics with titles of newspapers, journals and magazines: the Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, DePaul Magazine.
Do not use quotation marks with descriptive or “generic” titles of musical works: Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. However, use quotation marks for non-musical terms in a title or if the work has a special full title: the “Jupiter” Symphony, “Rhapsody in Blue.”
Capitalize the initial letters of such works, including the articles a, an and the, if an article is the first word of the title. Capitalize prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters in titles.
computer and internet terms
Internet and intranet are lowercase. World Wide Web is capitalized, however the web, webpage, website, webcast, webcam and webmaster are lowercase. When citing web addresses, there is no need to include http://, simply begin with www.address.edu or address.com.
Names of most websites and apps are capitalized without quotes: Facebook, Foursquare. However, “Angry Birds” and similar computer game apps are in quotes.
Capitalize official course names: Modern Poetry, Urban Sociology.
Note the capital L for CDM’s online learning environment
Spell out DePaul as one word, capitalizing the D and P. Do not insert a space. Do not capitalize university except when used in full: DePaul University is located in Chicago. The university has 10 colleges and schools. Do not print DePaul in all lowercase letters unless you are referring to www.depaul.edu. When using all caps, use a small cap for the e: DEPAUL
Depaul USA and Depaul International
Note the lowercase 'p' in the names of these two organizations. Depaul USA is part of Depaul International, parent of the Depaul Group, a worldwide family of charities working with people who are homeless. The Institute of Global Homelessness, housed at DePaul University, is a partnership between the university and Depaul International.
Capitalize division names: Student Affairs, Information Services, and Enrollment Management.
No hyphen is needed for email, but use a hyphen with other e- terms: e-commerce, e-business, e-book, e-shopping. These can be capitalized if used as part of a proper name: The students enrolled in the course Survey of Ecommerce Technology.
Two words without a hyphen in all uses: a career in health care, health care provider.
According to the Chicago Transit Authority, the CTA’s train system is called the ‘L’—short for “elevated.” Note capitalization and punctuation.
login, logoff, logon
The terms login, logon and logoff are one word when used as nouns and adjectives. However, use as two words in verb form: I log in to my computer.
NCAA is acceptable on first reference for the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
numbers and numerals
Lowercase and spell out numbers and their derivatives from one to nine and use figures for 10 and above: three hours, first anniversary, 21st century, 30 years. Use figures when giving a person’s age: Jane Smith, 35, and her son, 5; or when using percent, which is always spelled out: 5 percent. Use figures for millions, billions and trillions: a $5 million budget.
Add ’s for plural nouns not ending in s: the children’s toys. When a plural noun ends in s, add only the apostrophe: the students’ grades, the Joneses’ gift. When a noun is plural in form but singular in meaning, add only the apostrophe: the mumps’ symptoms. Use only the apostrophe with proper names ending in s: Jesus’ life. For singular common nouns ending in s, add ’s unless the next word begins with s: the witness’s answer, the witness’ story.
president of DePaul University
For DePaul publications, on first reference, use A. Gabriel Esteban, PhD, President A. Gabriel Esteban, PhD, or DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban, PhD. On subsequent references: Dr. Esteban.
Lowercase: spring quarter
radio and television
Use call letters in all caps and hyphens to separate the type of station from the base call letters followed by the channel or frequency in parentheses: WBBM-TV (Channel 2), WBBM-AM (780). Use the network name when describing affiliation of network shows: NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV (Channel 5), NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Put titles of shows and episodes in quotation marks and the word show only if it is part of the formal name: “Good Day DePaul,” the “Today” show, “The Tonight Show,” “Flowers for Your Grave” from ABC’s “Castle.”
Use the Rev. before the name of a priest in the first reference: the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M. In subsequent references, abbreviate Father as Fr. and use his last name: Fr. Holtschneider. The Congregation of the Mission is the religious community that founded DePaul. Vincentian fathers and brothers use the designation C.M. set off by commas following their last names. Use Bro. before the name of a brother: Bro. Mark Elder, C.M. Capitalize deacon when used as a formal title before a name; lowercase in other uses: Deacon John Jones. Use Sister before a name and include religious order affiliation on first reference: Sister Agnes Rita Malone, D.C. On subsequent references, use Sister but follow her preference in using her first or last name after the title: Sister Agnes Rita or Sister Malone.
The full title of DePaul's strategic plan is "Grounded in Mission: The Plan for DePaul 2024." In subsequent references: Grounded in Mission.
St. Vincent de Paul
The spelling of the university’s patron is St. Vincent de Paul, with a lowercase “de” and a space between the “de” and the “P.” Similarly, it’s St. Vincent de Paul Church and Vincent de Paul Professor.
To express the five-digit university telephone extensions, use ext. 2-8000 for publications distributed only within the university, or the full number (312) 362-8000 for publications distributed outside the university.
Use theatre in all DePaul publications. This is an exception to The Associated Press Stylebook: Theatre students and alumni gathered on opening night at the Merle Reskin Theatre. His storied theatre career started when he was 9 years old.
Use theater when it is part of the proper name of a performing arts company or venue: Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Lowercase the word university unless using the full name: The university has 10 colleges and schools. DePaul University is located in Chicago.
Generally a closed compound (no hyphen) unless the base word is three or more syllables: campuswide, citywide, statewide, but university-wide