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Writing Guidelines

​​​​​These guidelines are based on The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook used by journalists throughout the world and are supported as a secondary source by Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition. They are intended to help DePaul faculty and staff prepare copy for university publications and resolve basic questions about style. They are not inflexible rules, but rather an aid for faculty and staff responsible for publishing university materials. Please share them with outside vendors contracted to produce publications for DePaul to ensure consistency of style.

Copy to be used for newspapers, magazines and newsletters, in general, should follow AP style closely. However, the diverse types of university publications, their divergent audiences and differing purposes may require broader interpretation of the guide. As a general rule, down-styling—using lowercase except in cases where uppercase is clearly called for—is the preferred style. These guidelines are not recommended for use in publication of academic papers, for which the Modern Language Association, American Psychological Association or Chicago Manual of Style may be more appropriate references. Many interpretations in this guide involve the degree of capitalization and abbreviation maintained throughout a publication. Some publications that may require broader interpretation are:

  • Formal and ceremonial special event invitations and programs, which may require greater use of capitalization and, in some cases, no abbreviations.
  • Advertisements and promotional brochures, which need to make quick, favorable impressions to communicate the importance of programs, offices or individuals. In these venues, more frequent use of capitalization and fewer abbreviations may be desired.
  • Forms and applications, which often make greater use of capitalization. The editorial style of such publications often is dictated by their functional requirements.