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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Browse the editorial styleguide A–Z

a while, awhile
generally a preposition (typically for, after, or in) precedes a while, but awhile stands alone.
a.m.; p.m.
lowercase with periods (also see times)
abbreviations
In general, avoid abbreviations in running text. The ampersand (&) is not a substitute for and. Use abbreviations and the ampersand only when part of official names. If the name of the abbreviation may be unknown to some readers, use the full name on first reference. See individual entries for usage for specific abbreviations.
academic degrees
see degrees
academic departments
see departments
academic titles
Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as professor, dean, president, chancellor, professor emeritus, and chair when they precede a name: Chancellor John Doe, Professor Jane Doe, Dean John Smith; but John Doe, chancellor; John Smith, dean; or Jane Doe, professor. Lowercase modifiers: music professor Jane Doe, department chair Jane Doe, or Jane Doe, professor of music. Capitalize formal titles of named professorships on all references: Jane Doe has been named the Bascom Professor of Art; Jane Doe, Bascom Professor of Art, received the award; Jane Doe, Bascom Professor Emeritus of Art, gave the lecture. See also titles of people.
acronyms and initialisms
Although we refer to campus units by acronyms in speech and internal publications (such as DoIT for the Division of Information Technology), acronyms should not be used exclusively except for those commonly used both inside and outside the university community (NASA, FBI). If an acronym must be used, to eliminate confusion when using lesser-known acronyms, spell out the full name on the first mention, with the acronym in parentheses following. Acronyms are made plural by adding an s if there are no periods in the acronym (IOUs) and adding ’s if there are periods in the acronym (Ph.D.'s). See the Chicago Manual for more on the appropriate use of acronyms.
AD
stands for anno Domini, Latin for in the year of the Lord; do not use periods; AD precedes the year; See also CMS 9.35.
addresses
In running text, use figures for numbered addresses (123 Main Street) and spell out the words street, avenue, place, boulevard, etc. (except for news communication, in which such words are abbreviated when using numbered addresses). Include campus street addresses only for publicizing an off-campus event and for publications intended for off-campus audiences. Separate street address, phone, web address, etc., with a semicolon, one space between state abbreviation and zip code: Department of Economics, 7470 Social Science Building, 1180 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-263-2989; fax 608-262-0000; economics@mail.admin.wisc.edu; www.wisc.edu/economics/. Refer to AP styles for use of addresses in news releases or copy for Inside UW–Madison. Use the complete mailing address when the information is intended for an off-campus audience. Include area codes for telephone and fax numbers when the audience is off campus.
admissions; admissions office; Office of Admissions and Recruitment
lowercase unless referring to formal office name
advisor, adviser
Use advisor for admissions, academic advising, and housing materials. Use adviser for all other uses. It is most important to be consistent within a single publication or family of publications.
affiliate group
Groups that were created by the Wisconsin Alumni Association and remain affiliated with the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.
African American (n. and adj.)
no hyphen for noun or adjective usages, but hyphenate nouns and adjectives (AP style) for newswriting: African-American
Agricultural Hall
not Agriculture Hall
air force
see CMS 8.111
Al-Qaeda
not Al-Qaida
all of a sudden
not all of the sudden
All Ways Forward
the name of the current comprehensive campaign
all-American
always hyphenated; all is always lowercase unless it refers to the Associated Press–chosen All-American football or basketball team.
alum
Use this term only in informal contexts; See also alumnus, alumna, alumni, alumnae.
alumni association
lowercase with generic references to the Wisconsin Alumni Association and other alumni associations
alumni center
see Martin and Florence Below Alumni Center, the
alumni chapters/clubs
Never use club, even though some Wisconsin Alumni Association alumni chapters refer to themselves that way; terms such as group or alumni community are acceptable to provide variety. Use alumni chapter as a generic reference, and use, e.g., Seattle alumni chapter or Seattle chapter as a quasi-generic reference. For specific references, use the WAA reference first (written out or abbreviated as WAA), then a colon, then the capitalized word Chapter, as in Wisconsin Alumni Association: Fox Valley Chapter; WAA: Fox Valley Chapter; Wisconsin Alumni Association: Big Apple Badgers Chapter; WAA: Motor City Badgers Chapter.
alumni directory
lowercase when referring to the online directory
Alumni For Wisconsin (A4W)
capital F on For
alumni learning
lowercase for this segment of WAA operations
Alumni Park
the new park and green space between One Alumni Place and the Memorial Union Terrace; to be completed in 2017
alumni travel
lowercase for generic references to this segment of WAA operations, but use WAA Travel when referring to the department
alumnihood
one word, no hyphen
alumnus, alumna, alumni, alumnae
Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a woman. Use alumni when referring to groups that include both men and women. In most informal uses, alum is an acceptable alternative. These terms can also be used for people who attended the university, but did not graduate.
American Indian
uppercase both words; no hyphen when used as a noun or adjective; where possible, use the name of the tribe; see also CMS 8.37
American Indian Advisory Council (AIAC)
American Players Theatre (APT)
not Theater
ampersand
the ampersand (&) is not a substitute for and; use it only when an entity includes it as part of its official name
Annual Campaign
refer to this as the University of Wisconsin–Madison Annual Campaign, with initial caps, on first reference; UW–Madison Annual Campaign is also acceptable. Use Annual Campaign (uppercase) on second reference. A generic reference with the year would be 2016 Annual Campaign (uppercase).
appositives
see names in appositive form
Arboretum, the
uppercase when referring to the UW Arboretum; lowercase with generic references to arboretums
army
see CMS 8.111
artist-in-residence, artists-in-residence
hyphenate
Asian American (n. and adj.)
no hyphen for noun or adjective usages, but hyphenate nouns and adjectives (AP style) for newswriting: Asian-American
associate degree
not associate’s degree
athletic scores
see scores
athletic teams
Use UW instead of UW–Madison on second reference when referring to athletic teams.
athletics department
In formal references, use UW Department of Athletics or Department of Athletics; in informal references or on second reference, use athletics department (with an s on athletics); as a generic description of the sports program in general, UW athletics is acceptable.
awards, prizes
uppercase Award or Prize when referring to a specific award (Sparkplug Award), but lowercase when generic (the award); see also CMS 8.82
Axe
with a final e in reference to the Badgers’ football rivalry with Minnesota for Paul Bunyan’s Axe