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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)
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 Emerita of Art, gave the lecture. Named/endowed professorships, deanships, and the like should be listed before other titles in signature lines and biographies. 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). 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 (vol.'s). See the Chicago Manual of Style for more on the appropriate use of acronyms.
stands for anno Domini, Latin for in the year of the Lord; do not use periods; AD precedes the year; see also CMS 9.34 and 10.38
In running text, use numerals and figures for numbered addresses (123 Main Street) and spell out the words Street, Avenue, Place, Boulevard, etc. (except for news releases or copy for Inside UW–Madison, in which such words are abbreviated when using numbered addresses according to AP Style). Abbreviate directions in street names: single-letter directions take a period (N. Main Street, E. Washington Avenue); two-letter abbreviations take no periods (NW Maple Street, Seventh Avenue, SE). Include the complete campus street addresses only when publicizing an off-campus event and for publications intended for off-campus audiences. Separate the street address, phone, web address, and the like with a semicolon and use one space between the 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;; 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 the formal office name
advisor, adviser
Use advisor for materials produced for admissions, academic advising, housing, and registrar offices. 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
no hyphen for noun or adjective usages, but hyphenate nouns and adjectives (AP style) for newswriting: African-American; in all instances, capitalize Black when referring to Black people.
Agricultural Hall
not Agriculture Hall
air force
see CMS 8.112
not Al-Qaida
all of a sudden
not all of the sudden
All Ways Forward
the name of the current comprehensive campaign
always hyphenated; all is always lowercase unless it refers to the Associated Press–chosen All-American football or basketball team.
All-Campus Party (ACP)
a week of free, alcohol-alternative events for students, hosted by the Wisconsin Alumni Student Board (WASB)
use this term only in informal contexts; see also alumnus, alumna, alumni, alumnae
Alumni Campus Abroad (ACA), Alumni College Abroad, Alumni College Aboard
AHI (Alumni Holidays, Inc.) runs the Alumni Campus Abroad travel program, which includes Alumni College Abroad (on land) and Alumni College Aboard (at sea)
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 WFAA operations
Alumni Park
the new park and green space between One Alumni Place and the Memorial Union Terrace; opened in October 2017; capitalize these areas of the park: Badger Pride Wall, Alumni Way, Progress Point, The Lantern; do not capitalize these areas of the park: the fountain, welcome plaza, areas of distinction, Bucky Badger sculpture (its title is Well Red), outdoor classroom; the park's website is
alumni travel
lowercase for generic references to this segment of WAA operations, but use WFAA Travel when referring to the department
lowercase, one word
alumnus, alumna, alumni, alumnae
Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a person who identifies as a man who has graduated from a school. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a person who identifies as a woman. Use alumni when referring to groups that include both men and women. In very informal usages, alum is an acceptable alternative. These terms can also be used for people who attended a school 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 8.38
American Players Theatre (APT)
not Theater
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, e.g., 2019 Annual Campaign (uppercase)
annual fund
lowercase unless it’s part of a proper name such as the School of Nursing Annual Fund
see names in appositive form
Arboretum, the
uppercase when referring to the UW Arboretum; lowercase with generic references to arboretums
see CMS 8.112
artist-in-residence, artists-in-residence
Asian American
no hyphen for noun or adjective usages, but hyphenate nouns and adjectives (AP style) for newswriting: Asian-American
associate degree
not associate’s degree
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.
athletics scores
see scores
athletics teams
use UW instead of UW–Madison on second reference when referring to athletics teams
awards, prizes
uppercase Award or Prize when referring to a specific award (Sparkplug Award), but lowercase when generic (the award); see also CMS 8.83
with a final e in reference to the Badgers’ football rivalry with Minnesota for Paul Bunyan’s Axe