Wayne State University

Style guide

The Wayne State University style guide below sets standards for words, phrases and information frequently used in WSU communications. Consult the latest Associated Press Stylebook or Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) for style points not covered here.

Email christopher.williams@wayne.edu with questions or suggestions for additions to this guide.

A. Paul Schaap Chemistry Building and Lecture Hall

Academic/Administrative Building

The abbreviation A/AB may be used on subsequent references.

academic degrees

Do not list academic degrees after names.
Only individuals holding M.D.s should be referred to as doctor.
There is no need to use the word degree after bachelor'smaster's or doctorate.
In text, it is preferable to spell out the degree rather than use the acronym.

  • He earned his master's in 2005.

Use periods in academic degree acronyms. Popular acronyms include:

  • B.A. bachelor of arts
  • B.F.A. bachelor of fine arts
  • B.S. bachelor of science
  • B.S.N. bachelor of science in nursing
  • B.S.W. bachelor of social work
  • Ed.D. doctor of education
  • Ed.S. education specialist
  • J.D. juris doctor
  • LL.M. master of laws
  • M.A. master of arts
  • M.A.T. master of arts in teaching
  • M.B.A. master of business administration
  • M.D. doctor of medicine
  • M.Ed. master of education
  • M.F.A. master of fine arts
  • M.S. master of science
  • M.S.W. master of social work
  • Pharm.D. doctor of pharmacy
  • Ph.D. doctor of philosophy
  • RN (no periods) - registered nurse

Note: Use associate degree, not associate's. 

academic year

Hyphenate, dropping the repeated digits: 2011-12.

acronyms

Always spell out on first reference. Follow spelled-out version with abbreviation in parentheses only if acronym will be used in same document.

  • The College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts (CFPCA) offers programs for creative students. Musicians, dancers, actors and writers take classes through the CFPCA.

Adams Field


addresses

Spell out AvenueDriveStreet, etc.
Use traditional state abbreviations (e.g., Mich., Conn., N.H.) in running copy. No state is required with Detroit.

  • He was a resident of Royal Oak, Mich.
  • The package came from Detroit.

Use postal state abbreviations (e.g., MI, CT, NH) in full address blocks.

  • Marketing and Communications
    3100 Academic/Administrative Building
    5700 Cass Avenue
    Detroit, MI 48202

advisor

Although adviser was WSU style for many years, we've given in to the more popular spelling for the sake of consistency.

African American (n., adj.)

Contrary to current AP style, do not hyphenate.   

All-American (n.), All-America (adj.)


alumna, alumnus, alumnae, alumni

Alumna refers to a female graduate.
Alumnus refers to a male graduate.
Alumnae refers to a group of all female graduates.
Alumni refers to a group of mixed sex or all male graduates.

alumni designation

Designate alumni with abbreviated class year following name (no comma). Be sure the apostrophe is pointing in the correct direction (away from the number).

  • Peter Gibbons '67

For undergraduate degrees, school or college may be abbreviated before the year.

  • Mary Contrary, CFPCA '99

For graduate degrees, degree type may be included before the year.

  • John MacElder, Ph.D. '04

If an individual earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from WSU, use degree type (not school/college) before years.

  • Mary Contrary, B.A. '99, Ph.D. '05

a.m.


ampersand (&)

Always spell out and. Use the ampersand only if it is part of an organization's official name.

area codes

Do not put parentheses around area codes. Use hyphens, not periods

  • 313-577-8155

athletics

Use the following constructions to reference the Wayne State University Department of Athletics:

  • Department of Athletics
  • Athletic Department
  • WSU (or Wayne State) Athletics

Hyphenate school names when describing a game.

  • this Saturday's WSU-Findlay game

associate degree

Not associate's. 

auxiliaries

On first reference, include Wayne State University.

  • Wayne State University's Hilberry Theatre
  • The Hilberry Theatre at Wayne State University

Board of Governors

  • Sandra Hughes O'Brien, chair
  • David A. Nicholson, vice chair
  • Michael Busuito
  • Diane L. Dunaskiss
  • Mark Gaffney
  • Marilyn Kelly
  • Dana Thompson
  • Kim Trent
  • M. Roy Wilson, ex officio

boilerplates

  • EEO statement: Wayne State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
  • Disability statement: People with disabilities who need assistance to participate in this program should contact (insert department name and phone number).
  • General WSU boilerplate: Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.
  • Mike Ilitch School of Business: The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business prepares students for challenging and rewarding careers, advances the boundaries of scholarly and practitioner knowledge, and enhances the economic vitality of the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and beyond through its programs, research and community engagement. Established in 1946, the business school was renamed in 2015 in recognition of a $40 million gift from Mike and Marian Ilitch. Thanks to this lead investment, a new state-of-the-art building is slated to open in the heart of the District Detroit in 2018, and entrepreneurial programming and collaboration with city businesses are expanding. For more information, visit ilitchbusiness.wayne.edu 
  • Research: Wayne State University is one of the nation's preeminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit research.wayne.edu.
  • Research/Carnegie: Wayne State University is one of only three universities in Michigan to receive the Carnegie Classification of Institution of Higher Education's classification of doctoral university: highest research activity. 
  • Pharmacy: The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, one of the founding colleges of Wayne State University, is committed to advancing the health and well-being of society through the preparation of highly skilled health care practitioners, and through research to improve health care practices and treatment from urban to global arenas.

Bonstelle Theatre


bookstore

  • the Wayne State University Bookstore
  • the WSU Bookstore
  • Wayne State's bookstore
  • the bookstore

Carnegie classification

Wayne State has received the classification of doctoral university: highest research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Wayne State has also received Carnegie's Community Engagement classification.  


cellphone


centers and institutes

Refer to the official list: http://research.wayne.edu/ci/directory.php

City of Detroit

Capitalize City only when referring to the government entity.

College of Education

Dean: R. Douglas Whitman

College of Engineering

Dean: Farshad Fotouhi

College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

Dean: Matthew W. Seeger

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dean: Wayne M. Raskind

College of Nursing

Dean: Laurie M. Lauzon Clabo

commas

In a list, do not use a comma before the final item, unless that item contains a conjunction.

  • Our flag is red, white and blue.
  • The barbeque is sponsored by the Dean of Students Office, the Office of the President, and the Office of Special Events and Services.

CommunityEngagement@Wayne

course titles

Capitalize course titles. Do not use italics or quotation marks.

  • I signed up for Introduction to Microbiology.

credits

Do not use credit hours.

Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights


David Adamany Undergraduate Library

Undergraduate Library can be used on second reference.

deans

  • Jerrold Brandell, Social Work (interim) 
  • Lance Gable, Law School (interim)
  • Farshad Fotouhi, College of Engineering
  • Jerry Herron, Irvin D. Reid Honors College
  • Jack Sobel, School of Medicine 
  • Wayne M. Raskind, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Ambika Mathur, Graduate School 
  • Laurie M. Lauzon Clabo, College of Nursing
  • Matthew W. Seeger, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts
  • R. Douglas Whitman, College of Education
  • Robert Forsythe, Mike Ilitch School of Business
  • Jon E. Cawthorne, University Library System, including the School of Information Sciences
  • Deepak Bhalla, acting dean, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Note: Unless otherwise directed, we don't refer to interim deans as such in major external documents, only in internal communications. 

decades

Do not use an apostrophe before the s when referring to decades:

  • the 1960s
  • the '60s

(1960's refers to something belonging to the year 1960.)

departments

Capitalize official names of departments. Lowercase department when not part of the official name.

  • Department of History
  • history department
  • I joined the department in 1997.

Detroit

In running copy, Detroit can stand alone without denoting its location in Michigan.

do's and don'ts


Disability statement

People with disabilities who need assistance to participate in this program should contact (insert department name and phone number).

Divisions

WSU divisions include:

  • Development and Alumni Affairs
  • Government and Community Affairs
  • Research

doctors

Medical doctors are the only individuals with their degree listed following their name (e.g., Roberto Romero, M.D.). On second reference, the abbreviation Dr. may precede the name (e.g., Dr. Romero). Only M.D.s (not Ph.D.s) may take the title Dr. in publications.
Do not use both Dr. and M.D. in the same construction (Dr. Roberto Romero, M.D., is redundant).

drop/add

email

en route 

Equal Opportunity statement

Wayne State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Acting dean: Deepak Bhalla
Eugene Applebaum may be omitted on second reference.

ex officio

Italicize and place after a name following a comma.

  • M. Roy Wilson, ex officio

Facilities Planning and Management


faculty

Faculty is a collective noun referring to a group of faculty members and takes singular verbs.

  • The faculty has assembled.

When writing about an individual, use faculty member.

Faculty/Administration Building

The abbreviation F/AB may be used on subsequent references.


file name


flowchart


forms

Lowercase the names of forms:

  • registration form
  • transfer request form

freelance


Freshmen Quests

This is the official name of the program, however grammatically awkward it may appear.

fundraising, fundraiser

One word, no hyphen, in all cases.

Gold 'n' Greens

Please note: Both apostrophes around the n should curve toward Gold. They represent the missing letters in and

Gordon H. Scott Hall of Basic Medical Science

Scott Hall is acceptable on subsequent references.

grade point average (GPA)

It is fine to use GPA on first reference.

Graduate School

Dean: Ambika Mathur 
Capitalize when referring to WSU's official Graduate School.
The generic term is lowercased: He decided to go to graduate school.

Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC)

Most WSU teams belong to this conference. In contexts where the athletic emphasis is understood, use GLIAC.

green space


handheld (n.), hand-held (adj.)


headlines

If a quote is included in a headline, use single quote marks (not double).
Use numerals in all cases, even if less than 10 and even if it begins the headline.
Use sentence-style capitalization (i.e., do not capitalize every word). Present tense is always preferable to the infinitive in headlines.

  • 4 professors win service awards
  •  Wayne State hosts lecture by Thomas Friedman – not "to host"

health care

Unless it is part of a proper name, health care is always two words, even as an adjective (e.g., health care workers).

Henry Ford College (HFC)
 

Hilberry Theatre


home page


Honors WayneDirect


Inc.

Do not precede Inc. with a comma unless you know the source prefers it.

Integrative Biosciences Center

Abbreviate as IBio. 

internet


Irvin D. Reid Honors College

On second reference, the Honors College is acceptable.

John R


Jr.

Do not precede Jr. with a comma unless you know the source prefers it.

Kolkata

This is AP's preferred spelling of the Indian city Calcutta.

Labor@Wayne
 

Law School

Dean: Lance Gable (interim)
Always capitalize Law School when referring WSU's Law School. On second reference, Wayne Law is also acceptable.

lectern

Speakers stand on a podium and at a lectern.

letter grades

Do not italicize or place in quotation marks.

  • She earned three As and one B.

log off (v.)


log on (v.), log-on (n., adj.)


keyboard
 

Macomb Community College

On second use, Macomb is acceptable. Do not use MCC. 

Marvin I. Danto Engineering Development Center


master class


Matthaei Physical Education Center

Do not use Athletics Complex.

McGregor Memorial Conference Center

Use McGregor Center or the center on subsequent references. Do not use McGregor alone.

media

Media is the plural form of medium and should be used with plural verbs.

  • The media are attending the event.

metro Detroit


mid-Michigan

midnight

Never use 12 a.m.

Midtown, Midtown Detroit


Midwest
 

Mike Ilitch School of Business

Dean: Robert Forsythe

On first reference, Mike Ilitch School of Business, The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business and The Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University are acceptable. Ilitch School of Business or the Ilitch School are acceptable on subsequent reference. Do not use acronyms or abbreviations. 

money

Use $12, not $12.00. Use $12 million, not $12,000,000.

month

Abbreviate the month in dates.

  • Dec. 10, 2011

Use the full month name when it stands alone or with only a year.

  • My favorite month is October.
  • We met in December 2011.

Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center (RFC)

On second reference, the fitness center or the RFC are appropriate.

names

Use full name (first and last) on first reference. Use last name for subsequent references.

  • James H. Rigby is chair of the Department of Chemistry. Rigby's specialty is organic chemistry.

Use Jr., III, Sr., etc. only with the full name. Precede/follow with a comma only if the individual prefers it.

  • Edward Ewell Jr. is a member of the Alumni Board. Ewell is a circuit court judge.

Use middle initial only if the individual prefers it.
Do not follow names with degrees (e.g., Ph.D.), except for M.D.
If a nickname is used following a person's name, place it in quotation marks. Nicknames used in place of a first name do not need quotation marks.

  • Mandell "Bill" Berman
  • Bill Berman

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

In contexts where the athletic emphasis is understood, use NCAA.

New Student Days


New Student Orientation

On second reference, orientation.

nonprofit


noon

Never use 12 p.m.

numbers

Spell out one through nine. Use numerals for 10 and greater.
Spell out numbers when they begin a sentence.
Always use numerals with percentages.

  • Our enrollment increased 5 percent.

Oakland Community College (OCC)


Offices

 

Capitalize official names of offices. Lowercase office when not part of official name.

  • Office of the Registrar
  • the Registrar's office
  • Dean of Students Office
  • The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

OneCard


online


ordinals

Do not use superscript.
Use numerals when the ordinal is 10th or higher.

  • This is the fourth time I've called.
  • Welcome to the 21st century.

parking lots and structures

Capitalize Structure and Lot when followed by the number of the parking area. Lowercase if used generically.
Do not include Parking in the name of the parking area unless the name of the lot stands alone (e.g., on a map).
Do not use the pound sign (#) before the number of the parking area.
Do not spell out numerals designating parking areas, even if they are less than 10.

  • Parking is available in Structure 1.
  • Please park in Lot 32.
  • Wayne State has eight parking structures.

percentages

Always use numerals with percentages.
Spell out the word percent. Use the percent sign (%) only in technical material.

phone numbers

Do not put parentheses around area codes. Use hyphens, not periods.

  • 313-577-8155

photo captions

Captions may be complete sentences or fragments.
Spot directions should be in parentheses. If two people are in a photo, it is only necessary to use one spot direction. A caption should never begin with spot directions.

  • Company founders (from left) Miller, Davis and Cantor meet once each year.
  • Allan Gilmour (left) and Rick Nork examine complicated financial documents.

photo credits

When used, photo credits should be set vertically along the top right edge of the photograph.

p.m.


podium

Speakers stand on a podium and at a lectern.

postbaccalaureate


post-master's certificate


postsecondary


President's Cabinet
 

Following are the names and titles of members of the President's Cabinet: 

  • M. Roy Wilson, president 
  • Keith Whitfield, provost 
  • Susan E. Burns, vice president for development and alumni affairs
  • Marquita T. Chamblee, associate provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer
  • William R. Decatur, vice president for finance and business operations, treasurer, and chief financial officer
  • Ahmad M. Ezzeddine, associate vice president for educational outreach and international programs
  • David S. Hefner, M.P.A., vice president for health affairs
  • Stephen M. Lanier, vice president for research 
  • Louis Lessem, vice president and general counsel 
  • Patrick O. Lindsey, vice president for government and community affairs 
  • Julie H. Miller, vice president and secretary to the Board of Governors 
  • Ned Staebler, vice president for economic development
  • Michael Wright, vice president of marketing and communications and chief of staff 

Please note that the president and provost are listed first. Following that, the list is alphabetical. 

professor emeritus


Purdy/Kresge Library


quotation marks

Quotation marks should always appear curved ("smart"), never straight.
All punctuation should appear inside the quotation marks.

  • You should read Denise Levertov's poem "Clouds."

Richard J. Mazurek, M.D., Medical Education Commons


RN (registered nurse)

Do not use periods in this abbreviation.

Saint Clair County Community College (SC4)
 

Schoolcraft College

On second use, Schoolcraft is acceptable.

School of Information Sciences

Dean: Jon E. Cawthorne

School of Medicine

Dean: Jack Sobel  

School of Social Work

Dean: Jerrold Brandell (interim) 

schools and colleges

The official names are:

  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts (CFPCA)
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS)
  • College of Nursing
  • Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Eugene Applebaum may be omitted on second reference)
  • Irvin D. Reid Honors College (on second reference, the Honors College is acceptable)
  • Graduate School
  • Law School (always with initial caps; on second reference, Wayne Law is acceptable)
  • Mike Ilitch School of Business (on second reference, Ilitch School of Business or the Ilitch School are acceptable)
  • School of Information Sciences
  • School of Medicine (SOM)
  • School of Social Work

Spell out on first reference, and then use the schoolthe college or abbreviations on subsequent references.
If context is required, include Wayne State University in one of two ways:

  • The Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • Wayne State University's School of Medicine

Lowercase the school or the college when not part of full name.
The official list: http://wayne.edu/academics/programs.php

semester

Use instead of term.
Always lowercase both semester and seasonal words.

  • Register now for fall 2011.
  • the spring 2012 semester

smartphone


Southeast Michigan

But western Michigansouthwest DetroitDetroit's east side 

sports

Wayne State sponsors 18 varsity sports teams, including two that compete at the NCAA Division I level (men's and women's fencing). The additional 16 sports are baseball, football, men's and women's golf, softball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming/diving, men's and women's tennis, women's volleyball, and women's indoor/outdoor track. 

staff

Staff is a collective noun referring to a group of staff members and takes singular verbs.

  • The office staff leaves at 5:30 p.m.

When writing about an individual, use staff member.

startup


state names

Use traditional state abbreviations (e.g., Mich., Conn., N.H.) in running copy. Use postal state abbreviations (e.g., MI, CT, NH) in full address blocks. Abbreviate state names when they appear with a city. Do not abbreviate them when they appear alone.

  • I've always wanted to travel to New Bedford, Mass.
  • Would you like to take a road trip to Massachusetts?

State of Michigan

Capitalize State only when referring to the governmental entity. Otherwise, avoid using state, or lowercase if state is necessary:

  • I live in Michigan.
  • I live in the state of New York.
  • I live in Washington state. (Washington State is the name of a university.)

String Project@Wayne


Student Center Building

Student Center or SCB are acceptable on subsequent references.

TechTown


telephone numbers

Do not put parentheses around area codes. Use hyphens, not periods.

  • 313-577-8155

theatre

The preferred spelling is theatre.
Always check the formal name, however, and use the official spelling for each venue.

The South End


times

Use a.m. and p.m., lowercase with periods.
Times on the hour should not include :00.
Use noon and midnight (never 12 p.m. or 12 a.m.)
For spans, use the word to rather than a dash in running copy. Dashes may be used in posters or on time spans that stand alone. Example:

  • The event runs from 4 to 6 p.m.

State the time of an event in the following order: time, day, date.

  • 8 a.m. Saturday, June 18, 2011

titles, professional

Do not use Dr. unless except for medical doctors (M.D.s).
Capitalize titles if they appear directly before the name. Otherwise, lowercase.

  • Professor of History David Weinberg
  • David Weinberg, professor of history
  • Dean of the College of Engineering Farshad Fotouhi
  • Farshad Fotouhi, dean of the College of Engineering

Do not use courtesy titles (e.g., Mr., Mrs., etc.).

titles, things

Italicize the titles of the following:

  • books
  • magazines (including scholarly and research journals)
  • movies
  • long musical compositions (e.g. symphonies, operas)
  • plays
  • television series

Place the following titles in quotation marks:

  • poems
  • songs
  • articles
  • short stories
  • chapter titles

Official titles of courses should be capitalized.

  • I'm taking Biology 101.
  • I'm taking a biology class.

Titles of offices should be capitalized only in official construction.

  • the Department of Chemistrythe chemistry department
  • He was majoring in chemistry.

Titles of courses should simply be capitalized. 

Do not italicize titles of newspapers.

toward

Not towards.

underway


United States (n.), U.S. (adj.)


university

Lowercase in all instances.

University of Michigan (U-M)


universitywide


Upper Peninsula


URLs

Do not include http:// or www unless those prefixes are required when the URL is typed into browser. URLs should always be lowercase. 

Washtenaw Community College (WCC)
 

Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD)
 

Wayne Law

Refers to Law School.

Wayne State Libraries

  • Purdy/Kresge Library
  • David Adamany Undergraduate Library
  • Shiffman Medical Library
  • Arthur Neef Law Library
  • Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs

Wayne State also offers library service desks at its Oakland and Macomb extension centers​ in Farmington Hills and Clinton Township. 

Wayne State University
 

Never use Wayne by itself when referring to the university. Acceptable in any instance: Wayne State University, Wayne State, WSU

Wayne State University Alumni Association

Use WSUAA or alumni association on second reference.

Wayne State University Police Department (WSUPD)

WDET-FM 101.9

Use WDET on subsequent references.

web

When referring to the internet.

website


work flow

 

work force


workplace


year spans

Hyphenate, dropping the repeated digits: 2011-12.

ZIP code