Spelling, Language, and Style Guidelines

The following guidelines will assist writers preparing official University of Wisconsin-Parkside documents, reports, and publications. It is intended as a supplement to the Chicago Manual of Style for formal compositions and the Associated Press Stylebook for informal or journalistic materials. Dictionary of reference is Webster's Unabridged.

Bias-Free Language

The university has adopted a policy requiring administrative employees, in the performance of their assigned responsibilities, to use language that is free from bias, especially in reference to gender, race, ethnicity, religious preference, and disabilities. Guidelines for using such bias-free language are published separately but should be consulted in the preparation of all administrative and governance documents and in the preparation of copy for all correspondence and publications directed to off-campus audiences.


Less is better. The large number of capital letters that can be associated with departments and titles creates text that is more difficult to read and a point or phrase that should receive emphasis gets lost in the clutter.

  • Capitalize and spell out Chancellor and Provost when the title precedes a person's name. Lowercase elsewhere.
  • Capitalize the names of executive offices or administrative divisions: Office of the Chancellor, Admissions Office.
  • Capitalize names of academic departments and administrative units (e.g. Chemistry Department or Center for Educational and Cultural Advancement). In most cases use Chemistry Department rather than Department of Chemistry.
  • Names of academic disciplines, majors, minors, programs, and courses of study should not be capitalized -- except for languages, such as English and Spanish, which are proper nouns.

World Wide Web and Internet uppercase in all applications. Website, webpage, web lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence.

College Names

The four colleges should be referred to as follows:

  • College of Arts and Humanities (CAH)
  • College of Business, Economics, and Computing (CBEC)
  • College of Natural and Health Sciences (CNHS)
  • College of Social Sciences and Professional Studies (CSSPS)

Do not use the informal "&" in college names.
Do not use an "o" to represent the word "of."

Comma, Serial

In a series consisting of three or more elements, separate the elements with commas. When a conjunction (like, and, or or) joins the last two elements in a series, include a comma before the conjunction.


When a date consists of the day of the month followed by the year, the day of the month should be followed by a comma. When the day of the week is provided before the month, the day of the week should be followed by a comma. The store closed its doors for good on Wednesday, October 15, 1958.

When the date appears in the middle of a sentence, commas should appear both before and after the year.  Her arrival on April 10, 1988, was considered a turning point for the company.

No comma is used between the month and the year when they are the only two elements in the date. 
Correct: The store closed its doors for good in October 1958. 
Incorrect: The store closed its doors for good in October, 1958.

Do not include ordinals ("st," "nd, "rd," or "th") after the day of the month.
Correct: June 16, 2014
Incorrect: June 16th, 2014

When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. All other months should be spelled out. All months should be spelled out when they stand alone or are alone with a year.

Note: when abbreviating for marketing materials use a 3 digit month with no period—use Sep 3.


Generally, academic degrees are not capitalized. Use an apostrophe in bachelor's degree and master's degree, but not in bachelor of arts/science and master of arts/science. Bachelor's and master's never take the plural possessive. When writing of more than one degree use the following formats: she'll have a master's in five fields, or, she'll have master's degrees in five fields.

After full names, use only abbreviations for specific degrees (e.g. Anne Statham, Ph.D.).

Ethnic Groups

Names of ethnic groups are capitalized: African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Latino/Latina, Asian American and Native American.

Designations based on color such as black and white or the phrase "people of color" are not capitalized.

General Spelling

  • Course work -- Two words.
  • Email -- One word, no hyphen.
  • For-profit -- Two words, hyphenated.
  • Healthcare -- One word.
  • Livestream -- One word.
  • Login (n., adj.); login, log in to (v.) -- One word when used as a noun or an adjective. Two words when used as a verb.
  • Nonprofit -- One word, no hyphen.
  • Noncredit -- One word, no hyphen.
  • Nonresident -- One word, no hyphen.
  • Online -- One word, no hyphen.
  • Opt-in (n., adj.), opt in (v.) -- Hyphenated as a noun or an adjective. Two words as a verb.

Numbers and Numerals

Spell out:

  • "first" through "ninth" when indicating sequence in time or location. Starting with "10th," use figures.
  • whole numerals below 10; use figures for 10 and above.
  • numerals at the beginning of a sentence.

An annual event should not be described as "annual" until it has been held at least two successive years. There cannot be a first annual banquet or first annual open house.

In text, express years in four numbers, e.g., 1985, not '85 (it is acceptable to use '85 when casually referencing someone's year of graduation – e.g., John Smith '85 has developed a new medical process …). Indicate decades or centuries with numbers followed by "s" (without apostrophes), e.g., 1960s, the l900s.

Spacing Between Sentences

Use only one space after the period of a sentence. This is in line with every major style-guide.


Either the full name or the following state abbreviations should be used with the name of a city.

Alaska, Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Hawaii, Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Neb., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., N.D., Ohio, Okla., Ore., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Texas, Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.

Names of states when standing alone should be spelled out. Only mailing addresses should use the U.S. Postal Service abbreviations.


  • Use figures except for noon and midnight.
  • Use a space between the time and the a.m. or p.m.: The class began at 6:30 a.m.
  • If it’s an exact hour, no “:00″ is required: The class began at 6 a.m.
  • For time ranges, do not put space on either side of the dash: The class was held from 6:30-10 a.m.
  • If a time range is entirely in the morning or evening, use a.m. or p.m. only once: 6:30-10 p.m.
  • If it goes from the morning into the evening (or vice versa), you need both: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Periods should separate p.m. and a.m. except for marketing and web promotions use 2 pm.


When titles are long, such as associate professor of biological sciences, the shortened title (associate professor) or courtesy titles such as Ms. or Dr. should precede a person's name rather than the entire title.

Never abbreviate professor and lowercase before a name. Do not continue to use in subsequent references unless part of a quotation.

The word emeritus, when used with formal titles, follows the title (e.g., professor emeritus Emmett Bedford or Emmett Bedford, professor emeritus of English).

First reference to an individual should include his/her title or rank (e.g., Donald Cress, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities).

Use "alumnus" (alumni is plural) when referring to a male who has been graduated from the university. Use "alumna" (alumnae is plural) for similar reference to a female. Use "alumni" when referring to a group of both males and females.


First references to the university should always be the full name: the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. (See University Identifiers.)

Subsequent references may be Parkside or the university (lowercase in most applications, exception would be where more formality is desired). UWP may only be used where there is character limitations. Periods are not used following "U" or "W."

The address for the university is University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 900 Wood Road, Kenosha, Wisconsin, 53144.

Names of buildings should be spelled out when used in text. When references appear in lists, course schedules, etc., abbreviations may be substituted.

  • Wyllie Hall (WYLL)
  • Greenquist Hall (GRNQ)
  • Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities (RITA)
  • Molinaro Hall (MOLN)
  • Sports & Activity Center (SAC)
  • Student Center (SCTR)
  • Tallent Hall (TLNT)
  • Ranger Hall (RANG)
  • University Apartments (UAPT)
  • Facilities Management Center (FMC)
  • Pike River Suites (PKRS)


  • Callahan Family Student Success and Learning Commons ("The Commons" for students), reference locations by "zone"
  • Brookwood Foundation Main Place


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