[IMAGE: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo]
Apply to SIUE
Marketing and Communications
Marketing and Communications
[IMAGE: Institutional Header]

SIUE Editorial Guidelines

This guide addresses common editorial questions about SIUE, higher education terminology and stylistic consistency. The AP stylebook was the main reference used in developing these guidelines. Some entries represent standard Marketing and Communications editorial practice regarding what works well at SIUE.

These guidelines are a work in progress. Entries may be added or changed in response to our evolving campus environment and input from readers. Contact Beth Giese, assistant director of marketing and communications, ext. 3604, egiese@siue.edu, with questions or suggestions.

academic degrees

Use bachelor's or bachelor of science, master's or master of arts. Not bachelor's of science degree or master's of arts degree.

academic departments

Use initial caps in formal and informal references to a specific department. Lowercase when you mean the academic discipline generally: the Department of Geography. Many geography departments across the country teach this concept.

academic titles
Lowercase when the title is a description: John Numbers, associate professor of accounting.

Initial capital letter only when a formal title precedes a name: Associate Professor John Numbers in accounting.

To minimize capitalization, generally follow this order:
Professor's name, rank and department
Dean's name, rank and college
Vice Chancellor's name, rank and area


Lowercase. Use initial cap on title that follows, if the title normally would have an initial cap: acting Dean Sue Smith.

advisor-not adviser

alumni, alum

Use the term “alumnus” to identify an individual graduate and “alumni” to identify two or more graduates. Alum, alums are informal, unisex terms.

When identifying SIUE alumni, you may use degree and class year (without periods in the degree abbreviations, without commas around the degrees and without a space between the degree and year abbreviations): Sally Jones Cougar BA'00 MA'03; Joe Cougar BS '95 MS '01. Note the direction of the apostrophe.

When it's not possible to determine a person's degree, use just the class year; the first class year in the case of multiple degrees: Joe Cougar '95.

For a married alumna, use her married and maiden names, if appropriate: Sally Jones Cougar BA'00 MA'03. This will help those who knew her before her name changed.


When an apostrophe is used to indicate omission, it should be placed where the omission occurs: The MRF was popular during the '70s. See possessive.


See Intercollegiate Athletics

Board of Directors

See SIUE Foundation Board of Directors

Board of Trustees

See SIU Board of Trustees


One word, lowercase.


Avoid unnecessary capital letters. Too many capitals take away from your message by slowing and distracting the reader. Use a capital letter only when principles in this style guide or other style references justify. Do not capitalize a word simply because you consider it important. Exception: University. See University.


Use it as a noun and as a verb: He is the committee chair. She chairs the committee.
Avoid chairperson.

College and Schools

College of Arts and Sciences
School of Business
School of Dental Medicine
School of Education
School of Engineering
School of Nursing
School of Pharmacy
Graduate School

When referring to an individual college or school, identify with SIUE: Welcome to the SIUE School of Pharmacy.

When referring to the School of Dental Medicine, identify with SIU: Welcome to the SIU School of Dental Medicine.

colon (:)

Use to introduce a series. See series.

Use to set off an important phrase: You need to remember one thing: don't be late.

If a colon is followed by a complete sentence, capitalize the first word after the colon. Do not use in a sentence after "include" or "including" unless the sentence reads: The course will include the following: group projects, individual reports and class discussion.


Do not use a comma before "and" in a series. English, Spanish and French.
Commas go inside quotation marks.

comprehensive campaign

Not capital campaign. The SIUE Foundation will soon launch a comprehensive campaign.

composition titles

Use italics for titles of magazines, newspapers, books, movies, plays and CDs. Use quotes for scholastic papers and articles, art, newspaper and magazine articles, poem titles, speeches, lectures, seminars, presentations and song titles.

days of the week
Spell out days of the week. They are only abbreviated in a tabular format. Months are abbreviated when listed along with the day of the week: Monday, Feb. 1.

Initial cap when used as a formal title before a name: Dean Jane Books, Deans Jane Books and John College.

Lowercase in other uses: Jane Books, dean of the college, the dean.

Director of Development

Not Development Director.

Distinguished Professor

Always initial caps when referring to this formal, SIUE-specific title which a few of our professors have earned. Lowercase when simply describing a professor as "distinguished." There are many distinguished professors at SIUE, but only a few have been given the title of Distinguished Professor. The speaker is a Distinguished Professor of biology.

dorm, dormitory

Avoid these terms. See residence hall.


Lowercase, no hyphen. Short form of electronic mail. In text, italicize (don't underline) the e-mail address: Contact Doug McIlhagga, director of external affairs, gconroy@siue.edu <mailto:gconroy@siue.edu> .

East St. Louis Center/East St. Louis Higher Education Campus

The SIUE East St. Louis Center is part of the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus. The East St. Louis Center provides comprehensive programs, services and training in education, health, social services and the arts.

The East St. Louis Higher Education Campus includes the East St. Louis Center and other services not affiliated with SIUE.


This is the long dash (-) used to separate two parts of a sentence. Use with no spaces on either side. Use to separate course names from locations. A short dash makes two words become one: Two-day Career Fair at SIUE.


Use after the title. Use professor emerita (one female); professor emeritus (one male); faculty emeritae (plural female); faculty emeriti (plural male or plural of both genders). Use "emeritus" if gender is unknown.


To emphasize text, use bold or italics, not underlining.


Always capitalize.

exclamation point

Prefer none but, if absolutely necessary, use with discretion!

Fiscal Year

Use FY07, unless this may not be understood in the context of your message. In that case, Fiscal Year 07 on first reference, FY07 on subsequent references.

Friends Groups

SIUE Foundation's associated organizations, also known as Friends groups.

Friends of Art
Friends of Lovejoy Library
Friends of Music
Friends of Theater and Dance
Friends of Golf
Friends of Wrestling
Cougar Basketball Booster Association
Cougar Softball Booster Club


See SIUE Foundation .

Fund raising

Two words, hyphenated when used as a modifier: He works in fund raising. He chairs the fund-raising committee.


See The Gardens at SIUE.

home page

Two words. The front page of a particular Web site.

Intercollegiate Athletics
Note "s" at the end of "athletics." Not Athletic Department or Athletics Department.

When referring to athletics, identify with SIUE: SIUE Intercollegiate Athletics.


Lowercase. Use an initial cap on title that follows, if the title normally would have an initial cap: Interim Vice Chancellor Victor Chance.


Use italics for titles of magazine, newspapers, books, movies, plays and CDs. See also "quotation marks" entry.

Lovejoy Library

Elijah P. Lovejoy Memorial Library is the official name. SIUE's Lovejoy Library is also acceptable.


Lowercase the names of majors unless they contain a proper noun: French studies, English, mass communications, theater and dance.


Use an apostrophe (possessive) when referring to the degree: master's program, a master's in social work.

Months of the year
Months are spelled out, unless the day of the week is included:

  • January 1, 2015
  • Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015

Spell out days of the week. They are only abbreviated in a tabular format.

National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center

NCERC on second reference.


Spell out whole numbers below 10, use figures for 10 and above. Spell "first" through "ninth," use figures for 10th and above. Physical quantities, such as distances, lengths, area, volumes, etc. are expressed in figures, whether for whole number or fractions: 45 miles, 10.5 pounds, 1 2/3 full. Numbers expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun, need to be hyphenated: The five-year-old program, the two-and-a-half-hour course.

off campus

Two words, hyphenated when used as a modifier: Many SIUE students live off campus. Off-campus living is a popular option. (see on-campus)

OK, OK'd, OK'ing, OKs

Often, "approve" is a better verb. Avoid okay.


Do not use "on" prior to a date or day of the week: The meeting will be held Monday. The class is held Oct. 10. (Exception) If the date follows a proper noun: the event will be conducted Independence Day on July 4.

on campus

Two words, hyphenated when used as a modifier: More freshmen are choosing to live on campus. The convenience of on-campus living is appealing. (see off-campus)


One word, no hyphen.

outreach programs

Used to refer to services the University offers to the community, businesses and manufacturing. Not community outreach, business outreach, research centers or research programs.

part time

Always hyphenate as an adjective, otherwise two words: She is a part-time student and she also works part time.


Write out in text, use % sign only in charts or graphs.


Only one space between a period and the beginning of the next sentence.

See titles .


Defer to Webster's for specific words but in general do not use an apostrophe for pluralization unless the word is a single letter: She received all A's; mind your p's and q's.


For plural nouns not ending in s, add 's: the alumni's contributions, women's rights. For plural nouns ending in s, add only an apostrophe: the Illinois' counties, the churches' needs, states' rights.

quotation marks

Use quotation marks around the title of scholarly articles and papers, newspaper, poem titles and magazine articles, speeches, seminars, presentations and songs. See also "italics" entry.

residence hall(s)

Lowercase unless part of a proper name. Avoid "dorm." Here are the proper names of the SIUE residence halls: Evergreen Hall, Bluff Hall, Prairie Hall, Woodland Hall. (see dorm)

Note accent marks in two places.


Lowercase except when beginning a sentence: He will enter SIUE in fall semester 2007.


When listing items in a series, use commas to separate simple series. Do not use a comma before "and" in a series: She is taking statistics, accounting, chemistry and English.

When listing more complex series of phrases, use semicolons to separate the phrases: Job duties include project management; employee motivation, communication and training; and design.

Use a colon to introduce a series of items: Please bring the following items to class: notebook, ruler, textbook and pencil.

SIU Board of Trustees
Lowercase on second reference when omitting SIU Board: The memo was sent to the trustees.

SIUE Foundation/SIUE Foundation Board of Directors
The SIUE Foundation exists separately from SIUE and is governed by its own Board of Directors. When referring to the Foundation, identify with SIUE: Welcome to the SIUE Foundation.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Not Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville or Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. SIUE on second reference.

State names

Spell out the name of a state when it stands alone in text: SIUE remains a public university for the people of Illinois.

Abbreviate the state name when it is used with the name of a city, county, town or village: She is from Edwardsville, Ill. Many SIUE students are from St. Charles, Mo.


Lowercase, one word, no hyphen.

The Gardens at SIUE
The Gardens on second reference.

theater, theatre

Use theater, amphitheater unless the proper name is spelled with -re: several campus theaters, Shakespeare's Theatre. For SIUE, use Department of Theater and Dance.

In general, do not use Dr., Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms. Use degrees after a name on first reference only. Use last name alone on second reference: Barb Beaker, PhD, teaches chemistry. Beaker is our favorite professor.

Include PhD on a signature line: John Smith, Ph.D.

Titles that serve as occupational descriptions rather than proper titles are lowercase: chemistry professor Barb Beaker, coach Ron Ball.

Proper titles preceding names are initial caps: Executive Director Ann Edwards, but lowercase after the name: Ann Edwards, executive director.


Initial cap when referring specifically to SIUE: John Jones works at SIUE. He has worked for the University for 20 years.

University Park at SIUE

University Park is acceptable. When referring to University Park, identify with SIUE: University Park, located on the SIUE campus.

U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News on second reference.

vice chancellor

Never hyphenated or abbreviated. Lowercase when the title is a description: Victor Chance, vice chancellor, university relations.

Initial capital letter only when a formal title precedes a name: Vice Chancellor Victor Chance.

To minimize capitalization, generally follow this order: Name, rank and department/area.


Initial cap. Acceptable on second reference for World Wide Web.

Web address

Italicize (don't underline) the address in text. It is not necessary to italicize the address if it's part of obvious address and phone information at the end of a publication, for example. In text, addresses can be followed immediately by a period, comma or other punctuation. If an address must break between lines, split is directly before a slash or a dot that is part of the address, and do not insert a hyphen. The http:// portion of the address and the final forward slash of the address are not necessary to include when writing the address. The SIUE address can be written simply as www.siue.edu, rather than http://www.siue.edu/.


One word.


One word, no hyphen.


All uppercase ZIP because it's the acronym for Zoning Improvement Plan. Lowercase "code."

back to top

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]