Content Management System

Online Style Guide

This style guide provides standards and guidance on how to create content for and maintain style within UC Riverside websites.

It is intended to achieve consistency in style and content throughout our websites.

The guidelines presented here are based upon the UCR Writing for Print Style Guide as well as the Associated Press Stylebook.


Academic degrees, disciplines and programs
Capitalize the names of academic degrees. — Bachelor of Science in chemistry.

Do not capitalize the discipline or a major, minor, concentration or field of study. — Bachelor of Science in chemistry.

Do capitalize majors that are also languages. — My major is English.
academic quarters, semesters, terms
All lowercase.
Academic Senate
academic honors
Do not italicize summa cum laude, magna cum laude, etc.
academic titles and names
Capitalize formal titles, such as dean, president, chair, director, vice president, professor, chancellor, only when they precede a name or when the title.

Lowercase such titles when they stand alone or when they follow a name.
Named professorships, fellowships and chairs are capitalized when standing alone, as well as after and before names.
Use as appropriate, such as when a subject requests it. For example, we do put the accent in Tomás Rivera.
This is the preferred spelling; note the "e".
Agricultural Experiment Station
Capitalize as shown.
alma mater
Use lowercase when describing the college one attended.

Use uppercase and quotes when referring to the song.
alumna, alumnus, alumnae, alumni
alumna (alumnae in the plural) refers to a woman.
alumnus (alumni in the plural) refers to a man.
alumni when referring to a group of men and women. Do not use alum.
alumni association
Do not capitalize unless used as a proper noun: the UCR Alumni Association. (not the Association or Alumni Association)
alumni board: Do not capitalize.
annual fund, alumni annual fund, alumni annual fund campaign: generic terms are lowercased. Specific names of campaigns are capitalized.
Always lowercase with periods.


bell tower
Not belltower. Uppercase only when referring to it as the UCR Bell Tower.
Always lowercase.
boards of advisers, board of directors, board of supervisors, board of trustees
Never abbreviate. Capitalize the proper names of buildings, including the word building if part of the formal name. E.g.: the Life Sciences Building.


Always lowercase.
UCR uses a "down style" of capitalization, which avoids unnecessary capitals.

Generic terms, such as university, department, school, street and state, are lowercased except when such terms are used as part of a complete expression of a formal name.
centers and laboratories
Use lowercase for generic. Upper case when naming a specific center.
Capitalize named professorships both preceding and following a name.
Spell as two or more words when used as adjectives; do not hyphenate. E.g.: sodium cyanide salts, hydrogen peroxide bleach, boric acid crystals.
class names
Lowercase is preferred. E.g.: class of '89. (note the left facing quotation mark. To get left facing, type in apostrophe twice, then delete the first — ‘' then ').
class standings
Lowercase is preferred. E.g.: freshman, sophomore, junior, senior.
class years
No comma between name and class year, or after the class year. UCR alumnus John Smith '63. (note the left facing quotation mark. To get left facing, type in apostrophe twice, then delete the first — ‘' then ').
College and colleges
Capitalize only when used as part of a complete formal name. E.g.: He attends the College of Business Administration. The business college is one of the largest of its kind.

Capitalize official names of colleges and schools: the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
colloquiums, colloquia
Either spelling is acceptable, though colloquiums is preferred.
conference, conference titles
Capitalize conference titles. Do not set in quotation marks. Do not italicize.

Capitalize conference as part of a full formal name; lowercase when used alone or when used with a place name and date.
Cooperative Extension
UC Cooperative Extension (correct title) is a University of California program, with a unit located at UCR.
core curriculum
Lowercase all references to the generic term for liberal arts requirements.
course names
Rarely used in copy, it is preferred in lowercase. E.g.: That professor teaches a class on social psychology.
This term is spelled as one word.
courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs. Ms.)
Do not use unless necessary to indicate person's gender or in direct quotations.
cum laude
Signifies graduation with honors; do not italicize.
The preferred spelling for the plural of curriculum.


dean's list
Lowercase. E.g.: She is on the dean's list.
degrees with distinction
Lowercase. E.g.: cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude.
departments and colleges
Capitalize the official names of departments and other divisions of companies, government agencies and similar institutions. In subsequent references, such names may be shortened (but lowercased).
Always lowercase informal references. E.g.: Department of Mathematics, the math department.

Never abbreviate department or division. In most cases, UCR does not have to precede the department name.
dissertation titles
Capitalize and set within quotation marks; do not italicize.
division of
Capitalize when division appears as part of a complete formal name; lowercase otherwise.
Use on first reference only. Use only for an individual who is a medical doctor. Do not use Dr. before the names of individuals who hold other types of doctoral degrees.
dorm, dormitory
Do not use. Use residence hall.


This word is added to a formal title to denote that an individual who has retired has retained his or her title or rank. Place emeritus after the formal title. Capitalize when used before the name; lowercase when used alone or after the name. Never italicize. The plural is emeriti.
Email vs. email
Capitalize if it starts a sentence or leads off a bullet point, otherwise downstyle.
(Note: AP style changed from "e-mail" to "email" in March 2011.)
Put the titles of exhibits in quotation marks.
ex officio
Do not hyphenate or italicize this term.
Most are lowercased. E.g.: commencement, convocation, parent or student orientation, spring or fall break, reunions.
UC Riverside (or UCR) Extension is the continuing education branch of the UCR. Do not use UNEX.
Cooperative Extension
 — UC Cooperative Extension (correct title) is a University of California program, with a unit located at UCR.


faculty, singular and plural
Teachers in an educational unit are known as faculty. In references to unit members as a whole: the faculty — the term is singular.
Lowercase this word in references to members of learned societies, holders of fellowships and members of governing bodies.
Generally, lowercase names of forms: add/drop form, application for admission, declaration of major form. Some federal financial aid forms have particular styles: i.e. FAFSA.
Preferred over fora for the singular form of forum.
fraternities, sororities
The full, formal name should be used on first reference. Abbreviations are acceptable on second reference. A member is a member, never a brother or sister. In reference to a fraternity's or sorority's building, the word house should be capitalized when it follows the name of the organization.


grade point average
No hyphens. Abbreviate as GPA (without periods) on subsequent references or if the context makes the meaning absolutely clear.
Do not set course grades in quotation marks. Form grade plurals by adding 's.
graduate, graduate from
Schools graduate students, but students graduate from schools.


Capitalize and do not use periods with the abbreviation for identification.
Inland Empire
Do not use. Use Inland Southern California.


lecture titles
Capitalize and use quotation marks. E.g.: Dr. Price's topic was "The City of the Future."
legal citations
Italicize and use v. (not vs.) for versus. E.g.: Goodman v. Price, Campbell v. City of Atlanta.
The formal title is UCR Library, which consists of the Tomás Rivera Library, the Orbach Science Library, the Multimedia Library and the Music Library.
Log on/Logon
Use the two-word version as a verb. E.g.: log on to the system. Use the single-word version as a noun or adjective. E.g.: what's your logon?


majors, minors and concentrations
Lowercase names of academic majors, minors, concentrations, areas and fields of study. Capitalize the proper, formal names of degrees. E.g.: She received a Bachelor of Visual Arts degree with a major in studio and a concentration in sculpture.
medical terminology
Lowercase diseases, conditions, symptoms, tests and treatments except for proper names. Do not italicize.


office of, office
Capitalize only when office is part of the formal name.
on campus, off campus
Hyphenate when used as an adjective. E.g.: Students have many off-campus housing opportunities. Write two words, without hyphenation when used as an adverb. E.g.: The student moved on campus.
No hyphen when referring to something available on the internet or WWW.


parking lot
Lowercase is preferred. E.g.: parking lot 30, lot 24.
periodicals titles
Italicize and set in caps and lowercase the titles of newspapers, newsletters, journals, magazines and similar periodical publications. Capitalize and italicize such words as magazine and journal only if part of the formal name.
Ph.D., Ph.D.s
Use periods; do not use an apostrophe in forming the plural.
Always lowercase with periods.
professional designations
Abbreviated professional designations generally do not use periods. E.g.: CPA.
Capitalize only before the name. Lowercase when standing alone or when following the name. The term should only be used in references to those who have official status as professors.
Always use official designations, even in casual references. These include associate professor, assistant professor, adjunct professor, instructor, clinical professor, adjunct assistant professor, clinical associate professor, professor emeritus, and associate professor emeritus.
program, capitalization of
The word program itself should never be capitalized unless it is, in fact, part of the formal name. E.g. She took part in the FastStart program (program not part of formal name) and the UCR Medical Scholars Program.


Lower case for generic reference. E.g.: The regents approved the appointment.
Uppercase when used before a name or as part of the official name. E.g.: Regent Jane Smith; They issue will be voted on by the UC Board of Regents.
regions and areas
Upper case Inland Southern California. Follow AP guidelines for other regions and areas.
residence hall
preferred over dorm or dormitory. Capitalized if part of the formal name.


Capitalize when used as part of a complete formal name; lowercase informal and incomplete references. E.g.: She attends the Graduate School of Education. The nursing school starts next week.
quarters, semesters
Lowercase academic semesters and quarters. Do not separate the semester from the year by a comma. E.g.: Courses begin in the fall semester. She will graduate in spring 2008.
set up vs. setup
Use the two-word version as a verb — the single-word version as a noun or adjective.
student groups
Capitalize the formal names of officially organized groups of students and student classes, but lowercase student classifications.
Style Guide/style guide
Never one word. When dealing generically, downstyle and two words When referring to the UCR document, upstyle and two words.


telephone numbers
Should be presented in the following format: (951) 827-6397. Avoid using the term "extension" for campus phone numbers. If absolutely necessary, use the full word, rather than X or ext.
theses titles
Set off the titles of theses and dissertations with quotation marks. Do not italicize.
Do not capitalize a title used alone, following a name, or modified. E.g.: Chancellor Wilcox; Kim Wilcox, chancellor.
seminar titles
Set in caps and lowercase; do not italicize or set in quotes.
Generic term for a person or group appointed to manage the affairs or property of another person or organization. It is not a formal title; do not capitalize even before the name. Lowercase board of trustees.


Capitalize only when used as part of a complete formal name or title.
Lowercase otherwise. E.g.: He attends the University of California, Riverside. The university is providing him with an excellent education.
University of California, Riverside
Use UCR or UC Riverside in most mentions.


vita, vitae
Vita is singular and vitae is plural. Use when referring to a biographical sketch, generally in conjunction with "curriculum," especially when the information refers to academic history.
Curriculum vita is the formal name for an academic's resume, curricula vitae is the plural designation. Do not use C.V.


Capitalized when used alone (the Web). Compound nouns based on the word Web are lowercase (website, webcam, webcast, webinar). Two-word phrases, Web is capitalized (Web page). (Note: changed by AP 4/2010)
WWW vs. www
Use WWW in text but www with URLs.

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