» Writing Style Guide

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In most instances, Chapman University references the AP Stylebook for grammar, punctuation, capitalization, etc. There are, however, circumstances where the University follows its own protocol. If you can’t find a particular reference to your question in the CU Writing Style Guide, please check the AP Stylebook or contact the Office of Media Relations and Communications.

Information regarding the correct naming protocol for campus buildings and facilities »


academic degrees. See also Titles.

  • Spell out the long name of the degree. When spelling out, use lowercase: bachelor of arts, bachelor’s degree, master of arts, master’s degree, doctorate, doctoral degree. Ex: She has her master of arts degree in biochemistry. He has a doctorate in American literature. Earn your master's now. Complete your master's in history. 
  • After a name, abbreviate degrees using uppercase letters with periods: B.A., B.S., M.A., M.S., Ph.D., Ed.D., LL.M.,  or Pharm.D. Note there are no periods in MBA, MFA, MFT, MMS, MSPS, DPT or in JD. When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas. Ex: John Snow, Ph.D., spoke at the conference.
  • Do not precede a name with a title for an academic degree followed by the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference. Wrong: Dr. John Snow, Ph.D., spoke at the conference.
  • Honorary degrees: All references to honorary degrees should specify that the degree was honorary. 

academic departments. Capitalize the names of academic departments, offices, programs, and schools when the formal name is used. Ex: The club is sponsored by the Department of History. The Department of Languages hosted the film festival. Lowercase when referencing a more generic description. Ex: History departments from across the country sent delegates to the conference. She left her brushes in the art department.  

academic titles. See Titles.

acronyms/initials. On the first reference, the name or title should be written out and followed by the acronym in parenthesis; do not use periods for most acronyms. Ex: The Argyros School of Business and Economics (ASBE) was established in 1975. In 2000, ASBE moved to Beckman Hall. See also Colleges and Schools.

A.D./B.C. vs. CE/B.C.E. As a reference to a calendar year, either version is acceptable. However, the terms B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and CE (Common Era) tend to be used more widely in scientific and academic circles. Both B.C.E. and B.C. always follow the year number. CE also follows the year number, but AD traditionally precedes the year number. Ex: Chapman University traces its heritage to AD 1861. Or Chapman University traces its heritage to 1861 CE.

Admission. At Chapman University, it is singular, i.e., the Office of Admission not the Office of Admissions. On second reference, the office can be referred to as the admission office or Admission.

African-American. See Race and ethnicities.

age. See Numbers.

alma mater. Do not italicize. See also Latin terms.

alumni. Individuals are considered alumna/alumnus if they graduated from Chapman University. Brandman University graduates, while they may be strongly affiliated, are not considered Chapman alumni. If an individual attended Chapman and completed 28 credits or more, they are considered "non-degree alumni."  

Note the different forms, depending on gender and quantity:

  • alumna/alumnae: An individual female who has graduated from or attended the university as a student is an alumna. A group of two or more women is referenced as alumnae.
  • alumnus: An individual male who has graduated from or attended the university as a student is an alumnus. Also, use alumnus when making a general reference to someone who may be either male or female. Ex: An alumnus of Chapman University will receive Chapman Magazine after graduation.
  • alumni: This is a plural term that refers to a group of two or more who have graduated from or attended the university. The group may consist of all males or males and females. Do not use alumnus/a or alumni/ae. An indeterminate group of alumni are always alumni not alumni/ae.
  • Alum or alums are slang terms acceptable ONLY in a quotation. In regular text, always use the correct and complete term.
  • NOTE: Alumni are consider alumni if they have graduated from Chapman University, both undergraduate and graduate.

See also Class year.

a.m./p.m. Use lowercase a.m. and p.m. with a space in front. Avoid am/pm, AM/PM or A.M./P.M. Do not use twice in the same grouping. Wrong: 7 p.m.-8 p.m.  Correct: 7-8 p.m. See also Numbers/Time.

American Celebration: Old event name. See Chapman Celebrates

among/between. Use among when discussing a relation of more than two items, individuals, or groupings. Use between when discussing a relation of two items, individuals, or groupings. Ex: We could not choose between chocolate or vanilla gelato, so we agreed to split a large dulce de leche among the five of us.

ampersand (&). See Punctuation/Symbols.

AMVETS. National organization associated with the Military and Veterans Law Institute. See www.chapman.edu/research-and-institutions.

annual. An event cannot be described as annual until it has taken place for two consecutive years. Never use the term first annual.

Argyros School of Business and Economics, George L. See Colleges and schools. 

Attallah Piazza. See Campus Naming Protocol.

Athletics Program, Donald P. Kennedy Intercollegiate. Note plural on Athletics.

attorney, lawyer. In common usage, the terms are interchangeable. Technically, however, an attorney is someone who is empowered to act for another and may or may not be a lawyer. A lawyer is a person admitted to practice in the court system and occasionally is called an attorney at law. Do not abbreviate. Do not capitalize unless it is an officeholder’s title. Ex: He spoke to defense attorney Mary Payson. She contacted District Attorney Hamilton Burger. (AP Stylebook)

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B.C./B.C.E. See A.D./B.C.

bachelor of arts, bachelor of science. See Academic degrees.

between/among. See Among/between.

biannual/biennial. Biannual = Occurs twice a year. Biennial = Occurs once every two years (or every other year).

black. See Race and ethnicities.

blog. Acceptable as a substitute for Web log. Capitalize the formal name of a blog, but don’t italicize or place the title in quotation marks. Ex: Our campus news blog is named Happenings.

board. When referring to Board members, use the following terminology:

  1. Emeritus Trustee
  2. Emeritus Trustees
  3. Emeritus Governor
  4. Emeritus Governors
  5. Emeritus Chairs
  6. Ex-Officio (with a hyphen)

book titles. See Titles.

board. Capitalize when part of a proper name. Ex: Board of Trustees, Board of Governors, Board of Counselors. Lowercase when used alone: Suzanne Wang joined the board this year.

Brandman University. Brandman is a separate entity from Chapman University, with its own Board of Regents and administration, and should be referred to as such. It is, however, part of the Chapman University System.

building names.  See Campus Naming Protocol.

bullets. See Punctuation.

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campus. Always lowercase unless it begins a sentence. Ex: Chapman’s campus was named the third most beautiful campus in the nation. Use Fowler campus or Rinker Health Science campus rather than main campus when appropriate.

capitalization. See Punctuation.

center. In all cases, lowercase center or institute when the word stands alone. See www.chapman.edu/research-and-institutions.

chair/chairman/chairwoman. Chair is generally preferred as a title. Capitalize chair when it precedes a name, but lowercase when it follows. Ex: Board of Trustees Chair Raul Khan met with Ann Peterson, chair of the music department.

chair, endowed. Capitalize chair when it is part of a formal endowed title. Ex: Jack Cho held the Jerrold A. Glass Endowed Chair in Accounting and Economics at Chapman University. See also Named chair.

chancellor. Capitalize before a name when used as a title, but lowercase after a name. Ex: The event featured a speech by Chancellor Daniele Struppa. Or The event featured a speech by Daniele Struppa, chancellor of Chapman University.

Chapel, Wallace All Faiths. See Campus Naming Protocol

Chapman Celebrates. This is the full and proper name of the event. Never use the abbreviation ChapCel in print or in official speech.

Chapman Family.  Capitalize Family when using this phrase.  Chapman Family refers to the greater Chapman community, encompassing students, alumni, parents, family, staff, faculty and friends of the university, such as donors.  Ex: Alumni are valued members of the Chapman Family.

Chapman Magazine. Capitalize Magazine because it’s part of the official name of the publication.

Chapman University. On first reference, always include University. Chapman is acceptable on second reference. Capitalize University when used alone to refer to Chapman, but lowercase when referencing other schools. Ex: Chapman University celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2011. Chapman traces its roots to Hesperian College. The University is growing in national prominence among all universities in the U.S.

Cheverton Award. Given annually to the outstanding graduating senior at Chapman University. Named for Cecil F. Cheverton, president of Chapman from 1929-1941.

Church, Christian (Disciples of Christ). See Disciples of Christ.

class year. Include a class year whenever alumni are mentioned. Make sure the apostrophe is facing the correct way. Indicate graduate degrees in parenthesis after alumni name and year, if applicable. Ex: Students listened to Abe Chapman ’98 and to Bea Chapman ’99 (M.A. ’02). Couples: Dee Chapman ’02 (M.A. ’06) and Effie Chapman ’98. If a person attended Chapman but did not graduate, he or she is listed as Class of [year they would have graduated]. Ex: Fred Chapman, Class of ’68. For current students, it is preferable to use the student’s projected graduation year. Ex: The award this year went to GiGi Chapman ’20.

College of Performing Arts. See Colleges and schools.

Colleges and Schools. Use the complete name of the school in the first reference, followed by its acronym in parenthesis where appropriate. On second reference, the school can be identified in shortened form. It is okay to use the shorter form of a college name in things like headlines and social media, where character limits are a factor.

  • George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics (no acronym; second reference: The Argyros School)
  • Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies (no acronym; second reference: Attallah College of Educational Studies; short version: Attallah College)
  • Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts (DCFMA; second reference: Dodge College or the film school)
  • Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (WCHSS; second reference: Wilkinson College but never WC)
  • Dale E. Fowler School of Law (no acronym; second reference: Fowler Law School or Fowler School of Law)
  • Dale E. and Ann Fowler SChool of Engineering (no acronym; second reference: Fowler School of Engineering)
  • College of Performing Arts (CoPA)
  • School of Pharmacy (no acronym; second reference: Chapman Pharmacy or the pharmacy school)
  • Schmid College of Science and Technology (SCST; second reference Schmid College)
  • Remember that schools and colleges are academic units, not physical locations. A film can be screened in Marion Knott Studios but not in the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. A recital can be held in Salmon Recital Hall but not in the College of Performing Arts. (For building names, see  Campus Naming Protocol.)  

comma. See Punctuation.

commencement. Capitalize when referring to the Chapman event. Lowercase in general references.

Conservatory of Music. Formally the William D. Hall and Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Conservatory of Music. Second reference: Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music. Part of the College of Performing Arts. Lowercase conservatory when it stands alone.

course titles. Place the formal names of academic courses in quotes and uppercase important words. Use lowercase to describe types of courses within a major, school, or department. Ex: Professor Zheung teaches “Trademarks and Unfair Business Practices.” Professor Brown teaches business law courses.


curriculum. Curriculum is a singular noun. The plural is curricula (not curriculums).

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dash. See Punctuation.

dates. Avoid abbreviations in text. Exceptions: tabbed or columnar presentations and layouts. Always use Arabic numerals. Never use ordinal abbreviations, such as January 15th or July 3rd. Academic semesters and years are lowercase. If only writing month and year, do not separate with a comma. Ex: fall semester 2000 or spring semester or March 2003. (AP Stylebook) See also A.D./B.C. and Numbers.

dean. See Titles.

degrees. See Academic degrees.

departments. See Academic departments.

disabled. See Handicapped.

Disciples of Christ. Disciples of Christ is often used conversationally when describing Chapman’s founding denomination. However, the denomination’s correct identification on first reference is The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Second reference: Disciples.   Ex: Members of The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) attended the event. Uppercase Disciples when referencing the denomination specifically. Ex: Here at Chapman University, the Disciples have a long history. Since 2010, we are also a recognized school of Disciples’ partner denomination, the United Church of Christ.  

Disciples on Campus. Disciples on Campus is a student ministry overseen by staff of the Office of Church Relations on campus. On second reference, the name can be abbreviated as DOC.

dissertation. Capitalize the principal words and place quotation marks around the names of academic papers, dissertations, essays, lectures, and theses. 

Doctor/Ph.D. See Titles.

doctorate/doctoral. Doctorate is a noun, and doctoral is an adjective. Ex: She earned her doctorate in comparative literature. He is a doctoral student in history.

Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. See Colleges and schools.

dollar. Always lowercase. Use figures and $ in all cases except casual references. Ex: Dollars are flowing into the project. For specified amounts, the word takes a singular verb. Ex: He said $500,000 is what they want. If the amount exceeds one million, use a dollar sign and the word million. Ex: They made a generous gift of $2.5 million. See also Numbers.

Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies. See Colleges and schools.

dorms. Avoid using dorms or dormitories. Preferred use is residence halls or student residence halls. For a listing of residence hall names, please see https://mywindow.chapman.edu/depts/ua/Pages/Building-Name-Directory.aspx.

Doti, James L. President of Chapman University. For non-academic publications, Jim Doti, Ph.D., is preferred over James L. Doti or James Doti. He has been president of Chapman University since 1991. Approved biographical information is available at www.chapman.edu/discover/administration/president/bio.aspx.

Doti, Lynne. The David and Sandra Stone Professor of Economics at Chapman University and wife of President Jim Doti. When mentioned in text in connection with President Doti, include Lynne’s academic identification. Right: President Jim Doti and his wife, Professor Lynne Doti, attended. Wrong: President Jim Doti and his wife, Lynne, attended.

Dr. See Titles

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earth. Lowercase when used in idioms and similar phrases; capitalize when used as the proper name of the planet. Ex: They will have to move heaven and earth. The School of Earth & Environmental Sciences is located within the Schmid College of Science and Technology. The study of Earth’s geology is a growing area of interest.

Economic Science Institute. Science is singular. Second reference: ESI. See also www.chapman.edu/research-and-institutions.

ellipsis. See Punctuation.

email. One word, no hyphen, lowercase. (AP Stylebook)

emcee. Verb. Do not abbreviate as MC, which refers to master of ceremonies. Ex: MC Jack Daniels did a great job of emceeing the show.

emeritus. See Titles.  

endowed chair/endowed professorship. Don’t capitalize the words when they stand alone, but do capitalize the name of the endowed chair. Ex: The gift will also establish the Jerrold A. Glass Chair in Finance and the Jacqueline M. Glass Chair in Theatre and Music at Chapman. The gift established two endowed academic chairs.

Escalette Permanent Art Collection. Short form of the Ross and Phyllis Escalette Permanent Collection of Art. Art is always singular when referencing the collection. First reference should include the full formal name of the collection.

Escalette Plaza. See Campus Naming Protocol.

ethnicity. See Race and ethnicities.

exclamation point. See Punctuation.

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faculty. It is a singular noun and should always be lowercase. Ex: The faculty is especially busy in September. However, faculty members are less busy in July. Exception is made when faculty is part of a name. Ex: The Faculty Senate met in the Faculty Athenaeum.

Fashionable Women of Chapman, The. This organization’s name was changed in 2011 to The Women of Chapman. See also Women of Chapman.

fellow/fellowship. Capitalize full names of fellowships without italics or quotation marks. Ex: Ruebén Martinez is a Presidential Fellow of Chapman University. Lowercase when used generically. Ex: She received a state-sponsored fellowship.

fewer/less. In general, use fewer for individual items, less for bulk or quantity. Right: Fewer than 10 applicants called. (Individuals.) Right: I had less than $50 in my pocket. (An amount.) But: I had fewer than five $1 bills in my pocket. (Individual items.)

filmmaking/filmmaker. One word.

Folino Theater. Note that Folino Theater, unlike all other theatres on campus, is spelled with an –er ending, rather than –re.

foreign students. Preferred description is international students.

former. Always lowercase. Ex: Speakers at the event included former President George N. Reeves, Bob Marley, and Jim Anderson, former dean of the college.

Founders Day. No apostrophe. Celebrated in March.

Fowler School of Law. See Colleges and schools

Fowler School of Engineering. See Colleges and schools

FTE. Acronym for “full-time equivalent,” which represents the workload of an employed person (or student) in a way that makes workloads comparable across various contexts.

full time/full-time. Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier. Ex: He works full time. She has a full-time job.

fundraiser/fundraising. No space and no hyphen.  

fraternity/sorority. Capitalize the names of fraternities and sororities but not the words fraternity, sorority, or chapter. Ex: He decided to pledge the Chapman chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

freshman/freshmen. Freshman is singular. Freshmen is plural. Both are lowercase. Ex: She is a second-semester freshman and boasts one of the best GPAs among this year’s freshmen. 

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gay. See LGBT. 

gender sensitivities. Avoid gender-specific terms (he/she or his/her) by using plural pronouns (they or their) and plural verbs where possible. Ex: The children brought their snacks from home. Rather than: Each child brought his or her snack from home.

grade point average. The acronym GPA may be used in all references to grade point average; however, for audiences who may be unfamiliar with the term, spell out on first reference using lowercase lettering.

graduates with honors. Italicize but do not capitalize: cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude.

Greek. Capitalize when talking about a sorority or fraternity on campus.  

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handicapped. In general, do not describe an individual as physically disabled or handicapped unless it is clearly pertinent to the story. (AP Stylebook)

headlines. Only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized. (AP Stylebook) Put headlines to an article in quotation marks without italics.

health care/healthcare. One word when used as a compound modifier. Ex: He works in health care. He is a healthcare worker.

Hispanic. See Race and ethnicities.

home page. Two words. Lowercase.

Honorable. Formal title for all current or former government officials, diplomats, representatives, senators, mayors, city council members, etc. Ex: The Honorable George L. Argyros ’59 or the Honorable Mayor Lisa Simpson. Generally this honorific is only used in lists of board members or in letter writing, not in magazine or marketing texts. Can be abbreviated as Hon.

honorary degrees. See Academic degrees and Graduates with honors. 

Honors Program. University Honors Program or Honors Program is acceptable.

hyphen. See Punctuation.

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initials. When using two or more initials in a name, use periods without spaces. Ex: C.C. Chapman.

institute. Lowercase center or institute when the word stands alone. See www.chapman.edu/research-and-institutions.

Internet. Always capitalized. Internet addresses, however, are typically written in lowercase: www.chapman.edu.

irregardless. Do not use. The correct choice is regardless.  

italics. Use italics for book and publication titles, films, plays, operas, articles, and television shows. Use quotation marks for smaller works within these works — for example, episodes of a television show or arias within an opera. Ex: The “Betrayal” episode of Glee aired last night. They sang the love duet “O soave fanciulla” from La Bohéme. See also Titles.

it’s/its. It’s is a contraction for it is or it has: Ex: It’s up to you. It’s been a long time. Its is the possessive form of the neutral pronoun: The company lost its assets.

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JD. Stands for Juris Doctor. Preferred use is JD (without periods). See also Academic degrees.

Jesus or Jesus Christ. Uppercase in all uses.

Jr./Sr.; Junior/Senior. Abbreviate only with full names of persons. Do not precede with a comma. Ex: Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. For alphabetical listings by name, follow this format: Doe, John, Jr. (Note: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day does officially include a comma before Jr.) Lowercase junior and senior when referring to class year designations. See also Names and Titles.

Jew. See Race and ethnicities.

journal titles. See Titles.

judge. Capitalize before a name only when used as a formal title. Otherwise, lowercase. Do not use the title in second reference. Ex:  Judge Brown was asked to judge the contest. Brown selected the second entry to win the blue ribbon.

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K. Do not use K to denote thousand in text. However, it is acceptable to use the capitalized letter to denote kilometers. Ex: Our goal is to raise $200,000 from Chapman’s 5K Race. Incorrect: Our goal is to raise $200K from Chapman’s 5k Race.

Koran. See Quran.

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laboratory. Spell out and capitalize as part of an official name. On second reference, lab is acceptable.

Latin terms. Non-English words are typically italicized in text, including Latin terms, with the following exceptions: emeritus, alumni (and its variations), alma mater, curriculum vitae (CV), pro bono, or ad hoc.

Latino/a. See Race and ethnicities.

Law School. See Colleges and schools

Leatherby Libraries. Libraries is correctly plural but takes the singular verb tense. Ex: Leatherby Libraries is located in the center of campus. See also Campus Naming Protocol

legislative titles. See Titles.

lesbian. See LGBT.

LGBT. Acronym representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. May also appear as LGBTQIA (adding queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual/aromantic). Do not specify sexual orientation unless it is germane and necessary to the article.   

less/fewer/under. In general, use fewer for individual items and less for bulk or quantity. Right: Fewer than 10 applicants called. I had less than $50 in my pocket. Under refers to spatial relationships; less than is preferred with amounts or quantities, and fewer than is preferred with individual items.

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magazine names. Capitalize and italicize. See Titles.

main campus. Use Fowler Campus instead of main campus. 

majors. Capitalize a subject of study when used as the name of a specific course. Otherwise, do not capitalize names of fields of study or majors, except those words that are proper nouns (names of languages, geographic locations, etc.). Ex: I have to take Economics 204 to graduate, but I won’t need any more economics courses after that. She earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology. He majored in English literature. She has a minor in chemistry.

master of arts, master of science. See Academic degrees.

MBA. See Academic degrees.

mid- . Do not hyphenate unless a capitalized word follows. Ex: midair, mid-America, mid-Atlantic, midsemester, or midterm. Use a hyphen when mid- precedes a figure. Ex: mid-30s

money. For amounts less than $1, use cents. Ex: The bill was for 67 cents. For amounts of $1 or more that include cents, use the dollar sign with a decimal point. Ex: They sent a check for $1.01 to the office. Dollar amounts with no cents should not include a decimal point. Ex: I wrote a check for $50 to cover the invoice. For amounts of $1 million or more, omit zeroes and use million, billion, etc. See also Dollar.

More than/over. More than is used with numerals. Ex: Parking has gone up more than $50 per semester. Over refers to spatial relationships. Ex: The helicopter flew over the campus.

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names. On first reference, use full names and, where appropriate, titles. On second reference, use only last names. If needing to distinguish between two people with the same last name, use both first and last names for each. Do not use courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Ms.) unless in a direct quote, formal letter greeting, or on second reference if requested by subject. See also Jr./Sr.

For professors with a Ph.D. or other doctoral degree, use Barbara Nguyen, Ph.D., on the first reference and Dr. Nguyen thereafter. (NOTE: Some faculty members, such as Vernon L. Smith, strongly prefer to be called Professor [Last name] on second reference.)

Using initials for a first name is acceptable if the identification is clear. Ex: J.K. Rowling, J.J. Abrams, C.C. Chapman

named chairs vs. named professorships. Named chairs or named professorships are endowed positions held by faculty, so one holds a chair in or is a professor of. See also Chair and Endowed chair

newspaper/periodicals titles. Capitalize and italicize newspaper and periodical titles. Capitalize the only if it is the beginning of the actual title. See also Titles.

Native American. See Race and ethnicities.

Nobel Prize. Capitalize prize when referenced with Nobel, and lowercase when not. Ex: He was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics and traveled to Sweden to receive the prize. Nobel Prize recipients are identified as Nobel laureates. Always lowercase laureate.

noon/midnight. Lowercase. Do not put 12 in front of noon. Use noon instead of 12 p.m. Use midnight for 12 a.m.

numbers. For print, spell out zero through nine. Use numerals for 10 and up. When writing for the Web, use numerals for all numbers. If a sentence begins with a number, spell it out or revise the sentence. For numbers over 1,000, use a comma as a separator.

  • age: Always use figures. Use hyphens only to separate if used as an adjective before a noun or as a substitute for a noun. Ex: The 7-year-old boy vs. The boy was 7 years old. Do not use an apostrophe if describing a decade. Ex: She was in her 80s not She was in her 80’s.
  • dimensions/physical qualities (length, width, volume): Always express in figures,  including fractions and decimals, and spell out unit descriptor. Ex: 4 yards or 11 3/8 inches long or 5.5 pounds
  • fractions/decimals: Spell out amounts less than one using hyphens between the words. For amounts larger than one, use figures. Use decimals for higher numbers. Ex: two-thirds, 1 1/3, 100.5
  • millions/billions: For million/billions, write out the word rather than using zeros. Ex: Our goal is to raise $750 million.
  • ordinal numbers: Spell out if number is less than 10, and don’t capitalize unless distinctly part of a proper name. Do not subscript the suffix. Ex: Second-ranked Chapman is in the SCIAC semi-finals or Chapman is ranked 10th in consumption of cupcakes.
  • page numbers: Use figures and capitalize page number unless used in a recognized term like This is going to be a Page One story. When a letter is appended to the figure capitalize it, but do not use a hyphen to separate. Ex: Page 7 or Page 221B 
  • percent/percentage: One word. Spell it out in texts unless writing for the Web. Do not use “%” except in spreadsheets.
  • ratios: Use figures, a colon, and a descriptor phrase like ratio to avoid confusion with actual figures. Ex: a ratio of 3:1 or a 2:1 ratio.
  • temperature: Use figures except for zero. Spell out the word degree instead of using symbols unless used in scientific writings. Use a word like minus and not a symbol for describing temperatures below zero. Ex: Today's temperature was minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit or 's low was 10 below zero or It is 80 degrees out today.
  • time: When referencing numbers on the hour, do not include zeros or a colon. Ex: The event will start at 7 p.m. or The event will run from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Do not use o’clock unless it is part of a direct quotation and never as part of an ordinal representation. Ex: “We left at seven o’clock,” he said. Never: The event will begin promptly at 7:00 o’clock.
  • years: When written as a date, separate from day with a comma, and from the remainder of the sentence with a comma. Ex: March 10, 1932, is not a day that will attract notice. If you are referencing decades or centuries, do not use an apostrophe before the s. Ex: ’30s or 1880s. When listing only month and year, do not separate with a comma. Ex: May 2014.

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office. Capitalize office on first reference when it is part of the formal name; lowercase or delete on second reference. Ex: Office of Admission or Admission office.

off campus/on campus/off site. Two words, but hyphenate if used as an adjective in front of a noun. Ex: He wanted off-campus housing, so he didn’t have the distractions of living on campus.

Orientation. Capitalize when referring to the Chapman event or the Office of Orientation.

Oscars. Both Academy Awards and Oscars are acceptable terms for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ award ceremony. Oscars is more informal. 

over/more than. See More than.

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p.m./a.m. See a.m./p.m. and Numbers/Time. 

Panther, The. Chapman’s student-run newspaper. The is capitalized because it is part of the newspaper’s official name. 

Panther. Capitalize when referencing Chapman students. Ex: Chapman Panthers loved listening to the roar of panthers. The university’s official mascot is identified as Pete the Panther (no comma).

parentheses. See Punctuation.

percent/percentage. See Numbers and Punctuation/Symbols.

performing arts. Capitalize when used in titles like the College of Performing Arts. Lowercase otherwise. Ex: The College of Performing Arts is focused on teaching the performing arts.

Performing Arts, College of. See Colleges and schools

period. See Punctuation.

Ph.D./Doctor. See Titles. 

phone numbers. The format for telephone numbers is to enclose the area code in parentheses, followed by the number separated by a hyphen. Avoid using periods as separators. Ex: (714) 555-1212 not 714.555.1212.

prefixes. Generally, do not use a hyphen when using a prefix with a word starting with a consonant. Except for cooperate and coordinate, use a hyphen if the prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel. Use a hyphen before capitalized words or numerals or in awkward constructions that might be misleading or difficult to read such as non-nuclear.  

president. When used as a title before the president’s name, it’s capitalized. Ex: President James L. Doti. Lowercase when used without the name or after the name. Ex: The president will be here at noon or Jim Doti is president of Chapman University. See also Doti.

professor. Can be used as a title for faculty members who do not hold a terminal degree or for those who hold a doctoral degree but prefer not to be called Dr. Capitalize if before the name and lowercase if after. Ex: Patel is a professor of physics or Is Professor Hernandez on campus today? 

program. In general, capitalize formal names of academic programs, but do not capitalize the word program. When referring to the program as a major or minor, do not capitalize (except for proper nouns). Ex: The Business Administration program or He majored in business administration or Both the major and minor in business administration are … .

pronouns: See Gender Sensitivities.

provost. When used as a title before the provost's name, it is capitalized. Ex: Provost Gaspar de Portola. Use lowercase without the name or after the name. Ex: The provost will be here at noon or Gaspar de Portola is provost of Cursivo University.

publications titles. See Titles.  

punctuation. Reference the Associated Press Stylebook for basic punctuation rules. Below is a quick reference for some commonly used marks.

    • apostrophe: Usually indicates possession, contraction, or the omission of a letter or number. Ex: It’s Milton’s red stapler that he bought in the ’90s.
    • bullets: Capitalize the first word of each point. Only bulleted items that are phrased as complete sentences should include final punctuation.
    • capitalization: Capitalize common nouns such as university, party, river and street when they refer to a proper name for a place, person or thing. Lowercase these common nouns when they are plural, when they stand alone or in subsequent references.
    • colon: Commonly used at the end of a sentence to indicate a list, tabulation, or text. Capitalize first word after colon if the next phrase is a complete sentence. Ex: Ross has one rule: Do unto others before they have a chance to do unto you. 
    • commas: Use commas to separate elements in a series or for a conjunction. In general, Chapman does not use the serial (Oxford) comma before the last list item, but that format is allowed as long as its use is consistent throughout the article or publication. Preferred Ex: Watch out for Tom, Dick and Jane. Do not use a comma to separate Jr. or Sr. from a name. When a phrase refers to a full date, use a comma to set off the year. Ex: February 14, 2013, is the target date. Similarly, use a comma after the state or country in a sentence. Ex: Jack Jones Jr. was born in Barstow, Calif., in ’79. Reference the AP Stylebook for a more thorough explanation of comma utilization (or see this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education for a more humorous perspective)
    • dashes: There are two types of dashes: em and en dashes. There should be spaces between separated words and dashes. Em dashes should be used to reflect a break in thought. Use this instead of a hyphen or double hyphen: I will be traveling back to the future — if I can figure out this darn flux capacitor. En dashes should be used to describe a range of values or a distance: Students aged 18–24 should take the OC–LA train. 
    • ellipsis: Represents the exclusion of words in a quotation or a deliberate pause in a written statement. Should be preceded and followed by a space. Ex: This is a remarkable document … if it weren’t plagiarized word-for-word from the Web. 
    • exclamation point: Rarely necessary. Avoid! Please! 
    • titles and headlines: Capitalize the first and last word of the headline; verbs; nouns; pronouns; adjectives; adverbs; and words more than three letters long. Do not capitalize articles, coordinating conjunctions or prepositions. Ex: Today's New Game Is a Real Head Scratcher or Chapman Becomes Best and Brightest University Ever
    • hyphens: Use to join words if necessary to avoid confusion or to form a compound modifier to express two words as a single concept. Ex: He will lecture to a group of small-businessmen about first-quarter budgets. Do not hyphenate after words ending in –ly. Ex: This is a specially designated room for meditation.  
    • parentheses: Use sparingly because they are jarring to the reader. Use commas or em dashes as an alternative. Place periods outside the final parenthesis if the parentheses enclose a sentence fragment or inside if the parentheses enclose a full sentence.
    • periods: Use at the end of a sentence and for abbreviations. It is no longer necessary to end a sentence with two spaces after a period.  
    • question mark: Use a question mark at the end of a direct question. Ex: Who found the key? Use a question mark at the end of an interpolated question. Ex: You told me — Did I hear you right? —  that you went to class.Placement inside or outside of quotation marks depends on the meaning. Ex: Who wrote “The Road Not Taken”? or She asked, “Who is writing the next report?” and, similarly, “Who is writing the report?” she asked.
    • quotation marks: Use for direct quotes, dialogue, or to identify the title of a short story or article. In general, punctuation marks (especially the period) go inside the quotation marks. Reference the AP Stylebook for a more thorough explanation of quotation mark utilization.
    • semicolon: In general, use the semicolon to replace conjunction words like and, but, yet, etc., when both sections can stand alone as complete sentences. It should also be used to separate items in a series in which the items contain commas. Ex: She is a successful author; her baking skills are also exceptional. Ex:Ramon is survived by his son, Brian;three daughters, Inez, Bertha, and Juanita; and dog, Huey.
    • symbols: Do not use an ampersand (&) unless it is part of an official name. The @ symbol should only be used in email addresses. The % symbol can be used i spreadsheets and in writing for the Web but should always be written as percent or percentage in text.
    • Books, publications, newspapers, magazines, journals, music, websites, apps:
    • Put quotation marks around the titles of books; presentations; films; songs and albums; videogames; paintings, poems or other works of art; and TV series. Ex: "To Kill a Mockingbird"
    • Capitalize websites and apps without quotations. Ex: Facebook, Foursquare
    • publications titles. For magazines, books, and newspapers, titles are italicized. For short stories or article titles, use quotes. Ex: The article “10 Ways to Learn” just appeared in The New Yorker.
    • journal titles. Use italics for journal titles. Ex: The quote came from the New England Journal of Medicine.
    • Place in quotation marks (no italics) the names of smaller works within a larger work, such as episode titles of a TV series, poems or stories in a book, or arias in an opera.
    • musical compositions. Titles of operas, long works, and albums are italicized. Titles of songs and short compositions are placed in quotation marks.
    • Job descriptions, titles:
    • Formal job titles should be capitalized and spelled out when used in front of the person’s name. Ex: Associate Professor of Law John A. Hall or Dean Bob Bassett. Use lowercase when the title follows the name. Ex: Dr. Hall is an associate professor of law at Chapman. Bob Bassett is dean of Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.
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queer. See LGBT.
Quran. Preferred spelling for the holy book of the Muslim faith. It should always be capitalized. Use the spelling Koran only if preferred by a specific organization or specific title or name.

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Race and ethnicities. Racial identifiers rarely provide information that is relevant or revealing and should be avoided. However, when reporting on situations with racial undertones, such as demonstrations or protests, reference the AP Stylebook for currently accepted terminology.

Identifiers included in program titles have been reviewed and approved by the Faculty Senate and should appear as referenced in the academic catalog. Ex. minor in Latin American studies. See www.chapman.edu/academics/course-catalogs/index.aspx.

Ramadan. Always capitalize. Ramadan is the Muslim holy month, which is a period of daily fasting from sunrise to sunset ending with the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

ratios. See Numbers/Ratios

religious affiliation. See Disciples of Christ.  

research centers. See www.chapman.edu/research-and-institutions  

retarded. Do not use. Federal statutes use instead intellectual disability. Ex: The student has an intellectual disability. Not: The student is intellectually disabled.  

Representative, Rep. Capitalize as a title before the name of a state or federal legislator. Ex: U.S. Representative Ed Royce, California Rep. Joe Baca. Use the lowercase for generic expressions: He is a representative on the Campus Council. 

residence hall. Preferred to dormitory. For a complete list of residence halls names, See Campus Naming Protocol.

resident assistant. Don’t use R.A. except in quoted material. A resident assistant is an upperclass student who provides assistance to students living in a residence hall.

Reverend. See Titles

Rhodes scholar. Lowercase scholar and scholarship.

Rinker Health Science campus. See the Campus Naming Protocol. For use rules, see campus.

Roman numerals. Use Roman numerals to identify sequence for names of people, wars, and some sporting events. Ex: Pope Pius XII, World War ISuper Bowl XXIII. Also use Roman numerals for certain legislative acts. Ex: Title IX

rooms. Capitalize the names of specially designated rooms on campus. Ex: Huell Howser Conference Room, Wallace All Faiths Chapel, George H.W. Bush Conference Room. When designating a room number, capitalize Room when used with a figure. Ex: Room 315 in the Argyros Forum or Beckman Hall, Room 303. After first reference, it is acceptable to refer to a building in the shorter style of BK 303, AF 315, etc.

RSVP. The abbreviation for the French respondez s’il vous plait translates to respond if you please. No periods are necessary. Never say Please RSVP

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Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library. See Campus Naming Protocol

scholarships. Capitalize the official names of scholarships. On subsequent references, scholar or scholarship should be lowercase unless they come directly before a name.

Schools and Colleges. See Colleges and schools. 

School of Law. See Colleges and schools.

Schmid College of Science and Technology. See Colleges and schools.

seasons. Do not capitalize spring, summer, fall, or winter unless it is the first word of a sentence or part of a formal name or title. Ex: It was published in fall 2008. The theatre students performed at the Spring Promenade. She competed in the Olympic Winter Games.

semester. Always lowercase. Ex: The spring semester ends in May.

semicolon. See Punctuation.

senior. Do not capitalize unless it is part of a proper name. Ex: Each senior class gives the university a gift through the Senior Legacy Campaign.

staff. Lowercase, singular noun. Ex: The staff is excited about the holiday party.

states. In news or article writing, use the AP abbreviation for the state (Mich., Calif., etc.). Names of states should be spelled out in the body of a letter but abbreviated in the address using the U.S. Postal Service abbreviation system.

student organizations. A student organization must be registered with the university to receive full benefits of campus facilities or to be eligible for student funding. Capitalize the proper names of student organizations.  

syllabus. The correct plural form is syllabuses; however, syllabi has become widely adopted.

symbols. See Punctuation

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telephone numbers. See Phone numbers.

theatre vs. theater. The preferred spelling at Chapman is theatre. Ex: Waltmar Theatre is the performance home of the theatre department. Note that Folino Theater in Marion Knott Studios is spelled differently.

time. See Numbers and a.m./p.m.

titles. The university deviates from the AP Stylebook in titling protocol.

  • Books, publications, newspapers, magazines, journals, music:
    • Italicize the titles of books, magazines, presentations, films, paintings or other works of art, and TV series.
    • publications titles. For magazines, books, and newspapers, titles are italicized. For short stories or article titles, use quotes. Ex: The article “10 Ways to Learn” just appeared in The New Yorker.
    • journal titles. Use italics for journal titles. Ex: The quote came from the New England Journal of Medicine.
    • Place in quotation marks (no italics) the names of smaller works within a larger work, such as episode titles of a TV series, poems or stories in a book, or arias in an opera.
    • musical compositions. Titles of operas, long works, and albums are italicized. Titles of songs and short compositions are placed in quotation marks.
  • Job descriptions, titles:
    • Formal job titles should be capitalized and spelled out when used in front of the person’s name. Ex: Associate Professor of Law John A. Hall or Dean Bob Bassett. Use lowercase in all other instances. Ex: Dr. Hall is an associate professor of law at Chapman. Bob Bassett is dean of Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. The dean of your college must approve the petition.
  • Names, titles, academic titles: See also Academic degrees and Names.
    • Abbreviate titles such as Sen., Maj., Gov. and Dr. before names. (The title may be spelled out in formal applications.) Ex: Gen. Rho Singh, Lt. Col. Mary Smith, the Rev. James N’tui, and the Hon. Jane Martinez attended Chapman’s Commencement.
    • legislative titles. On first reference, use Rep. and Sen. before the name. Spell out and lowercase representative and senator in other uses. When including party and state affiliation, set off with commas (not parentheses), and use AP abbreviation for the state. Ex: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., will hold a roundtable discussion on marriage equality.
    • Capitalize a formal title/job description when it comes before an individual’s name; lowercase the title when it follows the name. Ex: University Vice President Jane Petrosian plans to step down from her post later this year. Jim Apovian, vice chancellor, announced academic changes in December.
    • vice president, vice provost, vice chair, vice chancellor. Do not hyphenate.
    • Ph.D./Doctor/Dr. For professors with a Ph.D. or other doctoral degrees (excluding M.D.), use Barbara Havers, Ph.D., on the first reference and Havers, Professor Havers, or Dr. Havers thereafter. When identifying two or more doctors in the same sentence, the correct abbreviation is Drs.
    • emeritus/emerita/emeriti. Emeritus title and standing is an honorific generally conferred by the Faculty Senate to selected retired faculty. For individual women, it is emerita. For individual men, it is emeritus. For plural of women, men or a mixed group, it is emeriti. Ex: Emeritus Professor of English Joe Jones was the guest speaker. Jane Wu, professor emerita of English, was the guest speaker. Several emeriti professors attended the reunion.

transgender. See LGBT. 

Twitter/tweet. Always capitalize Twitter. However, tweet should be lowercase. It is used as a noun or verb depending on the context of the sentence. Ex: The tweet she sent me was hilarious (noun) and  She was tweeting throughout the graduation ceremony (verb).

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United States. When used as a proper noun, spell it out and capitalize. United States is sufficient (United States of America is usually not necessary). It is acceptable to abbreviate when used as an adjective (Ex: the U.S. economy). Always use periods to delineate U.S., but USA should be written without periods.

university. Capitalize when it follows Chapman: Chapman University. Capitalized when used separately to referring to Chapman University, but lower case when referencing all other institutions. Ex: This University provides a uniquely personalized education. Other universities are not as focused.

UC/CSU. Spell out on first reference — University of California, Berkeley — but UC Berkeley on second reference. Similarly, California State University, Fresno but Fresno State on second reference.

under. See Less.

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vice president, vice provost, vice chair, vice chancellor. See Titles.

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Web/website/Web page. Website is one word. Web page is two words. Capitalize Web but not website or page. Ex: You can find that Web page on our new website. When writing a Chapman Web page's url, write it with chapman.edu first. Ex. chapman.edu/tickets, not https://www.chapman.edu/tickets. You can still link to the full url, just don't display it in the paragragh. You can request a shortcut url through this form. Subdomains are prohibited unless approved by Strategic Marketing & Communications or IS&T. Ex. news.chapman.edu or events.chapman.edu. 

webcam, webmaster, webcast. All are one word. (AP Stylebook)

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. See Colleges and schools.

Women of Chapman. Refers to the support group formerly known as The Fashionables and later as The Fashionable Women of Chapman. The group officially changed its name to Women of Chapman in 2011. Note: Rooms originally funded by this group have retained their original names and include The Fashionable Women of Chapman Rotunda and Board Room in Marion Knott Studios, The Fashionables Courtyard and Sacred Mound Garden, and The Fashionables Terrace in the Leatherby Libraries.

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years. See Numbers

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ZIP code. Always write as all-caps ZIP (stands for Zone Improvement Plan), but always lowercase code. (AP Stylebook) Run the five digits together without a comma, and do not put a comma between the state name and the ZIP code. Ex: Orange, CA 92866.

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AP Stylebook Updates

For current information and recent changes/additions to the AP Stylebook, visit: