Marshall University Style Guide for Written Materials

In general, Marshall University follows the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, which is available at bookstores and by subscription online. The following information is for exceptions, specific Marshall usages and common situations.

 

Exceptions

Although the AP Stylebook specifies email, Marshall’s preference is to use e-mail, which is comparable to other uses such as e-book, e-business and e-commerce specified by the Stylebook.

Although the Stylebook specifies that an honorific title is not to be used before the name, it is Marshall’s policy to use the title Dr., when appropriate, on first reference only.

Although the Stylebook specifies the spelling adviser, Marshall’s preference is for advisor.

 

Referring to the university

For external audiences, be sure to refer to Marshall University on first reference, and as Marshall or the university on subsequent references. Please note that university is not capitalized in the subsequent references. MU is to be avoided with external audiences, but may be permissible in internal communications.

 

Referring to faculty members

Be careful in referring to a faculty member as a professor. This is only correct if the faculty member has the rank of full professor. In other cases, use the term faculty member or the full title, such as assistant professor of history.

It is Marshall’s policy to use the title Dr., when appropriate, on first reference only.

Please refer to a department chair, rather than chairperson or chairman.

 

Academic degrees

Periods are to be used in abbreviations such as B.S.W., M.B.A., B.A., and the like.

When referring to a specific degree without the abbreviations, capitalization is used, such as Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts and the like. Note that the possessive is not used in these instances.

When not referring to a specific degree, use associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctoral degree. Bachelor’s and master’s should both have apostrophes. Please note that the possessive is not used for associate degree, and that doctorate degree is incorrect. The word doctorate, used alone, is correct when used as a noun.

 

Building and location names

Be particularly careful about using the terms on campus or campus-wide. Marshall has both a Huntington campus and a South Charleston campus, as well as multiple centers:

Huntington campus (note that campus is not capitalized)

South Charleston campus (note that campus is not capitalized; do not refer to the location as the Marshall University Graduate College)

Teays Valley Regional Center

Mid-Ohio Valley Center

Buildings and other locations on the Huntington campus:

Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center

First Year Residence Hall North

First Year Residence Hall South

Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center

Harless Dining Hall (not cafeteria)

Joan C. Edwards Playhouse in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center

Joan C. Edwards Stadium

John Deaver Drinko Library or Drinko Library

Jomie Jazz Center in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center

Joseph M. Gillette Welcome Center or Welcome Center

Marshall Recreation Center (not Marshall University Recreation Center)

Memorial Student Center (not Marshall Student Center or Marshall Student Union)

Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Building

Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex

Wilbur E. Myers Hall

 

We Are…Marshall tagline 

The “We Are…Marshall” tagline should include the ellipses and should not have its wording adjusted, such as “We Are…University Communications.”

 

Commas

The AP Stylebook calls for no comma prior to the word and in a series, unless the final comma is needed for clarity.

 

Common situations

The following corrections often need to be made:

Time:     6 p.m., not 6pm, 6 P.M. or 6PM. The two zeroes are not used for times that are on the hour.

Dates:  The Stylebook specifies three-letter abbreviations for the following months of the year, when a complete date or month/day combination is used: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct. , Nov. and Dec. Other months are spelled out. However, if just the month or the month/year are used, the month should be spelled out.

In news style, the year is often not used because it is understood. If the year is used in a date, it should be set off by commas.

Dates should be expressed as Arabic numerals only, without suffixes such as th, rd, st or nd.

 

Apostrophe

In general, apostrophes are not necessary in constructing plurals of nouns. They are, however, necessary with most possessive adjectives, such as bachelor’s degree.

 

Words often misspelled or misused

Its – Possessive form of the word it.
It’s – Contraction of it is.

Their – Possessive form of they.
They’re  
– Contraction of they are.
There – Word indicating location.

Underway – one word per the Stylebook.