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Marketing & Communication

Editorial Style Guide

This Editorial Style Guide is a quick reference tool that provides consistent and appropriate style for print and electronic materials.

The Office of Marketing and Communication created this Editorial Style Guide to help University communicators follow a consistent and appropriate style for print and electronic materials written for and about Mississippi College. 

Mississippi College uses this comprehensive Editorial Style Guide and The Associated Press Stylebook, commonly called "AP style," which is the standard for most university publishing, communications, and news offices. The Chicago Manual of Style is used for issues not addressed by AP style.

The following covers items not mentioned in The AP Stylebook, notes items you will most likely encounter, or indicates exceptions Mississippi College makes to the AP Stylebook.

Facility Index

Facility Category



Anderson Hall


A.E. Wood Coliseum


Alumni Hall


Art Annex


Aven Fine Arts Building


B.C. Rogers Student Center


Band Hall


Baptist Healthplex


Chrestman Hall


Cockroft Hall


Cockroft-Caldwell Hall


Dyslexia Center


East Tower


Farr Hall


Frierson Field


Girling Field House


Gunter Hall


Hederman Hall


Hederman Science Building


Hitt-McCullough Hall


Holloway Rotunda


International Center East


International West A


International West B


Jennings Annex


Jennings Hall


Lanier Physical Plant


Latimer House


Latimer-Webb Hall


Leland Speed Library


Longabaugh Field


Lowrey Hall


Mary Nelson Hall


Math, Chemistry, Computer Science (MCC)


Moody Adams Field House


Nelson Hall


Parkman Track


Phillips House


Pimento's Cafe


Provine Chapel


Quick Hall


Ratliff Hall


Rice Field House


Robinson-Hale Stadium


Royce Medical Sciences Center


Samuel Marshall Gore Art Galleries


Self Hall


Swor Auditorium


The Caf


West Tower


Whittington Hall


Williams Strength Center



Complimentary Titles

Complimentary titles, such as Mr., Mrs. and Dr.; do not use them in combination with any other title or with abbreviations indicating scholastic or academic degrees

  • Doris R. Helms, Ph.D.; not Dr. Doris R. Helms, Ph.D.
  • Larry S. Bowman, M.D.; not Dr. Larry S. Bowman, M.D.

Degree Titles

Degree Abbreviation
Bachelor of Arts B.A.
Bachelor of Fine Arts B.F.A.
Bachelor of Science B.S.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration B.S.B.A.
Bachelor of Science in Education B.S.Ed.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing B.S.N.
Bachelor of Social Work B.S.W.
Master of Arts M.A.
Master of Arts in Teaching M.A.T.
Master of Business Administration MBA
Master of Combined Sciences M.C.S.
Master of Education M.Ed.
Master of Fine Arts M.F.A.
Master of Health Services Administration M.H.S.A.
Master of Liberal Studies M.L.S.
Master of Music M.Mus.
Master of Science in Medicine M.S.M.
Master of Social Sciences M.S.S.
Master of Science M.S.
Doctor of Education Ed.D.
Doctor of Professional Counseling D.P.C.
Doctor of Nursing Practice D.N.P.
Educational Specialist Ed.S.


Use GPR or GPA in caps without periods.

Academic Degrees

The preferred form is to spell out degrees and avoid abbreviations.

Formal Use General Use 1 General Use 2 Abbreviated Use
Bachelor of Arts bachelor’s degree bachelor’s B.A.
Bachelor of Science bachelor’s degree bachelor’s B.S.
Bachelor of Science in Engineering bachelor's degree bachelor's B.S.E.
Master of Arts master’s degree master’s M.A.
Doctorate of Education doctoral degree doctorate Ed.D.

The word “degree” should not follow an abbreviation:

  • She has a B.A. in English literature.
  • She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature.

Commonly Misused Terms


Use “adviser,” not “advisor.”

Fundraising and Fundraiser

Always one word

Theater or Theatre

Theater: The building or area of a building where performances are held.

  • Aven Little Theater

Theatre: The art or function of theatre.

  • She studied theatre while at Mississippi College.

Athletics, Mascot

Choctaws (official mascot)

Do not refer to mascot as "Chocs".



Capitalize a job title when it immediately precedes a person’s name. The title is not capitalized when it is an incomplete designation, follows a name or is on second reference:

  • Mississippi College President Blake Thompson
    Dr. Blake Thompson, president of Mississippi College
    the president
  • Professor of Business Tammy Arthur
    Dr. Tammy Arthur, professor of business
    professor Tammy Arthur
    the professor

Endowed professorships are capitalized, even when the title follows a name.

  • Deborah Challener, the Owen Cooper Professor of Law, moderated the panel.

Departments, Offices, the Board of Trustees

  • Capitalize the formal names of departments and offices, as well as the Board of Trustees; do not capitalize informal names and incomplete designations:
    Department of Chemistry
    the chemistry department
    the department  
  • the Office of Public Relations
    the public relations office
    the office


  • Official college degrees when spelled out.
    Bachelor of Fine Arts, but bachelor’s degree
    Master of Science, but master’s degree
  • The major when it appears as part of the degree; however, lowercase major when it follows the word degree.
    Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
    She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science.
  • Use lowercase for majors with the exception of languages:

    • Right: She is a physics major.
    • Right: He is an English major.
    • Wrong: She is a Biology major.

Buildings, Places, Centers

Capitalize the word "University" whenever referring to Mississippi College.

Capitalize the formal names of buildings, places and centers. Use the formal name on first reference and, in most cases, use lowercase on second reference:

  • Mississippi College Provine Chapel
    the University Chapel
    the chapel
  • Samuel Marshall Gore Art Galleries
    the art gallery
  • The University allows (capitalize the "U" when referring to Mississippi College)
    At any university, students will

Omit the first name of the person for whom a building or center is named, unless the reference is for memorial or ceremonial purposes:

  • Rice Fieldhouse
  • Thomas Laboratory
  • Davis International Center

For buildings or centers that have additional identifiers with their names, use those whenever possible on first or early reference, and the last name only on subsequent references:

  • Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding (Fields Center on subsequent references)

In general, put the building name first followed by the room number:

  • Self Hall, Room 310

For large auditoriums, put the room first followed by the building name:

  • Swor Auditorium in Nelson Hall
  • Anderson Hall in B.C. Rogers Student Center


The formal names of special events are capitalized:

  • Career Day
  • Baccalaureate
  • Class Day
  • Commencement
  • Opening Exercises
  • Reunions
  1. Geographical regions of the country, but not points of the compass (direction or locality).
  • A storm system that developed in the Midwest is spreading eastward.
  1. The word Southern when referring to a cultural or area distinction.
  • Southern cooking
  • The Southern way of life

Cities and States

Use commas to separate the name of a state when it follows a city:

  • The train ride ended in New Brunswick, New Jersey, at 5 p.m.

Spell out the names of the 50 U.S. states when they stand alone and when a state is listed with a city, town, village, etc.

Note about use of United States: Use “U.S.” only as an adjective, otherwise spell it out. “She studied U.S. culture of the 1950s.” “She studied the culture of the United States from the 1950s.”  

Do not use states with these U.S. cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington


Capitalize the word “Class” in

the Class of 1991


In general, do not describe an individual as disabled or handicapped. If it is relevant to the material and you must use a description, try to be specific:

  • Muhammad Ali, boxing hero and a former Olympic champion, defied the symptoms of Parkinson's to light the torch in a rare public appearance.

Use “accessible parking,” rather than disabled or handicapped parking.

Dates and Times

Use figures for days of the month. Omit the ordinal designations of nd, rd, st, th.

Place a comma between the month and the year when the day is mentioned:

  • On April 27, 2009, Communiversity brought together hundreds of people.

Do not place a comma between the month and the year when the day is not mentioned:

  • In April 2009, Communiversity brought together hundreds of people.

When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate the month according to AP style: Jan., Feb., Aug. Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. (all others spelled out). Spell out when using alone or with a year alone:

  • Aug. 27, 2011
  • August
  • August 2011

Use figures for years without commas: 2011.

Use the year, a hyphen and the last two digits to refer to a period of time within the same century as an adjective, but full years joined by a hyphen when the range crosses into another century:

  • the 2011-12 academic year
  • the 1999-2000 academic year

Use “to” instead of a hyphen when the year or time is a noun:

  • from 1989 to 2005
  • The meetings will take place from 8 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

When abbreviating years to two digits, put an apostrophe in front of the years:

  • the Class of ‘76
  • the summer of ‘69

Dates following a day of the week should be set apart by commas:

  • He decided that Friday, Oct. 12, would be a convenient date.

Times generally come before days and dates:

  • The performance will take place at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12.

When emphasizing the exact time, or when using a.m. or p.m., use figures (omitting 00 for on the hour):

  • 7 p.m.; 7:30 p.m.

12 a.m. should be referred to as midnight; 12 p.m. should be referred to as noon.

Hyphens may be used with dates, and should always be used with dates when both days of the week and dates are included.

  • The workshop is set for Monday through Thursday, July 18-21.

The Office of Public Relations recognizes that some publications, such as posters and invitations, call for a design treatment that demands the more elegant presentation offered by Chicago style (such as spelling out a month).

Centuries and Decades

  • Noun: the 20th century
  • Adjective: 20th-century literature
  • the 1980s
  • ‘80s fashion

Mississippi College

Mississippi College is the institution’s formal name. Shorter form written reference as MC or the University is acceptable. Capitalize University when referring informally to Mississippi College.


Spell out numbers one through nine and general numbers in narrative text:

  • There were seven people at the meeting.
  • There were 36 students in the class.
  • There are approximately 5,000 undergraduates.
  • There are a thousand reasons.

When a number is the first word of a sentence, spell it out.

In a series, apply the appropriate guideline:

  • There are 25 graduate students in the philosophy department, nine in the music department and eight in the comparative literature department, making a total of 42 students in the three departments.

Express all percentages as figures. Do not use the % sign except in charts or graphs:

  • 3 percent; 130 percent

For very large sums of money use figures with a dollar sign; spell out million or billion:

  • $1.8 million
  • between $1 and $2 billion

Place a comma after digits signifying thousands, except when reference is made to temperature:

  • 1,160 students
  • 2200 degrees Fahrenheit



Use a single space after a period at the end of a sentence.


Do not underline words. Italicize instead, unless font library does not offer italics.

Inclusive Language

Use nonsexist language and follow these recommendations:

Don't say “he” when referring to an unspecified person. Instead, recast the sentence into the plural, or avoid the use of pronouns altogether.

  • (Incorrect) Each student is expected to turn in his paper by the deadline.
  • (Correct) Students are expected to turn in their papers by the deadline.

If it’s impossible to solve the problem using these approaches, remember that “he or she” is preferable to “he/she.”

Avoid gender-specific titles or terms, such as:

Instead of





business executive, manager


female student


representative, senator

to man

to staff, to run, to operate


people, humanity


workforce, employees


For organizations outside the University, use the language in their official title.

  • Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke or Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board

Latin Suffixes

  • alumnus/alumni (male graduate/plural; also plural for a group consisting of male and female graduates)
  • alumna/alumnae (female graduate/plural)
  • emerita/emeritae (retired faculty woman who keeps her rank or title/plural)
  • emeritus/emeriti (retired faculty man who keeps his rank or title/plural; also plural for a group consisting of male and female retirees)