The MC Editorial Style Guide was created by the Office of Public Relations as a quick reference tool to help University communicators follow a style that is consistent and appropriate for print and electronic materials written for and about Mississippi College.
Mississippi College uses the comprehensive style guide, 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.
The following is an abbreviated style guide to cover items not mentioned in The AP Stylebook, to note items you will most likely encounter, or to indicate exceptions Mississippi College makes to the stylebook.
|Aven Fine Arts Building||Academic|
|Hederman Science Building||Academic|
|International Center East||Academic|
|International West A||Academic|
|International West B||Academic|
|Leland Speed Library||Academic|
|Math, Chemistry, Computer Science (MCC)||Academic|
|Samuel Marshall Gore Art Galleries||Academic|
|A.E. Wood Coliseum||Athletic|
|Girling Field House||Athletic|
|Rice Field House||Athletic|
|Moody Adams Field House||Athletic|
|Williams Strength Center||Athletic|
|Mary Nelson Hall||Residential|
|B.C. Rogers Student Center||Other|
|Lanier Physical Plant||Other|
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.
|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.|
Use GPR or GPA in caps without periods.
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||BSE|
|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.”
Always one word
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.
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 Lee Royce
Lee Royce, president of Mississippi College
- Professor of Business Lloyd Roberts
Lloyd Roberts, professor of business
professor Lloyd Roberts
Endowed professorships are capitalized, even when the title follows a name.
- Jeffrey Jackson, the Owen Cooper Professor of Law, moderated the panel.
- 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 Office of Public Relations
the public relations 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.
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
- 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
- Class Day
- Opening Exercises
- 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.
- The word Southern when referring to a cultural or area distinction.
- Southern cooking
- The Southern way of life
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 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 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