Editorial Style Guide | Public Relations | Mississippi College
Skip to main content

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.

Facility Index

Facility Category
Art Annex Academic
Aven Fine Arts Building Academic
Band Hall Academic
Cockroft Hall Academic
Dyslexia Center Academic
Farr Hall Academic
Hederman Science Building Academic
International Center East Academic
International West A Academic
International West B Academic
Jennings Annex Academic
Jennings Hall Academic
Leland Speed Library Academic
Lowrey Hall Academic
Math, Chemistry, Computer Science (MCC) Academic
Provine Chapel Academic
Samuel Marshall Gore Art Galleries Academic
Self Hall Academic
A.E. Wood Coliseum Athletic
Frierson Field Athletic
Girling Field House Athletic
Longabaugh Field Athletic
Rice Field House Athletic
Moody Adams Field House Athletic
Robinson-Hale Stadium Athletic
Parkman Track Athletic
Williams Strength Center Athletic
Chrestman Hall Residential
Cockroft-Caldwell Hall Residential
East Tower Residential
Gunter Hall Residential
Hederman Hall Residential
Hitt-McCullough Hall Residential
Holloway Rotunda Residential
Latimer-Webb Hall Residential
Mary Nelson Hall Residential
Quick Hall Residential
Ratliff Hall Residential
West Tower Residential
Whittington Hall Residential
Alumni Hall Other
B.C. Rogers Student Center Other
      Anderson Hall Other
Baptist Healthplex Other
Lanier Physical Plant Other
Latimer House Other
Nelson Hall Other
Swor Auditorium Other
Pimento's Cafe Dining
The Caf Dining
1826 Dining
Phillips House Other

Abbreviations

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.
Educational Specialist Ed.S.

GPR, GPA

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 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

Adviser

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".

Capitalization

People

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
    the president
  • Professor of Business Lloyd Roberts
    Lloyd Roberts, professor of business
    professor Lloyd Roberts
    the professor

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

  • Jeffrey Jackson, 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

Degrees

  • 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

Events

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

Classes

Capitalize the word “Class” in

the Class of 1991

Disabilities

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.

Exception:
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.

Numbers

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

Punctuation

Periods

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

Underlining

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