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The Office of Institutional Advancement: HSSU Style Sheet


academic degrees Lowercase bachelor’s degree and master’s degree unless it is part of an official degree title. Example: bachelor’s degree, Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education

academic titles Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as chancellor, chairman, etc. when they precede a name. Lowercase academic titles elsewhere. Example: president, President Givens

acronyms Upon first reference, the full name should always be spelled out and followed by the acronym. Example: Associated Press (AP) After the first reference, only the acronym needs to be used. Exception: Don’t put the acronym after Harris-Stowe State University.

All-Conference When referring to sports honors, it is capitalized and hyphenated in all instances.

alumni Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended school. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) when referring to a woman. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women.


and or Use “and or.” Do not use a slash.

Anheuser-Busch School of Business (ABSB) Always spell out the full name on first reference. It can be abbreviated School of Business or ABSB on second reference.

AT&T Library and Technology Resource Center Always spell out the full name on first reference. It can be abbreviated the library on second reference.


Bank of America Theatre is the name of the theater in the Emerson Performance Center.

Blackboard Capitalize when referring to the online program.

Board of Regents Gymnasium is the official name of the gym in the Emerson Performance Center. 

bookstore When casually referring to the Follett Bookstore as “the bookstore,” never capitalize it.


chairperson Capitalize as a formal title before a name (i.e. Chairperson George Ford). Do not capitalize as a casual, temporary position or when not directly preceding a name (i.e. George Ford is the chairperson.). Do not use chairman or chairwoman. 

child care

composition titles Italicize titles of books, names of newspapers, names of magazines, movie titles, names of television series, titles of record albums, titles of paintings, works of art, names of ships and spaceships, titles of theatrical productions, legal cases and books of the Bible. Put the following in quotation marks: poem titles, song titles, chapters of books, episodes of television series, short story titles, newspaper headlines and publication article titles.

course work

courtesy titles Never use courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Ms.) except for Dr. When referring to people upon second reference, use only their last names.


date When using the exact date, a comma always follows the day of the week and the date. Example: Monday, November 12, 2007,


Dr. Henry Givens Jr. Administration Building (HGA)  

drop-down menu

Drumline is always one word when referring to the HSSU Drumline.


Early Childhood Development and Parenting Education Center (ECE)

ellipsis ( … ) Treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, constructed with three periods and two spaces, as shown here. Use an ellipsis to indicate the deletion of one or more words in condensing quotes. 


Emerson Performance Center (EPC)


fall Lowercase in all uses except when referring to the Fall Semester. Example: fall, Fall Semester


First-Team When referring to sports honors, it is capitalized and hyphenated in all instances.


grade point average/GPA When written out, do not hyphenate. Even on first reference, the acronym GPA is acceptable. Do not separate the letters with periods.


Harris-Stowe Orientation Leader Ambassadors/ HOLA leaders Harris-Stowe Orientation Leader Ambassadors are often referred to as HOLA leaders. Do not separate the letters with periods, and do not capitalize the word “leaders” because it is not part of the official title.

health care Two words.

Homecoming Capitalized in all instances when referring to HSSU’s Homecoming.

home page Two words; the “front” page of a particular Web site.

HSSU Players


Inc. Do not place a comma preceding “Inc.”




logo font The official Harris-Stowe State University logo is written in Palatino Linotype font.



midnight Use instead of 12 a.m., and don’t put a 12 in front of the word.


MYHSSU Use all capital letters when referring to the online program.


the Net

non- In general, no hyphen, except before proper nouns or in awkward combinations, such as non-nuclear. Examples: nonconference, nonrefundable

noon Use instead of 12 p.m., and don’t put a 12 in front of the word.

numerals Spell out numbers one through nine, and use figures for 10 and above. Exceptions: dates, time and ages.




phone numbers Always use the (555) 555-5555 with parentheses format for all phone numbers.


postseason/preseason Never hyphenated; always one word.


prices Don’t use .00 after round figures. Examples: $55, $55.89




Rev. Dr. William G. Gillespie Residence Hall and Student Center Always spell out the full name on first reference. It can be abbreviated the residence hall and student center on second reference.


season opener


South Campus When referring to Harris-Stowe’s South Campus, always capitalize.

spacing after a sentence Always use one space after a sentence and before beginning another. Don’t use two spaces.

spring Lowercase in all uses except when referring to the Spring Semester. Example: spring, Spring Semester

state abbreviations Abbreviate state names using the two-letter Postal Service abbreviations.

state of Lowercase “state” in all “state of” constructions unless the phrase is part of an official title. Example: state of Missouri



team names When referring to HSSU athletic teams, always capitalize the official name but lowercase otherwise (i.e. HSSU Women’s Basketball Team, basketball team). Always capitalize parts of team names (i.e. Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team, All-Star Challenge Team)

time reference Don’t use :00 when referring to the hour. Example: 5 p.m. Always lowercase a.m. and p.m., and use periods. Example: 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. Always use figures except for noon and midnight. Use “noon” instead of 12 p.m., and use “midnight” instead of 12 a.m. Avoid redundancies such as “12 p.m. noon” and “10 a.m. in the morning.”


the University Always capitalize "University" when referring to Harris-Stowe. 



vice Use two words. Examples: vice president, vice chairman





webmaster If this word precedes a name, it is considered a title and is therefore capitalized. 

Web page

Web service

Web site

William L. Clay Sr. Early Childhood Development/Parenting Education Center (ECC) Upon second reference, the phrase Early Childhood Center or the acronym ECC may be used.

words in a series Place a comma after words in a series, but not before “and” or “or” unless the meaning is unclear. Example: The bat, ball and glove


World Wide Web

Updated May 4, 2010.  

For a printer-friendly version of the HSSU Style Sheet, please click here.


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