WSU Writing Style Guide




In order to establish a cohesive image of Weber State University and to provide readers with consistent, clear publications, Marketing & Communications has produced the WSU Writing Style Guide, a guidebook of editorial style. For our purposes, style is defined as rules regarding the mechanics of written communication, such as capitalization, spelling and punctuation, not as rules of literary composition that have to do with forms of expression such as manner and tone.

The WSU Writing Style Guide is based on six reference works and should be uniformly applied to all university news releases, printed materials such as The Weber State University MagazineUniversity News and Diversity Works, recruitment materials and web pages produced for the university’s external and internal audiences. Although some variation from established policies may occur at the discretion of the author or editor, the majority of stylistic decisions should be based on the following sources:

  • Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law
  • Chicago Manual of Style
  • Merriam-Webster’s Manual for Writers & Editors
  • Merriam-Webster’s Guide to Punctuation
  • Webster's New World College Dictionary

We invite you to use the WSU Writing Style Guide for your printed materials except those that are governed by specialized guidelines such as research reports and legal documents. If you have questions or would like to offer suggestions, please contact Marketing & Communications at 801-626-6348.


generally avoid alphabet soup. Do not use abbreviations or acronyms the reader would not quickly recognize. Always spell out official names and titles on first reference. Avoid courtesy titles such as Dr., Mr. and Mrs. Delete all periods unless necessary for clarity.
            Special cases: Some abbreviations are acceptable in technical writing or catalogs.
            (For degree abbreviations, see degrees.)
academic degrees (see degrees)
academic departments (see departments)

academic departments/programs, named: (check WSU catalog for formal names of departments and programs not named on behalf of donors)

Annie Taylor Dee School of Nursing

Parson Construction Management

academic rank (see titles, academic titles)
acronym: avoid using an acronym on first reference, unless its meaning is universally recognized. The preferred form is to write a name or term in full on first reference. An acronym then can be used in all subsequent references.

Right: The Master of Business Administration program is offered at Weber State University Davis. In 2009-10, the MBA program will graduate 42 students.

addresses: When listing an address in a publication, omit the comma between city and state. Use US Postal Service format for state: capitalized, two-letter state abbreviation, i.e. UT, not Utah. Use only one space between state and zip code. Mail codes should follow Mail Center guidelines.

Right: Ogden UT 84408-4020
Wrong: Ogden, Ut., 84408-4020

Letterhead and business cards use unique street addresses, followed by "Dept" (no period) then the mail code number.

Office of the President
3850 Dixon Parkway Dept 1001
Ogden UT 84408-1001

See the campus address list for the addresses of specific offices and departments. 

institutional addresses: When giving someone directions to get to WSU in Ogden, use 3848 Harrison Blvd. as the location:

Weber State University
3848 Harrison Blvd.
Ogden UT  84408
Weber State University Davis
2750 University Park Blvd.
Layton UT 84041-9099

Weber State Farmington Station
240 N. East Promontory, Suite 300
Farmington Utah 84025

Weber State University Morgan Center
241 E. Young St.
Morgan UT 84050
Weber State University West Center
5627 S. 3500 West
Roy UT 84067
Center for Continuing Education
775 S. University Park Boulevard
Clearfield Utah
Weber State Downtown
2314 Washington Blvd.
Ogden UT 84401
Community Education Center
2605 Monroe Blvd. 
Ogden UT 84401

advisor/adviser: -or is the preferred usage
ages: always use numerals
alma mater

alum: a graduate of any gender, singular; use alum to be gender neutral and inclusive. Alumnus or alumna are acceptable in rare situations, (e.g., a direct quote, an organization's name), but the preferred term is alum. 

alumni: a group of graduates of any gender 

Athletics Department: not athletic department
associate or associate's degree: informal use (see degrees)


bachelor or bachelor’s degree: informal use (see degrees)
bell tower: preferred name is Stewart Bell Tower or Stewart Bell Tower Plaza

Black: capitalize Black in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense, conveying an essential and shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa. The lowercase black is a color, not a person.
Board of Regents: takes a singular verb and should be used on first reference; regents is acceptable on second reference and takes a plural verb.

Right: The Board of Regents has approved the plan. The regents have recommended three changes.

Board of Trustees: WSU Board of Trustees takes a singular verb; trustees is acceptable on second reference and takes a plural verb; the board is also acceptable on second reference and takes a singular verb. 

Right: The WSU Board of Trustees has approved the plan. The trustees have tabled the recommendations. The board has tabled the recommendations.

bookstore: Wildcat Store is preferred (see Wildcat Store), but "bookstore" is acceptable as a generic noun on second reference.

bus rapid transit (BRT): spell out on first reference as "Ogden bus rapid transit", abbreviate as "BRT" on subsequent references. An official name is forthocoming from UTA. Construction starts on the Ogden campus spring 2021 and it will begin opening in sections in 2022. 

building names: capitalize; preferred use is to omit the word Building; note exceptions

Barbara and Rory Youngberg Football Center 
Browning Center (see Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts for treatment of center or campus spaces, named for treatment of theaters and rooms)
Computer & Automotive Engineering Building 
David Eccles Conference Center
Dee Events Center
Dumke Center may be used on first reference, but officially is the Ezekiel R. Dumke Jr. & Katherine W. Dumke Center for Interprofessional Education in Healthcare (refrain from using the abbreviation IPE)
Elizabeth Hall
Engineering Technology Building 
Heating Plant
Hurst Center may be used on first reference, but officially is the Hurst Center for Lifelong Learning
Ice Sheet (now the Weber County Sports Complex)
Information Booth
Kimball Visual Arts Center may be used on first reference, but officially is the Ethel Wattis Kimball Visual Arts Center
Lampros Hall may be used on first reference, but officially is the Jack D. Lampros Hall for Teaching, Learning & Technology
Lind Lecture Hall
Lindquist Alumni Center may be used on first reference, but officially is the John and Telitha E. Lindquist Weber State University Alumni Center
Lindquist Hall
Marriott Allied Health may be used on first reference, but officially is the J. Willard Marriott Allied Health Sciences Building
Maintenance Building
McKay Education Building may be used on first reference, but officially is the David O. McKay Education Building
Miller Administration
Noorda Engineering, Applied Science & Technology Building
Peery’s Egyptian Theater
Physical Plant
Receiving and Distribution Services
Shepherd Union
Social Science
Stewart Center 
Stewart Library
Stewart Stadium may be used on first reference, but officially is the Elizabeth Dee Shaw Stewart Stadium

Stewart Stadium Sky Suites should be used on first reference, but officially is the Stewart Stadium Sky Suites & Press Boxes complex. Sky Suites may be used on subsequent references. 
Stewart Wasatch Hall
Stromberg Complex is used in reference to entire complex that houses the Swenson Building and the Wildcat Center for Health Education and Wellness (formerly known as the Stromberg Center). The Swenson Building is to the east and the Wildcat Center for Health Education and Wellness to the west. The Swenson Gymnasium is housed within the Swenson Building. Stromberg Complex may be used on first reference, but officially is the C. William Stromberg Complex
Student Services Center
Swenson Building may be used on first reference, but officially is the
Reed K. Swenson Building (see Stromberg Complex for proper usage guidelines)
Technical Education Building

Tracy Hall Science Center should be used on first reference. Tracy Hall may be used on second reference. The building also may be referred to as the science center (note the lowercase usage) on second reference. 
University Village: comprising of Building 1, Building 2, Building 3, Building 4, Building 5 and a community center. Never reference a University Village building on its own.
Right: Building 1 in University Village
Right: University Village, Building 1
Wrong: Building 1  


Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts or Val A. Browning Center on first reference. Browning Center may be used on second reference. (see campus spaces, named for treatment of theaters and rooms)
Wattis Business may be used on first reference, but officially is the Edmund Orson Wattis Business Building
Weber State Downtown Houses a branch of Wildcat Stores, the WSU app lab and classroom space on Washington Boulevard in downtown Ogden (opened November 21, 2013)
Weber State University Davis should be used on first reference (also see Weber State University Davis). WSU Davis may be used on subsequent references.

Wildcat Center for Health Education and Wellness (formerly known as the Stromberg Center) is a remodeled expansion of the Stromberg Complex that includes a three-lane suspended track, an elevated pedestrian walkway, two group exercise studios, strength training areas and day-use locker rooms. It opened in fall 2013. 
Wildcat Village (see Wildcat Village for proper usage guidelines)
Former buildings:
LaSal Hall (demolished in 2010)
Promontory Tower (demolished in 2012)
Science Laboratory (moved to Tracy Hall Science Center in 2016)
Stansbury Hall (demolished in 2011)
Wasatch Hall (demolished in 2011) replaced by Stewart Wasatch Hall (opened 2012)

bulleted lists: appropriate mainly for instructional or promotional material. The lead-in to a bulleted list need not be a complete sentence; however, the lead-in should end with a colon as follows:

• Leave at least one space between the bullet and the start of the list item, and indent the list items three to five spaces (start the bullet on the third or fifth column)
• Begin run-over lines under the text of the list item, not under the bullet
• Omit articles (a, an, the) from the beginning of list items
• Punctuate bulleted list items only if they are complete sentences or verb phrases that complete the lead-in sentence (and use periods in these two cases)
• Limit bulleted lists to no more than six or eight list items; for long bulleted lists, look for ways to subdivide or consolidate
• Avoid single-item bulleted lists.


campus spaces, named: capitalize generally, but note exceptions

Ada Lindquist Plaza

Alan & Jeanne Hall Development Suite

Allred Theater (see Browning Center Allred Theater)

Annie Taylor Dee Simulation Center (use Dee Simulation Center on second reference)

Austad Auditorium (see Browning Center Austad Auditorium)

Browning Center Archives

Browning Center Allred Theater may be used on first reference, but officially is the Browning Center M. Thatcher Allred Theater

Browning Center Austad Auditorium may be used on first reference, but officially is the Browning Center Mark Evans Austad Auditorium

Browning Center Eccles Theater may be used on first reference, but officially is the Browning Center George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater

Browning Center Garrison Choral Room

Crime Lab

C. William & Bernice C. Stromberg Strength & Conditioning Complex 

Davis Hospital & Medical Center Nursing Laboratory, Weber State University Davis

Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Legacy Hall

E. Rich and Jane H. Brewer Conference Room, Elizabeth Hall

Eccles Field may be used on first reference, but is officially the George S. Eccles Field

Eccles Theater (see Browning Center Eccles Theater)

Dr. Elmer H. Erickson Memorial Classroom, Elizabeth Hall

Garrison Choral Room (see Browning Center Garrison Choral Room)

George S. Eccles Lecture Hall in Elizabeth Hall

Haven Barlow Career and Technical Education Suite

Haven J. Barlow Lecture Hall in Lindquist Hall

Haven J. Barlow Student Commons, Weber State University Davis

Hetzel-Hoellein Room, Stewart Library

Marjorie Ann Miner Faculty Office for Weber: The Contemporary West

Marquardt Field House may be used on first reference, but officially is the  Robert L. and Annette Marquardt Field House

Melba S. Lehner Children’s School, McKay Education (Children’s School acceptable after first reference)

Ott Planetarium may be used on first reference, but officially is the Layton P. Ott Planetarium

Petersen Plaza

Richard F. & Karen W. Fairbanks Conference Room

Robert L. and Annette Marquardt Gallery

Rocky Mountain Power Faculty Office

Shaw Gallery may be used on first reference, but officially is the Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery

Shepherd Union may be used on first reference, but officially is the J. Farrell Shepherd Union Building

Shepherd Union Art Gallery

Shepherd Union Atrium

Shepherd Union Ballroom

Shepherd Union Skyroom, now Shepherd Union Room 404

Shepherd Union Fireplace Lounge

Shepherd Union Food Court

Shepherd Union Lair

Shepherd Union Moench Executive Suite

Shepherd Union Pillar Plaza

Shepherd Union Wildcat Room

Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater

Smith Lecture Hall may be used on first reference, but officially is the Dee Glen Smith Lecture Hall

Stacey G. Campbell - R & O Construction Board Room

Stanfield Conference Room

Stevenson Athletics Offices, Stewart Stadium

Stewart Bell Tower Plaza

Swenson Gymnasium, located in the Swenson Building in the Stromberg Complex; stands alone in text. (Use Swenson Gym on second reference)

Swenson Natatorium

Tracy Legacy Plaza

Weber State Credit Union Atrium

Weber State University Alumni Association Conference Room

Weber State University Police Department

William & Julia Reagan Media Presentation Room

Willard Z. & Rona Lee Maughan Meeting Room, Elizabeth Hall


departments: uppercase formal department names; lowercase the department name in informal references (check the WSU catalog for formal department names).

Right: the Department of History, the history department; the English department, the Office of Media Relations, the media relations office.

titles in general: capitalize the first letter of all words in a title except prepositions, articles and coordinating conjunctions with four or fewer letters. (For titles of compositions, such as magazines, newspapers, movies and plays, see titles.)

centers, campus: capitalize

Applied Technology Education Center

Bioremediation Center

Boyd K. and Donna S. Packer Center for Family and Community Education

Center for Aerospace Technology

Center for Chemical Technology

Center for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL) (formerly Community Involvement Center)

Center for Diversity & Unity

Center for Environmental Services

Center for Science & Mathematics Education

Center for the Study of Poverty & Inequality

Center for Tax Education & Research

Community & Economic Partnership

Counseling and Psychological Services Center

David Eccles Conference Center

Dee Events Center

Educational Technology Center

Eccles Literacy Center

General Motors Training Center

Hall Global Entrepreneurship Center

Health and Physical Education Center

Jerry & Vickie Moyes Center for Supply Chain Excellence

Learning Support Center

LGBT Resource Center

Museum of Natural Science

Multicultural Student Services Center

Science Education Center

Social Science Computer Center

Small Business Development Center

Student Health Center

Student Support Center

Student Success Center

Sustainability Practices and Research Center (SPARC)

Technology Assistance Center

Testing Center

Tracy Hall Science Center

Utah Center of Excellence for Chemical Technology

Utah Center for Aeronautical Innovation and Design (UCAID)

Veterans Services (Not to be confused with Veterans Upward Bound)

William H. Child Center for Entrepreneurship
(Center for Entrepreneurship acceptable in all references)

Writing Center

WSU Outdoor Program (Outdoor Program is acceptable after first reference)

campuswide: one word, no hyphen 

chairman, chairwoman or chairperson: “department chair” for academic departments; “chair” is preferred for other uses

cities: Ogden and Salt Lake City are the only two Utah cities that stand alone without the name of the state.
Right: Ogden, Salt Lake City; Layton, Utah; St. George, Utah; Provo, Utah. Consult the Associated Press Stylebook “datelines” entry for all other cities.

class of 2010

class work, coursework

coauthor (noun) or coauthored (verb)

cocurricular: one word, no hyphen 

Code of Conduct, Student: See Policies and Procedures Manual


College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology (note use of the ampersand)

College of Science

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke College of Health Professions

Jerry & Vickie Moyes College of Education

John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics

Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities

commas (see Punctuation Guide)

commencement: universitywide formal ceremony held to recognize/celebrate graduates from all university programs, and the term used to encompass all facets of graduation activities at the end of each semester

continuing education: Division of Online & Continuing Education (as of Jan. 1, 2018); formerly the Division of Continuing Education (CE). 

convocation: formal event held by a college or academic program to recognize graduates and bestow individual degrees

courtesy titles (see titles)





dates: capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone. When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with a comma.

Davis Campus (see Weber State University Davis)

Dee Events Center: note “Events” plural

departments: uppercase formal department names; lowercase the department name in informal references (see academic departments, named for academic departments named on behalf of donors, check the WSU catalog for additional formal department names).

Right: the Department of History, the history department; the English department, the Office of Media Relations, the media relations office.

degrees: academic degrees are not capitalized, and the preferred form is to avoid abbreviation unless producing catalog-type materials.

Use an apostrophe in associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. Use abbreviations such as B.A., M.A. and Ph.D., only when the need to identify many individuals by degree would make the preferred form cumbersome.

Right: She earned a bachelor’s degree.
Right: Stephen Covey, Ph.D., spoke.
Right: B.S., M.A., Ph.D.
Wrong: B.S., M.A., PhD

Web exception: Omit periods for all informational content on
Examples: BS, AAS, PhD, etc.

associate's degree: informal form of Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree

bachelor’s degree: informal form of Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree

When including a major with the informal form of a degree, do not capitalize the major. 

Right: bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy 

When including a major with the formal Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts, capitalize the major, too. 

Right: Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy
Right: Bachelor of Arts in Communication

doctorate (noun) or doctoral (adj.) degree

Wrong: doctor’s degree or doctorate degree

master’s degree (see also graduate degree programs)

Right: master’s degree in education
Wrong: master’s degree of education

disk or diskette: not disc

dorm: preferred term is residence hall

Downtown, Weber State (see Weber State Downtown)


email: lowercase the letter “e” when writing the word email and write as one word; when listing an email address, use lowercase and do not use quotation marks.
Right: email
Wrong: E-mail “”

em dash (see Punctuation Guide)

emeritus: do not capitalize, and always place emeritus after the formal title
Right: professor emeritus of history
Wrong: emeritus professor of history

e-newsletter: “newsletter” should be used instead of “e-newsletter” to describe an electronic newsletter. However, if the text is differentiating between an electronic newsletter and a print newsletter, use “e-newsletter” to describe the former.

en dash: (see Punctuation Guide)

entitled/titled: entitled is possessing a right to do or have something; books are titled, not entitled

ePortfolio one word; no hyphen; capitalize the first two letters in a headline or at the beginning of a sentence. 

ethnic groups: African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander

eWeber portal

ext.: do not capitalize. Abbreviated form preferred to extension when listing phone extensions.


Faculty Senate

FAFSA: Spell out Free Application for Federal Student Aid on first reference; FAFSA is acceptable on second reference.

Fall: Do not capitalize in reference to semesters
            Right: The class will begin fall semester.

Farmington Station: Use Weber State Farmington Station in most cases.

Farmington Station may be used if the inclusion of Weber State becomes repetitive or cumbersome, such as a list of locations or centers written for a publication, website or social media platform where it is inherently understood that Weber State University is referenced.

When listing multiple WSU locations and removing Weber State University or Weber State from titles, include street addresses for each center/campus listed.

Federal Student Aid

financial aid: capitalize in formal reference to the department
Right: The student received his financial aid today from the Financial Aid Office.

Founders Day: no apostrophe

Founders Society: no apostrophe

full-time, full time (noun)
            Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier
            Right: I just landed a full-time job.
            Wrong: I work full-time.

fundraiser (event) or fundraising (adjective or gerund)



General Education: Capitalize General Education as a proper noun when referring to the group of courses students must take to fulfill the requirements of their degree. Gen Ed is acceptable on second reference, especially when used in internal communications.

When writing for external audiences, general education should not be treated as a proper noun, unless specifically talking about a formal title, such as the General Education program at WSU, or the General Education director.

grade point average(s): write out words on first reference, GPA or GPAs (no apostrophe) acceptable on second reference.

graduate degree programs 

Master of Accounting
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Master of Computer Engineering
Master of Criminal Justice
Master of Education
Master of English
Master of Health Administration
Master of Nursing
Master of Professional Communication
Master of Science in Athletic Training
Master of Science in Computer Science
Master of Science in Nursing
Master of Science in Radiologic Sciences
Master of Taxation

graduation years: When writing an individual’s name with his or her graduation year, replace the first two digits with an apostrophe if the graduation occurred less than 100 years ago, or will in the near future. If the graduation occurred more than 99 years ago, include the full year.

Include the abbreviation for the degree earned with the year whenever possible. Do not include a comma between the name and the abbreviation.

 Example: Weber Normal College graduate Doris Cook, 1919; NBA star Damian Lillard ’15; current student Elise Winston AS ’20

great, Great, GREAT: When using the school fight song lyrics in official communications, it is recommended to use the listed capitalization and punctuation to indicate a crescendo to the final word.

The use of great-Great-GREAT is also acceptable, especially if the phrase is being used to modify a noun (e.g. great-Great-GREAT Homecoming). This recommendation is intended to foster consistent usage in official communications.




half, one-half (adj. or noun): a half-hour, a year and a half, 1 1/2-year-old


healthcare: one word when used to describe a system, industry or field of study where health practitioners work or train.

This usage aligns with common practice in the healthcare industry. However, two words, “health care,” may be used when they are used in a program title.

Hill Air Force Base (HAFB): the acronym HAFB should not be used in first reference.

homecoming: capitalize when used in the formal title of an event; lowercase in all other instances.

Right: Weber State University Homecoming
Right: WSU Homecoming
Right: Homecoming Recycle Run
Right: I’m excited for homecoming
Wrong: Homecoming Week
Wrong: Homecoming Football Game
Wrong: Homecoming Dance

home page: two words

Honors Issues Forum

Honors Program: honors students for students in the WSU Honors Program, honor students generically

Housing and Residence Life: is the formal name of the office responsible for WSU campus housing. Use WSU housing, campus housing or housing for general purposes, but use the formal title as needed.
Right: Housing and Residence Life
Wrong: Housing and Residential Life

hyphens (see Punctuation Guide)




Inc.: do not set off with commas; do not write as INC.

Indigenous: Capitalize in reference to original inhabitants of a place. 

in-state, out-of-state: prefered over "resident" and "non-resident" as of fall 2020

institutional names:

Weber Stake Academy (Jan. 7, 1889-1908)
Weber Academy (1908-1918)
Weber Normal College (1918-1922)
Weber College (1922-1963)
Weber State College (1963-1990)
Weber State University (Jan. 1, 1991-present)

interdepartmental: all one word, no hyphen; refers to interaction between or among WSU departments.

Intermountain West: intermountain area

interoffice: all one word, no hyphen; functioning or communicating between the offices of an organization or company; an interoffice memo


junior: abbreviate as Jr. only with full names of persons and do not precede by a comma.

Right: John F. Kennedy Jr.


KWCR 88.1 FM: KWCR on second reference


landmark names: capitalize when using the formal name

Ada Lindquist Plaza
Flaming W Rock
Legacy Wall at Tracy Legacy Plaza on first reference. Legacy Wall may be used on subsequent references.
Petersen Plaza
Stewart Bell Tower Plaza
Tracy Legacy Plaza
Veterans Memorial Grove (no apostrophe)

Legacy Society

LGBTQ+ : Per WSU's chief diversity officer, it is acceptable to use the acronym LGBTQ+ in reference to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning communities. (2016) 

library (see building names)

Light the W

logo: distinctive identifying mark that can be used alone or with the university signature. See the WSU Brand Identity Guidelines, or call Marketing & Communications at ext. 7359 for additional information about WSU logos.


mail code

Mail Center: not mail services

main campus: 3848 Harrison Blvd., when communicating to university employees.

master’s degree (see degrees)

microcertificate: one word; no hyphen; all lowercase, except when at beginning of a sentence, in a title or when used as a proper noun (This rule was put into use on Jan. 1, 2022 and is subject to revision to align with industry and academic standards at a later date.)

microcredentials: one word; no hyphen; all lowercase, except when at beginning of a sentence, in a title or when used as a proper noun (This rule was put into use on Jan. 1, 2022 and is subject to revision to align with industry and academic standards at a later date.)

Morgan Center: Use Weber State University Morgan Center in most cases.

Morgan Center may be used if the inclusion of Weber State University becomes repetitive or cumbersome, such as a list of locations or centers written for a publication, website or social media platform where it is inherently understood that Weber State University is referenced.

When listing multiple WSU locations and removing Weber State University or Weber State from titles, include street addresses for each center/campus listed.




names of buildings (see building names)

names of campus facilities (see campus spaces, named)

names of centers (see centers, campus)

names, institutional (see institutional names)

names of landmarks (see landmark names)

names–first reference: preferred use is first and last name, followed by title or position; use of middle name(s) and maiden names optional. Avoid using courtesy titles (Dr., Mr., Mrs.).

Right: Charles A. Wight, WSU president, spoke Thursday.
Wrong: Dr. Charles A. Wight spoke Thursday.
Mr. Charles A. Wight spoke Thursday.

names–initials: Omit spaces between initials, but do not omit periods (see abbreviation)

Right: E.B. White
Wrong: E. B. White

names–second reference: preferred use is last name only in second and subsequent references.

Right: Wight said enrollment is up.
Wrong: President Wight said enrollment is up.

Network Technology and Business Multimedia (NTM): formerly the department of Telecommunications and Business Education. Name changed March 1, 2012.

north/northern: Lowercase when using as a directional description and when referring to a section of the state or city. 

Right: At the stop sign, turn north.
Right: She moved to northern Utah.
Wrong: She moved to Northern Utah.

numbers: generally, spell out numbers below 10, use figures for 10 and above

Right: They had three children.
Right: Nearly 100 students attended. 
Spell out a numeral at the beginning of a sentence, except calendar years.
Right: 1945 was a good year. Twenty-one students attended.

Web exception: Use figures for all numbers in informational content on
Example: You must be enrolled for 8 credit hours to be eligible.

ordinal numbers: Spell out first through ninth when indicating a sequence in time or location. Starting with 10th use figures.

Right: First Amendment; he was first in line.
Right: Today is her 11th birthday.

calendar years: Do not use an apostrophe before the “s” in calendar years, but do use an apostrophe when omitting the first two numbers.

Right: 1980s; ’80s
Wrong: 1980’s, 80’s

school years: School years should be written as 2009–10, usually omitting the century and the apostrophe in the second year and should use an en dash, not a hyphen (see Punctuation Guide: en dash)


on/off campus: exclude hyphen if after the noun; hyphenate if before the noun.,

Right: Meetings on campus; off-campus activities

Ogden: stands alone (also see cities)

Ogden bus rapid transit (BRT): spell out on first reference as "Ogden bus rapid transit", abbreviate as "BRT" on subsequent references. An official name is forthocoming from UTA. Construction starts on the Ogden campus spring 2021 and it will begin opening in sections in 2022. 

Ogden campus: the preferred term for the Weber State University campus located at 3848 Harrison Blvd.

online: one word

Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center


Pell Grant, Federal

percent: Use the % sign when paired with a numeral, with no space, in most cases.

Right: 21% increase
Wrong: 21 percent increase

phone number: Put a hyphen between each number sequence; do not use parentheses around the area code.

Right: 801-626-0000
Wrong: (801) 626-0000

president: capitalize president only as a formal title used directly before an individual’s name. Lowercase in all other uses.

Right: President George Washington, also the president said today...

President’s Council

program: use uppercase for the formal name of academic programs.

Right: the Outdoor Program, the Honors Program

programs, named:

Richard Richards Institute for Ethics on first reference. Richards Institute may be used on second reference.

Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service on first reference. Walker Institute may be used on second reference.

punctuation (see Punctuation Guide)


quotations (see punctuation)


resume or resumé: accent mark optional

room numbers: do not use “#” symbol

Capitalize and spell out the word “Room”

Right: Elizabeth Hall Room 410

Capitalize the names of specifically designated rooms

Right: Betty Hess Lampros Board Room


Salt Lake City: stands alone (also see cities)

School of Accounting & Taxation

scholarship: generally, but the Larson and Powell Nursing Scholarship fund

shootout (noun) or shoot-out (adj., adv.)

The Signpost

sports scores: game scores should be written in numerals, even if fewer than 10.

Right: The final score was 33–3. (Macintosh users note use of the en dash rather than a hyphen, see Punctuation Guide: en dash.)

Spring: Do not capitalize in reference to semesters

Right: The class will begin spring 2017.

strategic plan: The strategic plan guiding the university through 2026 is called Weber State Amplified, a 5-year plan for growth on first reference. Weber State Amplified on subsequent references.

Stromberg Complex (see building names)

Student-athlete: hyphenated

Student Code of Conduct:

student body: no hyphen unless used as an adj.

street names: write out street names such as Sixth South.


TBE (see Network Technology and Business Multimedia)

theater: in all references to on-campus venues, but theatre arts in reference to academic major and proper names of performing groups

time: use today, this morning, this afternoon, tonight, etc., as appropriate. Use the day of the week elsewhere. Use figures except for noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Avoid redundancies such as 10 a.m. this morning, 10 p.m. tonight.


academic titles: do not capitalize assistant professor, associate professor or professor.

Right: The student spoke with associate professor Rick Smith; The student spoke with Rick Smith, associate professor.

composition titles: for titles of magazines, newspapers, plays, movies and books, italicize. Do not underline or put in quotes. Do not capitalize (or italicize) the word “the," even if part of an official title. For titles of articles in books, journals, newspapers and seminars: do not italicize, use quotation marks.

Right: the Standard-Examiner
Wrong: The Standard-Examiner 

courtesy titles: avoid courtesy titles such as Dr., Mr. and Mrs. Spell out university titles such as President Charles A. Wight, Provost Michael Vaughan and Vice President Norm Tarbox (also see degrees).

formal titles: generally confine capitalization to formal titles used directly before an individual’s name.

Right: President George Washington; The president issued a statement; The director finished filming yesterday.

occupational titles: titles that serve primarily as occupation descriptions should be written in lowercase

Right: astronaut John Glenn, director Rich Bills


university: not capitalized unless written as Weber State University or as part of any other university’s name.

University Village (see building names)

URL: abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator, an Internet address. It is no longer necessary to include the HTTP: (the protocol, or method of transfer) and the back slashes (//) to indicate a computer name follows. Avoid using a URL at the end of a sentence, as a period following the URL is confusing.

Right: Go to to access the homepage.
Wrong: Our URL is

Utah: Utah should not be abbreviated in regular text. Abbreviate Utah as UT in mailing addresses.

Utah State Legislature: capitalize when preceded by the state name.

Right: the Utah State Legislature.

Retain capitalization when the state name is dropped but the reference is specifically to a state’s legislature.

Right: The Legislature needs to appropriate more money.
Wrong: He ran for the Legislature in every western state.


vice president: (no hyphen) capitalize when used as a formal title (see titles)

visiting professor


Wasatch Mountains, Wasatch Front, Wasatch Range

Weber State Amplified: See "strategic plan."

Weber State Downtown:  Use in all references to the WSU location at 2314 Washington Blvd. Ogden UT 84401.

Avoid including the word “university” in the location name.  

Weber State University: on first reference; WSU acceptable in subsequent references, never W.S.U.

Avoid using WSU on second reference if there is a perceived risk that the initials may be mistaken as standing for another institution (e.g. Washington State University, Wichita State University, etc.).

Weber State may be used in longer pieces and on, especially when referring to the “Weber State College” era (1964–1989).

Avoid using Weber, unless written for a longer piece, or a publication, website or social media platform where a conversational tone is used and it is abundantly clear that “Weber” references Weber State University and not a different “Weber” named institution (e.g. county, high school, library, school district, etc.). 

Weber State University Davis: on first reference; WSU Davis on second reference.

The word “campus” may be used in conjunction with Weber State University Davis or WSU Davis. However, do not use it as part of the proper noun (e.g. WSU Davis campus). 

Davis is acceptable in a WSU publication or social media post where it is abundantly obvious that the reference is to the WSU Davis campus in Layton.

web page: two words

website: When writing a website in publication, omit the beginning "www." Do not italicize URL (also see URL).

West Center: Use Weber State University West Center in most cases.

West Center may be used if the inclusion of Weber State University becomes repetitive or cumbersome, such as a list of locations or centers written for a publication, website or social media platform where it is inherently understood that Weber State University is referenced.

When listing multiple WSU locations and removing Weber State University or Weber State from titles, include street addresses for each center/campus listed.

Wildcat: Capitalize in reference to mascot or WSU students and alumni

Wildcat Center for Health Education and Wellness: Formerly known as the Stromberg Center, part of the Stromberg Complex along with the Swenson Building, located west of the Swenson Building.

Wildcat Store: The preferred name of the WSU bookstore (see bookstore). Using the proper, preferred name is encouraged on all references but “bookstore” is acceptable as a generic noun on second reference.

If the specific location is necessary, use Wildcat Store [name]: Wildcat Store Shepherd Union Building, Wildcat Store WSU Downtown, Wildcat Store WSU Davis, Wildcat Store Kimball Visual Arts Center.

Wildcat Village: comprising Residence Hall 1, Stewart Wasatch Hall and Residence Hall 3

World Wide Web: web is acceptable

WSU Davis (see Weber State University Davis)

WSUSA: Weber State University Student Association


Xerox: a trademark and never a verb; preferred use is a generic term such as photocopy


year: 2000s (no apostrophe); note the omission of an apostrophe before the “s” in the example. School years should be written as 2009–10 with an en dash, omitting the century in the second year and without an apostrophe (see Punctuation Guide: en dash)

For listing a graduation year with an individual’s name, see graduation years.


zip code

Punctuation Guide


in series: preferred use is to separate elements in a series, but omit the comma before the conjunction.

Right: The flag is red, white and blue
Wrong: The flag was red, white, and blue.

Use before the and in a series of three or more items when needed for clarification.

Right: I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.  

before a quote: do not use a comma at the beginning of an indirect or partial quotation.

Right: She said the award “was long overdue.”

introduce a complete one-sentence quotation.

Right: Smith said, “I will return Wednesday.”

em dash: replaces the traditional double hyphen and is used to indicate an abrupt change in thought; (for Macintosh users only) strike the option, shift and hyphen keys simultaneously.

en dash: Use the en dash between words indicating a duration, such as hours, months or years; (for Macintosh users only) strike the option and hyphen keys simultaneously.

Right: 7:30–4:30, 5–8 years of age, January–March. 
Energy and Sustainability Office

hyphens: hyphens are used strictly for hyphenating words or line breaks. If a word may be used with or without a hyphen, preferred use is to omit the hyphen. Hyphenated words should not appear in headlines.

quotations: use open-quote marks (“) and close-quote marks (”) to surround the exact words of a speaker or writer and to show which words are quoted directly or verbatim.

Right: “I have no intention of staying,” he replied; “I do not object,” he said, “to the tenor of the report.”

A secondary use is to mark words that are used in an unusual sense or in an unfamiliar way: That’s the “Weber Way” to cheer on the team. This secondary use should be infrequent.

Personal Pronouns, Race, Ethnic and Nationality Terminology

When such identifications are appropriate and relevant to the story, the interviewee/subject will determine personal pronouns, race, ethnicity and nationality. In all cases, avoid assumptions about subjects’ personal identifications and ask what terms they prefer. Do not argue with the person’s preferred terms of identification. Contact the Chief Diversity Officer for answers to questions not addressed in this section.


When writing about a member of the LGBT community, be sure to ask the person’s preferred gender pronouns. For circumstances in which the person does not identify as either male or female, use a singular “they” and “their” (regardless of grammatical convention) or whichever gender-neutral pronouns the person prefers. In the event that the person prefers that pronouns not be used at all, rework the story to avoid pronouns and use the person’s name whenever necessary. Contact the coordinator of the LGBT Resource Center for answers to questions not addressed in this section.

Male: Use he/him/his/himself

Female: Use she/her/hers/herself

Gender neutral (singular “they”): Use they/them/their/theirs/themself (or preferred gender-neutral language)

Race and Ethnic Terms

When using race or ethnic terms, be sensitive to the interviewee/subject’s personal preference. While some terms seem interchangeable, these terms may carry different connotations and cultural significance. Avoid assumptions about subjects’ personal identifications and ask what terms they prefer. In the case of people of different nationalities, many people prefer identification by country of origin rather than blanket terms.

Black and African-American

Not interchangeable. Ask personal preference. For groups, ask what terms may be used to refer to the whole group. Capitalize both. 

Black – a person who identifies their race as black, but may or may not claim ties to African or African-American heritage.

African-American – this term is applied to Americans of African origin (regardless of race) or people who identify with African-American cultural heritage.

Hispanic and Latino/Latina

Not interchangeable. Ask personal preference. When a person does not choose to be identified as either Hispanic or Latino, country of origin or ancestry may be used to describe the person. For groups, ask what terms may be used to refer to the whole group.

Hispanic – a person of European Spanish, or Spanish-speaking Latin, Central or South American origin, but excludes people of Brazilian origin.

Latino/Latina – a person of Central or South American origin. Includes Brazil, but excludes people of European Spanish origin. For a woman identifying as Latino, do not assume that Latina is appropriate without asking personal preference.

Native American

In reference to the interviewee/subject’s heritage, ask the person’s self-identified nation or nations. When writing about a group of people of varied heritage, ask the group what terms they would prefer collectively. Native American is a currently disputed term used to refer to the pre-Columbian occupants of the United States. Other commonly self-applied terms for this group are Indian, American Indian, First People and First Nation.

Capitalize "Indigenous" in reference to original inhabitants of a place. 

Terms to Avoid

According to the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, words or terms such as wampum, warpath, powwow, teepee, brave, squaw, chief, etc., can be disparaging and offensive.

Cultural Events

If a cultural event uses a name or word that typically has an AP usage caution (i.e. – WSU First Nations Society Annual Pow Wow), contact the sponsors of the event to verify the use of the term. If the sponsoring parties and the Chief Diversity Officer approve, then use the term in context.


When no specific individuals exist to state race or ethnicity terminology preference, review other AP documents and materials (such as articles, publications, biographies, etc.) related to that individual or group to determine acceptable descriptors. If no information is relevant to the situation, then use up-to-date appropriate AP terminology. Direct any further questions to the Chief Diversity Officer.