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The UAS Writing Style Guide is set up alphabetically and contains listings that will allow you to standardize everything you write for the University of Alaska Southeast. Reference materials include The Associated Press Stylebook, Webster's New Dictionary and McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms. Use our web form to provide suggests to this guide or the Website Content Guide.

You may also print out the UAS Writing Style Guide to use as a reference. This document was last updated on 1/3/13.

a, an

Use the article "a" before consonant sounds (e.g., a catastrophe); use "an" before vowel sounds (e.g., an energy crisis, an honorable man).


  • Abbreviate Co., Corp., Inc. and Ltd. when used after the name of a corporate entity.
  • With dates or numerals, abbreviate a.m., p.m., no. (number), A.D., B.C.
  • In numbered addresses, abbreviate Ave., Blvd., Ste., Rte, and St., but spell out in text.
  • Spell out United States as a noun, but abbreviate U.S. as an adjective.

academic degrees

See also class year

Use lowercase and an apostrophe in bachelor's degree and master's degree. Use associate degree(s), not associate’s degree. In these constructions, the study discipline is lowercased-i.e., bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. (She received an associate degree in Construction Technology. She earned two associate degrees. Plural is on degrees.)

Initial cap and no possessive in Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Associate of Arts. In these constructions, the study discipline is initial cap  (i.e., Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering)

Use periods with no space between for abbreviations: B.S., B.A., M.S., M.A., Ed.S., A.S., A.A., Ph.D., Psy.D., except MBA (no periods).

When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas. (John Jones, Ph.D., spoke.)

academic honors

Cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude are all Latin words and should be italicized. See the academic catalog for the GPA requirements to earn these honor designations at graduation.

academic titles

Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as Professor, Chancellor, Chairman and Dean when they precede a name. Lowercase elsewhere. Lowercase modifiers such as history Professor Robert White or department Chairman Frank Thomas.

academic years

Lowercase: the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes.

accept, except

"Accept" means to receive. "Except" means to exclude.


Define all but the most common abbreviations and acronyms on first reference. Do not use periods. Do not add an apostrophe when forming a plural (PCs, VAXes, IBMs).


  • Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd., Dr., Rd., Ste., Ter., Rte., and St. only with numbered addresses.
  • Spell out when part of a formal street name given without a number or when included in text.
  • Always use figures for an address number.
  • Abbreviate compass points and omit periods with two-letter compass points.
  • Do not abbreviate compass points if an address number is not given (East 42nd Street; 222 E. 42nd St., North Hollywood).

Exception: On university forms and stationary, no abbreviations are used. (11066 Auke Lake Way, Juneau, Alaska 99801)


Lowercase: the administration, the president's administration.


  • Adverbs ending in "ly" that help form compound modifiers are never followed by hyphens (tightly written story).
  • The adverb "well" is always followed by a hyphen in two-word combinations modifying nouns (well-written story, well-respected professor).
  • If the modifier follows a form of the verb "to be", however, drop the hyphen (the author is well respected).


Not adviser (contrary to AP style).

affect, effect

Generally, use "affect" as a verb—its meaning is to influence. (The game will affect the standings.) Avoid using "affect" as a noun.

Use "effect" as a noun—it means result. (The effect was overwhelming.) "Effect" as a verb means to cause. (He will effect many changes in the university.)


Always use figures for people, animals and inanimates. (The girl is 15 years old; the law is 8 years old; the 101-year-old house. When the context does not require years or years old, the figure is presumed to be years.)

Use hyphens for ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun. (A 5-year-old boy, but the boy is 5 years old. The boy, 7, has a sister, 10. The woman, 26, has a daughter 2 months old. The race is for 3-year-olds. The woman is in her 30s (no apostrophe). 

See also boy; girl; infant; youth and numerals in AP Stylebook .

See comma in punctuation guidelines in AP Stylebook.


Do not abbreviate in text. She lives in a city in Alaska.


Use as a noun describing a person, not a place — never "Alaskan city," for example. The professor is a longtime Alaskan.


Alphabetizing letter by letter, not word by word, is preferred. In the letter-by-letter method, spaces and hyphens are ignored.

(Letter by letter: newborn, newcomer, New Deal, new economics)

(Word by word: New Deal, new economics, newborn, newcomer)

alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae

Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar reference to a woman. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women. Use alumnus for one who has attended or graduated from a college or school.

among, between

Generally, "between" introduces two items and "among" introduces more than two. (The bet is between you and me. The workstations were equally divided among Macintoshes, IBMs, and UNIX boxes.)


Use only when part of a formal name (Baltimore & Ohio Railroad); use "and" in all other instances.

Anderson Building

Officially Clarence L. Anderson Building, but Anderson Building can be used. In 1949 Anderson was appointed the first director of fisheries for the territory of Alaska. He spent the next twelve years building the department from a "tiny one-room office with a single employee" to a large, Juneau-based central office with branch and field offices, and more than 170 permanent employees throughout the state (to whom he was invariably known as "Andy"). During this time, management of Alaska's game resources came under the jurisdiction of the department, and the Alaskan Territory was granted statehood in 1959. In the same year, Anderson was appointed commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.


For an event to be labeled annual, it must have taken place for at least two successive years. Avoid the phrase, first annual. Use inaugural instead.


  • Use to indicate omitted letters and figures. (class of '79, the Spirit of '76, the '20s)
  • Use to form plurals of single letters and possessives. (p's and q's, A's and B's)
  • Do NOT use an apostrophe to form plurals of numerals or multiple-letter combinations (the 1980s, PCs)

Arctic, arctic

Capitalize when using as a noun. (The Arctic is a dangerous and hostile place.)

Lowercase when using as an adjective. (If you survive an arctic winter, you deserve to go to the tropics.)

See also subarctic.

area codes

Use parentheses around the area code (907) 796-6100. Do not use a 1 before an 800 number (800) 432-3355.

as, like

The conjunction "as" is the correct word to introduce clauses. "Like" is used correctly as a preposition to compare nouns and pronouns. (John does his job professionally, as he should. John plays guitar like a pro.)

assistant, associate

Never abbreviate. Capitalize only when part of a formal title before a name. (Assistant Professor John Smith)


Not Athabaskan.

audiocassette, audiotape, audiovisual

One word.

aurora borealis

Do not capitalize. Aurora is acceptable on second reference.

Plural form auroras or aurorae; borealis does not change.

awhile, a while

When following a preposition use "a while"; otherwise spell it as one word. (I slept for a while. I slept awhile before class.)

bachelor of arts, bachelor of science

A bachelor's degree or bachelor's is acceptable. See capitalization.

Banfield Hall

Officially Mildred Banfield Residence Hall. Banfield Hall is acceptable. Banfield's legislative career included two years in the Senate and eight years in the State House. Served on the joint House-Senate committee on higher education for eight years. She was involved, as a member of the House of Representatives, in getting the legislation passed which established the Alaska Postsecondary Education Commission, was appointed to the commission by Gov. Jay Hammond and served as its chairman for two years. She was appointed in 1976 to the Board of Regents and served until 1983. During her term as regent, she helped lay the groundwork for merging the state's community colleges with the other four-year schools.

because, since

"Because" expresses a cause-and-effect relationship. "Since" is used for reference to time. (I finished the assignment because I want a good grade. I have been doing my homework since 3 p.m.)

"Since" is acceptable in a casual sense when the first event in a sequence leads logically to the second, but is not its direct cause. (They went to the game, since they had been given tickets.)

beside, besides

Beside means at the side of. Besides means in addition to. (She is sitting beside the plant. He has other assignments besides his English homework.)

between, among

See among, between.

biannual, biennial

Biannual means twice a year or semiannual. Biennial means every two years.


Blackboard (one word, capitalized) is the UAS learning management system. The portal to Blackboard is UAS Online.

board of directors, board of trustees

Always lowercase.


Capitalize when referring specifically to the UAS Bookstore. Do not capitalize preceding "the."

(The UAS Bookstore is open this weekend. The student bought art supplies at the bookstore.)

building — names

Capitalize building if part of the formal name.

  • Students have classes in the Whitehead Building.
  • The Girl Scouts sold cookies outside the Fred Meyer building.

Complete formal names may be abbreviated to their common usage.

  • Robert Thomas Mourant Building or Mourant Building
  • Dorothy Novatney Building or Novatney Building

Lowercase in other instances.

  • The building was constructed…

Apply the same rules to other building designators, such as complex, facility, hall and theater. A more complete treatment of Juneau campus buildings and facilities names and histories is available in the document under the building name.

building — rooms

The use of the word building is optional with room numbers.

Capitalize if using with a room number. (The conference will be held in 212 Egan Wing. (or Egan Wing 212))

Use numerals for numbers. (The conference will be held in 212 Egan Wing.)

Although there is no preferred UAS style, maintain consistent use within a document.


See lists (bulleted)


Capitalize when using full name:

  • When referring to a campus, use University of Alaska Southeast, Ketchikan Campus upon first reference.
  • Ketchikan Campus on second and following references.
  • Do not use UAS-Ketchikan campus.

Lowercase when not using full or formal name. (The campus was teeming with students on the first day of class.)


One word, no hyphen:

  • That email was sent campuswide.
  • The campuswide distribution was a success.

can, may

Can—know, understand; to be able to do, make, or accomplish; to have knowledge or skill. May—have power, am able; have the ability to; have permission to. Can you  speak Tlingit? May I help you?

capital, Capitol

Use capital (lowercase) when referring to the city where a seat of government is located, the case of a letter, or a budget or monetary reference. Use Capitol (capitalized) when referring to a building in which a state or federal legislative body meets.

Juneau is the capital of Alaska.


The following rules apply:

  • Initial cap all official names of College of..., School of..., Office of... (College of Aeronautics, School of Psychology, Office of the President, etc.). Lowercase registrar's office, president's office, board of trustees, board of directors.
  • Initial cap Department of .... only on first reference in UAS catalogs or other publications if necessary, otherwise lowercase.
  • Initial cap Master and Bachelor only when writing about a specific degree (Master of Science in Engineering, Bachelor of Science in English).
  • Lowercase university when it stands alone (UAS is a public university. Initial cap only when it is used as a part of an official name (University of Alaska Southeast).
  • Lowercase prepositions (about, before, between, through) in course titles for catalog.


See photo captions.

catalog, Academic Catalog

Not catalogue. Academic Catalog uppercase on first reference, catalog upon second reference.


Spell out and lowercase using numerals for amounts less than a dollar (5 cents, 12 cents).


Not chairman, chairwoman or chairperson. Contrary to AP style. Capitalize when preceding a name (but not department); lowercase in all other instances.

  • The students met with department Chair Rachel Smith to discuss their concerns.
  • Rachel Smith, chair of the department, issued a statement on the dean's behalf.
  • The committee chair was appointed last year.


Capitalize as part of a title. (At the meeting, Chancellor John Pugh…)

Lowercase in other instances. (John Pugh is chancellor of UAS. Please welcome UAS's chancellor, John Pugh.)

chancellor's list

Place the apostrophe before the s as there is only one chancellor for whom the list is named. Do not capitalize the c or the l.

circumpolar, circumpolar North

Capitalize only "North."

city of Juneau

Don't capitalize city unless referring to the full name as a legal or political entity. (The capital of Alaska is located in Juneau. The City of Juneau sued the state for interfering in municipal matters.)

class of year

Lowercase class. (The reunion celebrated the class of 1960.)

class, academic

A class is a particular instance of a course offered in a particular teaching period. A course may consist of one or more components (e.g. lecture, laboratory) with a separate class for each component type (e.g. a lecture and a laboratory). There may also be separate classes for each “offering” of a component on different days and times (e.g. a tutorial offered at 2pm Monday, 2pm Tuesday, or 4pm Wednesday).

In some faculties, students must enroll in more than one component class and may be able to select from different offering times. For example, a course may consist of one lecture and two tutorials, offered at a choice of times. To enroll in such a course, a student would enroll in a total of three classes (one lecture and two tutorials) selected from the available offerings.

You can search for courses using the Academic Catalog. View more detailed Class information in the class search. Also see course.


One word.


One word.


Does not follow the rule of prefixes. Retain the hyphen when forming nouns, adjectives and verbs that indicate occupation or status (co-worker, co-founder, co-author). No hyphen in other combinations (cooperate, coexist, coed, coordination).


Lowercase when referring to the physical shoreline: Atlantic coast, Pacific coast, east coast. Capitalize when referring to regions on the Unities States lying along such coasts: the Atlantic Coast states, a Gulf Coast city, the West Coast. Do not capitalize when referring to smaller regions: the Virginia coast.


Use coed when referring to a coeducational college or university. No hyphen. (Residence Life offers living environments to meet every need including coed buildings by floor.)

NOTE: Use of coed when referring to a female student at a coeducational university could be considered sexist language.

cold-climate (modifying adjective)

Hyphenate cold climate when used as a modifying adjective. (The findings will help improve cold-climate building practices in Alaska.)

Note: Do not hyphenate Cold Climate Housing Research Center. Do not hyphenate when climate is the noun. (Researchers took special care of their instruments in the cold climate.)


  • Use a colon at the end of a sentence to introduce lists, tabulations, texts, etc. (There are three types of exam questions: multiple choice, open-ended, and essay.)
  • Capitalize the first word after a colon only if it is a proper noun or the start of a complete sentence. (He promised this: The team will win first place in the competition.)
  • Be especially careful not to use a colon between a verb and its complement or object, between a preposition and its object, or after such as. (NOT: John ate: ham and cheese. The cat is on: the chair. The trip included activities such as: biking, hiking, and canoeing.)


Commas are used to:

  • Set off words, phrases or clauses in a series. Do not place a comma before the conjunction in a series. (The colors on the American flag are red, white, and blue.) Use a comma before the conjunction with items in a complex series. (I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs.)
  • Set off a prepositional, adverbial or dependent clause that precedes, interrupts, or follows an independent (main) clause in a sentence. (When she discovered the answer, she reported her findings to the committee. The report, after being read aloud, was put up for consideration.)
  • Set off two independent (main) clauses in a single sentence joined by a conjunction (a compound sentence) and for short independent clauses not joined by a conjunction. (She knew little about him, and he volunteered nothing. I came, I saw, I conquered.)
  • Set off contrasting and opposing expressions within a sentence. (He changed his style, not his ethics. The cost is $50, not $56.)
  • Set off adjectives in a series that are equal in rank where the comma effectively replaces the word "and" (thoughtful, considerate manner, harsh, cold wind).
  • Set off quotations. Note: If a quotation is used as the subject of a sentence or if it is not being presented as actual dialogue, a comma is not used. ("The computer is down" was the reply we all feared. The fact that he said he was "leaving this instant" doesn't mean he actually left.)
  • Separate a question from the rest of a sentence. (It's a nice day, isn't it?)
  • Indicate the omission of a word or words in a sentence. (Common stocks are preferred by some investors; bonds, by others.)
  • Avoid ambiguity and to emphasize a particular phrase. (To John, Jane was someone special. The more bells and whistles a computer has, the higher the price.)
  • Set off geographical names, dates and addresses from the rest of a sentence. (Melbourne, Fla., is on the East Coast. He was wounded Sunday, June 12, 1940, two days before he was to come home.) Note: When just the month and year are given, the comma is omitted. (She received her master's degree in May 1990.)
  • Set off nonessential clauses with a comma following a conjunction in a compound sentence. (He likes his job at the university, but in a few months he will be graduating.)
  • Set off ages and hometowns from a name. (John Doe, 41, attended the event. Jane Doe, of Melbourne, Fla., also attended.)
  • Set off academic credentials from a name. (Jane Doe, Ph.D., is the professor.)


Lowercase when used to refer to commencement generally. (UAS's 41st commencement was held May 6, 2012. More than 800 people attended the UAS commencement ceremonies.)

Capitalize when followed by the specific year. (UAS celebrated Commencement 2012 in grand style.)

communications, graphics, electronics, series, headquarters

These words are both singular and plural in construction. He is studying communications.

community campuses

Capitalize when using full name:

  • Bristol Bay Campus is in Dillingham.
  • Chukchi Campus is in Kotzebue.
  • Interior-Aleutians Campus is based in Fairbanks.
  • Kuskokwim Campus is in Bethel.
  • Northwest Campus is in Nome.

Lowercase when not using full or formal name:

  • The campus is located on the other side of town.

For University of Alaska Southeast please see campus. UAS is a regional campus.

compared to, compared with

Use "compared to" when the intent is to assert, without the need for elaboration, that two or more items are similar. (Her work was compared to that of Susan B. Anthony's campaign for women's suffrage.)

Use "compared with" when juxtaposing two or more items to illustrate similarities and/or differences. (His time was 2:11:10, compared with 2:14 for his closest competitor.)

compass points

See addresses.

complement, compliment

Complement is a noun and verb denoting completeness or the process of supplementing something. (The department has a complement of 26 professors.)

Compliment is a noun or verb that denotes praise or the expression of courtesy. (The vice president complimented the entire teaching staff.)

compose, comprise

Compose means to create or put together. (He composed a song.)

Comprise means to contain, to include all, or embrace. (The university is comprised of five basic units.)

composition titles

  • Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters: "The Star Spangled Banner".
  • Capitalize an article (the, a, an) or a word of fewer than four letters if it is the first or last word in a title: "Of Mice and Men".
  • Italicize titles of newspapers, magazines and books (excluding reference works and the Bible). Underline if you can't set in italics. (Tidal Echoes)
  • Put quotation marks around the titles of movies, TV programs, plays, epic poems, operas, albums, exhibit titles, works of art, articles, chapters, lectures, speeches, and presentations.

compound words

See hyphenation.


It is OK to begin a sentence with a conjunction occasionally, but do not set the conjunction off with a comma. (And the ARL building contains more research laboratories.)

Cooperative Extension Service

Singular "Service." May use "Extension" (capitalized) on second reference, or abbreviate to CES (no periods).


Refers to the concentration of classes taken by all baccalaureate students. Do not capitalize.

course, academic

A Course (e.g. MATH 305 – Math Sec J01) is a discrete study unit within a subject area (e.g. Mathematics) offered by an academic school (e.g. the School of Arts and Sciences). Students must complete courses which satisfy the requirements of their academic program (e.g. Bachelor of Science). Courses are usually described in the form MATH 305 – Math Sec J01.

You can search for courses using the Academic Catalog. View more detailed Class information in the class search.

course names

Lowercase reference to subject matter, unless a proper noun (mathematics, science, oceanography, English)

course work

Two words, not one

courtesy titles

In general, (outside of standard correspondence) do NOT use the courtesy titles Miss, Mr., Mrs., Ms. with first and last names of people: Betty Ford, Jimmy Carter in regular copy.


No periods with most credentials (CPA, APR, CFRE, FAICP, etc.) List credentials only on first reference. See academic degrees.

credit hours, numbers of

In regular copy, spell out numbers of credit hours when less than 10. (Meg took nine credits in the fall. She took 15 credits in the spring.)

In academic publications like the course catalog and schedule, use numerals in all cases.


Data can be either a singular or plural noun and requires a singular or plural verb accordingly. See the AP Stylebook for further explanation.

  • The data is inaccurate.
  • The data have been carefully collected.


One word as a noun and adjective.

dates (also see months)

  • When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with a comma (August 1990).
  • In tabular form, use three-letter abbreviations with periods (Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., May Jun., Jul., Aug., Sep., Oct., Nov., Dec.). If written
  • Always use Arabic figures, without st, nd, rd, or th. (The party will take place January 21. NOT: The party will take place January 21st.)
  • It is unnecessary to indicate the year if the event occurs within the same year as the publication.
  • Do not use "on" with dates when its absence would not lead to confusion. (The program ends December 15. NOT: The program ends on December 15.)
  • Spell out numerical designations first through ninth and use numerals with letter suffixes for 10th and above. (the first semester, the 10th anniversary)

days of the week

Capitalize. Do not abbreviate, except in tabular format (Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat).


Capitalize as part of a title:

  • UAS School of Hard Knocks Dean John Smith…
  • At the meeting, Dean John Smith…

Lowercase in other instances:

  • John Smith, dean of UAS's School of Hard Knocks…

dean's list

When someone is named to a dean's list, the apostrophe should be placed before the s. (Matt Smith was placed on the dean’s list for the School of Arts and Sciences)


Use Arabic figures to indicate decades of history. Use an apostrophe to indicate numerals that are left out. Show plural by adding the letter "s." (The 1980s, the '90s, the Gay '90s, the 1920s, the mid-1950s.)

degree students

Not "degree-seeking." (All degree students eventually must declare a major.)

(See also non-degree students)


Lowercase in text when spelled out. (UAS offers bachelor’s degrees in …)

Use periods. (B.S., M.S., B.A., Ph.D., Ed.S., M.P.A., M.A.T.)

Preferred: John Smith received a bachelor's degree in computer science. Susan has a bachelor of arts in English.


Although most departments' formal names are Department of X, they are also commonly referred to as X Department. Retain capitalization in either case.

  • The Department of English is sponsoring a contest.
  • The English Department is sponsoring a contest.

Lowercase when not using the full title in either form:

  • The department is sponsoring …

Exceptions: There are departments that are not preceded by Department of or whose official name at UAS is contrary to convention. Such names should be capitalized. These include but are not limited to: Admissions and Records, Facilities, and Marketing and Public Relations.


One word.


Use figures and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc. to indicate depth, height, width, length and weight. Hyphenate adjectival forms before nouns. (He is 6 feet 7 inches tall, the 6-foot-7-inch man.)

directions and regions

Lowercase north, south, northeast, northern, etc. when they indicate compass directions; capitalize when these words designate regions. (He sat on the east side of the stadium. They came here from the Northeast. The storm system that developed in the Midwest is spreading eastward.)


Capitalize as part of a title. (When Employee Relations Director Bill Smythe arrived…)

Lowercase in other instances. (When Bill Smythe, director of Employee Relations, arrived…)

Disability, disabled

Disability, disabled* Words that generally describe functional limitations that affect one or more of the major life activities, including walking, lifting, learning, breathing, etc. Different laws define disability differently.

When describing an individual, do not reference his or her disability unless it is clearly pertinent to a story. If it is pertinent, it is best to use language that refers to the person first and the disability second. For example: “The writer, who has a disability” as opposed to “The disabled writer.”


Use figures for 10 and above, spell out one through nine. (He ran 10 miles. He kept his top speed for only two miles.) For delivery method, see e-Learning.


In text, the preferred form for referencing an individual who holds a doctoral degree is to set off the academic credentials with commas. (John Jones, Ph.D., received a research grant.) On second reference, use only the last name. In most cases, the salutation Dr., or Drs. in the plural, is avoided. Do not use both Dr. and Ph.D. together in the same reference. (INCORRECT=Dr. John Jones, Ph.D.)


Use dollar sign, not the word dollars, no decimal:

The cost is $12 per person.


Use residence hall instead.

drop out (v.), dropout (n.)

(He will drop out of the English class. He will become a second-semester dropout.)

due to, because of

"Due to" is an adjectival prepositional phrase, meaning it modifies a noun. It is commonly preceded by a form of the verb "to be" (be, is, are, was, were, etc.). Because it follows a "be" verb, it is considered a subject complement: It modifies the subject of the sentence. (The team's loss was due to an incorrect answer. My financial success is due to wise investment decisions.)

"Because of" is an adverbial prepositional phrase, meaning it modifies a verb. It usually answers the question, "Why?" (The team lost because of an incorrect answer. I am financially successful because of wise investment decisions.)

each other, one another

Two people look at each other. More than two look at one another.

Earth, earth

Capitalize when referring to the planet. (The Earth is bigger than the moon.)

Lowercase when using as a general reference. (It felt good to dig in the moist spring earth.)


Abbreviation for UA's electronic directory. All uppercase, no space in between. Wendy updated her contact information on EDIR when she changed departments.

Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence

Capitalize initial. Use title exactly as is. Adding "in service" is not part of the title, neither is "award."

effect, affect

See affect.

Egan Library

Officially William Allen Egan Library. Egan Library is acceptable. Named after former Governor William A. Egan.

Egan Wing

Officially the Egan Library classroom extension. Egan Wing is acceptable. The grand opening took place on Jan. 11, 2003 with the Winter Scholarship Soiree, where more than 300 people were in attendance and more than $69,000 was raised for the UAS scholarship fund.

either... or, neither... nor

The nouns that follow these words do not constitute a compound subject; they are alternate subjects and require a verb that agrees with the nearest subject. (Either the dress is red or it is not. Neither he nor they are going.)


Do not capitalize, even when followed by a name. (Several elders were interviewed by the reporter. UAS gave Native elder John Borbridge Jr. an honorary degree in 2012.)


E-Learning is to replace distance, distance classes, distance education. E-Learning is to be used at the start of a sentence or headline. Use e-Learning within sentences. (E-Learning can take place anywhere a student has an Internet connection. Many students take a mix of in-person and e-Learning classes.)


Use three dots (no spaces between them, but a space on each side) to signify that something has been left out of a direct quote or that the writer is leaping from one topic to another. The principal stated that, "Every school should serve quality food to all the students, especially if they are very young ... ."

Elluminate Live!

Elluminate Live! is the UAS web meeting software for online classes or student/staff collaboration. Elluminate may be used on second reference.


All one word, no hyphen. Lowercase, unless as the first word of a sentence or listing. However, retain the hyphen in words like "e-books" and "e-commerce."

em dash, en dash

  • Do not leave a space before or after an em dash or en dash.
  • An em dash is used to denote an abrupt change in thought in a sentence or an emphatic pause (We will fly to Paris in June—if I get a raise).
  • An em dash can also be used when a phrase that otherwise would be set off by commas contains a series of words that must be separated by commas (He listed the qualities—intelligence, humor, conservatism, independence that he liked in an executive).
  • An en dash can be used when separating years (1990–'95).
  • Use an en dash between capitalized names and to indicate linkages, such as boundaries, treaties, or oppositions. (Chicago–Memphis train, the Dempsey–Tunney fight.)

emeriti, emerita, emeritae, emeritus

Emeritus (one man), emerita (one woman), emeritae (plural women), emeriti (plural men or both men and women)

  • Joe Smith, professor emeritus of geology, was appointed to the committee.
  • Janet Peters, who was given emerita status in 1991, established a scholarship.
  • Emeriti are recognized during commencement each year.

Capitalize emeritus et al when used as a title preceding a name. (Professor Emerita Susan Blalock taught English for many years.)

Note that the formal wording used on emeriti resolutions may be different from the style discussed here.

ensure, insure

Ensure means to guarantee. Use insure when referring to insurance.


Use to mean a right to do or have something. Do not use to mean titled.

et al

No periods. Et al refers to people. Et cetera refers to things.


Literal translation is "and other things." Use "and others," "and so forth" or "and so on" in copy. In a series that begins with "for example," “Etc.” not necessary. Lists introduced with "such as" or "including" don't need etc. because it's assumed there are other items besides those listed. (Please bring cookies, cakes etc. to the dessert potluck.)

every one, everyone

Two words when it means each individual item. One word when used as a pronoun meaning all persons. Everyone takes singular verbs and pronouns. (Every one on the team was a winner. Everyone wants his life to be happy.)


See accept.


When used alone, treat as a singular noun. (Our faculty is the best. The faculty is attending the conference.) When referring to the people who make up the faculty, use "faculty members." (English faculty member Joe Smith attended the conference.)

farther, further

Farther refers to physical distance. Further refers to an extension of time or degree.


Short for facsimile machine, use lowercase: (The student wanted to fax her transcript to the graduate school.)


One word, not two.

first names

Use full name unless nickname is preferred by the owner: (Charles Ray was named professor emeritus.)

Or if he prefers: (Chuck Ray was named professor emeritus.)

See AP, names entry for treatment of children and youth.

fellow, fellowship

Do not capitalize when describing a person who is a member of an academic society or organization or who has a similar standing as a graduate student. Capitalize fellowship when used in the formal title of the award:

(August Mensch was named a Brookings fellow for his work in economic theory. The Profound Fellowship is offered in alternating years. Graduate students who win the fellowship are expected to publish a peer-reviewed article within three years.)

fewer, less

"Fewer" is used with individuals or individual items; "less" with quantity or bulk. (Fewer users on the network require less cable.)

fiber optics (n.), fiber-optic (compound modifier)


Add "s" for plurals; not apostrophe followed by "s," which is possessive (1990s, 1990's lifestyle).

financial aid

Lowercase except in UAS Financial Aid.

flier, flyer

Flier is the preferred term for an aviator or an advertising poster or handbill. Flyer is the proper name of some trains and buses (The Western Flyer).


NOT forwards. (I look forward to your reply.)


Spell out amounts less than one in stories, using hyphens between words (two-thirds, four-fifths, etc.).

full time (n.), full-time (compound modifier)

(She is a full-time engineering student. He also goes to class full time.)

fundraiser, fundraising

One word, no hyphens.


General Educational Development. Use initial caps. On first reference, use General Educational Development. For second reference, use GED.

(For admission to associate/certificate programs, you must have a high school diploma or a General Educational Development diploma. If you do not have a high school diploma or GED, you may take courses as a non-degree-seeking student.)

genus, species

In the first reference of scientific or biological names, capitalize the first, or generic, Latin name for the class of plant or animal and lowercase the species that follows: Homo sapiens, Tyrannosaurus rex. On second reference, abbreviate the first letter and spell out the second word: H. sapiens, T. rex. Divisions higher than genus—phylum, class, order and family—are capitalized but not italicized

geographic information system

Lowercase. Abbreviate as GIS (no periods).

geologic ages

Capitalize the name and the eon, era, etc.

(Several faculty members in the Anthropology Department specialize in Alaska archaeology from the Holocene Epoch of the Quaternary Period.)

good, well

Good is an adjective that means something is as it should be or is better than average. Generally not used as an adverb. (The pie is good.)

Well, when used as an adjective, means suitable, proper, healthy. When used as an adverb, well means in a satisfactory manner or skillfully. (The boat runs well.)


Always lowercase, unless part of an agency or committee name; never abbreviate.

governmental titles

Abbreviate in the following ways in text:

Gov. Sarah Palin

Sen. Joe Smith

Rep. Ann Jone

grade point average

On first reference, use grade point average. For second reference, use GPA.

group study

Two words.


Hyphenate as a compound modifier. (Each class offers hands-on experience.)

health care (n.), health-care (compound modifier)

(Health care is essential in this day and time. Today, health-care specialists are very important.)

Hendrickson Building

Officially Waino Hendrickson Building, but Hendrickson Building can be used.


Hyphenate as a compound modifier.


Hyphenate as a compound modifier. (This high-level decision will affect us all.)


Hyphenate as a compound modifier, except in the proper name High Tech Corridor.

high school

Two words when used as a noun and a compound modifier (contrary to Webster's).


One word.

home schooling, home-schooled, home-schooler

honorary degrees

All references to honorary degrees should specify that the degree was honorary. Do not use Dr. before the name of an individual whose only doctorate is honorary.

honors list

Lowercase, no apostrophe. (John Smith was named to the honors list.)

Honors Program

Initial caps on both words when used together. Do not capitalize "honors" on its own. (Because Jason was an honors student in the Honors Program, he was able to take honors classes.)


Avoid starting a sentence with "however" when the meaning is nevertheless. "However" is used correctly at the beginning of a sentence when it means "in whatever way" or "to whatever extent." (However you advise him, he will do as he thinks best.)

hydro, hyper

The rules of prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen.


The following definitions apply:

  • Use between some prefixes and root words (co-author, pre-exist, noncontroversial). Consult prefix references in AP Stylebook for guidelines.
  • Use in forming compound nouns, especially those containing prepositions (sister-in-law, attorney-at-law, good-for-nothing).
  • Use with compound modifiers—two or more words that express a single concept that precede a noun. The purpose for hyphenating compound modifiers is to guide readers easily through your wording and help them distinguish the modifiers from the nouns at a glance.

Use a hyphen to link all words in a compound modifier, except the adverb "very" and all adverbs that end in "ly" (first-quarter report, very blue sky, full-time job, off-campus site).

Also use when a compound modifier is formed using a number, a single letter and a noun (D-shaped connector, 3.5-inch column, 24-point type).

When a compound modifier that would normally be hyphenated before a noun occurs after a form of the verb "to be," the hyphen usually must be retained to avoid confusion. (The professor is well-known. The class is second-rate.)

  • Use when writing compound numbers between 21 and 99 when the first number ends in "ty" (thirty-four, one hundred and fifty-eight).
  • In typeset copy, do not leave a hyphenated word from one page to another page or from one column to another column on the same page.
  • Do not hyphenate words with fewer than six letters (e.g., often); one syllable words (e.g., drowned, shipped, named, through); contractions (e.g., doesn't); abbreviations (e.g., Ph.D., FDA, B.C.)
  • Use a minimum of three characters before or after a hyphenated line break.
  • Use hyphens, rather than slashes (/) when forming nontraditional compound words. (Andy Seminick-Les Hall Field, student-athletes)

i.e., e.g.

i.e. means “in other words.” Use to introduce further clarification. “I like dogs, i.e., labradors and huskies.” (These are the only dogs you like.)

e.g. means “for example.” Use to introduce an example. “I like dogs, e.g., Labradors and huskies.” Examples of dogs you like. You may also like chihuahuas. )

in, into

In indicates location. Into indicates motion. (The cord is in the back of the machine. The cord is then plugged into the back of the machine.)


Preferred house style is to delete even when part of a corporate name, but if it is retained, abbreviate and capitalize as Inc. Do not set off with commas. Apply the same treatment to other designations such as LLC.

(Arco Alaska is an oil company. or Arco Alaska Inc. is an oil company.)

include, comprise

Use "include" to introduce a series when the items that follow are only part of the total. Use "comprise" when the full list of individual elements is given. (The class was comprised of fifteen students. The syllabus includes classroom rules.)


One word.


Hyphenated as a compound modifier. (We are an in-house publications office.)


Use periods and no space.

in order to

Rarely necessary, use "to" instead.

in-state (adj.)

Hyphenate. (Alaska residents pay in-state tuition.)


See ensure.

inter, intra

The rules of prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen.


Capitalize when referring to the geographical region of Alaska. Refers generally to the Tanana, Yukon and Kuskokwim river valleys. (Fairbanks is in the Interior. Fairbanks is in Interior Alaska.)


Always capitalize. Acceptable to use the Net on second reference.


The language of Alaska Inuit Eskimos, spoken on the North Slope and in Northwest Alaska as far south as Unalakleet. Distinct from Yupik. A north Alaska Eskimo (person). Use Inupiaq to refer to the language (never Inupiat), to one person and as an adjective. Use Inupiak to refer to two people. Use Inupiat to refer to three or more people (never Inupiats), to the people collectively and to the culture.

The Eskimo languages include the four Yupik languages of Alaska and Siberia as well as Inuit, the Alaskan sector of which is called Inupiaq.


Use italics to emphasize individual words in text and to identify books, newspapers and magazines (excluding reference works and the Bible). TV shows, plays, movies, song titles, paintings, poems and other composition titles are set off in quotes; not italics.

I.T. Helpdesk

The I.T. Helpdesk provides technical support and information. Helpdesk may be used on second reference.

job titles

When preceding an individual's name, capitalize formal titles but not occupational descriptions. At UAS, capitalize only the following formal titles and their subsets (e.g., Chancellor Pugh and Vice Chancellor Danielson): president, chair (don't capitalize department), chancellor, dean, director, professor and its subsets (contrary to AP), and provost. Chair is contrary to AP's use of chairman and chairwoman.

  • The audience applauded after Chancellor Pugh's speech.
  • The committee listened to the advice of attorney Janice Rogers.
  • Students met with department Chair Kevin Krein to discuss the changes.
  • The committee granted tenure to Assistant Professor Smith.

Do not capitalize titles in regular text when not followed by a name. (The dean of the College of Education is retiring.)

Job titles may be capitalized in memos, lists and other irregular documents and publications, if desired.

To: Kelly Smith, Chancellor   /   From: Flip Jones, Vice Chancellor


Not judgement.

jump lines

Not necessary to have a jump line from one page to the following page. However, it is necessary to include a jump line when it is not immediately apparent that the copy is continuing on the next page.

junior, senior

Abbreviate as Jr. and Sr. only with full names of persons or animals. Do not precede with a comma.


Stands for kindergarten through 12th grade. Use en dash, offset by space on either side.


Hyphenate as a noun.

Latin names

For scientific names, see genus, species.


Capitalize when referring to the Alaska Legislature, but do not capitalize when referring to legislatures in general.

(The Legislature held a special session in Juneau to discuss oil taxes. Some legislatures meet only every other year.)


Should not be substituted for "as" (or such as) when comparing two or more nouns. (We use programs like Photoshop and InDesign means you used programs that were similar to Photoshop and InDesign; you didn't use Photoshop or InDesign. We used programs such as Photoshop and InDesign is correct if you actually used Photoshop and InDesign.)

lists (bulleted)

Bulleted lists fall into the following three categories:

  1. Unbroken syntax; no colon, no capitalization, no punctuation. This is a simple sentence broken into a list to emphasize the parts of a series.
    For example: A computer system consists of
  • a computer
  • a display device
  • one or more disk drives
  1. Typical lists; main clause followed by a colon with no capitalization or punctuation. For example: WordStar allows you to do any of the following word processing tasks quickly and easily:
  • editing
  • printing
  • writing
  1. Complex lists; main clause followed by a colon, includes punctuation. Items in this list are complete sentences. The first word of each item should be capitalized and each item should end with the appropriate punctuation.
    For example: Here are a few things macros do for you:
  • They save you the trouble of changing your margin settings every time you want to type a list.
  • They provide you with a way to display chapter numbers and titles, main headings and page numbers.
  • They eliminate the need to count blank lines between one element and another.

lists (numbered)

This type of list should be introduced by a main clause, followed by a colon. The first word of each item should be capitalized, and each item should have appropriate ending punctuation.

For example: Connecting your computer monitor is easy:

  1. Plug one end of the cable into the computer.
  2. Plug the other end of the cable into the monitor.
  3. Plug the power cord for the monitor into the back of the monitor.
  4. Plug the other end of the power cord into a grounded outlet.

lists (in sentences)

Simple lists of items in sentence form should be separated by commas (The color choices were red, white, and green) with a serial comma, e.g., before the "and." Complex lists of items in sentence form, i.e., lists that contain multiple words with conjunctions, begin with a colon and items are separated by semicolons. (The color choices are: green with aqua undertones; blue and black; crimson edging on gold; and purple.)

long distance, long-distance

Always hyphenate in reference to telephone calls. In other uses, hyphenate only when used as a compound modifier.

-ly words

Do not use a hyphen with -ly adjectives and adverbs. (UAS offers many privately funded scholarships.)

make up (v.), makeup (n., adj.)

(He will make up the test at a later date. This is a makeup test for the class.)


Use work-hours, and hyphenate as a noun.


Use employees, workers, work force if referring to a group of people needed to accomplish tasks. Use effort or force if referring to physical power in the abstract.

may, can

See can, may.

media and medium

Media is plural and takes a plural verb, whereas medium is singular. (The media work hard for their money. This medium is better than the rest.)

metric abbreviations

The following rules should apply.

  • Butt two or less lowercase letters against number (35mm, 1cm).
  • Butt single uppercase letters against numbers (512K).
  • Place one space between two (or more) uppercase letters, or one (or more) uppercase letter(s) and one lowercase letter, and numbers (6 MHz, 50 bps, 15 Hz).  


No hyphen with this prefix unless a capitalized word or numeral follows (mid-American, mid-'80s, midsemester, midterm, midrange).


The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen (miniseries, minibus).


  • 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, with a year alone or with a specific date when used as a headline.
  • When a phrase lists only a month and year, do not separate the year with commas (January 1990).
  • In tabular material, use these three-letter forms without a period: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

more than, over

See over.

Mount McKinley

Do not abbreviate Mount. (The park is Denali National Park and Preserve. Mount McKinley is located in Denali National Park and Preserve.)

Mourant Building

Officially Robert Thomas Mourant Building, but Mourant Building can be used. First president of the United Students of the University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau campus. While attending the UAS from fall 1977 to May 1981, Rob distinguished himself as a student leader and worked hard to obtain funding for the a student union. Rob lost his life in a plane crash on August 18, 1981 at the age of 23. His fellow students began a campaign to have the building then under construction named for him, and the University of Alaska Board of Regents approved.


The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen (multiengine, multimillion, multidisciplinary, multimedia).


No hyphens, all one word.


The rules of prefixes apply, but in general no hyphen (nanoscale, nanomechanical, nanosecond)


Capitalize when referring to Alaska's Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts. Do not capitalize when used in the sense "indigenous to." (Alaska Natives have lived in Alaska a long time. The report included testimony from Native and non-Native observers. The spruce tree is native to Alaska, but the chokecherry is not.)

neither... nor

See either... or.


The rules of prefixes apply, but in general no hyphen when forming a compound that does not have a special meaning and can be understood if "not" is used before the base word (nonlinear, nonabrasive). Use a hyphen, however, before proper nouns or in awkward combinations, such as non-nuclear. Follow Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary.

noncontiguous state

No hyphen. Refers to Alaska and Hawaii. (Contrary to Stylebook for Alaska.)

non-degree students

Not "non-degree-seeking." (Many non-degree students like to take classes for fun and aren’t interested in earning a degree.)

(See also degree students)


One word.


Hyphenate. (Contrary to Webster's pattern of not hyphenating non- words.)

noon, midnight

Use without numeral 12 before. To avoid confusion, do NOT use 12 a.m. or 12 p.m. in reference to either noon or midnight.

north, North, northern, Northern

Do not capitalize when using as a general term.

  • The snow on the north side of the building was the last to melt.
  • The house's northern exposure made it harder to sell.

Capitalize when referring to the specific geographic area.

  • His research was on the mushrooms of the North.
  • Scientists studying the Northern Hemisphere were at the conference.

northern lights

Do not capitalize.

See also aurora borealis.

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

The agency that grants UAS's institutional accreditation. May be referred to as NWCCU on second reference.

Novatney Building

Officially Dorothy Novatney Building, but Novatney Building can be used. The Novatney Building at UAS bears the name of territorial educator Dorothy Novatney, who started the community college in Juneau.

Noyes Pavilion

Officially Lily Noyes Pavilion, but Noyes Pavilion can be used. A pledge of $100,000 was received from the Noyes family and the facility was named in honor of John and Lily Noyes. John Noyes was Alaska National Guard Adjutant General when he was killed in a plane crash near Nome in 1956. The ground breaking ceremony occurred on Aug. 3, 2001.


  • Always spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence unless the number is a year. (1976 was a good year. Seven students attended the event.)
  • Spell out one through nine unless used in reference to dimensions, measurements, age, addresses, money, dates, percentages, speeds, weights, clock time, or in tabular material.
  • Use figures for 10 and above. (They had 10 dogs and four cats.)
  • When large numbers must be spelled out, use a hyphen to connect a word ending in "ty" to another word; do NOT use commas between other separate words that are part of one number. (twenty, twenty-one, one hundred forty-five)


In general, spell out one through nine and first through ninth, use numerals for 10 and 10th and above. For more details, see the AP Stylebook.

off-campus, on-campus

Hyphenate when used as an adjective (off-campus housing, on-campus activities), but not when used as an adverb (he lives off campus, she lives on campus).

offline, online

One word.

oil pipeline

Don't capitalize. (The trans-Alaska oil pipeline flows south from …)

OK, OK'd, OK'ing, OKs

Do NOT use okay!

on board, on-board

Two words as an adverb; hyphenate as a compound modifier. Use "aboard" when referring to getting on or onto a ship, plane, boat, etc. Never onboard.


One word.


No hyphen.


Hyphenate as a compound modifier and adverb. (On-site campus activities will be taking place.)

on, upon

On shows position or state of rest; upon stresses direction or movement.

organizations and institutions

Capitalize the full names of organizations and institutions (American Medical Association; The Boeing Company; Harvard University; Sigma Delta Chi).

Use lowercase for internal elements of an organization when they have names that are widely used generic terms (the board of directors of General Motors, the board of trustees of Columbia University).


Capitalize "Orientation" when referring to any of the programs designed specifically for students and their families. (Programs include: New Student Orientation (no hyphen), Family Orientation.

Recreation Center staff members were busy preparing for the many activities associated with Orientation.)

Do not capitalize when using the word in a general sense. (Susan's supervisor gave her a quick orientation around the office and introduced her to her new co-workers.)


Generally refers to a spatial relationship. (The lantern hangs over the table.)

Over can, at times, be used with numerals, but more than is usually a better choice of words. (There are more than 4,400 students enrolled at the university. )

NOT: (There are over 4,400 students enrolled.)


One word.


If a complete sentence is contained within parentheses, the first letter in that sentence is capitalized and the punctuation is placed within the closing parenthesis. If an incomplete sentence is contained within parentheses, the first letter is lowercase and the punctuation is placed outside the closing parenthesis.

part time (n.), part-time (compound modifier)

(She works part time. She is a part-time student.)


Not an acronym. The programming language is named after a mathematician, Blaise Pascal.


One word. Always spell out in text, unless the text is technical or a list.

Performance Based Budget/Budgeting

No hyphens. Capitalize.


Cellphone, iPhone, smartphone. All one word, no hyphenation. (Note capital "p" in "iPhone.")

photo captions

Always identify individuals in a photo starting from the left. Spell out left, right and center. Avoid using abbreviations (L, R, C). Only use a period if the caption is a complete sentence.

Acceptable caption formats include:

  • From left: John Jones, Sue Johns, John Doe
  • ROTC cadets pictured from left, front row: John Jones, Sue Johns, Jane Doe; from left, back row: John Doe, Ben Smith, Pat Smith
  • Members of the flight team are, from left, John Jones, Sue Johns and John Doe.
  • John Jones (left) and John Doe enjoyed the event.

photo credits

End all photo credits with a period, regardless of whether the credit is a phrase or a complete sentence.

  • UAS photo by Mike Masters.

Photos by Marketing and Communications staff and student employees:

  • UAS photo by Todd Paris.
  • UAS photo by LJ Evans.

Photos by non-UAS employees, follow the photographer’s name with a comma and affiliation, if any:

  • Photo by Andy Canton, United Way.

Photos provided by (but not necessarily taken by): Use "courtesy of."

  • Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Photos courtesy of Andy Canton, United Way.

Note: Style may be modified to accommodate photographer's wishes or acknowledgement needs.


See oil pipeline.


Capitalize nouns and adjectives derived from the proper names of planets and other heavenly bodies. (Spirit and Opportunity are two rovers NASA landed on Mars in January 2004 that continue to gather data as they roam the Martian landscape.)

playback (n.), play back (v.)

(The video playback will show the error. The music will be played back.)  

plural adjectives

The words communications, graphics, electronics, headquarters and various others are to be considered both plural and singular in construction. Therefore, phrases such as communications systems, graphics artists and electronics firms do not violate the plural adjective rule of grammar—using plural adjectives to modify plural nouns.

possessive nouns

Possessive nouns ending in "s" take only a final apostrophe, not an apostrophe followed by a second "s." (students' thoughts—meaning the thoughts of multiple students)


Follow Webster's Tenth New Collegiate Dictionary. Hyphenate if not listed but, (postbacculaureate, postbachelor, postcollegiate, postdate, postdoctoral, postgraduate).


One word, no hyphen.



president's professor

Capitalize when used as part of a formal title before the name, otherwise lowercase. (President's Professor Beetle Bailey studies spruce beetles, and Hazy Skye, president's professor of atmospheric sciences, conducts research in the Geophysical Institute.)

principal, principle

Principal is a noun and adjective meaning someone or something first in rank, authority, importance or degree. Principle is a noun that means a fundamental truth, law, doctrine or motivating force.


Capitalize when used as part of a formal title but not in its general sense. (The Marine Advisory Program offers dozens of publications about Alaska’s marine and coastal environments.)

Note:Not all programs use the word program in their title, as in the following:

  • UAF participates in GVEA's Sustainable Natural Alternative Power program.
  • Academic programs (majors) are not capitalized.
  • She studied philosophy before switching her major to mathematics


Never abbreviate. Capitalize when used as a formal title before a full name. (Professor John Jones)

quotation marks

Periods and commas always go within quotation marks. Semicolons, colons, and unusual punctuation go outside quotation marks when they do not apply to the quote. Use single quotation marks in headlines.


One word.


The correct form is $12 million to $14 million; not $12 to $14 million. Ranges should be specified using the preposition "to," not a dash. In technical text, ranges are specified with an en dash unless the range starts with "from," then use the preposition "to."


The rules of prefixes apply. See AP Stylebook. Note: For many words, the sense is the governing factor: recover (regain); re-cover (cover again); reform (improve); re-form (form again).

real time (n.), real-time (compound modifier)

(Testing will be done in real time. The entire campus will be used as a real-time aerial sensing test bed.)


Hyphenate as a compound modifier.

Recreation Center

See UAS Recreation Center.

recur, recurred, recurring

NOT reoccur.

residence halls

NOT dorms or dormitories.

right-hand side

Avoid using hand in such references. Right side is sufficient.


Acceptable on first reference for Reserve Officer Training Corps. No periods.


No periods.


Capitalize when part of a proper name (School of Psychology, School of Extended Studies).

scientific names

See genus, species.


Lowercased acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.


One word.


Lowercase spring, summer, fall, winter and derivatives such as springtime, unless part of a formal name.


Always hyphenate as a prefix.


The rules of prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen (semifinal, semi-invalid).

setup (n.), set up (v.)

(She will set up for the meeting. The sting was a setup.)

shall, will

Use "shall" to express determination. (We shall overcome. You and he shall stay.)

Either "shall" or "will" can be used in first-person constructions that do not emphasize determination. (We shall hold a meeting. We will hold a meeting.)

For second- and third-person construction, use "will" unless determination is stressed. (You will like it. She will not be pleased.)

should, would

Use "should" to express an obligation. Use "would" to express a customary action and to construct a conditional past tense. (We should help the needy. In the summer, we would spend hours at the beach.)

shut off (v.), shut-off (n.)

(She shut off the light. He used the shut-off switch.) Note: This style contradicts Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary.

sign up (v.), sign-up (n.)

(Please sign up for the class. The sign-up table is in the lobby.)


Hyphenate when used as an adjective modifying a noun.

  • The 14,000-square-foot building was funded in part by private donations.
  • The building featured 14,000 square feet of labs and classrooms.

Note exception to the tagline 360+ million-acre classroom (see slogans)

start up (v.), start-up (n.)

(He started up the engine. The start-up company needed funding.)

Soboleff Building

Officially Walter Soboleff Building, but Soboleff Building can be used. Soboleff said, "In the Native culture, your older people are the Native libraries." Walter Soboleff was a library himself. He was both a participant and an observer of a changing culture. He lived in two worlds, and helped each one understand the other. Dr. Walter Soboleff died on May 22, 2011 at his home in Southeast Alaska. He was 102.


The UAS mascot is Spike the whale. The University of Alaska Juneau (UAJ) first adopted the humpback whale as its mascot in 1980. The whale was retained after the restructuring to University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) in 1987 to include the Ketchikan and Sitka campuses. A student contest was held to name our humpback whale mascot, who has been known as “Spike” ever since.


See faculty.

state abbreviations

Use postal abbreviations when writing a complete address (11066 Auke Lake Way, Juneau, AK 99821). Use text abbreviations when including a city and state in a paragraph or bulleted list (Juneau, AK.). When referring to a state alone, spell out the full state name (Alaska).

state of Alaska

In general, don't capitalize state when used in its geographical sense, but capitalize when referring to it as a political entity. (The state of Alaska is the 49th state in the union. The State of Alaska issues hunting licenses for hunts conducted in the state of Alaska, but not for hunts conducted in other states or countries.)


Do not use a hyphen and don't capitalize. (The statewide offices are in the Butrovich Building.)

Steller's jay, Steller's eider, Steller's sea eagle

Capitalize Steller and spell with an -er, not an -ar.

Steller sea lions

Capitalize Steller and spell with an -er, not an -ar.

student-faculty ratio

Not faculty-student ratio.

Student Recreation Center

See UAS Recreation Center.

square foot, square mile, square inch

See size.


The rules of prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen.


One word, no hyphen. Do not capitalize.


One word, no hyphen.

telephone numbers

Correct form for on-campus telephones:

  • Call 7581 for more information.

Correct form for off-campus calling:

  • Call 796-7581 for more information.

Correct form for off-campus out-of-state calling, as well as all web references:

  • Call (907) 796-7581 for more information.
  • Call (800) 796-1111 for more information.

See also toll free.


Indicate the temperature scale, Fahrenheit or Celsius, of the measurement when discussing temperature. There is no space between the degree symbol and the scale abbreviation. (i.e., 72°F)

that, which, who, whom (pronouns)

Use "who" and "whom" when referring to people and to animals with names. (John Jones is the man who helped me.)

Use "that" and "which" in referring to inanimate objects and to animals without names. (The dog that bit you was his.)


Use theatre when referring to UAS’s theatre/acting course. (UAS's theatre program is popular among students. UAS students perform at the Perseverance Theatre.)

Use theater when referring to theater in general. (Theaters across the country are …)

their, there, they're

"Their" is a possessive pronoun. "There" is an adverb indicating direction. It is also used with a pronoun for impersonal constructions in which the subject follows the verb. (There is no food on the table.) "They're" is a contraction for they are. (This is their room. Put the disk over there. They're here to learn about computers.)

three dimensional

Hyphenate as a compound modifier. 3-D is acceptable. Never three-D.


  • Use figures, except for noon and midnight, and a space between the time and a.m. or p.m. (7 a.m., 7:30 p.m.)
  • Use a colon to separate hours from minutes. (11:30 a.m., noon, NOT: 12 noon)
  • Separate spans of time with an en dash, no space between the times, or with the prepositions "from" and "to" (8–10 a.m., 8 a.m.–5 p.m., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Do not combine use of an en dash with use of a preposition. (NOT: from 8 a.m.–4 p.m.)
  • Omit minute placeholders for times on the hour. (i.e., 7 a.m., not 7:00 a.m.)
  • Avoid redundancies such as 10 a.m. this morning. Instead, use 10 a.m. today.
  • If a time span is during the same part of the day, use a.m. or p.m. only once. (i.e., 8–10 a.m., not 8 a.m.–10 a.m. or 4–6 p.m., not 4 p.m.–6 p.m.)



Titles such as president, vice president, treasurer, reporter, editor, dean, professor should not be capitalized after a name. If you must place a title before a name, capitalize only if it is a formal title. Do not capitalize occupational descriptions. Job titles are always lowercase when they stand alone.

See also composition titles, courtesy titles.

toll free

Two words unless modifying a noun. (Students can call toll free anytime. The toll-free number was inadvertently disconnected.)


NOT towards.

trademark symbol - (TM) or ™

Do not use in regular copy. (Kirk liked his new UAS sweatshirt, which he often wore with his Levi jeans.

Not: Kirk liked his new UAS™ sweatshirt, which he often wore with his Levi™ jeans.)

The trademark symbol is used only on items to be sold or given away as promotional collateral, and applies to the full or abbreviated name of the university and its logos. On commercial or promotional items, use a superscript if possible, otherwise, use parentheses (TM).

travel, traveled, traveling, traveler


Do not capitalize even if used before a name.


One word, UAO all capitalized.

University, university

Capitalize as part of a title. (The Ohio State University campus is …)

Lowercase in other instances. (The university campus is …)


Do not use periods between letters. Use only after full name has been used at least once. If possessive, use an apostrophe. (UAS's enrollment is up.)

In stories about UAS when it had a different name, it is acceptable to use the then-current name as long as it is clear that the name is obsolete. (Jane Doe has seen many changes at the University of Alaska Southeast since she first attended the school, then known as the University of Alaska Juneau, in 1982.)

UAS Online

UAS Online is the UAS student portal. UAS Online is the portal to Blackboard.

UAS Recreation Center

Officially Charles Gamble Jr.-Donald Sperl Joint Use Facility, but UAS Recreation Center can be used. REC can be used on second reference. The UAS Recreation Center is a joint facility with the Army National Guard. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 8, 2003.

United States, U.S.

Always spell out as a noun. Can be abbreviated as an adjective.

United Students of the University of Alaska Southeast (USUAS)

Do not use periods. Use abbreviation only after full name has been used at least once. Also referred to as UAS Student Government.


Lowercase when it stands alone. Capitalize only when it is used as a part of an official name.

upon, on

"Upon" stresses direction or movement, "on" shows position or state of rest. (He sat on the grass. She jumped upon the moving skateboard.) 


NOT upwards.


A Uniform Resource Locator is a web address. In print publications, delete the http:// when there is a www; keep http:// when there is no www. In online or electronic publications, retain any networking protocols (e.g., https, ftp) that are necessary to make a URL work. In email communication, retain http:// to allow readers to link to the referenced web page. It is recommended that URLs have a different font treatment to differentiate them from regular copy. (Visit for more information. Check your financial aid status online at

If a URL must break across two lines, choose to break at a punctuation point, such as a period or a slash. (For more information about the counseling program visit


URLs that end with a directory (e.g., should have a slash at the end. Do NOT use a slash at the end if the URL ends with a filename (e.g., or if the URL is only the domain name (e.g., URLs that end in /index.html, /index.htm or /index.xml should be shortened to the directory name (e.g., can be changed to


Use periods for abbreviating United States but not USA. (The U.S. is facing a coffee shortage. Several former Nanook athletes will represent the USA.)


NOT useable.


This word, meaning use, is rarely needed. "Use" is usually sufficient.


Abbreviate as vs. in all uses.

Veterans Affairs

No apostrophe. VA can be used on second reference.

vice chancellor

Do not hyphenate. Capitalize as part of a title. (Vice Chancellor Joe Smith voted to second the motion.)

Lowercase in other instances. (Joe Smith, vice chancellor, voted to second the motion.)


One word.

videocassette recorder

Two words. VCR is acceptable on second reference.

videodisc, videodisk

Use videodisc and spell as one word.

video recorder

Two words.


One word as a noun and verb.

vita, vitae

Vita is singular and vitae is plural. Use when referring to a biographical sketch, generally in conjunction with curriculum, especially when the information refers to academic history. Curriculum vita is the formal name for an academic's resume, curricula vitae is the plural designation.

Her curriculum vita was outstanding.


Do not capitalize or precede with "the." (Hundreds of passengers were stranded when Redoubt volcano sent out plumes of ash.)

waitlist (n.), wait-list (compound modifier and v.)

When used as a noun, one word, no hyphen. (If you are on a waitlist for a class and have kept up with class activity, you may be allowed to register for the class as vacancies occur.)

When used as a verb and compound modifier, hyphenate. (Ten students hoped to get into the wait-listed class. The registrar promised to wait-list all students who wanted to take the class.)


When web stands alone, use a lowercased w (contrary to AP style). This is short for the formal name World Wide Web or WWW. Avoid use of the formal name, whenever possible, but if it must be used, the Ws should be upper case. (The student found her grades on the web. )


One word, lowercase.


Hyphenate as a part of a compound modifier (She is a well-dressed student).


UAS's student newspaper. Whalesong is one word. (The Whalesong goes on hiatus in the summer.)

which, that

"Which" introduces a nonessential clause and must be preceded by a comma (a nonessential clause can be eliminated without altering the basic meaning of a sentence).

"That" introduces an essential clause (cannot be eliminated without changing the meaning of a sentence; can stand alone and be a sentence) and is not preceded by a comma. (This is the best brochure that I have ever written. The new brochure is an exceptional piece, which will, no doubt, be a winner with the students.)

Whitehead Building

Officially William Whitehead Building, but Whitehead Building can be used. The Whitehead Building was the first building on the Auke Lake campus. It was completed in 1969 and housed offices, classrooms, and the library of what was then the Juneau-Douglas Community College. The University of Alaska Southeast was organized in 1972 and the building was dedicated to William Massie Whitehead and his wife Dorothy Johnson Whitehead on December 8, 1972.


Hyphenate as a compound modifier. (white-water rafting)

who, that

Use the pronoun "who" for references to human beings and animals with names. Use the pronoun "that" to refer to inanimate objects.


No hyphen needed with the suffix "wide." Some examples are campuswide, nationwide, worldwide, areawide, companywide, universitywide, and so on.

work force

Two words.



One word as an adjective.


Hyphenate as a compound modifier.


One word.




Use figures and months without commas: August 1990. Use an "s" without an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries: the 1990s. Use an apostrophe for class years: She belonged to the Class of '72.

Yupik, Yup'ik

In most cases, use Yupik with no apostrophe. Use Yup'ik when referring to those from Central or YK Delta regions.

ZIP code

Use all-caps ZIP for Zone Improvement Program, but always lowercase the word "code."