Writing Style Guide

Generally, the University of Richmond Style Guide follows the Associated Press Stylebook. However, some exceptions have been made to best serve the needs of the University community. For situations not addressed here, please consult the AP Stylebook or the current edition of Webster's New World College Dictionary.

Campus References

University of Richmond

In subsequent references, "Richmond" or the "University" may be used. Capitalize University only when referring specifically to the University of Richmond. Never capitalize "the" before University of Richmond because it is not part of the official name.

Example:

In the early years of the University of Richmond, the majority of students were Virginians. Today, a significant percentage of students from all over the United States and even the world study at the University.

Schools Within the University

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  • General Information

    Five individual schools, and a graduate school within the business school, comprise the University of Richmond as a whole; each school has its own name, charter, and identity. Therefore, it is important to refer to these separate schools by their specific names.

    Please note that "the" is not capitalized in reference to any of our schools in either formal or informal usage; however, it is acceptable to use a lower case "the" when using a school’s name in textual matter.

    Also note that building names and school names do not necessarily correlate. For example, the Robins School of Business is both a building name and a school name. However, the Jepson School of Leadership Studies is housed in Jepson Hall, which also houses other academic departments.

    Example:

    Correct: The speaker series sponsored by the Jepson School of Leadership Studies will take place in Jepson Hall, Room 218.

    Incorrect: The speaker series sponsored by the Jepson School of Leadership Studies will take place in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, Room 218.

  • Formal School Names

    Formal names are used in most University catalogs and programs and for other external uses.

    First reference
    Subsequent references
    E. Claiborne Robins School of Business Robins School of Business
    Jepson School of Leadership Studies same
    School of Arts and Sciences same
    University of Richmond School of Law Richmond Law
    School of Professional and Continuing Studies same
    Richard S. Reynolds Graduate School of Business Reynolds Graduate School of Business
  • Informal School Names

    Informal names may be used in alumni magazine articles, brochures, websites, and internal publications.

    First reference Subsequent references
    Robins School of Business Robins School or business school
    Jepson School of Leadership Studies Jepson School or leadership studies school
    School of Arts and Sciences Arts and Sciences or A&S
    University of Richmond School of Law School of Law, law school, Richmond Law
    School of Professional and Continuing Studies SPCS or continuing studies
    Reynolds Graduate School of Business  graduate business school

    Unacceptable in all cases: Jepson School of Leadership

  • Identifying Students by Schools Attended

    Degrees Earned Prior to 1993

    Through 1992, Richmond College (for men), Westhampton College (for women), and the Robins School of Business (for men and women) were degree-granting schools. Therefore, in magazine articles and other copy, undergraduate students who earned degrees prior to 1993 are listed on first reference by name, college (R, W or B), and year of graduation. These designations are set off by commas.

    Example:

    After receiving a bachelor’s degree in biology from Richmond, John Atkinson, R’67, entered medical school. He is now a toxicologist for a biotechnology company in California.

    Keep in mind that students who majored in accounting, finance, marketing, or management systems all received degrees from the Robins School of Business and thus, receive the "B" notation. Students who majored in economics earned their degrees through either the School of Arts and Sciences or the Robins School of Business. If the degrees were granted through the School of Arts and Sciences, graduates receive the "R" or "W" designation.

    Degrees Earned After 1992

    In 1993, Westhampton College and Richmond College became residential colleges only, with all undergraduate students (including business school students) belonging to one or the other — Westhampton College for women and Richmond College for men. Therefore, undergraduate students who earned degrees after 1992 are identified only by name and year of graduation.

    Example:

    Susan Pierce, ’99, was one of the few business majors roaming the Modlin Center for the Arts in the facility’s first years. She minored in music.

    Regardless of when they earned a degree, students with advanced or continuing studies degrees are identified by name, school designation, and the year the degree was earned. The designations are as follows:

    Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: G
    School of Professional and Continuing Studies: C
    Graduate School of Professional and Continuing Studies: GC
    Richard S. Reynolds Graduate School: GB
    University of Richmond School of Law: L

    Example:

    Patricia E. Smith, L’98, spent 10 years as a teacher before entering the University of Richmond School of Law.

    Multiple Degrees

    Students who earn both undergraduate and advanced degrees, or two advanced degrees, from the University are identified with each designation.

    Examples:

    In the midst of a high-speed world, Jonathan Poston, R’76 and L’81, performs a job that still requires patience. He’s the preservation director for the Historic Charleston, S.C., Foundation.

    Mary Smith, ’95 and GB’02, has received a promotion and is now working on Wall Street.

  • Centers and Institutes

    Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Center for Civic Engagement; use Bonner Center for Civic Engagement for informal use.

    Osher Lifelong Learning Institute; use Osher Institute for informal use.

    Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness; use Weinstein Center for informal use.

Degrees and Designations

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  • Academic Degrees

    The following abbreviations are used to identify earned degrees.

    Associate in Applied Studies A.A.S.
    Associate in Liberal Arts A.L.A.
    Bachelor of Applied Studies B.A.S.
    Bachelor of Arts B.A.
    Bachelor of Liberal Arts B.L.A.
    Bachelor of Science B.S.
    Bachelor of Science in Business Administration B.S.B.A.
    Bachelor of Music B.Mus.
    Juris Doctor J.D.
    Master of Arts M.A.
    Master of Science M.S.
    Master of Liberal Arts M.L.A.
    Master of Business Administration M.B.A.
    Master of Human Resource Management M.H.R.M.
    Master of Disaster Science M.D.S.

    In University catalogs, commencement programs, and other similar publications, these abbreviations are used. In press releases, magazine articles, and internal publications, it is acceptable to use "associate’s degree," "bachelor’s degree," or "master’s degree."

    Do not use the terms "associate’s," "bachelor’s," or "master’s" by themselves, since they are adjectives modifying the word "degree."

    Incorrect: She earned her bachelor’s in English.

    Also, it is preferable to use "a degree," not "his degree" or "her degree."

    Examples:

    She earned a bachelor’s degree in English.

    She earned a B.A. in English.

    Though the University does not grant doctoral degrees, there may be cases where they are referred to in copy. Use Ph.D., doctoral degree, or doctorate.

    Examples:

    Incorrect: Richmond’s new humanities professor holds a doctorate degree from Harvard.

    Correct: Richmond’s new humanities professor holds a doctoral degree from Harvard.

    Richmond’s new humanities professor holds a doctorate from Harvard.

    Richmond’s new humanities professor holds a Ph.D. from Harvard.

  • Honorary Degrees

    For those who receive honorary degrees, the letter "H" is used after the individual’s name with the date the degree was conferred. Do not refer to someone as "Dr." if he or she has only an honorary doctorate.

    The University awards the following honorary degrees:

    Doctor of Laws
    Doctor of Science
    Doctor of Commercial Science
    Doctor of Letters or Doctor of Literature
    Doctor of Fine Arts
    Doctor of Humanities
    Doctor of Divinity
    Doctor of Social Sciences
    Doctor of Humane Letters
    Doctor of Leadership

  • Board of Trustees, Associates

    People who are members of the University of Richmond’s Board of Trustees or Board of Associates are identified as such, either as part of the name identification or later in the copy.

    Examples:

    Name, W’81, and trustee

    Name, R’77, and Board of Trustees member

    Name, W’81, and Board of Associates member

  • Alumnae and Alumni

    Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man (or group of men) who graduated from the University of Richmond. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) when referring to a woman (or group of women) who graduated from the University. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women who have graduated from the University. Avoid the cumbersome alumnae/i.

    Examples:

    Correct: President Kevin F. Hallock addressed the alumnae of Westhampton College at the University of Richmond. Then he spoke to the alumni of Richmond College. After that, he met with a select group of alumni from both Westhampton and Richmond colleges.

    Incorrect: President Kevin F. Hallock addressed the alumni of Westhampton College at the University of Richmond.

  • Fellows

    Use lowercase "f" when identifying someone with this honor.

    Example:

    John Doe, R’59, has been named a fellow of the American Medical Society.

Titles

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  • Academic Titles

    "Dr." is used on first reference for University professors holding doctoral degrees as well as Richmond graduates who have either academic or medical degrees. The courtesy title is not used in subsequent references for either doctoral or medical degrees.

    Do not use Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S. or J.D. after the person’s name.

    Examples:

    Correct: Dr. Joanne B. Ciulla was named to a new chair at the United Nations University International Leadership Academy. Ciulla is a professor in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies.

    Incorrect: John Lawson, R’89 and M.D., has opened a reconstructive surgery practice in Reston, Va. Previously, Dr. Lawson had been in partnership with two other physicians.

    Correct: Dr. John Lawson, R’89, has opened a reconstructive surgery practice in Reston, Va. Previously, Lawson had been in partnership with two other physicians.

  • Job Titles

    Titles are capitalized when they precede a name. It is acceptable, and often preferred, to list the title after a person’s name. Titles that follow names are not capitalized in flowing text; however, titles after names in a list are capitalized. (The exceptions are endowed professorships.)

    Examples:

    Preferred: Kevin F. Hallock, president of the University of Richmond, traveled to New York recently.

    Kevin F. Hallock, President

    Incorrect: Kevin F. Hallock, President of the University of Richmond, traveled to New York recently.

    Awkward: University of Richmond President Kevin F. Hallock traveled to New York recently. 

    Titles generally are not used on subsequent reference.

    Examples:

    Correct: Kevin F. Hallock, president of the University of Richmond, traveled to New York recently. Hallock said he was impressed with the students he met.

    Incorrect: Kevin F. Hallock, president of the University of Richmond, traveled to New York recently. President Hallock said he was impressed with the students he met.

  • Emeritus, Emerita, Emeritae, Emeriti

    A title bestowed on retired faculty and administrators. When used, emeritus follows the formal title. For individual female professors, the correct term is professor emerita (plural: professors emeritae). When an individual male professor, the correct term is professor emeritus. When an all-male or mixed group, correct term is professors emeriti. Do not set off from the faculty title with a comma. Preferred usage for chancellors/former presidents is to lead with the current position (chancellor), followed by president emeritus.

    Examples:

    Robert Shepherd, professor of law emeritus, spoke to law graduates about the clinical program he directed during his teaching career.

    Ronald Crutcher, university professor and president emeritus, was recently quoted in Inside Higher Ed.

  • Chairs

    A person in charge of a committee is a "chair," not a "chairman," "chairwoman," or "chairperson." As with above rules, capitalize only when it precedes a name.

  • Endowed Professorships

    Endowed professorships are capitalized even when the title of the professorship follows the name.

    Example:

    Correct: Joseph A. Jennings Chair in Business KimMarie McGoldrick is frequently recognized for excellence in teaching.

    KimMarie McGoldrick, Joseph A. Jennings Chair in Business, is frequently recognized for excellence in teaching.

    Official names of University of Richmond endowed chairs, professorships, and fellowships:

    George E. Allen Chair in Law
    Lewis T. Booker Professorship in Religion & Ethics
    James A. Bostwick Chair of English
    CSX Chair in Management & Accounting
    George & Sallie Cutchin Camp Professor of Bible
    Coston Family Chair in Leadership & Ethics
    Coston Family Fellow in Molecular Biology
    Solon B. Cousins Chair of Religion
    Clarence E. Denoon, Jr. Professorship of Science
    Douglas Southall Freeman Chair in History
    Robert Edwin Gaines Chair in Mathematics
    William Judson Gaines Chair in Modern Foreign Languages
    Floyd D. Gottwald & Elisabeth S. Gottwald Chair in Chemistry
    Tyler & Alice Haynes Professorship in American Studies
    Tyler Haynes Interdisciplinary Chair in Leadership Studies and Political Science
    Note: This chair may be renamed appropriate to the discipline, i.e., Tyler Haynes Interdisciplinary Chair in __________.
    Joseph A. Jennings Chair in Business
    D. A. Kuyk Professorship of Biology
    Robert Edward & Lena Frazer Loving Chair of Physics
    Irving May Chair of Human Relations
    Samuel Chiles Mitchell-Jacob Billikopf Professorship in History
    George Matthews & Virginia Brinkley Modlin Chair in Leadership Studies
    Richard L. Morrill Distinguished University Chair in Ethics & Democratic Values
    Roger Francis & Mary Saunders Richardson Chair in Mathematics
    Robert E. Rigsby Chair in Economics
    Rigsby Fellow in Economics
    W. David Robbins Chair in Strategic Management
    E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professorship in Business
    E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished University Chair
    E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professorship in Leadership Studies
    James Thomas Professorship in Philosophy
    Colonel Leo K. & Gaylee Thorsness Endowed Chair in Ethical Leadership
    F. Carlyle Tiller Chair in Business
    MacEldin Trawick Professorship in Psychology
    Tucker-Boatwright Professorship of Humanities–Art
    Tucker-Boatwright Professorship of Humanities–Philosophy
    William Binford Vest Chair of History
    Carole M. Weinstein Chair of International Education
    Weinstein Family Endowed Chair in the Social Sciences
    Marcus M. & Carole Weinstein and Gilbert M. & Fannie S. Rosenthal Jewish and Christian Studies Chair
    The Distinguished Chair in Finance
    David Meade White, Jr. Chair in Business
    David Meade White Distinguished Teaching Fellow
    Williams Chair in Law

  • Office, Department, and Committee Titles

    Capitalize all office titles when used in full. Capitalize official department names. (However, it is preferable to lowercase department names in all but the most formal of uses.) Lowercase committee names.

    Examples:

    The Department of Chemistry and the Office of International Education are co-sponsoring the event. The chemistry department, however, is the primary sponsor.

    The academic affairs committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow with the Office of International Education and the chemistry department to discuss proposed curriculum changes.

  • Other Titles

    Abbreviate military titles when they precede a name.

    Abbreviate reverend as "the Rev."

Miscellaneous

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  • Course Names

    When using the full name of a course, use capitalization rules for titles, but do not italicize, set in quotes, or treat as a composition name. A subject and level descriptor suffice if trying to avoid overly long titles.

    Examples:

    Correct:

    He taught Pollutants in the Environment during the spring semester.

    She enrolled in Principles of Advanced Molecular Biology.

    He teaches upper-level chemistry course with elements of forensic science.

    Incorrect:

    He taught "Pollutants in the Environment" during the spring semester.

    She’s taking CHEM 102: Adventures with the Noble Gases.

  • Composition Names

    Names of all published books, proceedings, collections, periodicals, newspapers, magazines, films, television, and radio programs, and plays are set in italics. Unpublished works, such as theses and lectures, are set in roman type and quotation marks. Published articles are set in roman type and quotation marks.

    Examples:

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

    Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen

    His lecture, "The Uses of Bacterial Pathogens," will be presented on Friday.

    The article "Are You Ready for Taxes?" was published in an April issue of Newsweek.

    Schindler’s List

    Titles of operas, oratorios and other long musical compositions are italicized. Titles of songs and short compositions are usually set in roman (non-italic) type and quotation marks.

    Many musical compositions do not have titles, but are identified by the name of a musical form plus a number or key or both. When used as the title, the form and key are usually capitalized, but no italics are used.

    Example:

    Symphony No. 5 in C Minor; Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

    A descriptive title given to a work, either by a later critic or performer, is italicized if the work is long, but quoted if it is short.

    Example:

    Air with Variations ("The Harmonious Blacksmith") from Handel’s Suite No. 5 in E.

    Titles of paintings, drawings, statues, and other works of art are italicized.

    Titles of exhibitions are put in quotation marks.

  • Graduate

    Graduate is correctly used in the active voice.

    Example:

    He graduated from the University of Richmond.

    It is correct to use the passive voice, but it should be avoided.

    He was graduated from the University of Richmond.

    Do not, however, drop the word "from."

    Correct: He graduated from the University of Richmond.

    Incorrect: He graduated the University.

  • Latin References

    Avoid using common Latin references such as e.g., i.e., et al., op., cit., ibid., etc. If you must use, abbreviate but do not italicize.

  • Theatre

    Theatre (instead of theater) is preferred by the University’s theatre department. However, the preferred spelling for other uses is "theater," unless it is part of an official name.

    Example:

    Students from the University’s theatre department visited the Shubert Theatre and a number of other theaters in New York.