The AP Style Guide is the primary source for answering style questions at Henderson State University. However, a few variations from that format will be used. For style questions not specifically addressed in this style guide, consult the AP Style Guide or contact the Office of Marketing and Communications.
Academic Degrees – in mentioning an academic degree, it is best to establish someone’s credentials by stating them rather than abbreviating them. However, if abbreviations are used, please follow the guidelines below.
abbreviations – use periods as follows:
- B.A. for bachelor of arts
- B.S. for bachelor of science
- B.S.E. for bachelor of science in education
- B.F.A. for bachelor of fine arts
- B.S.N. for bachelor of science in nursing
- B.B.A. for bachelor of business administration
- B.M. for bachelor of music
- Ed.S. for educational specialist
- M.A. for master of arts
- M.B.A. for master of business administration
- M.L.A. for master of liberal arts
- M.S. for master of science
- M.S.E. for master of science in education
In certain applications, periods may be deleted if space is limited and understanding of the degree is anticipated.
capitalization – degrees in a body of text should be lowercase.
John Smith received a bachelor of science degree in biology from Henderson State University.
apostrophe versus no apostrophe – use as follows:
master’s degree in education OR master of science degree
bachelor’s degree in business administration OR bachelor of business administration degree
Academic Departments – Use lowercase when used informally except for words that are proper nouns or adjectives; uppercase when used formally or as needed for clarity.
The Office of Marketing and Communications is located in Womack Hall. The marketing and communications office consists of publications, media relations, social media and web communication.
Academic Titles – Confine capitalization to formal titles used directly before an individual’s name. Lowercase should be used in all other instances.
According to Vice President for Finance and Administration Brett Powell
According to Brett Powell, vice president for finance and administration
On first reference to an individual with an academic title, use the academic title after the name. Do not refer to him/her as Dr. in subsequent references. Use his/her last name only.
Jane E. Doe, Ph.D., is giving the commencement speech this year.
Doe was selected from among the tenured faculty.
Names and titles in a listing, not in a paragraph, are capitalized.
Dr. Glendell Jones, President
Dr. Lewis Shepherd, Vice President for Student Services
Dr. Steve Adkison, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
acronyms, college – See college acronyms
addresses– Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd., and St. only with a numbered address.
1100 Henderson St.
Spell them out and capitalize part of a formal street name without a number.
Lowercase and spell out when used alone or with more than one street name
Henderson and 12th streets
Use figures for address numbers
8 Concord Ave.
Spell out and capitalize First through Ninth when used as street names; use figures with two letters for 10th and above
241 Sixth St., 431 21st St.
Abbreviate compass points used to indicate directional ends of a street in a numbered address.
414 N. 22nd St.
Do not abbreviate if the number is omitted
North 26th Street
alma mater – Lowercase when referring to the school or university one attended.
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) when referring to a woman. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women.
a.m., p.m. – Use lowercase and periods. Do not use AM or PM or am, pm. Use noon or midnight instead of 12 p.m.. or 12 a.m. Do not use 12 noon or 12 midnight.
annual – Do not describe an event as the first annual event. An event cannot be annual when it is the first occurrence. A first-year event can, however, be referred to as an inaugural event.
annual meeting – Lowercase in all uses.
Arkansas’s public liberal arts university – Lowercase public liberal arts university in the body of the text. It has been decided that for Henderson’s publications, Arkansas will be followed by an ‘s for possessive.
bachelor of arts, bachelor of science – Use lowercase. A bachelor’s degree or a bachelor’s is acceptable.
board – Capitalize only when an integral part of a proper name.
board of trustees – Capitalize when referring to a specific board.
The Board of Trustees will meet in the conference room.
The board will meet to discuss the new building.
cabinet – Capitalize references to a specific body of advisers heading executive departments. The capital letter distinguishes the word from common noun meaning cupboard.
capitalization – In general, avoid unnecessary capitals. In more formal pieces such as the President’s Report, exceptions are allowed.
proper nouns– Capitalize nouns that name a specific person, place or thing,
Derivatives – Capitalize words that are derived from a proper noun and still depend on it for their meaning: English, French, Shakespearean, but not french fries, pasteurize or venetian blind.
Sentences – Capitalize the first word of each sentence.
Compositions – Capitalize the principal words in the names of books, movies, plays, songs, television shows, etc.
Titles – Capitalize formal titles when used before a name. Lowercase formal titles when used alone or after a name. Lowercase all terms that are job descriptions rather than formal titles.
chair – Use chair instead of chairman or chairperson. Capitalize the word chair before a name when it designates the chair of a department of committee. Do not capitalize as a casual or temporary position: meeting chair Wrenette Tedder. Do not use chairperson unless it is an organization’s formal title for an office.
city, state – When used in text, a comma should follow both the city and state.
Class of – Uppercase when used before the date in reference to a specific class.
The Class of 1951 will hold its 50-year reunion this fall.
The 1951 class will hold its 50-year reunion this fall.
college acronyms – The official or formal names of colleges should be capitalized. The formal name should be used on first reference.
Matt Locke Ellis College of Arts and Sciences (on first reference),
Ellis College of Arts and Sciences, Ellis College, or arts and sciences
Teachers College, Henderson
School of Business
comma in a series – AP Style calls for removing the comma before the word “and” in a series.
commencement – Lowercase when in text.
composition titles – Italicize the titles of large works such as books, magazines, movie titles, etc. Put quotation marks around small works such as titles of chapters, poems, magazine articles, etc. Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. Capitalize an article- the, a, an- or words with fewer than four letters if it is the first or last word in a title.
course names – Capitalize the names of courses because they are, in effect, titles. Lowercase the names of subjects unless they are proper nouns or adjectives.
Heather has enrolled in Abnormal Biology.
Brad will be taking a course in history this semester.
courtesy titles – Use the first and last name of a person instead of the courtesy title and a last name.
dates – Use Arabic figures without st, nd, rd, or th.
days of the week – Do not abbreviate unless used in a tabular form.
dean – Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name. Lowercase when used after a name or in other uses.
Dean Celya Taylor
Celya Taylor, dean of Teachers College, Henderson
dean’s list, honor roll – Lowercase in all uses.
departments, divisions– Lowercase when used informally; uppercase when used formally or when needed for clarity.
John is working for the science department.
The Department of Science is hosting a reception Friday.
email – one word, without a hyphen, in all uses.
faculty – Use with a singular verb
The faculty numbers 150.
The faculty is meeting today.
The faculty members are gathered in the lecture hall.
fall semester – Lowercase
Students will arrive for the fall semester Sunday.
freshman, freshmen– When used as an adjective, freshmen means of or for first-year students.
freshman English course
courses for freshmen
Henderson State University – This is the official title of the university and must be used in the first reference to the university. In subsequent references, it may be shortened to Henderson or Henderson State.
honorary degrees – All references to an honorary degree should specify that the degree was honorary. Do not use Dr. before the name of an individual whose only doctorate is honorary.
initials – Use periods and no spaces when an individual uses initials instead of a first name.
Internet – Capitalized.
liberal arts – Use a plural verb when referring to liberal arts. Use a singular verb when referring to the liberal arts program.
The liberal arts are essential for job placement in today’s marketplace.
The liberal arts program is beneficial for all students.
majors – Lowercase.
month and year– When used without reference to a specific date of the month, no comma is needed. When used with a date of the month, a comma should come after the date and after the year. Consult the AP Style Guide for abbreviations and specialized rules for noting dates.
July 23, 2001
Graduation will be held Dec. 14, 2001, in the Wells Athletic Center.
numbers – Spell out numbers from one through nine. Use numerals for those 10 or larger. To form a plural, add s with no apostrophe (60s). For ordinal numbers, do not superscript type on the th, st, etc.
offices – See academic departments.
president – Lowercase unless it immediately precedes the name of the person who holds the position. Use only the last name after the first reference.
The president met with the board Thursday.
The board met with President Glendell Jones.
Jones reported on the progress of the construction on campus.
p.m., a.m. – Lowercase with periods between each letter. Avoid the redundant 6 a.m. this morning.
professor – Lowercase in all instances, even when before a name, except as part of the title professor emeritus. Never abbreviate.
The newspaper questioned professor John Doe, Ph.D., about his new research.
room numbers – Uppercase room when used with numerals.
The lab is in Room 215.
seasons – Lowercase if they simply declare the time of the year.
The freshmen will arrive for the fall semester this Sunday.
spacing – A single space should be used after a punctuation mark ending a sentence.
states – Spell out the entire name in the body of text. Use the U.S. postal service abbreviations when the full address is set alone. Use nonpostal abbreviations in limited space such as calendars.
telephone numbers– Use figures in the following form:
If extensions are given: Ext. 5334
theater – Use for the building or area of a building where performances are held, unless the proper name of a theater building contains the word theatre.
titles – Reserve capitalization to formal titles used directly before an individual’s name. Lowercase and spell out titles when they are not used with an individual’s name. Titles used after an individual’s name are lowercase, including the name of the department, division or college.
Director of Alumni Services Paul Hankins
Paul Hankins, director of alumni services
Names and titles in a list, not in the body of text, are capitalized.
trustee – Lowercase in all instances.
university – Unless it is used with the word Henderson, it is lowercase – even when referring to Henderson specifically. Possible exceptions are formal proposals and official documents.
vice president – Do not hyphenate. Capitalize or lowercase following the same rules that apply to president.
Web – Uppercase. A proper noun referring to the World Wide Web.
web page – two words.
years – Use an s without an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries: the 1900s.