UTA Editorial Guidelines

With a few exceptions, UTA follows the editorial guidelines set forth in the Associated Press Stylebook. For spelling—including questions about hyphenation, compound words, and alternate spellings—the University uses the online Merriam-Webster DictionaryPlease use correct spelling and opt for American over British usage.

University usage that differs from AP style is outlined below. If you are unable to find answers to your editorial style questions, please email Editorial Director Jessica Bridges at bridges@uta.edu.  

For questions about UTA logos, letterheads, and other branding issues, please consult the brand guidelines. To make sure your publications are accessible to all audiences, contact UTA Accessibility or visit the Electronic and Information Resources Accessibility Office.

See Guidelines

Capitalize official names but not parts of a name.                                               
  • Department of Mathematics but the department
  • Faculty Senate but the senate 
  • Commencement Committee but the committee
  • College of Nursing and Health Innovation but the college
Use capitals for degree titles but not for subjects, unless that subject is part of the formal degree title.Do not use capital letters when degrees are referred to in general terms.  
  • Bachelor of Science in physics 
  • Master of Science in Nursing 
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in economics 
  • She earned a bachelor’s degree in art. 
  • He entered the Master of Business Administration degree program. 
Use capitals for a title preceding a name but not for one following a name. 
  • Nursing Professor Jane Doe won three teaching awards. 
  • John Doe, professor of engineering, is an expert in nanotechnology.
  • Vice President Jane Doe is a UTA graduate.
  • John Doe, vice president for finance, earned a master's degree in accounting. 
Lowercase the academic modifier before an academic title. 
  • UTA presented a teaching award to electrical engineering Professor John Doe. 

 Use capitals for named professorships and fellowships. Otherwise, scholar and fellow are lowercased. 

  • Fulbright-Hays Fellowship but a Fulbright scholar 
  • Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship but a Harris fellow 

Use lowercase for seasons/semesters even if linked with a title. 

  • fall semester classes 
  • spring semester 
  • fall 2010 
  • Many people think spring and fall are the best seasons. 

Use capital letters for a course of study or subject only when it is used in a department name, with a course number, or when it includes a proper noun or adjective. See “Titles” for when to use quotation marks with course names. 

  • He studies history and English. 
  • Department of History 
  • History 2102

If an organization is referenced multiple times, follow the full name with the initials/acronym in parentheses on first mention. After this, the abbreviation may be used alone. Use capital letters, omit periods, and do not space between letters. If the name of the organization is used only once, no parenthetical reference is necessary. 

  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) 
  • Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) 
  • Organization of American States (OAS) 

When United States is used as an adjective, it may be abbreviated. 

  • U.S. citizen 

When abbreviating years, the last two digits should be preceded by an apostrophe or closed single quotation mark (not an open single quotation mark). 

  • Class of '81 but not Class of ‘81 

No apostrophe is used with dates, single letters, or plural letters. 

  • 1890s, 1920s, 1990s
  • FTEs, ABCs, CEUs
  • Mind your Ps and Qs

Spell out states when used alone or with a city name. Exception: Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth, and other well-known local cities may be used without the state name. 

  • The CAPPA team worked with Arlington officials on the project. 
  • For her internship, she traveled to Monroe, Louisiana. 

When a sentence includes a series of three or more elements, place a comma before “and” and the last element. (This format is commonly called the serial or oxford comma). Exception: News Center items follow strict AP Style and thus do not use the serial/oxford comma. 

  • Faculty members represented research from architecture, political science, engineering, nursing, and biology. 

In general, do not use the courtesy titles Mr., Mrs., or Ms. If the courtesy title would help to avoid confusion (such as when two subjects share a last name), restate the full name on subsequent mentions instead.  

  • Jeff and Joan Darby attended the reception. Joan Darby presented an award. 

For terminal degrees (e.g., PhD, EdD, DM) use Dr. on the second reference only. For people with professional degrees (e.g., MD, DVS, JD), offset the degree abbreviation in commas after first mention, then use Dr. on the second reference only.  

  • Marketing Professor John Jones presented a paper. Dr. Jones is a graduate of the University. Jones was an engineering major. 
  • Jenny Crigle, M.D., gave the latest update. Dr. Crigle is an infectious disease specialist. The president thanked Crigle for her input.  

When citing degree information for UTA alumni, include the following in a parenthetical after their name: the last two years of the graduation date and degree type, with the most recent degree coming first. If including the degree subject, precede it with a comma. 

  • Dana Gills (’99 PhD, ’94 MS, Physics; ’92 BS, Mathematics) attended the event. 
  • Brad Green (’18 BS, Biology) received the honor.  

Separate the person from the disability and recognize that people with disabilities have rights, among them the right to privacy. Treat people with disabilities with respect in print and electronic communications, and avoid stereotyping by occupation or attribute. 

From the AP Stylebook: “Avoid writing that implies ableism: the belief that typical abilities—those of people who aren’t disabled—are superior. Ableism is a concept similar to racism, sexism, and ageism in that it includes stereotypes, generalizations, and demeaning views and language. It is a form of discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities.”  

Include all people in general references by substituting nonsexual or nongender words and phrases for male-biased, exclusionary words. Respect people’s choice in pronouns. They as a singular pronoun is acceptable as a substitute for his or her. 

  • Amanda Peters, an alumnus of UTA, is the keynote speaker. 
  • If the student is concerned, they should seek guidance from their advisor. 

The words gender and sex have entirely different meanings. Always use the correct word. 

Use No. in running text to denote rankings. In infographics and other graphics, use of # is acceptable. 

  • The Mavericks were ranked No. 1 during the preseason. 

In phone numbers, use hyphens, not periods. Do not offset the area code with parentheses. 


In all internal communications, use the five digits of the phone number with a hyphen. Do not use the word extension or the abbreviation ext. in telephone references. In external communications always include the area code.


The University of Texas at Arlington's communications should stand up to scrutiny from the perspective of women, minorities, individuals with physical or mental disabilities, veterans, or any other person whose employment rights are guaranteed by the law. Equal respect and a balanced representation should be given in visual media to gender, race, ethnic group, age, sexual orientation, and ability. 

All communications and marketing materials distributed to individuals outside the University community must contain a statement reflecting the University's policy on Affirmative Action: "An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer." 

Use italics when referencing titles of the following:   

  • Aircraft and spacecraft (Space shuttle Columbia) 
  • Ships (HMS Titanic) 
  • Books (A Tale of Two Cities) 
  • Television shows (Six Feet Under 
  • Films (Clue) 
  • Plays (Romeo and Juliet) 
  • Podcasts (The Flop House) 
  • Journals (The New England Journal of Medicine) 
  • Newspapers (The Dallas Morning News) 
  • Magazines (Vogue Magazine) 
  • Comic strips (The Far Side) 
  • Albums (Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters) 
  • Operas (La Boheme) 
  • Ballets (Swan Lake) 
  • Symphonies (The Planets) 
  • Exhibits at a museum (Ultimate Dinosaurs) 
  • Video games (Call of Duty) 

Use quotation marks when referencing titles of the following:   

  • Album tracks or singles (Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” from Talking Book) 
  • Artwork (“The Starry Night”) 
  • Book chapters (“The Boy Who Lived” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) 
  • Podcast episodes (“The Alibi” from Serial) 
  • Poems (“The Road Not Taken”) 
  • Short stories (“The Tell-Tale Heart”) 
  • Speeches (“I Have a Dream”) 
  • Television show episodes (“The Long Way Around” from ER) 
  • Unpublished writing such as manuscripts or lectures 

For course titles, use quotation marks when giving the full name in running text. Do not use quotation marks if the number and area of study are given.  

  • Accounting 3304, Software Tools 
    She is taking "History of Western Civilization." 

In running text and on the cover of publications, use The University of Texas at Arlington on first reference. UTA, UT Arlington, and the University are acceptable on subsequent references and in headlines. Do not use periods within UTA 

 Always capitalize The when using the full name of the University. 

  • The University of Texas at Arlington 

When referring to UTA, the word University is capitalized even when used alone. Do not capitalize university when referring to universities in general. 

  • Mary, a UTA graduate, has fond memories of the University. 
  • A public university offers an affordable education. 

Use The University of Texas System on first reference. UT System or System are acceptable for subsequent references. Do not capitalize system when referring to systems in general. 

  • UTA is part of the UT System. The System features nine academic universities and six health institutions. 
  • Public university systems offer excellent educational opportunities.