University Marketing and Communications

Editorial Guide

Our editorial guide is a quick reference tool to set campus-wide standards for grammar and punctuation and to help University communicators follow a style that is consistent and appropriate for print and electronic materials written for and about Michigan Technological University.

The guide covers items you might not find in the Chicago Manual of Style, which is used for University communications, or the Associated Press Stylebook, used for news we send to worldwide media. It also indicates exceptions that Michigan Tech makes to the stylebook—what we consider our own style.

For example:

  • Whenever possible we downstyle to be clear and readable. We avoid an alphabet soup of acronyms, long strings of formal titles, and overuse of exclamation points. We say "use" not "useage."
  • We are specific. We give exact figures instead of writing "a number of." We list specific services and details activities instead of "and much more."
  • We give the details. We show, not tell, by avoiding trite phrases and clichés like "hands-on learning."
  • We spell out numbers one through nine, and express numbers 10 and up numerically.
  • We eliminate useless words: extra ofs, thats, and thes, notes and as noted, see below, following are, according to, pictured is, and other state-the-obvious phrases that are speed bumps for text-weary readers.

For spelling, style, use, foreign geographic names, and anything not mentioned in this guide or in the appropriate stylebook, refer to the latest edition of Merriam-Webster College Dictionary

The guiding principle in applying any style is to maintain a consistent editorial approach within a specific piece.