Editorial Guide

Overview

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 "usage."
  • 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.

Tip: To search this page, use Ctrl (command on Mac) + F.

Michigan Tech Standard Language

A quick reference to standard descriptions and word usage for University information for both digital and print venues.

Michigan Tech Abbreviation

Use Michigan Technological University on first reference. After that, use Michigan Tech or shorten to Tech or MTU on and after the third reference. Do not use "Michigan Tech University." It leads to "technical college" misconceptions. This applies to all University references, including email, letters, forms, phone messages, signs, advertising, and apparel.

About Michigan Tech—Digital

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.

About Michigan Tech—Print

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.

About Michigan Tech—Shorter Version

Michigan Technological University is a flagship technological public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan. The University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and is home to more than 7,000 students.

About Houghton

The area’s waters, forests, and snowfall (200+ inches annually!) offer skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, and paddling opportunities. Historic downtown Houghton is active with locally owned shops, eateries, high-tech companies, music festivals, and more. We embrace our size, climate, sense of adventure, and originality. Michigan Tech wouldn’t be the same anywhere else on Earth—and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Commencement

They are referred to as Spring Commencement and Midyear Commencement. Don't capitalize commencement in the general sense.

Husky or Huskies

We are the Michigan Tech Huskies. We have Husky Spirit and the Huskies Pep Band is amazing.

Student ID Number

Michigan Tech ID numbers are referred to as the M number.

Style Conventions

Increase communication through the strategic use of language. 

Abbreviations

Avoid abbreviations in running text, except when part of names, street addresses, courtesy titles, or academic degrees.

Although periods are used with some abbreviations, current trends in English are moving away from using them.

  • CPA; SBE; GPA; USA; US Air Force; LTC (for Lt. Col.)

Academic Degrees

  • Abbreviate and capitalize academic degrees when used following a name.
    • Bachelor of Science, BS
    • Master of Science, MS
    • Doctor of Philosophy, PhD
    • Master of Business Administration, MBA
    • Bachelor of Science in Engineering, BSE
    • Doctor of Education, EdD
    • Master of Education, MEd
    • Doctor of Arts, DA
    • Master of Engineering, MEng
  • Abbreviations are also capitalized when used with the full, complete degree.
    • BS in Mechanical Engineering
    • PhD in Physics
  • In news stories and publications, Dr. is for medical doctor only, not for someone with a PhD. More information 

Colleges/Schools

  • College of Business
  • College of Computing, CC
  • College of Engineering, COE
  • College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, CFRES
  • College of Sciences and Arts, CSA

Departments

  • Air Force ROTC, AFROTC
  • Army ROTC, not abbreviated
  • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, ME-EM department or ME-EM

Highways

  • US Highway 41, US-41
  • Michigan Highway 26, M-26

PI and Co-PIs

Principal investigator and co-principal investigators spelled out on first reference. PI or co-PI on second reference.

States

States are spelled out. Postal abbreviations (MI, etc.) are only used in address forms.

  • He lives in Houghton, Michigan.

Titles

The following titles are abbreviated when preceding names.

  • Dr.
  • Mr.
  • Ms.
  • Mrs.
  • Rev.
  • Hon.
  • St.

United States

  • US or USA. No periods, except when the text is in all capital letters, then use U.S. for clarity.

Upper Peninsula 

  • Spell out Upper Peninsula on first use, UP (no periods) on second reference. 

Miscellaneous

  • i.e., = that is
  • e.g., = for example
  • Senior Vice President, SVP
  • terabyte, TB
  • gigabyte, GB

And

  • It is acceptable to begin sentences with And.
  • Ampersand (&) should only be used for brand-specific words, Twitter, or in lists and titles.

Buildings and Places

Campus Buildings

Building list with building numbers and abbreviations, where applicable.

Number Name Abbreviation
1 Administration Building Admin Building
3 Michigan Tech Lakeshore Center Lakeshore Center
4 ROTC Building ROTC
5 Academic Office Building AOB
7 Electrical Energy Resources Center EERC
8 Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering Building  Dow
9 Alumni House  
10 Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts Rozsa
11 Walker Arts and Humanities Center Walker
12 Minerals and Materials Engineering Building M&M Building
13 Hamar House Hamar
14 Grover C Dillman Hall Dillman
15 Fisher Hall Fisher
16 Widmaier House  
17 J. R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library Van Pelt and Opie Library 
18 U. J. Noblet Forestry Building Noblet
19 Chemical Sciences and Engineering Building Chem Sci
20 R. L. Smith Building MEEM
24 Student Development Complex SDC
25 Sherman Field Press Box  
27 Ford Center  
28 Kanwal and Ann Rekhi Hall Rekhi
30 Little Huskies Child Development Center Little Huskies
31 Douglass Houghton Hall DHH
32 Daniell Heights Apartments  
34 Memorial Union Building MUB
37 Wadsworth Hall Wads
38 West McNair Hall  
40 East McNair Hall  
41 Central Heating Plant  
43 Lakeside Laboratory  
44 Storage-Service Facilities
48 Hillside Place  
50 Gates Tennis Center Gates
69-80 Keweenaw Research Center KRC
84 Harold Meese Center Meese
95 Advanced Technology Development Complex ATDC
97 A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum Museum
100 Great Lakes Research Center GLRC
  • Huntington Bank Building
  • John J. MacInnes Student Ice Arena or MacInnes Student Ice Arena
  • Mont Ripley, not Mount or Mt.
  • Student Financial Services Center is the formal name of the Financial Aid Office. Financial Aid or Financial Aid Office can be used informally.

Places

  • Minnesota Duluth
  • Alaska Anchorage
  • Alaska Fairbanks
  • Nebraska-Omaha
  • Wisconsin-Madison
  • Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • Michigan-Flint
  • Michigan-Dearborn

Country and Nation

  • A "country" is a self-governing political entity.
  • A “nation” designates a culture, but not sovereignty.

Capitalization

Academic Degrees

  • Capitalize academic degrees when used following a name.
    • Jamal Husky, PhD
  • Capitalize academic degrees and disciplines in full, complete use. Abbreviations are also capitalized when used with the full, complete degree.
    • Associate in Applied Science in Engineering
    • Associate in Humanities
    • Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences
    • BS in Mechanical Engineering
    • PhD in Physics
    • Master of Engineering with an environmental engineering concentration
  • Note the full degree names: Master of Engineering; Master of Forestry, but
    • He is majoring in materials science and engineering.
    • She has a master's in physics and an associate's in humanities.

Boards and Committees

  • Board of Trustees (Board on second reference)
  • University Senate
  • University committees and subcommittees do not require capitalization
  • The State of Michigan

Alma Mater

  • Hail Alma Mater (the song)
  • Michigan Tech is my alma mater.

AM/PM

  • 9 p.m., not 9:00 p.m.
  • a.m., not AM (or small uppercase)
  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (with a hyphen)
  • 8-11 a.m.
  • 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (not 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.)
  • But, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

College and School

  • The College and the School are capitalized when referring to the College of Engineering, College of Sciences and Arts, College of Business, and the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
    • He was appointed dean of the College.
    • The School has seen significant enrollment increases.

Co-op Program

  • Capitalize Cooperative Education Program but not co-op program.

Commencement

  • They are referred to as Spring Commencement and Midyear Commencement. Don't capitalize commencement in the general sense.

Course Titles

  • Course titles are capitalized with or without course numbers.
    • Introduction to Film; but, in a general sense, introductory film class
    • CM3230 Thermodynamics for Chemical Engineers

Department and Office

  • Department and Office are capitalized in the full, formal use.
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; but not in ME-EM department or mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics department
    • The Registrar's Office
    • Admissions Office

Enterprise Program

  • Enterprise Program for the overall program.
  • An Enterprise program for an individual one.

Headlines

  • Capitalize headlines, but not articles, prepositions, or to-be verbs.
    • John Gagnon Makes Trouble
    • The End is Near 

Jobs

  • In general, lowercase job titles unless they appear as a person's title.
    • Huskies become software engineers and cybersecurity specialists.
    • Research Scientist Jun Hie Husky
  • Capitalize job titles listed alone in simple bulleted lists.

Named Professorships and Chairs

  • He created the Jimi Hendrix Professorship in Music. (Notice it is not professor.)
  • Jane Smith, Jimi Hendrix Professor and chair, music department.
  • She holds the Jimi Hendrix Professorship and is chair of the Department of Music.

Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI)

  • Principal Investigator and co-Principal Investigators spelled out without parenthetical abbreviation upon first reference. PI or co-PI on second reference.

President

  • Capitalize when it precedes a name.
    • President Richard Koubek*
    • Martha Sloan, president of the Senate
  • *Note: Michigan Tech President Richard Koubek is the preferred title for our president

Programs

  • Capitalize as part of formal name, but programs otherwise.
    • Summer Youth Programs
    • There are many youth programs available.

Regions of the Country

  • Capitalize specific, named geographical areas.
    • Midwest
    • midwestern states

Semesters 

  • Unless the semester comes at the beginning of a sentence, semester names should be lowercase.
    • It's time to register for spring 2018.

Student ID Number

  • Michigan Tech ID numbers are referred to as the M number.

Titles

  • Capitalize all academic titles when used before a name.
    • Professor Patty Sotirin; but: Patty Sotirin, professor of communication
    • Dean Dean Johnson; but: Dean Johnson, dean of the School of Business 
  • Do not capitalize if used in the general sense.
    • She had risen to the rank of professor.
    • He was appointed vice president.
    • She has a master's degree in physics.
  • Italicize and capitalize Newsletter, Magazine, or Newspaper when it appears as the name of the publication

University

  • University is capitalized when referring to Michigan Tech, but not university or universities in the general sense unless part of a formal title.

Vice President, Vice Provost

  • Do not hyphenate. Capitalize before a name; otherwise leave them lowercase.

ZIP Code

  • All capital letters, as it is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan.

Dates, Times, Numbers

Academic Years 

  • first-year student 
  • second-year student 
  • junior 
  • senior 
    • We use first-year and second-year rather than freshman and sophomore, then junior and senior thereafter, to avoid awkward things like fifth-year and sixth-year student.

Dates

  • Spell out dates and include the day of the week and year for informational purposes.
    • Wednesday, March 27, 2019; not March 27th, 2019 or 3/27/19
  • When not preceded by between or from, date ranges use an en dash with no spaces. 
    • March 27–28, 2019; not between March 27–28 or from March 27–28

Graduation Years

  • Graduation years can be abbreviated to the last two digits preceded by an apostrophe
  • No punctuation
    • '92 '09
    • MS '92 PhD '09
    • '78 BS English Literature '92 MS Rhetoric and Technical Communication 
    • Jack Johnson '11 '15
    • Exception: early 1900s and later 1800s alumni, use full year: 1887, 1915

Time

  • a.m./p.m. is correct in text/narrative. AM/PM is acceptable in design.
    • 9 p.m., Saturday, April 28, 2012
  • noon and midnight are preferable to 12 p.m. and 12 a.m.
  • When not preceded by between or from, time ranges use an en dash with no spaces.
    • 8–9 a.m., 10 a.m.–2 p.m., or 3–5 p.m.; not between 8–9 a.m. or from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • 5th is correct. Don't use superscripts unless for scientific or technical accuracy

Numbers

  • Zero to nine are always spelled out except for in recipes and with staff positions; 10 and up are written as numerals except at the start of a sentence or for headlines.
  • Spell out a figure when beginning a sentence even though numerals are used elsewhere in the text.
  • Numbers of more than three figures are pointed off with commas, except SAT scores.
    • 1,259 women
    • $4,700,900
    • 1220 SAT
  • "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" (abbreviate number)

Credit Hours

  • Use numerals to refer to credit hours.
    • 6 credits

Percent, Percentage

  • Use the word percent instead of the symbol %.
  • A numeral is used before the word percent, unless it comes at the beginning of a sentence.
  • Percent refers to an exact number.
    • Thirty percent of their wages went to taxes.
    • The power play is running at 25 percent.
  • Percentage is used when there is no exact number
    • The percentage of their salaries that went to taxes was significant.

Room Numbers

  • Put the building name abbreviation first before room numbers.
    • Admin G20
    • Fisher 135

Telephone Numbers

  • Use hyphens in telephone numbers. Do not include parentheses for area codes
    • 1-888-688-1885
    • 906-487-2319

Inclusive Language

  • They is the preferred pronoun to s/he.
  • The Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Michigan Tech uses the abbreviation LGBTQIA* when referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and ally students.
  • Minority is the preferred term to BIPOC (pronounced buy-pock—stands for Black, Indigenous, and people of color). Although BIPOC is seen by some as more inclusive (it highlights the experiences of Black and Indigenous people), others see it as less inclusive (it minimizes the experiences of everyone else). Avoid using BIPOC outside direct quotations—and if used in quotation, explain it.

  • Be mindful of your audience and write with inclusive, culturally sensitive language.

Names and Titles

Academic Class Standings 

  • Michigan Tech does not use the terms freshman or sophomore to refer to undergraduate students' class standing or year in school; we do use the terms junior and senior; senior is used to refer to fourth-year-plus undergraduate students.
    • first-year student not freshman 
    • second-year student not sophomore 
    • junior not third-year student 
    • senior not fourth-year or fifth-year student

Academic Titles

  • Capitalize all academic titles when used before a name
    • Professor Patty Sotirin; but: Patty Sotirin, professor of communication 
    • Dean Dean Johnson; but: Dean Johnson, dean of the School of Business 
  • Do not capitalize if used in the general sense
    • She had risen to the rank of professor.
    • He was appointed vice president.
    • She has a master's degree in physics.

Multiple Names

  • Female, then male, then last name
    • Valerie and Richard Koubek

Names Under Block Quotes

  • Do not include line breaks digitally. In print, add line breaks for aesthetics
  • Lowercase current students’ majors. Separate dual majors using a backslash. An expected graduation year can be included if known.
    • Jolene Husky, forestry
    • Jay Husky, forestry/natural resources management
    • Jorja Husky ’27, English/scientific and technical communication
  • Do not include "student" unless distinguishing a graduate student.
    • Jeff Husky, master's student, forestry
  • Include alumni graduation year(s) and degree(s) if known.
    • Julia Husky ’21, BS Human Biology
    • Jackson Husky ’19, BS Chemical Engineering/Biomedical Engineering
    • Jennifer Husky ’20 ’22, BS Civil Engineering MS Integrated Geospatial Technology
    • Janae Husky ’22 BS Materials Science and Engineering, ’24 MS Mechanical Engineering
    • Joshua Husky ’18 ’23, BS Communications, Culture, and Media; PhD Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture

Titles of Airplanes, Ships, Trains

  • Italicize
    • RV Aggasiz
    • USS Hancock

Titles of People

  • The following titles are abbreviated when preceding names:
    • Dr.
    • Mr.
    • Ms.
    • Mrs.
    • Rev.
    • Hon.
    • St.
  • For readability, titles of two words or less can appear before the name. Longer titles should appear after the name

Titles of Works

  • Italicize the titles of books, plays, motion pictures, oratorios or operas, magazines, published documents, newspapers, periodicals, television series, and journals
    • Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail
    • The New Yorker
    • Field of Dreams
    • The Simpsons
    • ACS Chemical Biology
    • Michigan Tech Magazine
    • Research
  • Use quotation marks for titles of unpublished matter, parts of published works, articles from journals, single episodes from radio and television series, and titles of short musical compositions when used in text.
  • Italicize and capitalize Newsletter when it appears as the name of the publication.
  • If italics are not available, use underlines. If underlines are not available, capitalize the first letter of each word.

URLs

  • Don't use "https://www.," unless necessary for functionality.

Punctuation

To utilize all available means of communication, use strategic and correct punctuation.  

  • Punctuation following italics, bold, etc., should be the same style.

Accents

  • Use accents in a person's name if that is their preferred spelling.
  • Use accents in titles of foreign works where applicable.
  • In general, use spelling variants without accents when they are listed by Merriam-Webster.
    • resume not résumé
    • a la not à la

Apostrophe

  • In words showing joint possession, only the last word takes the possessive form.
    • secretary-treasurer's report
    • Jones and Company's product
    • John and Becky's child
  • When two or more persons possess something individually, each of their names takes the possessive form.
    • the buyer's and seller's signatures
    • the dean's and the professors' offices
  • Use an apostrophe to denote a contraction or omission of letters.
    • it is becomes it's
    • 1978 becomes (the Class of) '78 
  • Use the apostrophe to form the plural of lowercase letters and symbols. It's not necessary for capital letters and numbers, including years.
    • p's and q's
    • As and Bs (grades)
    • IOUs
    • during the 1990s
  • When a word ends with s, only add an apostrophe to the end to make it possessive.
    • Students' not students's
    • Its (possessive) not it's.
  • Year references do not need an apostrophe before the "s."
    • 1990s

Bulleted Lists

  • Depending on design, the first letter of the bulleted items may be capitalized or not; maintain consistency
  • Precede the list by a colon if the introductory statement is an independent clause
  • Use title capitalization for simple lists of degree-relevant job titles; lowercase job titles occurring in sentence-length list items
  • Full sentences in list items may or may not be punctuated; maintain consistency 

Colon

  • In lists, use a colon if the introductory statement is an independent clause.
    • There are many summer courses available:
      • accounting
      • thermodynamics
      • calculus
  • If the introductory statement is not an independent clause do not use the colon.
    • The fellows are
      • experts in their field
      • in demand across the nation
      • full of important information
  • For more on lists, see the Chicago Manual of Style

Comma, Serial Comma

  • Include the comma before "including" and "as well as." But, do not use "as well as" when "and" would suffice.
  • Macomb, Michigan, (comma as an appositive)
  • Wednesday, July 14, 2010,
  • et al (no periods, no comma if after one word)
  • In 1979, the world continued to spin on its axis.
  • Using a comma in introductory phrases is determined on a case-by-case basis depending on length, need for a pause, etc.
  • No comma before Inc., but use one before degrees or certifications listed after a name
    • Acme Co. Inc.
    • , PC
    • , MD
    • , PhD
  • Michigan Tech uses the serial comma, the second comma in this example
    • The Huskies defeated Northern, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
  • News stories and Tech Today, which follow Associated Press style, do not use serial commas
    • Winter traditions include snow sculptures, broomball and ice bowling.

Ellipses

  • Use three periods with spaces before and after:
    • We had to show the way . . . That was the end of the conversation.
    • The meeting was just okay . . . the bitterness faded slowly.
    • The beginning . . . is the end.

En Dash

  • The En Dash is acceptable for design purposes, pages, and date listings, otherwise use a hyphen 
  • Use a hyphen (-) for inclusive page references unless preceded by the word from, in which case the word to must be used
    • 1998-99; 2002-04; 1999-2000, 1905-06 (note the 0 remains in years)
    • 3-11; 85-6; 113-6; 100-5; 1,002-8; 321-5; 455-501
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison; University of Minnesota-Duluth

Em Dash

  • On Windows, Alt+0151 or Ctrl+Alt+minus; on a Mac Option+Shift+hyphen
  • Use an em dash, also referred to as the dash, to precede a reference to an author following a direct quotation.
    • "I am simply a human being, more or less."—Saul Bellow, Herzog (1964)
  • Use em dashes to set off clauses that are logically and structurally independent, also for amplifying or explaining.
    • Tonight's program—a program that has won national acclaim—is underwritten . . .
    • He had a plan to win the game—a plan he hoped would work.
  • Do not use spaces on either side of the em dash in web writing or print publications but do include spaces before and after for news writing

Hyphen

  • For hyphenated compounds in titles capitalize only the first element in hyphenated titles of works unless the second element is a proper noun or adjective
    • Death-defying Feats by Nineteenth-century Tightrope Walkers
    • An All-American Girl: How a Non-English-speaking Immigrant Made Good
  • Do not capitalize the second element if modifying the first element or both elements constitute a single word
    • 20th-century literature
    • English-speaking people
    • first-year student
  • When used as an adjective in a title, the number following the hyphen is lowercase
    • Twenty-third Conference on Sludge
    • Twenty-first Century Literature
  • Although modern practice tends toward deleting traditional hyphens (reestablish, toolmaker), they should be retained where they are used in the original title. Only capitalization and punctuation may be altered in a title.
  • Hyphenate adjectival phrases formed of two or more words preceding the nouns modified where ambiguity might result.
    • well-known woman
    • first-class act
    • joint-stock company
    • matter-of-course attitude
    • solid-state circuit
    • land-use legislation
    • cross-cultural education
    • steady-state research
    • decision-making body
    • full-semester course
  • Use a hyphen when the meaning varies with the absence of a hyphen
    • co-op and coop
    • re-create and recreation
  • Hyphenate when the first vowel of the added word would suggest mispronunciation
    • pro-ally
    • demi-equitant
    • ante-urban
  • Do not hyphenate adjectives formed of two proper names having their own fixed meaning
    • Old Testament times
    • New York subways
  • Several words are hyphenated when they are used as an adjective, but open when used as a noun
    • decision-making skills, good at decision making
    • critical-thinking pattern, it required critical thinking
    • cutting-edge design, the design was cutting edge
    • full-time, full time
    • man-made, man made
    • on-site, on site
    • problem-solving, problem solving
  • Do not hyphenate -ly words, combinations of adverb and adjective, or adverb and participle unless ambiguity would result
    • highly developed areas
    • the fallen tree blocked the road
  • Compounds of non- words ordinarily do not require a hyphen, except when used with a proper noun. Consult Merriam-Webster's Dictionary; if the compound does not appear there, use a hyphen
    • non-alumni
    • non-civil engineering
    • nondegree-seeking student
  • Do not hyphenate prefixes when joined to roots except in a combination with words beginning with their terminal vowel or sometimes when used with a w or a y
    • biweekly
    • coauthor
    • coeducation
    • cocurricular
    • preprofessional
    • prelegal
    • postwar
    • coworker
  • Hyphenate when self forms the first element of a compound
    • self-conscious
    • self-denial

Periods

  • et al (no period)
  • PO Box in forms; PO box in text (no period)

Quotation Marks

  • Use quotation marks for articles and chapters
    • "In the Warmth of the Dome"
  • Use quotation marks for titles of unpublished matter, parts of published works, articles from journals, single episodes from radio and television series, and titles of short musical compositions when used in text.

Spaces

  • Use only single spaces after the period; avoid double spaces

Digital Writing

  • Always try to link keywords. Don't use:
    • "click here"
    • spelled out URLs
    • "website"
  • To link words: Command + K (Mac); Control + Command + K (PC)
    • Avoid adding links at the end of the sentence. Try not to link periods.
  • URLs are all lowercase
    • Do not include https:// or www in URLs unless necessary for functionality
  • Avoid indicating left or right directionals, as this changes depending on mobile device. 
    • "Refer to the chart on the right."
    • "Using the navigation to the left . . . "

Touts

  • Touts are notable statistics using a graphic design
  • The stat should appear first, followed by a description.
    • 187 active research faculty
  • Spell out large numbers when room allows. If you must abbreviate “thousand” or “million,” use a capital letter.
    • $60,000,000, $60 million, or $60M
    • 60,000, 60 thousand, or 60K
  • If referencing a "number one ranking," write out as follows: 
    • Michigan Tech was ranked No. 1 by USA Today
  • In descriptions, use lowercase except for proper nouns or where words should normally be capitalized. No period at the end.
    • public university in Michigan for mid-career salaries of graduates
    • companies recruit on campus during Career Fairs
    • Study Abroad locations around the world

Social Media 

A field guide is available that provides information about writing for social media.

Commonly Misspelled Words

  • $122 million contract
  • 3D printing
  • 5 percent solution
  • biofuel
  • birth date
  • campuswide, University-wide (one of the few -wide compounds that needs a hyphen)
  • CareerFest
  • class work
  • co-edited, coauthor
  • coursework
  • co-rec (instead of co-recreation)
  • cross country
  • cross-cultural
  • database
  • e-learning
  • email
  • e-newsletter
  • ever-changing
  • Facebook News Feed, but newsfeed generically 
  • fieldwork
  • firsthand
  • job site
  • judgment 
  • long-term
  • MEEM building
  • name tag 
  • non-degree seeking
  • nonresident 
  • online
  • PO Box in forms; PO box in text
  • postdoc
  • powertrain
  • PS
  • pre-college programs
  • pre-cruise
  • re-enroll
  • Résumé Blitz
  • safe house
  • semiconductor
  • school work
  • sing-along
  • Social Security Number, also SSN
  • spring break 
  • startup (noun), start up (verb)
  • student-athlete 
  • takeout (noun), take out (verb), take-out (adjective)
  • theatre major, theater building 
  • training or orientation, not onboarding 
  • tweet 
  • ultrahigh-performance editors; their achievement scores were ultrahigh
  • underrepresented (not under-represented) 
  • vice president
  • webpage
  • website
  • weeklong
  • Wi-Fi
  • year-end
  • yearlong
  • year-round
  • Zip Code 

Publications Checklist

  1. University Name—full name of the University appears on the front or back of the publication.
  2. Equal Opportunity Statement—Include this statement on ALL publications. There are two versions. The first version is acceptable for all publications and the second version is acceptable for advertisements with a word count limit:
    • Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.
    • Michigan Tech is an EOE that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.
  3. Verify all URLs are correct
  4. Spellcheck
  5. Add social media references, if applicable (hashtags, links, and/or icons).
  6. Review for safety protocol issues in photos (if applicable)