Editorial style guide - A
Not hyphenated. Use an upper case L.
Don't use them. Write the word in full.
Abbreviated terms commonly used within the University may not be understood outside it, especially by prospective international students.
February not Feb.
Tuesday not Tues.
Professor not Prof.
Mr Mrs Dr (note that there is no full stop)
See also Acronyms and initials
Use accents on foreign words, unless the word has been anglicised, for example cafe, fiance.
Précis Exposé (to distinguish from expose)
When giving directions, always include information about disabled access.
Acronyms and initials
When you introduce an acronym, write the title in full, followed by the acronym in brackets. After that, you can use the acronym on its own.
The School of East Asian Studies (SEAS) offers four-year language-based courses in Japanese, Korean and Chinese. SEAS undergraduates can choose...
When an acronym is better known than what it stands for you can make an exception: BBC, NATO.
If you are writing for the web, acronyms should be written in full with the short version in brackets the first time they are used on each web page.
See also Abbreviations
In documents, publications and on University stationery, addresses should always be arranged vertically. Never make an address part of a sentence or paragraph of text.
Building numbers that cover a range (196–198) should be separated by an en-dash with no spaces. See En-dash.
If the address is in a city or major town, do not include the county.
If you are writing for an international audience, the country should follow the town or city and postcode on a new line. In the case of University addresses, always use United Kingdom, rather than England.
The University of Sheffield
Sheffield S10 2TN
For department addresses, put the department name before the University:
Department of Journalism Studies
The University of Sheffield
18-22 Regent Street
Sheffield S1 3NJ
Some important details:
- no full stops at the end of addresses
- no comma between the number and the street name
- do not abbreviate Road, Street or Avenue
- postcode should appear after the town or city on the same line
- no comma between town/county and postcode
When creating address labels or typing letters for use with window envelopes, all the above guidelines apply except that the postcode should be on the last line, separate from the town or city.
Don't use ampersands in your writing. We sometimes use ampersands in the vertical arrangement of titles and department names for design purposes, but that's different. See Our Visual Identity Guide for details.
Try to avoid. Use one or the other or rewrite the sentence. Alternatively, rewrite the sentence. The same applies to his/her.
Apostrophes are used to denote possession or omissions in words and phrases.
Where an object or objects belong to one person or thing, the apostrophe goes before the s:
The University's halls of residence
Where an object or objects belong to more than one person or thing, then the apostrophe goes after the s:
The graduates' certificates will be kept in departmental offices
The same applies to singular nouns ending in s:
The class's teacher was absent
Generally, the rule also applies to proper nouns ending in s:
Rolf Harris's portrait of the Queen
Plurals of common nouns ending in s don't need an extra s after the apostrophe:
The classes' timetables were confused
When you use plural nouns that don't end in s – children, women, sheep – the apostrophe goes before the s:
The women's minibus runs until 11pm
The one exception to this rule is its:
The book was old; its cover was in tatters
See also It's or its
Apostrophes are also used to show that letters are missed out of a word or phrase, usually to make it easier to pronounce.
I'll – I will
they're – they are
See also Contractions
Where not to use apostrophes
Never use an apostrophe to form a plural with numbers and letters:
1990s not 1990's
Three As at A Level, not three A's at A Level
CDs not CD's
Never use an apostrophe when its is used in the possessive sense:
The University is easy to get to: its main buildings are near the tram stop.
Try to avoid using asterisks. Whatever you have to say should be made clear in your writing. There should be no need for footnotes or small print.
*Should not be used for other purposes, for instance to denote an omission or to present bullet points.