Writing Style Guide
UNO’s style guide is not meant to replace specific stylebooks that might be applicable to specific units on campus (such as how to present mathematical equations in printed documents). Grammar and punctuation issues will be addressed briefly, but other resources such as the Associated Press Stylebook might be more appropriate for these uses.
Note capitalization and punctuation. Avoid redundancies like 10 A.M. in the morning.
Note: using the word "noon" is preferred over 12 P.M., e.g.: 10 A.M. - noon
This deviates from AP Style, which is a.m. and p.m.
The full, official name of a company, association, or organization should be used on first reference. The acronym should be included in parentheses with the first reference. Then, on second reference, an abbreviation or acronym may be used.
The Office of University Communications (UComm) has created a brand toolkit for campus use to promote individual units. UComm is here to help the university tell a consistent story about our contributions and vision for the future.
Capitalize formal abbreviated degrees: B.A., B.S., M.Ed., Ph.D.
Capitalize majors only if a proper noun or part of a noun phrase:
Some of the more popular majors at UNO are biology, English, and cybersecurity.
Capitalize formal names of degrees: Bachelor of Science in chemistry.
Lowercase spelled-out degrees: bachelor's degree in chemistry.
Capitalize the names of all of colleges and departments when using the proper name. It should not be capitalized when referencing generic “department” or “college."
- Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences
- Dropping off files to the biology department
- Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., chancellor, attended a luncheon. Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D, spoke today.
- John Doe, chair of the Department of Political Science, gave a presentation... .
When used without a specific name, titles are not capitalized.
Example: The dean of Graduate Studies... .
The proper format of university addresses is as follows:
Name of individual and title
1234 department, office, or organization name
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha, NE 68182
An adjunct professor is a part-time professor who is hired on a contractual basis rather than being given tenure and a permanent position.
No hyphen is used for either the noun or the adjective.
- African American students
- African Americans
singular vs. plural:
One man is an alumnus. Men plural: Alumni.
One woman is an alumna. Women plural: Alumnae.
A group of men and women are alumni.
Avoid the casual reference to “alum."
In printed publications, do not substitute an ampersand (&) for the word “and” unless referring to an official name that contains an ampersand. Currently the College of IS&T and the Academic & Career Development Center are the only areas to use the ampersand.
- College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS)
- College of Information Science & Technology (IS&T)
- Academic & Career Development Center (ACDC)
No hyphen is used for either the noun or the adjective.
- Asian American students
- Asian Americans
Do not abbreviate. Capitalize only when part of a formal title before a name. Assistant and associate as relating to academic titles are not interchangeable.
Note apostrophe and lower case.
Capitalize if using full name: Bachelor of Science.
- She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at UNO.
- He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in communication from UNO.
Board of Regents
An exception to AP style. The governing body of the University of Nebraska central system/administration as established by state of Nebraska laws. The board consists of eight members elected by districts and a student representative from each of the university's four campuses.
The board's official name is the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. Acceptable on second reference: the regents.
A weekly email sent out to all UNO students containing information on different events and opportunities around campus.
campus building names and abbreviations
The full name should be used on the first mention, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses, then the abbreviation in following mentions.
|Arts and Sciences Hall||ASH|
|Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center||CEC|
|Biomechanics Research Building||BRB|
|Central Utilities Plant||CUP|
|Child Care Center||CCC|
|College of Public Affairs and Community Service Building||CPACS|
|Dr. C. C. and Mabel L. Criss Library||CL|
|Durham Science Center||DSC|
|East Parking Garage||EPG|
|Eppley Administration Building||EAB|
|Health and Kinesiology||HK|
|Henningson Memorial Campanile||HMC|
|Maverick Village||Mav Village|
|Milo Bail Student Center||MBSC|
|Peter Kiewit Conference Center||PKCC|
|Peter Kiewit Institute||PKI|
|Resource Conservation & Recovery Area||RCRA|
|Scott Conference Center||SCC|
|Scott Court||no abbreviation, always Scott Court|
|Scott Village||no abbreviation, always Scott Village|
|Strauss Performing Arts Center||SPAC|
|University Village||no abbreviation, always University Village|
|Weber Fine Arts Building||WFAB|
|West Parking Garage||WPG|
|William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center||second reference – Thompson Alumni Center or Alumni Center|
Lowercase in general references. Uppercase in reference to the different campus names.
- I park my car away from campus.
- I park my car on Dodge Campus.
campus (location) names
UNO is one university with three campuses. They are Center Campus, Dodge Campus, and Scott Campus. The word “street” is not in official campus names. Campuses also should not be referred to as “North” or “South."
One word, no hyphen. Same as universitywide, citywide, etc.
CEC (effective 2/14/18)
It is preferred that the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center’s name be shortened to CEC and not Weitz CEC.
Lowercase, spelling out numbers less than 10: the first century, the 20th century. Hyphenate when a compound modifier: 13th-century literature, seventh-century armor.
Chair is used instead of chairman or chairwoman in academic references. Please reference Academic Titles.
Capitalize when used as a title; lowercase when it appears after the name or stands alone.
Content Management System. UNO’s CMS is called Cascade Server.
colleges at UNO (with common abbreviations)
|College of Arts and Sciences||CAS|
|College of Business Administration||CBA|
|College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media||CFAM|
|College of Education||COE|
|College of Information Science & Technology||IS&T|
|College of Public Affairs and Community Service||CPACS|
UNO’s primary color for promotional items is black. If other primary colors are needed for publication design, Pantone Cool Grey 10 or white may be used. Pantone Cool Grey 4 and Pantone 186C (red) may be used sparingly for accents. See brand guidelines for additional information.
Capitalize when referring to this event.
Composition titles should be in either italics or quotation marks; be consistent in using one or the other. In general, when it's technically difficult to put words in italics, use quotation marks.
Put these composition titles in italics*:
- Names of books
- Television series
- Works of art
- Theater productions
- Legal cases
- Music movements
Put these composition titles in quotations:
- Titles of poems
- Television episodes
- Short stories
- Chapters in books
- Magazine articles
*Note for web writing: Italics should not be used online, as readability is poor. While this does not follow traditional AP style, the preferred style is to put these titles in quotation marks when used in online content.
An exception to AP style: Always give the exact date of an event to ensure clarity, especially in news releases. A year is not necessary unless the intent is to archive, post on the web, or provide historic detail for an event.
NOT: The event is Monday in the Student Center
BUT: The event is Oct. 18 in the Student Center
As noted in AP Stylebook, abbreviate these months: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec., but not: March, April, May, June, July. Do not abbreviate a month without a date. If writing about a month and a year, do not place a comma after the month.
NOT: October, 2014
BUT: October 2014
Required when inviting anyone to any event (meeting, gathering, movie, viewing, Commencement, etc.) using any format (print, electronic announcement, postcard, etc.) so that the invitee is aware of the accommodations available to them on our campus.
The statement is as follows:
- UNO is an AA/EEO /ADA institution. For questions, accommodations or assistance please call/contact ADA/504 coordinator (phone: 402.554.3490 or TTY 402.554.2978) or the director of Accessibility Services Center (phone: 402.554.2872).
In its broadest sense, diversity refers to the benefit gained by including individuals of all backgrounds.
Per Title IX, UNO's non-discrimination statement is required on all UNO publications:
The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.
Doctorate is a noun; doctoral is the adjective: A person may have a doctorate, but not a doctorate degree.
One of UNO’s academic priorities, expanding doctoral education and celebrating and expanding our research productivity is essential in achieving UNO’s vision to be a metropolitan university of distinction.
Avoid these terms. Use “student housing” or “residence hall."
Avoid use of the honorific title Dr. in reference to an academic who has earned a doctorate, unless it's in a direct quote. Dr. may be used in reference to a medical doctor. Use "Ph.D." after the name instead.
NOT: Dr. John Doe, Ph.D., gave a speech today on the effects of coffee on sleep cycles.
BUT: John Doe, Ph.D., gave a speech today on the effects of coffee on sleep cycles.
early childhood/child welfare
One of UNO’s academic priorities addresses the need to develop and improve early childhood and child welfare practices. We are working toward fulfilling this priority by identifying new research methods, best practices, and skills for preparing UNO students to help children learn from birth through eight years.
Generally lowercase; capitalize when used as the proper name of the planet. “What on earth are you talking about?” The astronauts returned to Earth.
Stands for exempli gratia in Latin and means for example, it is always followed by a comma. See i.e.
Lowercase e, without a hyphen. Do not use carats (<>) or parentheses around email and website addresses when printing them in running text. UNO's email handle is @unomaha.edu. Always provide full email addresses.
Engage (formerly MavSYNC) is an online community where students can explore student organizations, fraternities and sororities, campus recreation, university departments, and community engagement opportunities on UNO’s campus in order to make getting involved a little easier.
At UNO, engagement is one of our academic priorities. The opportunity to serve the community is at the heart of our dedication to engagement on both a local and global scale. We look for ways to learn, to be of service, and to improve the community in order to create innovative leaders.
Use "ensure" to mean guarantee: Steps were taken to ensure accuracy. Use "insure" for references to insurance: The policy insures his life.
Proper name, online social media outlet that has personal, group and organizational "pages" - capitalize when referring to your or UNO's pages.
"Visit the UNO Facebook page"
Facebook pages with UNO sponsorship should be indicated with UNO or University of Nebraska at Omaha (if there is room) either at the beginning or at the end. Do NOT list a page as UN-O, University of Nebraska Omaha, or University of Nebraska-Omaha
- UNO Campus Recreation, Campus Recreation (UNO)
- University of Nebraska at Omaha Department of Theatre
When referring to UNO (if using the full name) in the Facebook post, use: University of Nebraska Omaha (no at or hyphen).
Use a capital letter for the architectural style and for corporate or governmental bodies that use the word as part of their formal names.
- I visited the Federal Communications Commission.
Lowercase when used as an adjective to distinguish something from state, county, city, town, or private entities.
- federal assistance
- federal court
- the federal government
When referring to a poster, please use flier, not flyer.
forms of address
see Post Nominal Abbreviations
The official name of the UNO student newspaper.
Acceptable in all references for grade-point average.
When writing a headline, capitalize everything except prepositions. Headlines should never be written in all caps (caps lock).
Two words, no hyphen.
Capitalize this term. Latina (feminine) and Latino (masculine) are also acceptable. Please reference Latina/Latino.
A historic event is an important occurrence. Any occurrence in the past is a historical event.
All references to honorary degrees should specify that the degree was honorary. Do not use Dr. before the name of an individual whose only doctorate is honorary. When indicating honorary degrees after a name, use "Hon." followed by the class year.
- Jane Smith ’85 received an honorary Doctor of Education degree from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 1990.
- Jane Smith ’85, Hon.’90 is no relation to John Smith Hon.’72.
A representative symbol; UNO icons include the “O” for the university as a whole and “The Maverick” for the athletic department and sports teams. These icons are not substitutes for the official University Logo. All marks should not be stretched or altered in any way.
Guidelines for the UNO icons and logo
Abbreviation for id est in Latin and means “in other words.” See e.g.
An online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook and Twitter.
- UNO’s official Instagram account is: unomaha.
A teacher in a college or university who is not a professor.
Lowercase. AP Style no longer capitalizes the word internet.
Lady Mavericks or Lady Mavs
All UNO women’s and men’s athletic teams should always be referred to as “Mavericks.” The qualifier “lady” should not be used.
These terms are considered to be English and are therefore not italicized as foreign words. Hispanic is also acceptable. Please reference Hispanic.
Defined as a group of students who learn together. Students take coursework together, participate in projects with one another, and work to build learning in a particular area.
LEED certification is the recognized standard in the U.S. for measuring building sustainability. Achieving LEED certification is the best way to demonstrate a truly “green” building. LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design." Mammel Hall has LEED Gold certification.
The University of Nebraska Omaha follows the University of Nebraska system brand guidelines. UNO’s logo is determined by the University of Nebraska system. The University Logo must be present on all publications and other communication materials. Guidelines for use and application of the official logos of UNO and other University of Nebraska institutions are included in the University Identification Handbook, which can be found in the UNO Brand Guide
Note apostrophe and lower case.
Capitalize if using full name – Master of Arts Degree.
- He is pursuing a master’s degree at UNO.
- She graduated with a Master of Science in Communication from UNO.
The mascot of the University of Nebraska Omaha. Maverick can be shortened to Mav. The plural form is also appropriate: Mavericks, Mavs.
The MavCARD is the official identification card at UNO. Students, staff, and faculty can use this card to access many services on campus. The card can also be used as a debit card for making purchases on campus.
A daily email sent out to all UNO faculty and staff containing information on different events and opportunities around campus.
MavGRANTS is a web-based, pre-award proposal management and storage software system that is used for all externally funded academic activities at UNO.
UNO’s nationally competitive speech program.
MavLINK provides students with access to the student information system through a web browser. With MavLINK, students can register for classes, obtain schedules, get grades, view financial aid awards, pay tuition, and perform many other enrollment services. Faculty can use MavLINK to get class lists, grade courses, issue permits/authorizations, and perform other advising functions.
This is the official student programming board of UNO and consists of about 20 undergraduate students of a variety of majors, ages, and backgrounds.
In partnership with Omaha Metro, UNO students, faculty, and staff can ride city buses for free by showing their MavCARD.
MavTRACK allows students to make appointments with their academic advisor online, 24/7.
Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone. When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day, and year, set off the year with commas.
- January 1972 was a cold month.
- Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month.
- His birthday is December 3.
- Feb. 14, 1987, was the target date.
- She testified that it was Friday, Nov. 3, when the accident occurred.
On first reference, individuals should be identified with first and last names, usually proper name (as opposed to a nickname or “known by” name), and academic title, if appropriate. On second reference, use last name without the title. If two people in the story have the same last name, use both first and last names for both people on all subsequent references.
No hyphen is used for either the noun or the adjective. In many cases, the tribal affiliation is the most appropriate term.
One word, no hyphen.
Use as the abbreviation for the University of Nebraska system. Do not use UN.
Follow AP Style for numbers. Spell out whole numbers one through (and including) nine, then use numerals.
Spell out casual expressions, e.g. "A picture is worth a thousand words."
*Exception: use numerals for credit hours
off campus, on campus
Hyphenate when using as an adjective, not as an adverb.
- Off-campus housing is plentiful during the summer.
- It’s difficult to find housing off campus during the fall semester.
office names and locations (commonly referenced as of (05/01/17)
|Accessibility Services Center||104 H&K|
|Center for Faculty Excellence||514 KH|
|Office of Military and Veteran Services||117 MBSC|
|Office of Enrollment Management (EM)||117 EAB|
|Office of University Communications (UComm)||102 EAB|
|UNO Testing Center||522 KH|
|Office of Civic and Social Responsibility (CSR)||130 CEC|
|Counseling Services||102 HK|
|MaverickPR (second office)||122 CEC|
|Service Learning Academy||216 CEC|
|Academic & Career Development Center (ACDC)||115 EAB|
|Emergency Services Program||114 CPACS|
|Spirituality, Public Health, and Religious Studies (SPHRS)||122B CEC|
|Volunteer Program Assessment||223 CEC|
|William Brennan Institute for Labor Studies||115 CEC|
|Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS)||102 ASH|
|OLLAS (second office)||117B CEC|
|Office of Student Activities||113 MBSC|
|UNO Maverick Food Pantry||130 CEC|
One word, no hyphen.
The oxford comma should be used in all forms of writing.
NOT: He wore a shirt, tie and jacket.
BUT: He wore a shirt, tie, and jacket.
Now known as Scott Campus, never referred to as South Campus.
part time, part-time
Hyphenate as an adjective before the noun; otherwise, leave as two words.
- Lisa is a part-time student.
- Lisa attends classes part time.
In 2019, Associated Press updated its stylebook—use the % symbol instead of spelling out the word. Always use numerals with the percent symbol, and make sure there is no space between the two.
NOT: 80 percent
Use a period to separate the groups of numbers. Do not place area code in parenthses.
Required on all event materials where photographs will be taken. The statement is as follows:
- The University of Nebraska at Omaha will be taking pictures at this event for use in advertising and other promotional materials, whether in print, electronic, or other media.
post nominal address
Typical etiquette in the United States is a six tier hierarchy of qualifications, awards, and honors.
1. Religious Institutes
2. Theological degrees
3. Academic degrees
4. Honorary degrees, honors, decorations
5. Professional licenses, certifications, and affiliations
6. Retired uniformed service
Use those credentials directly pertinent to the situation, or the highest academic degree obtained.
A person with who has a Master in Business Administration who is also a certified Project Management Professional:
NOT: Jane Doe, B.A., P.M.P., M.B.A.
BUT: Jane Doe, M.B.A., P.M.P.
One exception is when you have achieved a doctorate level degree (such as Ph.D. or Ed.D.) and an M.B.A. or professional degree (e.g. M.D., J.D., or D.D.S.).
John Doe, Ph.D., J.D.
A first performance or showing of a play, film, etc.
First in importance or rank; chief; foremost.
Capitalize only as a formal title before one or more names: President Smith, Presidents Bush and Obama. Do not capitalize if it follows a person's name: John F. Kennedy, president of the United States of America.
Use the generic term when referring to a faculty member. Check ranks carefully when updating lists. Faculty members are promoted from assistant professor to associate professor and then to professor (sometimes referred to as full professor, but never listed as such).
Use this spelling that includes the diacritical marks to avoid confusion with the word "resume."
Do not capitalize the word “room,” if used at all. It should only be used if it is officially part of the name.
Number precedes the building. Do not use the word room unless it is officially part of the name.
- 203 Health and Kinesiology
- 203 HK
room names for MBSC*
- Fireplace Lounge
- Aksarben Room
- Board Room
- Chancellor's Room
- Nebraska Room
- Council Room
- Dodge Room A & B
- Gallery Room
- Jenkins Room
- Redick Room
- Tower Room
- Umoho Room
Use Milo Bail Student Center in front of a room name when appropriate.
- The Faculty Senate will hold a special meeting in the Milo Bail Student Center Jenkins Room at 3 P.M.
*Rooms 220, 222, and 224 are located on the second floor. Location should be listed according to the above room number guideline. Example: Students will meet in 220 MBSC at 2 P.M.
Formerly known as Pacific Campus, never referred to as South Campus.
Lowercase spring, summer, fall, and winter and derivatives such as springtime unless part of a formal name: Winter Olympics, Summer Olympics, fall semester, spring play. See all semesters
Capitalize semester if used with a year: Fall 2018. Do not capitalize if using the generic term fall semester, spring semester, summer semester.
Service Learning Academy (SLA)
The Service Learning Academy implements a method of teaching that combines classroom instruction with meaningful community service. The academy emphasizes critical thinking and personal reflection while encouraging a heightened sense of community, civic engagement, and personal responsibility. Hyphenate Service-Learning when used as part of the academy's proper name. Can be referred to as “SLA” after the first reference.
Service learning is one way that UNO builds relationships between the university and the local community. This is a method of teaching that connects academic coursework to community needs.
UNO has recognized STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) as one of its academic priorities. UNO is establishing a reputation as a national leader in STEM education. Housed in the College of Education, focus lies on many aspects of STEM education, including improving teacher training, increasing the number and diversity of STEM teachers, providing innovative curriculum, and researching STEM education interventions.
One of UNO’s five academic priorities, sustainability serves as another way for UNO to give back to the community. Areas of interest in relation to sustainability include enhancing the efficiency of campus operations, better preparing our students to address the problems of tomorrow, and establishing UNO as a responsible and respected leader in academia and the community.
The names of the 50 U.S. states should be spelled out when used in the body of a story, whether standing alone or in conjunction with a city, town, village, or military base (e.g., Vancouver, Washington). This is a recent change to AP style. Check the AP Stylebook for the appropriate abbreviations of states. Always use the postal service abbreviation (e.g., OR, WA, CA) and zip code in a complete address. Do not include the state name in the body of a story for cities that stand alone in datelines (e.g., San Francisco, but Redding, California).
Use theatre, instead of theater.
In general, name followed by title of position information. Please reference Academic Titles.
- John Doe, vice chancellor for Business and Finance
Thompson Learning Community (TLC)
This learning community is designed to promote the academic success of UNO students receiving the William H. Thompson Scholarship. Can be referred to as “TLC” after the first reference. Please reference Learning Community.
Proper name, online social media outlet that has "profiles" but people use the words "tweet" or "follow" to indicate involvement. Capitalize when referring to your or UNO's profile:
- Check out UNO's latest tweet.
- Follow UNO on Twitter!
The process of arranging type for printing. Find out more about UNO's specific typesetting.
All UNO units, colleges, and offices may have a typesetting of their unit/college/office name.
Means one of a kind. Do not describe something as rather unique, most unique, very unique, etc.
Capitalize only when using with the rest of a formal title, such as “University of Nebraska Omaha." When speaking of the university in general, or other universities in general, lowercase.
- The University of Nebraska Omaha is located... .
- This policy applies to the entire university... .
University of Nebraska at Kearney
This is the preferred name when referring to the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In written communication, when the university is first mentioned or cited, the full name, “University of Nebraska at Kearney,” should be spelled out, immediately followed with “UNK” in parentheses (UNK). Thereafter, references should cite “UNK.”
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
This is the preferred name when referring to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In written communication, when the university is first mentioned or cited, the full name, “University of Nebraska-Lincoln,” should be spelled out, immediately followed with “UNL” in parentheses (UNL). Thereafter, references should cite “UNL.”
University of Nebraska Medical Center
This is the preferred name when referring to the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In written communication, when the university is first mentioned or cited, the full name, “University of Nebraska Medical Center,” should be spelled out, immediately followed with “UNMC” in parentheses (UNMC). Thereafter, references should cite “UNMC.”
University of Nebraska at Omaha
This is the preferred name when referring to the university. In written communication, when the university is first mentioned or cited, the full name, “University of Nebraska at Omaha,” should be spelled out, immediately followed with “UNO” in parentheses (UNO). Thereafter, references should cite “UNO.”
Please note that for digital communications, "University of Nebraska Omaha" (no "at") is preferred.
- The University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Education
- Follow your interest at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). There are more than 200 academic programs of study at UNO.
One word, no hyphen.
Lowercase, UNO's username on Twitter and Facebook.
This name should not be used when referring to the University of Nebraska Omaha outside of these social media sites.
UNO's username on YouTube
Uniform Resource Locator, an internet address. For University of Nebraska Omaha website URLs, it is not necessary to include https:// or www.
The building that houses University of Nebraska central administration, the office of the president, and the Board of Regents. Not to be used as a familiar identifier for Central Administration.
Lowercase, one word.
Do not use the “www.” at the beginning of web addresses in university publications.
Use figures without commas: 1988. Use s without an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries: the 1890s, the 1800s. Years are the lone exception to the general rule in numerals that a figure is not used to start a sentence.
YouTube pages with UNO sponsorship should be indicated with a UNO or University of Nebraska at Omaha (if there is room) either at the beginning or at the end. Do NOT list a page as UN-O, University of Nebraska Omaha, or University of Nebraska-Omaha.
UNO’s official YouTube page is UNO MavTV: youtube.com/user/UNOMavTV