Indiana University Style Guide
academic and administrative titles
Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity statements
alumna, alumnae, alumni, alumnus
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
fall, fall semester
first semester, first-semester courses
foreign words and phrases
forms and documents
fund raising, fundraising
The IU Ballet Theater uses the -er spelling of the word theatre.
See also theatre.
In writing, as in life, avoid insensitive terms related to age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. If these terms appear in print, they reinforce prejudicial behavior. Mention a person’s age only when it is relevant. Use words such as kid, youngster, lady, teenager, and retiree cautiously. Avoid references to a person’s race or ethnic background unless this information is relevant to your publication.
Use gender-free language when possible. For example, in referring to humanity as a whole, avoid the use of man or mankind. Instead, use human beings, humanity, women and men, people, or individuals. Similarly, replace man-made with artificial, handmade, machine-made, manufactured, constructed, or synthetic, as appropriate.
Try to avoid terms that assume that the male is the standard and the female is an adjunct of that standard. For example, use author for both male and female writers (not authoress for a female writer), and eliminate the use of coed. Sometimes, however, gender-neutral terms are not available; count, for example, is not an accurate substitute for countess. In addition, some word choices may depend on the preference of the person being described.
In referring to people with disabilities, emphasize the person, not the disability, and avoid insensitive terms such as crippled or invalid.
Review photos and artwork to ensure that, when appropriate, both women and men are portrayed. Include people of various ages and ethnicities and people with disabilities in photos and illustrations whenever it is possible and appropriate to do so. Avoid use of photos and artwork that depict women, minorities, older people, or people with disabilities in subordinate or stereotypical roles.
See also chairperson.
Note that Ten is always spelled out in this phrase. The Big Ten athletic conference actually has 11 members: University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, The Ohio State University, The Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and University of Wisconsin.
Both black and African American are acceptable although they are not always interchangeable; we use both terms and usually lowercase the b of black.
See also African American.
Use lowercase in informal usage.
bursar’s office, bursar bill, the bursarCapitalize as part of the official name.
Office of the Bursar
See Indiana University.
This term is not hyphenated. With the exception of university-wide, most wide compounds are not hyphenated.
As a general rule, official names are capitalized; unofficial, informal, shortened, or generic names are not. This rule applies to names of offices, buildings, schools, departments, programs, institutes, centers, and so on. Therefore, the noun in a phrase such as the center, the institute, or the new museum is not capitalized.
the Office of the Registrar, the registrar’s office, this office, the registrarAn exception is that references to the Indiana Memorial Union may be shortened to the Union.
the Schools of Nursing and Optometry, the nursing and optometry schools, the University Graduate School, the graduate school
the Department of Physics, the physics department, the department
the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, the program
the Center for English Language Training, the center
The Frangipani Room is on the mezzanine level of the Union.Capitalize official names of bulletins, forms, conventions, conferences, symposia, and the like.
the Jacobs School of Music Bulletin, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the Republican National ConventionCapitalize official course titles (except for articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions), whether or not the course number is used.
E 201 Introduction to MicroeconomicsCapitalize the letters used for grades, as well as official grade names where applicable. Do not put quotation marks around grades.
S 250 Graphic Design I
A new course, Basic Algebra for Finite Mathematics, is appropriate for many students.
A, B, C, D, F, W, I, FX, S/F, P/F, R, Incomplete, Pass, Deferred, a grade of BNames of official policies such as Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity should be capitalized. If the concept, rather than the official name, is being discussed, lowercase is appropriate.
Departments are working to ensure equal opportunity.Names of holidays and other recurring celebrations are usually capitalized. Names of seasons, academic periods, and one-time celebrations generally are not.
The campus Affirmative Action Office has moved.
Thanksgiving, Commencement, Founders Day, Arts WeekFor historical or documentary accuracy, follow the capitalization style of original texts.
but: winter 2004-05, summer session II, summer term, spring semester, spring term, orientation, registration, Spring Break, the DeVault Alumni Center dedication, the groundbreaking for the new center
“As I am a schoolteacher during the other three seasons, I am happy that I may continue my own education during the Summer Sessions,” wrote a student in 1919.In titles of works and in headlines that follow the “title” style, capitalize all words except articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions. Note that is is a verb and is therefore capitalized.
The manuscript of Kerouac’s novel On the Road was on display at the Lilly Library.
Two of Cole Porter’s greatest compositions are “What Is This Thing Called Love?” and “Just One of Those Things.”
Some flexibility exists in the capitalization of geographic regions.
Use chairperson or chair in references to heads of IU departments and committees. Exceptions are references to those who chaired departments in the past, when the more traditional chairman or chairwoman may have been used; keep the appropriate term for historical accuracy. In references to people who work outside the university, use their preferred titles.
A colon (:) usually serves as an introducer—of a list, an example, an explanatory phrase or sentence, etc.
The instructor made three suggestions for the essay: to shorten it, to use more vivid examples, and to double-check the statistics.(In all of the above examples, em dashes would be acceptable in place of the colons.)
There was one person Mabel could not forgive: herself.
I have a question: where will we put the new computers?
A primary use for the semicolon (;) is to join the elements in a compound sentence.
You don’t need to submit original documents; photocopies are sufficient.A common error is using a comma in a compound sentence instead of a semicolon. This mistake often occurs when a transition word such as however, thus, or therefore is involved.
Bell’s flight was delayed; therefore, the concert was rescheduled.Use semicolons to separate items in a series when the items are long or complicated and commas already serve another purpose in the sentence.
not: Bell’s flight was delayed, therefore, the concert was rescheduled.
Professor Barbour has included in her cookbook such delicacies as fresh blueberry and lemon cream tart, from the Limestone Grille in Bloomington; shrimp brochette with roasted corn salsa, from the RockWall Bistro in Floyds Knobs; and apple fritters with caramel sauce, from the LaSalle Grill in South Bend.Some overlap exists between semicolon and colon use. For example, a colon may be used to join the elements in a compound sentence, especially when the second half of a sentence is “introduced” by the first half. Both ways of punctuating the following sentence are acceptable.
All of our faculty members serve on committees: nine, for example, are on the presidential search and screen committee.See also commas, dashes, and lists.
All of our faculty members serve on committees; nine, for example, are on the presidential search and screen committee.
Use the serial, or Harvard, comma (i.e., the final comma before and, or, or nor) in a list of three or more items.
red, white, and blue ribbonsAn exception exists when items in the series contain commas themselves. In that case, use semicolons between all items.
The letters in question are dated August 7, 1989; May 15, 1990; and January 4, 1991.For numbers larger than 999, use a comma to mark off the thousands, millions, etc.
1,001 nights; 98,000 studentsWhen they follow a person’s name, qualifiers such as Ph.D. and C.P.A. are preceded by a comma. A second comma follows the qualifier in running copy.
The opening remarks by Valerie P. Jackson, M.D., set the tone for the conference.However, qualifiers such as Jr., Sr., and III are not set off by commas.
Martin Luther King Jr.Set off the name of a geographical unit with commas—on both sides—when it follows the name of a smaller geographical unit found within its borders.
Edmund D. Brodie III
Gnaw Bone, Indiana, is a small community.The same holds true for a year, if a day of the month precedes it.
not: Gnaw Bone, Indiana is a small community.
March 1, 2007, is the priority date for fall 2007 admission.Be sure to set off a parenthetical (nonrestrictive) expression on both sides. In the following example, the name Sandra R. Patterson-Randles is parenthetical because it does not actually narrow down the meaning of The IU Southeast chancellor; IU Southeast has only one chancellor.
but: He understood that the books would be delivered in March 2007.
The IU Southeast chancellor, Sandra R. Patterson-Randles, will be there.Note that when chancellor is used as a personal title, no comma is called for.
not: The IU Southeast chancellor Sandra R. Patterson-Randles will be there.
and not: The IU Southeast chancellor, Sandra R. Patterson-Randles will be there.
IU Southeast Chancellor Sandra R. Patterson-Randles will be present.The Latin-derived abbreviations e.g. (for example) and i.e. (that is) are always followed by a comma and are usually used in a parenthetical remark. If used in a nonparenthetical situation, they are often spelled out.
List your favorite software programs (e.g., Microsoft Word, InDesign).Commas appear after, not before, an expression in parentheses (like this), and they go inside quotation marks, “like this,” in almost all cases.
Maria always uses the serial comma, that is, the final comma before and, or, or nor.
No IU sports teams are to be called “Hurryin’ Hoosiers,” according to the athletics department.One case in which it is correct to place a comma outside a quotation mark is when the quotation mark is denoting inches. This form of quotation mark is also known as a double prime. Note that it is not slanted or curved like the “smart” (or “curly”) quotation mark.
The painting measures 16" x 19", and it is on display at the Herron Gallery.See also quotation marks.
Use a capital C when referring to the IU event.
Each course has a course number and course title, which is always capitalized (even if the course is referred to without the number). No punctuation is used between the course number and course title.
W 231 Professional Writing Skills
In bulletins and other publications that discuss curricula, it’s useful to specify the unit through which the course is offered by using the department or school letter code before the course number and title.
ENG-W 231 Professional Writing SkillsCourse titles in running text are also capitalized.
ME 200 Thermodynamics
CMCL-C 121 Public Speaking
SPEA-V 574 Environmental Management in the Tropics
John was hoping to get into a popular course, Rock Music of the ’70s and ’80s.
Use numerals to refer to credit hours.
3 credit hours, BUS-S 530 Business Analysis (3 cr.)In academic bulletins, we don’t use a hyphen between a number and the phrase credit hour or between credit and hour.
She is enrolled in a 3 credit hour course, Business Analysis.
See also numbers.
See vita, vitae.