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Editorial Style

Editorial style at UCM closely follows the Associated Press Stylebook and Webster's New World Collegiate Dictionary. In some instances, university style decisions supersede these references. 

AP Style is to be used for all written and electronic communications, including advertising, booklets, brochures, fliers, invitations, newsletters, web pages and presentations. Names of UCM buildings are available online. If you have a style question, consult the Associated Press Stylebook. If you still are unsure or unable to find an answer, please contact IMC.

UCM Style Preferences*

This is a list of preferences, not exceptions.

  • Use AP Style for all copy elements.
  • Writing should be in the second person (you, yours, you’ll, etc.). Avoid the first person unless it’s a first-person account.
    • Correct: You will qualify for upper-level jobs in fields … 
    • Incorrect: Students will qualify for upper-level jobs in fields … 
  • Capitalize majors and fields of study when referring to a discipline or program within a school.
  • When writing academic degrees, use periods if there are only two letters (M.A., B.S.). No periods are needed if there are more than two letters (MBA, CPE, BSBA). See AP stylebook for exceptions, including Ph.D.
  • Use “emeritus” for a male and “emerita” for a female; “emeriti” is the plural form. “Professor,” “dean,” etc. goes before one of these terms in a formal title (Professor Emeritus John Doe)
  • Always use “alumni” for plural instead of “alums.”
  • “Alumnus” is preferred for a male and “alumna” for a female; “alum” is OK if speaking to one unidentified person.
  • In bulleted lists, capitalize the first letter after a bullet and use a period at the end of a sentence, but not phrases.
  • Capitalize “Homecoming” with or without UCM, a year or any other identifier if referring to UCM’s celebration.
  • Capitalize the name of a sport with “Mules” or “Jennies” when referring to the team (Mules Football and Jennies Basketball). Do not capitalize before “game” (Mules football game).
  • Use “Jennie” (not “Jenny”) for a single female team member, per Athletics.
  • Use “The Missouri Innovation Campus” or “The MIC” (note capital “The”), rather than “MIC” or “Missouri Innovation Campus.”
  • Write phone numbers as 660-543-8000 (vs. area code in parentheses).
  • Titles should be lowercase unless they come directly before a name.
  • “Health care” is two words; do not hyphenate as a compound modifier. 
  • A period always goes inside of quote marks.
  • Use of a percent symbol (%) is acceptable in copy, but “percent” must be spelled out if the tone is formal.
  • Use a space before and after an em dash; no space is needed before or after an en dash.
  • Hyphenate “first-generation student” as compound modifier.
  • Hyphenate “student-athlete” as compound modifier.

*This list is ongoing and will be added to as instances or specific/common questions arise. 



  • Ampersands are permitted as a design element on social media graphics and various collateral items such as posters and postcards. They’re also allowed in social media content and bulleted lists.



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