Campus Style Guide: A
abbreviations and acronyms. On first reference, spell out university names that may be unfamiliar to the particular audience you are addressing. University of California, Davis, may be necessary, for example, in press releases that are sent nationally. Note, however, that it is acceptable in all cases to refer to the Quadrangle as the “Quad” on first and subsequent references. In general, avoid using acronyms that aren’t well known and avoid using a number of acronyms in one article. To introduce an abbreviation or acronym, run it in parentheses following the initial mention of the complete name if confusion is possible and if the second reference doesn’t closely follow the initial mention. Do not use periods in university abbreviations and acronyms: CEIO, UC, MU, ASUCD. Otherwise, per AP, use periods in abbreviations of two letters; none with longer ones: U.S., U.N., a.m. USDA. Some acronyms and abbreviations are capitalized; others are lowercased: scuba, an acronym for “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.” Consult the AP Stylebook and Webster’s Third New International Dictionary in specific instances. See general guidelines under AP’s “abbreviations and acronyms” entry. Consult AP first concerning use of caps and periods for individual abbreviations.
academic degrees. With the exception of the alumni sections of campus publications, it is preferable to avoid abbreviations and instead spell out names of degrees: Ronald Enomoto, who received his bachelor’s degree in English from UC Davis. Capitalize the formal name of a degree conferred: The department offers a Master of Arts and a Master of Arts in Teaching. Use an apostrophe in “bachelor’s degree,” “master’s,” etc. Use abbreviations such as “B.A.” and “M.A.” only when spelling out the names of the degrees would be cumbersome. When used after a name, set off such abbreviations with commas: Robert Kerr, Ph.D., is responsible for.... Avoid redundancies such as Dr. Mark Mannis, M.D., or her doctorate degree (the proper adjectival form of the noun “doctorate” is doctoral). Avoid mixing forms, such as he received his master’s and doctoral degrees; master’s and doctor’s degrees would be preferable in such a case. Follow guidelines under AP’s “academic degrees” entry and see the list of abbreviations for academic degrees in Chicago 15.21 (though note that we use periods). A complete listing of all the degrees offered by UC Davis is found in the opening pages of the UC Davis General Catalog.
academic departments. See the “campus departments and units” heading under the names entry.
academic majors. Lowercase all majors except those incorporating proper nouns: Paul Pfotenhauer is majoring in textiles and clothing, Teri Bachman’s major is Scandinavian, and Kathleen Holder is majoring in Chicano studies.
academic titles. See the “academic and professional titles” heading under the titles entry.
acronyms. See the abbreviations and acronyms entry.
advisor. This is an exception to AP style, primarily in consideration of the academic advising community’s preference.
aesthetic. Not “esthetic.”
African American, black. Use these terms interchangeably, with preference to African American.
Agricultural Experiment Station. The research arm of the university’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Capitalize as shown. See the Cooperative Extension entry.
Agricultural Extension Service. The former name of Cooperative Extension; the name was officially changed in 1974. See the Cooperative Extension entry.
AIDS/SAIDS. Acronym for (simian) acquired immune deficiency syndrome. In agreement with the latest editions of the AP Stylebook, AIDS is acceptable in all references for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. For SAIDS, use simian AIDS on first reference; the acronym is acceptable thereafter.
alumni. Per AP, use alumnus for an individual male, alumna for an individual female, alumni for a group of males, alumnae for a group of females and alumni when referring to a group composed of men and women. An individual need not have graduated from UC Davis to be considered an alumna or alumnus; any individual who attended UC Davis as a regularly enrolled student for three quarters or one year is considered an alum by the Cal Aggie Alumni Association. For guidelines governing use of birth names to help identify married alumnae, consult the “individuals” heading under the names entry. Consider using the term graduate to reduce repetition. Use the nickname alum sparingly, since that term could be confused with the name of a chemical compound.
American Indian. Although AP prefers this term to “Native American,” they may be used interchangeably in UC Davis news releases and publications, depending upon the wishes of the individual(s) cited in the story.
animals. Per AP, do not apply a personal pronoun to an animal unless its sex has been established or the animal has a name: The dog was scared and it barked. Rover was scared and he barked. The cat, which was scared, ran to its basket. Susie the cat, who was scared, ran to her basket. The bull tosses his horns. Capitalize breed names according to Webster’s; for breeds not listed, capitalize words derived from proper nouns and use lowercase elsewhere: Thoroughbred, basset hound, Boston terrier. See also Chicago 8.136–8.137 and AP Stylebook’s “that, which, who, whom” entry.
arboretum. The proper name of the campus arboretum is University of California, Davis, Arboretum, but UC Davis Arboretum is acceptable on first reference in all but the most formal situation. Subsequent references may use arboretum alone in lowercase.
archaeology. Not “archeology.”
art exhibitions. See “exhibitions” under composition titles entry.
artist-in-residence. See the separate in-residence entry.
arts district. At UC Davis, refers to the complex of buildings and spaces scattered through campus that house programs, performances, gallery shows and classes in music, theatre, dance, film, and visual and graphic arts. It includes the Mondavi Center, the planned visual arts center, arts administration building, and existing fine arts and theatre buildings.
artworks. See the “artworks” heading under the composition titles entry.
as best as. A redundant phrase. “As best as” indicates degree, but the question of degree is already answered in the superlative “best.” Delete the second “as” or recast the sentence: Answer the question as best you can. Answer the question as well as you can.
assistant professor, associate professor. See the “academic and professional titles” heading under the titles entry.
attribution. Attribute any statement that is not a widely known fact or that is a matter of opinion and is subject to potential disagreement. The statement his nose is 44 picas long does not require attribution as long as it is true; the statement his nose looks like a banana should have attribution because it’s an opinion subject to disagreement. Use caution in choosing verbs for attribution. Forms of the verb “say” are impartial and appear objective; other verbs, however, can inadvertently tint your writing with unintended shades of meaning. Words such as noted, commented, claimed, suggested, charged, denied and asserted should be used with precision, not just for the sake of variety. Even innocent-sounding verbs such as stated and told can unwittingly make a source sound dogmatic or didactic. In general, present tense is acceptable in paraphrasing a line of thought that an individual continuously expresses, but past tense is preferable in citing a literal quotation that an individual uttered at a specific time. See the tense entry in this style guide.