Campus Style Guide

About this style guide

Which is it: Bay Area or bay area? U.C. Davis or UC Davis? e-mail, E-mail or email? And what about those commas in a series—should you put one before the “and”? And does it matter?

Answers to those style questions, and more, can be found in this guide. And yes, style matters!

Consistency in style helps readers concentrate on the content without being distracted by variations in spelling and punctuation. That helps writers communicate better. And it makes editors’ jobs a little easier—they don’t have to reinvent a rule every time a new publication (or a new writer) comes along.

Adhering to an agreed-upon style also benefits the university—giving each campus publication a “voice” that harmonizes with those from other departments, schools and colleges.


This style guide serves as a supplement to two principal, widely circulated style guides, The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law and The Chicago Manual of Style.

In general, the guide looks to AP for guidance in word usage, spelling, grammar, capitalization and use of corporate names and trademarks, while the Chicago Manual serves as a reference for academic and professional titles, word breaks and most punctuation (a notable exception is the use of the comma in a simple series before the word “and,” which Chicago espouses and this guide does not).

This guide also incorporates a number of style rules from “Writing About Music: A Style Sheet from the Editors of 19th-Century Music” by UC Davis music professor D. Kern Holoman.

The dictionary of record for Strategic Communications is Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. It should be consulted for spelling and hyphenation and is the final authority on word breaks.

Audience composition, ease in usage and consistency were the factors that determined which style to follow.

For questions or comments, contact Dave Jones, editor, at 530-752-6556,