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Editorial Style Guide - D

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Darren B. Casey Athletic Administration Complex

Named in 2008 for Texas State alumnus and benefactor Darren Casey, this facility is located on the corner of Charles Austin and Aquarena Springs drives. It is the base office for Texas State Athletics. The facility houses the internal and external operations of the department, including facilities, athletic marketing, media relations, compliance, the Bobcat Club and the business office.


  • Use a hyphen to join compound nouns: mother-in-law. Also use a hyphen to join two words to avoid confusion: small-businessman but health care center. When two or more words modify a noun and precede that noun, use a hyphen to link them: a well-known actor, a full-time job. Exception: Do not use a hyphen when the compound modifier includes the word “very” or ends in “-ly”: a very big university, a highly qualified professor. Some combinations that are hyphenated before a noun are not hyphenated when they appear after a noun: he works full time. However, the hyphen usually must be retained when the modifier occurs after a form of the verb “to be”: he is well-known.
  • Hyphen (-) or en dash (–) : Use either a hyphen or an en dash (one or the other within a document or suite of documents) to separate ranges of items, such as times, dates or quantities. (To make an en dash: In Microsoft Word, select Insert and then Symbol. Then choose Special Characters. Select en dash and Insert. On Mac keyboards, type option+dash to create an en dash.) Examples: There will be 30-50 people there. The event runs October 10–15. 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. (include a space before and after the hyphen or en dash in ranges of times). But if you use “from,” follow it with “to” rather than a dash: Check-in is from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • em dash (—): Use in place of commas to set off a section of the sentence that requires special emphasis. Place one space before and after the em dash. (In Microsoft Word, select Insert and then Symbol. Then choose Special Characters. Select em dash and Insert. On Mac keyboards, type option+shift+dash to create an em dash.) Example: The em-dash — a very important typographical element — should not be overused.


  • Year alone: Years are expressed in numerals unless they begin the sentence: The year is 2013. Two thousand and eight was an important year. While the latter optional is acceptable, it is preferable to rewrite the sentence so the year can be expressed in numerals.
  • Year abbreviated: In informal contexts, the first two digits of a year can be replaced by an apostrophe (not an opening single quotation mark): the class of ’58 (not ‘58).
  • Academic year or ranges of years: Use 2007-08 or 2007-2008, but be consistent with the style you choose within your document or suite of documents.
  • Centuries: Lowercase and spell out numbers less than 10: the first century; the 19th century. For proper names, capitalize and/or follow the organization’s practice: Century 21 Realty; Twentieth Century Fund. Hyphenate only when the century forms a compound modifier: 18th-century architecture.
  • Decades: Use numerals to indicate decades of history. Use an apostrophe to indicate numerals that are left out; show plural by adding the letter s: the 1990s (not 1990’s); the Roaring ’20s.
  • Month and day: In most university communications, spell out the names of all months. Periodicals that follow AP style may choose to abbreviate the names of months when used with dates. Whether you abbreviate the names of months or not, be consistent throughout your document or suite of documents. Never add “nd,” “st” or “th” to a date: Classes start August 20.
  • Month, day and year: Separate the date and year with a comma: September 1, 2008, or Sept. 1, 2008. Do not add “nd,” “st” or “th” to the date. When a date appears in the middle of a sentence, follow the year with a comma: July 4, 1776, is Independence Day.
  • Month and year: Spell out the name of the month and do not include commas. Example: October 2008. 

daylight saving time  

Not daylight savings time. No “s” at the end of “saving” and no caps.

days of the week

Capitalize them and do not abbreviate, except when needed in tabular material. Tabular format is the first three letters: Mon, Tue, Wed; no periods. See also dates.


Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name: Dean Jane Smith. Lowercase otherwise: Jane Smith, dean of the McCoy College of Business Administration. See also academic titles.

dean’s list

Should always be lowercased when used in a sentence.


Use numerals to indicate decades of history. Use an apostrophe to indicate numerals that are left out; show plural by adding the letter s: the 1950s, the '70s, the Roaring ’20s. See dates.

degrees, academic

See academic degrees.

Den, the

Located on the first floor of the Academic Services Building South, the Den is a food-court-style dining hall.

departments, academic

Capitalize names of academic departments when using the formal name (Department of Biology). Usage of the formal name is preferred, but if the order of the words in the formal name must be reversed, drop the “of” and retain the capitalization (the Biology Department). Lowercase, except for words that are proper nouns or adjectives, when referring to departments in a general way: one of the best biology departments; the English department. Formal names of Texas State University departments:

  • Department of Accounting
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Anthropology
  • School of Art and Design
  • Department of Biology
  • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Department of Communication Disorders
  • Department of Communication Studies
  • Department of Computer Information Systems and Quantitative Methods
  • Department of Computer Science
  • School of Criminal Justice
  • Department of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Department of Educational Administration and Psychological Services
  • Department of English
  • Ingram School of Engineering* (NEVER the Bruce and Gloria Ingram School of Engineering)
  • School of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Department of Finance and Economics
  • Department of Geography
  • School of Health Administration
  • Department of Health and Human Performance
  • Department of Health Services Research
  • Department of History
  • School of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Department of Management
  • Department of Marketing
  • Department of Mathematics
  • Department of Modern Languages
  • School of Music
  • Department of Philosophy
  • Department of Physical Therapy
  • Department of Physics
  • Department of Political Science
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Respiratory Care
  • School of Social Work
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Engineering Technology
  • Department of Theatre and Dance (note the -re spelling)


departments, nonacademic

Capitalize names of administrative and other departmental offices at Texas State when using the formal name (Office of University Marketing). Lowercase “office” when not using the formal name: The marketing office publishes these guidelines. Formal names of offices at Texas State University-San Marcos include:

  • Audit and Compliance
  • Auxiliary Services
  • Bobcat Club
  • Budget Office
  • Campus Recreation
  • Career Services
  • Center for Professional Excellence
  • Counseling Center
  • Department of Housing and Residential Life (DHRL on second reference)
  • Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • General Accounting Office
  • Human Resources
  • Instructional Technologies Support
  • International Office
  • LBJ Student Center
  • Materials Management Department
  • Office of Athletic Academic Services
  • Office of Community Relations
  • Office of Continuing Education
  • Office of the Dean of Students
  • Office of Disability Services
  • Office of Distance and Extended Learning
  • Office of Equity and Access
  • Office of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction
  • Office of Institutional Research
  • Office of Migrant Education (OME)
  • Office of Multicultural Student Affairs
  • Office of the President
  • Office of Professional Development
  • Office of Sponsored Programs
  • Office of Undergraduate Admissions
  • Office of University Marketing
  • Parking Services
  • Payroll Office
  • Purchasing Office
  • Registrar’s Office
  • Student Business Services
  • Student Health Center
  • Technology Resources
  • Texas State Alumni Association
  • Texas State Athletics
  • Texas State Parents Association
  • Travel Office
  • University News Service
  • University Planning and Assessment
  • University Police Department


different from

Not different than.


Use numerals and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc. Hyphenate adjectival forms before nouns: the 17-foot-long trailer. The trailer was 17 feet long. The suspect was about 5 feet 6 inches tall. the 5-foot-6-inch man.

dining hall

Avoid “cafeteria.” Use “dining hall” (lowercased) or name the hall specifically: Commons Dining Hall, Harris Dining Hall, Jones Food Court, the Lair Food Court and the Den.


When writing directions to campus, abbreviate Interstate 35 as IH-35. Capitalize Exit and do not use # or number. Example: From IH-35 take Exit 206.

Lowercase east, west, north or south when used as a directional reference: Go south for the winter. Capitalize for a region: Central Texas, the West Coast, the Rio Grande Valley.


See titles.


People are disabled, not handicapped, and buildings that accommodate them are accessible. Avoid constructions such as “the disabled.” “People with disabilities” is better.


not disassociate

disciplines, academic

Do not capitalize the names of academic disciplines or major or minor areas of study, except those derived from proper nouns. When the name of the discipline is used as part of a title, such as that of a department, capitalization is necessary, but don’t use it when speaking of the discipline in general terms: I studied American history and English at Yale; Graduate students in biology must complete six hours of thesis or nonthesis research. Following are instructions for applying to the doctoral program in physical therapy.


The administration of Texas State University is divided into several divisions. Capitalize the names of these divisions, which include:

  • Academic Affairs
  • Finance and Support Services
  • Information Technology
  • Student Affairs
  • University Advancement


Avoid this term; residence hall is the preferred term for on-campus university housing.



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