October 01, 2020

Editorial Style Guide


The UofSC Alumni Association Editorial Style Guide provides guidelines for copy created by the association for print and electronic media. The goal is to make it easier for staff and volunteers to solve common editorial problems, have consistency in communications and adhere to the university’s guidelines.  This guide follows AP style and pulls relevant content from the university’s editorial style guide. View the full university style guide by clicking the button below.


University of South Carolina

  • Use “University of South Carolina” on the first reference. Thereafter, use “South Carolina and “the university” to add variety. Do not use “USC.”"UofSC" is preferred in headlines, social media handles and contexts in which the formal and primary names are too long.
  • Lowercase the “t” when formally referring to the University of South Carolina.
  • References to “the university” or "university" should be lowercased. Capitalizing “University” is acceptable only in limited, highly formal communications to internal audiences.


UofSC Alumni Association

  • Formal mention: University of South Carolina Alumni Association
  • Primary mention:  UofSC Alumni Association
  • Short mention: UofSC Alumni (social and logo) and “alumni association” or “association” after the initial formal or primary mentions.

*By the university’s editorial standards, official names of colleges, departments, centers and associations are capitalized as proper nouns when their full name is used. However, subsequent, shortened references are not capitalized. 


Ampersand (&)

Do not use in place of the word “and.” The ampersand is acceptable in body copy as part of a proper name such as, Proctor & Gamble.


Alumnus, alumna, alumni, alumnae

  • “Alumnus” denotes one male graduate but can also be used as a neutral term for example in our “Black Alumnus Award,” “Young Alumnus Award," "Distinguished Alumnus Award," etc.
  • "Alumna” is one female graduate.
  • “Alumni” is the plural reference to a mixed gender group of graduates or to a group of male graduates.
  • “Alumnae” is a group of female graduates.
  • Avoid using “alum’” for slang.


Board of Governors

Refer to the “Board of Governors” on first reference and “the board” thereafter.


Degrees and referencing alumni

  • Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. Do not use an apostrophe when referring to a specific degree. Ex. “I have Master of Mass Communication.”
  • Use periods in two-letter abbreviations: B.A., M.A., M.S. Do not use periods in MBA, MSW, MPH.
  • Upon first reference of alumni, when applicable, list all UofSC degrees. The undergraduate degree is noted by year only.
  • Graduate and doctoral degrees should list year and degree earned.
  • Separate multiple class years with a comma.
  • Examples: Erin Huddleston '11, '18 M.S.E.M. l Chardonnay Ismail '16 l Haven Spanyer '19 M.Ed. 


Fields of study, major subjects, curricula

Lowercase unless a specific course is referenced. Exception: Languages like English. Ex: "I am studying journalism and my roommate is studying English."



Does not contain a hyphen.


Oxford comma

Avoid the Oxford comma in all cases except where it is absolutely necessary to establish clarity.


Pastides Alumni Center

  • Formal mention: Pastides Alumni Center at the University of South Carolina
  • Primary mention: Pastides Alumni Center
  • Short mention: alumni center or center (after a formal or primary mention). 



  • Always use periods in “a.m.” and “p.m.” (Ex: The event is from 9 a.m. - noon)
  • Use noon or midnight instead of 12 p.m. or 12 a.m.
  • Avoid the “00” in times. 

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