Quick Tips

Say Our Name

The preferred reference is the University of North Alabama. Subsequent references should be to the University, with capitalization indicate that the reference is to this specific institution. Do not capitalize University when it is used as a modifier (e.g.,university activities).


Capital Idea!

Board of Trustees

Capitalize the proper name of the governing body of the university. Use lower case for general references to the governing body or when used as a modifier. (e.g., the Board of Trustees, the board meeting)



Capitalize the name of university structures. Use lower case for general references to the structures. (e.g., Collier Library, the library)


Colleges, Cost Centers, Departments, and Offices

Capitalize the names of colleges, departments, and administrative cost centers or offices when the complete title is used. Use lower case for general references. (e.g., the Department of Biology, biology department)


Majors and Minors

Capitalize the word English and the name of any other language. Do not capitalize the titles of courses of study (names of majors).


Titles and Academic Ranks

Generally, capitalize formal titles when they appear before a person’s name, but lowercase titles if they are informal, appear without a person’s name, follow a person’s name or are set off before a name by commas. Also, lowercase adjectives that designate the status of a title. If a title is long, place it after the person’s name, or set it off with commas before the person’s name. 

A Question of Degrees

Capitalize the names of academic degrees when abbreviated or spelled out. The word degree is not capitalized. Use lower case for general references to degrees. (e.g. Education Specialist degree, master’s degree program, M.B.A.*)


Both bachelor’s degree and master’s degree are acceptable references for those respective academic degrees, but if the type of degree is pertinent to the story, be as specific as possible.


*Use periods in abbreviations of academic degrees, but do not use periods in acronyms and abbreviations of organizations, agencies, and other groups. (e.g., FBI, SGA, ACT)


Title Wave

Apply the following guidelines when writing titles:

  • Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters.
  • Capitalize an article—a, an, the—or a word of fewer than four letters if it is the first or last word in a title.
  • Italicize the titles of books, journals, magazines, movies, newspapers, operas, plays, long poems, collections of poetry, television series and works of art.
  • Use quote marks around the titles of articles or stories from within larger compilations; television episodes (either an individual show or an episodic title from a television series); shorter musical compositions or pieces from within a larger work; lectures; and shorter poems.


By the Numbers

  • Spell out numbers from one to nine used in the text.
  • Spell out numbers that begin sentences.
  • Use Arabic numerals in a sentence containing a series of numbers.
  • Use numerals with abbreviations or symbols in tables and charts.
  • Use numerals all in addresses, dates, decimals, fractions, measurements, ratios, scores and statistics, exact dollar amounts, page references, and hours of the day used with a.m. or p.m.
  • Use figures for the ages of people: the 5-year-old boy, or the students is 19 years old.
  • Treat percentages and amounts of money like other numbers.