Writing Style Guide
The following guidelines apply to UTSA Libraries promotional/editorial written materials, including website text.
UTSA Libraries locations & areas
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Should be written out on first mention. UTSA or university acceptable on second reference.
The University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries
Should be written out on first mention (UTSA Libraries is acceptable for internal purposes). Upon second reference, libraries is acceptable. Avoid UTSA Library.
UTSA Libraries locations
Applied Engineering and Technology Library — AET Library acceptable on second reference.
Downtown Library — DTL acceptable on second reference. Avoid Downtown Campus Library.
John Peace Library — JPL acceptable on second reference.
Special Collections — UTSA Libraries Special Collections preferred on first mention. Avoid apostrophe, for example UTSA Libraries’ Special Collections.
Institute of Texan Cultures Reading Room — ITC Reading Room and Reading Room acceptable on second reference.
John Peace Library Reading Room — JPL Reading Room and Reading Room acceptable on second reference.
UTSA Libraries departments
Collections and Curriculum Support
Metadata and Collection Support
Office of the Dean
Teaching and Learning Center
John Peace Library areas
African American Reading Room/Graduate Group Study Room
Graduate Study Room/s
Information and Technology Support Desk
Media Viewing Room
Quiet Computing Room
Special Collections Reading Room
South Commons (Tomás Rivera Center)
Tutoring Services and Supplemental Instruction/Q Lab
Applied Engineering & Technology Library areas
Study Room A
Study Room B
Study Room C
Downtown Library areas
Institute of Texan Cultures
Air Rowdy — official name of campus wireless internet network
Blue Crew — nickname for staff
Get It For Me — no longer called E-Delivery, Interlibrary Loan or Book Pulling Services
Library Quick Search
Quick Print Stations
TexShare Card — not Texshare
Always capitalize, do not use italics or quotations. Link text to publication online whenever possible.
Glimpse — name of donor and friends of the Libraries e-newsletter
La Cocina Histórica — name of blog featuring the Mexican Cookbook Collection
The Grapevine — name of internal e-newsletter
The Top Shelf — name of blog featuring the UTSA Libraries Special Collections
Common Library Terms
Academic degrees — avoid abbreviation, doctorate of psychology. Use apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, etc.
No possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science.
Use B.A., M.A. LL.A. and Ph.D. only after a full name, John Doe, Ph.D.
Avoid stating title before the name; instead use title after the name and use lower case letters, Krisellen Maloney, dean of UTSA Libraries. For internal communications (such as The Grapevine), the title may be capitalized.
Academic departments — use lowercase, department of history or department of English, except in proper nouns, and official or formal names: The University of Texas at San Antonio Department of Mathematics.
Best-seller — hyphenated in all uses.
Building — Never abbreviate. Capitalize when used with a proper noun, and official or formal names, Buena Vista Building, Durango Building.
Cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellati on
Catalog, cataloged, cataloger, cataloging, catalogist
CD — CD acceptable on all references.
Check-in (noun or adjective), check in (verb)
Composition titles — Capitalize first letters in words, including articles – the, a, an. Put quotation marks around all works except the Bible and books that are primarily catalogs of reference material, such as almanacs, article titles, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, gazetteers, handbooks, journal titles and similar publications.
Apply to book titles, computer game titles, movie titles, opera titles, play titles, poem titles, album and song titles, radio and television program titles and titles of lectures, speeches and works of art.
“Of Mice and Men,” “Drive,” “Gone With the Wind,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second Edition.
Database — not data base
Disc, Disk — optical laser-based devices: Blu-Ray Disc. Use disk for computer-related reference: computer disk.
DVD — DVD acceptable on all references.
DVR — Digital video recorder. DVR acceptable on second reference.
e-book, e-reader, e-journal — Use hyphen with other e- terms.
Email — Email acceptable on all references, not e-mail.
Entitled — Avoid using entitled, instead use titled. The book was titled, “Of Mice and Men.”
Fax — Fax preferable on all references.
GIF — Graphics Interchange Format, a compression format for images.
Google, Googling, Googled
Guest — Library users who are not currently enrolled students, faculty, or staff. Community guests are sometimes referred to community borrowing members who are from the Community Borrowing Program
Headlines — Only first letters of words and proper nouns are capitalized.
HTTP — Lowercase in Web addresses.
iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone, iPod — Use IPad, IPad Mini, IPhone, IPod when it is the first word in a sentence.
JPEG, JPG — Joint Photographic Experts Group
Web — Used as short term of website. Capitalize Web when used alone or separate with other words, the Web and Web page
Website — not Web site
ABBREVIATIONS & ACRONYMS
Some well known abbreviations and acronyms can stand alone (such as FBI), but when using abbreviations specific to the Libraries be sure to write it in full on first reference and follow with abbreviation in parentheses. Abbreviation acceptable on second reference.
Capitalize name of proper collections (Mexican Cookbook Collection)
Date & Time
Always write time, day of the week, date — for example: 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 1.
Time — never use :00 (12:00) on the hour — for example: 12 p.m.
a.m. or p.m. — always use lowercase and use periods with a space between the hour and designation. When there are two times and they are both in the am or pm range, use the time designation only once - for example: 1 - 3 p.m.
Months — abbreviate months when used with date (Sept. 1). Write out months when used with year (September 2001)
Day of the week — never abbreviate
Year — year is not necessary if the date pertains to the current year. Only use year for previous years (July 3, 2012).
All library phone numbers should be formatted with the area code in parenthesis: (210) 458-7506.
Links & URLs
When possible, always attempt to hyperlink appropriate terms/content. Avoid including http:// in URLs.
No comma is needed before the coordinating conjunction (and, or, etc.) in a simple series — for example: I ate toast, eggs and bacon.
Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series, however, if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction: I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.
Use a comma also before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases: The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude.
The UTSA Libraries Communications Department uses The Associated Press Stylebook and the UTSA Writing Style Guide when writing articles for our website and other publications but will use other styles when deemed necessary for alternative formats, such as signage and promotional materials.