The Texas A&M University at Galveston style guide follows The Texas A&M University System style guide thereby, using the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual, also available online, as its primary source for questions of written style. While there are numerous such publications, the AP stylebook is so extensively used by the media and other popular publications that it provides the most common reference and should be considered the default. Where the AP stylebook does not address a topic, we prefer The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed. or later), which is generally used in major publishing as well as in literary and scholarly works. Most dictionaries will suffice to address particular word usage, but the A&M System recommends Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed. or later).
As do many publications and institutions, The Texas A&M University System has unique and preferred usages that augment or are considered exceptions to AP style. The following A&M System Style Guide provides these variances, which should be followed by system members in order to provide consistency and accuracy in system publications, websites, correspondence, and other written works. Following the A&M System Style Guide are selected style points from the AP stylebook that are extracted here for your convenience because of their frequent use in academia.
If you have any other questions about system style, please feel free to contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at Texas A&M Galveston or the Texas A&M University System.
When referencing Texas A&M Galveston, use “Texas A&M University at Galveston” on first reference and “Texas A&M Galveston” on second reference. Do not put a space between the letters and the ampersand (i.e., A & M).
Do not use TAMUG in external publications.
Correct: Texas A&M University at Galveston or Texas A&M Galveston
Exception: TAMUG may be used internally on campus and is allowed in digital applications such as website URL’s and social media for hashtags (i.e. #TAMUG) and account names (i.e. @TAMUG).
To prevent confusion in publications for external audiences, always use “Texas A&M Galveston” on second reference, not just “university” alone.
In publications for internal audiences, the word “university” can be used alone on second reference. Lowercase “university” unless beginning a sentence.
Texas A&M Galveston employees involved in the project were elated.
They were proud that so many employees of the university could pull together on a single project.
TAMUG employees involved in the project were elated.
They were proud that so many employees of the University could pull together on a single project.
The website address for Texas A&M Galveston should always be listed as “tamug.edu” or “www.tamug.edu.”
Following is a “tagline” that can be used in whole or in part and added to the end of news releases or other documents:
Texas A&M University at Galveston is a special-purpose campus of Texas A&M University offering undergraduate and graduate programs under the name and authority of Texas A&M University. With a distinct identity in marine themes, Texas A&M Galveston is intimately connected to the land grant mission of Texas A&M University and, as such, its academic programs and research initiatives are linked to finding basic and applied solutions in maritime affairs, science and technology, and ocean studies. The institution is under the management and control of the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System. For more information, visit www.tamug.edu.
Uppercase a title when it comes before a name, but lowercase a title when it comes after a name.
Uppercase names of offices.
In general, do not use abbreviations or acronyms that the reader would not quickly recognize. Never abbreviate university, department or association.
Abbreviations of degrees, expressions of time and names of countries take periods with no space between the elements.
To prevent awkward line breaks, do not put a space between initials used as a first name.
Most abbreviations are spelled without periods: CFO, CIA. Add an “s” but no apostrophe to plural forms of abbreviations:
The first mention of organizations, firms, agencies, groups, etc., should be spelled out.
The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station is the engineering research agency of the State of Texas. TEES was established in 1914.
Readers may not be familiar with academic degrees. It usually is better to use a phrase instead of an abbreviation.
Use an apostrophe: bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and so on.
Uppercase: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, and so on.
Use abbreviations such as B.A., B.S., M.A., M.S. and Ph.D. (with no spaces between letters) only when needed to identify many individuals by degree on first reference or if usage would make the preferred form cumbersome. Spell out all others. Use these only after the person’s full name, and set the abbreviation off by commas.
Capitalize if referring to a specific department or other academic unit by its full proper name. Otherwise, use lower case.
Lowercase and spell out titles when not used with an individual’s name.
Capitalize and spell out when a title precedes a name.
Very long titles are more readable when placed after a name.
Adjunct refers to a temporary faculty appointment; lowercase.
Use the spelling that ends in –er (not advisor) unless the other spelling is part of an official title.
Always use figures.
Alumnus (alumni in the plural) refers to a man who has graduated from a school. Alumna (alumnae in the plural, but rarely used) refers to a woman who has graduated from a school. Alumni refers to a group of men and women.
In most cases, the less formal bachelor’s degree is preferred.
Capitalize official names; do not capitalize unofficial, informal, shortened or generic names. Do not capitalize in phrases such as the center, the institute or the recently renovated museum. Do not capitalize seasons or semesters (Spring Break is an exception). Do not capitalize the word university or system when it is not in the name.
Capital refers to the city; capitol refers to the building where the seat of government is housed. Capitalize when referring to the building. Capitol building is redundant.
Use chairman or chair in references to positions on the Board of Regents, even for female members.
When referring to an alumnus in text, include the last two digits of his or her class year after the name with an apostrophe. When referring to an alumnus with multiple degrees, list the degrees in the order in which they were received. When referring to a couple who are both alumni of the same university, include the last two digits of the class year with an apostrophe after each person’s name.
Do not use a comma before the and or other conjunctions in a series. Elsewhere, use commas only when the potential for confusion exists without them, such as complex sentences, or before the concluding conjunction of a series if one of the elements in the series contains a conjunction.
Capitalize the names of committees.
Use numerals to refer to credit hours.
When referring to month and year, add a comma after the year unless it ends the sentence. However, do not add a comma following the month unless a date is used. Similarly, when referring to both a city and state, add a comma after the state.
Use Dr. on first reference as a formal title before the name of an individual who holds a doctorate in a medical field of study.
If appropriate in the text, Dr. also may be used on first reference before the names of individuals who hold other types of doctoral degrees. Since most readers identify Dr. only with physicians, make sure that the individual’s specialty is mentioned in the first or second reference. Do not use Dr. on subsequent references, but rather, use the individual’s last name. Also, do not use Dr. before the names of people who hold only honorary degrees.
Use doctoral as an adjective and doctorate as a noun.
Put a space on both sides of the dash in all uses except the start of a paragraph.
Honorary title bestowed on select retired faculty members. Use emeritus when referring to men, and emerita for women. Emeritae is the plural feminine form; emeriti is plural for a group of men, or a group of men and women.
When used as a collective noun, faculty is singular.
Do not capitalize when spelled out. When abbreviated, capitalize and put a space between FY and the year.
Flags are lowered to half staff, not half mast.
Capitalize a person’s title when it precedes the name. Do not capitalize when it follows a name or stands by itself.
Do not hyphenate systemwide when referring to the A&M System. Similarly, do not hyphenate statewide or nationwide. Hyphenate if the word preceding –wide is capitalized.
Lowercase and hyphenate.
In most cases, use the full four digits. Occasionally, the use of only the last two digits is preferred. Do not use an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries (e.g., 1980s, the 1900s).
For more information about A&M branding as a whole please visit the Texas A&M University's Division of Marketing & Communications or the Texas A&M University System's Office of Marketing and Communications pages.