QUMedia Style & Reference Guide

Updated Fall 2022

This guide for QUMedia editors and reporters provides the spelling, usage and brief descriptions of many local places, organizations, programs and events. If what you are looking for is not in this style guide, QUMedia follows style and spelling rules in this order: QUMedia Style & Reference Guide, The Associated Press Stylebook, The QU Editorial Style Guide, and Webster’s New World College Dictionary.

See “Q” for graphics style for QUTV on-air graphics.

If an entry is not defined, it applies to all references. Examples are marked:  and .


academic degrees Do not capitalize formal names of academic degrees in general text: bachelor of science, bachelor of arts, masters of business administration, etc. Casual reference to degrees requires an apostrophe: He has a bachelor’s degree, but his sister has a master’s degree. But there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science when referring to specific degrees and using formal titles. Degrees abbreviated do not need periods unless they are required for consistency or clarity. BA, BS, MBA, JD, PhD, M.Ed., D.M.A. When referring to someone who has earned a medical or doctoral degree, do not use Dr. preceding the name except in quotations. Instead, use commas after the name to offset the degree. Julie Smith, PhD, is a specialist in biochemistry. Frank Miller, M.D., is planning to attend the banquet.

academic programs
Capitalize when used with program. Environmental Studies Program, Teacher Education Program, Business Analytics Program. Lowercase when used alone. She is taking business analytics in the fall. He is developing the curriculum for the new Business Analytics Program.

accent marks When possible, include accent marks in proper names and in words where the dictionary recommends them. QU style for the nickname of the cafeteria is The Café. Seeing the statue gave her a sense of déjà vu. Let’s go to The Café for lunch.

Do not capitalize except when part of a title:
The administration plans to conduct an investigation.
Sam Smith, the vice president for administration, will speak today.
This usage refers to the administration as a whole, not as a specific department.
However: Teresa Reed, vice president of Academic Affairs, will make her report today. This refers to a specific administrative office, so uppercase.

Never uppercase, even as part of a title.

Never advisor. Think of your adviser as someone you go to for help, like the ER of a hospital. AdvisER.

alumna single female graduate

alumnae plural female graduates.

alumnus single male graduate

alumni plural male graduates and plural gender neutral graduates

alum single graduate, gender neutral

alums plural graduates, gender neutral

Athletics Department
Always plural. Use Athletics, Athletics Department or the department in most references.
Use the department’s full name, Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, only in formal or legal contexts.
For sports that are not affiliated with the department, see intramurals.

Avoid this vague and somewhat ambiguous legalistic term whenever possible. For example, at a flea market use shoppers instead of attendees; at a sports event, use fans or spectators.


Board of Trustees
Capitalize Board of Trustees when it refers to the QU governing organization, but lowercase board when it stands alone. Trustee Del Mitchell serves as president of the board. As a trustee, Mitchell serves the Quincy University Board of Trustees.

Brenner Library The building just south of Francis Hall. The SSC is in the basement.

Buildings (and locations) Use full names with capitalization on first reference. On subsequent references, some building names may be shortened, but when used with a proper noun, maintain capitalization. Do not capitalize hall, building, center, house, tower or auditorium when used without a proper noun. Building names can be shortened when the audience is familiar with the QU campus. Use names as they appear on the university online map. Common use nicknames in subsequent mentions are listed after the comma.

Brenner Library

Campus Ministry House

Connie Niemann Center for Music Performance

Francis Hall

Franciscan Retreat Center

Friars’ Field

Friars’ Hall

J.Kenneth Nesbit Student Success Center, SSC

John ‘Pete’ Brown Mock Trial Courtroom, Mock Trial Courtroom

Fr. Lucien Trouy Garden

Health & Fitness Center, HFC (west half of HFC includes weight room, pool, track, three court area)

Holy Cross Friary


Legends Stadium

Mart Heinen Softball Complex

MacHugh Theatre, MacHugh

Memorial Gymnasium (east half of HFC and includes Hall of Fame Room and Pepsi Arena)

North Campus

Padua Hall, Pad

Penny Lane

Prairie Rain Garden

President’s House

QU Stadium, The Rock (baseball, football, lacrosse)

Quincy Media Inc. Broadcast Studio, QUTV

Stations of the Cross Garden

Student Center (“The Cafe“, bookstore, Hawk’s Nest)

St. Francis Solanus Chapel, The Chapel

Student Living Center, SLC


cabinet Captialize when using a complete title. Lowercase when used alone. The President’s Cabinet makes administrative decisions. Mark Strieker is attending a cabinet meeting.

The Cafe The name of the dining hall inside the Student Center. The Cafeteria is preferred on first mention, then The Cafe is allowed on subsequent mentions. Spelled with both captial T and C signifying a common usage term.

captions (photo) All photos should have captions and credit lines; all photo illustrations need credit lines but may not need captions.
Captions should usually be written in the present tense, but file photos should be written in the past tense.
News photo captions should fulfill four important attributes:
• It fills in this sentence: “This is a photo of…”
• Does not describe what readers can plainly see for themselves.
• Does not assume that the reader has seen the headline or the article.
• The caption facts match the facts in the article.
A Quincy resident waits to speak at the city council meeting. How do we know it’s a Quincy resident? Who is it? What did he say? When was the meeting? A cannabis sales opponent, Mario Garcia of Quincy, waiting to speak at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

File photo captions should avoid the term “file photo” and fulfill the requirements of a normal news photo caption with this added detail: clearly state when the photo was taken and, if necessary, the circumstances. The older the photo, usually the less specific the timeframe and details. The timing should be gracefully woven into the caption:
Tom Smith, shown here batting against William Jewell on April 3, 1998, has been inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
Tom Smith, seen here in 1998, has been inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Hawks celebrating moments after winning their 2004 national championship at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
The northeast parking structure, seen on October 5, is nearing completion.
Photo illustration captions, if used, will often convey the concept of the article, rather than explain exactly what the image shows. If not obviously a photo illustration, explain how the image differs from reality or consider modifying the illustration to avoid confusing readers.

Campus Safety & Security Office

chapel St. Francis Solanus Chapel, the QU Chapel

Chartwells Not Chartwell’s, the third-party vendor that provides food service in the cafeteria and catering services on campus.

classes Specific class titles are capitalized. Otherwise, they are lowercase. Refer to classes by name, not catalogue number.
He was enrolled in Biology of Human Sexuality.
He failed biology.

class level
Always lowercase: freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate student.

class numbers
To avoid confusion, do not use class numbers except in direct quotes. If a class number is used, the three-letter department abbreviation is all uppercased: COM 368.

Never capitalize; it is a job description, not a formal title.
Student Life coordinator Stuart Little.
Stuart Little, Student Life coordinator.
Stuart Little was named coordinator of Student Life.

Corrections must be clearly marked online. If a major correction or story retraction, run it with the same prominence as the original article.
Corrections should contain four elements: When the error occurred, where it occurred, how it occurred, and the correct information. Often it is not necessary to repeat the erroneous information, and sometimes it is clearer if some of the correct information is restated. Corrections should not leave readers more baffled than before.
Do not add expressions of contrition, such as “QUMedia regrets the error”; we assume that our readers know that QUMedia does not like to commit errors.
Because of an editing error in a web sports photo caption on March 1, the date of Quincy University’s final softball game of the current season was misstated. The game is scheduled for May 13.
A Nov. 4 article titled “Self-defense classes to be offered” gave incorrect times for the classes. An outdated email provided to a reporter stated the correct dates but the wrong times. All classes will be held at noon on Nov. 10, 15 and 20, in the Student Success Center.
Because of an audio transcription error in an April 28 web article titled “New Baseball Coach Named,” the new coach was misquoted. He said “I plan to recruit as many left-handed pitchers as I can find,” not left-handed coaches.
An Oct. 8 print edition article titled “QU Budget Approved” misstated the amount of money to be spent by QU on advertising. An editing error omitted a zero; the amount is $140,000, not $14,000.

Capitalized. See Associated Press Stylebook entry coronaviruses, and the updated document.

cross country
Never X-country.

cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude

Cupertine Hall Used to be a Franciscan printing press. Just north of Francis Hall. Used for storage.


Capitalize when used as a title before a name; lowercase when used after a name.
Cynthia Haliemun, dean of the Oakley School of Business.
Dean Cynthia Haliemun of the Oakley School of Business.

The first example is preferred.
Never use “Oakley School of Business Dean Cynthia Haliemun.” The lengthy title is too cumbersome to use before the name.

dean’s list
the list in subsequent references.

degrees (academic)
See Ph.D.
Also see AP Stylebook academic degrees entry.

delta variant
On all references to one of the variants that causes COVID-19.

Always capitalize after the name of a specific department; lowercase when standing alone.
The Biology Department or the department; never the Department of Biology. Department of Art, Department of Communication, Department of Music etc. Office of the President Office for Academic Affairs Office of Admissions Office of Business and Finance Office of Financial Services Office for Intercollegiate Athletics Office for Mission and Ministry Office of the Registrar Office of University Advancement School of Fine Arts and Communication School of Science and Technology School of Humanities The Oakley School of Business School of Education and Human Services

dais, lectern, podium, pulpit, rostrum
A speaker stands behind a lectern; on a podium, dais or rostrum; and in the pulpit.

direct messages
messages in subsequent references to the social media term. Avoid using the shorthand DM.

Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name; lowercase after the name.
Athletics Director Josh Rabe, or Josh Rabe, director of the Athletics Department.

The proper euphemism is residence halls. See residence halls. Use dorms only in quotes.


elections See AP Style Election Guide

emeritus, emeriti; emerita, emeritae
Longtime or distinguished retired faculty members can be given emeritus status, which allows them to retain their title and quincy.edu email address. For a woman, if she prefers, use emerita, the feminine plural is emeritae. For a man, the singular is emeritus, the masculine plural is emeriti. The plural emeriti can be used for a group of men or a group of men and women.

emoticon; emoji
Emoticons are expressive faces made from several typed characters, such as 🙂
Emojis are ideograms and logos that are single characters within an internationally standardized set of letters and other symbols known as Unicode, such as 😀
Use sparingly, if at all, in news articles – even in direct quotes.
Editors should be aware that the set of emoji installed on PCs, Macintoshes, iPhone and Android devices varies, and not all characters can be seen on all devices. Also, the appearance of an emoji may vary considerably between devices.
In print, emoji appearing on black and white pages may not reproduce accurately.

emphasis (the educational speciality)
Never capitalized. Do not use sequence.
Doug Willis, a senior with an emphasis in journalism.

Always capitalize.

Terms and preferences are constantly changing.
For the latest guidance, always check the online Associated Press Stylebook entry for race-related coverage.
Here are a few of the most common references used in QUMedia:


Avoid this shorthand for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. If used in a direct quote or proper name, explain its meaning. Similarly, API (Asian/Pacific American) should be avoided or explained.

American Indian; Native American

Always uppercase.


Uppercase. Avoid euphemisms such as African American, unless part of a group’s name or in a direct quote.

Latina; Latino; Latinx

Always capitalize: Latino for males and Latina for females. Associated Press provides this guidance for Latinx: “Some prefer the recently coined gender-neutral term Latinx, which should be confined to quotations, names of organizations or descriptions of individuals who request it,” and it should be accompanied by a short explanation:

José Hernandez prefers the gender-neutral term Latinx.


Acceptable if the subject is of Spanish heritage. Chicano only if preferred by a source.


If referring to a female, use Filipina. Note country spelling: Philippines.


On first reference, explain that it means Southwest Asia and North Africa. Outside the United States, the geographic area is more commonly known as MENA (Middle East and North Africa).

Extended Education
Do not use the obsolete Continuing Education.

extracurricular no hyphen


facilities management The third-party vendor responsible for maintenance of QU facilities is National Management Resources, National on second reference. Students are familiar with this entity when they file a “work order” to fix something in their residence halls.

fall semester Lowercase except when used as a proper noun designating a specific semester. Introduction to computers is offered fall semester only. The Pharmacy program enrolled its first class in Fall 2024.

See misinformation.

false range
A from…to sentence construction that uses dissimilar extremes to create a false sense of mutual relationship. It is a type imprecise writing that reflects a lack of care for details and conveys little (if any) information.
Speakers ranged from Quincy University students to JWCC staff.
Clothing styles ranged from very old to the latest trends.
During the tournament, temperatures soared from below freezing to nearly 100 degrees.
Guests ran the gamut from politicians to sports figures.
Instead of using a false range, give examples:
Guests included politicians, actors and sports figures.

false possessives
According to The Apostrophe Guide: “These can generally be found where a noun ending in s has actually taken on a descriptive, adjectival role, but the s confuses the writer into thinking an apostrophe should be applied.”
The rule: No apostrophe if a word or name is more descriptive than possessive, except for plurals not ending in s. This rule frequently applies to team names:
Hawks’ pitcher Jay Hammel hit two home runs and scored four times.
Hawk’s pitcher Jay Hammel hit two home runs and scored four times.
Hawks pitcher Jay Hammel hit two home runs and scored four times. One exception is the Hawk’s Nest. The university uses a possessive in the title of the one campus bar.
But it also applies to non-sports and lowercase contexts, such as visitors center and television directors workshop.

false titles
A description or job designation with someone’s name as if it were a formal title, often in uppercase, such as Singer Lady Gaga.
One test for this is easy: Would you walk up to Joe Biden and say “Hello, President Biden”? Sure, so president of the United States is not a false title.
How about walking up to Lady Gaga and saying “Hello, Singer Lady Gaga”? Nope — “Singer” is a false title, whether upper- or lowercase. It’s a job description — a common noun phrase — not an actual title.
If a title is false, you have a few possible solutions:
• Lowercase and add “the“: the singer Lady Gaga said…
• Lowercase and reorder: Lady Gaga, the singer, said…
• Assume everyone knows the name: Lady Gaga said…
• Or add subtlety (and words): One famous pop singer, Lady Gaga, said…
In any case, sports reporters get an exemption on false titles, as long as it’s lowercase:
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was traded to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Financial Aid
Never use with “office.”

Francis Hall

The largest building on Main Campus at QU. It houses offices and classrooms. It is known by the tower on the 5th floor. The abbreviation FRH is used on student course schedules and some handbooks.

On all references never “frat”. QU used to have one fraternity, Delta Tau Delta, but they lost their charter and are no longer allowed on campus. Use full name except in quotations where casual reference is allowed. Use “the fraternity” on subsequent references.

The members of Delta Tau Delta raised awareness of the homeless situation by spending the night in cardboard boxes. The fraternity donated funds raised to Horizons Soup Kitchen.

Friary, Holy Cross see Holy Cross Friary

freshman; freshmen
An undergraduate student who has completed less than 23.9 credit hours.


grade-point average
Use when not preceded by a figure. Use GPA when preceded by a figure.
He has a 3.6 GPA.
His grade-point average suffered while he worked full time.

graduate student
Grad student in subsequent references. A student who is pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree.

Greek Row A section of Quincy University owned housing reserved for students who belong to Panhellenic organizations located north of the cafeteria along 18th Street.


Hawks Hangout Weight Room

Located south of Padua Hall and West of Friar’s Hall on 18th Street, the weight room is used by all athletes on campus. It includes weight machines, free weights, and agility equipment. First reference: Hawks Hangout Weight Room, second reference: the Hawks weight room. The weight room in HFC should be stated as such.

Web and social media headlines should be roughly five to seven words unless there is good reason for fewer or more. This is because search engines respond best to direct, brief headlines.
Headlines do not need to be grammatically complete sentences of conversational English, but they should not contain grammatical, punctuation or spelling errors.
Avoid blind heds; the classic example is Group meets, makes plans, which could be anything from the soccer club deciding to buy a new ball to Congress declaring war on Russia. Specificity in headlines supports clarity.
Police announce policy change
Campus police to avoid arresting skateboarders
Avoid past tense or dates in headlines and decks, which makes the article look out of date.
GSA met Tuesday to discuss funding proposal
GSA discusses fee increase, but no decision yet

The headline, lede, photo captions, news graphics and premise of the article all need to agree.
Puns in headlines should be rare, not mock personal names, and not be obvious. See puns.
Tom Ford runs out of gas in 7th inning
Think outside the box. Creative headlines need not be explicit: After the Cleveland Browns NFL team moved to Maryland, it took them a while to pick a new name. When they did, this was the brilliant and literate New York Times pun: Quoth the Ravens, Baltimore.
Usually a direct hed is best for major events: Stock market crashes. But in the hands of the show business newspaper Daily Variety, the same event got a clever show business twist: Wall St. Lays an Egg.
Here are some great headlines from QUMedia.net:
Shuttle on time but schedule spurs students to seek alternative rides
Textbook delays continue
QU students open up about the benefits of on-campus counseling
Salvation Army red kettle campaign doubles as service-learning opportunity

Sometimes a semicolon is needed when two (or three) equally important points need to be made in the main headline:
Stolen bikes and rusty racks; ways to voice concerns

Hawks; The Hawk (QU mascot)
Always plural as the team name, since it is a collective noun. Be wary of false possessives.
Exception: Hawk men and Hawk women are OK to avoid the double plural. The Hawk’s real name is Victor E. Hawk. It is a tradition for the mascot’s identity to be kept a secret from the student body. The Franciscans chose the hawk as Quincy College’s mascot because of its brown wings and white head which reflected the school colors. The Hawk also represents vision, strength, courage, and decisiveness.
The Hawks’ softball star will graduate in May.
The Hawk’s softball star will graduate in May.
The Hawk softball star will graduate in May.

The Hawk referring to the mascot dressed as a Hawk is singular, unless using possession. The Hawk appeared in Pepsi Arena to cheer on the team The Hawk’s presence was a boost to incoming freshman. The Hawks’ mascot walked in the Homecoming Parade. The Hawk walked in the Homecoming Parade.

Health and Fitness Center
A building on Main Campus that houses athletic offices, the aquatic center, Pepsi Arena, the three-court area, the Hall of Fame room, weight room, indoor running track, handball courts. HFC is allowed on second and subsequent references.

high schools
Always specify the city, since some high school names (such as University and Centennial) are duplicated. High schools affiliated with universities may have confusing names requiring explanation, such as University of San Diego High School.
Never use the sports reporting shorthand of city name plus school name, even in sports articles:
He graduated from Quincy Senior High School in 2018. She attended St. Louis University High School last year.
He graduated from Quincy’s Senior High School in 2018. She graduated from Senior High last year.

Holy Cross Friary Located at 724 North 20th in Quincy, this is the home of Franciscan Friars in Adams County. Some Friars work at QU in administration, ministry, or teaching.

Homecoming Capitalize when referring to QU’s fall event, QU Homecoming 2022. Lowercase references to homecoming ceremonies at other schools and universities.

Honors Capitalize Honors when used to describe students in the QU Honors Program. Capitalize when used to describe projects prepared for the program, and classes offered under the program. Lowercase when if refers to departmental achievements. Cheryl, who is an Honors student, takes a demanding course load. Sarah Smith earned honors in biology.

House System, the A system by which each student is assigned to a “house” to allow students to create new relationships and belong to a common community for academic and personal support. Started in 2020, the program is designed to transform the student experience. All undergraduates will be assigned a house by 2023. Each house will host recreational and service activities and there will be competitions between the houses.

The Padberg House named after Mary Josephine Padberg (Sullivan), the first woman hired to teach at QU.

The Brinkman House named after Fr. Gabriel Brinkman, OFM, who served as a faculty member and president.

The Cavallo House named after Edythe Cavallo (Curtright), the first dean of women at QU.

The Lyke House named after Archbishop James Lyke, OFM, who educated the church on Black heritage.

The Mueller House named after Fr. Anselm Mueller, OFM, the third university president.

The Tolton House named after the first Black American priest in the U.S., and a QU alumnus.

The Bliss House named after Elizabeth Anne Bliss (Houlihan) who volunteered for charitable organizations in Galesburg and Knox County.


Avoid this hackneyed word in its meaning as “someone or something regarded as embodying the essential characteristics of an era, group, etc.”
If you need to tell readers that something is iconic, it probably isn’t. If it really is iconic (such as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris) then you don’t need to say so. The word is now trite, having been overused to the point of being meaningless.

image credits
All images — photos, photo illustrations and illustrations — must carry a credit line, and videos must have embedded credits:
Staff photos require a credit written as ([photographer’s name] / QUMedia).
(Chloe Nott / QUMedia)
Non-staff photos require a credit written as ([photographer’s name] / [name of agency]).
(Librado Romero / The New York Times) (Dalton Overstreet / submitted photo)
Freelance photos require a credit written as ([photographer’s name]). Note: Never preface credits with “courtesy of”
(Ansel Adams)
photo illustrations
Staff photo illustrations require a credit written as (Photo illustration by [photographer’s name] / QUMedia).
(Photo illustration by Micah Wheeler/ QUMedia)
Staff dual credit line photo illustrations require a credit written as (Photo illustration by [photographer’s name] and [artist’s name] / QUMedia).
(Photo illustration by Sam Huff and Noah Gershman/ QUMedia)
illustrations and news graphics
Staff illustrations require a credit written as ([illustrator’s name] / QUMedia).
(Taryn Sargent / QUMedia)
Credits for videos should be embedded within the video. Assign credit based only on the contributions of those involved; anyone acting in a purely administrative oversight role should not be credited.
Anyone acting as a reporter should be credited as such, either as a title superimposed during a standup or as a card at the end of the video — not both (though a traditional spoken outcue is OK). Anyone involved in shooting video should be credited as videographer. Most everyone else should be credit as a producer or editor. Avoid creating special job titles or overly long credit crawlers.
Multimedia editors should ensure that the designs and wording for logos, chyrons and cards are consistent throughout the semester. (see QUTV Xpression graphics)

Occasionally a non-staff image will have a special mandatory creditline that QUMedia is contractually obligated to use. Place the required wording in parenthesis:
(Photo by David K. Li, ©2021 NBC News; used with permission)
(©2020 Paramount Pictures Corp., all rights reserved)
Government images in the public domain (such as taken by CSUF or the Navy) generally take the non-staff creditline style if the name of the photographer is known. Otherwise, simply put the name of the agency in parenthesis:
(Staff Sgt. Mary Quon / U.S. Army)
(Illinois State Police)
If an image is used from the internet, discuss its provenance, legal status, potential usage and credit with the editor-in-chief. No amount of creative creditline writing or image editing can negate a copyright violation.

Information Technology Services
IT in subsequent references. The help desk can also be used if referring to how students access IT services.

Never capitalized except in historic references. Refer to the AP Stylebook for other computer-related terms.


irony; ironic; ironically
Avoid these overused terms except in direct quotes. Two or more events that coincide are usually not ironic, merely coincidental.
The New York Times stylebook says: “irony, in precise usage, is a restrained form of sarcasm in which the intent of a phrase differs from its literal meaning, often for rhetorical effect (His brilliant plan nearly bankrupted the company). The looser use of irony and ironically, to mean an incongruous turn of events, is trite. Not every coincidence, curiosity, oddity and paradox is an irony, even loosely.”
Before using irony in QUMedia, check the dictionary definition and consider if your instance is mere coincidence.


A federal holiday, passed in 2021, marking the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865. Slavery was abolished nationwide with the proclamation of the 13th Amendment on Dec. 18, 1865.

An undergraduate student who has completed 48 to 85.9 credit hours.


Kiosk, The The structure located near the northeast corner of Friars’ Hall. It is centered in a cement circle and has frames available for promotional posters. The Kiosk curse is a QU legend that if a student walks through, not around, The Kiosk, they will not graduate in four years. It was designed by Fr. Tom Brown, OFM in 1983 when Penny Lane was extended to the south. Admissions tour guides tell that story when they guide potential and recruited students on a campus tour. Use capital letters for The Kiosk but not for curse.


laboratory; lab
Lab may be appropriate in some cases, as in titles.
The computer lab in A Building at North Campus.

Capitalize all languages. Japanese, English, Spanish, etc.

learning management system
Never use the abbreviation LMS.
The generic term for software, such as Moodle, that administers class exams, content, grading and attendance.

See dais.

See misinformation.


Do not use Mac for the computer made by Apple.

Main Campus

major; minor
Never capitalize:
Raven Ash, a communication major, is the show producer.
Use academic emphasis or sequence only when required for clarification.

Never capitalize, even when used as a title preceding a name.

mascots & nicknames
Nicknames and mascots should always be introduced to readers in articles, but headlines and captions should use them sparingly.
Never assume that readers can match college nicknames to teams. Be wary of nicknames that are commonly used at many different schools; examples include Hawks (used by Quincy University and Rockhurst University).

In the second game, the Quincy University Hawks fell to Truman State, 3-1. The Bulldogs led until the second half…
[headline] Hawks upend Hawks, 56-53
[headline] Hawks batters overwhelm rival Lions in semi-finals, 8-1
Some teams use nicknames and mascots that QUMedia readers may find offensive. If so, simply refer to the school name or, in the case of a professional team, the city. Do not mention the nickname controversy unless it is central to the storyline.

On occasion, it may be necessary to quote someone (usually a significant figure) speaking a lie, or inadvertently saying something that is not true. Reporters and editors should be alert to this, and discuss whether the direct quote is important enough to be used or even paraphrased. If so, proceed carefully.
Immediately before a false statement, say that it is false. Immediately after a false statement, say why it is false:
When announcing the new policy, the mayor repeated the widely held falsehood that most adults do not need to be vaccinated for influenza. […Quote here…] In fact, the CDC recommends annual flu vaccines for most adults.

Plural is MP3s, not MP3’s. A popular digital audio file format.


An NCAA legal abbreviation for “name, image and likeness,” referring to marketing rights that college athletes were granted in July 2021.
The abbreviation should never be used except in direct quotes, and only if it is explained.
Instead of NIL, use name and image, likeness, name, or similar terms to convey the specific personal attributes being marketed. Note that “image and likeness” is redundant and should be avoided if possible.

North Campus

North Campus A Building (Science labs, Classrooms, Shuttle drop off)

North Campus B Building (Faculty Offices, QUTV Studios, and Music Rooms)

North Campus B Building (Connie Niemann Center for Music)

North Campus D Building (Franciscan Retreat Center)

North Campus E Building (Sports lockers and indoor workout facility)

Nursing Program
the program in subsequent references. Quincy University partners with Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences, BRNC on subsequent references. Quincy University offers the bachelor of science degree in Nursing. BRCN is affiliated with Quincy’s top notch medical facility, Blessing Hospital, located just a few blocks from QU, where students learn nursing through hands-on experience in medical settings with patients. Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences as an institution of higher education is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association (NCA).


A redundancy; just say campus. However, off-campus is acceptable.

One word. Do not capitalize unless part of a proper name.


Panhellenic Council
the council in subsequent references; the administrative body of all membership sororities at QU. The Quincy University Panhellenic Association stands as a governing body of Alpha Omicron Pi and Phi Sigma Sigma.

Use parking spaces, not stalls. There are 10 parking lots that are designated by a capital letter. See the map for locations. Capitalize Lot when referring to a specific lot:
The lights in Lot A were repaired Monday.
There are not enough parking spaces in Lot D for the students who live in Helein Hall.

Penny Lane Walkway that links dorm buildings and runs to the east of the Student Center on Main Campus. Students paint their club, organization, or team logo on Penny Lane the Sunday before Homecoming. It was named Penny Lane after some students in the 60s were walking down the path singing “Penny Lane” by the Beatles.

Avoiding these initials helps prevent articles from looking like alphabet soup or research papers. In any case, never use them in headlines, photo captions or ledes.
The preferred form is to say a person holds a doctorate, and give name the individual’s specialty. Avoid the “Dr.” honorific unless relevant to the article and the context is clear. Always specify if the doctorate is honorary.
At QU, most professors hold doctorates or other terminal degrees, so saying that someone’s job title is a professor or assistant professor usually makes Ph.D. redundant. Assistant professors may hold master’s degrees; Lecturers may hold bachelor’s degrees.
There are many ways to subtly mention academic credentials:
Dr. Christine Damm is chair of the Music Department and a specialist in saxophone performance.
Paul Krugman was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
The lecture was given by Dr. Mary Sung, a chemist and the inventor of the new device.
Dan Trotta, who earned his doctorate last year, will manage the team of biologists.
If the academic degree is not relevant to the narrative, omit “Dr.” and “Ph.D.”:
Maria Sanchez, a physics professor, said she was excited to see the basketball playoffs at Pepsi Arena.
In lists of people, avoid repeating academic credentials this way:
The geology research team includes Drs. Marie Montgomery, Kelly Wong and Terry I. Guana.
The announcement was made in class by Professor Barb Schleppenbach, Ph.D.
See professor; also see AP Stylebook academic degrees entry.

photo captions
All QUMedia news photos must be captioned, either individually or grouped. Optionally, photo illustrations may be captioned.
All images must have credit lines, even if no caption is used.

Readers must have confidence that QUMedia news photos accurately reflect each scene as it was observed in person.
Take photos in the highest possible resolution.
Photo editing is limited to four categories:
Cropping: Removing dead space from a photo but not deleting significant visual elements.
Straightening: Making the horizon level.
Correcting exposure: Lightening or darkening the image without misrepresenting how the original scene looked in person.
Color correction: Altering the overall hue to account for fluorescent, tungsten, or other lighting sources without misrepresenting how the original scene looked in person. Most commonly used to remove the yellowish look of tungsten lighting when a camera is set for daylight, or the greenish-blue tint of fluorescent lighting.
Any other alteration of a photo, either in the camera or in Photoshop, must be disclosed to the reader in the photo’s caption.
Never blur any element of a photo, no matter how small, without first discussing the reason and the options with the editor, producer or instructor. If the element (a confidential source’s face, say) can be cropped or a different image used, those are preferred solutions. Should blurring be deemed unavoidable, be aware that it can often be undone with advanced photo editing software. Do not rely on blurring to protect the confidentiality of a news source. Without exception, blurring must be disclosed in the caption.
Editors must ensure that photos that are obtained from non-staff sources meet these requirements. Editors should be especially vigilant for Photoshopped political or entertainment photos.

portal, the
Specify whether you are referring to the student or faculty portal. Online service to access university information. Do not capitalize.

Capitalize when used before a name and the name is not set off with commas.
Quincy University President Brian McGee…
The president of Quincy University, Brian McGee…
Subsequent references are to either McGee or the president. The rules also apply to student government or club presidents.
President George Washington visited Quincy University.

Lowercase when when preceding a name and coming after a name or in other references. Never abbreviate.
Provide employment status on first reference: lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, full professor. Be aware of the differences in academic status even though the term professor is used verbally to identify all instructors on campus. Subsequent mentions can use professor. Capitalize as a conferred title before a name. Do not continue in a second reference unless part of a quotation.
Associate Professor Travis Yates spoke at the meeting.
Yates, a communication professor, spoke at the meeting.
A leading researcher, professor Matthew Bates, will speak to the class. We will hear from Professor Emeritus Joe Messina on Tuesday. Prof. Nora Baldner will hold a study session on Wednesday.

program (academic)
Usually sponsored by a department or the university administration. Capitalize when part of a title, otherwise lowercase. The Political Science Department will host a Constitution Day program in September.

program (sports)
Always lowercase. A program is not the same as a team.
A sports program, such as a university basketball program, includes players, coaches, competition staff, sports information directors, and administrative employees including financial and scholarship managers. The basketball team consist of the competitors and their coaches.
The soccer team’s victory over McKendree vaulted them into playoff contention.
The loss to Maryville was the first for the baseball program this season.

Always ask sources for their preferred personal pronouns.
Many registration system allows people to specify preferred personal pronouns. Typically, people with a preference mention it in their email signature line. Pronoun use varies widely.
If someone prefers a plural pronoun (they instead of she, for example), consider writing the article without the use of personal pronouns for that person. Articles, captions and headlines can become confusing to the point of unreadability if mixing plural, singular and coined pronouns (such as zie in lieu of he or she).
If someone prefers a non-English pronoun, such as the French elle, consult with editors on how best to proceed. If in doubt, write without using pronouns for that person.
Avoid explainers and other distracting introductions that attempt to clarify the use of pronouns:
Jane Doe, who prefers the personal pronoun they, said they wanted to visit Disneyland while in California.
Jane Doe wanted to visit Disneyland while in California.
Jane Doe said that visiting Disneyland was a top priority.

The use of personal pronouns is evolving quickly. See the online AP Stylebook’s Gender & Sexuality entry for the latest.

In headlines or articles, the rules are the same:
• Never make a pun out of a person’s name, ever.
• No puns on hard news.
• If you must use quotes to draw attention to the punned word, either get rid of the quotes or get rid of the pun.
• One pun per issue or one pun visible on the home page. No exceptions.
• The pun should be subtle and wry, and the headline should still be meaningful if a reader doesn’t quickly recognize the pun. Don’t sacrifice readability to make a pun.
• The pun should not be obvious enough to elicit groans.
What’s a good QUMedia pun?
Same mold story (a continuing story about mold in a campus house)
If the pun is strained, pass on it:
Cops say if you steal pistachios, we’ll cashew.
Sometimes the cultural reference is somewhat aged, but the pun nevertheless works, as in this New York Times science story about sea life:
When an Eel Climbs a Ramp to Eat Squid From a Clamp, That’s a Moray


QU Board of Trustees
the board or the trustees in subsequent references.

QU Editorial Style Guide 2021-22 This is the guide used by the Quincy University public relations office. It can be referenced for items not found in the QUMedia guide.

QUMedia When quoting or mentioning a previous QUMedia story, refer to it as an article or report – not a story.
The head of the newsroom is the editor-in-chief, hyphenated and lowercase exactly so.
QUMedia job titles are always lowercase; editor, reporter, host, photographer.


QUniverse Style Manual and Editorial Guidelines This is the guide used specifically for the QUniverse alumni magazine.

quote format Use the word said for all quotes. Use first and last name the first time you reference someone in a story. Use last name on second and subsequent mentions. Shorter quotes, attribution comes at the end. Longer quotes, attribution can come earlier in the quote.

“Here is where the quote is written word for word,” first last said.

“Here is where a longer quote is written,”first last said. “It continues if there is more that the person said and you need to identify them near the beginning of the quote to avoid confusion as to who is speaking.”

“Once you have established who is speaking,” last said. “Then for the rest of the story you refer to them by last name only.”

“The best way to get to know campus is to follow the squirrels,” Brian McGee, president of QU, said.

“Students should study at least four hours a night,” Nora Baldner, assistant professor of communication, said.

“Students will have the chance to compete in the games,” George Smith said. “We will have darts, bags, and horseshoes available for the students who sign up for intramurals.”

Director of Student Life Jackson Jones said “T-shirts will be available for purchase at the event.”

The student channel run by the Communication department. QUTV job titles are always lowercase: reporter, producer, photographer, anchor. In most references to QUTV, mention that it is on Channel 1901 on the campus-wide closed streaming service provided by Comcast, and is streamed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/QUTV4.

QUTV Xpression graphics These are created in the Ross rundown program called Inception. The graphic is generated in the Ross graphics generator called Xpression. The graphic must be itemized in the script and created in Xpression in order to run during the show.


full screen

sports scores

copyright crawl

How to super lawmakers on QUTV (first line / second line):

CONGRESSMEN: always refer to as “congressman” in your script, always use state and district


SENATORS: always referred to as “(name of state) senator” in your script, there is no district


STATE REPRESENTATIVES: always refer to “(name of state) State Representative” in your script, use district no state


STATE SENATORS: always referred to as “(name of state) State Senator” in your script, use district no state



registrar The person in charge of course schedules, transcripts, graduation requirements. Lowercase when used alone or following a name. Can be used as a title. Registrar Tom Jones says grades are due Friday at noon.

residence halls
Do not use “dorms.” The halls are are Friars’ Hall, Willer Hall, Helein Hall, Garner Hall, Woods Hall, Padua Hall, Student Living Center.

resident director/resident assistant Resident assistants are in charge of one floor in a residence hall, resident director is in charge of the hall. RA and RD are acceptable as second reference. Do not capitalize as this is a job description not a title.

residential houses These are properties owned by QU and occupied by students or staff depending on the situation. 1700 Lind, 815 N 20th, 912 N 18th, 1708 Lind, 819 N 20th, 915 N 18th, 1849 Lind, 823 N 20th, 918 N 18th, 1851 Lind, 840 N 20th, 2015 College, 1853 Lind, 915 N 20th, 2017 College, 1855 Lind, 900 N 18th, 1857 Lind, 906 N 18th, 906 N 20th, 914 N 20th, 2023 College. 1810 Chestnut is the President’s House.

Rush Week

redshirt freshman (sophomore, junior, senior) A college player who is ahead academically by one year over athletic eligibility. A redshirt freshman is an academic sophomore (second year of college classes) but in their first year of athletic eligibility. They can practice with the team but do not play in sanctioned games. A true freshman is in his or her first year out of high school. Redshirt players get all the benefits, except in games, of being part of the team but don’t use a year of athletic eligibility. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requirements state that an athlete has 5 years (10 semesters) to complete 4 years of competition. Coaches use redshirting when referring to the practice of holding athletes from official competition for one season.


semesters; sessions
Always lowercase: spring semester, fall semester, winter session, summer session, etc. The QU exception is the J-term, a three-week intensive held between fall and winter semesters. The J is capitalized.

An undergraduate student who has completed 86 or more credit hours.

An undergraduate student who has completed 24 to 47.9 credit hours
But sophomoric means puerile, pretentious or juvenile.

sorority QU has one sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi . Use full name on first reference and “the sorority” on second reference. Casual references are allowed if used in a quote format.

sports see Hawk, mascots and nicknames

The women’s basketball team competed yesterday.

The men’s lacrosse team won the tournament.

spring semester lowercase except when used as a proper noun. Registration is open for the spring semester. Athletics is using the gym for Spring 2022.

St. Clare’s Center A room in Friar’s Hall that provides a mindfulness space, and a food and essential needs pantry. Cassie Phillips, coordinator of student support services, received a grant from the State of Illinois in January of 2023 to create the space. It opened with an open house on July 27, 2023. The center accepts donations of food and essential needs.

Student Success Center A center housed in the basement of Brenner Library that includes the QUEST Center, study rooms, offices, tutoring, classrooms. SSC is allowed on second and subsequent references.

Consult AP style guide for usage of street names. Some will be abbreviated, depending on context. Never abbreviate roadway designations that do not have specific addresses; Abbreviate street, boulevard and avenue in numbered addresses. All other roadway designations – lane, drive, road, etc. – are never abbreviated. Never use “fwy.” to abbreviate freeway.
Never omit compass directions, since they often uniquely identify similar addresses. Abbreviate compass directions, such as N. for north.
The campus is at 1800 College Ave.
The main campus is in the 1800 block of College Avenue
The White House is at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NE, in Washington.
Some of the major streets near campus include:
Oak Street College Avenue Elm Street Lind Street Chestnut Street 18th Street 20th Street Seminary Road Spruce Street Sycamore Street

A term invented by the NCAA in the 1950s to avoid labor laws involving student workers. Best avoided except in legal contexts. Phrases such at QU athlete, a Hawks baseball player, an intercollegiate athlete, etc., are more descriptive and avoid the legal term. QUMedia prefers men and women to boys and girls when referring to members of a team, even though the youthful terms are often used by coaches.

Student Center A building on Main Campus that houses the QU Bookstore, football offices, the cafeteria, the Hawk’s Nest.

Student Government Association The group ended meetings in Spring of 2019 after no student came forward to run for president. The last presidents were Abigail Moore and Mary Argana. They both received the same number of votes in the 2018 presidential election, and agreed to serve as co-presidents of SGA for one year. SGA on second and subsequent references.

Student IT Help Desk
the help desk in subsequent references.

summer session Lowercase except when a specific summer session is a proper noun. She is taking a computer class in Summer Session A. The first summer session begins the week following commencement.

Success by Design A tag line used by Quincy University to describe the student academic experience and the program that maps out a student’s progress toward a degree. Capitalize S and D.


telephone numbers
Always give the full 10-digit phone number grouped by dashes: 217-222-8020. Include area codes, even for QU phone numbers. Do not give only a 4-digit campus extension.
For numbers outside Canada and the United States, first give the country code.

time zones Do not refer to time zones within the Central time zone, unless confusion would result.
Use these styles: Central Standard Time, Central time zone.
If referring to time zones outside the lower 48 states, mention the time difference from CST. Use caution with states that have more than one time zone (such as Indiana) or states that do not use daylight saving time, such as Arizona.
See AP Stylebook’s time zones entry.


undergraduate; undergrad
On subsequent references use the less stuffy undergrad except in formal or legal contexts. Any student who is attempting to earn a bachelor’s degree. When pursuing a master’s degree or a doctorate, they should be referred to as graduate students.

University Advancement
The fundraising arm of the university administration.


vice president; vice presidential
Never hyphenated. Capitalize only when part of a title in front of a name; lowercase in other references.
Vice President for Academic Affairs Teresa Reed said Tuesday her office will issue a statement.
The vice president of Student Services declined comment on the matter.
The vice-presidential candidate is Harry Potter.


One word and web is not capitalized except in the historic title World Wide Web.

websites; website addresses
When mentioning a website in QUMedia stories, provide a clickable link.
Exception: If the website is known for criminal activity or purveying malware, do not provide a clickable link; either mention the website address or simply describe the site. If the website has special access requirements, such as an account, mention that.
Federal agents shut down the PornoWorld web site after obtaining a court order.
Facebook warned that the page, which remains active, contains misleading and false information.
QUMedia’s Instagram site posted the photo yesterday.
The group’s website, which requires registration to view, offers dozens of tips on travel to South America.

For quincy.edu sites that are restricted from public view (like the portal), a simple phrase should let non-QUMedia readers know that they cannot see it.
Test all links before and after publishing to ensure that they work. Make sure you enable the link to open in a new web browser window.

Wellness & Counseling Center located in Friar’s Hall

The video conferencing system owned by Zoom Video Communications.
Do not use as a verb, either uppercase or lowercase:
The students joined a Zoom session with their professor.
The students Zoomed with their professor.

Other Useful Style Guides

The Quincy University Editorial Style Guide 2020-2021

The Diversity Style Guide

Conscious Style Guide

NABJ Style Guide

AAJA Style Guide

NLGJA Stylebook

The Global Press Style Guide

NAJA Reporting Guides

National Geographic Style Manual

Trans Journalists Association Style Guide

NPR Training Style Guide


SPLC Content Take Down Guide

Print Friendly, PDF & Email