External Affairs and University Relations

External Affairs and University Relations
2444 Dole Street
Bachman 109H
Honolulu, HI 96822

tel (808) 956-8856
email ur@hawaii.edu

University of Hawai‘i Style Guide

Revised March 2015

Download the PDF version. 426 KB

In general, preferred University of Hawai‘i style follows The Chicago Manual of Style. A good dictionary will answer most questions. This style guide puts forth the preferred University of Hawai‘i style on questions that are not addressed in standard references or where UH practice varies from the norm. It is based on various reference books and historic university usage. These guidelines generally apply to all documents submitted to Media Production, the publications office of External Affairs and University Relations.

Media Production recognizes there will be exceptions to these rules. When this occurs, be consistent throughout the document. To ensure consistency, develop style sheets detailing specific uses.

This guide is arranged alphabetically. Many entries simply indicate how a word or phrase should be spelled, capitalized and/or hyphenated. The text following a boldfaced entry explains usage. This guide in not intended to be comprehensive—entries that appear in a good dictionary or The Chicago Manual of Style are not listed here.

Use the links below for additional resources and tips. Send questions or comments to Media Production, ur@hawaii.edu or 1627 Bachman Place BA 2, Honolulu, HI 96822.

Alphabetic Entries


Additional Information


abbreviations and acronyms: Spell out names of all offices, agencies, etc. on first reference; acronyms may be used in subsequent references. If the first use of the acronym does not occur until several paragraphs later, give the acronym in parentheses (rather than between dashes or commas) immediately after the first use of the full name (e.g., The East-West Center (EWC) is hosting the event). If the first use of an acronym occurs in the same paragraph where the name is given in full, the parenthetical may be omitted.

Depending on the audience, a generic word may be a better choice for subsequent references—it doesn’t send the reader back in search of the words behind the acronym, and it avoids confusion when two agencies share the same acronym.

Avoid long, awkward or ambiguous acronyms, particularly those that exceed four letters without making a pronounceable "word." Consider what other organizations may share the same initials.

In general, spell out United States when used as a noun, and reserve the acronym for adjectival use (e.g., the U.S. Department of Education). The same guideline applies to UH and University of Hawai‘i. Exceptions may be made to conserve space or to avoid excessive repetition of either form. Note that UH, used as a noun, does not take the article "the" (e.g., She is a graduate of UH. UH fielded a fine football team).

The move is away from periods in acronyms. There is room for choice, but be consistent. Omit periods unless the acronym appears with periods in Webster’s New World Dictionary Fourth College Edition. Use periods in U.S.

academic degrees: Lowercase the academic degree in text. An exception may be made in formal lists. (See also associate in…, bachelor of…, master of… and doctor of… entries.)

Academic degrees following the name (MD, PhD) are best reserved for very formal contexts, such as invitations, citations, etc. Do not combine with an honorific (Dr. John Doe physician or John Doe physician, MD).

The move is away from periods in academic degrees (PhD). There is room for choice, but be consistent.

A.D., B.C.: UH preferred style is to place both these abbreviations after the year (1066 A.D. not A.D. 1066), but do not change the latter style if the author(s) used it consistently.

advisor (preferred spelling)

affirmative action guidelines

agribusiness but agri-environmental


American: Do not hyphenate in ethnic identifications (e.g., African American, Asian American, Native American, North American).

anticancer, antitumor: (refer to dictionary for other anti prefixes)

Asia Pacific: No hyphen or slash (e.g., the Asia Pacific region).

associate degree (singular) or associate degrees (plural):

The move is away from periods in acronyms (AS). There is room for choice, but be consistent.

AY: Spell out "academic year" in documents for a general or external audience.



bachelor’s degree or bachelor’s (singular), bachelor’s degrees (plural):

The move is away from periods in acronyms (BA). There is room for choice, but be consistent.

B.C., A.D.: Place both these abbreviations after the year (1066 A.D. not A.D. 1066), but do not change the latter style if the author(s) uses it consistently.

Békésy Laboratory of Neurobiology


Bible: Capitalize in references to The Holy Bible, but lowercase in generic uses (e.g., a bible for auto mechanics).

Big Island of Hawai‘i, Big Island or island of Hawai‘i: All are acceptable; consider your audience in making your selection.

bivariate also multivariate, univariate, covariate

Board of Regents: Refers to the university’s governing body; individual members are regents. BOR or board (lowercase) for second reference. Capitalize regent only as part of the board’s formal name or when used before a name (e.g., Regent John Doe, John Doe is a regent). (See also titles.)

boats: See ships.



campus names: The University of Hawai‘i has 10 campuses—a research campus (Manoa); two baccalaureate campuses (Hilo and West O‘ahu); and seven community colleges (including Maui College). Designations are based on the Carnegie Foundation classifications.

Use the full campus name on first reference. University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu contains an en dash (see dash) or, if using a typewriter, a hyphen. In subsequent references for UH Hilo, UH Manoa, UH West O‘ahu and UH Maui College, the acronym form (UH) may be used. Do not use an en dash, hyphen or the word “at” in the acronym form. In general use the acronyms only as adjectives; HCC and KCC should never be used in external communications.

Use the specific designation alone only when the reference is clearly to the campus in question (e.g., Honolulu, Kaua‘i, Manoa). (See also University of Hawai‘i.)

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo—UH Hilo, Hilo, the Hilo campus, UHH
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa—UH Manoa, Manoa, the Manoa campus, UHM
University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu—UH West O‘ahu, West O‘ahu, the West O‘ahu campus, UHWO
Hawai‘i Community College—Hawai‘i CC, Hawai‘i, the Hawai‘i campus
Honolulu Community College—Honolulu CC, Honolulu, the Honolulu campus
Kapi‘olani Community College—Kapi‘olani CC, Kapi‘olani, the Kapi‘olani campus
Kaua‘i Community College—Kaua‘i CC, Kaua‘, the Kaua‘i campus
Leeward Community College—Leeward CC, Leeward, the Leeward campus
University of Hawai‘i Maui College—UH Maui College, Maui College, Maui, the Maui campus, UHMC
Windward Community College—Windward CC, Windward, the Windward campus

To avoid confusion, do not use "campus" as part of a facility name (e.g. the School of Medicine’s Kaka‘ako facilities). "Campus" refers only to the 10 campuses.

CASE: Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Spell in full on first reference.


center: Lowercase except as part of full formal name. (See department.)

centuries: Except at the beginning of a sentence, use figures in ordinals (20th century). Hyphenate when used as a compound adjective (19th-century novels). No apostrophe in such designations as 1900s.

certificate: Lowercase in reference to a credential or when used alone.

chair: Use the gender-neutral "chair" to refer to the head of a department, committee or the Board of Regents.

However, the term "endowed chair" refers to a fund of money set up to earn interest, which is used to support the academic work of a scholar. One may hold an endowed chair or be a chair holder, but one may not be an endowed chair. However, one may be a department or committee chair.

Capitalize as the title before the name (e.g., Chair Jane Doe) or as part of a formal name (e.g., Benjamin A. Kudo Chair of Law).


college: Lowercase except as part of full formal name.

College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature: The college name contains an ampersand and not "and"

Colleges of Arts and Sciences: (always plural at UH Manoa) consist of the College of Arts and Humanities; College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature; College of Natural Sciences and College of Social Sciences.

comma: UH style is to use informal serial commas (red, white and blue) for publications. However, depending on your audience, formal serial commas (red, white, and blue) may be used. Be consistent—stick with your choice throughout the entire publication.

committee: Lowercase except as part of a full formal name. (See also department.)

community college(s): Lowercase except as part of a full formal title

compound words: May be closed up, hyphenated or have a space between them. No rule covers all cases; see dictionary for words not specifically listed here.

In initial-caps headlines or proper nouns, capitalize both segments of a hyphenated word if each segment is a whole word: Off-Campus Housing. Initial-cap-only if the compound word consists of stem plus prefix or suffix: Multi-disciplinary Committees, Non-degree Graduate Students, Post-baccalaureate Unclassified Students.

Compounds formed from two whole words should be hyphenated if (1) they appear with a hyphen in Webster’s or in this style guide or (2) if necessary for clarity: A small-business manager is not necessarily a small business manager.

Modern American usage is generally against hyphenating such combinations where no misunderstanding is likely—the living room window, the second story classroom, a telecommunications equipment salesperson.

Compounds should not be hyphenated if they (1) follow the noun or verb they modify or (2) consist of an adverb and an adjective—rapidly fading, highly visible (exceptions are in Webster’s).

(See also hyphen and specific compound words.)

computer-aided (adj.); computer-assisted (adj.)

co-requisite: But prerequisite and (in suspensive-hyphenation constructions) pre- and co-requisite.

course work

covariate also bivariate, multivariate, univariate

credit hour(s) or credit(s): Use figures with either one, except when a number is the first word in sentence. Avoid using hours alone to mean credit hours. Steer clear of awkward and excessive hyphenation by avoiding [number]-credit-hour(s) as an adjective preceding the modified noun. Write "a program consisting of 15 credit hours" rather than "a 15-credit-hour program."

creole(s) but Hawai‘i Creole English




dash: The em dash (usually typed as two hyphens without space before, between or after) sets off parenthetical phrases or clauses somewhat more dramatically than a comma. Like commas and parentheses, em dashes usually travel in pairs—one before and one after the phrase they highlight—except when stronger punctuation, such as a period, makes one of the em dashes unnecessary.

The slightly shorter en dash is used as a substitute for the word "to" in number ranges

(7–10 p.m.) and phrases containing a compound element (a New York–Honolulu flight).

The word "to" should be spelled out when the word "from" is used (e.g., A reception will be held from 6 to 7 p.m.). The en dash should not be used as a substitute for "and" in such phrases as between 15 and 20.

En dashes are also used in the formation of a compound word when one of its elements is already a compound (or two-part) word (e.g., a New York–based psychoanalyst, the wall-to-wall–carpeted classroom).

data: Treat as singular or plural, depending on department’s unique usage (generally, sciences say "these data are," business says "this data is"), but be internally consistent.

database, data bank

dates: Cardinal numbers only (March 1, not March 1st). Write month before day (March 1, not 1 March). In print, use year only when necessary for clarity, however, use year in online reference. Separate day and year with comma (March 1, 1989); a second comma goes after the year if no stronger punctuation is placed there (From March 1, 1989, until September 3, 1991, students waited). No comma between month and year without day (March 1991).

dean’s list

decades: No apostrophe in decades (1980s). Use an apostrophe (not open single quotation mark) to replace first two digits if they are omitted (’80s).

dental hygiene (n. and adj.)

department: Lowercase except as part of full formal name. Capitalize (treat as proper nouns) the official titles of departments, schools, divisions, offices, centers and programs (Department of Anthropology). Lowercase unofficial titles (anthropology department). Lowercase names of disciplines standing alone (anthropology) unless the name of the discipline is a word that is always capitalized in English (e.g., names of languages and nationalities such as English and Hawaiian).

desktop publishing

division: Lowercase except as part of full formal name. (See also department.)

doctoral degree or doctorate:

The move is away from periods in acronyms (PhD). There is room for choice, but be consistent.





e-business, e-commerce

Earth: Capitalize planet name, no "the" before. But earth (lowercase) in the sense of soil, land or other solids that constitute the world—as opposed to air, water and fire; in the sense of the domain of mortals—as opposed to heaven; and in all uses except name of planet; lowercase word may have "the" before.

earth sciences (e.g., geology, geophysics).

east: Lowercase when used as a directional reference (e.g., The sun rises in the east and sets in the west). Capitalize compass points in common appellations for regions (e.g., East Asia, East Coast, Eastern Europe).

East Asian Languages and Literatures: Capitalize Languages and Literatures only in "Department of…" construction.

East-West Center, East-West Road or East-West Rd.

em dash: (See dash.)


emeritus: UH style is to use emeritus before professor (Emeritus Professor Jane Doe). The emeritus title, awarded by the UH Board of Regents, is not synonymous to a retiree. (See titles for capitalization rules.)

en dash: (See dash.)

EO/AA statement: The University of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. This statement should be included in all publications. Some publications, e.g., catalogues, should have the longer EO/AA statement. (See discussion at the end of this style guide.)

ethnomethodology, ethnomusicology



faculty: (singular) reference to a group; faculty member(s) (plural), reference to individuals.

fall: (the season, the semester).

federal: Lowercase except in proper names (e.g., federal Department of Education, but Federal Communications Commission).

foreign word: Do not italicize foreign or non-English words that appear in Webster’s. In general, do not italicize Hawaiian words (there are exceptions). Be consistent with your choices.

fractions: Do not use job fractions (number-slash-number) at all. Generally, spell out fractions with a single-digit denominator (one-half, one-third); make case fractions where the denominator is two or more digits (1/20); for compound numbers, use decimals (3.5) or case fractions (3 1/2). (See user manual for instructions on correct way to make case fractions with your software.)

FY: Spell out fiscal year in documents for a general or external audience.



GI Bill

GPA (singular); GPAs (plural).

grade point average

grades: No quotation marks around letter(s). No italics, no boldface. For plural of any letter grade, use an apostrophe and an s (three A’s, two B’s, two I’s, some NC’s).

-grant (adj.): Lowercase land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant (e.g., UH is a land-, sea- and space-grant institution). But use initial capitalization and no hyphen in proper nouns such as National Sea Grant College Program, National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.



Hawaiian: Refers to people of Hawaiian descent. People who live in Hawai‘i are referred to as Hawai‘i residents.

Hawaiian language: UH encourages the use of correct Hawaiian spelling, including glottals (‘okina) and macrons (kahako). If you choose to use Hawaiian orthography in a publication, follow these guidelines:

he or she is preferred to he/she

HI: (See state names.)

his or her is preferred to his/her

Hawai‘i Interactive Television System (HITS): Spell in full on first reference.

home page

honorary degree: The UH Board of Regents awards the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. The honorary degree is conferred on behalf of the system rather than any of its campuses.

honorifics: Use full names without honorifics on first reference (e.g., John A. Jones, Mary Smith). Note that a married woman’s full name includes her first name, not her husband’s (never Mrs. Richard Smith).

In subsequent references, use of last name only is preferred for both sexes; no Mr., Mrs., Ms., except as needed for clarity (in a story that deals with several members of a single family, for example).

If honorific is used in subsequent references it should be used consistently. If one person insists on the honorific, everyone in the story who is entitled to it should get it. Try to reserve Dr. for health practitioners.

Use military rank (if germane and necessary) only in first reference, with full name (e.g., Cmdr. Carol Stewart met with Adm. Randal Lee, U.S.N. Ret., to discuss the removal of nuclear weapons. Stewart told Lee…).

hyphen: Consult the dictionary first for correct hyphenation of compound words. (See also compound words, prefix and dash.)

In modern American usage, the trend is away from hyphens in compound words unless omitting them creates confusion (as in co-op versus coop). Check Webster’s or The Chicago Manual of Style when in doubt. When the hyphen is used in a two-part reference, use the hyphen with both modifying elements (e.g., full- and part-time students or 3- to 5-credit courses).

Two-word combinations are often hyphenated if, together, they form one adjective that modifies the noun it precedes (compare adjective: off-campus housing with adverb: a class held off campus). Do not hyphenate adverb plus adjective combinations (e.g., highly complex program).






italics: Use for book, magazine and newsletter titles (free-standing publications) and names of vessels (see ships). Use quotation marks around chapter titles or other components of an italics-titled publication.

Use only capitals and lowercase for titles of a book series of editions (e.g., Modern Library edition).

Titles of motion pictures are italicized, but titles of television and radio programs are set in roman type and quoted unless they are continuing series, in which case they are italicized.

Titles of dissertations and theses, manuscripts in collections, lectures and papers read at meetings are set in roman type and quoted.

If a non-English word is unfamiliar to the intended audience, then set it in italics; otherwise use roman type. Do not italicize Hawaiian words unless necessary for context.

Refer to The Chicago Manual of Style for more information.



Juris doctor: JD, law degree or professional degree.




KOKUA: Use all caps, no diacritical marks, for the UH office for students with disabilities. The name is an acronym for Kahi O Ka Ulu ‘Ana (The growing place).



land use (n., adj.)

law review: But University of Hawai‘i Law Review

law school, School of Law, William S. Richardson School of Law

Legislature: Capitalize in specific references to Hawai‘i’s state lawmaking body, which has two chambers, the state House of Representatives and the state Senate. Lowercase generic references (a state legislature).

-level (adj.): 300- and 400-level courses, but courses at the 300 level, courses at the graduate level.

LGBTI: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex

lower campus

lower division (n., adj.)



mainland: When referring to the continental United States.

makai: Consider your audience; if it is mainly visitors and newcomers, consider using English word(s): on the seaside, toward the sea, in the direction of the sea.

Manoa valley

makeup or make-up (n., adj.) make up (v.)

Maluna a‘e o na lahui a pau ke ola ke kanaka: Above all nations is humanity. Inscribed on the Founder’s Gate at the Manoa campus.

master’s degree or master’s (singular), master’s degrees (plural):

The move is away from periods in acronyms (MA). There is room for choice, but be consistent.

mathematics not math

mauka: Consider your audience; if it is mainly visitors and newcomers, consider using English word(s): upland, inland, towards the mountains, shoreward (if at sea).

Maunakea: Previously referred to as Mauna Kea. The change was recommended by the Office of Maunakea Management and the UH Hilo School of Hawaiian Language in 2014 and has been accepted by the official Hawai‘i Board on Geographic Names. (However, use Mauna Kea for legal and historical documents and designations.)


money: Use $ and figures for all money amounts over 99 cents, except when the first word(s) of a sentence. Do not use decimal and zeroes for whole-dollar amounts. Spell out cents in amounts under $1 (e.g., The hamburger costs 99 cents).



Native American

Native Hawaiian

near-shore (adj.)

neighbor island

non(-): Consult dictionary for spelling; hyphenate if not listed.


non-degree (adj.)


north: Lowercase when used as a directional reference. Capitalize in common appellations for regions (e.g., North America).


numbers: Generally, spell out single-digit numbers, and use figures for all others. Exceptions:



office: Lowercase except as part of full formal name. (See also department.)




Pacific Basin

Pacific Islands

Pacific Rim

Pacific region

period: The move is away from periods in acronyms (PhD). There is room for choice, but be consistent.

-person (suffix): Avoid using nonsexist language that is conspicuously awkward. Try to think of genderless alternatives (service technician) to clumsy back-formations like repairperson.

photo credits: Many professional photographers require credit in print when their work is published. (Consult your photography contract and/or photo sleeve for the language to be used.) If you plan to publish such photographs, provide the appropriate credit for typesetting with other text.

photographs: Good photographs enhance the look and improve the communication value of many publications. Fuzzy, gray, out-of-focus photographs do not. Media Production can advise you on the reproducibility of photographs that you are hoping to use if you bring them by the office ahead of time.

For best results, choose the photographs you would like to use while you are writing your document; don’t wait until after typesetting to see how much space is left.

Every photograph should have a caption. People in photographs should be correctly identified in the caption (be sure to verify spellings). Be sure to have the permission of the photographer or owner of the photographs before publishing online or in print. It may be an invasion of privacy to publish some photographs without the permission of recognizable people. For this reason, do not use a photograph out of context. For a University of Hawai‘i release form, contact the UH photographer at 808 956-5940.



post-graduation (adj.): Do not use as an adverb. But postdoctoral, postgraduate.

post-master’s: Graduate-level beyond MA or MS, hyphenate to distinguish from U.S. Postal Service official.


postdoc: A casual noun reference to a post doctoral researcher, use only in informal contexts.

pre(-): Consult the dictionary for proper spelling of prefixes; if the word is not listed, then hyphenate.

professional diploma: Awarded by College of Education, PD

program: Lowercase except as part of full formal name. (See also department.)

public health (n. and adj.)

punctuation: (See separate entries for comma, dash, hyphen and period.) For more information on punctuation please refer to The Chicago Manual of Style. Some dictionaries also have a section on punctuation.






Regents’ Medal, Regents Scholar

-related (adj.): Language-related. Note that when the noun preceding this add-on is itself formed of two separate words, a hyphen must be added there and a hyphen or an en dash is used to join the compound noun to the adjective (e.g., public-health–related or public-health-related).

R/V research vessel: Use unexplained abbreviation only in combination with vessel name (e.g., R/V Kilo Moana). (See ships.)



school: Lowercase except as part of full formal name. Keep initial caps in plural construction, such as Schools of Nursing and Social Work, for the schools that would otherwise have them.

Lowercase name of discipline standing alone (medicine, social work), and in informal references to the schools (nursing school, library school, law school, TIM school).

scientific names: The generic and specific names of plants and animals are set in italic type. The genus name is capitalized, the species name lowercased (even though it may be a proper adjective). However, the common name is not italicized and only proper nouns and adjectives are capitalized.

senate: If senate is used in reference to governmental legislative bodies, capitalize both with and without the name of the state or nation: United States Senate, the nation’s Senate, the Hawai‘i Senate, the state Senate. For other bodies such as ASUH Senate and UH Manoa Faculty Senate, lowercase except as part of proper name.

senator: lowercase except as honorific (e.g., Sen. Jane Public, Sen. Public, Jane Public is a state senator from Manoa).

Shidler College of Business: Name of the college not the building.

ships, aircraft and spacecraft: Italicize names, Pisces V, Kilo Moana, but not such abbreviations as SS R/V or HMS (HMS Frolic).

some: Avoid using with a specific figure (some 14 students graduated).

south: Lowercase when used as a directional reference. Capitalize in common appellations for regions (e.g., Southeast Asia, South America, Southern Hemisphere).

Soviet Union: Use only in historical context.

special-needs (adj.)

spring (the season, the semester).

staff (singular) reference to a group; staff member(s) (plural), reference to individuals

state: Lowercase in all instances except as part of a proper name.

state names: The name of a state should always be given in full when standing alone. However, when it follows a city name the state name can be abbreviated. State names can also be abbreviated in lists and mailing addresses. (See The Chicago Manual of Style for correct abbreviations.)


State Foundation on Culture and the Arts


sub(-): No hyphen in sub- formations (e.g., subdiscipline, subspecialty) unless stem is a proper noun. Exception: sub-unit.

summer (the season, the semester).

system: UH System, the system, university system (See also University of Hawai‘i System.)




theatre: Including UHM’s Department of Theatre and Dance, a theatre major, Paliku Theatre.

three-dimensional or 3D but not three-D or 3-D.

time: Use figures except for noon and midnight. It is preferable to use a.m./p.m. in formal use but all right to use o’clock with time of day in even, half and quarter hours (two o’clock, quarter of four, half past four).

titles: Capitalize professional titles only when used immediately before a name (e.g., Vice President Jane Doe; Jane Doe, vice president for research). The general rule applies to text; an exception may be made in formal lists. Also, exception is made for a titled professorship. Vice presidents at the University of Hawai‘i have no hyphens in their titles.

Formal titles should appear on first reference only, particularly in material for news media. Exception may be made in very formal contexts, such as honorary degree citations.

toward also forward, backward, afterward, earthward, upward: The American spelling (without "s") is generally preferred.


two-dimensional or 2D but not two-D or 2-D.



Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘aina i ka pono: The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness. The state motto.

under-served but underdeveloped, underrepresented: Consult dictionary for other terms.

United States: Spell out when used as a noun; reserve the acronym for adjectival use (e.g., the U.S. Department of Education).

univariate also bivariate, covariate, multivariate

University of Hawai‘i, the university, UH

University of Hawai‘i at Manoa: The official name of the flagship campus (no hyphen, comma, semicolon, or em dash). Subsequent references may be the Manoa campus, Manoa, UH Manoa, but not UH-M or UH (alone). UHM may be used but it is not preferred, except in adjectival formation (e.g., UHM program). (See University of Hawai‘i System.)

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo:Subsequent references may be UH Hilo, the Hilo campus. UHH may be used but it is not preferred, except in adjectival formation.

University of Hawai‘i center: A site at which qualified students who are unable to travel to the UH campus offering their program of choice can enroll in courses or credential programs that are offered by one or more of the university’s accredited institutions. Three University of Hawai‘i centers have been designated by the Board of Regents: UH Center, Kaua‘i; UH Center, Maui; and UH Center, West Hawai‘i.

University of Hawai‘i community colleges: Collective reference to the seven community college campuses (see campus names).

University of Hawai‘i System: Comprised of 10 campuses. (See campus names and university center.) In subsequent references, the university, UH System, UH.

Lowercase university in generic references to institutions of higher learning (e.g., The university faces the same problems as any other tax-supported university).

No article with UH when it is used as a noun. (See also abbreviations and acronyms.)

University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu: Subsequent references may be UH West O‘ahu, West O‘ahu, UHWO, the West O‘ahu campus. Use an en dash in print, hyphen in electronic publishing.

upper division (n., adj.)

URL: (See website.)

U.S.: (See United States.)

USSR: Use only in historical context.



vice president, vice chancellor: No hyphen for UH titles.




web address: UH style is to drop the http:// if the web address contains www. If the address needs to run onto another line, break the address before a slash or a dot and do not insert a hyphen. Where possible, do not punctuate at the end of the URL lest the user thinks it’s part of the address.

webpage, website, webmanager

well: Follow dictionary for placement or omission of hyphens in words that begin with well. The Chicago Manual of Style says, in general, to hyphenate compounds before a noun unless expression carries a modifier (e.g., well-known professor but very well known writer).

west: Lowercase when used as a directional reference. Capitalize in common appellations for regions (West Coast).

Western (occidental)

WICHE or Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

-wide (suffix): campus-wide, university-wide (hyphenate). But systemwide, statewide, nationwide, worldwide (do not hyphenate words that appear closed-up in the dictionary).

World Wide Web

writing-intensive (adj.)









Additional Information

Guidelines for Submitting Text to Media Production

Media Production uses Apple Macintosh computers and Adobe InDesign to generate graphics and publications.

Submit final text approved for newsletters, brochures, posters and other printed materials on computer CD or via email to eliminate re-keystroking, which may lead to typographical errors. Provide a hard copy and email the text as an attachment (Word file). Text changes requested after copy has been submitted to the designer will delay timely completion of your project. Please use the following guidelines for smooth and accurate transmission of copy into the publication design.

  1. PROOFREAD your files and get manuscript (text) approval from the dean, director or other pertinent reviewer BEFORE bringing the file to Media Production. Manuscripts may be submitted to the copy editor before the design stage. For extensive corrections, the manuscript will be returned to you for inputting before design begins; on publications/graphics software, corrections must be inputted within that program.
  2. Use Microsoft Word whenever possible. This is the word processing program used by Media Production and supported by ITS. Microsoft Word is the most compatible with the publishing and graphics programs used by the designers. If Word is not available, save your text as a simple text or RTF file.
  3. Make sure your files conform to the following standards:
    • do not use the space bar to align columns, indent lines, etc.
    • eliminate unnecessary carriage returns (do not double space or insert blank lines)
    • do not boldface or italicize the copy. Indicate bold and italics on the hard copy.
    • do not tab for paragraph indents or set tabs for columns (doing so is unnecessary and slows down the layout process)
    • do not justify the right margin
    • single space after punctuation marks (do not double space after periods)
    • use capitals and lowercase letters throughout the text including headings. If you want a section in all capitals, indicate that on the hard copy.
    • do not put in lines or other graphic elements. In most cases, lines will need to be redone once the file is loaded into the graphics program.
    • when using Hawaiian diacritical marks, the ‘okina (glottal stop) will translate into the graphics programs but the kahako (macron) will not. Use the single open quote (‘) as the ‘okina. Indicate a kahako by inserting an = after the appropriate vowel (Ma=noa). (See also Hawaiian language.)
  4. Mark your hard copy to indicate where you want emphasis, page breaks, graphics or other elements.
  5. Digital photos need to be 300 dpi or higher in resolution at the intended size to be used in the publication. All photos should be sharp, clear and well lit. Any photo needing adjustments will cost more and delay production.
  6. Make sure that email and website links are unlinked in the copy provided.


Simple Rules for Writing Well

Be clear. Be concise. Write short sentences in simple English. Longer sentences are sometimes necessary or pleasing, but they should be interspersed with shorter statements. Use an active voice.

When several nouns, phrases or clauses depend on the same verb, put the longest last. Make sure the elements are in the parallel form.

Within a text, maintain agreement in person, number and tense:

Remember the difference between "that" and "which." "That" is used in a defining clause; "which," in a non-defining clause. "Which" generally requires a comma. Consider the difference in meaning between the following statements:

Avoid unnecessary words. Use "now" instead of "at this point in time," and leave it out entirely when the present is implied (e.g., Students are registering for spring classes). Also, avoid grandiose names for simple objects (e.g., "intra-agency communication vehicle" when you mean "newsletter").

Avoid beginning sentences with "and" or "but." There are exceptions, but they should be made out of choice for emphasis and not out of laziness. If in doubt, try it without.

Avoid sexist and biased language. Style guides for inclusive and bias free language are available from the EEO/AA office at eeo@hawaii.edu or call 956-7077.

Pick a theme or focus rather than attempt to relate everything at once. Use an outline to organize your thoughts and ideas.

Use concrete examples to which people can relate. Tell readers how they will be affected.

Remember your audience. Jargon may be all right for an in-house memo, but avoid it in material written for the general public or even a general university audience. Avoid the trendy for the basic: Why "interface on something" if you can "meet" or "discuss" it? Reread what you have written from the audience’s point of view, trying to forget what you take for granted, or ask someone who is unfamiliar with the manuscript to read it.


Suggested Reference Books

References listed below are available at the UH Bookstore.

Hawaiian Dictionary, by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert (University of Hawai‘i Press). Helpful in proper use of and placement of diacritical marks in Hawaiian words.

Place Names of Hawai‘i, by Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel H. Elbert, and Esther T. Mookini (University of Hawai‘i Press). Helpful in proper use of and placement of diacritical marks in Hawaiian words.

Mamaka Kaiao: A Modern Hawaiian Vocabulary, edited by Komike Hua‘olelo, (University of Hawai‘i Press). Incorporates more than 1,000 new and contemporary words to the Hawaiian language.

The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, 2010 ed. (Perseus Book Group). Provides a variety of information in dictionary format, including preferred capitalization, abbreviation, punctuation and other rules followed by most news agencies. Should be used in preparation of material intended for news media.

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (University of Chicago Press). Widely used by university presses, including UH Press, as a formal style guide to word usage, grammatical rules, punctuation, capitalization, etc. Applicable to academic publishing, general publication and day-to-day writing needs. Includes guide to use of proofreading marks, which should be used on text to be provided to designers for publication.

The Elements of Style, 4th ed. by William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White (Longman Publishing). A slim volume covering the most common errors and questions in writing with accompanying discussion of composition and style. A classic, highly recommended for anyone who writes. The same publisher offers a companion The Elements of Grammar by Margaret Shertzer. This may be preferable for those who don’t often need to refer to the more comprehensive, academic The Chicago Manual of Style.

Scientific Style and Format: The Council of Science Editors Manual for Authors, Editors and Publishers, 7th ed. (Council of Science Editors). Covers all sciences for scientific papers, journal articles, books and other forms of publication.

Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th ed. (2008)* (IDG Books Worldwide). Associated Press’s dictionary of choice, so most useful for media-related material. Contains a guide to punctuation, italics, numbers, capitalization, abbreviations and bibliographic citations.

* Or other collegiate dictionary.


EO/AA Policy Statement

The University of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. It is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender identity and expression, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, disability, genetic information, marital status, breastfeeding, income assignment for child support, arrest and court record (except as permissible under State law), sexual orientation, domestic or sexual violence victim status, national guard absence, or status as a covered veteran. This policy covers academic considerations such as admission and access to, and participation and treatment in, the university's programs, activities and services.

With regard to employment, the university is committed to equal opportunity in all personnel actions such as recruitment, hiring, promotion and compensation. Sexual harassment and other forms of discriminatory harassment are prohibited under university policy.

The university strives to promote full realization of equal employment opportunity through a positive, continuing affirmative action program in compliance with federal Executive Order 11246. The program includes measuring performance against specific annual hiring goals, monitoring progress, and reporting on good faith efforts and results in annual affirmative action plan reports. As a government contractor, the university is committed to an affirmative policy of hiring and advancing in employment qualified persons with disabilities and covered veterans.

For information on policies or complaint procedures, contact your campus EEO director or coordinator: