Style Guide and Reference Manual
A / B / C / D
/ E / F / G / H
/ I / J / K / L
/ M / N / O / P
/ Q / R / S / T
/ U / V / W / X / Y
/ Z / #
abbreviations include an unfamiliar abbreviation in parenthesis
after a proper noun before using it on second reference: Board of Zoning
Academic Center the primary academic building on campus that
consists of three halls: Phillips Hall, Rome Hall, and Smith Hall of Art.
If possible, identify the specific hall when referring to events: Academic
Center, Rome Hall 310.
Adams House townhouses where central development offices
Admissions, Office of formal (capped), or admissions office
adopt, approve, enact, pass amendments, ordinances, resolutions,
and rules are adopted or approved. Bills are passed. Laws are enacted.
advancement, vice president for leads the University Development
adviser not advisor; advisory, advisory councils are acceptable.
ages always use figures; ages expressed as adjectives before
a noun or as substitutes for a noun use hyphens: a 28-year-old man, but
the man is 28 years old.
all time, all-time an all-time high, but the greatest runner
of all time.
Alma Mater, GW lowercase when referring to other alma maters.
Alumni House home of the Office of Alumni Relations (alumni
relations for informal cases); built in the 1850s and is one of 10 GW
buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
Alumni Weekend previously held in September, the weekend
was combined with Family Weekend and is now known as Colonials Weekend.
alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae use alumnus when meaning
a man who has graduated, alumna for a woman. Use alumni for an entire
group of graduates and a group of graduated men; use alumnae for a group
of women who have graduated.
am, pm when referring to time. See time.
Ambulatory Care Center
another not a synonym for additional; means a duplication
of a previously stated quantity: three faculty members attended Tuesday;
another three attended Wednesday.
Archives, University Archives is acceptable on second reference
when meaning the Universitys collection.
Aston, The residence hall.
Athletics, Department of Athletics Department is also acceptable
on first reference.
Atlantic 10 use A-10 on second reference when referring
to the athletic conference the Colonials belong to. The other institutions
include: Dayton (Flyers), Duquesne (Dukes), Fordham (Rams), La Salle (Explorers),
Massachusetts (Minutemen), Rhode Island (Rams), Richmond (Spiders), St.
Bonaventure (Bonnies), St. Josephs (Hawks), Temple (Owls), and Xavier
author a noun; do not use it as a verb.
Bell Hall academic building that faces the University Yard.
Board of Chaplains
Board of Trustees capitalize when referring to GWs
Board of Trustees; the Board and the Trustees are acceptable on subsequent
references. Capitalize before an individuals name: The Chair of
the Board of Trustees Charles T. Manatt.
Board of Zoning Adjustment spell out on first reference; BZA
acceptable in subsequent references. The District of Columbias government
arm that approves university 10-year campus plans, as well as other matters.
Bookstore, University the University Bookstore is located
in the Marvin Center. Lowercase on subsequent reference: the bookstore.
buildings use street addresses for those buildings without
names instead of the former identifiers: 812 20th St. instead of Building
Burns Law Library acceptable on first reference.
Named for Jacob Burns.
business school see School of Business
and Public Management.
ByGeorge! the official name of the Universitys
bi-weekly faculty/staff newspaper. Italicize on all references.
refers to GWs formal plan submitted to the DC government.
cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation
Capitol Hill use both words on first reference; the Hill
is acceptable on subsequent references.
Cashiers Office capitalize on all references.
centers/institutes capitalize proper
names: Center for History in the Media. The center or the institute are
acceptable on subsequent references if it is clear there is only one.
Centuries Campaign on second reference: the campaign.
chair not chairman, chairwoman, or chairperson.
Charles E. Smith Center Smith Center
acceptable on first reference. Hosts GWs intercollegiate athletics
programs including basketball, volleyball, swimming & diving, water
polo, and gymnastics. Athletic administration and coach offices are located
in the Smith Center, as are the ADs Club and varsity sports weight
rooms. Used for other events such as concerts and school graduation ceremonies.
Named for famed DC developer Charles E. Smith.
Cherry Tree italicize the name of the yearbook.
City Hall residence hall.
Club, University the University Club is located at 1918
collective nouns Many words (including faculty, committee,
board, team, class, public, group, and data) can be both singular and
plural. The choice of a singular or plural verb depends upon whether the
intent is to refer to the group as a whole or to the members of the group.
For clarity, it helps to add members of: The faculty of our
department is highly respected in international professional circles.
OR The faculty in our department are highly respected. (It depends on
whether you want to emphasize the group as a whole or the individuals
in the group. Sometimes it matters; sometimes it doesn't.)
College of Professional Studies use on first reference.
CPS acceptable on second reference. The newest of the nine degree-granting
colleges, it is the entity that houses all professional degree programs
taught at area businesses and government agencies. The for-profit arm
is called GW Solutions.
Colonial Inauguration CI is acceptable on subsequent references.
Colonials nickname for all GWs NCAA athletic teams.
Do not use Colonial because it is not the official name. If
you are describing a player, use: Mark Lund is a consistent Colonials
player, instead of Mark Lund is a consistent Colonial.
In terms of apostrophes and possessives, if it works without the apostrophe,
dont use it: Colonials mens basketball coach Karl Hobbs.
If you can substitute George Washington (minus the The)
or GW, then its usually an adjective and does not need
an apostrophe. Usually the word the is a tipoff that a possessive
is called for: The Colonials soccer program. Also, never
use lady Colonials or women Colonials.
Colonnade Gallery located on the third floor of the Marvin
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences use on first reference.
Columbian College or CCAS on second reference. The largest of the nine
degree-granting colleges, it houses the traditional arts and sciences,
as well as the School of Media and Public Affairs and the Graduate School
of Political Management. Founded in 1821 as the original college of liberal
arts and sciences.
commas use serial commas (before the final element in a
list): deans, professors, and students.
Commencement capitalize only when referring to a specific
one: Participants in the May 1999 Commencement enjoyed sunny skies.
Community Living and Learning Center use on first reference.
CLLC is acceptable on second reference.
compose, comprise, constitute compose means to create or
put together. Comprise means to be made up of. "Comprised of"
is redundant. Constitute means to be the elements of and may work best
when neither compose nor comprise seem to fit.
Congress capitalize when referring to the US Senate and
House of Representatives.
congressional, congressman, congresswoman
Corcoran Hall academic building. One of 10 GW buildings
listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
Council of Deans
couple of of is necessary: a couple of days
(instead of a couple days).
course names place quotes around a formal course name: Qualitative
Media Research Methods.
Crawford Hall residence hall.
Crossfire on first reference, use CNN in the
same sentence to indicate the networks television program that airs
from the Jack Morton Auditorium.
Dakota residence hall.
data a plural noun: the data have been carefully collected.
dates use an en dash for continuing or inclusive numbers:
The 2001-02 academic year begins Aug. 27. Do not use a hyphen as a substitute
for the word to: She taught in the chemistry department from 1995 to 1999.
NOT: She taught in the chemistry department from 19951999.
DC, the District
DC Metropolitan Police Department Metropolitan Police Department
acceptable on subsequent references; use DC Police sparingly to avoid
Dean capitalize when used before a name, lowercase in all
other references: Law School Dean Michael Young, SBPM Dean Susan Phillips,
Mary Futrell, GSEHD dean.
Dean of Students capitalize when used before a name, lowercase
in all other references.
degrees do not use periods when abbreviated: BA, MA, BS,
MS, MBA, PhD, etc.; lowercase when spelled out: bachelors/masters
degree, bachelor/master of arts degree, doctoral degree, associate's degree.
When referring to someone, identify the degree followed by school and
year: Suzann Vogel (BA, SMPA 01) will reside in Philadelphia.
departments capitalize formal name: Department of History,
Department of East Asian Studies, Department of American Studies; lowercase
informal reference: history department. Capitalize language and country-related
departments on informal references: English department, East Asian studies,
American studies department, etc.
Disabled Student Services
Ellipse, the the historic park located between the White
House and the Washington Monument where GW has held commencement since
Elliott School of International Affairs Elliott School is
acceptable on second reference, as is ESIA. One of GWs nine degree-granting
programs, it was founded in 1898. Named in 1988 for the Universitys
14th president, Lloyd Elliott (1965-1988).
E-mail italicize all addresses: his E-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
emeritus/emerita/emeriti honorary title for retired professor:
emeritus for male professors, emerita for female professors,
emeriti for plural. GW professors belong the the Society of the
engineering school see School of Engineering
and Applied Science.
Eye Street not I Street (to avoid confusion with Roman numerals).
faculty a collective noun referring to an institutions
entire teaching staff. It takes a singular verb. Do not use to mean professors.
To refer to the individuals who are part of a faculty, faculty members
is preferred: The faculty voted to develop a mentoring program. Ten faculty
members volunteered to serve as mentors.
Faculty Senate use on first reference, Senate acceptable
on second reference.
Fight Song, GW
Financial Assistance, Office of acceptable on first reference.
Use financial assistance office on subsequent references; do not use financial
Foggy Bottom the historic neighborhood GW is a part of.
The Foggy Bottom Association is the neighborhood group.
Fulbright Hall residence hall named after GW alum and former
senator William Fulbright.
full time, full-time hyphenate when used as a compound modifier:
She works full time. She works as a full-time professor.
fund raising, fund-raising, fund-raiser
Funger Hall academic building.
GW acceptable on all references.
GW Graphic Design
GW Magazine italicize on all references.
Gelman Library the Universitys
primary library. Named for Melvin Gelman.
George Washington University, The preferred style on first
reference for the University (note the capital The).
George Washington University Inn, The
Government, Hall of Hall of Government on first reference;
government, international, and corporate affairs, vice president for
graduate assistants GAs acceptable on subsequent references.
Graduate School of Education and Human Development use on
first reference. GSEHD is acceptable on second reference. Do not use education
school since the program provides classes and degrees for human resource
specialists, museum educators, etc., with a total of 20 fields from which
gray not grey (except greyhound).
Great Hall located in the Marvin Center; opening May 2002.
grounds department lowercase when standing by itself, GW
Grounds Department in other cases.
GPA acceptable on first reference for grade point average.
Guthridge Hall residence hall.
Hall on Virginia Avenue residence hall located across from
the Watergate. Use HOVA on subsequent references.
Hatchet, The GW always italicize the name of the
Health and Wellness Center, Lerner Family use on first reference.
Health and Wellness Center acceptable on subsequent references. This is
the University fitness center that opened in summer 2001.
Himmelfarb Library acceptable on first
reference for the medical school library. Named for Paul Himmelfarb.
Honors Program, University the University Honors Program
on first reference, the honors program on second reference. GWs
Honors Program is also acceptable.
Hospital, University University Hospital or GW Hospital
on first reference for the existing building. Use replacement hospital
for the new building being constructed across the street.
Human Resource Services acceptable on first reference. Use
GW Human Resources, HRS, or human resources on subsequent references.
Information Systems and Services use on first reference,
ISS on subsequent references.
institutes see centers/institutes.
Interactive Multimedia Applications Group use on first reference,
IMAG on subsequent ones, when referring to the office that coordinates
the Universitys Web site and other computer applications.
International House residence hall,
formerly known as Riverside Towers Hall.
International Monetary Fund IMF is acceptable on subsequent
International Services Office
J Street food court located in the Marvin Center; named
because DC does not have a J Street.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis Hall residence hall;
JBKO Hall acceptable on subsequent references.
Kalb Report use quotes around name of public
affairs program sponsored, in part, by GW.
Kennedy Center, the acceptable on first reference. Identify
specific stages, halls, etc., by using the following style: the Kennedy
Centers Millennium Stage.
Key Hall residence hall.
Kogan Plaza located in the middle of campus, acts as a gathering
area for community members. Named after Barton Kogan.
Lafayette Hall residence hall.
Law School use GW Law School or Law School on first and
subsequent references. LAW is the school abbreviation. One of the nine
degree-granting schools at the University, it was established in 1865
and is the oldest law school in DC.
Lenthall Houses built in 1800, they are used to house visiting
faculty. One of 10 GW buildings listed on the National Register of Historic
Lerner Hall academic building; one of four buildings that
comprise the Law School.
libraries five libraries comprise GWs library system:
Gelman Library, Burns Law Library, Himmelfarb Library, Eckles Library,
and the Virginia Campus Library. See Burns Law Library,
Gelman Library, Himmelfarb
Lisner Auditorium hosts performing arts and other events
in the 1,490-seat facility. One of 10 GW buildings listed on the National
Register of Historic Buildings.
Lisner Hall academic building that faces the University
Madison Hall residence hall.
Marvin Center the student union building that includes J
Street food court, theaters, ballrooms, conference centers, Hippodrome,
bookstore, lounges, administrative, and student offices. Named for Cloyd
Heck Marvin, the Universitys 12th president (1927-1959).
Marvin Theatre use on first reference. Official name is
Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre. Use theater for the common noun.
media a plural noun: The media have begun to cover educational
issues more frequently.
Media and Public Affairs Building MPA Building is acceptable
on second reference. Opened in 2001, the building houses the School of
Media and Public Affairs, the Graduate School of Political Management,
public policy and public administration programs, GW Television, the University
Art Gallery, and a 258-seat auditorium, which hosts CNNs Crossfire
medical school see School of Medicine
and Health Sciences and School of Public Health
and Health Services.
Metro capitalize when referring to the mass transit system.
GW is located at the Foggy Bottom Metro Station on the Blue/Orange lines.
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools regional
accrediting agency that GW is accredited by. Middle States is acceptable
on subsequent references.
Mitchell Hall residence hall.
months (follow Associated Press Style) capitalize the names
of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate
only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. Spell out when using
alone, or with a year alone.
Monroe Hall academic building.
Mount Vernon Campus use on first reference. Subsequent references
include Mount Vernon Campus or MVC. In 1997, GW became affiliated with
the former womens college located on Foxhall Road in Northwest DC.
The 26-acre campus includes: Eckles Memorial Library, Somers Hall, Ames
Hall, Clark Hall, Hensley Hall, Pellham Hall, Merriweather Hall, Post
Hall, Cole Hall, Florence Hollis Hand Chapel.
Mount Vernon Athletic Field the home for NCAA soccer and
Multicultural Student Services Center
Munson Hall residence hall.
National Press Club, The
NCAA acceptable on all references. Stands for the National
Collegiate Athletic Association, which GW is a member of.
New Hall residence hall; most recently constructed residence
hall on campus (1997).
Newman Catholic Student Center Newman Center is acceptable
on subsequent references.
newspapers, magazines italicize in all references. Capitalize
and include The if it is part of the publications name:
The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times.
noncredit, nondegree, nonmajor
numbers follow AP Style: spell out numbers one through nine
(except in the case of ages and percentages, always use numbers); use
numerals for anything 10 or higher. Spell out all numbers at the beginning
of a sentence or rephrase the sentence to avoid beginning with a number.
off campus (preposition + noun): The meeting will be held
off-campus (adjective; hyphenated when it immediately precedes
a noun): Students are searching for off-campus housing.
OK not okay.
on campus (preposition + noun): The meeting will be held
on-campus (adjective; hyphenated when it immediately precedes
a noun): First-year students are assigned on-campus housing.
Pennsylvania House residence hall.
percent always use numbers: 3 percent, 87 percent, etc.
Do not use the percent sign.
Phillips Hall one of the three buildings that comprise the
phone numbers for DC numbers, do not use area code; for
other numbers, use area code with a forward slash: 703/555-1212. For GW
numbers, always use 994.
professor titles capitalize before names: Professor of Law
Jack Friedenthal. Lowercase when used after a name: Jack Friedenthal,
professor of law. In cases that are not clear as to what school the professor
comes from, add the appropriate school abbreviation: Aseem Prakash, assistant
professor of strategic management and public policy and international
affairs, SBPM. Capitalize endowed professorships: Gustavo Hormiga, Weintraub
Professor of Biology.
the highest professorial status at GW. The preference is to use
the capitalized title before a name so as to avoid confusion if used after
Prometheus GWs course-based software that students
and faculty members use to supplement and enhance the classroom experience.
Developed at GW, but now owned by Blackboard.
Quigleys now the department of geography, but formerly
Registrar capitalize Office of the University Registrar; registrars
office is lowercase on subsequent references.
Rice Hall main administration building on campus which houses
the University President, vice president for academic affairs, vice president
for student and academic support, Office of University Relations, etc.
Riverside Towers Hall do not use: now known as International
Rome Hall one of the three buildings that comprise the Academic
Ross Hall academic (medical) building.
Samson Hall academic building.
Schenley Hall residence hall.
School of Business and Public Management
spell out on first reference; SBPM acceptable on subsequent references
and headlines. Use business school sparingly. One of the nine degree-granting
schools at the University, it was established in 1899. Main offices located
in the Hall of Government. In the planning stages of a new building.
School of Engineering and Applied Science
spell out on first reference; SEAS acceptable on subsequent references
and headlines. Use engineering school as a third option. One of the nine
degree-granting schools at the University, it was established in 1884.
Located in Tompkins Engineering Hall and at the Virginia Campus.
School of Media and Public Affairs spell out on first reference;
SMPA acceptable on subsequent references and headlines. The school is
a division of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and is lead by
a director. All offices located in the Media and Public Affairs Building.
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
spell out on first reference; GWs Medical School acceptable on subsequent
references as is the Medical School. One of the nine degree-granting schools
at the University, it was established in 1825 and is the 11th oldest medical
school in the country.
School of Public Health and Health Services
spell out on first reference; SPHHS acceptable on subsequent references.
One of the nine degree-granting schools at the University, it was established
in 1997 as the first school in the nation to formally combine public health
and health services.
School Without Walls
seasons no caps: fall 1994, not fall of 1994. Capitalize
if part of a formal name.
semesters no caps: fall semester
Smith Hall of Art one of the three buildings that comprise
the Academic Center.
Smith Center see Charles E. Smith Center.
Smithsonian Institution Smithsonian is acceptable on first
reference. Add the name of the museum if necessary: the Smithsonians
American History Museum.
spokesman, spokeswoman not spokesperson; use representative
if unsure of a persons gender.
square 43, 57 properties planned for future residence halls.
state abbreviations use postal codes, not Associated Press
style: DC, MD, VA, NY, etc.
Staughton Hall residence hall.
Stockton Hall academic building; one of four buildings that
comprise the Law School.
Strong Hall residence hall.
Stuart Hall academic building that faces the University
Student and Academic Support Services SASS is acceptable
on subsequent references.
Student Health Services
Support Building the headquarters of facilities management.
Symphonic Band, University
Symphony Orchestra, University
Thurston Hall residence hall.
TicketMaster an office is located in the Marvin Center.
time use numerals with lowercase am and
pm. Use noon and midnight instead of 12 pm and 12 am, respectively. Use
1011 am, etc.
today, tonight use only in direct quotations, otherwise,
use the day of the week if its within seven days of publication
and the day plus the date in all other cases (do not use the current year):
June 19th publication: use Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday,
Sunday, Monday to represent June 19-25; day plus date on all other examples.
Tompkins Hall of Engineering Tompkins Hall is acceptable
on first reference, as well.
Trachtenberg, Stephen Joel the University president. Capitalize
titles before his name, lowercase after his name: President Trachtenberg,
Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, University president.
United States, US, USA Abbreviate the United States only
when used as an adjective. Spell it out whenever it is used as a noun:
The US State Department is located two blocks from campus; The government
of the United States is one of the nation's largest employers.
University capitalize on all references to The George Washington
University, GW, etc. Lowercase when referring to other universities.
University Police Department UPD is acceptable on second
reference. Do not use the phrase security department, etc.
University Relations, Office of
vice president capitalize when placed before a name: Vice
President for Academic Affairs Donald Lehman. Use in lowercase for all
other references. Vice presidents, including assistant vice presidents,
are for an area, not of an area.
Virginia Campus use on first reference. Located in Ashburn,
VA, the campus occupies 90 acres in the heart of University Center, a
576-acre corporate, research, and technology park. Opened in 1991, the
Virginia Campus has programs and partnerships with local technology companies,
government agencies, and businesses among other academic pursuits. It
is led by an executive dean, in conjunction with the degree-granting school
Washington when referring to the city, do not add DC after.
Washington can stand alone and it will be recognizable. When referring
to the state, use the state of Washington or Washington state to avoid
Web site italicize all Web site addresses. The Universitys
home page is www.gwu.edu.
West End Citizens Association
Woodhull House headquarters of the University Police Department.
World Bank use World Bank/IMF meetings when referring to
the meetings held in DC that the institutions hold at the same time.
World Wide Web always italicize Web addresses.
Yard, the University
2000 Penn acceptable on first reference for one of the Universitys
commercial properties located at 2000 Pennsylvania Ave.
site was last updated April 10, 2002