Commonly Used Associated
Press (AP) Style

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academic departments
Capitalize only when using an official, complete department name or when a proper noun or adjective is used. Prepositions should be lowercase in all instances. For example: Jane Smith is in the Department of English or The English department has productive scholars.

Avoid unnecessary capitalization. Capitalize proper nouns. Common nouns such as “university” and “president” should be capitalized only when used as part of a full name for a person, place or thing: The University at Buffalo is a research institution. The university is among the nation’s top research institutions. President John B. Simpson served as an administrator in California before coming to Buffalo. The president is a native of California and completed his bachelor’s degree there.

Not cell phone. Similarly, smartphone.

dates and months
When a month is included as part of a specific date, use Jan., Feb., March, April, May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. For example: John Smith’s birthday is Sept. 12, 1985. Jane Smith’s birthday is June 7, 1983. Do not abbreviate the names of any months when only a month and year are given: The research project began in January 2000 and ended in November 2003.

As show above, do not hyphenate. However, a hyphen should be used with e-book, e-business and e-commerce.

Do not use a hyphen or split fundraiser into two words. Correct: Fundraiser, fundraising.

Always capitalize: She surfed the Internet.

Use first and last name on first reference and last name only on second reference. In cases where two people have the same last name, use first and last names on second reference: John Smith is a prolific researcher. Smith has been at UB since 1984. His son, David Smith, joined UB one year ago. David Smith is a great researcher, though he has less experience than John Smith. In general, do not use courtesy titles. Use middle initials according to a person’s preference and when the initials help identify a specific individual. For information on how to use Dr., see entry in the UB Style section of this Web site on doctors.

When referring to common objects, spell out one through nine and use figures for 10 and above: Jane Smith has two computers, three pieces of paper, 10 pencils and 11 pens on her desk. See entries in the Associated Press Stylebook for information on using numbers in circumstances not outlined here. Except when denoting a year, numbers at the start of a sentence should always be spelled out: 2009 has been a great year for Jane Smith. Sixty-six students signed up for a class she created.

  • age – Use figures when referring to age: Jane Smith, 35, has a 1-year-old daughter. She also has a boy who is 10 years old.
  • billion and million - Use figures with million or billion: A $1.5 million grant or 1 billion people.
  • dimensions and weights – Use figures with dimensions and weights: A 4-foot-long fence or a rock that weighs 3 ounces.
  • percentages – Use figures with percentages: 1 percent or 99 percent. Use figures when referring to ratios: 2-to-1.
  • street addresses – See entry for street addresses in this style guide.
  • telephone numbers – See entry for telephone numbers in this style guide.
  • times – See entry for times in this style guide for information on using numbers to refer to times.

serial commas
Do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series: UB’s researchers are hardworking, innovative and creative. Use a comma before the conjunction in a complex series: In considering Jane Smith for the job of research assistant, the faculty member considered whether Smith had enough research experience to complete required duties, whether Smith would be able to continue working for more than one semester, and whether Smith was enthusiastic about the project at hand.

street addresses
When giving a numbered address, use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd., and St. and spell out all other similar words such as Drive and Circle. When only a street name is given, spell out all words: The Jefferson Family Medicine Center is at 1315 Jefferson Ave., at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and East Utica Street. North, East, South and West should abbreviated as N., E., S. and W. only when a numbered address is given: UB’s family medicine department has offices at 132 W. Main St. in Cuba, N.Y. or UB’s family medicine department has offices on Main Street in Cuba, N.Y. For address numbers, use figures: The UB Anderson Gallery is at 1 Martha Jackson Place. Spell out First through Ninth when used as street names, but use figures for 10th Street, 11th Street and above.

telephone numbers
Use figures with hyphens, without parentheses: 716-645-2000

With the exception of noon and midnight, use figures and lowercase letters. Always use the word “to” to separate times that denote the beginning and end of an event: The class began at noon and ended at 1 p.m. John Smith skipped the class because he worked from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. He went to bed at midnight.

In general, for academic titles, capitalize only formal titles that precede a name. Prepositions should be lowercase in all instances: Vice President of Student Affairs John Smith wears glasses or John Smith, vice president of student affairs, wears glasses. “Professor” is always capitalized when a faculty member is a UB Distinguished Professor and/or SUNY Distinguished Professor, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor or SUNY Distinguished Service Professor.  It also is capitalized when it used in the name of an endowed professorship, such as the Albert and Elizabeth Rekate Professor of Medicine. For information on non-academic titles, see the Associated Press Stylebook entry on titles. Commonly used titles that are abbreviated include Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep. and Sen. when they precede a name: Gov. David Paterson.

One word, not capitalized.


Other resources

Graphic Standards

Guidelines for maintaining the consistency of the UB brand.

Reaching Others Brand Campaign

A new brand campaign showcasing the excellence of UBís people and programs.