Style Guide

This style guide identifies the rules, conventions, usage, and preferred spellings that are commonly used in University of Wisconsin Law School publications. The style guide is intended to provide stylistic consistency by choosing among various correct but alternative rules of spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, punctuation, etc., and by documenting those choices. Stylistic consistency enables writers and editors to work more efficiently, and it helps readers to concentrate on content without being distracted by variations in how rules and conventions are applied from one page to the next and from one publication to another.

We hope that you find this style guide useful. Remember that the guidelines below are not rigid rules and that, like the English language itself, this style guide will change over time. When the guidelines assist you, use them. When they present problems, make judicious but consistently applied exceptions.


General Style Matters

In general, follow The Associated Press Stylebook and Merriam-Webster dictionary.  

Numbers: Spell out the numbers zero through nine; use numerals for 10 and above. Round numbers in text. Similarly, spell out one to nine dollars; use numerals and dollar symbol for larger amounts. For further guidance, see the entries for numbers, dimensions, dollars, percent, and weights.

Capitalization: capitalize prepositions of five or more letters in titles and headings. See the entries for capitalization and composition titles for further guidance.

Use italics rather than quotation marks to introduce technical terms: The term voir dire means

Introduce abbreviations as follows: Legal Education Opportunities (LEO). Note that there are no quotation marks around the abbreviation.

Social media: Follow the AP guidelines, last revised November 2011.

Style Guide (1)


academic degrees

For most references, use law degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, or doctorate in place of degree abbreviations. Bachelor of arts degree or master of fine arts degree is also acceptable. Use abbreviations only when necessary to distinguish the specific type of degree or when the use of full terms would prove cumbersome, such as in a list: She received her J.D. from Marquette and an LL.M. in taxation from Georgetown. He has an M.D. as well as a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Use commonly accepted abbreviations such as J.D., LL.B., LL.M., LL.D., B.A., M.A., M.S., Ph.D., etc. (note the periods). The word degree should not follow a degree abbreviation. See honors concerning terms of academic distinction used with degrees; see majors for referring to degrees in specific subjects.

academic departments

Capitalize name of department and the words department, college, office, and school only when they appear as part of official name. Words such as department can be omitted on second reference, but if the department is still referred to by its official name, it should be capitalized. On the other hand, casual references to a department, where department is used as a descriptor, usually don't need to be capitalized: Department of Political Science; but a political science committee, the political science department. Do not capitalize department names when they are used to indicate the subject a professor teaches: Department of Anthropology, Dave Brown of Anthropology; but Dave Brown, professor of anthropology. Do not capitalize the words college, school, university, or department on second reference: College of Letters and Science, Law School, UW-Madison; but the college, the school, the university.

academic staff

Use only for employees officially designated as academic staff: Members of the academic staff, academic-staff member Jane Black.

Academic Staff Executive Committee (ASEC)

The executive arm of the Academic Staff Assembly.

academic titles

Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as professor, dean, president, chancellor, professor emeritus, and chairman only when they precede a name; lowercase when used in apposition: Dean Davis; Professor Julian Pleasants. But history professor Julian Pleasants; Julian Pleasants, professor of history; department chair Jon Roosenraad

Do not capitalize ad hoc epithets that denote a person's duties: photographer Ann Wilson (not Photographer Ann Wilson). 

See named professorships for the exception regarding formal named professor titles. See also emeritus.

according to

Use only when citing documents or other nonhuman sources.



Acronyms may be used to refer to an organization on second and subsequent references. In the first reference to the organization, set out the acronym parenthetically: Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). If an organization's acronym is widely known, use the acronym for all references: IRS, FBI, CIA, CBS. (For further examples, see specific headings.) In general, use capital letters without periods for acronyms that are composed of the first letter of each word in the official name: NAACP, NLRB. If the acronym is a combination of words, capitalize only the first letter of each word: WiscInfo


Acceptable in all references for the college entrance exam American College Test. See also LSAT; SAT.


Always lowercase, but capitalize any formal title if it comes before a name: acting Dean Peter Barry.


Use street addresses only for off-campus events and for announcements of events to off-campus audiences. Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with a numbered address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Spell them out and capitalize when part of a formal street name without a number: Pennsylvania Avenue.

Lowercase and spell out when used alone or with more than one street name: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania avenues.

All similar words (alley, drive, road, terrace, etc.) always are spelled out. Capitalize them when part of a formal name without a number; lowercase when used alone or with two or more names.

Always use figures for an address number: 9 Morningside Circle. Spell out and capitalize First through Ninth when used as street names; use figures for 10th and above: 7 Fifth Ave., 100 21st St.

Abbreviate compass points used to indicate directional ends of a street or quadrants of a city in a numbered address: 222 E. 42nd St., 562 W. 43rd St., 600 K St. NW. Do not abbreviate if the number is omitted: East 42nd Street, West 43rd Street, K Street Northwest. No periods in quadrant abbreviations — NW, SE — unless customary locally.


Title used for faculty with limited-term appointments. Although the University uses the term adjunct professor, the Law School does not. Use adjunct, lecturer or member of the adjunct faculty.

admission, admittance

Use admittance for physical entry to a specific place: no admittance to Ogg Hall. Use admission for figurative entry (admission of evidence) or, when physical entry is involved, in the further sense of right or privilege of participation: admission to law school, the price of admission to Mitchell Theatre.

Admissions, admissions office

Acceptable on second reference for the Law School Admissions Office.

Admitted Students Weekend

Use the plural students.


Not advisor.

affect, effect

Each is a verb and a noun. Affect is almost always a verb and effect most often a noun: drugs that affect the nervous system; the effect of drugs on the nervous system; his complaint had no effect on the dean. Effect as a verb means to bring about a change; affect as a noun signifies a feeling or emotion.


Not afterwards.

African-American Acceptable for an American black person of African descent. Black is also acceptable. The terms are not necessarily interchangeable. People from Caribbean nations, for example, generally refer to themselves as Caribbean-American. Follow a person's preference. See nationalities and races and race.


As adjective.


all right

Never alright. Hyphenate only as unit modifier: he is an all-right student.

alma mater


Acceptable in all references to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

although, though

These are often interchangeable. Although is most often the first word of a concessive clause: Although she was tired, she accepted. Though does not always come first: Tired though she was, she accepted. Though is more commonly used to link single words or phrases: wiser though poorer.

alumni association

Acceptable on second reference for the Wisconsin Alumni Association or for alumni associations of specific schools or colleges: the Law School's alumni association. See Wisconsin Alumni Association.

alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae

Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a woman. Use alumni when referring to groups of men and women. In most informal uses, alum is an acceptable alternative. These terms can be used for people who attended and did not graduate.

a.m., p.m.


Capitalize when referring to amendments of the U.S. Constitution. Spell out the numbers one through nine; use numerals for 10 and above: Fourth Amendment; 14th Amendment. See also Constitution, U.S.

American College Test

ACT is acceptable on all references.

American Indian

See Native American.

American Indian Studies Program

America's Dairyland


Use only as part of an official name (Eli Lilly & Co.) or abbreviation (L&S). Do not use as a substitute for and.


See between.


antitrust, antitrust law

anybody, any body, anyone, any one

One word for an indefinite reference: anyone can do it. Two words when the emphasis is on singling out one element of a group: any one of them can do it.

armed forces


See Red Gym.


Journal articles, stories in a newspaper or magazine, book chapters, and other portions of a published work should be enclosed in quotation marks. See also composition titles


See like.


Preferred term for Americans of Asian descent. Hyphenate as adjective or noun. As with term African-American, we are following New York Times style, to clearly distinguish Asian from Asian-American.

Asian/Pacific Islander

Asian Pacific-American Law Students Association (APALSA)


Use assembly on second reference to refer to the Wisconsin State Assembly. If there may be confusion, use state assembly for the state legislative body.

assure, ensure, insure

A person assures (makes promises to, convinces) other persons and ensures (makes certain) that things occur or that events take place. Insure means to establish a contract for insurance of some type. Any predicates beginning with that should be introduced by the verb ensure, if the verb is in the active voice. [Garner, Dictionary of Modern American Usage]

at-will, at will

Hyphenate before noun, not after.


Capitalize as title before person's name.


Adjective, as in attorney-client privilege.

attorney fees

Not attorney's fees.



All opinions, predictions, interpretations, and statements derived from a speaker's expertise should be attributed through direct or indirect quotation to the speaker. In most cases, a form of to say is the best form of attribution; present tense (says) is preferred to past (said). According to should not be used to attribute thoughts to a speaker. See quotations for additional rules on quoting speakers.



bachelor's degree

Use instead of abbreviations for most references. See academic degrees.

back pay

Two words, no hyphen, as noun and adjective.


bad faith

As adjective, two words, no hyphen.


Official team name of UW men's and women's athletic teams. Acceptable as a substitute for UW on second reference for athletic teams or athletes: the Badgers host Minnesota, Badger athletes. Do not use to refer to other parts of the university or the state.

Benchers Society

No apostrophe. On second reference, can use Benchers.


Not benefits as adjective: employee benefit issues.

benefiting, benefited

between, among

Use between to show relationship between two objects; use among when more than two objects are involved.

Big 10

Use Big 10 to refer to the 11 schools that make up the athletic conference by the same name (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, and Wisconsin). Using Big 10 in academic references is acceptable in some cases: Chancellors of Big 10 universities; other schools in the Big 10. However, some UW-Madison peer groups include more than just Big 10 schools (see CIC, for example). Be sure to include other schools if this is the case.

BioStar Initiative

Capital S.


Acceptable for quotes or names of organizations. Use African-American for all other references.

Black Law Students Association (BLSA)


Board of Regents

A 17-member panel that oversees the UW System. Use UW System Board of Regents on first reference and regents or board on second reference. Regents are appointed by the governor and are led by a president.

book titles

In general, set in italics. 

See composition titles.




As an adjective, use hyphens.


As an adjective, use hyphens.

Bucky Badger

Use only for specific references to the UW's mascot.


Capitalize official names of campus facilities. On second reference, lowercase when proper name is not used: the Mosse Humanities Building; but the building. Include street addresses only when citing the location of an off-campus event or for an event for off-campus audiences. In some cases, building may be used to prevent confusion with the academic department of the same name; do not capitalize building in these cases (Law School, Law School building), but in most cases building names can stand alone (Grainger Hall, School of Human Ecology).

business, firm names

As of 2014, we no longer include entity type (PC, LLC, etc.); this is inline with common formatting standards. For example, use Smith & Jones, not Smith & Jones, LLC.

  • The phrase and title “of counsel” is lowercase.





Adjective. Use hyphen.

Camp Randall

Camp Randall, located on campus west of Randall Avenue, was used as a training ground, hospital, and stockade during the Civil War. The university's athletic facilities are located on the site of Camp Randall, along with a park and a memorial arch. Be sure to distinguish Camp Randall Stadium, the UW football stadium, from Camp Randall.


Resist the temptation to use campus as a substitute for UW-Madison. The word is best used where it refers to the physical setting of the university: construction on campus, but not drinking on campus unless you mean within the physical bounds of campus; advising at UW-Madison, but not advising on UW-Madison's campus.

Campus Assistance and Visitors Center (CAVC)

Housed in the Red Gym, the CAVC runs the visitors center, as well as other services such as campus tours, group visits, and information requests. When directing people to its visitor offices, use visitors center.


can, may

Can is used to indicate ability to do something, may to ask, grant, or deny permission to do it.

cancelled, cancelling


One word.


Capital is the city in which the seat of government is located. It is also used to describe money, equipment, or property: Capital Square; capital budget; The state capital is Madison. Capitol is the building in which state or federal government is housed. See capitol.

Capital Square


In general, avoid unnecessary capital letters. Use a capital letter only if you can justify it by one of the principles listed here. Many words and phrases, including special cases, are listed separately. If there is no relevant listing for a particular word or phrase, consult a dictionary.

Proper nouns: Capitalize nouns that identify a specific person, place, or thing: Heather, Atlanta, Africa.

Proper names: Capitalize common nouns such as party, river, street, west, college, and university when they are an integral part of the full name for a person, place, or thing: Democratic Party, Potomac River, Fleet Street, West Virginia, College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lowercase when they stand alone in subsequent references: the party, the river, the street, the college, the university. In general, capitalize common nouns when used in the plural if they would be capitalized in singular form for all proper names: Mississippi and Missouri Rivers; Mounts McKinley, St. Helens, and Rainier; Main and State Streets; National and Warner Theaters

Titles: Capitalize formal titles when used immediately before a name. Lowercase formal titles when used alone or in constructions that set them off from a name by commas. Governor McCallum, Mayors Giuliani and Dinkins; Tammy Baldwin, congresswoman from Wisconsin

See also academic titles.


The building in which state or federal government is housed. Use lowercase for state houses; capitalize for the building in Washington, DC: The state budget debate will head to the capitol. The Capitol was closed because of the anthrax scare. Also, Capitol Hill; but Capital Square (in Madison). See also capital.


case file

case law


case work


See temperatures; see also metric system.

Center for Patient Partnerships

Formerly the Patient Advocacy Project. Law School clinic, jointly run with Medical and Nursing Schools.


Use lowercase when not referring to the full name of an academic or research center: the Campus Assistance Center; but the center.

central daylight time, central standard time

When spelled out, use lowercase. CDT and CST are also acceptable.


See days, months, years. Spell out first through ninth centuries and use numbers for 10th and above, with century in lowercase: fourth-century technology; the 20th century.


Acceptable on first reference for chief executive officer.


Alternative to chairman or chairwoman: department chair.


Capitalize as a formal title preceding a name or part of a formal office or committee name. Lowercase second reference: Chancellor John Wiley, the Chancellor's Office; but the chancellor will attend. Use just last name on second reference, no title.

child care

As adjective, no hyphen.

child support

As adjective, no hyphen.


In general, include state names with cities outside Wisconsin. The following major cities do not require state names:










Las Vegas

Los Angeles




New Orleans

New York

Oklahoma City




St. Louis

Salt Lake City

San Antonio

San Diego

San Francisco



(Add DC if it would be confusing not to do so:

Washington, DC

For some cities in Wisconsin, a state name may not be necessary if it is obvious that the city is in the state: The UW System Board of Regents will meet on the River Falls campus. Faculty touring the state visited a Portage farm. In publications distributed to an in-state or primarily in-state audience, the following cities can stand alone: Appleton, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Kenosha, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Platteville, Racine, and Wausau.

class action

As adjective, no hyphen.


A class is a single meeting of students enrolled in a course. See course titles.

class years for students and alumni

Capitalize Class if it is used, with graduation year in full: She is a member of the Class of 1985.

For identifying people by class when they are known to be students or alumni: Joan Smith '85, Peter Jones '02 (no comma, no parentheses).


clean up, cleanup

Use clean up (two words) as a verb; use cleanup (one word) as a noun or adjective.

clerk of court

Not clerk of courts.

close, near

Close is preferred when immediate proximity is meant: the ball came close to hitting you; but the demonstration was near Library Mall.




Coed residence halls house students of both sexes. Never use to refer to a female college student.



Not collectable.

collective bargaining

As adjective, no hyphen.

collective nouns

Collective nouns, such as committee, group, faculty, and staff can be used in singular and plural senses. Use singular when the term refers to the whole unit: The French faculty meets regularly with the other language faculties. The committee is scheduled to vote Thursday. Use plural form when the term refers to individual members within the collective: The faculty are divided. The staff sometimes disagree among themselves.


Capitalize only as part of a formal title on first reference. See academic departments.

College of Letters and Science (L&S)


Use UW Colleges on all collective references to these 13 two-center campuses. See UW Colleges.


Capitalize names of specific committees and task forces: The Committee on Undergraduate Education met yesterday. Lowercase second references: The task force selected the guest speakers.

composition titles

In general, use italics for the following: titles of books, pamphlets, movies, plays, and works of art; newspapers, journals, and other periodicals; and operas and long musical compositions. 

In addition, use italics for titles of televison programs that are continuing series; use quotation marks, however, to refer to a nonseries program or a single episode: Her favorite episode of The Simpsons is "Marge vs. the Monorail." 

In general, use quotation marks for titles of poems, songs, and unpublished works such as lectures and speeches. But, use italics for titles of poetry collections and long poems published separately: Paradise Lost; "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," from Prufrock and Other Observations

Use plain roman type for references to the Bible. 

Capitalize the first and last words and all principal words (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs) of a title. In addition, capitalize all subordinating conjunctions (if, because, as, that, etc.). Capitalize prepositions of five or more letters; use lowercase for prepositions of four or fewer letters. Use lowercase for articles, coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, for, nor), and the to in infinitives: Of Mice and Men; All's Well That Ends Well; "Everybody's Got Something to Hide (Except for Me and My Monkey)." 

Translate a foreign title into English unless a work is known to the American public by its foreign name: Vivaldi's The Four Seasons; but Verdi's La Traviata.

See also course titles, articles, and lectures for more guidelines.


Acceptable to use in sense of "expressing a mere conclusion of fact without stating the specific facts upon which the conclusion is based." [Garner]

conflict of interest

As a noun, no hyphens. Use hyphens as an adjective: The partner raised several conflict-of-interest concerns.

conflict of law

As a noun, no hyphens. Use hyphens as an adjective.

Constitution, U.S.

Capitalize all subparts: Article I, Section 8, Clause 17. [Bluebook Rule 8]

See also Amendment.

Constitution, Wisconsin

Lowercase all subparts: article VII, section 2 [implied by Bluebook Rule 8]

Consumer Law Litigation Clinic

Law School clinical program.

contact, call

Use contact when describing how to get in touch with a specific person or office: Contact Helen Jones, 262-8000, Contact the office at 262-8000. Use call when only a phone number is listed: Call 262-8000 for information.

Continuing Legal Education in Wisconsin (CLEW)

course titles

Lowercase when referring to multiple courses or courses in general: a fine-arts class; business classes. Uppercase if referring to specific name of a class or the class uses a proper noun or numeral: Psychology 200; History 205: Early American History; the professor teaches Introduction to Political Theory and a section of Government Affairs.

course work

courtesy titles

In general, do not use the courtesy titles Miss, Mr., Mrs., or Ms. with first and last names of the person: Betty Ford; Jimmy Carter. Do not use Mr. in any reference unless it is combined with Mrs.: Mr. and Mrs. John Smith; Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Do not use titles such as Professor, Chancellor, Doctor, or Dr. on second reference. [Chicago does not address this issue; this rule is a departure from AP style, which suggests using Dr. with medical doctors.]


Criminal Appeals Project

Clinical program in the Law School's Remington Center.

criminal justice

As adjective, no hyphen: criminal justice issues.

currently, presently

Often can delete these words because verb tense makes meaning clear. Currently means now; presently means in the very near future.


Curricula in plural form.

curriculum vitae

Academic equivalent of a résumé. Do not use CV or vita. Plural is curricula vitae. Note that both singular and plural include form vitae.


Use parentheses to denote position of persons in cutlines. For large groups use from left before the first name: James Lawson (center), professor of history, answers a question posed by Tina Swanson (right); Band members (from left) Julie Thomas, Bill Davis, etc.



Long dashes—called em dashes—can be used to interject a clause into an otherwise complete sentence: He looked for an answer—working days and nights—without finding one.

  • For web and email, follow AP Style: no spaces between the em dash and the text that precedes and follows it.
  • For print projects, follow Chicago Style: insert a space before and after the dash.

Use en dashes to indicate inclusive numbers, dates, etc.: Orientation week runs from August 25-29


Spell out months and days of the week, except in closely set matter such as tables and lists: Tuesday, August 9; September 15, 1991. Never use a comma between the month and year when a specific day is not mentioned; the same applies for seasons: September 2001; fall 1991. The year should be set off by commas when a complete date is given: He always said that February 8, 1990, was the most important day of his life

See also days, months, years.


daylight saving time

Not savings. When spelled out, use lowercase. DST is also acceptable. 

days, months, years

Do not use on with dates when its absence would not lead to confusion: the program ends December 15 (not on December 15).

To describe sequences or inclusive dates or times use an en dash instead of to: Apply here May 7-9, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. 

Use numerals rather than words or ordinal numbers (such as 10th, 11th, and 12th) when referring to specific dates: Submit applications by October 14 (not October 14th). 

Spell out references to centuries, spelling out the numbers one through nine and using numerals for 10 and above; century is lowercased: the fourth century; the 19th century. For decades, use figures and add an s with no apostrophe to make the plural: 1960s; the 1890s. Use an apostrophe to substitute for the current century when citing class years or for other short references to a decade: She belonged to the Class of '72. Her father was a young man in the '40s. 

See also dates.

days of the week

Do not abbreviate, except when needed in a tabular format. 

See also time element.

de novo

Use roman type, not italics. See Latin words.


Capitalize as part of title: Dean Kenneth B. Davis, Jr. Do not capitalize when general: All the deans and directors agreed.


See days, months, years.


See academic degrees. For weather usage, see temperatures.


Capitalize only as part of a formal title on first reference. See academic departments.

Department of Corrections (DOC)

Department of Workforce Development (DWD)


Not descendent.


Spell out the numbers one through nine; use numerals for 10 and above. (See numbers for further guidance.) Spell out terms such as inches, feet, yards, meters, kilometers, etc., to indicate length, width, depth, height, and acreage. However, 5K and 10K are acceptable on first reference when describing walks, runs, bike rides, etc. Hyphenate adjectival forms before nouns: a pipe measuring four inches; but a four-inch pipe. The elephant is 12 feet, 12 inches at the shoulder. But a 12-foot-12-inch elephant

See also weights.


Lowercase unless part of a formal title preceding a name.


Not diskette.


No need to spell out.


Professor is preferred. Use Dr. as a formal title only in quotes or when one's academic background is at issue. See courtesy titles; titles.


Not doctorate degree. Use doctorate instead of abbreviations for most references. See academic degrees.


Acceptable on second reference for the Division of Information Technology, the centralized computing-services organization for UW-Madison.


Always use lowercase. Spell out the numbers one through nine; use numerals for 10 and above. (See numbers for further guidance.) If an amount is spelled out, spell out dollars; if the amount is expressed in numerals, use the dollar sign: The book cost four dollars. I owe you $25. For specified amounts, use a singular verb: He said $500,000 is what they want. For very large round numbers, spell out units of millions or billions, accompanied by the dollar sign and numerals up to two decimal places. Do not link the numerals and the unit word by a hyphen, even as a compound modifier: He is worth $4.35 million. She is a $6 million woman. But He is worth $4,234,234

do's and don'ts


Use a slash (/) with no spaces when referring to the official drop/add period.

due process

As adjective, no hyphen: due process issues.


East Asian Legal Studies Center

eastern daylight time, eastern standard time

When spelled out, use lowercase. EDT and EST are also acceptable. 

Economic Justice Institute, Inc.

Formerly the Center for Public Representation, Inc. (CPR).  Public interest law firm that, among other things, provides clinical experience for UW law students.


See affect, effect.


Use only in parenthetical matter. 

ellipsis ( . )

Use an ellipsis to indicate the deletion of one or more words in condensing quotations from people, texts, and documents. Treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, using a space before and after the group of periods. To prevent splitting an ellipsis when typesetting, do not use spaces between the periods, or use a thin-space (or hard-space) option, if available. 


Acceptable on all references for electronic mail. When typing email addresses, do not use capital letters or parentheses, slashes, or any other punctuation to set email addresses apart from other text. List name, phone, and email when appropriate and separate with commas: Contact JoAnne Baker, 262-1234, Avoid dividing email addresses between lines, but if division is necessary, do so at a period or the @ sign, and do not use a hyphen.

Note: we purposefully make an exception to the Chicago rule and use "email" instead of "e-mail" for all print projects, including the Gargoyle.


Used to denote individuals who have retired but retain their rank or title. Use emeritus when referring to a male professor and emerita for a female professor. Use professors emeritus when referring to groups of men and women. Place after the formal title: Professor Emeritus Samuel Eliot Morison; Deborah Hancock, professor emerita of history. Not all retirees receive emeritus status; consult a current list (one is printed in the campus directory) to be certain. Some retirees may retain named professorships. See named professorships; see also academic titles.

ensure, insure, assure

Ensure means to guarantee. Insure means to establish a contract for insurance of some type.

entitled, titled

Entitled means one has the right to something (She is entitled to the inheritance.); use titled to introduce the name of a publication, musical composition, seminar, etc.

estate planning

As adjective, no hyphen.


Use only in parenthetical matter and separate with commas. Do not use and in the clause that includes etc.: (Books, journals, manuscripts, etc., are available at the library.)

ethical, ethics

Ethical can mean either "conforming to ethics" or "relating to ethics." Distinguishing which sense is intended, however, is not always clear. To avoid this confusion, use ethical for the former sense: conforming to ethics. E.g.: ethical authorization, breach, conduct, considerations, duty, limitation, prohibition, qualification, requirements (in the general sense), restriction, stricture, violation, etc. For the second sense--relating to ethics--use ethics as a modifier: ethics rule, opinion, provision, code, commission, guidelines, clearinghouse, project, requirements (relating specifically to continuing legal education requirements), etc.


Not excludible or exclusible. [Garner]

See includable, includible.


facsimile transmission

Use fax.


Hyphenate. [Garner]

fact gathering

No hyphen.


Can stand alone on most references; use member in conjunction with faculty only when stating a person's membership among the faculty: The faculty voted down the proposal. Smith was on the faculty for 30 years. Smith, a member of the faculty, voted against the proposal. Like other collective nouns (group, staff, committee), faculty can be used in singular and plural senses. Use singular when the term refers to the whole unit: The law faculty has regular monthly meetings. Use plural form when the term refers to individual members within the collective: The faculty are divided.


See seasons.

Family Law Clinic

Law School clinic.

Family Law Project

Clinical program in the Law School's Remington Center.


Not facsimile transmission.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

To refer to a specific rule in text, use Federal Rule of Civil Procedure xx. For short references, use rule xx. (Note: do not use italics.)

fewer, less

In general, use fewer for individual items, less for bulk or quantity: I had less than $50 in my pocket. But I had fewer than 50 one-dollar bills in my pocket.

Field House

Official name of the gymnasium at the corner of Randall Avenue and Monroe Street. For external publications, use UW Field House to clarify its connection with campus. Formerly the home court for UW basketball games, the Field House is used for volleyball, wrestling, and other campus events.

focused, focuses, focusing

One s.

foreign words

Use foreign words and abbreviations if they are commonly known by readers. Foreign words that have been assimilated into the English language (e.g., rendezvous, alumnus) do not need to be translated or italicized. Similarly, Latin legal terms should not be italicized. Example: pro bono. See Latin words.

Use italics for foreign words that are not part of the English language but whose meaning is commonly known: je ne sais quoi; hasta la vista.

Avoid using foreign words or phrases that are not commonly known; use them only in special applications such as medical terminology. In these cases, italicize the words and provide a translation. 

forgo, forego

Forgo means "to go without." Do not confuse with forego, which means "to go before."


Not formulae. This is an exception to the style for pluralizing Latin words.


Do not abbreviate for cities or military installations: Fort Lauderdale; Fort Myers; Fort Bragg; Fort Mose


Not fora. This is an exception to the style for pluralizing Latin words.

14th Amendment

Fourth Amendment


Spell out common fractions: one-half; two-thirds; three-fourths; three and one-half miles. Use numerals to express quantities consisting of whole numbers and fractions: 8½-by-11-inch paper

Frank J. Remington Center

Full name is Frank J. Remington Center for Education, Research, and Services in Criminal Justice. Houses the following clinical programs at UW Law School: Legal Assistance to Institutionalized Persons Project (LAIP), Criminal Appeals Project, Family Law Project, Wisconsin Innocence Project, Restorative Justice Project, Neighborhood Law Project, Prosecution Project, Public Defender Project.


See student classifications.

fund-raiser, fund-raising



Capitalize and italicize for name of Law School alumni magazine. Although we say "the Gargoyle" when referring to this magazine, the word "The" is not part of its title. When referring to the sculpted figure standing near the 2nd floor entrance, use lowercase: We gave the speaker a gargoyle.

good, well

Good is an adjective that means something is as it should be or is better than average: The soup smells good. The music sounds good. When used as an adjective, well means suitable, proper, healthy. When used as an adverb, well means in a satisfactory manner or skillfully: I hope you are well. He did well on his entrance exam.

good faith

As an adjective, do not hyphenate.


Noun. One word.


Rather than government as a modifier: governmental policy.


Capitalize and spell out when used as a formal title before one or more names in regular text; lowercase and spell out in other references: Governor Scott McCallum shook the senator's hand. "Governor Thompson will sign," said the press secretary. The governor refused to sign the bill.


Spell out grade point average on first reference. GPA is acceptable on second reference. UW grade point averages are based on a 4.0 scale.


Use capital letters with articles when referring to letter grades: He received an A. It was a C paper. For plural of grades, add 's: She received four A's and two AB's.


As an adjective, lowercase except as part of an official formal title.

graduate school

Capitalize reference to the official Graduate School; lowercase informal references to post-undergraduate education: The Graduate School released transcripts. She attended graduate school at UW-Madison.


Plural is grants-in-aid.


Acceptable on first reference for the Graduate Record Examination.

Greenwich mean time

Spell out as shown above. GMT is also acceptable. 


health care

Two words. Hyphenate as a compound adjective: health-care provider.

Hemsley Theatre

This theater is in Vilas Hall, along with the Mitchell Theatre. University Theatre productions are often staged here.

historical periods

Capitalize names of historical periods, such as the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Many period designations, however, are lowercased except for proper nouns and adjectives: baroque music; romantic period; Hellenistic period

Spell out first through ninth centuries and use numbers for 10th and above, with century in lowercase: fourth-century technology; the 20th century


No need to spell out.


No need to spell out.


Preferred name for descendants of the Hmong population in Southeast Asia. Wisconsin has one of the largest populations of Hmong people in the United States; most Hmong populations came to the United States as refugees from Laos and Thailand during the Vietnam War. Best used as an adjective, not a noun: Hmong customs; students of Hmong descent; She is Hmong. Not The Hmong have lived A Hmong enrolled


Preferred name of the Native American tribe also known as the Winnebago tribe: a Ho-Chunk student; She is Ho-Chunk. Use Ho-Chunk nation when referring to the tribe as a whole.

home page

Two words.


Capitalize when referring to the annual event.


Only use "the Honorable" in a direct quote, or in a list of individuals with honorifics, such as in a conference program. In the latter case, the abbreviation Hon. is traditionally used before a full name when the does not precede the title (Hon. Jane Doe). With the, such titles should be spelled out (the Honorable Jane Doe).


Capitalize only if used as part of an official name: the College of Letters and Science Honors Program; but an honors student. In general, UW-Madison does not use Latin terms (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) for academic distinction. The Law School, however, does use these terms. Use cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude without italics when referring to terms of distinction earned for UW law degrees or other non-UW degrees.


Hopefully means in a hopeful manner. Do not use it in place of it is hoped or let us hope.


See University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.



Use only in parenthetical matter. 

in pari delicto

Use italics.

includable, includible

Includable is the preferred spelling in most contexts. When referring to estate planning, includible is the usual spelling. [Garner]

See excludable.

income tax

As an adjective, do not hyphenate.


In general, use Indian for people who are native to India. Use Native American for people of tribes indigenous to the United States; Indian in this context should only be used in official titles and certain terms of art, such as Indian gaming and Indian law. When possible, be precise and use the name of the tribe: Native American students; She is Navajo. But Indigenous Law Students Association; Great Lakes Indian Law Center. See also Native American.

Indigenous Law Students Association (ILSA)


Persons and things are said to be inferior to others, not inferior than.


In general, do not use middle initials unless the person is commonly known to include an initial: P.T. Barnum, John F. Kennedy, actor Craig T. Nelson. Use periods and no space when an individual uses initials instead of a first name: H.L. Mencken. [Chi. 7.6, 14.2, modified by Bluebook to delete the space between two initials]

Innocence Project

See Wisconsin Innocence Project.



A non-tenure-track faculty rank.

insure, ensure, assure

See assure, ensure, insure.

intermural, intramural

Intermural signifies competition among units of different institutions or communities. Intramural signifies competitive units within the confines of a single community or institution.


The decentralized network of computers linked by high-speed lines. Capitalize in all references to the specific network. For general references to connections of networks, internet can be used: surfing the Internet; but an internet connecting several sites. Do not use Net or other abbreviations unless part of a formal name.

interrelation, interrelationship

intra-office, interoffice

Intra-office refers to several areas within one office or area. Hyphenate to avoid ao combination. Interoffice, meaning between offices, is one word.


No need to spell out.


Abbreviation for information technology; IT is acceptable on second reference.


John Nolen Drive

journals, magazines

Italicize the names of journals, magazines, and other periodicals. Capitalize journal or magazine if it is part of the periodical's official title but not as a descriptor. Do not italicize or capitalize initial articles, such as the: an article in the Journal of Economics; an article in the journal Lingua Franca; an article in Time magazine; the New Yorker writer. 

See composition titles for additional guidelines.

Judicial Commission


Judicial Intern Program

Law School intern program.

Jr., Sr.

Do not precede with a comma (Joe Johnson Jr.) except in business correspondence. Roman numerals never take comma: Joe Johnson III.  Exception: Kenneth B. Davis, Jr.


See student classifications.




Acceptable on second reference for the College of Letters and Science.

La Follette School of Public Affairs

Space after La. Used to be La Follette Institute.

Labor Law Clinical Program

Law School intern program.

Lakefront Cafeteria

land grant

UW-Madison was designated a land-grant institution in 1866 by the Wisconsin Legislature, making it one of the oldest land-grant institutions in the nation. The Morrill Land Grant College Act of 1862 was designed to encourage states to establish agricultural and mechanical arts universities. Since then, the definition of land grant has broadened to mean a philosophy of education that provides research-based education, extension services, and teaching devoted to helping people solve problems. Hyphenate when used as a compound adjective, but not as part of the official name of the Morrill Act.

Latin words

Many Latin words and phrases, such as alumnus, cum laude, emeritus, and curriculum vitae, are common to academic life and do not need to be translated for audiences familiar with academia. Similarly, Latin legal words and phrases are familiar to the law school community and thus need not be translated. Do not use italics for these familiar words and phrases.

Consult a dictionary when using the plural form of Latin words. In general, for words that end in -us, substitute -i to form the plural (alumnus, alumni); for words ending in -um, substitute -a (colloquium, colloquia); and for words ending in -a, substitute -ae (alumna, alumnae). Exceptions to this are formulas (not formulae), forums (not fora), and syllabuses (not syllabi).

Many Latin words, such as alumnus and emeritus, have female senses: alumna, alumnae; emerita, emeritae.

See foreign words for further guidance. See also honors for use of Latin terms of academic distinction, such as cum laude.


Latino Law Students Association (LLSA)

law firms

Do not include business types in firm names (i.e., use Smith & Jones, not Smith & Jones, LLC).

law in action

When used as adjective, add hyphens: law-in-action tradition.

For Gargoyle Magazine only, style is Law in Action ( capitalized and no hyphens).

Law School

Capitalize when referring specifically to the UW Law School: He graduated from the Law School in 1996 (He graduated from UW Law School in 1996). But use lowercase for more general references: She decided to attend law school; Our law school is nationally ranked. Generally, do not capitalize "School' when used alone: The school is participating in a survey. See also University of Wisconsin Law School.

Law School Student Bar Association (SBA)

layperson, laypersons


If using the full citation of an officially titled lecture, enclose the title in quotes and capitalize key words: the professor's lecture, "How to Get Ahead in Business." In most cases, using the exact title of a lecture should be avoided in favor of a general reference: a lecture on how to get ahead in business. Some lectures carry honorific titles that should be capitalized: She delivered the William Noll Lecture in Bacteriology

See also composition titles.

Legal Assistance to Institutionalized Persons Project (LAIP)

Clinical program in the Law School's Remington Center.

Legal Defense Program (LDP)

Law School clinical program.

Legal Education Opportunity (LEO) Program


Use legislature on second reference to refer to the Wisconsin State Legislature.


See fewer.

like, as

Use like as a preposition to compare nouns and pronouns. It requires an object: Jim blocks like a pro. The conjunction as is the correct word to introduce clauses: Jim blocks the linebacker as he should.

login, logon, logoff 

But use as two words in verb form: I log in to my computer.


Adjective. Hyphenate.

lower campus

Refers to the east end of campus at the foot of Bascom Hill. Lower campus is bounded by Lake Street on the east, Lake Mendota on the north, Dayton Street on the south, and Park Street on the west. Do not capitalize except as part of an organization's name.


Acceptable in all references for the Law School Admissions Test. See also ACT; SAT.


Do not connect adverbs ending in -ly with the words they modify: newly diagnosed (not newly-diagnosed).



Use Madison to refer to the city, not the UW-Madison campus. The Madison campus is acceptable when it is clear that the UW System is at issue. See cities for rules regarding use of state names with cities.


See journals, magazines.


Do not capitalize majors, programs, specializations, or concentrations of study when they are not part of an official department name or title: She received a bachelor's degree in history. She majored in economics. See academic degrees; academic departments.

master's degree

Use instead of abbreviations for most references. See academic degrees.


Singular form is medium. When used as a subject, media always takes a plural verb: The media are often the target of public criticism.

Memorial Union

Memorial Union is the building that houses dining rooms, theaters, lounges, and student organization offices. Memorial Union houses the Porter Butts, Class of 1925, and Theater Galleries. To avoid confusion with Wisconsin Union or Union South, do not use Union as a substitute. See Wisconsin Union for more rules concerning the student unions and their activities.

metric system

Spell out meter, kilometer, etc., though 5K, 10K, etc., are acceptable on first reference for running and walking events. Metric measurements are used commonly in scientific research. Specify the scale of measurement (meters, liters, degrees Celsius) and provide equivalent values in units widely known to American readers only when metric units are likely to be misunderstood. References to well-known situations or examples, such as room temperature or lengths of common objects, may also prove helpful: The car will reach a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour (about 60 miles an hour). The temperature of the mixture was recorded at 20 degrees Celsius, about room temperature.


Stands alone. Do not include 12 or a.m. or p.m.: The play runs from 10 p.m.-midnight.

millions, billions

Use with numbers. Spell out the numbers one through nine; use numerals for 10 and above. (See numbers for further guidance.) Do not go beyond two decimals: The nation has one million citizens. Officials found 34 million spores. General revenues increased by $4.5 million. Do not drop the word million or billion in the first figure of a range: He is worth from $2 million to $4 million (not $2 to $4 million, unless $2 is really intended). 

Mitchell Theatre

This theater is in Vilas Hall, along with the Hemsley Theatre. University Theatre productions are often staged here.

Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center

Monona Terrace is acceptable on second reference.


See dates.

more than

See over.

Mosse Humanities Building

Use Mosse Humanities for the Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street, which was renamed to honor George Mosse.





named professorships

Capitalize formal titles of named professorships on all references: Jan Smith has been named the Bascom Professor of Law. Jan Smith, Bascom Professor of Law, received the award. Some emeritus professors may retain named professorships.

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

National Guard

Native American

No hyphen. Preferred term for people of tribes indigenous to the United States. See also Indian.


See close.

Neighborhood Law Project

Clinical program in the Law School's Remington Center.


One word.

newspaper titles

Italicize the names of newspapers, but do not italicize initial articles such as the: She reads the New York Times every day. The Capital Times is an afternoon daily. 

See composition titles for further guidelines.


Adjective. Hyphenate.


Use full name for John Nolen Drive.





Stands alone. Do not include 12 or a.m. or p.m.: The class runs from 10 a.m.-noon.


Noun. Hyphenate.


As adjective. Hyphenate.


Spell out whole numbers less than 10; use numerals for 10 and higher: The woman has three sons. They had 10 dogs and four cats. Spell out a number at the beginning of a sentence; in the case of numerals identifying a calendar year, spell out or, better yet, recast the sentence: The year 1976 was memorable for fashion. When large numbers must be spelled out, use a hyphen to connect a word ending in -y to another word; do not use commas between other separate words that are part of one number: Twenty-one students took the class. One hundred forty-five people demonstrated outside the U.S. Capitol. For ordinal numbers (first, second, etc.), the same general rules apply: Spell out first through ninth and use numerals for 10th and above. 

Exceptions: Addresses use numerals in all cases. See addresses. Some geographic, military, and political forms use numerals for all ordinal numbers. Direct references to a numeral should use the numeral rather than spell it out: the number 4; numbers 1 through 10; figures less than 1. For additional exceptions, see topic-specific listings.



Capitalize only as part of a formal title on first reference. See academic departments.

old age

Adjective. No hyphen.


Do not use before a date or day of the week when its absence would not lead to confusion: The meeting will be held Monday (not on Monday). Classes start January 15.

on campus, on-campus

On-campus is an adjective: Students live in on-campus housing. On campus (no hyphen) is an adverb: She has a job on campus.


One word.

over, more than

Over refers to spatial relationships, more than to numbers or amounts: The shelf is over my head. The group raised more than $60.

overly broad

Not over broad.


Patient Advocacy Project

See Center for Patient Partnerships.

people, persons

People is preferred to persons in all plural uses: people of all races; nine people gathered. Use persons only in quotes or official names.


One word. Spell out the word percent and always use figures. For figures less than 1 percent, precede the decimal with a zero: 0.5 percent. Repeat percent with each figure in a range: He figures that 40 percent to 50 percent of the class will pass. 


Use doctorate for most references. See academic degree.


In referring to a plaintiff, use masculine or feminine pronouns, as appropriate, rather than it or its, unless it's clear that the plaintiff is an entity.


Past tense. Not pled or plead. [Garner]



Also postdoctoral.



We hyphenate post-trial to avoid the double t.


Law School literary magazine, published by a student organization of the same name.




preexist, preexisting


One word.

premed, premedical

One word.


One word. But pre-pharmacy.

Pres House

One s. (Origin is from Presbyterian.) Address is 731 State Street, for use in event announcements.


Title for both the administrative head of the UW System and the leader of the governor-appointed UW System Board of Regents: Katharine Lyall is president of the UW System. San Orr is president of the UW System Board of Regents. Use system president and regent president on second reference.


private sector

As adjective, no hyphen.

products liability

Note the s.


Capitalize only before a name. Do not capitalize a subject, however, unless it is a proper noun. Do not abbreviate: He studied under history Professor Bob Jones. Bob Jones is a professor of history. See also named professorships for exception regarding formal named professor titles.


Capitalize only when referring to the formal name of the program. See academic departments; majors.

pros and cons

Prosecution Project

Clinical externship in the Law School's Remington Center.


Not protectable [Garner]

Public Defender Project

Clinical externship in the Law School's Remington Center.

public interest law

No hyphens

public sector

As adjective, no hyphen.



Surround the exact words of a speaker or writer when reporting in a story: "I have no intention of staying," he said. Never alter quotations even to correct minor grammatical errors or word usage. Casual minor tongue slips may be removed using ellipses, but even this editing should be done only when absolutely necessary to prevent confusion. If there is a problem with a quote, do not use the quote or ask the speaker to clarify it.

Do not routinely use abnormal spellings such as gonna to convey dialect or pronunciation. Such colloquial treatment may be used occasionally in features to add regional or personal flavor. Avoid partial or fragmented quotes, but be sure that all indirect quotations or paraphrased opinions are attributed to the speaker. See attribution for more details.



Capitalize names of races (Caucasian, Hispanic, etc.), lowercase black and white when used to refer to races. See individual entries (African American, Asian American, Native American, etc.) for rules regarding proper references to races.

radio stations

UW-Extension operates WHA-AM, a public radio station serving the state. WSUM-FM is a student-run radio station that has operations on the Internet, but it has not yet begun broadcasting on the airwaves. See WHA-AM; WSUM-FM.


In Memorial Union.

record keeping , record-keeping

The noun is record keeping (two words); the adjective form is record-keeping.

Red Gym

Acceptable on all references for the Armory and Gymnasium, the campus building constructed in 1894 that now houses student-services offices, the Student Organizations Office, and the visitors center.


See Board of Regents.

regent president

Acceptable on second reference for the president of the UW System Board of Regents.


Use Office of the Registrar or the registrar's office when not referring specifically to the university registrar.

residence halls

Preferred to dormitories. Student housing also acceptable for general reference to on- and off-campus housing. Residence halls are managed by University Housing.

respondeat superior

No italics. See Latin words.

Restorative Justice Project

Clinical program in the Law School's Remington Center.


Note accent on both e's.


Capitalize in such uses as Union South Room 214, although in most cases Room can be omitted and the number placed in front of the building name: 214 Union South.


Acceptable on first reference for Reserve Officer Training Corps.

rules of evidence

Use lowercase in general references. But Wisconsin Rules of Evidence.

Rules of Professional Conduct



Not saleable.

Scholastic Aptitude Test

SAT acceptable on all references. Use only the initials in referring to the previously designated Scholastic Aptitude Test or the Scholastic Assessment Test. See also ACT; LSAT.


Capitalize only as part of a formal title on first reference. See academic departments.

SCR xx.xx

Format for references to Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules, in text (or citations).


Lowercase for fall, winter, spring, and summer, and all derived words such as springtime: fall semester, spring 1998. Capitalize only when part of a formal name: Winter Olympics.


Lowercase in general: fall semester; spring semester. Use uppercase for official name of semester when a course was given: Fall 2002.


Use senate on second reference to refer to the Faculty Senate or the Wisconsin Senate. If there may be confusion, use state senate for the state legislative body. Use Senate on second reference to refer to the U.S. Senate.


Use senator or member of the senate to refer to members of the Faculty Senate. Use uppercase as formal titles for members of the state senate and U.S. Senate; lowercase when used without a name or in apposition to a name: Senator Herb Kohl; Senator Chuck Chvala; Chuck Chvala, a state senator.


See student classifications.

series comma

Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series: They bought apples, oranges and pears


UW-Madison opened in 1848. Classes started in February 1849.

Social Security



See student classifications.

Southeast Asia

Refers to the countries of the Indochine Peninsula and the islands southeast of it: Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Papau New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Do not confuse it with South Asian studies, which include study of India, Pakistan, and other countries in the southern part of Asia.

spokesman, spokeswoman

Preferable to spokesperson.


See seasons.


Do not capitalize state unless part of a formal title: Wisconsin State Senate; but in state courts.

State Bar of Wisconsin Minority Clerkship Program

State Historical Society of Wisconsin

Old name, as of 2001, for the Wisconsin Historical Society.


Spell out state names when they stand alone in textual material. In mailing addresses or closely set matter as lists or tables, use the standard two-letter postal abbreviations for the state names. 

When included with city names, offset state names by commas and use the following abbreviations (with the exception of Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah, which are not abbreviated in datelines or text):



See cities for more information about when to include state names with city names; see also addresses.


statute of limitation

Not statute of limitations. Use hyphens for the adjectival form: a statute-of-limitation case.

street addresses

See addresses.


Use struck. [Garner]

student classifications

Do not capitalize freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior when referring to a single student. (Plural of freshman is freshmen.) Similarly, do not capitalize when referring to the class as a whole or collective group: He is a senior communications major. The senior class sponsored the lecture.

Supreme Court Rules, Wisconsin

When referring to the rules as a unit, use Supreme Court Rules. When referring generically to a rule, use the supreme court rule. See also SCR xx.xx for references to specific rules in text.


Acceptable on second reference for UW System. Capitalize at all times. See UW System.

System president

Acceptable on second reference for the president of the UW System, currently Katharine Lyall. See also president.




Telephone device for the deaf.


One word.

telephone numbers

If a publication is strictly for on-campus use, omit the area code: 262-0186. If the publication may or will be sent off campus use 608-262-0186. If including more than one extension, use a slash between the numbers: 608-262-0186/0188. Do not use five-digit on-campus extensions, such as 2-0186, for any publication. When listing toll-free numbers, do not list the initial 1-: 800-222-4000.


Spell out or use numerals according to the rules governing numbers. See numbers. Spell out degrees when referring to specific temperatures. Use the word minus instead of a minus sign for temperatures below zero. Use Fahrenheit or Celsius if scale is not made clear otherwise: 90 degrees Fahrenheit; zero degrees Celsius; a low of minus nine degrees. [Chi. 8.12]


Use Union Terrace or Memorial Union Terrace to avoid confusion with Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.

that, which

Use that to introduce restrictive clauses and which to introduce nonrestrictive clauses. A restrictive clause provides essential information about the preceding noun. Such clauses are not set off by commas. E.g.: The growth program includes a tax credit for businesses that add workers. Nonrestrictive clauses provide supplemental, nonessential information and are set off by commas. E.g.: Miniature pigs make better pets than full-size swine, which can weigh more than 1,000 pounds. 

theatre, theater

Use theater except when Theatre is used in a formal title: University Theatre; Department of Theatre and Drama; Hemsley Theatre; Mitchell Theatre. But Wisconsin Union Theater; Theater Gallery. Hemsley and Mitchell Theatres are in Vilas Hall. Theater Gallery is in Memorial Union.


As an adjective meaning "being so at that time," then is not attached to the noun it modifies by a hyphen: Professor Remington appealed to then Governor Tony Earl.


See although.

time element

Use Monday, Tuesday, etc., for days of the week within seven days before or after the date of publication: The lecture on Tuesday was very informative. Use the day of the week, the month, and numeral for dates beyond this range: Classes start Tuesday, September 1, 2002. See days, months, years for guidance on punctuation and abbreviation. Note: With material published on the World Wide Web, it is often difficult to know the date the story was posted; for that reason, use figure dates if story will appear on the Web.

Do not use redundant phrases such as last Tuesday or next Tuesday. The past, present, or future tense of the verb in most cases provides sufficient clarification: The committee met Tuesday and will meet again Thursday.


Use figures except for noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes and a.m. or p.m. (always lowercase with no space). Do not include a colon or minutes if the time is exactly on the hour: 11 a.m.; 3:30 p.m. Avoid such redundancies as 10 a.m. this morning. When expressing a range of times use from to introduce the range and an en dash between the times, with no spaces separating the characters from the en dash. If both times are a.m. or p.m., include a.m. or p.m. only with the later time: The concert lasts from 9 a.m.-noon. The course will meet Tuesdays from 1-5 p.m.


See entitled.


In general, capitalize only formal titles directly before an individual's name. Do not separate the name from the title with a comma. For rules regarding use of formal job titles, see academic titles; see also courtesy titles and composition titles.


Not towards.

trailblazer, trailblazers

One word (not trail blazer).


When referring to students who have transferred from other institutions, use transfer students, not transfers.


One l.





Used as an adjective, but not as a noun, for United Nations.

under way

Two words.


Unemployment Appeals Clinic

Law School intern program.


Acceptable on second use for Wisconsin Union. Do not use as a substitute for Memorial Union or Union South to prevent confusion between the two. See Wisconsin Union.


Capitalize only as part of a formal title on first reference. Always lowercase on second reference: a discussion of university matters. See academic departments.

University of Wisconsin Colleges

Use UW Colleges on all collective references to these 13 two-year campuses. To avoid confusion with UW-Madison's colleges, do not use Colleges. For references to specific campuses, use UW College-[campus location]: UW College-Marathon County.

University of Wisconsin Law School

The law school on the Madison campus is the only one in UW System; UW-Madison is not necessary in references. Use UW Law School, UW Law or Law School on second reference.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Note use of the en dash (rather than a hyphen). Official name of the UW System branch in Madison. Spell out for external publications or publications that will be read widely off campus; UW-Madison is acceptable on all references for internal communication. See UW-Madison for additional rules regarding use of the institution's name.


When typing URLs (World Wide Web addresses), do not use capital letters or parentheses, slashes, or any other punctuation to set URLs apart from other text. Avoid dividing URLs between lines, but if division is necessary, do so at a period or slash, and do not use a hyphen. When instructing readers to go to a Web address, use visit . at . or go to .: Visit the university's website at Go to for more details.URL is acceptable on all references for Uniform Resource Locator, the technical term for a World Wide Web address. See also World Wide Web.


Used as an adjective, but not as a noun, for United States. 


Note use of the en dash (rather than a hyphen). Acceptable on second reference for external publications and all references for internal communication for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In most cases, the is unnecessary when using UW-Madison: research at UW-Madison; a faculty member at UW-Madison. To prevent confusion with other UW System units, do not use UW in place of UW-Madison, except in cases where the unit is officially named University of Wisconsin instead of University of Wisconsin-Madison: UW Hospital and Clinics; UW Credit Union; UW Athletics.


vice president

No hyphen.

vice versa

No hyphen.

visitors center

Acceptable on all references to the visitor information area in the Red Gym. Do not use apostrophes or make it singular. The visitors center is run by and is a part of the Campus Assistance and Visitors Center. Do not confuse either with the Visitor and Information Place run by the Office of Transportation Services, which distributes maps, parking information, and bus tickets.


Lowercase vitamin, but use a capital letter and figure for the type: vitamin A; vitamin B-12.



Acceptable on second reference for the Wisconsin Alumni Association.


Acceptable for Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation on second reference or on first reference to the building that houses the foundation and other university offices. Use WARF building to prevent confusion with the organization.


Acceptable for references to the World Wide Web. Capitalize in all such uses. See World Wide Web.


One word.

(When giving an address, always drop http://)



Spell out the numbers one through nine; use numerals for 10 and above. (See numbers for further guidance.) E.g.: The baby weighed six pounds, nine ounces. She had a six-pound, nine-ounce baby. The boxer weighed in at 165 pounds. 

See also dimensions.


See good.


See that, which.


In general, words formed with this suffix are closed (i.e., no hyphen). For example, campuswide, citywide, countywide, statewide, nationwide, systemwide, and worldwide. But university-wide


Not wilful.


Official name for UW-Madison's World Wide Web home page and the hierarchy of information resources linked to it. Do not confuse with WiscWorld, a suite of Internet software sold by the Division of Information Technology.


Spell out in running text, including with city names that require a state name. In closely set matter, such as tables or lists, abbreviate as WI. See cities for additional rules.

Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA)

The official alumni organization of UW-Madison.

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF)

Use full name on first reference to the foundation itself. WARF is acceptable on first reference to the building that houses the foundation and other university offices. Use WARF building to prevent confusion with the organization.

Wisconsin District Attorneys Association (WDAA)

No apostrophe in Attorneys.

Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC)

Acronym reference should be to the WERC.

Wisconsin Environmental Law Journal

Wisconsin Historical Society

New name, as of 2001, of the former State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Hoofers

Outdoor sports club made up primarily of UW-Madison students. As part of the Wisconsin Union, the club is open to anyone and offers activities in sailing, skiing, climbing, and horseback riding. There are seven individual Hoofer clubs, which collectively form the Hoofers. Hoofer (or Hoofers if the reference is to the whole organization) is acceptable on second reference or in event listings where abbreviated form is used to save space. Hoofer is acceptable for use as an adjective, but do not use Hoofer's: Hoofer activities; a Hoofer expedition; a meeting of the Hoofer club. Seven individual clubs make up the overall Hoofer Council. The seven are scuba, sailing, outing, gliding, riding, ski and snowboard, mountaineering, and youth instruction program.

Wisconsin Idea

Use capital letters and no quotation marks when referring to the tradition of university outreach elucidated during the administration of President Charles Van Hise: in the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea.

Wisconsin Innocence Project

Clinical program in the Law School's Remington Center.

Wisconsin International Law Journal

Wisconsin Law Alumni Association (WLAA)

Wisconsin Law Review

Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television


Wisconsin Rules of Evidence

Wisconsin State Public Defender

Wisconsin Union

Use Wisconsin Union to refer to the organization that manages Memorial Union, Union South, and other Union activities. Use Memorial Union or Union South when referring to these physical locations. Union is acceptable only when referring in general to activities sponsored by the Wisconsin Union, not to specific locations. Wisconsin Union is a private entity organized separately from UW-Madison; do not use UW-Madison Union or UW Union.

Wisconsin Union Theater

Do not confuse this theater, which hosts plays, films, and dance companies, with groups that produce plays on campus. Also do not confuse with Memorial Union's March Play Circle.

Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society


Official name of a suite of Internet-related computer software sold by the Division of Information Technology to faculty, staff, and students. Do not confuse with WiscInfo.


Singular possessive.


Acceptable on second reference for Wisconsin Law Alumni Association.

work product

As adjective, two words, no hyphen: work product privilege.




World Wide Web

Internet-based information network that uses a graphical interface. Always capitalize when referring to the full name of the World Wide Web, but Web is acceptable on second reference or as an adjective: Web addresses; a Web application. Do not use WWW in any reference except, in lowercase, within URLs. See URLs for more details about printing Web addresses.






Use figures, without a comma following the thousands place: 1986. Use a year only when referring to a year other than the present one. For academic years, use four digits, an en dash, then two digits: 1998-99; 2000-01. But 1999-2000. If a sentence begins with a year reference, spell out the year or, better yet, recast the sentence: The year 1976 was memorable for fashion. In some alumni publications, graduation years may be abbreviated by replacing 19 with an apostrophe (the Class of '85). Most references are clearer without this arrangement, but if it is used, do not abbreviate graduation years from any but the 20th century. For guidance on decades, centuries, and other year-related issues, see days, months, years.



Spell out on all references to a quantity of zero. Use the numeral 0 as a placeholder in numerals or in front of a decimal point for fractional numerals: zero degrees; a budget of zero; 0.5 percent growth.

zip code


Guidelines for formal print publications

Most of our publications follow AP Style book. However, formal publications - such as programs, menus, and invitations -  should follow Chicago Manual of Style. Key differences include capitalization, treatment of state names, numbers and titles of publications. 

Gargoyle Alumni Magazine

The Gargoyle alumni magazine follows Chicago Manual of Style, including treatment of numbers (spell out one through nine) and degrees (ie use JD, not J.D.). Other special notes for the Gargoyle:

  • Name: when possible, omit "the" when referring to UW Law School. Use "UW Law School" instead of "the UW Law School" whenever possible.
  • US and DC: per CMOS, no periods in US and DC. 
  • As of Feb. 2014, future issues will not use middle initials for alumni and will not include business types in firm names (i.e., use Smith & Jones, not Smith & Jones, LLC). 
  • Law in action: For Gargoyle Magazine only, style is Law in Action (capitalized and no hyphens).

1. ‡ References in the entries to Chi. refer to numbered rules of The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.). References to Bluebook refer to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (17th ed. 2000).

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