Writing Style Guide

Narrative Copy Guidelines (Print & Web)

I. Official Name References

Indiana University
Use "Indiana University," not "IU," as first reference to the university as a whole. "IU" may be used in subsequent references.

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
The official name of the school is "Indiana University Jacobs School of Music." When used with "the," please note that "the" is not part of the title and should be set in lower case. This is a trademarked name.

Students from around the world compete to be accepted at the
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music or
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

First Reference
Use the school's complete name the first time the school is referred to in a publication or corresponding unit, such as a section, chapter, or article.

Second Reference
For second reference in text, any of the following are appropriate: the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music the IU Jacobs School of Music the Jacobs School of Music the Jacobs School the school (lowercase) Using just the name "Jacobs" should be avoided unless it is very clear through previous references in the body of the document that it is the Jacobs School of Music. The name "Jacobs" should not appear alone to identify the school on marketing materials, t-shirts, mugs, etc. Other organizations own that name.

Building/Hall/Other Names
The following names should be used when referencing these locations. Use the location's complete name the first time it is mentioned in text. After that, the complete name or a second reference version is acceptable.

First: Musical Arts Center
Second: the MAC

All: Auer Hall (not Auer Concert Hall, Auer Recital Hall, or Auer)

First: Ford-Crawford Hall
Second: Ford Hall should be used only when space limitations prohibit the use of the full name.

All: Simon Music Center (not Simon or Simon Center, to avoid confusion with IU's Simon Hall and Simon Cancer Center) Building/Hall/Other Names (cont.)

All: Frank E. McKinney Jr. Fountain or McKinney Fountain

First: William and Gayle Cook Music Library
Second: Cook Music Library (not Cook, since that name is owned by a company) or Music Library

All: Sweeney Lecture Hall or Sweeney Hall

First: David H. Jacobs West Terrace and Plaza
Second: Jacobs West Terrace and Plaza or Jacobs Terrace and Plaza or Jacobs Plaza

First: Music Building Addition
Second: Music Addition or Round Building (not Music Annex)

All: North Studio Building

First: Music Practice Building
Second: Music Practice or Practice Building

First: Helen Clouse Plaza Second: Clouse Plaza

First: Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater or IU Opera and Ballet Theater, if Indiana University has been referred to earlier in the same text.
Second: IU Opera and Ballet Theater, IU Opera and Ballet

First: Indiana University Opera Theater or IU Opera Theater, if Indiana University has been referred to earlier in the same text.
Second: IU Opera Theater or IU Opera

First: Indiana University Ballet Theater or IU Ballet Theater, if Indiana University has been referred to earlier in the same text.
Second: IU Ballet Theater or IU Ballet

Please note that the word "theater" in all versions of "Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater" ends with "er" not "re." Also note that "the" does not precede "Indiana University."

This is her debut with Indiana University Opera Theater.


II. Musical References

Refer to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians for
comprehensive information.

Italicize the name of a large work, and enclose in quotation marks a smaller
work from it or one that stands on its own.

"O mio babbino caro" from Puccini's Gianni Schicchi is
one of my favorite arias.
The commissioned work "Blue Fields and Green Sky" will be
performed at the ensemble's upcoming concert.

Do not italicize generic names of large works.

The repertoire includes Beethoven's Sonata in C Minor, Op. 111, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10, and Strauss's Don Juan.

Italicize the names of recordings and broadcasts.

Their new album, Dizzy for Diz, will be featured next week on
WFIU's Just You and Me.

Italicize names of publications except for papers, which should be enclosed
in quotation marks.

Her article, "Vocal Improvisation and Creative Thinking by Australian and American University Jazz Singers: A Factor Analytic Study" was just released in the Journal of Research in Music Education.

"Major" and "Minor" as well as "Sharp" and "Flat" should be capitalized in names of works.

"Op." and "No." have one space after period, before numeral. Note that there is no comma between an opus and a number reference.

Sonata in D-Flat Minor, Op. 23 No. 1

"D." and "K." have no space after period, before numeral.

Concerto No. 25 in C Major for Piano, K.503

"BWV" has no periods and one space before numeral.

J. S. Bach's Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 846

"WoO" has no periods and one space before numeral.

Beethoven's Duet in E-Flat Major, WoO 32


III. General Style

Refer to the Indiana University Style Guide for comprehensive information.

Use the serial, or Harvard, comma (i.e., the final comma before "and," "or," or "nor") in a list of three or more items.

red, white, and blue ribbons

An exception exists when items in the series contain commas themselves. In that case, use semicolons between all items.

The letters in question are dated August 7, 1989; May 15, 1990;
and January 4, 1991.

In general, spell out months and days of the week; use numerals for years. Use no punctuation if listing just the month (or the season) and the year, but set the year off with commas if using the day of the month as well.

May 2005; spring 2004; a February 5, 2006, deadline
Join us on Thursday, April 28, for a celebration.

However, when the name of a month immediately precedes a date, it may be abbreviated using the Associated Press (AP) style—but only if the month's name is six letters or longer.

We got married in September last year.
We got married on Jan. 6 last year, but we were divorced on July 10.

When referring to degrees in a general way, do not capitalize them. Note that while "bachelor's" and "master's" end in "'s," the other generic words for degrees do not.

an associate degree, a bachelor's degree, a master's degree,
a doctoral degree or a doctorate

In references to degrees, the word "degree" is never capitalized.

Caryn earned her Master of Music degree last spring.

Use periods when abbreviating degrees.

A.S., B.S., B.M., B.S.O.F., D.M., M.M., Ph.D.

Pluralize abbreviations of degrees with "'s"


Lowercase and hyphenate "e-mail."

Use numerals for 10 or more; spell out fractions and numbers that are less than 10. Maintain consistency among items of the same category within each sentence. Generally, if any number of the group has a value of 10 or more, use all numerals.

She read 4 of the 14 required books in just two weeks.

Often, however, it's more congenial to spell out the number "one."

We're one of the top 15 schools in that ranking.

In general, spell out ordinals, space permitting. Always spell out ordinals from "first" to "ninth." Spell out numbered streets from First Street through Twelfth Street; numerals are usually used for streets with higher numbers. Ordinals in course titles are usually spelled out as well.

Third Street, Tenth Street, 17th Street, twentieth century, Topics in Nineteenth-Century Literature, one hundred seventy-fifth Commencement

State Abbreviations
Spell out names of states in sentences unless they are preceded by a city, county, or military base name. Then, according to the Associated Press (AP) style, abbreviate all state names except the two states outside the Lower 48 and all continental states that have five or fewer letters in their names.

I live in Indiana. I lived in Bloomington, Ind.
I live in Ohio. I lived in Cleveland, Ohio.

Titles of People
Personal titles immediately preceding a name are capitalized; those following a name or set off by commas are not.

The latest work by Professor Don Freund . . .
Don Freund, professor of music, composed . . .
A professor of music at IU, Freund teaches . . .

This rule applies not only to academic titles, but also to administrative titles.

Chancellor Una Mae Reck
Una Mae Reck, the chancellor
Reck has been chancellor of Indiana University South Bend since 2002.

An exception to this rule is a "named" title or appointment announcement.

Michael Schwartzkopf is the Pam and Jack Burns Professor of Music
at Indiana University.
Michael Vernon was appointed Professor of Music (Ballet)
at Indiana University.

Capitalize the terms "Web" and "World Wide Web" in running copy. Write "Web site" and "Web page" as two words. Lowercase other terms that use "Web" as a root, such as "webmaster" and "webinar."


IV. Technique

Always keep your readers in mind, and write for that audience.

Put information in order of importance. State your main point in the opening paragraph, followed by supporting information and background history.

Remember that, almost always, less is more!