Editorial Standards


Augusta University uses the Associated Press stylebook with select exceptions. Those exceptions, along with other commonly asked questions regarding editorial style, are noted below. For more information, contact the Division of Communications and Marketing at 706-721-7406 or marketing@augusta.edu. The AP Stylebook is available for purchase at the JagStore.
Academic Degrees—  Other than in lists and business cards, do not follow a name with “letter” degrees. Establish credentials in the body of copy, if necessary: “John Doe earned a master’s degree in nursing from The Ohio State University.”
Academic Programs— “Program” is capitalized if it is part of the official name of the program:
• the Study Abroad Program
• the Honors Program
• the MD/PhD Program
• the PhD in Nursing Program
Acronyms— Readily understood and approved acronyms are acceptable on subsequent reference (DOD, DOE, UGA, USG, NIH, CDC, etc.), but in general, avoid alphabet soup and do not place these readily understood acronyms in parentheses after a first reference. However, do place acronyms that your audience would not quickly recognize in parentheses after the first reference. Universities, offices, institutes, foundations, associations, departments, etc., can often be shortened in subsequent references as “the university,” “the office,” “the foundation,” etc. These shortened references should not be capitalized. Base article usage on the sound of the first letter of the acronym: an SRS, an MCG, a CURS.
Augusta University —Is the enterprise consisting of nine colleges and schools, the health system, and its satellite campuses. Always use “Augusta University” on first reference. Refer to as  Augusta” or “AU” on second and subsequent references. Informal references such as “the university” are acceptable. When using “Augusta” in second and subsequent reference, be certain it is clear you are not referring to the city of Augusta.
Augusta University Health—Refers to the combination of all cooperating health care organizations and locations within Augusta University including the Augusta University Medical Center, Children’s Hospital  of Georgia, and Medical Associates. Refer to as “Augusta University Health” on first reference. Second and subsequent references when referring to the entire health system are “Augusta University,” “AU Health,” “Augusta University’s health system,” or “the health system at Augusta University.” Informal references such as “the health system” are acceptable. “AUHealth” (without the space), “AUHS” and “AUH” are not acceptable in any use. Brand references may be used at the discretion of the Division of Communications and Marketing such as
“Augusta Health” as represented in the url augustahealth.org. Health care practices are named as follows: Augusta University Breast Health Center, Augusta University Orthopaedics, Augusta University Sports Medicine, Augusta University Medical Associates at West Wheeler and Lake Oconee. Second and subsequent references: Breast Health Center, Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine,
West Wheeler, Lake Oconee, respectively.
Augusta University Medical Associates— Spell out entire name on first reference. On second and subsequent references, use “Medical Associates” or “AU Medical Associates.” AUMA is reserved for use in lists.
Augusta University Medical Center— Spell out entire name on first reference. On second and subsequent references, use “the medical center” or “AU Medical Center.” AUMC is reserved for use in lists.
Bullet Points— Make bullet points consistent in structure: All should be full sentences or fragments, not a combination of both. However, if you have two sets of bullet points in a document, you do not need to make them consistent with each other — just within themselves. Punctuate bullets consistently. That is, if one bullet ends with a period, end all with a period, following these
• If all bullets are sentences, end each one with a period or question mark.
• If all bullets are phrases or fragments, use no end punctuation. Avoid using semicolons between bullets.

Campus — Campus is capitalized when it is part of the name of our campuses.

  • Summerville Campus
  • Health Sciences Campus

But: Summerville and Health Sciences campuses


Forest Hills Campus— The Augusta campus that is home to the Christenberry Fieldhouse, Forest Hills Golf Course and the university’s Golf House and Practice Facility.
Health Sciences Campus— The Augusta campus that is home to the College of Allied Health Sciences, the College of Nursing, the Medical College of Georgia, The Dental College of Georgia, and The Graduate School.
Riverfront Campus— The Augusta campus that is home to the future Georgia Cyber and Innovation Training Center.
Augusta University on Broad— The Augusta campus that is located on 699 Broad Street.
Summerville Campus—The Augusta campus that is home to the College of Education; College of Science and Mathematics; Hull College of Business; and Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Cancer Center— On first reference, spell out the entire name: the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University. On second and subsequent references: the Cancer Center.
Capitalization— Capitalize formal names: The Dental College of Georgia, the Department of Anesthesiology, the Section of Pediatric Cardiology, etc. Lowercase informal references: the university, the health system, the medical school, the dental school, the department, the section, etc. Email addresses and websites should be lowercase. (Exception: some international web addresses)
Children’s Hospital of Georgia— Children’s is acceptable on second and subsequent reference. (CHoG is not acceptable.)

Christenberry Fieldhouse — Athletic building on the Forest Hills Campus. Fieldhouse is always one word.

Colleges —Augusta University colleges are written on first reference, for example: School of Computer and Cyber Science, the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University; the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at  Augusta University; the College of Education at Augusta University. Second and subsequent references: Medical College of Georgia or MCG; Pamplin College or Pamplin, College of Education, respectively.

Satellite Campuses: Southwest Campus of the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University; second and subsequent references: MCG Southwest Campus.

Commas in a Series — Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series: The flag is red, white and blue. He would nominate Tom, Dick or Harry.

Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series, however, if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction: I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.

Use a comma also before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases: The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude.

Commas with introductory clauses and phrases — A comma is used to separate an introductory clause or phrase from the main clause: When he had tired of the mad pace of New York, he moved to Dubuque.

The comma may be omitted after short introductory phrases if no ambiguity would result: During the night he heard many noises.

But use the comma if its omission would slow comprehension: On the street below, the curious gathered.

Compound Modifiers — When a compound modifier precedes a noun, use hyphens to link all the words in the compound except the adverb “very” and all adverbs that end in -ly:

  • a first-quarter touchdown
  • a bluish-green dress
  • a full-time job
  • a well-known man
  • a know-it-all attitude
  • a very good time
  • an easily remembered rule.

Many combinations that are hyphenated before a noun are not hyphenated when they occur after a noun:

  • The team scored in the first quarter.
  • She works full time.
  • His attitude suggested that he knew it all.

But when a modifier that would be hyphenated before a noun occurs instead after a form of the verb “to be,” the hyphen usually must be retained to avoid confusion:

  • The man is well-known.
  • The woman is quick-witted.
  • The children are soft-spoken.
  • The play is second-rate.
  • All our employees are full-time.

Courtesy Titles — The only courtesy titles used are “Dr.” and formal titles, such as “President” or “Provost,” and then only on first reference. “Mr.,” Mrs.,” “Miss” and “Ms.” are not used. The courtesy title “Dr.” is used for any kind of doctor (MD, PhD, DMD, EdD, etc.), an exception to Associated Press style. The title precedes the full name in the first reference but is not used on subsequent references.


  • Dr. John Smith has been named chair of the National Society of Physicians. Smith, a 1988 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University ….
  • Dr. Mary Smith has been named chair of the National Society of Dentists. Smith, a 1988 graduate of The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University ….
  • Augusta University President John Smith has been named chair of the National Society of Educators. Smith, who earned a doctorate in education from the University of ….
  • Jane Williams has been named chair of the National Society of Wordsmiths. Williams, who earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism ….

Dates — Use Arabic figures, without st, nd, rd or th.

Dates in Body Text — AP style is “event time date place”:
The Jazz Extravaganza will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, in the Maxwell Theatre.

Degrees and Fellowships — Augusta University style does not place periods in “letter” degrees or fellowship acronyms.

NOTE: Other than in lists and business cards, do not follow a name with “letter” degrees. Establish credentials in the body of copy, if necessary: “John Doe earned a master’s degree in nursing from The Ohio State University.”

Departments, Divisions and Sections — When referring to a specific department or section, capitalize it:


  • Department of Anesthesiology
  • Section of Pediatric Cardiology
  • Department of Art
  • Art Department (an exception to AP style)
  • Bob Smith has an appointment in Cardiology. But the general use of a term such as “cardiology” is lowercase: Dr. Jones’ training is in cardiology.
  • Dr. John Smith, professor of neurology, said …. (job title after the name)
  • Dr. John Smith, professor in the Department of Neurology, said …. (department name used, not part of his title)

Event Programs (lists in) —
(Ex: White Coat Ceremony program):

  • Jack Jones, RN
  • Angela Williams, MD, PhD

First Names — First names are acceptable on every reference for children (age 18 and younger). The same is occasionally true of adults referred to in feature stories. The tone of the story should dictate first-name usage in these cases. When in doubt, use last names on second and subsequent references.

Health care — Two words. (n. and adj.)

J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons — Always referred to as J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons on first reference. On second and subsequent reference, it is referred to as the Harrison Education Commons.

Multiple Titles — Use only one title to precede a name: Dr. John Doe or Augusta University President John Doe. Never Augusta University President Dr. John Doe.

Nicknames — Use as part of a first reference only if subject prefers it and is commonly called by it. If preference is unclear, use formal name (William rather than Bill).

Numerals — Spell out one through nine and first through ninth; starting with 10 and 10th, use figures. Exceptions: Always use figures for ages (“She is 2 years old”) and percentages (“9 percent”), and spell out a numeral at the beginning of a sentence (“Twelve committee members attended …”)

Temporary Titles — The title-holder’s preference applies: interim or acting.

Tenses — Articles should be written in the past tense, except for occasional feature articles that may be written in the present tense, depending on the tone of the story. The tense should be consistent throughout the article. (Example of present tense: “Augusta University is a great place to work,” says John Doe, vice president in the Department of Wordsmithing.) Headlines and photo captions are written in the present tense.

Titles –
Academic and General—
When a formal job title appears before a person’s name, capitalize it.
When it appears after a person’s name or alone, do not capitalize it.


  • President Mary Smith said ….
  • Dr. Mary Smith, president of Augusta University and CEO of Augusta University Health System, said …. (Augusta University and Augusta University Health System will always be capitalized.)
  • John Smith, vice president for marketing and communications, said …. (This is his job title; therefore, “marketing and communications” is lowercase.)
  • John Smith has been named vice president for communications and marketing at Augusta University. (Again, “vice president for communications and marketing” is his job title; therefore, “marketing and communications” is lowercase.)
  • John Smith holds the position of vice president in the Division of Communications and Marketing at Augusta University (“Division of Communications and Marketing” is not being used as part of his job title; therefore, it is capitalized.)

Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as professor or dean when they precede a name. Lowercase elsewhere.


  • Professor of History Mary Smith said ….
  • Professor Mary Smith said ….
  • Dr. Mary Smith, professor of history, said ….
  • Dr. Mary Smith, professor in the Department of History, Anthropology and Philosophy, said ….
  • Dean John Smith said ….
  • Dr. John Smith, dean of the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said …. (The name of the college will always be capitalized.)
  • Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs Mary Smith, said ….
  • Dr. Mary Smith, vice president for enrollment and student affairs, said …. (This is her job title; therefore, “enrollment and student affairs” is lowercase. However, Dr. Mary Smith holds the position of vice president in the Office of Enrollment and Student Affairs.)

Named and endowed chairs and professorships are always capitalized.


  • John Smith, Morris Eminent Scholar in Art, said ….
  • Morris Eminent Scholar in Art John Smith, said ….
  • Dr. Mary Smith, Cree-Walker Professor of Education and director of Augusta University’s Literacy Center, said ….


  • Professor Emeritus Mary Smith, said ….
  • Dr. Mary Smith, professor emeritus of anthropology, said ….
  • Dr. Mary Smith, professor emeritus in the Department of History, Anthropology and Philosophy, said ….
  • Dean Emeritus John Smith said ….
  • Dr. John Smith, dean emeritus of the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said ….

Titles following names in lists or on business cards are capitalized.

Web Addresses — When placing a web address on promotional material, such as posters, verify that the address works. If the address works without the use of the protocol “http://” or the abbreviation for World Wide Web (www), do not use them. Example: The web address for Augusta University is written “augusta.edu” (an exception to Associated Press style). If a web address occurs at the end of a sentence, end punctuation is used. All urls should be lowercase. Example: The web address for Augusta University is augusta.edu.