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Editorial Styleguide

academic degrees

Lowercase degree names: The department offers a master of arts and a master of arts in teaching.

With the exception of alumni sections of campus publications, avoid abbreviations: Jane Smith earned her bachelorís degree in English and then went on to gain a masterís in biology.

When you do need to use a degree abbreviation, set it off with commas: John Doe, `99B.A., is a member of UofLís alumni band. To save space in an alumni publicationís class notes sections, omit the periods: í87BA. In features, news stories, etc., omit the periods in degree abbreviations consisting of three or more letters: He received an MBA in 1987.

EXCEPTION: Degree abbreviations consisting of three or more letters that use a combination of upper and lowercase letters require periods: Ph.D.; Ed.D.

Avoid redundancies: Donald Miller, M.D., NOT Dr. Donald Miller, M.D.

Use an apostrophe when writing bachelorís degree, specialistís degree or masterís degree but not when naming the full degree: bachelor of arts degree.

NOTE: When the ď19Ē or ď20Ē is omitted from a written year, an apostrophe is used to indicate the contraction: í87. Be aware that some word-processing programs will incorrectly insert a single open-quotation mark (the tail of the mark will be turned toward the number) rather than an apostrophe (the tail of the mark is turned away from the number), which the writer must then change manually.


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