Writing Style Guide
fall, fall semester
Lowercase references to seasons and academic periods.
She is getting married this fall. She will get her degree after the fall semester.
Farther refers to distance, further refers to time or degree.
She walked farther to class.
He will look further into the missing money.
Accepted abbreviation for facsimile. Do not use all capital letters.
field trip, fieldwork
A weeklong city celebration beginning on or near April 21. Some events include the Fiesta River Parade, Battle of Flowers Parade. UTSA events include Fiesta UTSA.
Site of the UTSA Downtown Campus.
first semester, first-semester
Hyphenate as an adjective before the noun; otherwise, leave as two words.
He needs tips for a successful first semester.
All first-semester freshmen must attend orientation.
Capitalize when referring to Adobe Flash technologies. Lowercase when referring to flash memory or flash drive.
Preferred spelling of something printed and handed out to advertise an event or place. Example: The flier was posted yesterday. It is also the preferred spelling for a person who flies. Example: A nervous flier.
foreign words and phrases
Commonly used foreign phrases and abbreviations are not italicized; if a foreign word is listed in the dictionary, don’t italicize it:
ex officio, et al., cum laude, pro forma, hors d’oeuvres
Less common terms are italicized:
ante prandium, s’il vous plait, porque
When using a foreign word throughout a story, italicize it on first reference only:
The institute will honor the fallen soldiers with an ofrenda, or altar. The ofrenda will remain on display through the end of the year.
If a foreign word is italicized, define it in the story.
Full names of official forms and documents are capitalized but are not italicized or enclosed in quotation marks:
Declaration of Independence, Federal Income Tax Return, Financial Aid Certification Sheet, General Scholarship Application, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, UTSA Housing Application
In general references where formal names are not used, it’s acceptable to lowercase.
He filled out the financial aid application. She filled out the housing application.
Use the noun freshmen when referring to a group of first-time students. Use freshman as the adjective modifier and as a noun referring to a sole first-time student.
Freshman orientation is held during the summer.
All freshmen must attend a freshman orientation.
He was a freshman in 2000.
full time, full-time
Hyphenate as a modifier before a noun; do not hyphenate after the noun.
She works full time. He’s a full-time student.
One word in all instances.