Writing Style Guide


Use accreditation acronyms/abbreviations sparingly when writing for the University.

Our accreditation is through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

The following colleges within the University have become affiliated with certain educational organizations:

College of Arts and Sciences:

American Bar Association (ABA)
College of Business: International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IABCE)
College of Health Professions: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)


Using Acronyms in Writing
When you mention an organization for the first time, list the organization's full name. Acronyms can be used if you mention this organization again in your writing, but unless the organization's acronym is very well known (FBI, CIA, NAACP) the acronym should be placed in parentheses after the first mention of the organization's full name.

Example: Wilmington University's Dean of Multicultural Studies, Jane Smith, was recently honored for years of service to the Delaware chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Smith was honored during a JDRF banquet on Sunday in New Castle. JDRF was founded in 1970 to fund research aimed at curing Type 1 Diabetes.

Also known as
When abbreviating, use a.k.a.

Always write a.m. or p.m. when listing times, not AM or PM.

Wilmington University
Wilmington University can be abbreviated as WU or WilmU.

Abbreviating Degrees
Do not use the word degree after an acronym. Instead of “a B.S. degree in accounting,” write “a B.S. in accounting.

A.A.                 Associate of Arts
A.S.                 Associate of Science
B.S.                 Bachelor of Science
B.S.N.             Bachelor of Science in Nursing

M.A.                Master of Arts
M.B.A.            Master of Business Administration
M.Ed.              Master of Education
M.S.                Master of Science
M.S.N.            Master of Science in Nursing
D.B.A.             Doctor of Business Administration
Ed.D.               Doctor of Education


Write out street names such as Road, Avenue, Highway, Boulevard, and so on.

Example: 1247 East Cherrywood Avenue, 1624 Southern Hills Street
Write email addresses as all lowercase: john.s.smith@wilmu.edu.


Write all ages as numbers. When paired with a name, place a comma between the person's name and age (Jeb Bruce, 32, was one of six students who competed for the prize).
Example: Professor Smith's daughter is 8 years old. Jane will be 24 on Wednesday.

When used as adjectives or as replacements for actual names, use hyphens.

Example: He has an eight-year-old (name/noun replacement). Tamara, Prof. Child's ten-year-old daughter, is attending the benefit (adjective).


The official name for Wilmington University's sports teams is the Wildcats.
The campus mascot is Wiley D. Wildcat.

Frequently used terms:

  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II
  • Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC)
  • NCAA Daktronics All-East Region

Armed Forces

Capitalize U.S. forces: the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force.

Board of Trustees

Capitalize when referring to Wilmington University's Board of Trustees.


Capitalize when part of a formal name or title: Smithtown United Methodist Church, the Church of Lionsville. Otherwise, use lowercase: She attended a United Methodist church.

Class Years

Do not capitalize class years such as freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior.


Wilmington University prefers the word course to be used instead of the word class. Uppercase titles of courses. Example: Exploring Art Media, Advanced Accounting II.

Course Types

Semester Classes
Semester classes meet fourteen times over a fifteen-week span. Each class meets once a week for 2 1/2 hours. There is a break called reading week after the seventh week of class; during this week there is no class meeting.

Block Classes
Block classes meet for seven weeks. Each class meets once a week for five hours. There are two blocks during each semester.

Modular Classes
Modular classes meet for two 20-hour weekends during a specific month. Modular classes meet Friday 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9:00 to 5:00 p.m. There is a weekend with no classes between the two 20-hour meetings.

Distance Learning
Fusion Courses
Typically, accelerated core courses will be conducted over a five-week period in the "hybrid" format with 20 hours of classroom instruction and at least 20 hours of online instruction utilizing the Blackboard educational platform. Fusion programs will feature at least three five-week courses each semester. The accelerated courses are part of Fusion programs sponsored by the Colleges of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Business.

Hybrid Courses
Hybrid courses are courses in which time traditionally spent in the classroom is reduced by as much as 50 percent and a significant portion of the learning activities have been moved online using Blackboard.

Online Courses
Online courses are courses where all learning activities are conducted using the Internet. There will be no on-location meetings with the instructor or other students enrolled in the course.


Use the spelled-out month followed by the numeral date: June 18 or February 22 NOT June 18th or Feb. the 22nd. When using a day of the week, spell out the name of the day and place a comma between the name of the day and the name of the month: Monday, July 12 NOT Mon. July 12 or Monday July, 12.