USC editorial style guide

USC editorial style guide

Word Count:
472france travel guide

Why a University Style Guide?

This online version of the University Publications Editorial Style Guide contains several revisions and additions, which we indicate throughout with a symbol for easy reference.

Some of these changes address issues specific to Web content and are indicated with a symbol.

We first published the Editorial Style Guide in March 1996 to provide consistency among members of our own department and among the many offices throughout the University. We also wanted to advise our clients of the rules we would apply when editing copy submitted to this office.

There are available many guides to writing style, so why couldn’t we simply choose one of those? As with any organization, there are certain language conventions that are specific to the University of South Carolina. A single document that contains these conventions enables every unit of every campus to properly and consistently represent its parent organization—the University of South Carolina.

As we developed the guide, it also became clear that many grammatical issues arise every day and that a quick reference to these would be helpful. For answers to other questions of style and spelling, we consult the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual, the American Heritage Dictionary, and Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary.

Of course, matters of style and usage continue to evolve, and as they do we will continue to review and update the guide. We encourage you to become familiar with the Editorial Style Guide and to apply its rules to any text you write on behalf of the University. Please contact us with your comments or any matters you feel should be addressed in future editions.

To the Table of Contents or use the links on the far left.



Article Body:


A. General

1) Lowercase the when making formal reference to the University of South Carolina. Capitalize University when referring informally to USC. When using the name as a stand-alone title or referring to the University in a tabular list or address, omit the.

More than 350 degree programs are offered at the University of South Carolina.
More than 350 degree programs are offered at the University.

2) Shorter form written reference to the University as USC is acceptable. Do not use periods or word spaces between the letters.

B. Campuses

1) When referring to all eight campuses, the use of system is no longer acceptable, except in certain legal statements. The name University of South Carolina or the University is officially defined as a reference to all campuses.

2) Formal written reference to a campus should consist of University of South Carolina followed by a word space and the name of the individual campus. USC may be used in place of University of South Carolina for a more informal reference to a campus. Do not use a hyphen, dash, or comma before the campus name. Do not use prepositions such as in or at.

University of South Carolina Columbia or USC Columbia
University of South Carolina Aiken or USC Aiken
University of South Carolina Beaufort or USC Beaufort

Campuses other than Columbia may refer to themselves informally with the use of initials as a second reference: USCA, USCB, USCS. Periods or word spaces should not be used between the letters.

3) The Columbia campus may be referred to as the University of South Carolina’s main campus. The primary designation shall be the University of South Carolina Columbia.

4) Aiken, Beaufort, and Upstate may be referred to as senior or four-year campuses.

5) Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union may be referred to as regional campuses. They should not be referred to as two-year or branch campuses.

6) When referring informally to any campus, do not capitalize the word campus.

The Sumter campus will hold graduation ceremonies on May 7.
Funds were sought for renovations on the USC Beaufort campus.

Note: With this language, USC and the University become the official reference for all eight campuses. A particular campus should be referred to in one of the ways noted above.

C. Named Schools

1) Use Moore School of Business for all standard references. The full name–The Darla Moore School of Business–should be used only for formal occasions (e.g., commencement) for legal purposes. Moore School is an acceptable second reference.

2) Use Arnold School of Public Health for all standard references. The full name–The Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health– should be used only for formal occasions (e.g., commencement) or for legal purposes. Arnold School is an acceptable second reference.

3) The with an initial capital “T” is part of the official name of The Graduate School.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *