Quick Guide

Below are editorial topics that are likely to come up most often as you write your publications:

The UO

When using abbreviations, use the UOOregon, or the university, not Univ. of Ore.U of O, or the University.

Serial Comma

Use it. Reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Hyphens and Dashes

Hyphens (-) are used for compound words and breaking words to the next line.

Em dashes (—) are used to indicate a break in the syntax of a sentence, much like offsetting a clause with commas.

En dashes (–) are used to express a range, such as Monday–Friday.


Do not include spaces before and after em or en dashes. Include only one space between end punctuation and the beginning of a new sentence.


Use the ": 00" for 1:00, 2:00, and so on. Use lowercase letters and periods for a.m. and p.m. Noon is noon and midnight is midnight, not 12:00 a.m. or p.m.

Days of the week and months of the year should be spelled out.


Spell out one through nine. Unless beginning a sentence, use numerals for ten and up. Same for ordinal numbers: sixth, ninth, but 12th, 104th.

Phone numbers should have dashes, not dots or parentheses: 541-346-3559.


Professor Bob Smith is capitalized, but Bob Smith, professor of sociology isn't. Same with president, director, or any other title or rank.

Department of Biology is capitalized, but generic references to the department or the field of study are not—e.g., "Go to the biology department" or "I got an A in biology." University of Oregon is capitalized, but the university isn't.


Unless beginning a sentence, degree names aren't capitalized, as in bachelor's degree in chemistry.

Do not use periods in degree abbreviations, so a master of arts degree is an MA, a bachelor's degree in music is a BMus, and a doctoral degree in education is a DEd.

The University of Oregon's Program Offerings in Portland

Although not a full campus of the university, the UO's presence in Portland should be referred to as the University of Oregon Portland on first reference or UO Portland on the second (or as a shorthand abbreviation), not the Portland Center or Portland Campus.

The building itself is the White Stag Block.


Alumni is a plural noun referring to more than one male or a mixed gender group. Alumnae refers to more than one female.

Alumnus is a single male. Alumna is a single female.

Alum is not a word or an acceptable abbreviation.

Go Ducks!

Typically, the phrase Go, Ducks! would require a comma: Go, a complete imperative (command), followed by a vocative, Ducks—identical to, say, Run, Spot, run!

However, when cheering on the team at an event (where the players are likely out of earshot), the phrase Go Ducks! is more an expression of support than it is a direct imperative, much like Up with the Ducks or Long live the Ducks. Since this use is more of an invocation or slogan, it is appropriate to leave out the comma—Go Ducks!

GEs vs. GTFs

Graduate employee (GE) is the term now used at the University of Oregon for teaching, research, and administrative graduate assistantships that were formerly known as GTFs—an acronym used alternatively to denote both graduate teaching fellows and the Graduate Teaching Fellowship.