Abbreviations and acronyms Abbreviations and acronyms

  • Don’t use full stops in or after abbreviations like: GCSE, BSc, BA, MA
  • You should use a full stop after an abbreviation if it appears at the end of a sentence
  • In text, &, %, ie and eg should be spelt out in full as ‘and’, ‘per cent’, ‘that is to say’ and ‘for example’. In tables, headings, or when you need to save space, the abbreviations may be used but not with full stops
  • Use the abbreviated form of a title without explanation only if there is no chance of any misunderstanding, like: BBC. Otherwise, the first reference to a name should always appear in full, followed by the abbreviation in brackets, like: This course is taught by staff in the Climatic Research Unit (CRU). CRU is world-renowned
  • For names with initials we avoid full stops and spaces, like: JK Rowling.

Accents Accents

We do not include accents in words that have passed into the English language, such as: cafe.

A Levels A Levels

A levels, not A-levels or ‘A’ levels.

Alumni Alumni

Alumnus (male), alumna (female), Alumni/ae (plural)

Ampersands Ampersands

Do not use as an abbreviation for 'and' unless it forms part of an existing title, like: Marks & Spencer.

Brand Biannual TEXT Brand Biannual TEXT

Biannual - twice a year

Biennial - every two years

Bullet style Bullet style

Long lists should be bulleted. Do not use commas or semicolons after any of the points.

Begin each bulleted point with a capital letter.

Only the last point should end with a full stop.

Don’t leave a line after the paragraph and the bulleted point.

Use hyphens at the start of each bullet.

Upper case and lower case Upper case and lower case

  • In headings the first word should be uppercase with remaining words capitalised only if a proper noun, name or if a specific title (eg a module title) or position is involved
  • internet not Internet
  • web not Web
  • Use lower case for seasons and semesters. For example: The prospectus will be updated in spring 2016
  • Use lower case for points of the compass: east, west, north, south. For example: Schools in the north east, the south of Scotland, southern Europe
  • Use upper case for the names of books, films and other major works in the usual way
  • Capitalise first words and all words apart from prepositions and conjunctions of fewer than five letters
  • Use upper case for definite geographical places, regions, areas and countries: South-East Asia, The Hague, the Midlands, the Middle East
  • University (meaning the University of East Anglia). Lower case should be used when referring to universities generally
  • Vice-Chancellor (referring to our Vice-Chancellor), all others are vice-chancellors
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor
  • Faculties (Faculty of Science), Schools (Environmental Sciences), course titles (MA Theatre and Development) and module titles (Medicine and Gender) should use uppercase
  • Use lowercase when referring to a subject in a general way, like: ‘a good background in mathematics is essential’.

Century Century

21st century, 20th century (noun); 21st-century (adjective), eg in the 21st century (noun);
 but a 21st-century dilemma (adjective).

Circa Circa

Abbreviate simply as c (roman) followed by a space, eg c 1342.

Colons Colons

Use lowercase initials in words that succeed the colon unless the word is a proper noun.

Contact information Contact information

We present our contact information in italics under bold, capitalised headers like this:


T +44 (0) 1603 591515


Instagram and Twitter @uniofeastanglia

Dashes Dashes

Use short dashes (ens) when there are no spaces between words, ie 2000-2005, 5,000-word dissertation, and long dashes (ems) when there are spaces between words, ie the module – British Cinema.

Dates Dates

  • Friday 10 August 2007 (no ‘th’ or comma)
  • 2007-08 not 2007-2008 or 2007/08
  • Decades should be expressed as 1960s (not 1960’s or ‘60s)
  • AD goes before the date (AD 64), BC goes after (300 BC).

Degree Degree

Capitalise the full degree title and module titles but use lower case when referring to subject areas. For example: The School of Biological Sciences offers courses in ecology, biology and conservation. To study for the Master of Mathematics programme, you should have studied mathematics to at least A level.

First, 2:1, 2:2, 3rd. Never use 1st. Use a capital when referring to a First, but lower case initial for first-class degree. He was awarded a 2:1 in English.

Double spacing Double spacing

Once used in the days of mechanical typewriters, double spacing is now not necessary. Always use a single space after a comma and full stop.

Email Email

Email and email, not E-mail and e-mail.

Faculty Faculty

‘The University has four Faculties: the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Health’. Use lower case when referring to faculty members.

Historical periods Historical periods

Capitalise names of widely recognised epochs in anthropology, archaeology, geology and history: the Bronze Age, the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages,
the Renaissance, the Victorian era, the Enlightenment, the Third Reich.

Capitalise periods named after specific dynasties or people: the Tudors, Elizabethan.

Lower case: medieval, baroque and early modern.

Honours Honours

Use a capital letter when describing a specific degree course, BA Honours French or BA Hons French, otherwise use ‘honours’: ‘you will need a good honours degree’.

Hyphenation Hyphenation

Required for compound adjectives, like: her brother is a first-year undergraduate or the referee has a full-time job.

Other examples:

  • It is an award-winning, world-class department.
  • The course has broad-based modules.
  • The School offers cutting-edge research.

Do not use a hyphen when the combination of words includes an adverb (words ending in –ly), like: ‘strongly worded letter’.

Use where the same letters meet in adjacent word, like: film-maker.

Initials Initials

No space or full stops between personal initials: AM Smith or JK Rowling.

Internet Internet

internet not Internet

International telephone style International telephone style

Tel +44 (0)1603 456161

Inverted commas (quotation marks) Inverted commas (quotation marks)

Use single inverted commas, reserving double inverted commas for a quotation within a quotation and for direct speech.

Italics Italics

Use italics for titles of published books, periodicals, plays, films, paintings, newspapers and genus and species names in Latin.

Titles of articles and features in periodicals are set in Roman type enclosed in single quotation marks.

Use italics for foreign words that have not become part of the English language.

Job titles Job titles

Use lower case for all job titles, like: he is the chairman of Microsoft; she is the editor of the Guardian.

Master's Master's

Use ‘Master’s degree’, not: Masters degree, masters’ degree or masters degree.

Referring to a generic Master’s: I did my Master’s at UEA.

Referring to a specific degree: Jo studied for a Master’s in Creative Writing.

Newspapers titles Newspapers titles

Generally in italics and with lower case ‘the’: the Guardian. Exceptions to this are The Times and The Economist.

Norwich Research Park Norwich Research Park

Don’t abbreviate to NRP – you can refer to Research Park or Park after the first mention.

Numbers Numbers

  • Be consistent, it’s ‘between nine and fifteen’, not ‘between nine and 15’
  • 10 upwards as figures, so ‘10’ not ‘ten’, ‘29’ not ‘twenty-nine’
  • Spell out any number that begins a sentence, like: ‘One hundred and ten people graduated this year’
  • Use commas for numbers of four or more digits: 1,000 not 1000
  • £100 million or £100m not £100 m
  • £10,000 not £10k, although £10k acceptable in internal documents
  • Fractions are hyphenated as adjectives: one-third full, but not as nouns: one third of the population.
  • ‘The course runs for two years’
  • ‘It is a two-year course’
  • Spell out ordinal numbers in text: first, second, third not 1st, 2nd, 3rd except for in a table.

Over Over

Our house style is to say ‘more than’, rather than ‘over’: ‘There are more than 10,000 international students’, not ‘there are over 10,000 students’.

Percentage Percentage

Use per cent, not percent or %, unless in a table/chart to save space. In those cases, use abbreviations but don’t use a full stop.

Programme/ program Programme/ program

Part-time degree programme

A computer program

Qualifications Qualifications

A levels not A-levels or ‘A’ levels

GCSE, BSc, BA, MA, PhD not G.C.S.E.

Schools of study Schools of study

When referring to the University’s Schools (because of the possible confusion with secondary schools) capitalise School of Study or Schools of Study.

ise/ize ise/ize

civilised not civilized

organised not organized

We use the following We use the following

  • Adviser not advisor
  • A levels, O levels – no hyphen
  • Childcare not child care
  • Continental Europe not continental Europe
  • Co-ordinator not coordinator
  • Co-operation not cooperation
  • Coursework not course work
  • Courtroom not court room
  • En suite not ensuite or en-suite
  • Field trip not fieldtrip
  • Field work not fieldwork
  • Film-making not filmmaking
  • Flatmate not flat mate
  • Focuses not focusses
  • You take a full-time course but you study full time (same for part-time/part time)
  • Healthcare when used as adjective: healthcare professions, otherwise health care
  • Judgement not judgment
  • Master classes
  • Medieval
  • Modelling not modeling
  • Multimedia
  • Multinational
  • Online not on-line
  • Policymakers
  • Postgraduate/undergraduate not post-graduate or under-graduate
  • Problem-based learning
  • Problem-solving
  • Signalling not signaling
  • Skilful not skillful
  • Supervisor not superviser
  • Teamworking not team-working
  • Transferable not transferrable
  • Under way not underway
  • US for United States, not USA
  • Website not web site
  • Worldwide not world-wide
  • Year 2, year 3 not year two etc.

Time Time

5.30pm not 5.30 pm or 17.30

Titles Titles

Mr/Mrs not Mr. or Mrs.

Dr not Doctor

Prof not Prof.


Our URL always appears in lowercase and is preceded by ‘www’, like this:

Website Website

Website not web-site

Years Years

2005-06 not 2005-2006 or 2005/06

Return Return

Help Help

For help using these guidelines, or if you have feedback, please contact us.

Contacts and Feedback