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Editorial Style Guide

Last updated: May 2008


Decision maker

Do not use a hyphen if the term is used as a noun phrase. Only use a hyphen if the term is used as an adjective.

Regent will position you as a principled decision maker.
XYZ is a decision-maker tool.

Decision making

Do not use a hyphen if the term is used as a noun phrase. Only use a hyphen if the term is used as an adjective.

Decision making is a key component in business leadership.
This program will develop your decision-making skills.


See also university degrees and programs.

Apostrophes and degrees: Use an apostrophe in associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. Doctoral degree or doctorate is preferable to doctor's degree to avoid confusion regarding medical degrees, which are commonly called doctor’s degrees.

Capitalization and degrees: If the abbreviation of the degree (i.e. Ph.D. or MFA or M.A.) or the spelled out version of the degree type (master of arts) is followed by the subject of the degree (i.e. Ph.D. in Intercultural Leadership), then the spelled out version of the degree type and the subject of the degree are capitalized.

Note: However, if one simply says, Her degree in intercultural leadership …, then the name of the degree subject is not capitalized. If one says, She has a master’s from Duke University …, then the word master’s is lowercased. The same is true for the words associate’s, bachelor’s, doctorate and doctoral.


We confer the Master of Arts in Communication.
Think about getting a master’s degree.
She earned her M.A. in Public Policy.

Periods: Use periods after the initials in an abbreviated degree with only two capitalized letters, such as B.A., M.A., M.Div., Ph.D. If, however, the degree has three capitalized initials, then do not use periods (i.e. MFA, DSL, MPA, MTS)

Commas: After a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas.


Earl Jones, Ph.D., spoke.

Do not use the courtesy title Dr. for the academic degree and then follow it with the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference.

Incorrect Example:

Dr. Lucille Jones, Ph.D.

Correct Examples:

Lucille Jones, Ph.D.

Dr. Lucille Jones, a psychologist.


Lowercase the points of a compass when they are used alone. Capitalize regions known specifically by direction, such as the West, the South, the Middle East, the East, the Northeast, the Southwest.

Lowercase general directions when part of a proper name, such as southern Texas, unless the section is well known as a region, such as Southern California.

District of Columbia, D.C.

When referring to Washington, D.C., a comma must follow D.C., unless it is at the end of the sentence.

Divine, divinity

Capitalize Divine only when used in direct reference to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, or when used as part of a proper noun.


There is a Divine mandate to repent and be baptized.
The chocolate cake was divine.
The Divinity of Christ was not in question.
The School of Divinity is growing.
The divinity school is growing.


Use Dr. in first reference as a formal title before the name of an individual who holds a doctor of medicine degree. Do not continue to use Dr. in subsequent references; use only the last name.


Dr. Jonas Salk was present. Salk developed a vaccine.

Dr. also may be used on first reference before the names of individuals who hold other types of doctoral degrees. However, because the public frequently identifies Dr. with physicians, care should be taken to state the individual’s specialty in the first or second reference. The only exception would be a story in which the context leaves no doubt that the person is a psychologist, minister, college professor, etc.

Do not use Dr. before the names of individuals who hold honorary doctorates only.

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Eastern Standard Time (EST) / Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

In some cases, EST (Eastern Standard Time) may be placed after the time if the information is being sent nationwide. The acronym EST may be used instead of spelling it out. During daylight savings in the spring and summer months when some states "spring ahead," EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) should be used.


Christian World News airs on TBN on Fridays at 5:30 p.m. EST.


Do not hyphenate email. Do not capitalize the letter e when the word email is used in a sentence.


I receive my email through AOL.

Capitalize the E in Email when the word is used at the beginning of a sentence or when used alone on a form: Email.

e-Business and e-Commerce

When using the letter e to represent the word electronic in word combinations such as e-Business and e-Commerce, do not capitalize the letter e, but do capitalize the first letter of the next word.

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This word is a collective noun that may refer to a group or members of a group. Regent's default is to use the word faculty to refer to its entire group of faculty members. In this sense, faculty is a singular word, and you say: The faculty is here. If you wish to refer to a few members of the faculty, then say: Some faculty members are here. If you wish to refer to accolades or details of several members of the group, then say: Our faculty (many individuals acting as unit) come from schools including Harvard, Yale and other prestigious institutions.

Founders Inn and Spa, The

The Founders Inn and Spa is the full title of the hotel located adjacent to the Regent University campus. Make sure the T in The is capitalized as it is part of the proper name of the hotel. Also, be sure to spell out and. The ampersand (&) should not be used in this case. When space is limited, you may use the less formal name of the Inn: The Founders Inn.

Note: There is no apostrophe in The Founders Inn.

fundraiser, fundraising

These words have a primary and secondary spelling, one using a space, one omitting a space. Regent University has chosen to follow the option listed above of one word, no space.


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