Specific Guide for the University of Minnesota Crookston

To ensure consistency in representing the University of Minnesota Crookston, while allowing flexibility to promote individual sub-brands, the following guidelines should be followed.

Below is a list of the most common style and grammar issues and their correct use. For other questions on capitalization, quotes, italics, academic language, and other style guidelines, visit UMN Brand

For the most part, we follow the Chicago Manual of Style.

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Name Usage and Related System Issues

  • Use University of Minnesota Crookston as the title of the university located in Crookston, Minnesota. Do not use a hyphen or comma to separate Crookston in the name. After the first introduction, the name may be shortened to U of M Crookston or UMC, although we prefer to use the entire name spelled out when possible. If a decision is made to use UMC (for internally focused messages), please make a primary reference to the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC), including (UMC) immediately after that first use.
  • The University of Minnesota is the name of the organization that comprises five campuses and should not be used to describe the Twin Cities campus. That is the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Avoid terms that imply a secondary relationship to University of Minnesota Twin Cities such as “the Main U” or “the main campus." The Twin Cities campus may be referred to as the flagship campus of the University of Minnesota System, as it is the oldest and largest campus within the system. The Twin Cities campus refers to the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, collectively, as they operate as one large unit. U of M and UMN are both acceptable short forms, with U of M being the preferred abbreviation.
  • Capitalize University when it refers to the University of Minnesota. 
  • When writing about the University of Minnesota System, capitalize system. 
  • Refer to each of the U of M campuses as system campuses. Do not refer to them as coordinate, satellite, branch, or outstate campuses.
  • Use systemwide instead of system-wide when referring to something that applies on or includes all campuses.
  • When listing all system campuses, do so alphabetically: Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, Twin Cities.
  • When referring to a specific campus, do not capitalize the word campus: Crookston campus, Duluth campus, Morris campus, Rochester campus, Twin Cities campus.
  • For shorthand references such as social media handles, use UMNCrookston, UMNDuluth, UMNMorris, UMNRochester, UMNTwinCities, and UMNSystem.

Chancellor Name Usage

In written publications, use Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause and Chancellor Holz-Clause, subsequently. If not using a name, you may use "the chancellor" without capitalization (and without quotations marks).

Campus Locations

  • Refer to the dining area as Brown Dining Room or Brown Dining Hall, not Ma Brown's.
  • Capitalize both words in Campus Mall.
  • The correct names of the areas in Sargeant Student Center are Bede BallroomPrairie Room (not the Prairie Lounge), International LoungeNorthern Lights LoungeMinnesota Room (Room 100), and Leadership Room (Room 237.)
  • The Eagles Nest in Sahlstrom Conference Center does not have an apostrophe. Regal's, the short order line, does have an apostrophe.
  • The Peterson Classroom is located in Heritage Hall. The classrooms in Centennial and Evergreen Halls do not have specific names.
  • Owen Hall is a building complex. It is comprised of the original classroom building, built in 1909; the addition built in 1969 that includes the Compass (the office suite in 170) and the Student Success Center (the office suite in 270); and Suite A, which was added in 1991 and serves as home to the Office of Admissions.
  • The Kiehle Building is the correct name. It is not Kiehle Hall.
  • The Library is not the Kiehle Library. While it is connected to the Kiehle Building, it is not part of Kiehle.

Internet related text and capitalization

  • Website should be written as one word (preferred by the Chicago Manual of Style) and does not need to be capitalized unless it begins a sentence.
  • Email (which has now eliminated the hyphen) is only capitalized in titles or at the beginning of a sentence. Note: Associated Press (AP) Style allows for email (without hyphen); the Chicago Manual of Style requires the hyphen.
  • Internet is a proper noun and is always capitalized.

On-campus vs. Online

  • Online is one word, no hyphen. Students completing their degree online are referred to as online students.
  • Students attending classes on the physical campus are referred to as on-campus students, using a hyphen. They may live in the residence halls on campus, but they are referred to as on-campus students.

Contact Information for the Crookston Campus

(note: the word campus above is only capitalized because it is part of the heading in which all words except for articles and prepositions are capitalized)

  • Use 800-862-6466 (800-UMC-MINN) when mentioning the campus toll-free number.
  • With the extensive use of cell phones, use all digits of a phone number, e.g. 218-281-6510. You no longer need to put parentheses around the area code.
  • Email addresses should end with umn.edu, e.g. username@umn.edu
  • Website URL – use all lowercase letters in the website address www.umcrookston.edu. When space is limited umcrookston.edu may be used without "www.".

Time and Dates

  • Time of day – use a.m. or p.m. to denote time of day in text (including periods).
  • When possible, use noon instead of 12 p.m. and midnight instead of 12 a.m.
  • Do not add th, nd, rd, or st after a date. Write May 10, not May 10th.
  • When possible, include the day along with the date such as Monday, July 23.


General Abbreviations

  • Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone or with a year alone: Aug. 18, 2006 or August 2006
  • In text, abbreviate the names of states, territories, or possessions following the name of a city or other capitalized geographical term as shown below. Do not abbreviate Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, or Utah.
  • We encourage you to avoid the two letter postal code abbreviations in text. They are meant for use in addresses or in instances where space is a premium.


Either spelling is accepted. Chicago Manual of Style favors advisor; AP Style favors adviser. We prefer advisor.

Alumna, Alumnus, Alumnae, Alumni, Alum

Use alumnus (alumni plural) for a man who has graduated from or attended U of M Crookston Use alumna (alumnae plural) to refer to a woman. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women. Although considered slang, it's is also okay to use alum (singular for either man or woman) or alums (plural for men and women). U of M Crookston defines alumni as anyone who has graduated from or attended the university or Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA.)

Ampersand (&)

Whenever possible, spell out the word "and." Use & only when part of an official name or to save space. Acceptable examples for U of M Crookston:

  • University & Alumni Relations
  • Agriculture & Natural Resources Department
  • Liberal Arts & Education Department
  • Math, Science & Technology Department
  • Facilities & Operations
  • Concerts & Lectures Committee

Athletic Recognition

For athletic awards, such as All-American, All-Conference, All-Region, always use the hyphen and capitalize both words. When talking about the all-academic team, use they hyphen but do not capitalize all-academic.


  • Lower case titles when used in apposition to a name (John Jones, associate professor).
  • Upper case is used only when the full and formal title precedes the name: Associate Professor Susan Smith is a great teacher.
  • Generally, lower case references to proper names when not used in full: the program, the college, the university.
  • Capitalize the full and correct name of offices, such as the Department of Math, Science, and Technology. Do not capitalize shorthand for an office, such as the registrar’s office.
  • Capitalize initial letters of major words in course titles; do not use quotation marks around course titles. Do not capitalize fields of study: Carol Cabrizzi was hired to teach Philosophy of Logic; the committee reported on the U of M Crookston's major in natural resources.
  • Capitalize names of buildings, thoroughfares, monuments, etc., as well as generic terms used as part of the names; do not capitalize generic terms used descriptively: Campus Mall, Kiehle Building, Prairie Room.


In a compound sentence, use a comma before a conjunction joining two independent clauses.

In a series of three or more words or phrases, use a comma to separate all parts of the series.

This is known as the serial or Oxford comma. Most U.S. style guides call for the use of the serial comma. The AP Stylebook, however, does not. We prefer to use the serial comma. News releases, which follow AP style, typically do not use the serial comma.


Capitalize abbreviations of degrees and use periods; do not capitalize spelled-out names of degrees: Ph.D., J.D., M.B.A., Ed.D., master of science, bachelor of arts, master of arts in journalism, bachelor’s degrees or master’s degrees. When writing about an associate degree, do not use the possessive: After earning an associate degree, Tom went on to earn a bachelor's degree in biology.


  • To avoid confusing the general public, the Dr. title is used only in reference to people with medical degrees. When referring to people with academic doctoral degrees, the preferred style is to list degree and title after their name, such as Jane Smith, Ph.D., professor of mathematics.
  • Capitalize a title if it precedes the name: e.g. Professor John Doe or Professor and Department Head Mary Jones.
  • Do not capitalize the title if it follows the name: eg. Jane Doe, professor of education, or Jane Doe, Ph.D., professor of education.
  • Do not capitalize titles when used alone: e.g. The vice chancellor of academic affairs will attend the luncheon.  The chancellor addressed the student body.

Adding S

  • Adding s to a word denotes more than one: canoe and canoes, car and cars, TV and TVs, 1980 and the 1980s, a veteran's day and Veterans Day.
  • Adding an apostrophe s ('s) denotes possestion: The car belonging to Tom is Tom's car. 
  • Do not add an apostrophe to a word ending in s when it is used primarily in a descriptive sense: citizens band radio, a Golden Eagles infielder, or a writers guide.
  • When indicating possession of a word that ends in s, either of the following is correct: Dickens' novel or Dickens’s novel (The Chicago Manual of Style suggests Dickens's is preferred.)

Emerita, Emeritus, Emeritae, Emeriti

A title bestowed on retired faculty and administrators. When used, emeritus follows the formal title. For individual female professor, correct term is professor emerita (plural is professors emeritae). When individual male professor, correct term is professor emeritus. When all-male or mixed group, correct term is professors emeriti.

Italics/Quotation Marks

Use italics for titles of complete, independent works: newspapers, books, magazines, movies, plays, etc. Put quotes around titles of works that are contained within other works, such as articles.


  • Spell out numerals up to and including nine, and use numerals for the rest: e.g. zero, one, two, three, nine, 10, 27, 125
  • Spell out any number that begins a sentence: e.g.  Twenty-three students attended the program.

Placement of Quotation Marks with Punctuation

Commas and periods always go inside quotation marks. The dash, semicolon, question mark, and exclamation point go within quotation marks when they apply to the quoted matter only. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence.


Titles of Works of Art

  • Books, films, TV shows, and other standalone media or publications are italicized.
  • Titles of songs, poems, TV episodes, etc. that are not stand-alone are placed in quotes.
  • The full name of course titles — when they appear in text — are italicized and major words are capped.

Who and That

Use who as a pronoun modifying a person.