Welcome to Bucknell University's official editorial style guide. Before you dig in, please take a moment to learn what this document is and who should use it.
It's just that: a guide. Its intent is to lead you on a certain path when you reach a fork in the road.
There are countless unresolved questions about how to write the English language. Is it a dollar, $1 or $1.00? Do you live in Pennsylvania, Pa. or PA? And what about that Oxford comma? You might think you have the "right" answer to any of these questions, and the person sitting next to you might have a completely different answer. Following this guide will help you improve the clarity and consistency of communications coming out of your office or department. You may not find answers to all of your questions in this style guide, but it's a good place to start.
Its basis is the Associated Press Stylebook, the style guide used overwhelmingly by newspapers and magazines in the United States. AP style emphasizes brevity and straightforwardness, which makes it appropriate for crafting communications to broad audiences. Some newspapers and magazines have chosen to broadly follow AP style while breaking away in some areas. The New York Times' use of courtesy titles like Mr. and Mrs., for example, is not advised by the AP. Bucknell, too, has chosen to go its own way in a few areas, and those points of departure are listed in this guide.
In addition to noting areas where Bucknell's style differs from the AP, this guide aims to answer some of the most common questions about AP style, and to provide direction for writing about things specific to Bucknell. If you have questions not addressed in this style guide, consult the AP Stylebook.
This guide is intended for anyone writing messages to or materials for the campus community at large, or external communications on behalf of Bucknell University or its constituent colleges, departments, offices, centers and initiatives.
The guide is not intended to help you prepare an academic paper to submit to a class, conference or journal. Other sources, such as the Writing Center and the Teaching & Learning Center, can help you with this specialized kind of writing. Like the English language, this guide has evolved over time and will continue to evolve. The Division of Communications welcomes comments and suggestions, and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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