The ASU writing style guide is the university’s definitive resource for internal and public-facing communications. Based on The Associated Press Stylebook, this reference provides comprehensive guidelines to promote a strong, consistent voice across all ASU branding. In addition to writing style elements, you will find the latest AP style updates on topical issues including inclusive language, the pandemic, technology and more.
The ASU writing style guidelines are designed to encourage and ensure consistent composition in university communications. Contained in the guidelines are spelling, punctuation, grammar, formatting, ASU boilerplate text and items frequently looked up in the AP guide.
There are some exceptions to AP style that accommodate ASU-specific terms and practices. See ASU word list.
Designed to be inclusive and useful, these guidelines should serve as a foundation from which your tailored messaging is built. Styles will differ and exceptions will be the rule when news content meets advertising content; common sense, your expertise, and knowledge of the ASU brand and its unique place in the community will all play critical roles in the final outcome of your on-brand product.
University communications should conform to these guidelines at all times, with two exceptions:
- When SEO, social media or advertising specifications must be considered.
- When specialized messaging (e.g., academic work, communication to the media) requires adherence to another specific style, such as APA, Chicago and the ASU Academic Catalog Style Guide.
Writing style elements
- ASU boilerplate text
- ASU locations, campuses, buildings and units
- ASU word list
- Academic programs, degrees, courses and tests
- Abbreviations and acronyms
- Addresses and U.S. states
- Company names
- Inclusion guidelines
- Language and tone
- Punctuation and symbols
- Times, days, months, seasons, years
- Sun Devil Athletics spellings and abbreviations
If you don’t see what you’re looking for, follow these steps:
- Consult the current edition of The Associated Press Stylebook.
- Consult Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition.
To get the latest AP style updates, sign up for the AP Stylebook newsletter at apstylebook.com/newsletter.