Editorial Style Guidelines

Following a well-defined editorial style gives your writing a professional sheen and brings it in line with the university’s brand platform.


Data is the plural of datum. The word should generally take a plural verb.

The study data show that carbon outputs can be reduced by 16 percent.


This acronym stands for Digital Education and Learning Technology Applications, a unit within the Office of the Provost. DELTA’s role is to lead the way in designing, creating and supporting extraordinary digital learning experiences for NC State.


When using a department's formal name, be sure to capitalize appropriately: the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. When referring to the department generically or informally, only capitalize proper nouns: the agricultural and resource economics department, the English department.

The Department of Mathematics is hiring new faculty.
The Math Department is hiring new faculty.

For the proper title of a particular department, refer to the NC State University Undergraduate Catalog, which can be accessed online.

D.H. Hill Jr. Library

The main campus library was named for Daniel Harvey Hill Jr., a professor of English and bookkeeping who became president of NC State. Do not use a comma after "Hill." See entry for NC State University Libraries.

Doak Field at Dail Park

See entry at Athletics facilities.

doctoral, doctorate

Use "doctoral" as an adjective, and use "doctorate" as a noun.

The DVM is a doctoral degree. She earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine.


Both the AP and NC State discourage the use of "Dr." as a title in front of someone's name in most cases. It's preferable to state the person's academic rank and field of expertise: Derek Ham, assistant professor of graphic design, is an expert in virtual reality.

e- words

Except for "email" and "esports," use a hyphen in all e- words: e-book, e-reader, e-commerce, etc.


Do not hyphenate this word.

email signatures

It is helpful for emails to include an email signature that provides the sender’s full contact information. Below is a suggested signature format for university employees to use. Note that a boilerplate public-disclosure notice is the last element in the signature.

Name (with at least two preferred pronouns, e.g., she/her, in parentheses)
Department (if applicable; can be omitted for faculty if the title makes it obvious, e.g., Professor of English)
Center or Program (if applicable)
College or unit (if applicable)
North Carolina State University
Mailing address (Campus Box XXXX)
Physical address
City, State Zip
Website (if applicable)

All electronic mail messages in connection with state business that are sent to or received by this account are subject to the North Carolina public records law and may be disclosed to third parties.


Denotes either a retiring full-time faculty member who has been recognized by the chancellor, or a full-time staff member recognized by the board of trustees, for dedicated service at NC State. It is an earned rank and comes with commensurate rights and privileges.


Lowercase unless part of a name or title.

Founders' Day

March 7 marks the anniversary of the founding of the university. The Founders' Day event commemorates the 1887 passage of a bill in the state legislature that provided for the founding of a college to teach agriculture and mechanic arts.

General Administration

The governing body of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, of which NC State is a constituent institution. See entry for The University of North Carolina for a list of all 17 campuses.

Governors Scott Courtyard

This courtyard on North Campus — bounded by Kilgore Hall, the Phytotron, Fox Science Teaching Laboratory, David Clark Labs and Nelson Hall — was constructed in 2004. The word "Governors" in the courtyard's name is plural in honor of North Carolina's two governors named Scott: W. Kerr Scott (1949-1953) and Robert W. Scott (1969-1973).

Gregg Museum of Art & Design

This museum, a unit of Arts NC State, uses the ampersand in its name.

On first reference, use “Gregg Museum of Art & Design.” On subsequent references, use “Gregg Museum” or “the Gregg.”

headlines and headers

Apply these capitalization guidelines to article headlines, headers within articles, and webpage titles and headers:

  • Capitalize all words in a headline, header or title except articles (a, an, the); prepositions of three or fewer letters (for, of, on, up, etc.); and conjunctions of three or fewer letters (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet, etc.) unless any of those come first or last.
  • Capitalize prepositions of four or more letters (above, after, down, inside, over, with, etc.) and conjunctions of four or more letters (because, while, since, though, etc.)
  • Capitalize both parts of a phrasal verb: “What To Look For in a Mate”; “Turn Off the Lights in Silence.” But: “A Life of Eating Chocolate for Stamina”; “Living With Both Feet off the Ground.” (Note the different uses of "for" and "off," and thus the different capitalization, in those examples.)
  • Capitalize "to" in infinitives: “What I Want To Be When I Grow Up.”

Holladay Hall

NC State's first building, Holladay Hall, was originally called the Main Building. The cornerstone was laid in August 1888, and the building was opened Oct. 3, 1889. The building was renamed for the college's first president, Alexander Quarles Holladay, in 1915. Today Holladay Hall houses the offices of the chancellor and other administrative offices.

Hunt Library

This library on Centennial Campus houses collections relevant to science, technology, engineering, mathematics and textiles. The library's full name is:

James B. Hunt Jr. Library

References to the governor himself, as opposed to the building named after him, use a comma after "Hunt":

Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr. addressed the audience.


Lowercase in all cases.


NC State differs from AP with regard to italics. Use italics for unfamiliar foreign words and phrases that are not proper nouns:

The indigenous people of that region subscribe to a Weltanschauung that views the health of the people as dependent upon the health of the land.

The Afro-Brazilian drum troupe Grupo Cultural Olodum performed on Paul Simon's album Rhythm of the Saints.

Foreign words and phrases found in the dictionary can generally be set in roman type:

The commedia dell'arte provided a way for the artistic classes to comment on political issues of the day.

Titles of large works — books, journals, magazines, newspapers, albums, television shows and the like — are italicized.

  • Being Written is a novel by NC State alumnus William Conescu.
  • The professor's research was published in the Journal of Materials Sciences.
  • The New York Times has requested an interview with the chancellor.