House style

The house style guide establishes house rules for language use, including punctuation, spelling and formatting, and aims to ensure consistency across University print and online publications.

The guidelines have been developed with the reader in mind, so that our communications are clear and appropriate to a general audience. We are unable to cover every aspect of language usage here, but we aim to clarify those areas where queries most often arise.

Spelling and grammar

The guide is revised periodically to accommodate changes in conventions and usage. For further reference, please see the Oxford English Dictionary.


Alumni

All references to alumni should be standardised as follows:


Apostrophes


Book titles/lectures


Brackets


Bullet points

Where the bullet points comprise a list of single words or short statements, there is no need to punctuate the list (except for a full stop at the end). For example:
A positive working environment is defined by the following characteristics:

Where the bullet points comprise longer statements that are not discrete sentences, punctuate with semi-colons. For example:
On the bright side:

Where the bullet points comprise discrete sentences, punctuate with full stops. For example:
The key findings of the survey are as follows:

Whichever type of list you use, introduce it with a colon and end with a full stop.


Campus or precinct?

Although Bristol is not known as a 'campus university', the decision was made in 2013 to refer in all corporate publications to the 'campus' rather than, as was historically the case, the 'precinct'.


Capitals

As a general rule, capitalisation should be reserved for proper nouns, and the official names of organisations (see also the list below).

House style for headings and subheadings, including left-hand navigation bars on the web, is sentence case, that is, an initial capital followed by all lower case (unless a proper noun appears in the heading).

Do cap initial letter of:

Do not cap initial letter of:


Commas


Course or programme?


Dashes


Degrees


Email and website addresses


Figures


Ages


Dates


Measurements


Money


Percentages


Foreign words


General


Hyphens

The following should always be hyphenated:

The following should always be one word:

The following should always be two words:

Do not hyphenate:

For other spellings, please refer to the Oxford English Dictionary.


Miscellaneous


How to introduce the University

Our University of Bristol profile provides a brief overview of the University and contains some key facts about the institution. The profile serves as a useful introduction to the University, and may be used, for example, to preface a presentation or to accompany other University literature intended for a general audience. The document is available to download in two versions:


New media


Punctuation


Quotes


Singular nouns


Telephone numbers


Times


Titles and forms of address


University buildings (naming convention)


University of Bristol (naming convention)

Use the form 'University of Bristol' in the first instance; thereafter, it is acceptable to continue to refer to the University of Bristol, or to use 'Bristol' or 'the University'. Use an initial capital whenever the word University is used to refer to the University of Bristol, even when used as an adjective, eg 'This applies to all University publications and announcements.'


University of Bristol profile

Our University of Bristol profile provides a brief overview of the University and contains some key facts about the institution. The profile serves as a useful introduction to the University, and may be used, for example, to preface a presentation or to accompany other University literature intended for a general audience. The document is available to download in two versions:


Words commonly misused

For other spellings, please refer to the Oxford English Dictionary.