The guidelines for abbreviations and acronyms apply to narrative text. Exceptions may be necessary when dealing with web text or licensed university products.
Avoid abbreviations and acronyms to prevent text from becoming confusing and cumbersome. ISU is never the preferred reference; however, it is allowed when communicating with an internal campus audience.
When communicating with external audiences, Illinois State University or Illinois State should be used on first reference. Subsequent references may be Illinois State or the University. It is important to note that all text that appears online or on social media is available to external audiences.
University is capitalized when preceded by “the” as a definite article.
Use ISU when it is part of a proper name, such as Festival ISU.
Academic degrees may be abbreviated. Capitalize the letters that represent principal words in the degree when abbreviating. There is no space between the letters, and periods are typically required: B.S., M.A., Ph.D. (See entry on degrees for additional guidelines.)
Do not use TM or ® symbols.
Specific rules for abbreviations
There is no need to include “Illinois” when referring to a community within the state. All Illinois cities stand alone in narrative text.
There is no need to name the state for the following major cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Names of cities and countries should not be abbreviated in narrative text. Exceptions to this rule are when U.S. is used as an adjective, and when a city is known as St., such as St. Louis.
Spell out the names of the 50 states in narrative text.
Spell out street, lane, avenue, boulevard, circle, drive, parkway, road, north, east, south, and west in addresses within narrative text.
Abbreviate company, corporation, incorporated, and limited when used after the name of a corporate entity. Do not insert a comma before Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
Ampersands are used only when they are part of a company or publication title, such as U.S. News & World Report. Use “and” instead of an ampersand when referring to academic departments, colleges, and campus units: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Specific rules for acronyms
Acronyms are acceptable and may be used without full reference only for familiar entities, associations, governmental agencies, etc., such as the UAW, FBI, NASA, and NCAA.
ZIP, as in ZIP code, should be all caps. It stands for Zoning Improvement Plan.
There are no periods or spaces in acronyms.
Acronyms that readers will not quickly and easily recognize should not be used. For example, ARH should be written as Association of Residence Halls.
If an acronym must be used, spell out the full name on first reference and introduce the acronym using parentheses: Association of Residence Halls (ARH). The acronym may then be used in subsequent references.
Whenever possible use a descriptive noun for subsequent references: The Association of Residence Halls is planning a party. All members of the association are invited.