Web Services

Web Writing: Style and Appearance

Writing Style Standards

The college uses the Associated Press Stylebook as the style guide and standard for all printed and online publications. Copies of the stylebook are available in the Public Information office. Spelling in college publications must conform to the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Copies of the dictionary are available in the Public Information office and college libraries. Please note: when there is a conflict, the AP Stylebook is the primary source.

TMCC continually updates college style as needed. To ensure accuracy, please incorporate PIO in the design process at an early date. Please contact us at the beginning of your project.

The following items are common style occurrences at TMCC, and include some variations to AP style:

Academic Degrees

Follow AP Stylebook. Use lowercase (such as associate degree, bachelor's degree or master's degree), except when used as a title. Use an apostrophe in "bachelor's degree", but note that there is no possessive in associate degree, Bachelor of Arts or Associate of Arts.

When giving the title of a degree with an emphasis, use a comma.

  • Example: Associate of Arts Degree, Philosophy Emphasis


TMCC Fire and Police Academies are approved for use.

  • Northern Nevada Fire and Rescue Academy
  • Northern Nevada Law Enforcement Academy

And, ampersand (&)

Follow AP Stylebook. In text, spell out the word "and". The ampersand (&) is used in a limited number of department names.

Arabic numerals

Follow the AP Stylebook. The numerical figures are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0. In general, these figures are spelled out in text.

Arabic numbers ten and greater are used in numerical form (for example: 24, 69 or 2,437) except at the beginning of a sentence.

Board of Regents

Capitalize of the name of this governing body for the Nevada System of Higher Education.

  • The Board of Regents
  • The NSHE Board of Regents


Full NameAbbreviation
TMCC E.L. Cord Child Care Center CCC

TMCC IGT Applied Technology Center
Note: formerly Edison Campus -- no longer in use

TMCC Meadowood Center MDWS (for south building)
MDWN (for north building)
Red Mountain Building RDMT
Sierra Building SIER

TMCC Health Science Center
Note: formerly High Tech Center at Redfield (RC-B) -- no longer in use; use "Redfield Center" when referring to the UNR Building at the same location (RC-A)


TMCC Nell J. Redfield Foundation Performing Arts Center


V. James Eardley Student Services Center

Student Center after first use

Vista Building


Button Names (Web)

Use proper case.

  • Example: When you go to the home page, select the Class Schedule button.


Dandini campus (not "main campus"). This is the College's only campus. Other locations are "sites" or "centers".

See Also: Educational Centers/Sites entry.


Generally, follow AP Stylebook, unless noted in this directory. For example, do not capitalize "room" after the name for a building. However, contrary to AP, TMCC department and committee names and position titles are in proper case.

  • Example: The seminar will be held in the Red Mountain Building, room 314.
  • Example: the English Department; Admissions and Records Office
  • Example: Professor Zideck; President Sheehan; John Smith, Instructor; Jane Doe, Director

Catalog (College Catalog)

Use "College Catalog" (note capitalization) to refer to the document outlining the College's programs and other information. Note: Course catalog refers to the College's inventory of course descriptions in the student information system (MyTMCC).

Clip art

Clip art is generally not allowed in TMCC publications, except for instruction to small children. Advanced approval is required. The Public Information Office offers photographic services to the College, and subscribes to an online stock photography service.


Use "College" when referring to all TMCC instructional sites, centers and other locations where instruction is offered.

After a first reference of the full name of the College (Truckee Meadows Community College), "College" may be used to refer to TMCC (note capitalization).

See also: Educational Centers/Sites

Comma in a series

Follow AP Stylebook. In a series of three, use only one comma.

  • Example: There are nursing, automotive and computer students in the hallway.

Committee Names

College committee names are capitalized.

  • Example: Curriculum Committee; Academic Standards Committee

For more than one committee, capitalize the committee name, but lowercase the word "committees".

  • Example: the Curriculum and Academic Standards committees


Follow AP Stylebook. For example, always use lower case and the $ sign in all except casual references or amounts without a figure.

  • Example: The book costs $4.

For amounts more than $1 million, use the $ and numerals up to two decimal places.

  • Example: It is worth $4.35 million.


Dates should be formatted as Nov. 9, 2014. Do not use "th" after the day (e.g., November 9th or the 9th of November).

See also: entry for formatting Time.


  • For all TMCC departments, programs, centers, offices and divisions, "office, department or division" appear after the specific title.
    • Examples: Business Division; Equity and Inclusion Office; Emergency Medical Services Department
  • College department names are in proper case.
    • Example: the English Department; Admissions and Records Office
  • Lowercase the word "offices" when more than one department is noted.
    • Example: the Admissions and Records and Academic Advising offices

Doctor (Dr.)

"Dr." may be used to signify a person has earned a doctoral level degree (Ph.D., Ed.D.) in the context of college information. Do not use "Dr." for honorary degrees.

Educational Centers/Sites

  • TMCC Health Science Center (formerly High Tech Center at Redfield)
  • TMCC IGT Applied Technology Center (formerly Edison)
  • Meadowood Center
  • TMCC Nell J. Redfield Foundation Performing Arts Center
    • Use "TMCC Performing Arts Center" as a shorter reference, if necessary.
    • If clarification of location is needed use: TMCC Nell J. Redfield Foundation Performing Arts Center, 505 Keystone Ave. (Keystone Square)

See also: Buildings


Not hyphenated.


Instructor (Community College)

An instructor is a college teacher who does not have tenure.


Professor (Community College)

A professor is a college teacher who has tenure. See also: Capitalization (for position titles)



  • Fall Semester
  • Spring Semester
  • Summer Session (or Summer School), First Term and Second Term
  • Winter Session



Follow AP style: lower case, insert periods and a space before the abbreviation. Use "Noon" (not 12 p.m.) and "midnight" (not 12 a.m.). Omit ":00" when the time is on the hour.


  • 8 a.m.
  • 8:30 p.m.
  • 8-10 a.m.
  • 8:30-10 a.m.
  • 8-10:30 a.m.
  • 8 a.m.-noon


Note capitalization and usage for various ways to refer to the Web.

  • Web page
  • website
  • Web-based
  • World Wide Web -- abbreviated to "Web" (note capitalization)

See Also: Brand, Logos and Colors

Additional Style Information for Online Content

Consistent look, feel and function improves usability and presents TMCC as a unified organization.

  • You may use italics to indicate book titles and magazine titles, but use them sparingly.
  • Do not use underlines; Web users may think that they are links.
  • Use bold only sparingly to emphasize points or bring attention to key phrases.
  • Do not colorize text. You don’t need to make things red and flashy to grab attention. A clean page and layout does that for you automatically.
  • Do not manually adjust font size.
  • Do not use UPPERCASE for anything (except abbreviations or acronyms).
  • Use header styles (H2s, H3s and H4s) for headings as provided in the CMS editor. Do not create your own headings in the HTML.
  • Don’t try to override or change the page style that is already present. Focus on content.

» View Example

Accuracy and Timeless Content

Make sure that all information presented is correct. Incorrect or outdated information is unacceptable and should be updated immediately. Try to avoid posting absolute dates and years in your content if you can. Making your content timeless will lessen how often it might become outdated.

» View Example

Spelling, Grammar and Abbreviations

All Web pages must be free of spelling errors. Carefully proofread material and review the CMS spell-checker results that appear after you submit a page. Text on the TMCC website should follow the grammar, punctuation and spelling rules outlined in the Associated Press Stylebook.

Use of abbreviations should follow the TMCC style guide and the AP Stylebook.

Relevant Content (no "Coming Soon")

All content should be interesting and relevant to the target audience. Include all necessary information about a subject. If some important information is undetermined or unknown, state all known facts and provide a timeframe during which the other information will be added.

Do not create placeholders that say "Coming Soon". Better to wait until your have content and post it later to avoid user frustration.

No Duplicity - Be Unique

Do not try to recreate content that already exists on another department's Web page or especially in the TMCC College Catalog; instead, link to the relevant page. This will help avoid conflicting and outdated information.

We can also “mirror” content on more than one page in our CMS so that it’s not duplicated but can display on another page. See Web Services about this if needed.

Examples of Content and/or Writing Style Issues:

Things needed for graduating Graduation Requirements
SU Policies Student Conduct Policies
VSS Veteran Student Services
“Suit”-ability Proper Interview Dress
CONTACT AN ADVISOR! Contact an Advisor
The “Write” Way Tips for Effective Writing