Style Guidelines  


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UCR Course Proposal Style Guidelines

Following these guidelines helps promote clarity and consistency in course listings published in the General Catalog. If your issue is not covered below, please refer to "The Chicago Manual of Style" or the "Harbrace College Handbook." Use the interactive table of contents below to find specific style guidelines fast. Guidelines will be revealed in the window next to the bulleted items.

General Guidelines
  • Abbreviations and Acronyms

  • Active/Passive

  • Capitalization

  • Colons

  • Commas

  • Courses

  • Degrees and Majors

  • Gender

  • Hyphenations/Spelling

  • Latin Expressions

  • Lists

  • Names

  • Numbers

  • Parentheses

  • Percent

  • Publications, Titles Of

  • Quotation Marks

  • Semicolons

  • Tense

  • Time Designations

 

Sections of a Course Proposal
  • Credit Statements

  • Descriptions

  • Grading Statements

  • Prerequisites

  • Repeatability Statements

  • Titles and Subtitles

Credit Statements

  • If possible, model credit statements after the examples below. In general, list courses in alphanumeric order. Alphabetize by subject abbreviation rather than by the spelled-out subject (e.g., AHS before ANTH).
  • Credit is awarded for only one of ETST 156 or HIST 103.
  • Credit is awarded for only one of the following sequences: CHN 001, CHN 002, CHN 003, and CHN 004; CHN 001, CHN 002, and CHN 020B; CHN 020A and CHN 020B.
  • Credit is not awarded for ETST 156 if it has already been awarded for HIST 103.

Descriptions

Descriptions should comply with the guidelines below.

Word Count

Descriptions should not exceed 50 words.

Exception:

Do not count a list of E-Z segments that appear within a description (e.g., E. Piano; F. Flute; G. Tuba)

Format and Tense

Write descriptions in the present (not future) tense. When possible, truncate sentences to eliminate their subjects. Begin the first sentence with a verb, nominalized verb, or its modifier(s) and subsequent sentences with a verb or its modifier(s).
  • Introduces the history of . . .
  • Also introduces the history of . . .
  • Introduction to the history of . . .
  • A detailed introduction to the history of . . .
However, subjects may be retained when they are necessary to clarify meaning.
  • Lectures cover the history of . . . and discussions cover . . .
  • In addition, use of "Topics include . . . " and similar wording is acceptable.

Acceptable (above guidelines illustrated by underlining):

  • An introductory study of the different violent phenomena that power the universe.
  • Focuses on selected phenomena that illustrate basic astrophysical principles.
  • Topics include impacts in our planetary system: explosions of stars, bursts of star formation, galaxy collisions, black holes, quasars, cosmic jets, and the "Big Bang."

Unacceptable (errors underlined):

  • This course is an introductory study of the different violent phenomena that power the universe. It will focus on selected phenomena that illustrate basic astrophysical principles. Topics will include impacts in our planetary system: explosions of stars, bursts of star formation, galaxy collisions, black holes, quasars, cosmic jets, and the "Big Bang."

Grading Statements

If possible, model grading statements after the CRAMS Standard Grading Statement menu. [LINK TK] Use the following formats for In Progress (IP) grading statements:
  • Graded In Progress (IP) until EDUC 256A, EDUC 256B, and EDUC 256C are completed, at which time a final grade is assigned
  • Graded In Progress (IP) until EDUC 256A, EDUC 256B, and EDUC 256C are completed, at which time a final, Satisfactory (S) or No Credit (NC) grade is assigned

Prerequisites

Lowercase the first word unless it is a proper noun. Format courses as shown in the examples below. Use official subject abbreviations (capitalized) and full course numbers (include preceding zeros and suffixes, if any). Separate a subject abbreviation and its course number with one space. Separate the designation (E-Z) and its course number with one space.
  • ANTH 001A
  • CS 010
  • HIST 252 (E-Z)
  • MUS 080E
Unless there is a reason to do otherwise, list courses in alphanumeric order and the parts of a cross-listed course in alphabetical order. Separate the parts of a cross-listed course with slashes. Alphabetize by subject abbreviation rather than by the spelled-out subject (e.g., AHS before ANTH).
  • AHS 189
  • ANTH 001A
  • ANTH 150
  • CLA 101
  • DNCE 003
  • AHS 141/AST 141
  • CPLT 171F/MCS 121F
Replace the word and with punctuation when possible. BIOL 005A, BIOL 100 CS 101; consent of instructor

Some Exceptions:

  • consent of instructor and graduate advisor
  • BIOL 005A; BIOL 05LA; both CHEM 001C and CHEM 01LC or both CHEM 01HC and CHEM 1HLC
  • BIOL 002 or both BIOL 005A and BIOL 05LA; both CHEM 001C and CHEM 01LC or both CHEM 01HC and CHEM 1HLC; either both ENSC 001 (or ENSC 001H) and ENSC 002 (or ENSC 002H) or ENVE 171; MATH 009B (or MATH 09HB) or MATH 022; or consent of instructor

Standard Prerequisite Formats:

  • BIOL 005A, BIOL 100
  • BIOL 005A or BIOL 100
  • ANTH 102, HIST 121, SOC 135
  • ANTH 102 or HIST 121 or SOC 135
  • ANTH 102, HIST 121; or SOC 135
  • ANTH 102 or HIST 121; SOC 135
  • ANTH 102; HIST 121 or SOC 135
  • ANTH 102 or both HIST 121 and SOC 135
  • CS 008; MATH 023 or equivalent
  • CS 008 or equivalent; MATH 023
  • CS 008, MATH 023, or equivalents
  • SPN 056 (may be taken concurrently), SPN 060
  • concurrent enrollment in SPN 056
  • GEO 001 and GEO 002 with grades of "C-" or better
  • GEO 001 with a grade of "C-" or better or GEO 002 with a grade of "C-" or better
  • for MUS 134X: MUS 010; for MUS 134Q: MUS 005
  • freshman standing
  • sophomore standing
  • lower-division standing
  • junior standing
  • senior standing
  • upper-division standing
  • master's standing
  • doctoral standing
  • graduate standing
  • a major in Psychology
  • upper-division standing in Psychology
  • graduate standing in Anthropology
  • first-year standing in the M.A. program in Anthropology
  • first-year standing in master's program in Anthropology
  • first-year standing in the Ph.D. program in Psychology
  • first-year standing in the doctoral program in Psychology
  • consent of instructor
  • consent of department chair
  • consent of program chair
  • consent of graduate advisor

Courses

Format courses as shown in the examples below. Use official subject abbreviations (capitalized) and full course numbers (include preceding zeros and suffixes, if any). Separate a subject abbreviation and its course number with one space. Separate the designation (E-Z) and its course number with one space.
  • ANTH 001A
  • CS 049E
  • HIST 252 (E-Z)
  • MUS 080E List cross-listed courses in alphanumeric order and separate them with slashes. List other courses in alphanumeric order unless there is a reason to do otherwise. Alphabetize by subject abbreviation rather than by the spelled-out subject (e.g., AHS before ANTH).
  • AHS 141/AST 141, CPLT 171F/MCS 121F
  • AHS 189, ANTH 001A, ANTH 150, CLA 101, DNCE 003

Repeatability Statements

If possible, model repeatability statements after the examples below.
  • Course is repeatable
  • Course is repeatable as topics change to a maximum of 12 units
  • Course is repeatable as content changes to a maximum of 10 units
Use the word segment or segments to refer to E-Z segments.
  • Each segment is repeatable to a maximum of 8 units
  • Segments are repeatable

Titles and Subtitles

In general, capitalize all words except articles, coordinating conjunctions, prepositions, and the words to and as.
  • Chemistry of the Clean and Polluted Atmosphere
Separate a title and subtitle appearing together with a colon.
  • Development of the English Novel: Twentieth Century

Abbreviations and Acronyms

Spell out all words (laboratory, mathematics). Do not use & for and, or % for percent. Use etc. only within parentheses.

Acceptable abbreviations:

  • UCR for University of California, Riverside
  • TV for television
  • U.S. for United States (when used as an adjective)
  • TAs for teaching assistants
Acronyms are usually set in full caps with no periods, preferable after the first spelled-out use.
  • grade point average (GPA)
  • Advanced Placement (AP) credit

Active/Passive

Use the active voice and avoid the passive.

Acceptable:

Covers topics in quantum mechanics.

Unacceptable:

Topics in quantum mechanics are covered.

Capitalization

Capitalize specific people, places (including geographical names and regions), and departments or schools. Do not capitalize generic reference to deans, department chairs, "university," professors, or teaching assistants (e.g., the dean of the college).

For example:

  • Earth (the planet)
  • Graduate School of Education
  • History Department
  • Inland Empire
  • Internet
  • Office of the Registrar
  • Registration Fee
  • Southern California
  • teaching assistant
  • the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management
  • the associate dean for student affairs
  • the chair
  • the dean of The Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering
  • the department chair
  • the Riverside campus
  • thesis committee
  • University of California or UCR
  • Web site
Capitalize all official majors, minors, and degree programs, as well as references to a specific curriculum leading to a degree. Do not capitalize the words major, minor, and degree.
  • major in History
Capitalize bachelor's and master's only when referring to a specific degree. The word "degree" is not capitalized.
  • Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry
  • bachelor's degree in Chemistry
Do not capitalize generic references to quarters and sessions.
  • spring quarter, summer session
Capitalize the following ethnic terms: Native American, Asian, African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, and Chicano. Do not capitalize freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior.

Colons

A colon may be used as a formal introducer to call attention to what follows.
  • Covers three categories: physical, psychological, and religious.
Use a colon as mark of separation in scriptural references and between titles and subtitles.
  • Psalms 3:5
  • Advanced Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy

Commas

In a series of three or more elements, separate the elements with commas. When a conjunction joins the last two elements in a series, use a comma before the conjunction.
  • Covers society, religion, and language.

Exception:

When the final element of a series consists of a pair of compound items.
  • Topics include businesses, the Peace Corps, and international organizations and agencies.
Use commas in numbers to set off thousands (1,000) and millions (2,500,000).
  • Explores civilization along the 4,000-mile Silk Road.

Exceptions:

See exceptions under the Numbers and Numerical References section. Use a comma before a conjunction connecting two independent clauses.
  • Lectures introduce the science of insect systematics, and laboratories focus on developing skills in insect identification.
Do not use a comma before a conjunction connecting a compound predicate.
  • Provides a critical evaluation of strategies and examines current applications.

Degrees and Majors

Academic degrees, when abbreviated, should appear exactly as follows: B.A., B.F.A., B.S., M.A., M.B.A., M.B.S., M.E., M.F.A., M.Mus., M.Mus.Ed., M.S., D.Mus.A., Ph.D. Form plurals of degrees by adding "'s" (e.g., M.A.'s, Ph.D.'s). Do not use the designation A.B.D. for "all but dissertation." Capitalize all official majors, minors, and degree programs, as well as references to a specific curriculum leading to a degree. Do not capitalize the words major, minor, degree, bachelor's master's, doctoral (degree).

Gender

Write copy intended to apply to both sexes so that no gender bias is suggested.

Acceptable:

  • Students present professional growth portfolios demonstrating their competence in problem solving.
  • Examines the cultural history of humankind.
  • Analysis of the Chicana/o impact on regional culture.

Unacceptable:

  • The student presents a portfolio demonstrating his competence in problem solving.
  • The student presents a portfolio demonstrating his/her competence in problem solving.
  • Examines the cultural history of mankind.
  • Analysis of the Chicano impact on regional culture.

Hyphenations / Spelling

Use The Chicago Manual of Style or Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary to resolve other hyphenation and spelling questions.
  • advisor
  • coeducational
  • computer-assisted (adjective)
  • computer disk
  • course work
  • database
  • decision making (noun)
  • ensure
  • first-come, first-served
  • filmmaking
  • full-time (adjective and adverb)
  • grade point average
  • interdisciplinary
  • lifestyle
  • Mexican American
  • Multicultural
  • Native American
  • non-History major
  • nonliner
  • nonmajor
  • nonrefundable
  • nonresident
  • online
  • part-time (adjective and adverb)
  • pick up (verb)
  • pickup (noun and adjective)
  • postdoctoral
  • pre-Business major
  • prelaw
  • premedicine
  • preprofessional
  • preschool
  • sign up
  • statewide
  • supercede
  • TA's
  • Theatre
  • three-quarter sequence
  • universitywide
  • X ray (noun)
  • X-ray (verb and adjective)
  • Yearlong
  • year-round
Terms such as lower division, upper division, on campus, and off campus are hyphenated as adjective forms(e.g., upper-division standing), but not hyphenated as adverb forms (e.g., taught off-campus). A hyphen should connect the numerator and denominator of a spelled-out fraction unless either already contains a hyphen.
  • one-half of the quarter
  • one twenty-fifth of the population

Latin Expressions

  • e.g. (exempli gratia)-for example
  • Focuses on a single research area (e.g., nanoscale physics, biological physics).
  • i.e. (id est)-that is
  • Covers conventional (i.e., nondigital) photographic processes.
  • etc. (et cetera)-and so forth. The abbreviation etc. may be used only in parenthetical text.
  • Covers discretionary and mandatory spending (social security benefits, Medicare, etc.).

Lists

A colon is commonly used to introduce a list or a series.
  • Focuses on three conceptual areas: visuality, identity, and media culture.
Do not use a colon to introduce a list that is a complement or object of an element in the introductory statement.

Acceptable:

Topics include myth, legend, folktale, and festival.

Unacceptable:

Topics include: myth, legend, folktale, and festival. The terms "as follows" or "the following" require a colon if followed directly by the illustrating or enumerated items (e.g., the areas of study are as follows:). The word "include" should be used only when preceding an incomplete (rather than a complete list.)

Names

Exact names of academic units may be taken from the UCR General Catalog or obtained from Academic Planning and Budget.

Numbering

Numbers from one to nine should be written out. Numbers 10 and over should be numeric.

Some exceptions:

  • Course numbers (e.g., ANTH 004)
  • Grade point averages (carry to two digits, e.g., 3.00)
  • Scores (e.g., score of 3)
  • Percentages (e.g., 3 percent)
  • Decimal fractions (e.g., .27)
  • University units (e.g., 4 units)
  • School grade levels (e.g., grades K-12)
  • Units of measure (e.g., 6.8 square feet)
  • In most figures of 1,000 or more, commas should be used between groups of three digits, counting from the right.

Some exceptions:

Years (e.g., 1875) SAT scores (e.g., 1100) Numbers applicable to the same category should be treated alike throughout a paragraph; do not use figures for some and spell out others. If the largest number contains two or more digits, use figures for all.
  • Students read 10 plays and write 2 one-act plays.
Write out words such as second, nineteenth, and twenty-fifth, instead of writing them as numerals with letter endings (second or nineteenth, not 2nd or 19th). Use a hyphen to connect the numerator and denominator of a spelled-out fraction.
  • one-third
Spell out numbers when used with centuries (twentieth century or twentieth-century literature, not 20th century or 20th-century literature). Never start sentences with a numeral; always write out the number. When units are involved, use the following format: Four (4) units from HIST 017A and 4 units from HIST 040 (E-Z). The plurals of numerals are formed by the addition of "s" alone (no apostrophe).
  • Examines the major African American play from the 1800s to the present.

Parentheses

If a whole sentence beginning with a capital is in parentheses, the period or other end mark is placed just before the closing parenthesis. Otherwise, commas and periods are placed after the closing parenthesis.

Percent

In scientific and statistical copy, use the symbol %; in humanistic copy, in general, use the word percent. Both should follow numerals.
  • An introductory study of insects (75% of animal species).
  • Explores how mortgage interest rates (e.g., at 5 percent, 7 percent, and 10 percent) affect the economy.
Percent takes a singular verb when a singular word follows an "of" construction. It takes a plural verb when a plural word follows an "of" construction.
  • Ten percent of the class reads poetry
  • Ten percent of the students read poetry

Publications, Titles Of

Titles of publication, films, and plays should appear in italic type.

Quotation Marks

Periods and commas should be placed inside quotation marks; colons and semicolons should be placed outside quotation marks. The question mark should be placed inside the quotation marks only when it is part of the quoted matter.

Semicolons

Use a semicolon between main clauses not linked by and, but, or, nor, for, so, or yet.
  • Readings are in translation; classes are conducted in English.
Use a semicolon before a conjunctive adverb or transitional phrase placed between main clauses.
  • Normally requires an oral presentation; however, students may substitute an instructor-approved project.
Use a semicolon between coordinate elements containing commas.
  • Covers the interrelations among language, culture, and habitual behavior; the classification of languages; and anthropological uses of linguistic evidence.
Use a semicolon between coordinate elements that are long and complex.
  • Topics include inference of evolutionary change from the fossil record and from genomic and molecular patterns; microevolution and macroevolution; and systematics and the species problem.

Tense

Use present (not future) tense to denote facts, policies, and regulations, as well as to express future actions that occur at some specified time.

Acceptable:

Topics include technology and cultural ecology.

Unacceptable:

Topics will include technology and cultural ecology.

Time Designations

Inclusive time spans may be hyphenated, unless sentence structure includes from or between.
  • Explores the major movements of the English Renaissance (1500-1600)
  • Covers events from 1607 to 1800.
  • Covers Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945.