Writing Standards

The UIS Campus Relations department oversees writing standards for the campus.

Style Guide

The guidelines contained in the UIS Writing Style Guide are based on the Chicago Manual of Style, published by the University of Chicago Press, though some departures have been made that are specific to UIS.

The guide is by no means exhaustive; it’s meant only to address some of the most common questions that writers on this campus may have.

Written Descriptions of UIS

Official descriptions are offered below for your use where appropriate. They are not required to appear on UIS materials.

Most commonly used description:

University of Illinois Springfield is one of three campuses of the world-class University of Illinois. Over 5,000 students enroll each year at UIS seeking a U of I degree in the friendly learning environment of a smaller university. Located in the state capital, UIS has a special mission in public affairs and has produced thousands of leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. (64 words)

25 words or less:

University of Illinois Springfield is one of three campuses of the world-class University of Illinois. UIS is known for educating public servants and leaders.

15 words or less:

University of Illinois Springfield is teaching focused and educates tomorrow’s public servants and leaders.

Important ideas and programs to promote in your writing:

  • Online
  • Government
  • Accredited College of Business
  • Environmental degree
  • NCAA
  • Liberal arts
  • Science
  • Biology
  • Transfer
  • Master’s degrees
  • Research
  • Internships
  • MBA
  • Political Science
  • State Capital
  • Computer Science

Important phrases:

  • Hands-on learning
  • Hands-on research
  • Faculty who know you
  • Professors who know you
  • Earn a U of I degree
  • Making connections
  • Building relationships
  • Collaborative learning
  • Civic engagement
  • Express yourself
  • Small classes, personal attention
  • Small learning environments
  • Intimate learning environment
  • Supportive environment
  • Undergraduate research
  • Research opportunities
  • Tomorrow’s leaders
  • Competing in NCAA division II
  • Diverse opportunities
  • Celebrating differences
  • Leaders in online learning
  • Ranked 2nd among public regional universities in the Midwest
  • Beautiful campus
  • Welcoming campus
  • Local outreach
  • Making a difference (in the world)

ALL CAPS on the Web

One of the easiest ways you can improve your website content is to follow consistent standards for capitalization. Above all, avoid using all uppercase text (also known as “all caps”) in your headlines and text. These suggestions apply whether you’re writing your own content or reviewing the work of a colleague.

Why should we avoid using all capital letters?

Words written in uppercase text are more difficult to read. Studies have shown that uppercase words are read up to 10 percent slower than other text. Some experts say that it is more difficult for your audience to recognize and process the shape of uppercase words.

Also, some screen readers will look at text in all capital letters as if it is an acronym, and will read each letter to your audience separately, making it difficult or impossible to understand. Multiple well-known sources concerning web accessibility warn against the use of all capital letters for this reason.

All capital letters may also be impossible for people with certain forms of dyslexia to read. Keeping your content as comprehensible, readable and simple as possible will help tremendously.

Regardless of why it happens, the result is the same. When you write text in all caps, you make your audience work harder.

Without context, using all caps is often perceived as electronic yelling. To eliminate any perception of yelling and to focus your audience on your message, switch to one of the following forms of capitalization:

  • Sentence case: With sentence case, you capitalize the first letter of the first word only.
  • Title case: With title case, you capitalize the first letter of each word, rather than just the first word.