Writing Style Guide
The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy follows the Associated Press Stylebook in matters of writing style, punctuation, and usage. AP style is the official and primary style used by the University; however, there are exceptions. You can view those exceptions here. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition is the authority on spelling, capitalization and hyphenation unless superseded by AP. The Chicago Manual of Style Sixteenth Edition is used as the guide for situations not covered by AP. The change to AP style was made in the summer of 2015. Most content and publications produced before then follow Chicago style.
It is for the sake of readers that the we advocate using a clear, consistent, contemporary style of writing in every nonacademic document or publication that comes out of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Our style guide is a tool to help us do this.
The following is a much-abbreviated guide to style and usage covering topics that often crop up at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Use this style guide and the references listed below to help you achieve clear, professional writing and communication. The School used Chicago style until 2015, when the University made AP the official style for most communications.
Last updated March 6, 2023.
This is a work in progress. If you have questions about style, grammar or usage, contact the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Director of Marketing and Communications Jeni Cook, firstname.lastname@example.org.
School Messaging Strategy
It is important to write in a way that accurately captures the authenticity of the University and School, the ambition of its community and its dynamic and progressive spirit. The most effective way to realize our goals is to communicate through one voice and one cohesive brand.
To convey the appropriate voice and support the brand, the University has developed four messaging themes. The themes and their descriptions are not to be directly used when writing copy but rather as guidance for messaging.
- Excellence with humanity
UNC-Chapel Hill is a preeminent public institution. Although many universities have impressive credentials, what sets Carolina apart is the spirit of humanity and heart with which Tar Heels accomplish their goals.
- Transformational impact
Our impressive research portfolio focuses on improving livability for the residents in our state, with a ripple effect felt around the world in deeply significant and immediate ways making a lasting impact motivates us to achieve.
- Champions for good
Because of our public commitment, we attract like-minded students and faculty that are service-driven and entrepreneurial at the core, and through their time here, their passion is activated. We support and encourage our entire community, championing them to reach their full potential.
- Culture of low stone walls
Our special ingredient for success lives in the collaboration and warmth. We encourage this community to step over the “low stone walls” and connect to create and excel.
The messaging strategy is complemented with tone words that reflect the brand’s personality. These words should be used as a guide when drafting marketing copy or ideas, but do not need to be explicitly used within the copy.
GENUINE: Warm, Friendly, Authentic, True
WITH HEART: Deep awareness of other poeple’s needs, Caring, Embraceful, Compassionate
INSPIRED: Of extraordinary quality as if arising from some external creative impulse
DYNAMIC: Constant innovation, Diverse, Energetic, Multi-Faceted, Ever-evolving
STEADFAST: Responsible, Accountable, Reliable, Morally-driven
ORIGINAL: Innovative, First, Willing to Lead, Fresh, Creative
SHARP: Intentional, Keen intellect, Focused
FUN: Spirited, Vibrant, Cheerful, The seriousness of the University balanced with its light-hearted nature
academic degrees: Capitalize formal degree names (Doctor of Pharmacy, Master of Public Health, but master’s degree). Abbreviate with periods (B.S., Pharm.D., Ph.D.) and set off from a name with commas. To avoid turning sentences into alphabet soup, limit yourself to two advanced degrees after a person’s name in running text. In most cases, only include terminal or professional degrees. (e.g. Alex Tropsha, Ph.D.; Kim Brouwer, Pharm.D., Ph.D.). Do not put a bachelor’s degree after a name. Do not include professional licenses or certifications (R.Ph., B.C.C.P.) with academic degrees.
adviser: This is the preferred spelling.
alumni association: UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Alumni Association, formerly the UNC Pharmacy Alumni Association. The name changed in 2014. Use the full name on first reference and pharmacy alumni association or alumni association on subsequent references. Do not abbreviate.
ampersand (&): Don’t use ampersands unless they are part of a company name (Proctor & Gamble).
and/or: Don’t use this awkward construction. It’s almost always one or the other (usually and).
backslash (/): Don’t use backslash as a substitute for a proper conjunction (and, or).
B.S.Pharm.: a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy.
Beard Hall: Named for John Grover Beard, the second dean of the pharmacy school.
capitalization: In general, only proper nouns are capitalized. Proper nouns are the unique names of individual people, places, and things. As an exception to capitalization rules, we capitalize School and Pharmacy when used to refer to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and University when it refers to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Job titles, whether formal or informal, are not capitalized unless the title is used as part of a person’s name, and they are addressed using the title. (The dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is Bob Blouin. The committee reports to Dean Blouin.)
capitalization of titles of works: There are very specific rules governing capitalization of the titles of publications, articles, seminars, and presentations. For simplicity’s sake, capitalize all words in a title except articles (a, the), prepositions (of, in, about), and conjunctions (and, or, but, because). See 8.167 of the Chicago Manual of Style for a more thorough treatment of the subject.
Carolina: Acceptable to use in reference to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as long as the full name of the University is clearly used in first reference in a document or publication.
Carolina blue: PMS 542 is the blue to use for all print applications. For the Web, the color is #4B9CD3 (RGB 75, 156, 21). Please refer to the University’s color guidelines for more information.
PMS 542 Equivalencies in Other Color Models
CMYK C 60 M 19 Y 1 K 4
RGB R 123 G 175 B 212
HSB H 212 S 46 B 82
Carolina Partnership: An $18 million fund created by Fred Eshelman and the University Cancer Research Fund to support the Schools research centers
centers and institutes: There are two types of research centers at UNC: those housed within schools and those that stand alone within the University. All of the centers associated with the School of Pharmacy are housed within the School. For this reason, they should not be referred to as a UNC center in running text. The affiliation with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy should be made clear whenever possible.
Eshelman Institute for Innovation, the Eshelman Institute, the institute
Center for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy, CPIT, the center
Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery, CNDD, the center
Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, CICBDD, the center
Center for Nanotechnology and Drug Delivery, CNDD, the center
Center for Medication Optimization through Practice and Policy, CMOPP, the center
Center for Innovative Pharmacy Education and Research, CIPhER, the center
Institute for Drug Safety Sciences, IDSS, the institute
courtesy titles: In general, courtesy or social titles (Dr., Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.) are not used in an anything other than personal correspondence (unless you write for the Wall Street Journal). To avoid confusing readers, the School does not use Dr. or professor as courtesy titles, preferring instead to give the subject’s actual title and academic credentials on first reference in a particular article or work.
dash: See en dash and em dash.
Dr.: In general, the School does not use Dr. as a courtesy title in most materials. We have many different doctors in a University environment. In the School alone, we have Ph.D.s and Pharm.D.s, and you don’t have to go far to find the M.D.s and the D.D.S.s. It is much clearer and more helpful to the reader to include the person’s actual degree, set off by commas, after the name the first time it appears (Betsy Sleath, Ph.D.; Tim Ives, Pharm.D., M.P.H.).
degrees: see academic degrees
Doctor of Pharmacy: capitalize, not doctorate of pharmacy, abbreviated Pharm.D.
email: not hyphenated
em dash (—): This is what most people know as the dash. In Microsoft Word, you type CTRL + ALT + the minus key on the number pad to get an em dash. Word will often automatically create an em dash if you type two hyphens next to each other.
en dash (–): Generally, an en dash is used to indicate a numerical range (1993–2005, 2:00–3:00 p.m.) In Microsoft Word, you type CTRL + the minus key on the number pad to get an en dash. It has a few other uses as well.
Eshelman, Fred: The School was named in his honor on May 21, 2008. Fred Eshelman in all uses, including the professorships that bear his name. Eshelman is the founder and former executive chairman of the Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc., and founding chairman of Furiex Pharmaceuticals.
Eshelman Institute for Innovation: Created in December 2014 by a $100 million gift from Fred Eshelman. The Eshelman Institute or the institute on second reference.
fonts: The official University typefaces are Bembo Std. and ITC Franklin Gothic. These fonts must be purchased. Garamond and Arial are acceptable substitutes. Avoid using “fun” fonts or fonts that are hard to read, such as script fonts.
foundation: The School is supported by the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Foundation, formerly the Pharmacy Foundation of North Carolina. The name changed in 2014. Use the full name on first reference and “the foundation” on subsequent references. Do not abbreviate.
Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professorship: At Eshelman’s request, we do not include his middle initial in the name of the professorship. These are $1 million professorships.
George H. Cocolas Distinguished Professorship: A $500,000 professorship named for a long-time professor at the School.
GLP Bioanalytical Facility: GLP stands for good laboratory practices. Usually preceded with UNC.
health care: Two words when used as a noun (Pharmacy is a great field for those looking to work in health care.)
health-care: Hyphenated as an adjective (Pharmacists are an important part of the health-care system.)
Howard Q. Ferguson Distinguished Professorship: This is a $500,000 professorship.
Center for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy: See centers and institutes.
John A. McNeill Distinguished Professorship in Pharmacotherapy: A $1 million professorship established by John A. “Sandy” McNeill Jr. in honor of his father.
K.H. Lee Distinguished Professorship: A $500,000 professorship established by the Pharmacy Foundation of North Carolina.
Kerr Hall: The formal title is Banks D. Kerr Hall, but Kerr Hall will suffice in almost all uses. Named for Banks Kerr, an alumnus of the School and founder of the Kerr Drug chain. Pronounced “car.”
lists, vertical—numbered, unnumbered, and bulleted
The following instructions should cover most uses:
1. Vertical lists are best introduced by a grammatically complete sentence (i.e., a sentence that is still a sentence all by itself, without the help of the list), like the one above, followed by a colon.
2. No periods are required at the end of entries unless at least one entry is a complete sentence, in which case a period is necessary at the end of each entry.
3. Items in a list should be syntactically similar.
4. If items are numbered, as they are in this example, a period follows each number, and each entry begins with a capital letter—whether or not the entry forms a complete sentence.
5. Bulleted lists are considered appropriate mainly for instructional or promotional material and are treated the same as numbered lists in terms of capitalization and punctuation.
6. A group of unnumbered items each of which consists of an incomplete sentence should begin lowercase and requires no terminal punctuation.
7. If a list completes the sentence that introduces it, items begin with lowercase letters, commas or semicolons are used to separate each item, and the last item ends with a period; such lists are often better run into the text rather than presented vertically.
For more on this subject, please see paragraphs 6.127–30 in The Chicago Manual of Style.
logo: The University’s guide to the logo and stationery system (Graphic Identity Manual) can be found at identity.unc.edu. The correct color ink for the blue logo is PMS 542. The Web equivalent is #7BAFD4. The logo is not art or decoration; it should be treated as a signature or official seal. Refer to the School’s logo policy for more information, and please contact the Office of Marketing and Communications with any questions about logo use.
Marsico Hall: Opened in 2014. Home to the CNDD and CICBDD.
McNeill Family Courtyard: This is the central outdoor space between Beard and Kerr Halls.
Mescal S. Ferguson Distinguished Professorship: This is a $500,000 professorship.
named spaces: Rooms and areas of the School that have been named should be referred to by their full name whenever possible with the room number included as a parenthetical reference. On second reference, shorten to last name and room name (Ferguson Auditorium, Curry Commons).
W. Seymour and Rheta Holt Auditorium (1001 Kerr)
Howard Q. and Mescal S. Ferguson Auditorium (2001 Kerr)
Mary Lockwood Curry Student Commons (Kerr second-floor lobby)
Ralph P. and Elizabeth Rogers Lobby (Kerr first-floor lobby)
McNeill Family Courtyard
Campbell Boardroom (101A Beard)
Anderson Pharmacy Laboratory (202 Beard)
numbers: In general, spell out the number one through nine and use digits for all others.
online: one word
percentages: The percent sign (%) should only be used in tables and graphs, never in running text. Do not spell out the number unless it begins a sentence (10 percent, not ten percent or 10%), and write percent after each number in a range (10 percent to 30 percent, not 10 to 30 percent).
PGY1, PGY2: Abbreviations for types of pharmacy residencies.
pharmacy: Only capitalized if you are referring to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, not the profession or science.
Pharm.D.: Doctor of Pharmacy
Pharmacy Foundation of North Carolina, Inc.
Ph.D.: Doctor of Philosophy
postdoctoral: Not hyphenated
quotation marks: In general, quotation marks are used in two ways. They set off material that is a direct quotation of something someone said, or they indicate that the use of a word or phrase is ironic. In American usage, a period or comma always goes inside the quotes. (Bart told his teacher to “get bent.”) A question mark or exclamation point goes inside the quotes only if it is part of the quoted material.
research centers: see centers and institutes
school: Capitalize in all uses when referring to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
SoP: Don’t use this abbreviation for the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Use the School or pharmacy school instead.
spin-off: Hyphenated as a noun and adjective
spin off: Two words as a verb
Tar Heel: two words. Typically used in reference to Carolina’s athletic teams and should not be used in an academic context. Okay for less formal usage. Always capitalized.
time: Use the abbreviations a.m. and p.m. Use an en dash (CTRL+Num Pad -) to indicate a span of time (8–10 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m.) in lists and tables. Use the word “to” instead of an en-dash in running text (The class is held from 3 to 5 p.m.). You may write noon or midnight instead of 12 p.m. or 12 a.m. but never 12 noon or 12 midnight. See also en dash.
titles, courtesy: see courtesy titles
titles, job: Professional or job titles are not capitalized when they are used alone or after a person’s name. (The dean sent an e-mail. The chancellor stopped by.) This goes for farmer and soldier and for president and pope. If the title is used as part of the person’s name (you use the title when you address them), then the title is capitalized. (Dean Blouin sent an e-mail. Chancellor Holt stopped by.)
trademark symbols: Although the symbols for registered and unregistered trademarks often accompany trademark names on product packaging and in promotional material, there is no legal requirement to use these symbols, and they should be omitted whenever possible.
UNC-Chapel Hill: Never UNC-CH by directive of the chancellor’s office. Use the full name, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on first reference. UNC-Chapel Hill or Carolina is fine after that. Never use UNC unless it’s in reference to athletics or an official school name, such as the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy: This is our official name. It should usually be followed by at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when writing for external audiences. UNC is currently part of the name even if followed by the University’s name. Capitalize school when it refers to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Pharmacy is capitalized only when it refers to the School (Beard and Kerr Halls are the home of Pharmacy). Do not abbreviate as SOP, ESOP, or UESOP. In summary, there is no acceptable shortcut or abbreviation of the name other than simply using School once the full name of the School has been used.
UNC Pharmacy Alumni Association
underline: Thanks to word processing software and desktop printers, we no longer need to use underlining. If emphasis is needed, use bold. If you are citing a book, periodical, or other work, italicize the title. Underlining is a relic of the typewriter that makes your text harder to read by interfering with descenders (the part of a letters j, g, p, q, and y that hang below the rest of a line of text). Note that many academic style guides still use underlining and not bold or italics.
Vaughn and Nancy Bryson Distinguished Professorship
videoconferencing, videoconference: one word. Video teleconferencing is redundant.
Web: Capitalized when referring to the World Wide Web.
website: One word
web page: Two words