Interior Header Image

Writing Style Manual

What to say—and how to say it

Like any organization, the University of South Carolina uses specific language conventions. A single document that contains these conventions enables every unit of every campus to properly and consistently represent its parent organization—the University of South Carolina.

Hence, USCB follows the editorial style of the USC system. For print pieces, the USC system relies on the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) and Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. This style guide, aside from those conventions unique to the University, comprises solutions to the most common problems and questions we encounter in our print pieces; almost all rules are drawn directly from CMOS, and spelling issues from Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary.

With our ever-increasing Web presence, we have been presented new challenges in reconciling differing styles. The AP Stylebook and Libel Manual was created with newspapers, periodicals, and the like in mind, and it is this style that the Office of Public Information uses. Their work feeds many of our Web pages, so much of the information written for the Web will be in AP style.

We encourage you to become familiar with the Editorial Style Guide and to apply its rules to any text you write on behalf of the University. The complete USC Writing Style Guide can be accessed at

For additional information or further clarification of the University's editorial style guide, please send an email to the Office of Public Information.