Writing and style

University of Exeter style guide

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Streatham Campus; St Luke’s Campus; Penryn Campus; campuses (eg, Streatham and St Luke’s campuses, Exeter campuses, Cornwall campuses).

Campus tours

Lower case – campus tours, NOT Campus Tours.

Capital letters

In general, be consistent and do not randomly use capitals.

Proper nouns (names, counties etc), official titles (books, films, job titles and so on) and programme/module titles should be written with capitals eg, BA (Honours) Archaeology but students study all aspects of archaeology, or excellent research in accounting and finance. When referring to the University of Exeter as the University use an initial capital. Similarly the College, the School, or the Department, but not the Campus (place, not abbreviated name of something). When referring to a university, or university in general, use lower case.

Always use Title Case (all words are capitalised) for module/programme titles, but do not capitalise small words in, at, of, the, and, on when they appear in module titles, etc. For example, Film and Literature: Textural Transformations.

Print: For headings, sub-headings etc within publications it is very important that they are treated consistently whether using Title Case or Sentence case.

Web: In the University’s web design, the heading style is consistently sentence case – eg, Business and community, Alumni and supporters, Current students. This is not only used for all headings, but for the navigation labels (the section names in Site Manager) too. For headings, sub-headings, etc, within webpages it is very important that they are treated consistently using sentence case. The only exception is where the heading is also a proper name, such as titles of academic units, programmes or modules, where it should be title case.

Try not to capitalise words in the middle of sentences inappropriately (ie, when they are not proper names) – it doesn’t make them look more important, it just jars the reader’s eye.

Never type text or headings in all capitals.

Career Zone

The new EGD department based in the Forum.


Lower case – ‘19th century’

See also Dates.

Civil Service

Not civil service.


Lower case, all one word – NOT clean room or clean-room (this is referring to specific scientific facilities, especially within Physics).


Click a button or link, not Click on. But do not use ‘Click here’ for links – see Links.


A colon indicates a substantial pause between two parts of a sentence, but suggests a close connection between them.

It is used:

  1. to introduce lists

    The following people were suspected: the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker.

  2. to make a strong contrast between ideas in a sentence

    Cannabis is illegal in the UK: the Netherlands have legalised cannabis use for some time now.

Compass points

Not caps unless part of a recognised geographical or political group: the East End; North Korea; the West Country; the South West.


To complement is to make complete; the two footballers complemented each other.

To compliment is to praise; a complimentary copy is free.


Don’t use a comma before ‘and’ unless it’s part of a long list of items within a sentence.

Consonant changes before a suffix

Word ending in <t> + <sion> = <t> changes to <s>:

convert - conversion
divert - diversion

Word ending in <y> + <ness> = <y> changes to <i>:

happy - happiness
lovely - loveliness

Words ending in single vowel + single <l> = <l>  changes to <ll> before any suffix:

typical - typically
unravel - unravelled


Not Co-ordinate


Not Co-operate

Cornwall campuses

Use Penryn Campus, Truro Campus or University of Exeter, Penryn Campus / Truro Campus. Do not use Cornwall Campus, Tremough, UEC, or University of Exeter in Cornwall.


Not Course work