Editorial Style Guide

As the nation’s largest four-year public higher education system, the California State University is committed to upholding a standard of eloquence, inclusivity and professionalism in its communication materials. This CSU style guide (updated August 2020) provides recommended usage on words, phrases and punctuation when writing about and for the university. If a style is not noted, please refer to the current Associated Press Stylebook


Learn how to use the best terminology when writing about the pandemic.​

Find Out About Best Practices​

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Acronyms and Abbreviations 

Find guidance on acronyms and abbreviations commonly used at the CSU or in higher education.

See the List 
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Campus Names

There are 23 campuses in the California State University system; use this guide to learn the proper way to refer to each.

Check a Campus's Name

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When do you capitalize an official title, a degree or a department name? Find guidance on this and much more. 

Learn Our Capitalization Rules 
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Commonly Used Words

Spelling, usage, punctuation and capitalization guidelines for words and phrases commonly used at the CSU.

Look Up a Word or Phrase

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Diversity/Inclusivity Style Guide

This guide addresses questions that arise when writing about particular groups, aiming to ensure sensitivity and inclusiveness in our communication.

Learn More About Inclusive Writing
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Helpful tips and tricks on the most common questions about punctuation, from commas to quotation marks.

Find Answers About Punctuation

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Writing Tips

Easy-to-understand communication is key to any organization's success. Here are just a few helpful writing tips and best practices. 

Explore Writing Advice
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Dates, ages, dollars, phone numbers and more – ​this resource has guidelines you need to know to adhere to the CSU's style. 

Find Guidance About Numbers