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Names and Titles


Always include the first name or complete initials of individuals the first time they appear written in copy.

After introducing individuals by their full names, refer to them in subsequent references by their last name only EXCEPT in the case of profile or feature articles about current undergraduate students, where it is acceptable to use first names on subsequent references if it better fits the tone of the story.

  • Use full name on first reference.
  • If the person has a nickname, put it in double quotation marks just before the last name.
  • On subsequent references, identify current undergraduate students by first name in profile and feature articles, and all others, including faculty, staff, and alumni, by last name.
  • First names may be used to avoid confusion, e.g., when two persons in an article have the same last name.

One initial should never be used. Use both initials, the first name, or the first name and middle initial. All initials and names should be separated by a space, except when initials are used alone, with or without periods:

  • J. H. Henry, John Henry, or John H. Henry; but not J. Henry
  • FDR, U.S.A.

Never use “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” “Ms.,” or similar titles in written copy.

Generally, use the title “Dr.” only when referring to a doctor of medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. Refer to faculty by last name only, once full names and titles have been introduced:

  • Assistant Professor Karen Barrett and Associate Provost Guy Charles Colarulli serve on the All-University Curriculum Committee. Both Barrett and Colarulli teach at least one class each semester.

Avoid using long titles before the names of people, such as “Vice President for Finance and Administration Arosha Jayawickrema.” Instead, write “Vice President Arosha Jayawickrema” or “Arosha Jayawickrema, vice president for finance and administration.”

A department head, whether female or male, is referred to as “chair.”

When referring to emeriti faculty, place the word “emerita” or “emeritus” after the title “professor”:

  • Ann Beck, professor emerita of history

Titles of Works

As a general rule, the title of a work that is part of a larger work is placed in quotation marks while the title of the complete work itself is italicized.  

Italicize the following:

  • Titles of books, journals, newspapers, and magazines
  • Complete musical works and albums
  • Operas
  • Full-length plays
  • Long poems
  • Cartoons and comic strips
  • TV shows, radio shows, and movies
  • Works of art (paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc.)
  • Musuem and gallery art or historical exhibitions
  • Online publications, blogs, and websites
  • Computer and video games
  • Legal cases

Place the following in quotation marks:

  • Titles of lectures and speeches
  • Short works or sections of long works
  • A work that is included in an anthology or collection 
  • Articles in print publications
  • Academic papers
  • Dissertations
  • Grant proposals
  • Blog entries
  • Chapters of a book
  • Episodes of a TV series
  • Essays
  • Short stories and poems
  • Songs
  • Unpublished works

Do not use italics or quotation marks—but title case— for:

  • Course titles 
  • Musical groups or bands
  • Lecture series
  • Conference names/titles
  • Names of events
  • TV and radio stations and networks