Editorial Style Guide

Colorado School of Mines uses the Associated Press (AP) Style Guide for all digital and print materials, including all websites. Our goal is to present a consistent and high standard of writing that appropriately reflects Mines’ standard of excellence.

This online guide provides some of the most common style tips as well as Mines-specific information such as official names of colleges and buildings, abbreviations and capitalizations.

If you have questions, please refer to the AP Style Guide or contact Sue James with Communications and Marketing.


Abbreviations should be utilized to enhance comprehension, such as when your copy refers repeatedly to a lengthy name or term that has a commonly accepted abbreviation.

Ampersand (&)

Do not use the ampersand as an abbreviation for “and.” Only use it when it is a part of an official name of department, product or proper noun.


Spell out the full name of states when used in the body of text, whether standing alone or in conjunction with a city or town (e.g., Golden, Colorado).

United States

  • Use periods with the two-letter abbreviation for United States (U.S.)
  • Do not use periods with the three-letter abbreviation for United States of America (USA)

Pro Tips

  • Use abbreviations sparingly unless your readership is familiar with them.
  • Always spell out the first occurrence of them on the page and follow with the abbreviation in parenthesis.
  • Additionally, avoid using periods in abbreviations unless confusion may be a result (e.g., write VP rather than V.P.).