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Communications & Media

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Editorial Manual of Style

Use this Quick Guide to create a more consistent style and formatting of website content.


  • Bold should be used for emphasis to denote important information, and highlight key phrases. Use it sparingly for best results.
  • Italics should be used for book titles and other works of art, and for foreign phrases. Do not use it for emphasis.
  • Underlines are reserved for links in content. Do not use underlines for emphasis.
  • Complicated information should be presented in bulleted lists or numbered lists whenever possible.
  • Tables should only be used when absolutely necessary as they are difficult to read on mobile devices. Do not use tables for layout purposes.
  • Use one space after punctuation, not two.
  • Use the Oxford (serial) comma as the final comma after the last item and before the word "and" in a list.
    Example: LACC offers transfer, CTE, and foundational skills programs.
  • Ampersands (&) should be used only when part of a formal name or title.
  • UPDATED: Ampersands are now used in almost all page titles.
    Example: Visual & Media Arts; Health & Wellness Center.


Use Heading options to organize large amounts of text. All headings should be written in title case.

  • Heading 4

    H4 is a subheading, and divides the pages content into major sections.

  • Heading 5

    H5 is used to divide the content of an H4.

  • Heading 6

    H6 is used to divide an H5.


  • Capitalize course titles, do not put them in quotation marks.
  • Capitalize "department" or "college" only if it appears within the name of a department or as the name of the college.
    Examples: In order to contact the English Department, call the department's main line. We at Los Angeles City College are proud of our college’s reputation.
  • Capitalize the word "professor" only if it appears before the name of a person.
    Example: I saw that Professor Watkins spoke to a second professor.
  • For titles and positions, capitalize a title preceding a name if it’s a title by which the person may be called (President McAdams, Dean Chen), but leave it lowercase if it is a functional title (program director Jane Johnson). Plurals are always lowercase (music professors Smith and Vasquez). 


  • Do not use the phrase "click here" as link text. Instead, place a link on descriptive wording. Use directive verbs to introduce PDFs that provide printable versions of HTML page content.
    Example: View and download the full list of LA City College Committees.
  • Do not use the full URL as the text of a link. Instead, place a link on descriptive wording (you may include the website name for clarity).
    Example: additional information available at
  • For website URLs, omit the "http://" prefix when web addresses appear in text content
    Example: is preferable to

Abbreviations, Titles, Gendered Language

  • Use singular verbs for describing faculties, teams, groups.
    Example: The faculty has voted to keep the building open.
  • If you need to refer to the individuals in a group, use "the members of" or "each member of."
    Example: Each member of the faculty has an email address.
  • Use nonsexist language whenever possible (chair, chairperson, police officer)
  • Do not use periods in degree titles PhD, BS, MBA.
  • Use FAQ as page name, and not FAQs.
  • Write out in full "To Be Announced" or "To Be Determined" instead of using "TBA" or "TBD."
  • Building names may be abbreviated according to the list below. 
  • Abbreviate the word "building" as "bldg." with a period at end (do not use the word "Code").
    Example: CH Room 106
Abbreviation Building Name
AD Cesar Chavez Admin. Bldg.
Bung Bungalow
CC Communications - Cinema Bldg.
CDC Child Development Center
CH Clausen Hall
CHEM Chemistry Building
FH Franklin Hall
HH Holmes Hall
JH Jefferson Hall
KIN Kinesiology
LIB Martin Luther King Jr. Library
LRC Learning Resource Center
LS Life Sciences Building
RT Radiologic Technology Bldg.
SCI Science & Technology Bldg.
SSB Student Services Bldg.
SU Student Union Bldg.
TA Theatre
WG Women's Gymnasium



  • Use "am" and "pm" (do not use p.m. or PM or P.M.), with no spacing between hour-number and abbreviation.
    Examples: 9am - 5pm
  • Use 12noon and 12midnight instead of 12am and 12pm, for clarity.
  • Do not use "th" with dates, just the month and day.
    Example: Easter is on April 13.


The following are the approved spellings of common words and phrases in official communications.

  • website (not web site)
  • email (not e-mail, Email, or EMail)
  • Wi-Fi (this is a trademarked term; always capitalize the W and the F)
  • Cooperative Education (not Co-operative)


The following terms can be confusing for students, and need to be used consistently for clarity.

  • Division refers to either Academic Affairs, Student Services, or Administrative Services.
  • Department is reserved exclusively to academic departments (The Kinesiology Department)
  • Discipline refers to a specific area of focus within a department (The Dance Studies discipline is a part of the Kinesiology Department)
  • The first page of any section should remain labelled as "Department Home."


  • Acceptable on second and subsequent references if given in parentheses after a first spelled-out use. 
  • Acceptable without first spelling out if initials are widely recognized (e.g., CEO, SAT, NCAA, AIDS, HMO, NASA).
  • Use the article an before LACC, not a.
    Example an LACC professor

Style for Numbers, Symbols

  • For phone numbers, use a parentheses around the area code and a hyphen between number groups, use "ext." for "extension."
    Example: (323) 770-6655 ext. 4433
  • In running text, spell out the words percent, degrees (temperature), feet, inches, and cents. In tables, it is acceptable to use symbols for these (%, °, ', ", ¢).
  • Amounts greater than 99 cents should be in numerals with a dollar sign ($4). Do not include decimal points or following zeros in monetary values.