This is the official style guide for the Washington University in St. Louis University Marketing & Communications. Recently revised with a nod toward inclusive language, it is intended as a guideline for communicators across the university, and written on the theory that consistency and excellence represent the very best of our institution.

When writing and editing for MarComm, the hierarchy of style to conform to is as follows:

  1. MarComm style
  2. Associated Press style
  3. Webster’s New World College Dictionary

Final determination on style matters rests with the MarComm editing staff, with consultation from the Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications.

Style may vary across communications, including news releases, magazine stories, individual print publications and websites, with common sense, overall strategy and the mission of the university considered first and foremost. Please note that guidelines in this stylebook do not necessarily apply to “University Events” listings in the Record — i.e., the calendar section — or to the class notes sections in Washington magazine and Outlook.

Finally, keep in mind that our language is constantly evolving and changing, and both our style and the Associated Press evolves regularly. Please be aware of changes to long-adhered norms of style at For more information and help with specific questions regarding language and style, please refer to the links below.

University Marketing & Communications
WashU Medicine Marketing & Communications
Center for Diversity & Inclusion
Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Diversity
Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity
The Buder Center for American Indian Studies
Pronouns information for students 
Glossary of Bias Terms