How to Use This Guide

The University of Guelph Style Guide is a reference tool for all University communicators. New employees may use it as an introduction to the University’s best practices and a sense of the University voice. For seasoned writers, this guide may serve as a resource for usage questions from grammar and inclusivity to punctuation and economy of expression.

To provide a consistent, professional appearance to University publications and communications, the University of Guelph uses Canadian Press style, except in the limited circumstances outlined in this document. The majority of the rules in this document can also be found in the Canadian Press Stylebook, which is available for purchase online. Its companion publication, the Canadian Press Caps and Spelling guide, lists the preferred spelling and capitalization of words that can be written in a variety of ways.

A Note About Spelling

For correct spellings of words not covered in this guide, refer to the Canadian Press Caps and Spelling guide. If you can’t find the word in any of these publications, refer to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary (free online). That dictionary uses Canadian rather than American spelling, including -our endings (honour, not honor) and -reendings (not center, but centre). Exceptions are words appearing in formal American titles: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And we use Canadian rather than British spelling, including “-ize” endings (recognize, not recognise; realize, not realise).

This guide has been compiled by U of G’s Department of Communications and Public Affairs. Retired departmental editor Barbara Chance compiled and helped explain the many grammar rules in this guide. Other ideas are adapted from guidelines compiled by Editors Canada. We also consulted several other Canadian university style guides.

This guide is intended to help you communicate across campus and with external audiences. This document will be revised to reflect changes in language and in general or campus usage. For questions/comments, contact:

Change Log

  • 14/11/2019 – Added page for Indigenous Peoples
  • 02/07/2018 – New redesign for the Style Guide for Writers is launched