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Communications and Agricultural Education

Communications and Agricultural Education

Kansas State University
1612 Claflin Road
301 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3402

785-532-5633 fax

K-State Research and Extension Style Guide

What is a style guide?

A style guide is a set of standards intended to clarify written or electronic communication. It helps ensure consistency within organizational communications by providing standards for capitalization, punctuation, spelling, terminology, and usage. Here is Kansas State University's Style Guide.


Why do we need a style guide?

Units within K-State Research and Extension produce a variety of materials — some printed, some electronic. Whatever the medium, organizational messages must be professional and consistent. The style guide provides answers to common questions that arise in writing, recording, editing, producing, or publishing information or educational materials intended for the general public. It is for the use of scientists, agents, specialists, office professionals, communicators, administrators, web authors, and others who represent the organization. When writing for a specific scientific journal or other scholarly publication, follow the journal’s style guide.

How to use this style guide

Sections include:

  • style and usage guidelines
  • inclusive language
  • writing help
  • copyright information

Entries are arranged alphabetically, and each covers one style issue. Some extended entries provide examples.

The guide highlights common questions of specific interest in written or electronic material from K-State Research and Extension, the College of Agriculture, and Kansas State University. Other suggested references include a current dictionary, subject-matter references, and other style or usage guides. The online reference is intended to be updated regularly.

The following references were consulted in developing this style guide and are recommended sources:

  • The Associated Press Stylebook, online (especially for news writing), referred to as AP in text. https://www.apstylebook.com/
  • Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition
  • Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, 2009
  • Working with Words: A Handbook for Media Writers and Editors, by Brian S. Brooks, James L. Pinson, and Jean Gaddy Wilson
  • The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, 2017
  • The New Oxford American Dictionary
  • The Elements of Internet Style: The New Rules of Creating Valuable Content for Today’s Readers, EEI Press
  • Garner’s Modern American Usage, by Bryan A. Garner,3rd edition, 2009
  • The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation, by Bryan A. Garner, 2016
  • Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, by Benjamin Dreyer, 2019
  • Global Press Style Guide, https://globalpressjournal.com/style-guide/

This guide was originated by members of the publishing unit of the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education. If you have any questions or suggestions for the style guide, contact Linda Gilmore, lindagi@ksu.edu or call 785-532-1153.