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IU Editorial Style Guide, Letter F


Verifying faculty titles is tricky; no central resource currently exists. When in doubt, consult the faculty member.

fall, fall term, fall semester

Lowercase references to seasons and academic periods.


Don’t capitalize fax or write it in all capital letters. It’s not an acronym; it’s simply derived from the word facsimile.

fee courtesy

The term fee courtesy refers to tuition discounts at IU given to IU faculty and staff and their spouses/domestic partners and children.

fee scholarship

Use this term rather than fee remission; the distinction is important at tax time.

first semester, first-semester courses, first term, first-term courses

Hyphenate such phrases as first year and second semester only if they are used as adjectival phrases.

Keiko’s first-semester GPA was 3.5. Her GPA improved to 3.6 after the second semester.

foreign words and phrases

Commonly used foreign expressions and their abbreviations are not italicized.

e.g., i.e., ex officio, et al., vis-à-vis, cum laude, in vivo, in vitro

Less common foreign terms are italicized.

dies irae (day of wrath)

If a term you’re unsure of is listed in the Webster’s “Foreign Words and Phrases” section, it should be italicized. If it’s in the regular listing, don’t italicize it.

forms and documents

Full names of official forms and documents are capitalized but are not italicized or put between quotation marks.

Federal Income Tax Return, Declaration of Independence

Founders Day

Note the lack of an apostrophe in the word Founders.

See also possessives.


Although freshmen is the plural, it’s freshman courses, freshman year, etc. (You wouldn’t use sophomores courses.)

full time

Hyphenate as an adjective before the noun; otherwise, leave as two words.

Jamal has a full-time job.

but: Jamal works full time.

fund raising, fundraising

Two styles for this term and its variations exist at IU. Because the IU Foundation uses fundraising, we prefer that style. The Fund Raising School, associated with the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, uses the two-word style in its name, however.