Style and usage references

On the Web and in print, follow our house Style and usage guide, then Associated Press (AP) style.

As an MU employee, you have access to the online AP Stylebook using your pawprint and password at http://proxy.mul.missouri.edu:2048/login?url=http://www.apstylebook.com/missouri/. MU Extension's house Style and usage guide overrules the AP Stylebook when there is a difference.

When spelling and usage are not covered by our house guide or AP, consult Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, published by Wiley (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston and New York, 2013).

Use the following guidelines as found in AP style:

  • Use the first spelling listed in Webster's New World College Dictionary unless a specific exception is listed in our house style or AP.
  • If Webster's New World College Dictionary provides different spellings in separate entries (tee shirt and T-shirt, for example), use the spelling that is followed by a full definition (T-shirt).
  • If Webster's New World College Dictionary provides definitions under two different spellings for the same sense of a word, either use is acceptable. For example, although or though.
  • If there is no listing in either the MU Extension house style, AP or Webster's New World College Dictionary, the backup dictionary is Webster's Third New International Dictionary, published by Merriam-Webster Inc.
  • Webster's New World College Dictionary is also the first reference for geographic names not covered in this stylebook.

For questions and to suggest additions to our ever-evolving style guide, contact DeeAnna Adkins at adkinsdk@missouri.edu.