TRU Style Guide

When we communicate about TRU to our diverse audiences, it is important that we maintain quality and consistency in editorial style, for the effectiveness of our brand voice as well as for clarity and professionalism. Inconsistencies in spelling and other matters of style distract readers and undermine their confidence in the messages we wish to convey.

Online Dictionary

All TRU-based computers have free access to the online version of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. This the main authority for spelling in the TRU Style Guide.

Canadian Oxford Dictionary

TRU Style is intended to provide guidance on the most common issues—from capitalization to punctuation—and some standards for university terminology and inclusive language.

When to follow TRU Style

TRU Style applies to all general, promotional, recruitment and marketing communications materials, official correspondence, and reports and submissions to university governing bodies. It is not intended to apply to teaching, scholarly or research texts, nor should it limit designed collateral outside of body copy.

This guide is not intended as a grammar book, a guide to good writing or a manual of typography. Furthermore, it is concerned with punctuation only as it arises in relation to specific points of editorial style. Its editors have consulted and recommend the following publications for comprehensive information on spelling, grammar, punctuation and other questions of style:

  • The Canadian Oxford Dictionary
  • The Canadian Press Stylebook: A Guide for Writers and Editors
  • The Elements of Indigenous Style
  • The MLA Handbook
  • The Chicago Manual of Style

And, because language evolves—so that starting a sentence with “And” is not the grammatical faux pas it used to be—the TRU Style Guide editors recommend David Marsh’s highly entertaining guide to grammar and usage, For Who the Bell Tolls: One Man’s Quest for Grammatical Perfection.

Spelling authority and other references

In conjunction with this guide, TRU uses the most recent edition of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary as its spelling authority. The editors of this guide refer to and predominantly follow the Canadian Press Stylebook: A Guide for Writers and Editors (CP), but on some questions of style that are a matter of preference, TRU Style may differ from CP. If there is a conflict in spelling between Oxford and CP, we choose the first reference in Oxford. Citations follow the MLA Handbook.

Audience and voice

Our audiences range from students to government officials and from community and research partners to general visitors to TRU’s campuses and websites. For guidelines on adapting our communications for our diverse audiences, see Voice, Tone and Style in the TRU Brand Guide.

Editorial assistance

TRU Marketing and Communications can help with questions regarding interpretation of points in this style guide or issues not covered here. We expect that as new editorial questions arise and language and usage change, this guide will evolve. We welcome your input to make this guide more useful. Email


The TRU Style Guide was developed by the TRU Marketing and Communications department, with consultation and review provided by the Communications Working Group, with representation across TRU faculties, schools, and administrative units.

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