The University of Saskatchewan Editorial Style Guide is designed to be a quick reference for USask employees—both professional communicators and others—who have style questions, or an interest in learning more about writing. It is intended to encourage a common approach to style, recognizing that there will always be circumstances where exceptions must be made.

It is not intended to apply to academic, scholarly or research writing, which rely on particular standards and guidelines. When questions of style arise in the preparation of certain types of publications and those in specialized subject areas, it is best to consult appropriate reference authorities.

Sources Consulted

This style guide should be used in conjunction with the most recent editions of the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford Canadian Dictionary, considered the spelling authorities for the purpose of this guide. Other sources consulted include the Canadian Press Stylebook and the Canadian Press Caps and Spelling, style guides from other Canadian institutions and those followed by a variety of journals and publications. Also taken into consideration are particular style practices in common use at the University of Saskatchewan


In an organization as complex as a university, communications are produced for a wide array of audiences—everyone from campus visitors to fellow academics, students, the media and government officials. Obviously, written materials must be tailored to suit the audience in a way that effectively conveys information. This guide, therefore, is not intended to dictate a particular use of language that will hinder or constrain writers but rather to answer questions that may arise in the preparation of their particular material. It is also not intended as a grammar book or a manual on good writing. Sound editorial judgment should always be used in preparing communications for a particular audience.

Tone and messaging

The University of Saskatchewan's institutional positioning statement describes how USask is distinct among its competitor institutions in a way that is relevant to its key stakeholders. Supporting that position, which describes us as resourceful, collaborative and dynamic, requires a consistent style in our messaging—what we say—and tone of voice—how we say it.

Keep in mind that both our brand messaging and our tone of voice should convey:

  • that we provide freedom and support to push the boundaries of knowledge;
  • that we reach across disciplines to make connections and to think differently about the issues of our time; and
  • that we work together to experiment, to learn and to discover.

A work in progress

Any guide to editorial style is always a work in progress. Language and its use are constantly changing, creating interesting, and sometimes frustrating, conundrums for writers and editors. Monitoring and evaluating those changes will be part of the work needed to ensure this guide is always useful and relevant.

Please feel free to contribute to this document by sending queries, comments or suggestions by contacting us.