Editorial Style Guide

Omicron Delta Kappa follows the AP Style Guide and maintains its own brief editorial style guide as well. In cases where our editorial style guide differs from the AP Style Guide, please follow OK guidelines.

Name of Organization

Omicron Delta Kappa may be referred to by its full Greek name or the Greek letters O∆K. When writing O∆K, please be sure to use the Greek letter for Delta “∆” and not the Roman letter “D.” 

Capitalization of Nouns

We do not capitalize nouns unless they are proper names. An exception is the word Society. If you refer to O∆K as the Society, you should capitalize Society. We do not capitalize the word founders, nor do we capitalize the word circle unless referring to a specific circle by its proper name.

Examples of Proper Nouns

ΟΔΚ Idea
ΟΔΚ Gold Stars
ΟΔΚ Foundation
ΟΔΚ Board of Directors
Campus Lecture Series
General Council
Executive Committee
Eternal Circle
Founders’ Day

Examples of Nouns that Should Not be Capitalized



Use first and last name on first reference and last name only on second reference. In cases where two people have the same last name, use first and last names on second reference. Use middle initials when the initials help identify a specific individual. Do not use the courtesy title “Dr.” except in direct quotes. The same is true for courtesy titles such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., etc. Use Mr. and Ms. only if they are needed to differentiate two people who have the same last name.

First reference
Rupert Latture

Second reference


Titles are capitalized if they precede a name.

Executive Director Tara Singer

Titles are lowercased in all other cases.

Tara Singer is the executive director of Omicron Delta Kappa.

When you refer to someone by the title of “National President,” you should drop all other titles.

National President Ken Ruscio
Not National President Dr. Ken Ruscio

In ΟΔΚ publications, it is not necessary to identify a national president as an ΟΔΚ national president. It is implied that the writer is referencing a political office within ΟΔΚ.

Past national presidents are referred to as such. Use past instead of former. Do not capitalize past unless it’s at the beginning of a sentence. The same rule holds true for executive directors.

Past National President Ken Ruscio went to lunch.
The lunch was attended by past National President Ken Ruscio.

It’s Member-at-Large, not Member at Large.

Use advisor with an ‘o’, not advisor with an ‘e.’



Do not use ampersands (&) in body text.  Use of ampersands in web-headers is acceptable.

Serial Comma

We use the serial, or English, comma.

Students from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana attended the drive-in meeting.

Not Students from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana attended the drive-in meeting.

Exclamation Marks

Avoid the use of exclamation marks. Exclamation marks are rarely, if ever, called for in a professional setting.

Omicron Delta Kappa initiated 23 new members.

Not Omicron Delta Kappa initiated 23 new members!


Ellipses should be used only when indicating that there is a section of quoted text that has been removed.

Omicron Delta Kappa announces that its board meeting will be held in Lexington, Va.

Not Omicron Delta Kappa announces that its board meeting will be held in… Lexington, Va.


Abbreviate all months with more than five letters.

Jan., Feb., Mar., April, May, June, July, Aug., Sept. Oct., Nov., and Dec.

Jan. 1, 2015
May 1, 2015

If you’re using “from,” you must also use the word “to,” not an En dash.

From 1970 to 1972

April 10–12, 2012 is written with an En dash. There are no spaces on either side of the En Dash.


Spell out numbers less than 10. If the number falls at the beginning of a sentence, it is always spelled out, even if it is larger than 10.

In June, 26 delegates met in Washington, D.C.
In June, nine delegates met in Washington, D.C.
Twenty-six delegates met in Washington, D.C.

Don’t superscript numbers, even if Word autoformats them.

The 38th national convention, not the 38th national convention.

Referencing Colleges and Universities

Reference all other colleges and universities according to their own style guides. Pay particular attention to colleges with multiple branches as there is no standard.

University of Maryland, College Park

















Referencing Circles

The official name for a circle is:

[Greek Letters] Circle of the [University Name]

The Alpha Circle of Washington and Lee University

Keep in mind that circles established more recently do not have Greek letters, so their official names are:

The [University Name] Circle


On first reference, call the Circle by its official name.

On second reference, you may call the Circle either:

[Greek Letters] Circle or
the [University Name] Circle

The Alpha Circle is hosting a lecture.
The Washington and Lee University Circle is hosting a lecture.

Do not capitalize the word circle if it stands alone.

Executive Director Tara Singer will visit the Alpha Circle on Friday.
Executive Director Tara Singer will visit the circle on Friday.


The proper name of the convention is the [YEAR] Leadership Summit and Convention. Capitalize the proper name of the convention. Lowercase if you’re using convention generically.

She will speak at the 2016 Leadership Summit and Convention.
She will speak at the convention. 

Board of Directors

Omicron Delta Kappa has a Board of Directors, not the Board of Trustees. Don’t use the names interchangeably. Only refer to the governing board by its proper name. People who sit on the Board of Directors should be referred to as members of the Board of Directors, not trustees.

The Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation has a Board of Trustees. A member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees may be referred to as a trustee.

“The Circle”

Publications, such as “The Circle,” are indicated with quotation marks, not italics.

National Headquarters

Capitalize ΟΔΚ National Headquarters, as it is the proper name of headquarters. Lowercase ‘headquarters’ if used independently.

The event was held at ΟΔΚ National Headquarters.
He worked at headquarters for five years.