University's SACS Accreditation Project
Compliance Audit Reports and Quality Enhancement Plan
University's SACS Editorial Committee is charged with ensuring
that reports are clear, concise, and standardized. All reports
will be edited for style after they are submitted, but the Editorial
Committee may be consulted in the early stages of the writing process
as well. Committee members are Carolyn Elkins, Beverly Moon,
and Elizabeth Sarcone, and the committee chair is Bill Spencer
reference works, the American Heritage dictionary and Hodges'
Harbrace Handbook are recommended. In matters of documentation,
use MLA (Modern Language Association) style, not APA style.
will be posted to a website, they should be designed to be easily
viewed on a computer screen.
paragraphs (one space between paragraphs with no indentation).
to set off lists.
for headings and the chart for documenting compliance has already
been set up by the DSU webmaster at the committee report site on
the web. Before composing reports, please schedule a template-use
session with the DSU webmaster. Thereafter, consult DSU's
"SACS Committee Help" file for instructions on how to
compose the report, including cutting and pasting. Do
not insert page numbers or page breaks.
the text of reports should be single spaced. Exceptions:
Double space before and after bulleted or numbered lists. Double
space also before and after all headings and any needed subheadings.
Keep subheadings flush left, and capitalize the first letter of
important words in the subheading.
to the Editorial Committee
both on paper and on disk to Bill Spencer, Division of Languages
& Literature, Kethley 219-C. Please clearly identify
each report with the name of the SACS committee chair.
name The first instance of the University's name in any
report (and, in longer reports, the first instance in each major
section) should be written in full as Delta State University.
All subsequent references should be given simply as DSU (no periods)
or as the University.
and division names The first instance of a department's
or division's name in any report should be written formally and
in full: the Department of History, the Division of Languages
and Literature. Subsequent references should refer to the
Department (or the Division) or to History, but not to the History
For the first reference to a course, give the full course name
followed by the course designation in parentheses: Sociology
of Education (SOC 420). For subsequent references, use the course
people Before names drop such titles as "Dr."
and "Ms." Write "Richard S. Myers" or
"Richard S. Myers, Dean" or "Dean Richard S. Myers,
" but not "Dr. Richard S. Myers." For subsequent
references, use only the last name.
works For titles of books and articles, use MLA (Modern
Language Association) style and not APA style. Capitalize
the first word and all important words in titles. Italicize
book titles and the official titles of university-related documents
(e.g. DSU Faculty and Staff Handbook; DSU Bulletin, 2002-2004).
Italicize the date when it is a necessary part of the title.
Place article titles within quotation marks.
language Recast generic statements to avoid gender-specific
pronouns. Instead of "Each student must submit his application,"
write, "Students must submit their applications" or "Each
student must submit an application." If a generic personal
pronoun is unavoidable, use "he or she," not "he,"
"she/he," or "(s)he."
Use "chair" instead of "chairman," "chairwoman,"
Refer to degrees in general as "doctoral," master's,"
or "bachelor's." Use abbreviations for degrees
and certifications following names: John Zeko, PhD, CPA.
In general abbreviate only words that would be read aloud as acronyms
or abbreviations. Abbreviate SACS and ROTC but not MS or
Sept. (if the latter are meant to be read as "Mississippi"
and "September"). Exceptions are Jr. and Sr.
Omit periods in abbreviations of names of institutions and degree
titles: DSU, BA, PhD, MBA.
Capitalize titles of official units of the University and of University
officials. Note the following:
Quality Enhancement Plan
Director of Library Services
of Commercial Aviation
aviation departments throughout the country
2002, spring semester 2003
fall of 2003
p.m. (rather than A.M. and P.M.)
Write out numbers that begin sentences. Use numerals for
numbers that require more than two words to spell out, and use
numerals when the text contains several numbers close together.
Rounded dollar sums are written as $13.4 million or $2 billion
(not two billion dollars). Fractions are spelled out when
standing alone (one half) but expressed in figures when preceded
by an integer (2½), or when possible you may use decimals (2.5).
Express dates as September 1, 2002. Use 1992-93, not 1992-1993
or 1992-'93, to represent the academic year.
a series Please include a comma before the word and
in a series of three or more items: the history, theory,
and practice of editing. (Note the comma following theory.)
marks with other punctuation Commas and periods should
be placed inside quotation marks; semicolons and colons should
be placed outside quotation marks.
Consult an up-to-date dictionary and section 18g in the Harbrace
Handbook for hyphenation of words. The following are
Use a hyphen
for compound adjectives: three-hour course (but three
credit hours), Cleveland-area physicians (but in the Cleveland
are used in these: nontraditional, reaccreditation, vice
president, extracurricular, intramural
Please space twice after periods and question marks at the end
of a sentence.
Avoid the use of footnotes and endnotes. Document sources in the
text within parentheses in current MLA style. When documenting
page numbers of sources in the template chart, use p. for one page
and pp. for more than one page: p. 3, pp. 5-9. List
documents in the template chart in the same order in which they
appear in the report.
have been adapted from DSU's 1993 SACS Self-Study Format and Style
Guide, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington's Self-Study
Guidelines, and from Eastern Tennessee State University's SACS
Accreditation Review Project Editorial Guidelines.