What you need to know
The MIT Bulletin follows a set of standards in order to provide a consistent experience for readers. We encourage you to use this guide for your department’s program descriptions and subject listings.
Keep in mind our helpful style Dos and Don’ts.
- Do separate instructor’s initials (if relevant) with a space (e.g., J. A. Hoffman).
- Do use the present tense only (e.g., “Students write”).
- Do use “term,” not “semester.”
- Do convey the intellectual content of the subject.
- Do use “and,” rather than an ampersand. Use the & symbol in transcript titles only.
- Do write succinct catalog descriptions of three or four brief sentences.
- Don’t use first-person pronouns, such as “we,” “our,” or “us.”
- Don’t use the term “in-class,” as in “in-class exercises.” “Exercises” alone implies that they are done in class.
- Don’t use the term “hands-on.” Instead describe what exactly makes the subject or project “hands-on” (e.g., “Students make” or “involves a project in which”).
- Don’t use “this subject,” “this class,” etc.
- Don’t repeat the class syllabus or include long lists of subtopics.
Common terms & abbreviations
|21st century (n)||21st-century (adj)||3-D (n, adj) or three-dimensional (adj)||9/11|
|c. year (circa year)||CAD/CAM||case study (n, adj)||cash flow (n)|
|Cold War||Course 15 (uppercase C if a program of study, followed by Arabic numeral)||cross section||cross-cultural|
|decision-maker||decision-making||dot-com (n, adj)|
|Earth (planet), earth (dirt)||end use (n)|
|fall term, fall||fieldwork||field-worker||filmmaker|
|flow rate (n)||follow up (v)||follow-up (n, adj)|
|galaxy||go-cart||groundwater (n, adj)|
|health care||hip-hop (n)|
|in depth (adv)||in-depth (adj)||input/output|
|life cycle (n)||life-cycle (adj)|
|mapmaker, mapmaking||melt down (v)||midterm (adj)||multimedia|
|offshore (n, adj)||on campus, off campus (adv)||on-campus, off-campus (adj)||online (adj, adv)|
|policymaking||postdoctoral (adj, adv)||postwar (no hyphen)||present-day|
|prime time (n)||prime-time (adj)||problem-solving (n, adj)|
|rate-limiting (adv)||real-world (adj)||roundtable (n, adj)|
|scale up (v)||scale-up (n)||socioeconomic||space-time (n)|
|spring term, spring||start up (v)||start-up (n)||state of the art (n)|
|state-of-the-art (adj)||storytelling (n)|
|team-building||teamwork||theater (not theatre)||trade off (v)|
|trade-off (n)||turnkey (adj)|
|United States (n)||universe (lowercase)||US (adj, or referring to a unique organization)||upper-level|
|wavelength||website||well defined (adv)||well-defined (adj)|
|well established (adv)||well-established (adj)||worldwide (adj, adv)|