Titles

Writers' Style Guide

Organisations and institutions

Give the University's full title as Charles Darwin University. You may susequestly use CDU, or you may use the term University if it is clear you are referring to Charles Darwin University.

In the case of other organisations: the Northern Territory Government, then the government; the Good Food Company, then the company; the Faculty of Law, Business and Arts, then the faculty.

Acronyms are fine after the organisation has been written in full.

Some words are upper-cased in all circumstances, such as the Bar, the Bench, the Cabinet, the Chair, the Constitution, the Crown and the Treasury.

Budget: Give this word an initial capital when writing of the Northern Territory Budget or the Federal Budget but in later references, use the budget, budget papers, budget allocations. Charles Darwin University budget takes the lower case.

Use the Commonwealth Government, not the Federal Government.

Write state parliaments, legislation or responsibilities.

The House of Representatives (of Australia) remains the House. The (Australian) Senate, the Senate.

Academic titlesWhen mentioning university staff in everyday publications use title. Write Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Garnett.
Political and community leaders

When mentioning political leaders in everyday publications, write Chief Minister Clare Martin or Prime Minister John Howard. Note: No article 'the' or commas. Do not write Martin or Howard without the honorifics. In the first instance, write Clare Martin, then Ms Martin.

The same applies for everyone ― Rotarians, sportspeople, artists and performers, even criminals: John Smith, then Mr Smith.

For doctors, give the name without the honorific, then use it later. For example: Eleanor Heartbeat, then Dr Heartbeat.

For Professor, the same rule applies: Professor of Entomology at Hardluck University, Eddie Smith, then Professor Smith. Professor is always given in full.

Check whether women prefer to be called Mrs, Ms, Miss (or Dr, of course).

Titles such as Chief Minister, Speaker and Administrator retain their caps whenever mentioned in a report: the Chief Minister had arrived earlier, the Speaker was a guest. Formal parliamentary title: Chief Minister Hon Clare Martin MLA. MLA stands for Member of the Legislative Assembly.

When writing about backbenchers, use the Member for Moorong Bill Sunnyday, then Mr Sunnyday. Write members of parliament or parliamentarians. For Mayor, use the Mayor of Heatville Frank Steamy, then Ald Steamy or the mayor.

Lady: A knight's wife is plain Lady Snortwhistle. The wives and widows of knights are not entitled to use their first names between the Lady and the surname unless they are the daughters of dukes, marquises or earls.

Senator and professor should be spelt out but capped only when followed by the name. For example, Professor Bloggs said... but the professor said.

(top)
Other titles worth notingAttorney-General, Attorney-General's Department, attorneys general Deputy (only before a capped title), the Indonesian Embassy, the embassy Governor/General Solicitor/General, solicitors-general, Whip (parliamentary), White Paper, the paper. Check with Protocol if in doubt. Sport: When reporting on sportspeople in daily life, we give them the titles we give everyone: Mr, Mrs, Ms.
Ecclesiastical titlesTitles of people within the church should not be abbreviated. We use the Reverend James Angel; after that, Mr Angel. For Catholic and Anglican high church priests, it is Father at each reference. The Anglican or Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, the Most Reverend Peter Shepherd; then Archbishop Shepherd. Anglican bishop, the Right Reverend; thereafter Bishop Bloggs. Catholic bishop, the Most Reverend; thereafter, Bishop Smith. A dean: the Very Reverend; thereafter Dean White. An archdeacon: the Venerable; thereafter, Archdeacon Atkinson. The Moderator, the Right Reverend.
Service and police ranksAll service ranks should be spelt out in full. Do not use hyphens. For example, Lance Corporal, Lieutenant General, Detective Sergeant. Drop the first word of the title after the first use: Major General becomes General Brown; Detective Sergeant becomes Sergeant.
Other titlesThe titles of films, books, plays, reports and other published documents should be in italics. For example, I saw Apocalypse Now last night; Shakespeare's Hamlet. The names of newspapers and magazines are set in italics, but the definite article is not unless it is actually part of the title, for example, the NT News but The Australian; The Macquarie Dictionary. With titles, it is always best to check. See Italics.

(back to the top)

Contact us

Office of Media and Communications

Casuarina campus
Orange 12.3.20