UGR English Style Guide

A handbook for translating and drafting English-language texts at the University of Granada

The internationalization of higher education entails that an ever-growing array of contents — from websites, academic agreements, and research news, to course guides and audiovisual contents — must be made available in English, the current international lingua franca. To address this challenge, this Style Guide aims to play a key role in improving the quality and consistency of the institutional texts developed in English for our international readers.

This Guide is designed primarily as a language resource for in-house and freelance translators, administrative and support staff (PAS), and teaching and research staff (PDI) who are responsible for producing institutional texts in English at the University of Granada (UGR). In a similar vein to UGRTerm — the University of Granada’s bilingual (Spanish-English) database of academic and institutional terms, this handbook provides a set of standardised linguistic conventions that are recommended for in-house usage at the UGR. In this sense, it is not intended as an academic style guide (excellent resources such as the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association already amply fulfil this need). Rather, the overarching aim of this Guide is to facilitate clearer communication, both internally and externally, at the University of Granada.

For the purposes of consistency, and to reflect the UGR’s socio-geographical context, this Guide is based on the conventions of European English and, where relevant, standard British English usage. In this regard, it is loosely based on existing style guides such as the EU’s English Style Guide: A handbook for authors and translators in the European Commission; Xarxa Vives d’Universitats’ Interuniversity Style Guide for Writing Institutional Texts in English; and the Oxford Manual of Style.

It is divided into nine thematic sections that cover specific topics such as abbreviations, capitalisation, punctuation, emphasising text, and spelling; as well as broader editorial issues such as accessible and non-discriminatory language, common translation issues, and writing tips. As a bearer of knowledge, our University must demonstrate consistency in these areas in order to ensure that our institutional content is as clear, reader-friendly, and accessible as possible. Greater clarity and inclusiveness facilitate improved access to services among our international students and partners, greater efficiency in our translation processes, enhanced international communication and advertising, and a more consolidated corporate image.

We have made every effort to tailor this text to the specific socio-geographical context of the University of Granada, citing common translation and style issues that have come up in recent years. We have employed a simple convention to differentiate correct/recommended usage from incorrect/non-recommended usage; the former appears within a green text box and is preceded by a tick, while the latter appears within a red text box and is preceded by a cross. We hope that this Guide will serve as a useful reference tool for anyone tasked with translating or producing English-language content at the University of Granada. Nonetheless, especially given that this is the first edition of this text, we view this Style Guide as a working document. Moreover, it should be used alongside UGRTerm, which is constantly being updated and improved.

This project was developed by the Language Services Unit (USL), under the coordination of the Secretariat for Language Services and Resources, as part of the Language Policy implemented by the Vice-Rectorate for Internationalization at the University of Granada. If you would like to share any comments on the content of this Guide, please send an email (in Spanish or English) to