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Handbook of Operating Procedures

Handbook of Operating Procedures Editorial Standards

The Office of Legal Affairs, in coordination with the Office of Institutional Advancement, has developed the following style guidelines to ensure consistency within the Handbook of Operating Procedures ("HOOP"). In general, the use of the Associated Press Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style is preferred. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary is recommended. For questions, please contact the Office of Legal Affairs by phone at 713-500-3268 or by email at

A. University and Unit References

References in the HOOP will follow The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Editorial Standards.

B. The University of Texas System References

References to The University of Texas System will follow the UT System Style Guidelines.

C. References to Regent's Rules and Regulations, UT System Policies and HOOP Policies

  1. Regent's Rules and Regulations: UT System Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations, Series [X], Title [X] on first reference and when listed at the bottom of a policy as an authoritative reference. Regents' Rules, Series [X] is acceptable on the second reference.
  2. UT System Policies: UT System Policy [Number] - [Title] on first reference and when listed at the bottom of a policy as an authoritative reference. UTS [Number] is acceptable on second reference.
  3. HOOP Policies: HOOP [Number] - [Title].

D. Capitalization

  1. Titles: Capitalize titles when they stand by themselves, e.g., The Chief Operating Officer will consider the grievance and respond to the employee in writing within a reasonable time. Capitalize titles if they appear before a name, e.g., President Larry Kaiser. Do not capitalize a title if it appears after a name, Larry Kaiser, president.

E. Links

  1. Link first reference to an office, department or unit.
  2. Link first reference to a form.

F. Reading Level

Policies should be written at a 6th grade reading level. To check the reading level, select "Spelling and Grammar" from the Tools menu in Microsoft Word. If the reading level does not show at the end of the spell check, select Options from the Tools menu, select Spelling and Grammar, and check Readability Statistics.

G. References

Common Errors in English:

Created 09/2007