English writing guidelines
At the University of Borås, we use British English in official documents and contexts as well as in general communication about the university and its activities. However, the university also makes an effort to conduct communication adapted to our target audiences. Therefore, American English can be chosen in specific cases.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
- For the official English translations of organisational structures and titles at the University of Borås, please see the university’s Swedish-English Lexicon
- For a much more extensive word list in Excel format, please email email@example.com
- Regarding academic terms at the university beyond our own organisational structures and titles, we rely on the translations suggested by The Swedish Council for Higher Education's Swedish-English dictionary (external link).
- Legal terms can be found in the Glossary for the Courts of Sweden (external link).
- In most writing style questions, we follow the guidance of the University of Oxford Style Guide external link)
- For guidance on British spelling, use tools such as the Cambridge Dictionary (external link)
- As an employee at the University of Borås, there are resources available to you for support and competence development in academic communication and English in a university setting. Read more about Academic Communication.
Specific guidelines for the University of Borås with special attention to where English and Swedish practice differ
University of Borås
"University of Borås" is the English name for “Högskolan i Borås.”
If you are just using the words "the university” and you mean our specific institution, use a lowercase U. For example, “At the university, we have a lot of international students.”
When “University of Borås” is used as a noun (as it usually is), use “the.” For example, “Courses at the University of Borås are always interesting.” If it is used as an adjective, such as in the sentence “Students on University of Borås property are expected to…”, you do not need to use “the.”
We consider the ”University of Borås” as a unit and therefore use the singular form, e.g. in the sentence “The University of Borås is a modern university located in the centre of the city.”
Titles, subtitles, and headings in articles, books, reports, and other works, as well as project names
Capitalise the first word and all other words except articles (a/an/the), prepositions (to/on/for etc.) and conjunctions (but/and/or etc.). Capitalise a word that follows a colon, em dash, or end punctuation.
Dates and the calendar
We advocate the format “7 July 2015” or ”7 July.” If the weekday is included, write “Tuesday 7 July” Months are always capitalised in English. Avoid abbreviating the date by writing, for example, 7/7/15. This can cause confusion as the order of the numbers can differ for Swedish, British English, and American English.
Use the Swedish way to write times for consistency’s sake; for example, 09:00–11:00 (with the colon). Use the 24-hour clock.
We advocate writing “spikning” (notification of thesis defence) in the context of the festivities around the granting of doctoral degrees, even when writing in English, as it provides a clear connection to the Swedish tradition of literally nailing up the thesis. Directly translating this to “nailing” is not recommended.
Use double quotation marks. Though this is not the traditional guideline for British English, it is increasingly common and is advocated by, for example, the University of Sussex and the Guardian Style Guide. We have chosen to use this style to ensure consistency with our Swedish documents and to promote clarity. Punctuation should be inside the question marks to avoid double punctuation and in accordance with the “conventional view.”
Forms of address
Use different forms of addresses depending on whom you are contacting and how well you know them.
If you know the person’s name
Introduction: Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms Avadahl
Conclusion: Yours sincerely
If the person is a close contact or friend
Introduction: Dear Johanna
Conclusion: Best wishes/Best regards/Kind regards
For more guidance on writing email, please see Academic Communication's resources on writing email for university work.
Regarding ”The Swedish School of Textiles” and ”The Swedish School of Library and Information Science,” the “the” in the names are lowercase in the body of the text and not used at all when the names are used as adjectives.
There are acceptable alternative translations of some titles and merits that can be actively chosen by employees for e.g. business cards when appropriate. This is because American English dominates in many of our research fields and relates to the following titles currently; more can be added in the future.
- Universitetslektor = Senior Lecturer /UK/ or Assistant Professor /US/
- Docent = Associate Professor /US/
The titles "Vice-Chancellor" (rektor) and "Pro Vice-Chancellor" (prorektor) are always written with capital letters.
A person is a professor of a discipline, in a department/school, at a university. For example, "I am a Professor of Library Science in the Swedish School of Library and Information Science at the University of Borås."
The university prefers the usage of “doctoral student” as a general term for “doktorand” as it is more general than “PhD student.” The term “PhD student” indicates a specific type of “doctoral student.” All PhD students are thus doctoral students but not all doctoral students are PhD students. For example, a doctoral student could be pursuing a doctorate in Education, an EdD. Also be aware that in common usage, the term “a PhD” in means someone that has already been awarded a doctorate (a PhD) and thus is not applicable to doctoral students. Other good or perhaps even better alternatives are "doctoral researcher," "doctoral candidate," or "early-career researcher," depending on the context.
Some examples of how to combine organisational units and titles:
- Prefekt för Institutionen för polisutbildning campus = Head of Department of the Department of Campus Police Education
- Proprefekt för Institutionen för polisutbildning campus = Assistant Head of Department of the Department of Campus Police Education
- Prefekt för Institutionen för polisutbildning distans = Head of Department of the Department of Distance Police Education
- Proprefekt för Institutionen för polisutbildning distance = Assistant Head of Department of the Department of Distance Police Education
- Ställföreträdande akademichef för Akademin för polisiärt arbete = Deputy Dean of Faculty of the Faculty of Police Work
The titles "Vice-Chancellor" (rektor) and "Pro-Vice-Chancellor" (prorektor) are always written with capital letters.
A person is a professor of a discipline, in a department/school, at a university. For example, "I am a professor of library science in the Swedish School of Library and Information Science at the University of Borås."
The word “utbildning” is translated as ”educational programmes” in most contexts.
We follow the recommendations of the Oxford Style Manual meaning we include a comma before the final item in a list of three or more items. For example, “The Swedish School of Library and Information Science offers study programmes at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral levels.” Note the comma immediately after “Master’s.”
Please do not hesitate to contact the Communications Office at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the university’s English writing guidelines.
More resources regarding English writing are given by Academic Communication, a university forum for professional development for university employees in communication in English for professional and academic purposes. You are welcome to take part in these activities no matter what your role is at the university. The goal is to support internationalisation and research.