Bulletin Editing Guidelines

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Guidelines for Course Descriptions

Course descriptions are a driving force behind the enrollment decisions our students make.  Please keep this in mind when constructing each description, ensuring it is clear, concise, easy to read and conveys how each course will benefit the student.

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Course descriptions:

should be no more than  75 words unless necessary criteria exceeds the word cap.

Begin each course description with an active verb:

ex.:  explores, examines, gains, learns, develops.

Ensure each description reflects how the reader would benefit from taking the course.

ex:  consider the question, what's in it for them?

Omit self-evident content.  Course descriptions should reflect specific topics each course will cover, such as:

  • In this course...
  • This instructor-led workshop...
  • This class provides an overview of...
  • Participants learn about...
  • At the end of this course...

Avoid using pronouns like:

we and you when writing course descriptions and always write in the present tense; ex.:  OLD VERSION:  in this course, you will learn the fundamentals of human resources management.  NEW VERSION:  learn the fundamentals of human resources management.

Refrain from posing questions or repeating the exact title of the course as the first sentence of any description.

Example of Modified Course Description

Introduction to the Spa Industry, Services and Treatments

Explores the evolution of the spa industry from ancient civilizations to new frontiers of convergence integrating spas, medicine, healthcare, tourism and hospitality. Studies the industry from an international perspective, with emphasis on current business models and positioning for future trends. Explains the definition and market segmentation of spa categories including day, resort, medical, destination, hospital and lifestyle management programs. Examines industry trends and employment opportunities.


Editing Toolbar and Course List Details

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 Editing Toolbar

the editing toolbar is based on Microsoft Word; much of the functionality is the same.  There are a few extra tools that you will need to edit your bulletin pages.

Paste Options

if cutting and pasting from a Word document always use the clipboard with the W over it.


used to remove formatting.


used to create or undo a hyperlink.

Database field and formatted tables

1st icon is used to insert/edit a database field for inline courses.

2nd icon is used to insert/edit a formatted table for course lists and plan of study grids.

Adding course lists

course lists are used to add lists of courses for degree requirements, major/minor requirements, electives, etc.

Course List formatting table

Example of different fields used in the Course List formatting table.

Course list broken down

example of the course list broken down.


Quick Guide for Editors

This guide refers to accessing the NextBulletin pages to update the narrative sections(s) for which you are responsible.  However, the program and course edits can also be initiated via the link in this guide.  

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Go to the Next Bulletin

Use your Marquette credentials.

Navigate to the page you want to edit.

Click or tap the Edit Page logo at the top of the screen to reveal the edit toolbar


Click or tap the area you want to edit and make edits as desired


A smaller window will open for you to make your edits


click or tap OK to save and Cancel to exit.

When finished making edits for your page/selection click or tap the green Start Workflow button in the lower right



Editorial Rules for Bulletin Text and Course Descriptions

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  • Long title:  XX characters.
  • Short title:  30 characters; please abbreviate phonetically.

Course Descriptions

  • Always use active present tense, e.g. students learn vs. students will learn.
  • Keep word course or this course out of description, e.g. Teaches vs. Course teaches.
  • S/U grade assessment and fee should be in course description section.
  • Use a semi-colon before a series of 3 or more, e.g. topics include:  w, x, y, z.


  • All course numbers in the Prereq section should have a space between the department and the course number MATH 1450 rather than MATH1450.
  • Consent of instructor should be abbreviated Cons. of inst. (it should only be capitalized if it is the first term after Prereq:)  Other examples:  cons. of prog. dir., cons. of dept. ch.; cons. of associate dean (this should be spelled out and lower case.  All titles without a name are lower case).
  • No quote marks around grades; "C" should be C.
  • Word "required" not needed in any Prereq; e.g. consent of instructor required should be cons. of instr.
  • Would "only" not needed in any Prereq; e.g. English Major only should be English major.
  • Use Soph. stndg.; Jr. stndg., Sr. stndg. for Sophomore standing, Junior standing, Senior standing. Soph. Jr. and Sr. always capitalized .  If Graduate standing is needed use:  grad. stndg.
  • With the exception of Soph. Jr. Sr., words following a semicolon should be lower case.
  • Prereq:  should not be typed in the Prerequisite field, only what is being enforced, i.e. Soph. stndg.
  • Do not capitalize the following words unless they immediately follow Prereq; major, minor, program.
  • For Prereq sections:  always begin first word with a capital letter and always end section with a period.  Note:  no abbreviation period after Prereq for consistency throughout the bulletin.

Standard Abbreviations word formats 

  • adviser:  always with an e, not advisor
  • audit:  lower case
  • chair:  ch.
  • co-requisite:  coreq.
  • course work:  always two words
  • department:  dept.
  • discussion:  disc.
  • doctoral degree or doctorate degree:  both correct; lower case; no Ph.D. in text
  • e-mail:  email  
  • equivalent:  equiv.
  • G.P.A.:  GPA
  • Graduate School:  stays capped
  • GSM:  wants no periods; only exception; Note:  see Legend of Abbreviations in current Graduate Bulletin for complete list of graduate degrees, if needed.
  • hours:  hrs.
  • in-depth:  use hyphen
  • Internet:  stays capped
  • laboratory:  lab.
  • lecture:  lec.
  • M.A.:  with periods
  • master of arts degree:  lower case, no apostrophe with entire phrase
  • master of science degree
  • master's degree:  always with apostrophe, lower case m
  • M.B.A.:  with periods
  • M.Ed.:  note placement of periods and cap/non-cap
  • M.S.:  with periods
  • M.S.A.:  with periods
  • Number:  spell out if it starts a sentence in description or is a single digit, otherwise numerals are OK.
  • one credit:  sem. hr.
  • online:  no hyphen
  • Ph.D.:  note placement of periods and cap/non-cap
  • R.N.
  • Semester:  term
  • standing:  stndg.
  • Web, Web page and Web feed:  stays capped
  • webmaster, website, webcast and webcam:  lower case
  • zero credit or more that one credit:  sem. hrs.

Embedding Links 

  • From within the bulletin:
    format:  /grad/policiesofthegraduateschool/index.html#academichonestypolicy
  • From the web format:



A syllabus is required for submission of any new course.  Syllabi vary depending on how well thought through the course is when submitted.

At a minimum, the syllabus should contain the following:

  • Course description.
  • Course learning outcomes.
  • Course grade determination (e.g., tests, assignments, etc.) as well as any other important information that would aid the decision (e.g., service learning course).
  • Grading Scale

If the course is a 4000/5000, the additional work, separate learning outcomes and grade determination that will be expected for the graduate-level class is required.  Specifics needed.

If the course has multiple sections of the same course number offered in the same semester, all sections must have common outcomes. Instructors of individual sections may add section specific learning outcomes at their discretion.

If available, the syllabus might also include the required book or books, a break down of each class section by topic and reading, a detailed description of assignments, and so forth.