Lycoming College Editorial Style Guide
This style guide is intended to help maintain consistency across all Lycoming College publications. It is based mostly on the Associated Press Style Guide, with some exceptions. All articles submitted for publication in LC Magazine or for one of the College’s newsletters should follow these general guidelines.
Note: All article submitted for publication in LC Magazine or a College newsletter should be formatted as follows:
- Single spaced
- 0 pt. before and after
- No spaces/lines between paragraphs
- Every new paragraph should be indented by pushing the space bar five times
abbreviations and acronyms Spell out the name on first reference with the abbreviation or acronym in italics. The Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences (CEAE) creates educational opportunities. The CEAE is part of Lycoming College.
academic degrees If mention of academic degrees is necessary to establish someone’s credentials, avoid an abbreviation and use instead a phrase such as: John Jones, who has a doctorate in psychology. Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, a master’s, etc., but there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. Also, an associate degree (no possessive).
Use such abbreviations as B.A., M.A., LL.D and Ph.D. only when the need to identify many individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome. Use these abbreviations only after a full name and set off by commas — never after just a last name. Daniel Moynihan, Ph.D., spoke.
Do not precede a name with a courtesy title for an academic degree and follow it with the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference. Wrong: Dr. Pam Jones, Ph.D. Right: Dr. Pam Jones, a chemist.
academic departments Do not capitalize except words that are proper nouns. the history department, the English department.
academic titles Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as chancellor, chairman, etc., when they precede a name. Lowercase elsewhere. Lowercase modifiers such as department in department Chairman Jerome Wiesner.
adviser Not advisor.
alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a woman. Use alumni when referring to both men and women.
American An acceptable description for a citizen of the United States.
board of trustees Always lowercase. board of trustees of Lycoming College
building names Capitalize names of campus buildings. Long Hall
Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences CEAE on second reference
cities Most city names should be followed by its state, e.g. Trenton, N.J. Williamsport should not be followed by Pa.
Do not include a state for the following cities:
- Las Vegas
- Lost Angeles
- New Orleans
- New York
- Oklahoma City
- St. Louis
- Salt Lake City
- San Antonio
- San Francisco
Foreign cities should be followed by the country. These foreign cities stand alone:
- Hong Kong
- Kuwait City
- Mexico City
- New Delhi
- Quebec City
- San Marino
- Vatican City
co- Retain the hyphen when forming nouns, adjectives and verbs that indicate status. co-author, co-chair, co-owner. Do not use a hyphen for other combinations. Coed, coexist.
composition titles For titles of books, video games, movies, operas, plays, poems, songs, television programs and lectures, speeches and works of art, capitalize the first word and principal words, and place in quotations. “Gone With the Wind,” “Of Mice and Men” and “House of Cards.”
em dash Use to denote an abrupt change in thought. Smith offered a plan — it was unprecedented — to raise revenues. Create a dash within text using — Ctrl + Alt + - (dash on keypad). A dash should be preceded and followed by a space.
dean Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name. Dean Dan Miller. Lowercase in other uses. Andrew Kilpatrick, dean of first-year students; the dean.
dean’s list lowercase in all uses.
doctor Use Dr. in first reference before the name of an individual who holds a doctor of dental surgery, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy or doctor of podiatric medicine. Dr. Jonas Salk. Do not use before the name of an individual who holds only an honorary doctorate.
emeritus Used to denote that individuals who have retired retain their rank or title. Place emeritus after the formal title. Professor Emeritus of History and Dean Emeritus of Lycoming College, the Rev. Dr. John F. Piper, Jr. Or the Rev. Dr. John F. Piper, professor emeritus of history and dean emeritus of Lycoming College.
first, last name Use an individual’s full name on first reference, and use last name only for all other references in a single article.
graduation years In text or class notes, use only the last two digits of the graduation year, preceded by an apostrophe. Do not put the graduation year in parentheses. ’86
honorary degrees All references to an honorary degree should specify that the degree was honorary. Robert Shangraw ’58, H’04. Do not use Dr. before the name of an individual whose only doctorate is honorary. an honorary doctor of laws degree
Inc. Capitalize and abbreviate, but do not set off with commas.
internet Do not capitalize.
Lycoming College, the College Capitalize College when using in reference to Lycoming College only.
Lycoming College Alumni Association Do not capitalize when alone. alumni association
Lycoming College Board of Trustees Do not capitalize when alone. board of trustees
magazine names Capitalize and italicize but do not place in quotes. Lowercase magazine unless it is part of the publication’s formal title. Harper’s Magazine, Time magazine
married/maiden names Include maiden name in parentheses after first name and before married name when using in text or class notes. Jennifer (Smith) Wilkes ’96
months Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone. When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas. January 1972 was a cold month. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month. His birthday is May 8, 1987.
non- In general, do not use a hyphen. Nonprofit. Use a hyphen before proper nouns or in awkward combinations. Non-nuclear.
numerals Spell out a numeral at the beginning of a sentence, unless it is a calendar year. Spell out whole numbers below 10, use figures for 10 and above.
Oxford comma Lycoming publications do not use the Oxford comma or the serial comma. For example, a list of three buildings on campus should be punctuated as Long Hall, Honors Hall and Clarke Chapel.
periodicals Italicize the names of newspapers and magazines. Capitalize the in a newspaper’s name if that is the way the publication prefers to be known. Do not place in quotes. The New York Times
President Kent Trachte Use President Kent Trachte on first reference, Trachte on all other references in the same article.
religious titles The first reference to a member of the clergy should include a capitalized title before the individual’s name. the Rev. or the Rev. Dr.
Rev. When this description is used before an individual’s name, precede it with the word “the”.
state names Spell out the names of U.S. states when they stand alone. The following states do not get abbreviated in text: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. Use these abbreviations when the state is followed by a city:
theater Use this spelling unless the proper name is Theatre.
titles Lowercase and spell out titles when they are not used with an individual’s name. The president issued a statement. Capitalize when formal title is used directly before an individual’s name. President Trachte issued a statement.
U.S. Used as an adjective, but not as a noun, for United States
Warriors Capitalize when using in reference to Lycoming College sports teams and students.
Washington, D.C., Use the District on second reference.
web Do not capitalize.
website All one word. Do not capitalize.
Please use the following standard proofreaders’ marks to identify and remedy problems in text.