Style Guide

Lynchburg College uses the University of Chicago Manual of Style as its official style guide.

The web version is available at http://www.press.uchicago.edu; go to the site and click on the manual on the left-hand side of the screen for answers to grammatical, punctuation, and other questions not addressed below.

See also our style guide supplement for online content.

Abbreviations

1. Appropriate abbreviations:

  • The name of the College as LC (not L.C.)
  • Academic degrees updated 10/2012 to reflect the current Chicago style (no periods)
    Academic degrees as follows:
    • BA (bachelor of arts)
    • BS (bachelor of science)
    • MA (master of arts)
    • MEd (master of education)
    • MBA (master of business administration)
    • MAc (master of accountancy)
    • MAd (master of administration)
    • MAT (master of arts in teaching)
    • PhD (doctor of philosophy)
    • EdD (doctor of education)
    • DPT (doctor of physical therapy)
  • Names of states when they follow names of cities: Lynchburg, Va. (Do NOT use "VA" except on address panel of an envelope.)
  • Hours of the day: 7 p.m. (not 7:00 p.m.)
  • Titles such as Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr., the Rev. (The Rev. when addressing a letter)
  • All other titles only when the first name or initials are used, as in Gov. E.B. Jones
  • Names of months and days of the week when they are used in tables: Jan., Wed., etc.

2. Do not abbreviate the following:

  • The word percent, except in tabulations (Do use, however, numbers for actual percentage, i.e., 80 percent and 5 percent)
  • Christian names
  • Names of centuries
  • Years, except when referring to college classes (as in Jane Doe '95)
  • Names of cities
  • Days of the week or months of the year when used in text
  • Professor to prof and other colloquialisms, except before a full name.

3. States: Use state postal abbreviations ONLY on address panels of envelopes and postcards. Use appropriate state abbreviations (below) in all other instances.

Postal Code Abbreviation Postal Code Abbreviation
AK
AL
AR
AZ
CA
CO
CT
DC
DE
FL
GA
GU
HI
IA
ID
IL
IN
KS
KY
LA
MA
MD
ME
MI
MN
MO
MS
Alaska or Alas.
Ala.
Ark.
Ariz.
Calif.
Colo.
Conn.
D.C.
Del.
Fla.
Ga.
Guam
Hawaii
Iowa
Idaho
Ill.
Ind.
Kans.
Ky.
La.
Mass.
Md.
Maine
Mich.
Minn.
Mo.
Miss.
MT
NC
ND
NE
NH
NJ
NM
NV
NY
OH
OK
OR
PA
PR
RI
SC
SD
TN
TX
UT
VA
VT
WA
WI
WV
WY
Mont.
N.C.
N.Dak.
Neb. or Nebr.
N.H.
N.J.
N.Mex.
Nev.
N.Y.
Ohio
Okla.
Ore. or Oreg.
Pa.
P.R. or Puerto Rico
R.I.
S.C.
S.Dak.
Tenn.
Tex.
Utah
Va.
Vt.
Wash.
Wis. or Wisc.
W.Va.
Wyo.

Capitalization

1. Capitalize the following:

  • The proper name of a program: History Department
  • Civil, military, religious, and professional titles and titles of nobility when they precede a personal name, as in President Garren or Queen Elizabeth, but not when they are used in apposition, as in Dr. Garren, president of Lynchburg College
  • Names of political parties (Democratic Party), religious denomination (Baptists), and religious orders (Franciscan Monks)
  • Names of races (Caucasian, Mongol), nationalities (French, English, American), athletic teams (Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics), and clubs (Young Democrats, Young Republicans)
  • Months (May, August), days (Monday, Friday)
  • Directions when used to denote national subdivisions (the South, the Northeast)
  • Political and geographical divisions and regions when used as nouns
  • First and principal words in titles of plays, books, etc.
  • Abbreviations of college degrees
  • Negro but not black
  • Caucasian but not white

2. Do not capitalize the following:

  • College degrees or honors when spelled out unless they follow a proper noun: John Doe, Doctor of Law
  • Names of college classes: freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior
  • Titles when they follow a proper noun: Kenneth Garren, president of the College
  • Points of the compass (north, south, northwest, etc.)
  • The word former when it precedes a title
  • The abbreviations a.m. and p.m.
  • Names of studies, except languages: biology and French
  • Scientific names of plants and animals
  • Seasons of the year (fall, spring)
  • Titles when they follow a name: John Jones, chief botanist
  • Titles in lists of officers

Figures

  • Avoid unnecessary zeros: 9 a.m., not 9:00 a.m.; $10 not $10.00
  • Telephone numbers: 804.544.8300, not (804)544-8300 or 804-544-8300; 800.661.1669, not 1-800-661-1669 or (800)661-1669

Honorary Degrees

  • All persons who have been awarded honorary degrees may use the title "Dr." before their proper name.
  • It is not necessary to use the term "honorary" with the word "degree." For example, "Dr. Jones was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Lynchburg College." Do not write, "Dr. Jones was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Lynchburg College."
  • The title "Dr." may not be used with another title unless the doctorate is earned, not honorary: "The Rev. Dr. John Jones" (earned doctorate) or "The Rev. John Jones (honorary doctorate)

Invitations

  • When addressee is/are:
    • Husband and wife: Mr. and Mrs. John Jones
    • When wife has kept her own name: Mr. John Jones and Ms. Jane Doe
    • When wife has a title and husband does not: Mr. John Jones and Dr. Jane Jones (or Doe)
    • When both are doctors: The Doctors Jones or Dr. John Jones and Dr. Jane Jones (or Doe)

Italics

  • Italicize the names/titles of books, journals, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, movies, plays, and paintings. Italicize the word "The" only if it is part of the proper name. The titles of articles and chapters appearing in magazines, books, etc. appear in quotation marks.

Listing of Class Years

  • Undergraduate degree: Jane Doe '99 (no comma between graduate's last name and class year)
  • Graduate degree: Jane Doe '99 MEd (no comma between last name and class year; class year also precedes type of graduate degree earned)
  • Undergraduate and graduate degrees from Lynchburg College: Jan Doe '96, '99 MEd (comma only between the two degrees)
  • Undergraduate degree and multiple graduate degrees from Lynchburg College: Jane Doe '94, '96 MEd, '98 EdS
  • Honorary Alumnus/Alumna: listed as Jane Joe, Honorary Alumna or John Doe, Honorary Alumnus (year that the honorary degree was awarded is not listed)

Punctuation

Comma

  • Use a comma before the conjunction in a series (except when writing in journalistic style): Jane had books with red, blue, yellow, and green covers.
  • Do not use a comma before Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.: Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Do not use a comma between the month and year, as in January 2001; do use a comma, however, to set off the year if it follows a month and day, as in June 30, 2001
  • Use a comma to set off parenthetical information: Jane Joe, our personnel manager, will help you complete the form.

Quotation Marks

  • Commas and periods are always placed inside quotes.
  • Semi-colons and colons are placed outside quotes.
  • A question mark is placed outside quotes if it is not appropriate for the material within the quotations: Was the box labeled "This Side Up"?
  • A question mark is placed inside quotes if it is part of the material quoted: She asked the question, "Who wants to go?"

Apostrophes

  • Use an apostrophe to make plurals of letters but not of figures: four A's and early 1940s.
  • Use to indicate possession but do not use with possessive nouns: John's name, his name, its name

Titles of Persons

  • Retired Officers: Col. and Mrs. John Doe, USAF, Ret. or Col. John Doe, USAF (USMC, USN, USA, ANG), Ret.
  • Retired Faculty: Retired faculty with emeritus status (whether male or female) are listed with their status as of retirement (professor, associate professor, assistant professor) plus the word "emeritus" as follows: professor emeritus of biology (not professor of biology emeritus)
  • Dean of the College (not Academic Dean or Dean)

Last updated 10/8/2012