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Writing Style Guide

Goal: 
To communicate clearly and effectively in Lehigh's publications and Web sites.  

Purpose:  
This style guide seeks to help Lehigh's writers and editors, including freelancers, achieve consistency in the way they use grammar and punctuation. For general (non-Lehigh) usage, writers and editors follow the rules and guidelines of the Associated Press Stylebook.  

Academic and administrative titles:  

Use the full title when first referring to a person. This first reference should consist of the person's name followed by his or her title. Use a comma before and after the title. Use lowercase in most cases, except when the discipline is a proper noun.

  • Correct: Xiaolei Huang, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, gave a lecture.
  • Correct: John Smith, professor of English, received a grant.
  • Correct: Alan J. Snyder, vice president for research and graduate studies, gave a talk.
  • Correct: Daniel Lopresti, chair of the department of computer science and engineering
  • Incorrect: Assistant professor of computer science and engineering Xiaolei Huang gave a lecture.
  • Incorrect: John Smith, Professor of English, received a grant.
  • Incorrect: Alan J. Snyder, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, gave a talk.

Capitalize the full title of an endowed chair or professorship.

  • Correct: Arup K. SenGupta, P.C. Rossin Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and professor of chemical engineering
  • Incorrect: Arup K. SenGupta, P.C. Rossin Professor of civil and environmental engineering and professor of chemical engineering

On second reference (in the body of a story), use only the person's last name. This applies to all persons. Do not use the terms Dr. or Prof.

  • Correct: Huang gave credit to her students.
  • Incorrect: Prof. Huang gave credit to her students.
  • Correct: Gast gave a talk in China.
  • Incorrect: President Gast gave a talk in China.

In headlines, a formal title may precede a name. When it does, it should be capitalized. Some titles may be abbreviated; some may not.

  • Correct: In China, President Gast calls for understanding
  • Correct: In China, Gast calls for understanding
  • Correct: Prof. Li solves quantum error codes
  • Incorrect: In China, Pres. Gast calls for understanding

Use the correct preposition in titles.

  • Correct: John Coulter, associate dean for graduate studies and research in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Incorrect: John Coulter, associate dean of graduate studies and research in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

Names of offices and academic departments:

In general, these are not capitalized unless the discipline is a proper name.

  • Correct: the office of human resources, the office of career services, the department of history, the department of English
  • Exceptions: the Alumni Association, the University Art Galleries, the Zoellner Arts Center

Names of academic programs:

Same as for academic departments:

  • Correct: the bioengineering program, the biochemistry program, the American studies program, the Africana studies program

Names of colleges:

These are capitalized.

  • Correct: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education

Names of research centers and institutes:

These are capitalized. A center's acronym may be used on second reference if it is enclosed in parentheses immediately after its first use.

  • Correct: The Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (CAMN) received a large grant. CAMN researchers will use the grant to purchase equipment.

In some cases, the sequence may be reversed.

  • Correct: the ATLSS (Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems) Center  

The university board of trustees:

Is lowercase

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