Writing Style Guide

Goal  

To communicate clearly and effectively in Lehigh's publications and websites.

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: Simon gave a talk in China.
  • Incorrect: President Simon 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 Simon calls for understanding
  • Correct: In China, Simon calls for understanding
  • Correct: Prof. Li solves quantum error codes
  • Incorrect: In China, Pres. Simon 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