Editorial Style Guide
Acronyms can be useful when a title is
long and cumbersome. However, it is essential for the reader to
clearly understand what the acronym means. When using acronyms,
the name of the group, organization, building, etc. should be
spelled out on first reference followed by the acronym in
parentheses. The acronym may then be used on second reference
and thereafter. Periods are generally not used, since most
acronyms use only the initials of each word. Overall, avoid
using too many acronyms at once, and never change or alternate
the acronym that is formally used by a group. When possible,
use the main identifying noun on second reference and
thereafter. (See the second example below.)
Center for Academic Success & Enrichment (CASE) offers tutoring
services for Lewis students. CASE provides many other services
The Student Recreation and Fitness Center is free to all students.
The center offers a number of amenities.
Some organizations and government agencies
are widely recognized by their initials: CIA, FBI, FAA.
However, as a general measure, it is always helpful to spell
out these organization names on the first reference to avoid
any confusion. In some instances, you may find that the same
acronym may be used by another organization.
(Mailing Address vs. Running Text) below. Also see Mailing Addresses.
States (Mailing Address vs. Running Text)
When writing a name of a state for mailing
purposes, such as when listing a Lewis University address, it
is acceptable to use the two-letter state codes designated by
the U.S. Postal Service. For example, IL for Illinois
would be correct. This abbreviation should not be followed by
period. The correct use of the University mailing address for
the Romeoville main campus is shown immediately below:
One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446
In running text, use the abbreviations set out by the Associated
Press when the name of a state is used in conjunction with the
name of a city, county, town, village or military base. An example
of this might be location information included in a press release
or in publications:
Lewis University is located in Romeoville,
Ill., just southwest of Chicago. When used alone, all states
should be spelled out.
Associated Press abbreviations for each state are:
Never abbreviate Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio,
Texas and Utah when written in text.
For more information on mailing standards, see the Mailing
With regard to addresses, use abbreviations of Ave., Blvd., and
St. only with numbered addresses.
Example: 1400 Richmont Ave.
An exception to this rule is when addresses are included in very
formal publications, such as in invitations. Then, all such descriptors
should be spelled out.
Spell out also when used alone or with more than one street name.
All similar words (drive, road, terrace, parkway, etc.) are always
spelled out. In running text, use the abbreviations set out by
the Associated Press when the name of a state is used in conjunction
with the name of a city, county, town, village or military base.
An example of this might be location information included in a
press release or in publications: Lewis University is located in
Romeoville, Ill., just southwest of Chicago. When used alone, all
states should be spelled out.
Abbreviate the following titles when they precede a name and are
written outside direct quotations: Dr., Mr., Mrs., Gov., Lt.
Gov., Rep., Sen., and all military titles. The plural use of these titles
is also abbreviated when used before more than one name, such as
Drs., Reps., Sens., and Govs. Spell out these titles when included
in a direct quote or when used without a name.
Academic titles such as professor, chairperson, and dean should
be spelled out. Academic degrees should be spelled out on first
reference whenever possible, unless the need to identify individuals
by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome.
Degrees may be abbreviated thereafter as long as it is clear to
the reader what these abbreviations mean. If needed, the abbreviation
can be included in parentheses after the degree. However, this
should be done on first reference only.
Lewis University offers a bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree
The Director of Public Relations holds a
B.A. in this field of study.
Most academic degrees include periods after the initials such
as B.A., M.A., Ph.D. and Ed.D. However, at Lewis University, the
abbreviations of MBA (master of business administration), BSN (bachelor
of science in nursing), MSN (master of science in nursing) and
RN (registered nurse) do not include periods because they are more
commonly used and widely accepted in this form. Periods, however,
may be included for consistency when part of a larger list in which
other degrees require periods.
See first paragraph of this section.
The religious titles of Brother,
Sister, Cardinal, Archbishop and Bishop should be spelled out.
The title of Reverend should
also be spelled out on first reference. On second reference, if
used along with the person’s name, Rev. is the preferred
style. Reverend should not be abbreviated when used by itself.
Reverend George Simpson spoke informally with members
of the faculty. Rev. Simpson later gave an address to the Lewis
community. The reverend is a long-time resident of Joliet.
Following the first reference, religious titles may be used before
the person’s name as a courtesy. However, the person’s
last name may also be used alone on second reference and thereafter
Related Rules (Regarding Titles/Degrees)
The title of Dr. should not be used in conjunction with Ph.D.,
Ed.D or other academic degrees. Use one or the other. However,
academic degrees can be used after the names of individuals who
hold religious titles.
Correct: Sister Stacey Walton, Ph.D.
Incorrect: Dr. Kevin Carmichael,
Academic degrees should be used only once (usually on first reference)
in conjunction with the person’s full name. The title of
Dr. as well as most religious titles (Sister, Reverend, etc.)
may be used on all references as a form of courtesy, but is not
required after the first reference. The last name of the person
may be used alone on second reference if deemed appropriate.
Sister Stacey Walton, Ph.D., spoke to the crowd. Walton,
a professor of physics, addressed the recent curriculum changes.
At Lewis University, the religious title of Brother is an exception
to the above rule. See Brother under Editorial
When using the title of Dr. in materials for public/media distribution,
it is important to identify early on the person’s credentials,
i.e. whether he or she is a doctor of medicine or holds a doctoral
degree in specific areas of study. Often, including a person’s
official occupational title will help to clarify this matter.
To further clarify, information about the person’s educational/occupational
background can be included where appropriate.
Family Lineage (Junior, Senior)
Abbreviate junior (Jr.) and senior (Sr.) only with full names
of persons as it refers to that individual’s family lineage.
This abbreviation should be preceded by a comma.
Example: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The notation II or 2nd may be used if it is the person’s
preference. Note, however, that II and 2nd are not necessarily
the equivalent of junior. They are often used by a grandson or
nephew. II or 2nd are not preceded by a comma.
See Omitted Figures under Apostrophe
in the Punctuation section.
Abbreviate the word Saint as St. in the names of saints, cities
and other geographic locations, with the exception of the founder
of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Saint John Baptist de La
Example: St. Lawrence Seaway
Use a.m. and p.m. in conjunction with specific times.
Incorrect: Early this a.m., he went to the doctor.
this morning, he went to the doctor.
Correct: At 8: 30 a.m., he went
to the doctor.
See Time under Editorial
See Time Zones under Editorial
This abbreviation for television is acceptable as an adjective
or in such constructions as cable TV. But it generally should not
be used as a noun unless part of a quotation.
United Nations, U.N.
Spell out United Nations when used as a noun. Use the abbreviation
U.N. (no spaces) only as an adjective, and only when the acronym
United States, U.S.
Spell out United States when used as a noun. Use the abbreviation
U.S. (no spaces) only as an adjective.
Do not abbreviate
Abbreviate as vs. in all uses, except when spelled out as part
of a formal title or as part of quoted material.
Spell out the word Christmas. Do not use forms of abbreviation
such X-mas or Xmas.
Spell out names of cities (Los Angeles, not L.A.), unless in direct
Spell out the names of countries other than U.S.A.
U.S., referring to the United States, may only be used as an adjective.
Example: U.S. currency
Days of the Week
Capitalize the days of the week.
Do not abbreviate them except when used in tables where space limitations
to be used for the days of the week are Mon., Tues., Wed.,
Thurs., Fri., Sat., and Sun. If additional abbreviation is needed due to
space constraints, tabular format may be used where periods are
removed and Tues. may be abbreviated further to Tue and Thurs.
to Thu to facilitate composition.
Do not abbreviate parts of geographic
names such as Fort Wayne and South Dakota. However,
cities and other geographic locations
that include the word Saint may use St. as an
abbreviation for this word. See Saint above.
Never abbreviate Lewis University, in any reference. Lewis or
the University may be used on second reference. When at all possible,
Lewis University should be kept on the same line in running text.
University should always be capitalized when referring to Lewis
Lewis University Logos and Seal
See the Graphic
Lewis University’s Address
the University’s address:
The numerical designation One should always be spelled out as
well as University and Parkway.
Months Without Dates/Years Only
Names of months without a specific date, or with a year alone
should be spelled out. When a month is used with a specific date,
abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell
out all other months.
January 1967 was a cold month.
12, 1967 was a snowy day.
Do not abbreviate the word percent. In scientific, technical and
statistical copy, use the symbol %. In all other copy, spell out.
Never use pct.
Do not abbreviate the words association, institute,
Lasallian, and Catholic. Saint should not be abbreviated when referring to
the founder of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Saint John Baptist
de La Salle.
As a general rule when in doubt, spell it out. It
is always better to be clear than to leave the reader wondering
what a certain abbreviation