Style Guide

Lincoln Memorial University Style Manual

Consistency of writing style and design is important to Lincoln Memorial University.  Our guidelines for capitalization, abbreviation, punctuation, use of titles and other issues of style come from a few sources.  The general guide is The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual.   Do not apply these guidelines to technical or academic writing.  Other sources can help you with this specialized kind of writing.


Use abbreviations/acronyms sparingly in correspondence or in text material; in all cases, spell out any word whose meaning may be clouded by using abbreviations or acronyms.

In first reference, spell out the name of an organization that may be abbreviated in subsequent references.  Also in first reference, identify in parentheses the abbreviation/acronym to be used later.

  • Examples:  Lincoln Memorial University (LMU)*; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS); Student Government Association (SGA); Cumberland Mountain Research Center (CMRC)
  • Exception:  YMCA and similar acronyms that are more widely used than the words they represent should not be spelled out.

*Do not shorten to Lincoln or Lincoln Memorial.

When referring to the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in external communication, on first reference it should be Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM).  Subsequent references should be LMU-DCOM.  Internally, the reference can be DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (DCOM).

When referring to the Duncan School of Law in external communication, on first reference it should be Lincoln Memorial University-John J. Duncan, Jr., School of Law (LMU-DSOL).  Subsequent references should be LMU-DSOL.  Internally, the reference can be Duncan School of Law (DSOL).

Use capital letters but omit periods and spaces when abbreviating names or using acronyms of familiar organizations or terms such as those cited above.

Write the abbreviation for academic titles without periods.

  • Examples:  PhD, MA, EdS, MBA

In general, periods are not used in abbreviations of professional certifications.

  • Examples:  RRT, CNM, FACOG

Abbreviate most titles which precede names, but spell out titles which follow names.

  • Examples:  Dr. John R. Jones, president of Lincoln Memorial University, was the featured speaker.

Dr. Sally Q. Public, professor of nursing, is also dean of the School of Nursing.

When abbreviating class years, use an apostrophe instead of a prefix.

  • Example:  Bill S. Smith, ‘77

For time, use a.m. or p.m.  Do not use zeros for the hour in text.

  • Example:  The meeting is at 9 a.m. The bus stops here between 3 and 3:30 p.m. Use “noon” and “midnight” instead of “12 p.m.” and “12 a.m.”



Capitalize official names of academic departments, administrative divisions, names of offices when used in their entirety and names of committees, but avoid excessive capitalization.

  • Examples:  Board of Trustees; the board

Office of Admissions; the admissions office

Department of Humanities; humanities department

Exception:  Lincoln Memorial University; the University

Capitalize names of degrees except when they are used in general terms.

  • Examples:  Bachelor of Science; bachelor’s degree in biology

Master of Business Administration; master’s degree in business administration

Capitalize the subject area if it is part of the actual title of the degree.

  • Example:  Master of Science in Nursing

Capitalize titles when they precede names, but use lower case with titles that follow names.

  • Examples:  This is the office of Carol Adams, a vice president of the University.

Meet Professor Bob Reynolds, a member of the graduate faculty.

The men’s basketball team is under the direction of Coach John Smith.

The women’s basketball team is coached by Sally Jones.

Capitalize the important words, and always the first word, in titles of literary and musical works.  Words that should remain lower case are usually articles, conjunctions and short prepositions.

  • Examples:  Gone with the Wind

Phantom of the Opera

Capitalize direction of specific locations, but use lower case if the directional reference is general.

  • Example:  Lincoln Memorial University, located in northeastern Tennessee, is one of several small, private colleges in the Southeast.

Use lower case with seasons of the year unless they refer to a specific academic term.

  • Examples:  Classes for the Fall 2009 semester will begin in August.

We will begin classes at a new site this fall.


Use figures for numbers 10 or above and spell out lower numbers.  (In formal manuscripts, it is correct to spell out numbers between one and 100).  Always spell out a number that introduces a sentence.

  • Examples:  There are nine students enrolled in my class.

She drives 20 miles to and from campus every day.

Five students were absent today.


Add s to form the plural of figures.

  • Example:  This program began at LMU in the 1980s.

Add es to nouns and proper nouns which end in s.  When a proper noun ends in an “s” with a hard “z” sound, do not add any ending to form the plural.

  • Examples:  The hostesses are busy with the guest list.

The Thomases spent two months in England.

The Chambers are coming to dinner.

The following list includes some unusual plural forms which are likely to be used on a college campus:

  • Examples:

Thesis becomes theses

Hypothesis becomes hypotheses

Alumna becomes alumnae (female)

Alumnus becomes alumni (male)

Criterion becomes criteria

Medium becomes media

Datum becomes data

Curriculum becomes curricula

Symposium becomes symposia

Memorandum becomes memorandums or memoranda

Syllabus becomes syllabi


To form the possessive of a singular noun, including the possessive of a proper name,

add ’s.

  • Example:  Dr. Smith’s class met today.

Add ’s to form the possessive of a plural noun which does not end in s.

  • Example:  My children’s friends came to the party.

The men’s team will play today.

If two or more names show joint ownership, the last name mentioned receives the possessive form.  If two or more names show separate ownership, both names receive the possessive form.

  • Examples:  We attended Sue and Bill’s party.

Sue’s and Bill’s cars were damaged in the accident.



Use a colon to introduce a formal statement or an extract.

  • Examples:  In summary, the plan is this:
  • I quote from the commencement speaker:  “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Use a colon to introduce a series if the preceding clause can stand as a sentence, but omit the colon following a verb.

  • Examples:  Three new colors were added to the choices:  green, purple and orange.

The three new color choices are green, purple and orange.

Use a colon after the salutation in a business letter, between the figures representing hours and minutes of time and between place of publication and the publisher.

  • Examples:  Dear Dr. Moody:

9:30 a.m.

Chapel Hill:  Algonquin, 1988


Use a comma between the day of the month and the year, but omit the comma if only the month and year are indicated.

  • Examples:  January 20, 2005, but January 2005

Also omit the comma between the season and the year.

  • Example: Fall 2004

Use a comma before the conjunction in a compound sentence.

  • Example:  Dr. Jones taught the class, and Mrs. Smith monitored the exam.

Use a comma after an introductory adverb clause and after an introductory verbal phrase.

  • Examples:  As we get older, we become wiser.

Since it was raining, she stayed indoors.

Speaking softly, Dr. Spencer addressed the anxious audience.

Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction.

  • Example:  Our school colors are navy, gray and white.

Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction.

  • Example:  LMU hosts a museum, college preparatory school, preschool, television and radio stations, and a nature preserve.

In general, when in doubt, leave it out.


Use dashes in a sentence to set off a break in thought.

  • Example:  The influence of her professors–Drs. Smith, Adams, Jones and Holly–could be seen in her reaction.


Use hyphens sparingly, but use them to avoid confusion.

  • Examples:  nondiscriminatory policy

Re-create (to create again)

Generally speaking, use a hyphen when a prefix ends in the same vowel that begins the word that follows.

  • Example:  re-evaluate

Exception:  cooperative education

Use a hyphen in a compound modifier when it precedes a noun, unless the modifier ends in ly.

  • Example:  More than seventy percent of the full-time faculty have earned doctoral degrees.

Do not combine a preposition with a hyphen.

  • Example:  Christmas break will be from December 23 through January 2.

Christmas break will be December 23-January 2.

Do not hyphenate the title vice president.

Do not use hyphens where dashes should be used.


Always use commas and periods inside quotation marks.

  • Example:  Her students read “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

Other punctuation marks go within quotes only when they apply to the quoted matter.

  • Example:  Did you enjoy reading “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”?


Styles Specific to Lincoln Memorial University

  • Teaching sites at locations other than Harrogate are referred to as extended campus sites, not off-campus sites.
  • Buildings that house students are residence halls, not dormitories.
  • Meals are served in the University dining hall, not cafeteria.
  • Faculty members who are not full-time employees are adjunct faculty, not part-time faculty.
  • Use email, not E-mail, Email or e-mail.
  • Use website, not Website or Web site.

Buildings and Other Locations

The proper names of the academic, administrative and residential buildings, as well as other campus locations should be used in all official publications, documents and correspondence from the University.

    • Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum
    • Amphitheatre
    • Annan Courts (tennis)
    • Avery Hall
    • Annan Natatorium (swimming pool)
    • Bluebird (art building)
    • Business-Education Building
    • Elizabeth D. Chinnock Chapel
    • Byram Hall
    • Cumberland Mountain Research Center
    • DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine
    • Democrat Hollow
    • Dishner Hall
    • Dorothy Neely Field (softball)
    • Duke Hall of Citizenship
    • Farr-Chinnock Hall
    • Grant-Lee Hall
    • Harold M. Finley Learning Resources Center (houses the Carnegie Vincent Library)
    • DAR-Whitford Hall (houses the J. Frank White Academy)
    • Kresge Hall
    • LaFrentz-Poole Hall
    • Lamar Hennon Field (baseball)
    • Langley Hall
    • McClelland Hall
    • Mary Mars Gymnasium
    • Mitchell Hall
    • Phillips Center for Veterinary Technology
    • Pope Hall
    • Robertson House
    • Schenck Center
    • Shelton Hall
    • Sigmon Communications Center
    • Sigmon House (alumni house)
    • Springhouse
    • Student Center (houses the Stopinski Campus Center, Sodexho Bookstore, Splitter’s Lounge, the Lincoln Dining Room and the campus dining hall)
    • Tex Turner Arena
    • University Inn Apartments

LMU Brand

All Lincoln Memorial University communications should follow LMU graphic standards. Using the recommended colors and logos gives all LMU communication efforts a successful, timeless brand identity. Most importantly, consistency across all LMU communications fosters a sense of familiarity and confidence in the University’s diverse audience.

Because the graphic identity of an organization reflects its goals and objectives, it is essential that its integrity is protected. Everyone involved benefits when the identity is applied consistently to convey one clear message.

Lincoln Memorial University’s Seal, Logos and Wordmarks

LMU’s school seal is the official “symbol” of the University and should be used formally on college-wide event programs, documents, diplomas, certificates and programs for official functions (convocations, commencement, etc.). The seal may be printed in the University color, PMS 288 blue, or black, or it may “reverse out” to white onto any color. The seal may not be manipulated or changed in any way.

The Lincoln Memorial University logos/wordmarks are the official identifiers for the University.  One should be prominent on every project that represents the University and should always be reproduced from authorized artwork, which is available from the director of marketing or the director of publications. The logos/wordmarks should be legible and must be in an area of isolation that is clear of other elements, either typographic or graphic. The logos/wordmarks may not be manipulated or changed in any way. As with the seal, the logos/workmarks may be printed in the University colors, PMS 288 blue and 421 gray, or black, or it may “reverse out” to white onto any color. Use of departmental or other individualized logos is strongly discouraged and must always be approved by the director of marketing. Using the logos/wordmarks, the University has adopted consistent specifications for letterheads, envelopes, business cards and other components of LMU’s official stationery program.  When in doubt about the use of logos/woodmarks, contact the director of marketing or the director of publications.

The interlocking LMU letters is also an acceptable logo to be used when the above is deemed less appropriate (e.g., for athletic team identification).



The University is currently using the following tagline:


This is derived from the University’s mission statement and is used to enhance the essence of Lincoln Memorial University.

Example of use:


All University publications must contain this tagline.


Use of Colors

The University’s colors are blue (PMS 288) and gray (PMS 421).  Red may be used as an accent color only.  When in doubt, please consult the director of marketing or the director of publications for clearance.


Address and Web Address
The following information should be included on every publication: address (6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway, Harrogate, TN  37752), web address (  Always list a contact telephone number or the main telephone number (423.869.3611).

Identity and Accreditation Statements

When possible, use this brief statement to identify the university in public documents:

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies.

Public documents and promotions (e.g., posters, brochures, etc.) must include the following statement in some format:

Lincoln Memorial University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lincoln Memorial University.

Statement of Nondiscrimination:  The following statement of nondiscrimination should be used in appropriate publications and accreditation reports:


In support of the Mission Statement and the principles on which it is based, Lincoln Memorial University is committed to equal opportunity for all students, staff and faculty and to nondiscrimination in the recruitment, admission and retention of students and the recruitment, hiring, promotion and retention of faculty and staff.

Lincoln Memorial University reaffirms its commitment to personnel and educational policies that comply with the requirement applicable to equal opportunity/affirmative action laws, directives, executive orders and regulations to the effect that no person at Lincoln Memorial University shall, on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, ethnic/national origin, gender, military status, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other class protected by applicable law, be excluded from participating in, or be denied benefits of, any employment or educational opportunity.


Website Development

The director of publications/webmaster administers the University’s presence on the World Wide Web.  All websites must be cleared through the webmaster before they are launched on the University’s site.  Please consult with the webmaster for assistance.


Business Cards

Business cards must be purchased through the director of publications.  Employees should complete an intracampus expense form signed by the appropriate department head and send it to the director of purchasing for approval.  Information for the cards can be attached to the intracampus expense form or sent directly to the director of publications by email.

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