ATSU styleguide

The following information is held as the standard for all internal and external A.T. Still University publications. This includes all of ATSU’s magazines, brochures, other printed pieces, and websites.

Communication & Marketing recommends the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook for questions on style, grammar, and usage. ATSU Styleguide supplements the AP Stylebook. In instances where there is a contradiction between the two manuals, this document takes precedence. In addition, questions related specifically to ATSU are addressed herein. If an entry is not included in this guide, check the current AP Stylebook.

As this manual is meant to be a guide, exceptions to the rules are possible. Call Communication & Marketing with your questions or comments at ext. 2272 in Missouri and ext. 8097 in Arizona.
Items preceded by * follow guidelines provided by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).


Lowercase with periods. Use a space between the number and a.m. or p.m. (e.g., 9:00 a.m.).

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A.T. Still

Use A.T. Still, DO, when referring to the “founder of osteopathic medicine.” Do not put a space between the A. and T.

A.T. Still Memorial Library

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences

Upon first reference to the University in external publications, spell out A.T. Still University of Health Sciences; thereafter, use ATSU. When referring to a specific college or school, use the following on first reference:


It is not necessary to put school abbreviations in parentheses in an internal publication. Simply spell out the school name on first reference and use the abbreviation thereafter. See also college/schools of A.T. Still University.

ATSU Gutensohn Clinic

ATSU student

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See AP Stylebook for state abbreviations. On first reference to an institution, spell out the full name with the acronym or abbreviation following in parentheses: American Osteopathic Association (AOA). After that, all further abbreviations/acronyms can stand alone.

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academic degrees

Do not use periods between initials for degrees or certificates. If an individual holds more than one degree, these degrees should be listed in descending order of importance, with degrees before certificates. See AP Stylebook for more details. Lowercase names of degrees in body of text.


academic titles

On first reference to an individual with an academic degree/title, state the abbreviated degree/title after the name, with a comma following the abbreviation. If the individual is a doctor, refer to him/her as Dr. X in subsequent references. If the individual is not a doctor, use the last name only. See also names/titles.



A woman who has attended a school


Women who have attended a school


Men and women who have attended a school. When referring to alumni, regardless of program, indicate class year with an apostrophe. See graduation year. If necessary to distinguish alumni by school in addition to degree, include the school name after graduation year and set off with commas.



man who has attended a school

American Indian

Preferred use is American Indian not Native American.

Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ASDOH)

Always use an ampersand (&) instead of “and.”

Arizona School of Health Sciences (ASHS)

board members

Capitalize only when referring to a specific board and as part of the official title.


Board of Trustees

Capitalize when referring to ATSU Board of Trustees. Lowercase on subsequent reference.


body, mind, and spirit

Preferred order

book titles

Book titles are placed in quotation marks except those that are primary catalogs of reference. See “composition titles” in AP Stylebook.




Use round bullets when listing items ( • ). Do not use an asterisk (*), hyphen, or other symbol.


For external publications use Kirksville, Missouri, campus or Mesa, Arizona, campus. For internal publications, simply Missouri and Arizona will work. Do not capitalize campus.



Always use “chair” instead of “chairwoman” or “chairman.”

city, state

When used in text, a comma should follow both the city and state. See also states.



Do not capitalize.


centers, clinics, and institutes

Capitalize the full, formal names of centers, clinics, institutes, etc. on first reference, and use lowercase on second reference or in informal usage.



Hyphenate. In instances where the word should be capitalized (at the beginning of a sentence or preceding the proper name of the co-chair), only the first “c” is capitalized.



Capitalize the word College when referring to KCOM or CGHS, but do not capitalize it when referring to another institution. See also university.


College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS)

Formerly named School of Health Management

colleges/schools of A.T. Still University

For external publications, when referring to a specific school within the University, always include the name A.T. Still University as part of the initial designation. For internal publications, the name of the college/school is all that is needed. Do not precede the name of a college/school with “the.” See also A.T. Still University.



When creating a form, colons are not needed before a line or blank. When using a colon, one space follows it. For other colon questions, see the AP Stylebook’s punctuation chapter.



Use commas to separate elements in a series, and place a comma before the conjunction.


commencement ceremony

Lowercase (informal), uppercase (formal)


The University uses the A.T. Still Memorial Library Copyright Guidelines, which state the laws of the “Digital Millennium Copyright Act” (DMCA) and the “Sony Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.” It also includes rules of thumb and frequently asked questions. The guidelines are located on the Portal or by contacting the A.T. Still Memorial Library.

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core professional attributes (CPAs)

Spell out on first reference, and use lowercase.


Proper names of courses are capitalized but not placed in quotation marks. Lowercase otherwise. Do not use course numbers.



Use DO after the last name upon first reference and Dr. prior to the name for all following references. Never use periods after the D and the O. This style also should be used for doctoral degrees, such as AuD, DDS, DHEd, DHSc, DMD, DPT, MD, and PhD. See academic titles.

*If a DO holds more than one professional degree, these degrees should be listed after the DO designation and appear in descending order of importance, with degrees before certificates. See doctor of osteopathic medicine.



A space precedes and follows each dash.



Do not abbreviate days of the week in body copy. Months (i.e., Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec.) should be abbreviated if accompanied by a day.



Capitalize a department name when directly referring to the department (e.g., He works in Microbiology.). Capitalize the word “Department” when it precedes the department name, and lowercase the word “department” if it follows the department name. A good rule of thumb is to avoid the use of “department” altogether, or use lowercase when informal and uppercase when formal or when needed for clarity.


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distance education

“Online education” is preferred.

distance learning

Refer to AP Stylebook.

*doctor of osteopathic medicine

Doctor of osteopathic medicine is the proper name for the degree granted by osteopathic medical schools in the United States and is represented by the acronym DO. Do not use doctor of osteopathy, which is an outdated term for the degree. DO also may be used in place of osteopathic physician.


Use when referring to more than one doctor.



For detailed instructions, refer to AP Stylebook. See also quotes (pull-out).

em dash/en dash

Refer to AP Stylebook.


No hyphen and lowercase


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Use with a singular verb when being used in the sense of a single group operating together in agreement; use the plural form if the noun is used to name a group operating as individuals or in disagreement.



In body copy, use the word fax, not facsimile, prior to writing the number. Always place periods instead of dashes between numbers. See also phone number (style).



Do not capitalize the word fellow unless it begins a sentence. Fellowships follow terminal degrees and do not have periods.



One word in all cases


general practice/general practitioner

In 1998, the terms “general practice” and “general practitioner” began to be phased out. Preferred terminology is now “family practice” and “family practitioner.” The term “family medicine” is often interchanged with “family practice.”

graduation year

When referring to 21st century graduates, use ’01, ’02, etc. to designate graduation year. When referring to 20th century graduates, from 1900-1919, use the full year to avoid confusion. Do not capitalize “class” when it accompanies the graduation year. See names/titles and alumni.


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If alumni have multiple degrees from ATSU with different graduation years, place each graduation year following its corresponding degree.


Only capitalize the first letter of the first word, unless proper nouns are used in the header or headline. Do not capitalize all words that comprise the header or headline.



One word

Honorable, the

Abbreviate Hon. when this description is used before an individual’s name, precede it with the word “the” because, unlike with Mr. and Mrs., Hon. represents an adjective, not a noun.

honorary degrees

All references to honorary degrees should specify that the degree was honorary. Do not use Dr. before the name of an individual whose only doctorate is honorary.


Do not use a space on either side of a hyphen. See a.m./p.m.


Use periods and no space when an individual uses initials instead of a first name. See A.T. Still.


Do not capitalize the word “intern” unless it begins a sentence.


The word “internet” should be lowercase. See AP Stylebook for additional information (revised June 2016).

journal titles

Journal titles should be capitalized and italicized.


Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM)

magazine titles

Magazine names should be capitalized and italicized.


mind, body, spirit

Preferred order is body, mind, spirit.

Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (MOSDOH)

Always use an ampersand (&) instead of “and.”


When including a numeric monetary amount, use decimal numbers only if the decimal amount is not .00. Also, if the amount is above $999, use a comma for clarification.


Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.

Refrain from use. The use of Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms. may result in an undesired or arbitrary assignment of gender (societal behaviors, roles, or expectations) determined solely on characteristics of sex (biological and/or physiological properties).

Museum of Osteopathic Medicine

Formerly named the Still National Osteopathic Museum.


On first reference for administration, faculty, and alumni, use first name, middle initial (if available), last name, degree, fellowship designation (if applicable), abbreviation of graduation year (if alum) using apostrophe, position, and department (e.g., John D. Smith, DO, FAAO, ’65, assistant professor, pathology). If necessary to distinguish alumni by ATSU school in addition to degree, include the school name after graduation year and set off with commas (e.g., John D. Smith, DO, FAAO, ’65, KCOM, … ). For those holding a doctoral degree, such as AuD, DDS, DHEd, DHSc, DMD, DO, DPT, MD, and PhD, “Dr.” should precede the name on subsequent references.

*If a doctor holds more than one professional degree, these degrees should be listed in descending order of importance, with degrees before certifications. See DO.


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Native American

Preferred usage is American Indian.


Spell out numbers less than 10. For numbers 10 or greater, use numerals. Do not use numerals (even if greater than 10) if the number begins a sentence. Plural numbers need no apostrophe. Avoid using “th” and “rd” after a date. Use numerals in tables, statistical material, for money, dates, clock time, proportions and ratios, sports scores, academic grades, percentages, and measurements. Spell out fractions that equal less than one, unless in a percentage. Ages are always a numeral. See AP stylebook for additional information.



See department.


Use as one word. Do not hyphenate or separate.

online education

Preferred to “distance education”

*osteopathic medicine

“Osteopathic medicine” is preferred to the word “osteopathy” when dealing with medical practice or medical education. However, when dealing with osteopathic tenets, beliefs, or principles, the term “osteopathy” should be used. Osteopathic medical colleges and hospitals should be referred to with their osteopathic identification, especially because some do not contain the word “osteopathic” in their names (e.g., Northeast Regional Medical Center, the founding osteopathic hospital).

*osteopathic physician

“Osteopathic physician” is the preferred terminology to “osteopath.”


Spell out the word “percent” when used in text. Use the % symbol when included in a chart. Use numerals (1 percent, 2.5 percent) and decimals, not fractions. For amounts less than 1 percent, precede the decimal with a zero (e.g., 0.6 percent). Always repeat the word “percent” with each individual figure.


phone number (style)

###.###.####, ext. ####

Always place periods instead of dashes between numbers. This style should also be used for toll-free numbers, such as 866.626.ATSU. No need to write “1,” “toll-free,” or “toll-free number” when listing such a number.



Refer to him or her as either “President of ATSU” or “ATSU President.” Always capitalize “president” when it occurs before a name, not if it occurs after or if it stands alone.


program names

Capitalize the program name when using with the word “program.” Lowercase in all other instances. Do not capitalize the word “program,” unless the word is part of the formal name.


quotes (pull-out)

When using a pull quote, place double quotes around the copy. If words are lifted mid-sentence, ellipses should appear before the quote, with quote marks before the ellipses. If ellipses are placed at the end of the sentence, there must be an ellipsis, a space, a period, and then the quotation mark. Attribute the quote to the correct individual by using a dash and the name at the end of the quote (after quotation marks). See AP Stylebook for clarification.



Do not capitalize the word “resident,” except at the beginning of a sentence.


As a general rule, and especially for works written in “news style,” use “said” or “says” when attributing quotes, and be consistent in usage. Do not use such words as states, claims, accuses, shouts, or believes.


Capitalize the word “school” when referring to ASDOH, SOMA, MOSDOH, or ASHS. Lowercase when referring to another institution. See also university and college.

schools/colleges of A.T. Still University

For external publications, when referring to a specific school within the University, always include the name A.T. Still University as part of the initial designation. For internal publications, the name of the college/school is all that is needed. See also A.T. Still University.


School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (SOMA)

space between sentences

Use only one space. Typewriters were mono-spaced, and therefore two spaces were necessary to visually separate sentences. However, computer-generated copy is proportional, making the extra space unnecessary.

St. Louis Dental Education and Oral Health Center

Use full name on first reference. St. Louis Dental Center may be used thereafter. Always use “and” instead of an ampersand (&).


Spell out names of states when they stand alone and after city names. Use ZIP code abbreviations when using a full address. In tabular material, state abbreviations may be used after a city, but not the two-letter ZIP code abbreviations (Kirksville, Mo., not Kirksville, MO). See AP Stylebook for examples.


Still-Well Program


See a.m./p.m.

titles – academic

See academic titles.

titles – professional

See names/titles.

titles – publications

When in body copy, place the titles of books, grants, speeches, lectures, and works of art in quotation marks.



ATSU trademarks include the name of the university, the university logotype family of institutional marks, the program logos and wordmarks (e.g., first in whole person healthcare, first in whole person healthcare education), and all other identifying marks of the University. This includes the trademarks of the Missouri and Arizona campuses and associated learning sites. These trademarks will not be followed by the Trademark designation (TM).


Capitalize a trustee’s title only when used before the name. See Board of Trustees for more detail.



Do not underline words.


Capitalize University when referring specifically to ATSU. Lowercase when the reference is non-specific or refers to another university. See A.T. Still University.


Do not use “www.” when directing readers to any of the University’s colleges or schools. Do not italicize or underline.

web page

Two words


One word. Do not underline a website address. Use lowercase letters.

White Coat Ceremony

Capitalize when referring to official ceremony.


years – abbreviation

Abbreviated, two-digit numeric years are preceded by an apostrophe, not a beginning single quotation mark.


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