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.).
- Do not use “o’clock” when stating a time.
- Avoid the redundant 10:00 a.m. this morning.
- When using a hyphen to separate a beginning and ending time (6:00-7:00 p.m. or 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.), no spaces should be on either side of the hyphen.
- When using a flat time, add the colon and zeros (e.g., 10:00 a.m.).
- It is not necessary to say 12:00 midnight or 12:00 noon. Use midnight or noon. Never use 12:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m.
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:
- A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) is the founding osteopathic institution.
- A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) is the founding osteopathic institution.
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
- When referring to a current KCOM or SOMA student, indicate the class year with OMS I, II, III, or IV. Glenn Smith, OMS I, received a scholarship.
- When referring to a student fellow, do not indicate class year. Instead, set off “fellow” with commas. Ashley Jones, fellow, led the research project. See also fellow.
- When referring to a current ASDOH or MOSDOH student, indicate class year with D1, D2, D3, or D4. John Doe, D2, was named president of the group.
- When referring to a current ASHS student, indicate class year. Joe Smith, PT, ’19, attended Legislative Day.
- Exception: Do not refer to audiology students with AuD following their names.
- When referring to a current CGHS student, simply indicate his or her field of study. Glenn Smith, a public health student at CGHS, received a scholarship.
- When referring to biomedical students, indicate year. First-year biomed student Jason Smith ...
- If necessary to distinguish students by school in addition to program, include the school name after class year and set off with commas (e.g., John Smith, OMS II, KCOM, received an award.).
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.
- Do not use the word “the” prior to using an acronym.
- For internal audiences, common abbreviations/acronyms such as ATSU and its schools do not need to be placed in parentheses. Simply spell out the school name on first reference and use the abbreviation thereafter.
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.
- Bob Johnson earned his MPH from CGHS.
- Joe Smith received a master of science degree in physics from Truman State University.
- Susan received a bachelor’s degree in biology.
- Dan Jones, who has a doctorate in physiology ...
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.
- Steven Smith, DO, MPH, gave the commencement speech this year. Dr. Smith discussed treating the patient and not the disease.
- Tammy Smith, MBA, is organizing the conference. Smith is working closely with student services on the event.
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.
- Alfred W. Studwell, DO, ’62, was presented the award.
- Jane Doe, DO, ’12, SOMA, is chair of the committee.
man who has attended a school
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)
Capitalize only when referring to a specific board and as part of the official title.
- The ASHS Advisory Board met this month. The board discussed ...
Board of Trustees
Capitalize when referring to ATSU Board of Trustees. Lowercase on subsequent reference.
- The Board of Trustees will meet downstairs this afternoon. The board decided ...
body, mind, and spirit
Book titles are placed in quotation marks except those that are primary catalogs of reference. See “composition titles” in AP Stylebook.
- Do not divide numbers, abbreviations, first initials, and symbols.
- Do not divide phone numbers.
- Divide dates only between the day and the year.
- Divide personal names only between the first and last name. The middle initial should stay with the first name.
- Keep physicians’ titles with last name.
- Long titles with names may be broken between the title and the name or between the words in the title.
- Divide addresses only between the city and the state.
- Do not divide street addresses between the street number and street name.
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.
- External: ATSU’s Mesa, Arizona, campus will host the event next month.
- Internal: Founder’s Day celebration occurred last week on the Missouri campus.
Always use “chair” instead of “chairwoman” or “chairman.”
When used in text, a comma should follow both the city and state. See also states.
- Jane Beck, DMD, a dentist from Scottsdale, Arizona, opened her new office on Baltimore Avenue.
Do not capitalize.
- Mary Jones, class of 2019, attended the event.
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.
- ATSU Gutensohn Clinic offers comprehensive care for families. The clinic’s services include …
- A.T. Still Research Institute supports clinicians, scientists, and students. The institute also …
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.
- Ben Hoffman is a co-chair of the committee.
- Today’s speaker will be Co-chair Ben Hoffman.
Capitalize the word College when referring to KCOM or CGHS, but do not capitalize it when referring to another institution. See also university.
- The College was established in 1892 ...
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.
- ATSU-ASHS or A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences
- A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
- The College will hold commencement in May.
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.
- ATSU is committed to the body, mind, and spirit of individuals.
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.
- Refer to the A.T. Still Memorial Library Copyright Guidelines when permission is required and the proper reference for quotes, footnotes, and usage is needed.
- Be careful when using information from the internet. Most information you will see is copyrighted, whether it is stated or not. Internet copyright should be assumed unless otherwise noted.
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.
- James Rhodes, PhD, assistant professor, anatomy, teaches Histology.
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.
- John Smith, DO, MA, OCS
- The plural of DO (DOs) does not need an apostrophe unless using it as a possessive noun as in “principles of the DO’s art and science.”
A space precedes and follows each dash.
- His dog – a black lab – was a big hit with the kids.
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.
- The event was held Friday, Sept. 23, 2010.
- Anatomy class is always held on a Tuesday.
- I graduate at 10:00 a.m. on Aug. 12.
- Thanksgiving break is in November.
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.
- Enrollment Services provides financial aid.
- The Department of Student Affairs approves student requests.
- Project directors should contact the Sponsored Programs department.
- Use “department” instead of “division” and avoid when possible.
- The term “office” is generally reserved for a department of the University named after a position title (e.g., President’s Office, Controller’s Office, Dean’s Office, Registrar’s Office).
- When included immediately after a person’s name, do not capitalize department name (e.g., John Smith, PhD, chair, biology, received the award.).
“Online education” is preferred.
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.
- The banquet was hosted by Drs. Dick and Jane Smith.
For detailed instructions, refer to AP Stylebook. See also quotes (pull-out).
em dash/en dash
Refer to AP Stylebook.
No hyphen and lowercase
- Please copy me on that email.
- Do not underline an email address. This causes confusion when underscores and other symbols are used in addresses.
- Always use lowercase letters in email addresses.
- If your computer automatically adds a link to an email address, remove the hyperlink. Highlight the address, right-click, and select “remove hyperlink.”
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.
- The faculty numbers 200.
- The faculty is meeting today.
- The faculty members are meeting today.
- The faculty were split.
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).
- Contact Communication & Marketing at 660.626.2272 or fax 660.627.2128.
Do not capitalize the word fellow unless it begins a sentence. Fellowships follow terminal degrees and do not have periods.
- John Smith, DO, FOCOO, presented at the annual conference.
One word in all cases
- The fundraising campaign was a success.
- He is great at fundraising.
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.”
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.
- The class of 1954 will celebrate its golden anniversary this year.
- The 1954 class will celebrate its golden anniversary.
- Jane Doe, DO, ’02, received an award with Joe Smith, DO, ’64.
- Adam Long, DO, 1908, lived a long and happy life.
If alumni have multiple degrees from ATSU with different graduation years, place each graduation year following its corresponding degree.
- Joe Smith, DO, ’08, MPH, ’12, lives in New Jersey.
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.
- ATSU Board of Trustees appoints officers, elects three new trustees.
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.
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 should be capitalized and italicized.
- Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, Human Resources for Health journal
Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM)
Magazine names should be capitalized and italicized.
- Still Magazine, Time magazine
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.
- Jack’s stereo cost $4,863. Jack’s monthly payment will be $364.75. Jack owes me $45.
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.
- John Smith, DO, MA, OCS
- Director Nancy Hill, PhD, will speak to the group today.
- Dean Janet Johnson, ’84, complimented the student on her scholarship.
- John D. Smith, AuD, a 2005 graduate of the Arizona School of Health Sciences ... or John D. Smith, AuD, ’05, ...
- Do not use courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.).
- If a person has more than one position, list the most prestigious first.
- On first reference to ATSU students, see ATSU student for details.
- On second reference, use last name only, except for doctors (AuD, DDS, DHEd, DHSc, DMD, DPT, DO, MD, PhD), then the second reference is Dr. Smith.
- Educational degrees should not be used with periods (DO, PhD, EdS), likewise, do not use periods with certification titles or fellowship designations (CFP, LPN, FAAO).
- Do not capitalize positions and departmental titles following the name.
- Do capitalize a position if it is the official title and is directly before the person’s name. See department.
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.
- Twenty-five laps were all Dr. Williams could take.
- I agree that 11 twinkies is too much for one sitting, but one is OK.
- Fours, fives, 100s, 1990s (no apostrophe before the “s”).
- One-half of all students. A mixed fraction (a whole number plus a fraction) should be written in numerals.
- We met Nov. 4.
- His daughter is 6.
Use as one word. Do not hyphenate or separate.
Preferred to “distance education”
“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” 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.
- In the last year, the applicant pool increased from 30 percent to 50 percent.
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.
- Call 866.626.ATSU, ext. 2272, for more information.
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.
- ATSU President Phelps signed the budget.
- Craig M. Phelps, DO, ’84, is president of ATSU.
- The president met with students.
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.
- The Athletic Training program ...
- He earned a master of science degree in athletic training.
- Richard Smith, director, athletic training ...
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.
- “… It sure is a beautiful day today. Last night, I … .” – John Smith, D1
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.
- ATSU-ASHS or A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences
- A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies
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.
titles – academic
See academic titles.
titles – professional
titles – publications
When in body copy, place the titles of books, grants, speeches, lectures, and works of art in quotation marks.
- They recently returned from the convention, where they gave a presentation titled “The History of Osteopathic Medicine.”
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.
- Trustee Tom Jones, DDS, attended the meeting.
- Jane Thomas, DO, ’05, is a trustee.
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.
- The University has a commitment to rural and underserved populations.
- Truman State University also is located in Kirksville. It is a liberal arts university.
Do not use “www.” when directing readers to any of the University’s colleges or schools. Do not italicize or underline.
One word. Do not underline a website address. Use lowercase letters.
White Coat Ceremony
Capitalize when referring to official ceremony.
- The White Coat Ceremony was held on campus.
- More than 75 students participated in the ceremony.
years – abbreviation
Abbreviated, two-digit numeric years are preceded by an apostrophe, not a beginning single quotation mark.
- “The Summer of ’69”
- A span of years written in numbers and including the century contains no apostrophe (e.g., 1975-82; 1757-64).
- For a span of years that crosses the millennium, use full-year references (e.g., 1998-2002).