ENMU Style Manual ENMU Style Manual

Style Manual


Editorial Guidelines

To produce quality publications that successfully represent an institution, consistency is essential. Printed materials from Eastern New Mexico University should speak with one voice, presenting messages in a clear and distinctive manner. This unified treatment of the mechanics of writing is referred to as style.

Eastern New Mexico University has established its editorial style based on The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual, The MLA Style Manual and in consultation with English faculty. Editors also consult Webster's New World College Dictionary, reference dictionary for the Associated Press. While these resources provide a basis for stylistic decisions, variations from these established policies occasionally occur.

Table of Contents

  • Abbreviations
    • general use of
    • specific use of when referring to ENMU
  • Addresses
  • Alumni
    • Latin plurals
    • Latin singular forms
  • Ampersands
  • Apostrophes
    • in a contraction
    • to indicate possession
  • Board of Regents
  • Bulleted Text
  • Capitalization
    • of civil and professional titles
    • of academic degrees
    • of academic subjects
    • of faculty titles
    • of the word "university"
    • of ENMU colleges, departments and divisions
    • of events
    • of titles of works
    • of seasons of the year
    • of directions and regions of the country
    • of room references
    • of page references
  • Colons
  • Commas
    • in a series
    • to separate adjectives
    • to separate introductory clauses or phrases
    • to separate independent clauses
  • Dashes
    • en dashes
    • em dashes
  • Dates
    • when referring to a month
    • when referring to a specific date
    • use of commas with months, seasons and years
    • use of commas with specific dates
    • ordinal numbers
    • days of the week
  • Eastern New Mexico University System
    • campus names and abbreviations
    • slogan
    • Web site URL
  • Ellipses
    • at beginning of or within a sentence
    • at the end of a sentence
    • when omitting material that contains a period
  • Hyphens
    • with compound words used as adjectives
    • with compound words ending in "-ly"
    • when "self" is used as a prefix
    • with compound words separated from each other
  • Internet Terms
  • Italics
    • use of italics
    • when italic type is not available
  • Numbers
    • when to spell and when to use figures
    • when to spell and when to use figures for ordinal numbers
    • in a series
    • at the beginning of a sentence
    • use of hyphens
    • use of commas
    • with abbreviations or symbols
    • for ages and percentages
    • room numbers
  • Phone Number Formats
  • Quotation Marks
    • in a dialog
    • use of single marks
    • placement of commas and periods
    • placement of colons and semicolons
    • placement of question marks, exclamation points and dashes
  • Semicolons
    • to relate independent clauses
    • to separate a series
  • States
    • rules for abbreviation
    • use of commas
  • Time
    • time of day format
    • time spans
    • noon and midnight
  • Titles
    • of works and publications
    • courtesy and earned titles
  • Websites 
    • reference of
    • use in text


When an abbreviation is not quickly recognizable, spell out the entire name in the first reference followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis. The abbreviation, generally without periods, can be used thereafter.

  • Students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available online
  • The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) offers workshops

When an abbreviation is quickly recognizable, spell out the entire name in the first reference and use the abbreviated term thereafter.

  • Sally's grade point average is higher than she expected. Sally's GPA is 3.80
  • Eastern New Mexico University should be spelled out on first reference. ENMU or the University or Eastern may be used thereafter


University Address
The University address is as follows. There are no periods used with S Ave K, and the station number should be listed without the pound sign (#).

  • Communication Services, ENMU Station 6, 1500 S Ave K, Portales, NM 88130
  • Office of Communication Services
    ENMU Station 6
    1500 S Ave K
    Portales, NM 88130


Latin plurals
Alumni, a Latin word for graduates, has masculine and feminine forms. Use alumni to refer to a group of men or a group of men and women who are ENMU graduates. Alumnae is the correct term for a group of all-female graduates.

  • Thousands of men and women are ENMU alumni
  • Many alumnae attended the Chi Omega sorority reunion

Latin singular forms 
Latin has separate terms for referring to one male or one female graduate. One male graduate is an alumnus. One female graduate is an alumna.

  • He is an alumnus of ENMU
  • She is an alumna of ENMU


Use an ampersand only when it is part of an organization's formal name. An ampersand should never replace the word "and" otherwise.

  • West Texas A&M University
  • The Department of Communicative Arts and Sciences


Use an apostrophe to indicate where letters are omitted in a contraction.

  • It's easy if you're familiar with the rules
  • Student Success–that's what it's all about

Use an apostrophe to indicate possession; do not use an apostrophe to indicate a plural.

  • The University's women's tennis team is one of the best in the nation
  • The Joneses and the Johnsons were among those in attendance
  • In the 1960s, Elvis was still performing

Board of Regents

Capitalize "Board of Regents" as the proper name of the governing body.

  • The Board of Regents at Eastern New Mexico University will meet at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 12 in Portales

If the formal name has been used, "the Board" or "the regents" may be used on subsequent references.

  • The Board approved a 5.5 percent pay increase
  • The regents attended the dedication ceremony

Use lowercase for "regent" and "regents" except at the beginning of a s entence or when used as a title before a proper name.

  • Marshall Stinnett, an ENMU regent, participated in the dedication
  • She amended a motion by Regent Marshall Stinnett
  • The regents attended a retreat

Bulleted Text

The first letter of each bulleted item is capitalized. There are no periods at the end of bulleted text. 

  • This would be a bulleted item
  • This is another bulleted item. Do you see that it is a bulleted item? I think it is
  • None of the bulleted items have periods at the end even when they are full sentences
  • But the first letter is always capitalized


In sentences, use lower case for civil and professional titles unless they immediately precede the name.

  • Dr. Steven Gamble, president of Eastern New Mexico University, will speak
  • Eastern New Mexico University President Steven Gamble will deliver the keynote address
  • The associate professor of music is bringing his family
  • ENMU Associate Professor of Psychology Westley Baker will be traveling to Gilda

Capitalize academic degrees in the following manner:

  • Ph.D., M.S., M.A., B.S., A.A., R.N. M.Ed. (Always use the periods.)
  • doctoral degree (or doctorate), master's degree, bachelor's degree, associate degree
  • She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism

Capitalize an academic subject only when it is the name of a language, followed by a course number, or part of the full, formal title of a degree.

  • He majored in engineering technology with a minor in Spanish
  • Dr. John Smith teaches creative writing
  • Dr. John Smith teaches Creative Writing 331
  • She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • She is majoring in journalism

Titles of faculty are treated as civil and professional titles.

  • The students loved the new professor of music
  • ENMU Associate Professor of Psychology Westley Baker will be traveling to Gilda
  • Westley Baker served as a professor of psychology at that other university

Capitalize the word "university" when referring specifically to Eastern New Mexico University on second reference

  • He is a graduate of the University
  • The University's street address is 1500 S Ave K

Capitalize the formal names of ENMU's colleges, departments, divisions, offices and organizations. Use lowercase in all subsequent references when the formal name is not used in its entirety.

  • The ENMU Foundation gives scholarships
  • The foundation is growing
  • Sarah Smith is the director of the Office of Enrollment Services
  • Sarah Smith is director of enrollment services

Capitalize the formal names of ENMU events. Use lowercase in all subsequent references when the formal name is not used in its entirety.

  • ENMU Spring Commencement
  • The spring commencement at ENMU is a memorable experience for all attendees

In titles of works (such as novels, essays and professional papers), capitalize the first words, the last words and all the principal words, including those that follow hyphens and colons in compound terms. As a general rule, capitalize all words of four or more letters that fall in the middle of a title.

  • "Focusing on International Entrepreneurship: A New Contribution of Business for a Changing Economy"
  • "Teaching Spanish in English-Speaking Countries"

Use lowercase for seasons.

  • More than 1,250 students have registered for the spring semester
  • The spring 2005 semester was memorable

Capitalize "room" in all references to office location. (See also Numbers entry)

  • Administration, Room 218
  • College of Business, Room 151

Capitalize "page" in all references.

  • See the information on Page 4
  • Find more information in the housing section (Page 4)


Use a colon after an independent clause to list, restate, clarify or illustrate. Do not use a colon where a semicolon is appropriate. Only one space follows a colon.

  • Illustrate the correct usage of the following punctuation marks: commas, semicolons and colons
  • Quality is a concern; our reputation depends on it

Commas (See also "Date," "Numbers," "Quotation Marks," and "States" entries)

Use commas to separate three or more items in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction unless it is necessary for comprehension.

  • The flag is red, white and blue
  • The University offers classes in nursing, family and consumer sciences, and history

Use a comma to separate adjectives equal in rank if the word "and" could be inserted without changing the intent of the statement:

  • He considered the situation in a thoughtful, precise manner

Use a comma to separate an introductory clause or phrase from a main clause; however, the comma may be omitted after short introductory phrases if no ambiguity results.

  • On Aug. 21 the board will convene
  • For more information about applying to Eastern New Mexico University, contact the Office of Enrollment Services

When a conjunction such as "and," "but" or "for" links two clauses that could stand alone as separate sentences, use a comma before the conjunction.:

  • He teaches English, and she teaches history


Em dashes indicate a break in thought or introduce a section of text. There are no spaces between the em dash and surrounding text. The em dash is so named because it is the width of a capital "M." This dash can be created by holding the ALT key down and typing 0151 while the ALT key is pressed (ALT + 0151).

  • She went to the store—the one on the corner—to get her groceries
  • Calgon—the brand of water softener that was popular in the late 70s—was her favorite

The en dash may be used when setting of a quotation, with no space

  • "Don’t cry because it's over, smile because it happened"

                                                                   –Dr. Seuss

The en dash is also used in the current ENMU slogan, with no spaces. 

  • Student Success–that's what it's all about!


Spell out the names of months when they stand alone or with a year alone.

Construction began in November.

  • The renovated building will open in January 2008

When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate the months with more than five letters: January, February, August, September, October, November and December.

  • The concert will be at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25, 2008
  • Commencement will be on May 14

Do not use a comma between month and year or season and year:

  • The Communication Center opened for classes in spring 2006

A comma should follow the year when used with a month and day:

  • The students gathered on April 4, 2006, for a birthday celebration

Do not use ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, …) in a date.

  • The spring semester begins Jan. 19
  • The University will close Dec. 22

Spell out the days of the week when used in text material.

  • The wagon wheel game is on Saturday, Oct. 17
  • Her thesis defense next Tuesday is the last hurdle for graduation


Eastern New Mexico University System

The Eastern New Mexico University system includes the Portales campus and branches in Roswell and Ruidoso.

Use hyphenated formats when referring to the Roswell and Ruidoso campuses:

  • Students from ENMU-Roswell and ENMU-Ruidoso will be in Portales today

The ENMU slogan is "Student Success–that's what it's all about."

The correct format for the ENMU Web site URL is enmu.edu.


Ellipses are treated as a three letter word. If an ellipsis occurs at the beginning of or within a sentence, type three periods preceded and followed by a space.

  • President Johnson said he had "nothing … to hide"

If the ellipsis occurs just after the end of a sentence, retain the end punctuation of the sentence and then add the ellipsis.

  • Smith was lavish in his praise, stating, "Everything is fine, and we are prepared to move forward. …"

Use four periods when omitting material that contains a period.

  • "I resent the implication. … Besides, every safety precaution has been taken," Smith said.

Hyphens (See also "Numbers" entry)

Hyphenate compound words that are used as adjectives.
full-time job, ear-jarring sounds, triple-option offense, so-called neurosis, 12-year-old boy, well-known speaker

Do not hyphenate compound words that have an "-ly" ending or those that are used as nouns.

  • widely known speaker, sensibly tailored suit, firmly held option, sharply reduced prices

Whenever self is used as a prefix, it must be followed by a hyphen.

  • self-confidence, self-esteem, self-denial, self-taught

"Suspension" hyphens are always used when parts of the compound words are separated from each other.

  • In second- and third-down situations, the coach usually sends in a pass-option play
  • Upper-division courses are available
  • Those courses are upper division. (In this case, the hyphen is not used because "upper division" is not an adjective)

Hyphens are used to denote time span. There are no spaces used with the hyphen.

  • 9-10 a.m.
  • March 30-31
  • 2004-2005

Internet Terms

Use the preferred formats from the Associated Press Stylebook:

  • e-commerce (always use a hyphen)
  • email (no hypen)
  • Internet (capitalized)
  • online (one word)
  • World Wide Web or the Web (Either is acceptable on first reference)
  • webmaster, webcam, webcast (all lowercase)
  • website (one word, not capitalized)

Italics (See also "Titles" entry)

Italics are used for certain titles, foreign words, scientific names, names of ships, words considered as words and words bearing a special rhetorical emphasis. Titles of books, plays, films, newspapers, magazines, journals and other works that form complete publications are usually italicized.

  • A Chorus Line
  • The Portales News Tribune
  • Paradise Lost
  • John could not think of the Spanish word for business

Quotations are the preferred substitute when italic type is unavailable: "The Albuquerque Journal"


As a general rule, spell out numbers one through nine; use figures starting with 10.

Spell out first though ninth; use figures starting with 10th. The "th" should be typed as regular text, not superscript text.

  • The Greyhounds made a first down
  • She was 14th in her graduating class

Express related numbers in a series in the same style.

  • Four freshmen, twenty sophomores and three juniors attended class

Always spell out numbers (except for years) at the beginning of a sentence.

  • Fifteen sophomores attended the meeting
  • 1976 was a very good year

When large numbers must be spelled out, use a hyphen to connect a word ending in "y" to another word: Fifty-nine students registered for the class.

Use a comma in numbers of 1,000 and above, except for temperatures and dates.

  • In-state tuition and fees totaled $1,482 per semester in 2006-07
  • Fall 2006 enrollment was the highest since 1975 when the headcount was 4,248 students

Always use numerals with abbreviations or symbols and in addresses, dates, decimal fractions and page references. Please note, however, that abbreviations and symbols are primarily reserved for tabular indexing and are rarely used in text material.

Use numbers for ages and percentages.

  • Her 4-year-old son is at the Child Development Center
  • Enrollment increased by 2.1 percent

Use figures and capitalize room when used with a figure

  • Room 2
  • Room 211

Phone Number Formats

Phone numbers are separated by periods in all instances. If the phone number is a number with letter designations (i.e. 800.FOR.ENMU), the numbered phone number should be listed first with the letter designation in parentheses following the numbers. If there is not enough room to include both the number and the letter designated number, only the actual phone number should be used.

  • 800.367.3668
  • 800.367.3668 or 800.FOR.ENMU
  • 800.367.3668 (800.FOR.ENMU)
  • For more information about the event, contact Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253

Quotation Marks

Quotation marks appear in pairs with one exception. If an individual's direct quote extends more than a paragraph, put quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph but at the end of only the final paragraph.

In general, quotations within quotations require single marks.

  • She asked, "Have you read the poem ‘To Autumn' by Keats?"
  • She asked, "Have you read the poem ‘To Autumn'?"
  • She said, "I read the poem ‘To Autumn.'"

Commas and periods should be placed inside the closing quotation marks in all circumstances.

  • "I'll let you know in the morning," he replied

Put colons and semicolons outside closing quotation marks.

  • Williams described the experiment as "a definitive step forward"; other scientists disagreed
  • Benedetto emphasizes three elements of what she calls her "Olympic journey": family support, personal commitment and great coaching

Put a dash, question mark, or exclamation point within closing quotation marks when the punctuation applies to the quotation itself and outside when it applies to the whole sentence.

  • Philip asked, "Do you need this book?"
  • Does Dr. Smith always say to her students, "You must work harder"?
  • Bob shouted, "We won! We won!"
  • I can't believe you actually like that song, "If You Wanna Be My Lover"!


Semicolons (See also "Quotation Marks" entry)

Semicolons may be used to connect closely related independent clauses not joined by coordinating conjunctions: I have ordered the book you requested; we no longer have it in stock.

Semicolons may be used to separate a series of items that require internal commas:

  • He traveled to Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Md.; Norman, Okla.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and South Bend, Ind.


Spell out the names of states when they stand alone in text. When preceded by a city, the names of 42 states should be abbreviated. The two states that are not part of the continental United States, Hawaii and Alaska, and the continental states that have five letters or fewer—Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah—should not be abbreviated. If the state name falls at the end of a sentence, you may spell it out to avoid awkward sentence construction.

  • Sherrie, a native of Gary, Ind., moved to Portales last year
  • Sherrie is originally from Gary, Indiana

When referencing New Mexico, if the state name follows a city,

  • in publications the format should be: Portales, NM
  • in news releases the format should follow AP Style: Portales, N.M.

A comma should follow the name of a state when preceded by a city.

  • The Austin, Texas, contingent traveled to Washington, D.C.

Following are the state abbreviations, which also appear in the entries for each state (postal code abbreviations in parentheses):

Ala. (AL)Md. (MD)N.D. (ND)
Ariz. (AZ)Mass. (MA)Okla. (OK)
Ark. (AR)Mich. (MI)Ore. (OR)
Calif. (CA)Minn. (MN)Pa. (PA)
Colo. (CO)Miss. (MS)R.I. (RI)
Conn. (CT)Mo. (MO)S.C. (SC)
Del. (DE)Mont. (MT)S.D. (SD)
Fla. (FL)Neb. (NE)Tenn. (TN)
Ga. (GA)Nev. (NV)Vt. (VT)
Ill. (IL)N.H. (NH)Va. (VA)
Ind. (IN)N.J. (NJ)Wash. (WA)
Kan. (KS)N.M. (NM)W.Va. (WV)
Ky. (KY)N.Y. (NY)Wis. (WI)
La. (LA)N.C. (NC)Wyo. (WY)



Time labels consist of lowercase letters with periods. a.m. to indicate morning, and p.m. to indicate afternoon. Any hour on the hour will be indicated by the hour only.

  • 11 a.m.
  • 3 p.m.
  • 3:30 p.m.
  • 3:30 a.m.

When showing time span and both times are in the morning or both are in the afternoon, the first item should not have the a.m. or p.m. label. When the span is a.m. to p.m. or vice versa, both times should have the a.m. or p.m. label.

  • She is working 9-10 a.m.
  • She is working 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m.

When referring to the times 12 p.m. or 12 a.m., they should be referred to as noon or midnight, respectively.

Titles (See also "Capitalization" entry)

In general, underline or italicize the titles of works published independently and use quotation marks for the titles of works published within larger works.

  • Let's check to see if it is in the Monday Memo
  • The Portales News Tribune is a local newspaper
  • I wrote a poem called "My Red Balloon"

Use full names preceded by an earned title such as Dr., the Rev. or Lt. 
Col. in first references only. Do not use a courtesy title such as Mr., Miss or Ms. Use the last name only in subsequent references unless a title is necessary to identify persons with the same last name. 


Websites referenced in text should be listed with no www (see Internet Terms) and are bold.  

  • For information about the FAFSA, go to fafsa.gov
  • The enmu website is enmu.edu