Style Sheet and Formatting
We encourage authors to take advantage of the open-access digital medium by linking to or embedding web-based tools, resources, graphics, and photos, as appropriate.
1. Title, Author, Abstract, and Keywords
Please include title, author name(s), 100-150 word abstract, and four to six keywords at the top of the manuscript.
A title that is both informative and intriguing is important for increasing the likelihood that potential readers will click to read more. Keywords and abstract, together with the title, should indicate the scope, focus, argument, and significance of the essay, which will help readers find your article through search engines.
Please include a short (1 or 2 sentence) author biographical statement to be published at the end of the article.
2. Grammar and Punctuation
- Use only one space to separate sentences.
- Use the serial comma.
- Consult Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary for spelling queries.
- Avoid clichés.
- Use American English.
- Please try to minimize the use of italics for emphasis, boldface, and scare quotes. Do not use underlining. Achieve clarity and emphasis using sentence structure and word order.
- Place commas and periods inside quotation marks. Place other punctuation (colons, semicolons, question and exclamation marks, and hyphens) outside the quotes, except in dialogue.
- Avoid using virgules (forward slash), as in “and/or.”
- Change straight quotation marks ( ' or " ) to curly quotation marks (also known as “smart quotes”).
- Use words to express whole numbers from zero through one hundred.
- When using acronyms, spell out the full on its first reference, place the acronym in parentheses immediately following, and then use the acronym thereafter.
- Use “e.g.” and “i.e.” only if they are part of a text in parentheses. Avoid “etc.” by using “and so forth” instead.
- For singular possessives, add an apostrophe and an s: Confucius’s sayings, Moses’s birth. For plural possessives, add an apostrophe: the Joneses’ home.
- Please use inclusive language when referencing human communities. Masculine pronouns should be used only when they clearly refer to (solely) male referents, not for mixed or indeterminate referents. It is better to use the plural pronoun (“they”) rather than the singular (“he or she,” “s/he”). (See: Frank, Treichler, et al., Language, Gender, and Professional Writing; Dumond, The Elements of Nonsexist Usage; Miller and Swift, The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing; or Baron, Grammar and Gender.)
3. Formatting Guidelines
Manuscripts generally range from 5000 to 7500 words in length (20 to 30 pages, double-spaced), but can sometimes be as long as 10,000 words.
Font and Spacing
Please use double-spaced, left-justified text in 12-point font (10-point for footnotes), with a one inch margin on all sides.
Levels of headings must be clearly differentiated and consistent. Do not use more than three levels of headings.
First-level headings should be flush left and bolded, as in the example above of this paragraph. Capitalize internal words except for articles (a, an, and the), conjunctions (and, but, or, for, so, and yet), prepositions, and the word “to” in infinitive phrases.
Second-level headings should be flush left and italicized. Capitalize like first-level headings.
Third-level headings. Third-level headings should be italicized, followed by a period, and run in to the text; capitalization is sentence-style (capitalize the first word and proper nouns).
Please follow the Chicago Manual author-date style. In-text citations include the author and date, with both inside parentheses or with the author names in running text and the date in parentheses. Full documentation should appear in the bibliography at the end of the article. The bibliography may include items relevant to the topic of the essay that are not actually cited within the manuscript.
Please use footnotes (not endnotes) for tangential or parenthetical ideas that do not fit well within the main body of the text. If you wish to include a footnote to express thanks or gratitude for those who supported the writing of the essay, please locate the footnote number at the end of the first sentence of the text.
Tables and Figures
Number tables and figures and place them in the appropriate position within the text of the manuscript. Please also supply all tables and figures in a separate document. Captions (if any) should be typed in normal sentence case. Please ensure that any figures or graphs are high resolution. Please use a minimum of borders and other features. It is the author’s responsibility to secure permission to republish materials that are under copyright.
Appendices may be included as appropriate. We may provide a link to material if it is longer than two or three pages. If necessary, we can load this material onto the Wabash Center servers and link to it there.