Grammar and Style

Submissions should adhere to The Chicago Manual of Style, seventeenth edition.

Bold, Underlined, and Italicized Text

Avoid bold and underlined text in running text. Italicize titles of books, etc. Use italics for emphasis minimally.


Submissions must be made in English. Canadian spelling is preferred, but American or British spellings are also accepted as long as spelling is consistent throughout the text. For Canadian spelling, consult the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. For American spelling, consult Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. For British spelling, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.


Spell out whole numbers from zero through one hundred, as well as whole numbers one through one hundred followed by hundred, thousand, or hundred thousand, million, billion, etc.

For numbers with decimals, use numerals. For numbers millions and higher with decimals, use a mixture of numerals and spelled-out numbers (e.g., 5.8 billion).

Spell out simple fractions. Fractions should be hyphenated as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. For numbers with a combination of whole numbers and fractions, use numerals (e.g., The recipe called for 21/2 cups of flour).

If a number (including a year) begins a sentence, it should be spelled out (see 9.5 of The Chicago Manual of Style). In most cases, it is preferable to rephrase the sentence so that it does not begin with the year.

Dates should always be spelled out using cardinal (not ordinal) numbers (e.g., April 25, not April 25th).

Dates should be written in month-day-year format (April 13, 2012). The year should be enclosed in commas unless it appears at the end of a sentence (e.g., On April 13, 2012, she started a new position). In some cases—tables, for example—the day-month-year format, with no punctuation (e.g., 9 June 2018), can be used for simplicity and clarity.   

Percentages should be written as numerals (e.g., 95 percent).

For rules on abbreviating inclusive numbers, see 9.61 of The Chicago Manual of Style.


In most cases, spell out the full term the first time it appears in the text and include the acronym or initialism in parentheses immediately after. Use the abbreviation throughout the text thereafter. Commonly known abbreviations (e.g., TV, BCE, FBI) do not need to be spelled out. 

All letters in abbreviations should be capitalized and should not include periods (i.e., UK rather than U.K.).

The two-letter abbreviations for American states should be used only in bibliographical citations. The abbreviations US/USA/UK should be used only as adjectives (e.g., UK economy). Spell out the full term when referring to either country as a noun. 

In running text, use an abbreviation only if it will appear several times.


Use the serial comma: “a, b, and c” not “a, b and c.”


If a colon introduces a complete sentence, capitalize the first word of that sentence. If what follows the colon is not a full sentence (e.g., a list), do not capitalize the first word.


For singular nouns ending with an s, use an apostrophe and another s to form a possessive (e.g., Charles Dickens’s career).

Possessives of plural nouns ending in an s take only an apostrophe (e.g., The libraries’ stacks).

If the singular form of a noun ending in s is the same as the plural form (e.g., species, politics), add only an apostrophe.

If a place or organization name ends in s, add only an apostrophe (e.g., the Netherlands’ Olympic teams).

Treat terms that indicate group ownership or participation as possessive rather than attributive nouns and add an apostrophe after the s (e.g., farmers’ market) except for proper names that do not include one (e.g., Veterans Affairs Canada).

En Dashes

Use en dashes for page references, game scores, and court decisions.

Use en dashes instead of hyphens to connect a multiword proper noun to another word (e.g., Man Booker Prize–winning novel, Salt Spring Island–to–Victoria ferry).


Use double quotation marks to enclose quoted material.

Use single quotation marks for quotations within quotations.

Place commas and periods inside closing quotation marks.

Place colons and semicolons outside closing quotation marks.

Place terminal punctuation such as question marks and exclamation points outside closing quotation marks unless they are part of the quotation.  

If a parenthetical citation immediately follows a quotation, terminal punctuation should follow the closing parenthesis of the citation. Superscript numbers for notes should appear outside of terminal punctuation.


Following Chicago style, the journal uses three spaced periods as an ellipsis.

Use ellipses to indicate that you have omitted text from a quotation (see 13.50 and 13.55 of The Chicago Manual of Style). Do not bracket ellipses.

If you are omitting text in a quotation that also includes an ellipsis, you can indicate this in a note (e.g., “ellipsis in original”). For more information, see 13.50-58 of The Chicago Manual of Style.

If you are omitting the end of a sentence in a quotation, insert a period before the ellipsis. If you are omitting the beginning of a sentence, retain the period at the end of the sentence before the ellipsis (this indicates that material immediately following the period has been omitted).

If the material following an ellipsis is a full sentence, capitalize the first word after the ellipsis.

Indicate that you have added italics for emphasis in a quotation by including “emphasis added” in parentheses.