Style Guide

Below are grammar and spelling conventions that KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies typically follows. The house style conventions are intended to ensure consistency across the journal as much as possible; however, we recognize and respect that authors have different voices and styles, and we will work with authors to accommodate alternative spellings, capitalization or italicization of words, etc.—especially if they correspond to a theoretical framework or align with a particular cultural, social, or political position—as long as the use of these conventions is internally consistent in the paper. If that is the case in a paper you are submitting, please indicate it in “Comments to the Editor” or contact the editors at


Submissions must be made in English.

Preferred Sources

Please consult the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) for grammar and punctuation conventions not covered in this guide. For spelling, KULA typically follows conventions of Canadian spelling. Contributors should consult the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. If authors prefer to follow conventions of British or American spelling, they may do so as long as the use of these conventions is internally consistent in the paper. For American spelling, consult Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. For British spelling, consult the Oxford English Dictionary

General Grammar and Usage Guidelines

  • Use the Oxford/serial comma.
  • Do not capitalize the word following a colon, even if it begins a full sentence.
  • Avoid bold and underlined text in text.
  • Italicize titles of books, etc. Use italics for emphasis minimally.
  • Italics vs. quotation marks: when a word or phrase is being referred to as the word/term itself, it should be italicized; in cases when a term is being critiqued, quotation marks indicate that the term/concept is being called into question, not just referring to the term.
    • Proper names are an exception and are not italicized.
    • Non-English words are generally italicized the first time they are used, then not italicized throughout the rest of the paper.
  • In titles, capitalize all words except articles and prepositions with four or fewer than four letters.
  • 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).
  • Italicize the names of legal cases and statutes.
  • Use spaces between periods in a person’s initials (e.g., M. F. K. Fisher).
  • Superscript numbers for footnotes should appear at the end of a sentence or clause. The note numbers come after all punctuation marks except dashes (see 14.26 of The Chicago Manual of Style).


  • Use double quotation marks for quotations. Use single quotation marks for quoted material within a quotation.
  • Place commas and periods inside closing quotation marks.
  • Place colons and semicolons outside closing quotation marks.
  • Place terminal punctuation (e.g., question marks, exclamation points) outside of closing quotation marks unless they are part of the quotation.  
  • Place terminal punctuation after the closing parenthesis of the citation.
  • Indicate that you have added italics for emphasis in a quotation by including “italics added” or “emphasis added” in the parenthetical citation.


  • Use ellipses to indicate that you have omitted text from a quotation (see 13.50 and 13.55 of The Chicago Manual of Style). Use three spaced periods for the ellipsis.
    • 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 a full sentence follows an ellipsis, capitalize the first word after the ellipsis.


  • Use en dashes for number ranges (e.g., page number ranges, dates), including in in-text citations and references.
  • Spell out whole numbers from zero through one hundred.
  • Spell out whole numbers one through one hundred followed by hundredthousand, or hundred thousandmillionbillion, etc.
  • For numbers with decimals, use numerals. For numbers above a million, use a mixture of numerals and spelled-out numbers (e.g., 5.8 billion).
  • Spell out simple fractions.
  • Hyphenate fractions as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs (e.g., Two-thirds of the class).
  • For numbers with a combination of whole numbers and fractions, use numerals (e.g., The recipe called for 2 ½ cups of flour).
  • Spell out a number (including a year) if it begins a sentence (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 a spelled-out year.
  • Write out dates using cardinal (not ordinal) numbers (e.g., April 25, not April 25th).
  • Write dates in Month Day, Year format (e.g., April 13, 2012).
  • Enclose the year 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 (e.g., tables), the day-month-year format, with no punctuation (e.g., 9 June 2018), can be used for simplicity and clarity.
  • Write percentages as numerals with the word percent, not the symbol % (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 name when referring to either country as a noun. 
  • Use an abbreviation only if it will appear several times.


  • For singular nouns ending with an s, use an apostrophe and another sto form a possessive (e.g., Charles Dickens’s career).
  • For plural nouns ending in an s, add only an apostrophe (e.g., My sisters’ room).
  • If the singular form of a noun ending in sis 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).
  • For terms that indicate group ownership or participation, add an apostrophe after the s (e.g., farmers’ market) except for proper names that do not include one (e.g., Veterans Affairs Canada). (See 7.27 of The Chicago Manual of Style on possessive versus attributive nouns.)

Figures and Tables


  • Cite all figures within the main text using Arabic numerals (e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). The citation should come after the first reference to the content of the figure.
  • Embed figures in the manuscript, ideally after the paragraph of their first citation.
  • Include a caption and alt text for each figure. Captions and alt text should clearly and concisely summarize the content and significance of the figure. Alt text should not be the same as the caption; it should include any information not captured in the caption or body of the text.
  • Include the source of the image in the caption, along with any relevant copyright and permission information. Authors are responsible for securing permission to publish any copyrighted material.
  • If a figure includes text, please use Ariel, Helvetica, or Verdana font so that it matches the typeset text.
  • Upload all figures (but not tables) separately as supplementary files during the submission process. If possible, provide figures in colour and at a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Each file should not be more than 20MB. Standard formats accepted are JPG, TIFF, and PNG.


  • All tables should be cited within the running text using Arabic numerals (e.g., Table 1, Table 2, etc.). The citation should come after the first reference to the content of the table.
  • Tables should be embedded in the manuscript. The final layout will place the tables as close to their first citation as possible.
  • Each table must be accompanied by a descriptive caption that clearly and concisely summarizes its content and significance.
  • Tables should be created using a word processor's table function. Identify a header row in each table using this function and structure tables so that they are legible for screen readers.
  • Tables should not include rotated text, colour, images, or vertical/diagonal lines.