Style Guide

AN style is designed to help make essays accessible to a broad range of anthropologists, for consistency across print and online content, and to maximize use of limited space. Its general guiding principle is brevity. AN has some publication-specific guidelines, but generally uses AP style, and then Chicago for all aspects not covered by AP. Here are for the most common style issues.


  • United States = US (whether used as adj or noun); use “US” instead of America
  • Omit titles such as Dr, Professor, Mr, Ms
  • Refer to individuals initially by first and last names, and thereafter by last name only
  • List university affiliations in parentheses using the AN style (for example, Hampshire College = Hampshire C; University of Iowa = U Iowa)

Word choice

  • Avoid use of “etc”
  • Avoid use of jargon


  • Use periods only at the end of sentences.
  • Use commas sparingly, omitting the one before “and” in series (for example: blue, green and orange)
  • Use quotation marks for direct quotes from people and publications. Do not use as air quotes or for emphasis. If you want to emphasize a word or phrase, use italics.


  • Use italics instead of boldface type or all caps for emphasis within a text (use sparingly)


  • Do not capitalize professional titles or department names when general (eg, “Jane Smith is assistant professor in the department of anthropology”) but do capitalize them when specific (eg, “the Franz Boas Distinguished Professor Emeritus Janet Q Jones”)


  • States: when listed as City, State, use two letter postal abbreviation; when state used alone, spell out
  • Email addresses NOT separated by < >, nor prefaced by “email”

Foreign Words

  • Italicize first time only (with English translation in parenthesis if necessary). NO quotes.


  • Use numerals for all numbers over ten, unless it’s in a string (eg,“2–3”). Limit such information as addresses and dates to the fewest and most essential components (change “9 December 1994 through 24 January 1995” to “Dec 9, 1994–Jan 24, 1995”).
  • Do not use ordinal numbers to indicate dates. For example, “On June 1st” should just be “On June 1”.


  • Embed references into the body of the article. If need parenthetical citation, use brief version: (Book Year) or (Author, book, year)
  • Book/magazine and film titles in italics
  • No bibliography, endnotes, footnotes, list of works cited
  • Hyperlinks to sources are encouraged


  • If possible, send .TIF files of photographs for higher quality resolution in print
  • Must have caption and credit
  • Must be able to provide confirmation that AN has permission to include image. Permission means that the photographer has directly indicated that we can use it, or the image is available online under Creative Commons licensing or is in the public domain.
    • Citing a photograph’s source is not the same as obtaining permission.