Style and Self-Editing Guidelines

Style

Anthropology News is scholarly and journalistic in style. We aim for magazine style feature writing rather than conventional academic prose. We publish pieces with a strong academic background and accessible style that will appeal to a broad readership. Your writing should engage a diverse audience of anthropologists, students, and general readers. Write in your own voice, in active English that draws readers in.

A Few Suggestions on Structure

  • Limit the key points you wish to make to three or four; readers are more likely to absorb and remember your piece if you help them to focus.
  • Avoid jargon as much as possible, and keep in mind that most of your readers will not be familiar with your specialty and its particular terms. If jargon in unavoidable, please be sure to define your terms.
  • Get to the point: The first paragraph or two should draw the reader in, providing context for the story and a clear sense of your main point/s (without giving the whole argument away). What is the main point of your piece? What is it that you would like the reader to take away? Take care not to bury your lede several paragraphs in. Set the scene with a brief ethnographic vignette, a provocative opinion, a topical argument, and so on.
  • Feature concrete examples and ensure your points and examples clearly and effectively support your argument.
  • Tell a story, particularly if you are writing a feature article, to bring incidents and interlocutors to life.
  • In the conclusion, bring your main point home. Include a call to action if appropriate.
  • AN does not publish reference lists online. Please embed links to the work of record in in-text citations within the article. A short list of references (up to five) for “further reading” is permissible in some cases.

Photographs

We’re always on the lookout for striking images to accompany our articles. If possible, send high resolution images (300 dpi) as separate image files. Include a caption and credit line. Make sure you have written permission to use the image with your AN article, if you are not the copyright holder. Permission means that the photographer/copyright holder has directly indicated permission for use (in email correspondence with you, for example), or the image is available under Creative Commons licensing or is in the public domain. Please send written confirmation from the copyright holder that you have permission to use the image to the AN office.

Formatting 

Headlines/Titles

Aim for concise and engaging titles (steer clear of long journal article style titles with title, colon, and subtitle). We aim for a maximum of 40 characters wherever possible (we will edit anything that is longer).

Punctuation

Use double quotation marks for direct quotes from people and publications. Please do not use quotation marks as air quotes or for emphasis. If you wish to emphasize a word or phrase, use italics (sparingly).

Block quote quotations of more than four lines, no quotation marks.

Dashes
Use a hyphen to hyphenate compound words. For example, ever-recurring problem, parents-in-law, half-asleep.
Use an en dash to connect number or date ranges (replacing the word to). For example, The years 1993–2000 were heady ones for the computer literate; join us on Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m., to celebrate the New Year.
Use an em dash in lieu of commas, parentheses, or a colon. For example, It was a revival of the most potent image in modern democracy—the revolutionary idea. The chancellor—he had been awake half the night—came down in an angry mood.

Book/magazine, blog, journal, and film titles in italics.

Abbreviations

United States/US

United States should be written out when it is used as a noun. When used as an adjective, write US.

Omit titles such as Dr., Professor, Mr., Ms.

On first mention, refer to individuals by first and last names, and thereafter by last name only.

Names

Titles are usually capitalized only when they immediately precede a personal name, and lower-cased when following a name or used in place of a name.

For example:

President Lincoln; the president
the professor; Joe Blogs, professor of anthropology; Professor Blogs
Jonathan M. Hall, chair of the Department of Anthropology; Professor Hall

Do capitalize named professorships: Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School; Professor Doniger.

Numbers

Use numerals for all numbers over ten, unless it’s in a string (e.g., 2–3).
Do not use ordinal numbers to indicate dates. For example, “On June 1st” should be “On June 1.”
Write out ordinal numbers for centuries. For example, “20th century” should be “twentieth century.”

Percentages
Use numerals for the percent and write out “percent” after. For example, “3%” should be “3 percent.”

Emphasis

Use italics for emphasis (sparingly). Do not use boldface type, all CAPS, or scare quotes for emphasis.

Foreign words

Italicize the first time only (with English translation in parentheses).

References

We include short in-text citations (author year) sparingly. Where possible, embed hyperlinks to sources (link to journal for articles, a news website for news reports, or to a book on the publisher’s website).

No bibliography, endnotes, footnotes, list of works cited. Please do include a short further reading list (up to five items, including books, articles, websites) for readers who might be interested in exploring a topic in more detail (should you wish to do so).

Author Bio

Up to 50 words including your current professional affiliation. Place at the end of the article.