S T Y L E
G U I D E
style guide represents part of our effort to maintain consistency among
the articles published in The Journal of the Historical Society.
In addition to the editors of The Journal, Blackwell Publishing
will copy edit all articles to conform to their standards. Questions about
this style guide are welcome and should be directed to Scott Hovey, Managing
Editor, at 617-358-0260 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
you have a grammar-check function on your word processor, use it, but do
not allow it to use you. It will offer useful information at times, but
you do not have to agree to every change it proposes. A good grammar text
is still a writer's best friend.
comma comes before "and" or "or" in a series of three or more items:
are required to take courses in math, science, English, and history.
are not required to take courses in wrestling, interior design, music theory,
are used to set off introductory clauses, phrases, and words:
soon as she entered the room, she knew she had made a mistake.
are used between independent clauses (clauses that contain a noun and a
verb) in a sentence:
soon as she entered the room, she knew she had made a mistake, and she
immediately withdrew before anyone saw her.
refrain from using contractions such as itís, isn't, there's, or
they're, except when they appear in direct quotes.
limit endnotes to the minimum needed to support your assertions. Please
follow the Chicago Manual of Style and include publishers in endnotes.
Gender - Neutral
Journal does not require the use of gender-neutral language, provided
the language is consistent throughout and the meaning is clear. Please
refrain from using "s/he" in place of "he or she."
and Participial Phrases
phrases contain present participles (the form of the verb that ends in
-ing) and always function as nouns in a sentence:
a fault will only double it.
was running a fever when he ran the race.
phrases should be treated as singular nouns:
busy signals is a problem for customers.
gerund phrases function as nouns, they require the possessive form:
refusing his offer led to a break in their relations.
phrases contain either a present participle (the form of the verb that
ends in -ing) or a past participle (the form of the verb that usually ends
in -d, -ed, -n, -en, or -t). Participial phrases always function as adjectives
and are usually set off with commas:
is produced by historians, writing about events they did not witness.
is something that never happened, written by someone who was not there.
and periods go inside quotation marks. Colons and semicolons go outside
quotation marks. Question marks and exclamation points go either inside
or outside quotation marks, depending on the meaning of the sentence:
asked, "Why did you share that information with him?"
cannot believe he said, "That is impossible"!
is used for nonrestrictive adjective clauses, which should be set off with
commas. Nonrestrictive clauses can be removed from a sentence without altering
the meaning of the sentence:
university, which was located in a small town, offered an extensive library
for its students.
is used for restrictive adjective clauses, and no comma is necessary. The
removal of a restrictive clause will significantly alter the meaning of
student at a university that has a large library will benefit from his
or her access to its holdings.
grammar check function on advanced versions of Microsoft Word knows this
rule too well, and it will almost always highlight sentences that use "which"
or "that." It is helpful, except when it is wrong.
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