Style Guide

As Scholastica is an undergraduate journal of the humanities and social sciences, there are some publication and formatting styles that need to be adhered to, no matter the originating discipline.

In general, when manuscripts are prepared using electronic word processing, the less formatting the better. Authors should use the same standard font throughout, set at 12-point size. Margins should be aligned to the left, not justified right, and automatic hyphenation should be turned off. Margins should be generous, at least 1.25 inches on each side.

Spell checking is of course encouraged, but authors must take care not to correct quotations, and they should bear in mind that spell checking will not catch errors in numbers, many proper nouns, foreign words, or correctly spelled incorrect word choices; manuscripts should be carefully proofread before submission.

Authors should include all accents for foreign words, including macrons, proofreading carefully.

Manuscripts should be paginated in the upper right-hand corner. No additional information should be included in a header or footer.

Equations may be placed in the text or notes as they are meant to appear. Except in the case of the most simple equations, authors should supply an enlarged copy, with the various elements marked and explained by name, including Greek characters, mathematical symbols, and placement of super- and subscripts.


Some notes on Grammar and Rhetoric:

Scholastica¬†supports fair and accurate use of language, and the editor encourages authors to adopt a writing style sensitive to gender and other issues beyond the personal pronoun. Careful writing can limit the need for “he or she” and “his or her.” In dealing with groups of people who are known to have been of the same gender (for example, members of the U.S. Congress in the nineteenth century, or a specific board of directors whose composition is known), the applicable pronoun may of course be used. A number of writers’ guides are now available on the subject of non-prejudicial use of language.

No contractions, except those that appear in quotations, should be used. Manuscripts generally should be written in the third person, but authors may use “I,” “we,” and “my” when making an explicit argument.

Authors are asked to limit acknowledgments to colleagues who have offered comments, university and foundation supporters, and previous venues for presentation of the research. Articles should not carry dedications. Acknowledgments should be included before the first note as an unnumbered statement and written in the first person.

Any introductory or framing part of the manuscript should not be set off and labeled “Introduction.” Subsequent sections of the manuscript may be identified with subheads if the author wishes. Such headings should not be numbered. The first paragraph after a subhead is not indented. Authors should avoid references to sections, and should not use the phrases “as described above [below].” In an article of journal length, references to “earlier” or “later” parts of the manuscript are usually unnecessary altogether.

Names of organizations abbreviated in the text should be spelled out at first mention (including those the author believes “everyone” knows), the acronym placed in parentheses. Similarly, people mentioned should be given their full names as commonly known (R. R. Palmer, William Shakespeare, Aristotle) at first mention. The journal is intended to attract a readership among scholars worldwide, and material that seems known to “everyone” in an author’s context may be unfamiliar in other parts of the world.

Authors should avoid presentist phrases such as “this century,” “this decade.” They will not have the correct meaning to future readers.

When referring to members of Congress authors should give their state and party at first mention, as “Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) was very supportive of the plan.”

Abbreviations are generally used in notes but not in the text. State abbreviations are given in their literary form, not Post Office style except in addresses and in designating political party affiliation: Conn., not CT, Mass., not MA; but Senator Leahy (D-VT). Even in notes, states of under five letters are seldom abbreviated: Ohio, Utah, Texas, Idaho.


For specific questions regarding style, please contact the editors at