• Use double quotes for both scare quotes and direct quotation marks
  • Use single quotes only within double quotes
  • Periods and commas go inside double quotes, not outside them
  • Use serial (Oxford) comma
  • Use gender-neutral language
  • Give the first name(s) of an author or editor the first time you cite them
  • Omit ellipses at beginning and end of quotes (with a possible exception for dialogue)
  • Silently capitalize or lowercase initial letter of quote as needed
  • Spell out acronyms once, then use the acronym (almost) exclusively
  • Italicize foreign words not in common use at every instance
  • Set words used as words in italics
  • Do not italicize punctuation with italicized words
  • Do not leave two spaces after a period


  • Spell out numbers one to ninety-nine, except with percent
  • Spell out large, round whole numbers (five hundred, three thousand)


  • Generally, use “down” style, lowercasing in most cases, particularly official titles standing alone (i.e., the president, but President Obama); marxist, biblical, religious studies, Islamic studies, history of religions
  • Use American spelling, not British
  • All personal possessives are followed by ‘s, even for names that end in s (e.g., Moses’s, Harris’s, Jesus’s)
  • chapter, or in parentheses (chap.); lowercase “part,” “section,” and other markers of that type
  • 19th century, not nineteenth century
  • Use e.g., i.e., and etc. in parentheses, but in text, use “for example,” “that is,” “and so forth”
  • use numerals for book parts: part 2, chapter 11
  • spell out book parts when using ordinals: third chapter, second section
  • Internet, web, website, email, e-book
  • the West, Western, Westernization when referring to the Occident; otherwise lowercase
  • Orient, Oriental, Orientalization and East, Eastern when referring to the Orient; otherwise lowercase
  • the Other (capped when used in this specific context)


  • Use page numbers in parentheses for references to the reviewed book.
  • For citations to other works—which should be kept to a minimum—either cite in your sentence (“As Karen Armstrong said in her 2015 Fields of Blood” (Anchor, 2015, 3)), or put the entire citation in parentheses before the period that closes the sentence, as this example:  (Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, Anchor, 2015, 23).  (Note: city of publication is not included; page number is optional)