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AAA Style Guide

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AAA uses The Chicago Manual of Style (14th edition, 1993) and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (10th edition, 1993; On-Line edition, 2003).

This guide is an outline of style rules basic to AAA style. Where no rule is present on this list, follow Chicago.
With 7 pages to work with, you have roughly 1.5 pages to introduce and conclude and 4 pages to make your case. This is a ridiculously compressed amount of space/time. The good news is that it focuses you to figure out what your point actually is and allows you to dwell on the broad relevance of your findings. The bad news is that you must resist spending four pages just describing where your fieldsite is. Remember: because of length, evidence in AAA papers is decorative and exemplary, a promissory note for the whole story.

In Webster’s, use the first spelling if there is a choice and use American not British spellings. (This guide does not apply to newsletters, which deviate frequently from these guidelines in the interest of space and tend to follow many Associated Press style rules)

Article Titles and Section Heads

Do not put endnote callouts on display type such as titles, section heads, or epigraphs.

AAA papers matter more than publications: AAA papers are the consommé of our academic inventory of soups and stocks. They are short, so it is easier for people to digest them than publications. Your presentation is not even mostly about the paper, but mostly about you as a person — whether you are ‘smart’ or ‘interesting’ or a ‘comer’ or not. Articles do not allow people to size you up in this way. And, realistically, even in very small sessions, more people may closely attend to your paper than ever get around the scrutinizing your articles. Above all, at AAA you make a flesh-and-blood on people, people who may later be interviewing you for jobs, evaluating you for tenure, or giving you research money. The bad news is that for some reason we treat these papers as the least important form of scholarly publication when, sociologically speaking, they are the most important. The good news is that you now know this while all the in the room do not, so now you have the advantage.

Place them after nearest hard punctuation or at the ends of excerpts. Never use endnote inside excerpts or after soft punctuation (ie., commas, em-dashes, in lines of poetry, etc.)

Do not number section heads

Use the following terms for each separate submission:

• paper = conference

• article = journal or newspaper

• chapter = book

• essay = essay in journal, book, etc.

• review = review in journal or newspaper


Follow Webster’s and Chicago

Ethnicity (Chicago 733-7.35):

• Capitalize these terms as noted (unless author objects): African American, Afro-

American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Canadian American,

Euramerican, Euro-American, Euro-Canadian, European American, European

Canadian, Hispanic, Indo-European, Jew, Latina, Mesoamerican, Native (indigenous),

Native American, Pacific Islander, Australian and Canadian Aboriginal and Aborigine

• Lowercase these terms as noted: aboriginal (where not Australian or Canadian);

black; highlander, but Highlander (where referring to Scottish); mestizo; redneck;


Events (Chicago 768):

• Capitalize historical, quasi-historical, political, economic, and cultural events or plans: Battle of the Books, Boston Tea Party, Cold War (20th century, USSR vs


, Great Depression, the Holocaust, Industrial Revolution

• Lowercase: California gold rush, civil rights movement, cold war, depression

Figures, tables, appendixes (exception to Chicago):

• Capitalize in text if they refer to items within the present work, lowercase if they refer to those in other works:

• In Figure 1

• As you can see in Table 2

• In Johnson’s figure 1

• Evidence in Johnson’s table 1 agrees with my own (Table 2)

Historical or cultural terms (Chicago 763-7.73):

• Where capitalized by tradition or to avoid ambiguity, per Chicago and Webster’s use:

Middle Ages, Progressive Era, Restoration, Roaring Twenties, Stone Age,

• Lowercase: ancient Greece, nuclear age, romantic period, U.S. colonial period

Names of organizations, committees, associations, conferences (Chicago 750-7.62):

• Capitalize full official names—lowercase “the” preceding a name, even where it is part of the official title: the Baltimore City Council, Bureau of the Census, Census

Bureau, Circuit Court of Cook County

• Lowercase where they become general: the bureau, city council, congressional, council, county court, federal

Place-names (Chicago 736-7.39):

• Capitalize geographical and popular names of places: Antarctica, Asia, Atlantic, Back

Bay (Boston), Central America, City of Brotherly Love, Foggy Bottom (DC.), Ivory

Coast, North Pole, Orient, the States, Third World (do not hyphenate as adj), Upper


• Directions should be capitalized where used as a name but not where used as a direction:

• Caribbean Islands; Far East; North India; North Pole; Pacific Islands;

the South; South India; South Pacific; the Southwest (n), but southwestern (adj.); the West; Westernize

• northern Michigan, the south of France, southeastern, western Samoa, the Western world

• Lowercase: eastern Europe, western Europe, central Europe. Exceptions: use Eastern and Western Europe in the context of the political divisions of the Cold War; use

Central Europe in the context of the political divisions of World War I

Titles of offices (Chicago 716-7.26):

• Capitalize civil, military, religious, and professional titles only where they immediately precede the name. In formal usage, such as acknowledgments or lists of contributors, capitalize the title following the name: B.A. in anthropology; Judy

Jones, Smith Professor Emeritus at Yale University; Professor Jones, associate professor of education studies; a professor emeritus; Henry Trueba, chair of the

Department of Education Studies; the chairman of the department

• For academic degrees or titles, capitalize where formal, lowercase where informal:

Louis Spindler, Ph.D.; a Master of Science degree from University of Virginia; a master’s degree in education

Titles of works (Chicago 7126):

• For titles of works in AAA journals, references cited, and notes: change capitalization only. Do not change anything else, even spelling or punctuation (exception to


• Capitalize first and last words of titles and subtitles in English. For other languages, follow Chicago

• Capitalize both words in a hyphenated compound (exception to Chicago)

• Do not capitalize parenthetical translations of titles in references cited

Foreign Words and Foreign Quotations


• Alert field office and AAA of unusual characters or fonts in advance of submission to verify they are printable.


• Put foreign sentences and quotations in quotation marks (and do not italicize)


• Include translations of foreign words in parentheses immediately following (or vice versa, but keep consistent throughout the work):

• ellai (borders) and cantippu (crossroads)

• Include translations of foreign-language quotations either in an endnote or in brackets immediately following the quotation (without italics and without quotation marks):

• “Todas somos amigas de desde chiquitas, casi puras vecinas” [We are all friends since we were small, and almost all are neighbors].

• See Reference Examples, example X, for translation of foreign titles in references


• Italicize non-English words that do not appear in the main section of Webster’s.

Italicize them on first use only, unless used as a term (see Italics, Words as words)


Words as words:

• Italicize words used as words (eg., as terms) in written context; but where the context is solely the spoken word, is used for ironic effect, or is a concept, use quotation marks:

• In Smith 1994 the term subaltern implies

• to keep children on the “right path” academically

• Bourdieu, who utilized notions of “cultural capital” and “habitus”

• Bourdieu defines cultural capital and habitus as

Legal usage (Chicago 772):

• Use italics for names of legal cases

Publication names:

• Italicize publications used as authors in in-text citations, but leave roman in references cited

[sic] (Chicago 107):

• Italicize word, not brackets

• Correct obvious typographical errors rather than use [sic]

Do not italicize: e.g., i.e., or cf.


Spell out numbers in the following instances:

• One through ten

• Numbers at the beginning of a sentence

• Numbers where used in the approximate sense:

• The area comprises roughly two hundred viable sites; not 200

• About 15 thousand soldiers were killed; not 15,000 or fifteen thousand


• 24 years old, 11 months old, a 34-year-old woman, in her thirties


• Assume dollar designations are in U.S. currency. Otherwise (eg., Canada) use:

• US$200 (not US.) and CAN$200

• Do not use $ with USD (eg., $20 USD), as it is redundant

• Refer to the Government Printing Office for pre-Euro designations, or flag for the production department at AAA


• ninth century, 20th century; 1960-65; 1960s (not 60s); the sixties; October 6, 1966;

April 1993 (no comma); C.E. 1200; 1000 B.C.E.; April 18, not April 18th


• Hyphenate as both adjective and noun: a two-thirds majority, two-thirds of those present

Inclusive numbers:

• Do not elide numbers in a range: 893-897; 1,023-1,045

• Elide year spans (exception to above): 1989-92

“Mid -”:

• Hyphenate numbers or numerals: mid-thirties (age), mid-1800s (years)

• Use an en-dash, rather than hyphen, with an open compound: mid-19th century, mid-

Cold War

Numbered items such as parts of a book, are not capitalized:

• chapter 5 (in reviews ch 5 or chs. 5-7), part 2

Ordinals (nd or rd):

• 22nd, rather than 22d; 23rd, rather than 23d

Quantities (Chicago 818):

• Use numerals above ten and spell out measurement: 26 millimeters, five miles, 15 kilometers (not km); but in tables, OK to use 26 mm, 5 gm, 10 mph

• Express round numbers above ten million in numerals + words: 20 million

• 20 percent, but in tables, OK to use %

• Use commas in four-digit numbers: 1,409; but not page numbers (p 1409)


• Where dealing with more than one series of quantities, use numerals for one of the series: The first shape had 4 sides, the second had 7 … and the twelfth had 3

• Where small numbers occur in a group with large numbers, set them all in numerals for consistency

Statistics (Chicago 819-8.20; 12.66):

• Decimal fractions: use initial zero only if number can equal or exceed 1

• 0.3-1.5

• according to a Chi-square test yielding a value of 4.2, p < .05

• Kappa = .33, p < .05

• Use N for sample sizes, but use n for subgroups of samples


• 2:00 p.m., noon


Binary distinctions, dichotomies, or equal relationships: use en-dash, not solidus or hyphen

• parent-teacher; us-them; mind-body, not mind-body or mind/body

• Previously published phrases are excepted: Foucault’s power/knowledge


All published quotations must be cited with year and page number(s):

• (1992:7-8)

Avoid “cited in” where citing quotes within another work.

In sum, AAA papers are so important, and yet so terrible that it should be easy to produce a good one: with the bar this low, how much trouble will you have jumping over it? Do the world a favor and reduce the suck quotient at AAA panels by following these simple pieces of advice today, so we can have a better world tomorrow.

Use the work listed in references cited and adjust the language outside parentheses:

• As Johnson notes (Webber 1992)

• Do not use: (Johnson, cited in Webber 1992)

Format for block extracts:

• If extract takes more than four manuscript lines, make it a block extract

• Use brackets for citation at the end of a block; put sentence period before citation

• If italics have been added, specify:

• [Smith 1993:22, emphasis added]

• Do not use “emphasis in original”

• If multiple paragraphs occur within a continuous block, the first paragraph should have no indent, but subsequent paragraphs should be marked by indents rather than extra leading

Initial letter

• Change case of initial letter of quote to fit sentence without using brackets

Per Chicago 10.28: When a quotation that is run into the text in the typescript is converted to a block quotation [by author or editor], the quotation marks enclosing it are dropped, and interior quotation marks are changed accordingly.

Spelling and punctuation corrections:

• Leave all spellings and punctuation alone in quotes; use [sic] only if necessary, and give an explanation in text if absolutely necessary

Do not use initial or final ellipses

Do not use quotes for yes or no except in direct discourse (Chicago 1035)

Running Text

Abbreviations (see Chicago 1432-14.33):

• Do not use in narrative text in most cases

• Ampersands: replace all “&” with “and”

• Scholarship:

• Only abbreviate in parentheses: (ie., e.g., etc.)

• Spell out in text: that is, for example, et cetera, and so forth

Articles in titles:

• Drop or romanize articles in titles (a, the) from text:

• In 1998, a New York Times op-ed piece indicated

• The Washington Post article contends

Avoid gender-related language:

• See Casey Miller and Kate Swift’s The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing (New York:

Lippincott and Crowell, 1980)

• Never use “s/h e,” “him/her,” or “his/her”: Use “he or she” or rewrite as plural to avoid. See The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing (Casey Miller and Kate Swift) for more on nonsexist language


• Use serial commas. Use a comma to separate the clauses of a compound sentence but not a compound subject or a compound predicate unless there are three or more elements.

Seven pages, twenty minutes: AA papers are 20 minutes long, more or less. It takes three minutes to read a page of double-spaced 12 point Times New Roman. Your paper should be 7 pages long. Not 8 pages, and not 6 pages unless you then proceedeth to 7. Don’t come to the meetings with a 50 page dissertation chapter and expect the thing to magically cut itself down to 7 pages magically before your eyes as you stand at the podium during your session.

Use commas around parenthetical elements


• Spell out names on first occurrence and then use first initial on subsequent occurrences:

Curly Mustache:





• Run lists into text with (1), (2), (3), etc. Do not use (a), (b), (c), etc.

• Use pairs of parentheses, not singles

Spaces between initials:

• T. S. Eliot, H. L. Mencken


• Use the first spelling in Webster’s unless otherwise noted

Tables, Figures, and Appendixes

Table and figure widths depend on the size of the journal. Ensure that all text and figures are sized to fit within the margin limitations of submitting journal or contact AAA

production office for verification

Every table and figure should have a callout in running text: [Place Table 1 here]

Place appendixes at the end of the article, after the references cited

Text Citations and References Cited

All references must be cited in author-date form; all author-date citations must be referenced


• References with the same author and date should be placed in alphabetical order, by title


• Place text citations as near the author’s name as possible, except place quotation citations after the quote

• Use colon, no space, between year and page number (exception to Chicago):

• Waterman 1990:3-7

• Use “et al.” in text citations of three or more authors , but use all names in references cited

• Use full first names where possible for authors and editors (but do not force if author goes by initials)

• Where citing an author, put the year in parentheses, but where citing a work, leave the year (and page numbers, if applicable) in the running text:

• Author: Smith (1990) eloquently describes the material.

• Work: Smith 1990 contains an analysis of the material.

Do not use ibid. for repeated references


• Where citing a note or notes, use:

• (Boulifa 1990:10 n 12, 24 nn. 12-13)

Works in production or near publication:

• Text citations: in press; n.d.

• References cited: In press; N.d.

Reprinted material:

• Where citing reprinted material, use date from work used in text citations and insert all dates in references cited list:

• Text citations: (Webber 1994)

• References cited: Webber 1994[1849]


• References are handled in text citations, rather than the end of the chapter—provide title, author, publisher, and year, but omit the city of publication:

• (What Was Socialism, and What Comes Next? Katherine Verdery, Princeton University Press, 1996)

• (“Ethnography in/of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography,” Annual Review of Anthropology, 1995:95-117)

States (Chicago 1417):

• Spell out state names in text

• Do not use state name with city of publication in references unless the city is obscure or there are several with the same name

• Where state name is used in notes, references cited, tables, or addresses, use two-letter postal code abbreviations (eg., AL, TX, DC)


• In references where the author also is the translator use: Victor Hugo, ed. and trans.


• If volume is the only one referenced in the article, then include its number in references cited and omit its number from the text citation

• Cite a specific volume of a referenced work by inserting the volume number after the year: (Waterman 1990, vol 2:3-7)

Various Other Style Rules and Word Treatments

• Acronyms: do not spell out common acronyms: CIA; FBI; IMF; NASA; NATO;


• America or American: For clarity use the noun United States and the adjective U.S.

unless a wider region is intended

• and/or: never use

• anti-inflammatory

• archaeology; exception is Archeology section of AAA

• Arctic (n), arctic (adj.)

• audio-recorded, audio-recording, audiovideo

• basketmakers (artisans), Basket Maker (cultural period)

• besides

• bride-price (per Webster’s)

• bridewealth (per Webster’s)

• Classic Maya

• cross-gender

• coresident, coworker

• database

• de-emphasize

• early-century, late-century

• e-mail, Internet, on-line, website

• fax

• field notes, fieldwork, fieldworker

• full-time, part-time (hyphenate in any position as adj)

• health care systems; but federal and state health-care systems (hyphenate only for clarity)

• a historical study (not an historical study), a hotel

• Letters as shapes: Leave normal font—that is, do not use with sans serif typeface—in cases such as U-shaped, L-shaped

• lifespan, lifestyle, lifeworld

• Ligatures: Do not use except in an Old English language piece

• m.y.a. (million years ago), B.P. (before the present, calibrated), b.p. (before the present, uncalibrated)

• nation-making, nation-building (exception to Chicago)

• the Netherlands; but The Hague (Webster’s)

• non-kin (hyphenate to avoid confusion)

• participant-observation

• rain forest (per Webster’s)

• re-create (create again)

• semi-independent, semi-indirect (use hyphens for double vowels, except as in


• Split infinitives: The thirteenth edition of this manual included split infinitives among the examples of “errors and infelicities” but tempered the inclusion by adding, in parentheses, that they are “debatable ‘error.’ ” The item has been dropped from the fourteenth edition because the Press now regards the intelligent and discriminating use of the construction as a legitimate form of expression and nothing writers or editors need feel uneasy about. Indeed, it seems to us that in many cases clarity and naturalness of expression are best served by a judicious splitting of infinitives.

Of course, when you read your paper you should not suck at doing it. Write the paper as if it were a monologue instead of dense academic prose — no one wants to read dense academic prose, much less listen to it. Read it as if it were a monologue. Project, stand up straight, make eye contact, read at a reasonable pace, all that kind of stuff. You could even try rehearsing before you perform if you were feeling really ambitious. In fact, the best way to present would be to just memorize your talk so that you don’t need a paper, but this is usually more trouble than it’s worth.

[Chicago 2.98 n. 9]

• sub-Saharan

• toward (not towards)

• Teotihuacan (Nahuatl, without accent on last a; Spanish, with accent)

• Turn of the Century, for beginning of 20th century; but turn of the 19th century—

avoid the ambiguous “turn of this century”

• underway (adj); under way (adv.)

• unselfconscious

• worldview

Reference Examples

Where there are two places of publication for a reference, use only the first

A. Single-Author Book

Castles, Stephen

1990 Here for Good. London: Pluto Press.

B. Coauthored Book

Bonacich, Edna, and John Modell

1975 The Economic Basis of Ethnic Solidarity: Small Business in the Japanese

American Community. Berkeley: University of California Press.

I’d suggest either analyzing one single event or case study, or else focusing on three things/conclusions/themes and spending a page and change on each of them. Keep it tight, and remember to include only the details you need to make your point. This will probably be challenging because 1) it is too hard for you to be reductive due to your holistic, particularizing impulses or 2) you have no idea what you actually want to say. Regardless, remember that the evidence is there to make a point, and that your presentation must be point driven.

C. Author, with Others (cite first author in text citations)

Bonacich, Edna, with Mark Smith and Kathy Hunt

1999 The Economic Basis of Ethnic Solidarity: Small Business in the Japanese

American Community. Berkeley: University of California Press.

D. Multiple References in the Same Year (alphabetize by title)

Gallimore, Ronald

1983a A Christmas Feast. New York: Oxford University Press.

1983b Holiday Gatherings in the Pacific Northwest. Berkeley: University of California


E. Work Accepted for Publication

Spindler, George

In press In Pursuit of a Dream: The Experience of Central Americans Recently Arrived in the United States. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

F. Work Submitted for Publication or Unpublished Work

Smith, John

N.d. Education and Reproduction among Turkish Families in Sydney. Unpublished MS,

Department of Education, University of Sydney.

G. Materials in Archives

Egmont Manuscripts

N.d. Phillips Collection. University of Georgia Library, Athens.

Davidson, William A.

N.d. “On several occasions she would even join in our discussions .” Untitled paper,

John P. Gillin

Papers: Box 10.1. Peabody Museum Archives, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Ambasamudram Taluk

1879 Settlement Register, Tirunleveli District. Archived material, Madras Archives,

Chennai (Madras), Tamilnadu, India.

H. Chapter in Book with Editor(s)

Rohlen, Thomas P.

1993 Education: Policies and Prospects. In Koreans in Japan: Ethnic Conflicts and

Accommodation. Cameron Lee and George De Vos, eds. Pp. 182-222. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Price, T. Douglas

1984 Issues in Paleolithic and Mesolithic Research. In Hunting and Animal

Exploitation in the Later Paleolithic and Mesolithic of Eurasia. Gail Larsen Peterkin, Harvey M. Bricker, and Paul Mellars, eds. Pp. 241-244. Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, 4. Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association.

Think about your evidence: qualitative data takes time and space to layout, which is why anthropologists write long-form monographs. In most cases participant-observation is resistant to tabulation, and I can guarentee no one at AAAs is going to ask you what P is for your study. This means that you will have the freedom to make whatever claims you want in your paper regardless of the quality and amount of your evidence.

I. Editor as Author

Diskin, Martin, ed.

1970 Trouble in Our Backyard: Central America in the Eighties. New York: Pantheon


J. Article in Journal

Moll, Luis C.

2000 Writing as Communication: Creating Strategic Learning Environments for

Students. Theory into Practice 25(3):202-208.

K. Article in Journal Special or Theme Issue

Heriot, M. Jean

1996 Fetal Rights versus the Female Body: Contested Domains. Theme issue, “The

Social Production of Authoritative Knowledge in Pregnancy and Childbirth,” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 10(2):176-194.

Revise: 7 pages is totally nothing. Revise constantly. In fact, why don’t you pound out your 7 page draft now, let it sit for a couple of months, and then pick it up a month or two before AAAs? I guarantee it will result in a better finished product. I’ve already written my first draft of my AAA paper.

Heriot, M. Jean, ed.

1996 The Social Production of Authoritative Knowledge in Pregnancy and Childbirth.

Theme issue, Medical Anthropology Quarterly 10(2).

L. Book in Series

Singh, Balwant

1994 Independence and Democracy in Burma, 1945-1952: The Turbulent Years.

Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia, 40. Ann Arbor: University of

Michigan Press.

M. One Volume in Multivolume Work

Clutton-Brock, Juliet, and Caroline Grigson, eds.

1986 Animals and Archaeology, vol. 1: Hunters and Their Prey. BAR International

Series, 163. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.

1998 The Practice of Everyday Life, vol. 2: Living and Cooking. Rev. edition. Luce

Giard, ed. Timothy J. Tomasik, trans. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

N. Review

Trueba, Henry T.

1999 Review of Beyond Language: Social and Cultural Factors in Schooling Language

Minority Students. Anthropology and Education Quarterly 17(2):255-259.

Barret, Rusty

2001 Review of Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity. In Journal of Linguistic

Anthropology 12(2). Electronic document,

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