H-Net Review Guidelines and Style Sheet
You may type the review directly into EditLive or you may do all your work in another word processing program, such as MS Word, and then copy and paste the review into EditLive. We recommend that you type your review directly into EditLive, which will protect the integrity of diacritics, character sets, and computerized functions, etc. Similar to other word processing programs, EditLive will perform and accept standard computerized functions such as italics, underlining, bolding, etc.
Under the new Reviews Management System, the review title has become a mandatory field/feature. The Review Title is specifically not the title of the book under review. While there are no word limits, please attempt to provide a succinct title for the review. Subtitles are permissible, but not necessary. In general, you should not need to place any portion of the title in italics or quotation marks, unless there is a specific reason to do so (for example, the title represents a partial quotation, etc.). All major words in the title should be capitalized; do not capitalize conjunctions, prepositions, articles, etc., unless they are the first word of the title or subtitle (if applicable).
You will be asked for the Review Title when you first enter the New Review screen. Please be aware that the title you provide in this field will be incorporated into the review. So please ensure that the review title appears in the "Title" field as you want it to appear in the review itself.
H-Net generally follows the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. (2003).
All text should begin flush with the left margin. Please do not indent anything anywhere in the review, including titles, paragraphs, and block quotations.
Single-space the text, with a double space between paragraphs. Do not use tabs or extra spaces anywhere in the review.
Within the text of the review, reviewers may consistently use either one or two spaces between each sentence and after colons; however, H-Net recommends one space after all punctuation.
Titles of all works need to be clearly set off. Titles of works such as books, films, journals, plays, songs etc. should be italicized; titles of articles, stories, poems should be placed within quotation marks.
H-Net guidelines concerning titles follow those set out in the Chicago Manual of Style 15th ed. All major words should be capitalized, while words such as prepositions, conjunctions, articles are not capitalized unless they represent the first word of the title or subtitle. See CMS beginning at 8.164 for an overview of Titles of Works.
Page numbers should be supplied in a parenthetic source citation in the text for all quoted passages from the book under review. Please do not abbreviate inclusive page numbers (use "pp. 211-212," not "pp. 211-12"). Note that punctuation generally follows the citation, as in this example, where the period falls after the last parenthesis:
Kent writes, "I knew then that my life would never be the same" (p. 57).
Please provide an individual's full name (first and last) at the first mention of that individual in the text of the review. Thus, "According to Lois Lane..." rather than "According to Lane..." The exceptions to this rule are pen names, names from pre-modern eras where no first name is given or easily obtainable, and, in a very few instances, specific and obvious exceptions--for example, Hitler and Luther on H-German; Shakespeare on H-Albion, Erasmus on most lists. Even for these, H-Net prefers a first and last name for the first mention because reviews are often re-posted on other lists.
For many works (books, movies, poems, etc.) noted in the text of the review, it is sufficient (and preferred) to provide the name of the author and title, along with the date of publication in parentheses within the body of the review. In this instance an endnote is not necessary. Place the publication/production year in parentheses immediately after the title, with no intervening punctuation, as such: "In Superman Returns (2006), the producer shows..." For longer or unwieldy citations (to journal articles, Web sites, theses, etc.), the reference should be placed in an endnote.
The default assumption is that publication dates will always be provided for works noted in reviews; however, if the publication date of a particular source is uncertain (if for example it is old enough that its exact provenance is in academic dispute) that fact should be noted when you submit the review to your editor.
Please treat endnotes as an exception and use them very sparingly, primarily for bibliographical references to sources other than the book under review. Generally, the endnote number should come at the end of a sentence, in brackets, and in the same position in which the superscript number would ordinarily fall--usually after the sentence-ending punctuation, without any intervening space, as such:
Lex Luthor has written extensively of his struggles with Superman.
At the end of the review, place the word "Notes" (or "Note" if there is only one) at the left margin, in plain text (without quotation marks, a colon, or italicization). As such:
[Last line of the review.]
. Lex Luthor, My Struggles with Superman (Metropolis: Planet Books, 1999).
. Lois Lane, "My Struggles with Superman," in Superman: The Man, the Myth, ed. Lana Lang (Metropolis: Planet Books, 2001), 202-238.
. Perry White, "Why I Hired Clark Kent," The Journal of Superhero History 25 (2000): 572-593.
- Per the Chicago Manual of Style, we no longer use "p." and "pp." in endnote citations.
H-NET Reviews Style Sheet
Below you will find a brief style sheet. These are some general rules, followed by a longer list of specific examples.
For the sake of consistency, H-Net uses American spelling and punctuation styles.
Use "U.S." and "U.K." as adjectives, "United States" and "United Kingdom" as nouns
In a list of items, a serial comma should appear before "and," as such: "... green, blue, red, purple, and yellow..."
In general, spell out whole numbers fro one through one hundred, and any of these numbers followed by "hundred," "thousand," "million," and so on: "fifteen thousand soldiers," "three million people." Otherwise, use numerals (as always for dates, as 1492). Use a comma in numbers of four digits or more when they are expressed in numerals: "1,000." But use numerals in "10 percent," and for the sake of consistency, if the use of numerals is required for one number in a group of similar items in close proximity to each other in your text, use numerals for them all: "482 soldiers left home, but only 62 returned."
Put a space both before and after a three-dot ellipsis, but no space before a four-dot ellipsis. However, do not put spaces between the dots in either case, because the dots may otherwise become separated on different lines in various e-mail programs or on the Web. For example: "Like self-government rights, polyethnic rights are seen as permanent.... Special representation rights ... are typically intended to be a temporary response."
Similarly, use two hyphens to represent an em-dash, and do not put a space before, between, or after them: "word--word."
Use lowercase and arabic numerals to refer to numbered parts of a book, even when the book itself uses roman numerals or some other system: "chapter 5," "part 2," and so on.
The names of such parts of a book as introductions, prefaces, and forewords are not treated as titles.
Use double quotation marks to refer to a word as a word: I like chocolate; the word "chocolate" has nine letters.
Possessives of names and singular words ending in an "s" are generally formed in the usual way, by adding an apostrophe and an "s"--so, "Dickens's novels." However, if the name ends in an "eez" sound (e.g., Euripides) or in an unpronounced "s" (e.g., Descartes) you omit the possessive "s"--so, "Descartes'."
Names of ethnic and racial groups, and other similarly sensitive issues, should conform to American usage and the best scholarly practices in your field. If you have a question about usage on the list you are reviewing for, please be sure to ask your editor.
The names of many historical events (such as the Boston Tea Party and the Great Depression) are capitalized. See CMS 8.81. The same is true of most major wars and revolutions, such as the American Civil War, the Seven Years' War, or the French Revolution. See CMS 8.121-122.
Please note: In the instance of the "Cold War," H-Net breaks tradition with CMS. H-Net recommends that this term be treated as the title of a war and thus capitalized, as such: Cold War, while CMS treats it as a generic description. See CMS8.81.
Washington DC and abbreviations of states, provinces and territories. Commas may be omitted under newer forms. Therefore, we recommend the following presentation for: Washington DC (no commas and no periods). See CMS 15.31.
H-NET Reviews Editorial Cheat Sheet of Commonly Used Words and Phrases
This cheat sheet of spelling and capitalization is based on The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. (2003), chapters 7-9. (These are examples of spelling and capitalization, not preferred uses.) Please consult your CMS for detailed explanations and numerous other examples. See especially 7.90 (Hyphenation Guide for Compounds, Combining Forms, and Prefixes), 8.65 (Lowercased Words Derived from Proper Nouns), 8.66-8.76 (Names of Organizations), and 8.77-8.93 (Historical and Cultural Terms).
50 percent; a 10 percent increase (no hyphen)
the 1990s (no apostrophe); the nineties
1920s-style (both adjective and adverb take hyphen)
administration; the Carter administration
African Americans; African American history (* Note that CMS no longer recommends a hyphen in the adjective.)
the Bible; biblical
the Capitol (building), but the capital city
in chapter 3
the church today; the United Methodist Church (denomination); a Methodist church
the civil rights movement
the Communist Party (but Communist parties); the party; Communist(s); Communist countries; communism (as a system of thought, as in "the communism of the early Christians") or Communism (as the name of an international political movement, as in "during the cold war, the United States government sought to prevent the spread of Communism")
cutting-edge research; on the cutting edge
the Dalai Lama (traditionally capitalized), but previous dalai lamas
decision making; a decision-making body
the East, eastern, an easterner, the East Coast (referring to the eastern U.S.); the East, the Far East, Eastern (referring to the Orient and Asian culture); eastern Europe, but Eastern Europe when referring to the post-WWII division of Europe
the equal rights amendment (U.S., unratified); ERA
federal; the federal government; federal agencies
a half hour; a half-hour session
a historical study; an heir (use "a" before a pronounced "h")
a history course (lowercase academic subjects unless they are part of a department name or an official course name or are themselves proper nouns, such as Latin)
the Ice Age, but the information age (capitalize prehistoric cultural periods but not analogous terms for modern periods)
the Internet; the Net
Interstate 80; I-80; the interstate
a jack-of-all-trades (such familiar phrases are usually hyphenated), but a flash in the pan
John A. Doe Jr.; John A. Doe III (no commas)
L. A. Lane (period and space after initials); LBJ (no period or space when whole name abbreviated)
a master's degree; M.A.'s and Ph.D.'s
the minister; the Reverend Shirley Stoops
midcentury; the mid-twentieth century
the Middle Ages
the middle class; a middle-class neighborhood
Miranda v. Arizona; the Miranda case
New York City; the city of New York
the nineteenth century; nineteenth-century history; early nineteenth-century history
North Africa, North African countries, in northern Africa
one-half (noun and adjective)
the Pacific Ocean; the Pacific and Atlantic oceans
on pages 1-35
Parliament; parliamentary; the British parliament
the pope; Pope John Paul II
President Lincoln; the president
the professor; Kriste Lindenmeyer, professor of history; Professor Lindenmeyer
the Progressive Era
Qur'an; Qur'anic (or Koran; Koranic)
the Republic of Indonesia; the republic
the Right; members of the right wing; right-winger(s); on the right
roman numerals; roman type
the sheikh; Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zak Zaky
the solar system
the South, southern, southerner, but Southern/Southerner in American Civil War contexts
southern Africa (referring to the southern part of the continent), but Southern California (considered a cultural entity)
ten- and twenty-year intervals (hyphen with word space)
the third world
the twenty-first century
the United States Postal Service; the postal service; the post office
the University of Chicago; the university; the University of Chicago and Harvard University; Northwestern and Princeton universities; the University of Wisconsin-Madison
a well-known person; he is well known; a widely known critic (no hyphen after adverb ending in "ly" within compound modifier)
the World Wide Web; the Web; a Web site; a Web page
x-ray (noun, verb, or adjective)