American Anthropological Association
Style Guide

The American Anthropological Association uses The Chicago Manual of Style and Webster's Tenth New Collegiate Dictionary. This guide is an outline of Chicago and AAA style rules used for all books and journals edited and produced in-house by the AAA Publications Department. Where no rule is present on this list, follow Chicago. In Webster's, use first spelling if there is a choice, and use American spellings, not British. This guide does not apply to the newsletters, which deviate frequently from these guidelines in the interest of space.


Per Webster's and Chicago.

Events (Chicago 7.65) Capitalize historical, quasi-historical, political, economic, and cultural events/plans: Battle of the Books, Boston Tea Party, Industrial Revolution, Great Depression, depression, the Holocaust, California gold rush, civil rights movement, cold war

Fields of study Do not capitalize: B.A. in anthropology, the sociology department, studied psychology at SUNY

Figures, tables, appendices (exception to Chicago) Capitalize in text if they refer to items within the present work: "In Figure 1 . . ."; "As you can see in Table 2 . . ." Lower-case if they refer to those in other works: "In Johnson's figure 1 . . ."

Historical/cultural terms Lower-case, except where capitalized by tradition or to avoid ambiguity, per Chicago and Webster's: Middle Ages, Restoration, Progressive Era, Roaring Twenties, Stone Age, colonial period (U.S.), romantic period, nuclear age

Names of organizations, committees, associations, conferences (Chicago 7.47-7.59) Capitalize full official names; lower-case when they become general. Examples: Circuit Court of Cook County, county court; Chicago City Council, city council, council; Bureau of the Census, Census Bureau, the bureau, federal, congressional Lower-case "the" preceding a name, even when it is part of the official title.

Place names (Chicago 7.34) Capitalize geographical and popular names of places: Antarctica, Central America, North Pole, Orient, Asia, Ivory Coast, Atlantic, Upper Michigan, Back Bay (Boston), Foggy Bottom (D.C.), City of Brotherly Love, the States Directions should be capitalized when used as a name, but not when used as a direction: Far East, the South, the West, the Western world, Westernize, North Pole, South Pacific, southeastern, northern Michigan, the south of France; the Southwest (n), but southwestern (adj); Pacific Islands, Caribbean Islands; North India, South India, Western Samoa (if seems accepted as an area, OK to cap); western Europe

Race/ethnicity (Chicago 7.32-7.33) Capitalize names of linguistic, tribal, religious, and other groups. Lower-case designations based on color, size, or local usage. Examples: black, white, Latina, Hispanic, American Indian, redneck, Alaska Natives, Euro-American, Jew, Mesoamerican, highlander, Indo-European, Native Americans, Pacific Islander, mestizo. African American (n, adj; cap, no hyphen). Cap Australian Aboriginal and Aborigine, but lower-case aboriginal otherwise.

Titles/offices Capitalize civil, military, religious, and professional titles only when they immediately precede the name. In formal usage, such as in acknowledgments or in lists of contributors, capitalize the title following the name: Louise Spindler, John Smith Professor Emeritus at Yale University; Professor Spindler, the professor of Education Studies; a professor emeritus; Henry Trueba, chair of the Department of Education Studies; the chair of the department For academic degrees/titles, capitalize when formal, lower-case when informal: Louis Spindler, Ph.D.; a Master of Science degree from University of Virginia; a master's degree in education

Titles of works (Chicago 7.123) For titles of works in AAA journals, references, and notes: change capitalization only. Do not change anything else--even spelling or punctuation. Capitalize both words in a hyphenated compound.


Spell out numbers in the following instances: one through ten larger numbers when used in the approximate sense: About a hundred soldiers were killed

Age: 24 years old, 11 months old, a 34-year-old woman, in his thirties

Dates: ninth century, 20th century; 1960-65; 1960s; the sixties; October 6, 1966; April 1993 (no comma); A.D. 1200; 1000 B.C. (caps); April 18, not April 18th

Fractions: Hyphenate as both adj. and noun: a two-thirds majority, two-thirds of those present

Ordinals: Use nd/rd: 22nd rather than 22d, 23rd rather than 23d

Quantities Use numerals for above ten and spell out measurement: 26 millimeters, five miles; but in areas of very heavy usage and in tables, OK to use 26 mm, 5 g, 10 mph Express round numbers above 1 million in numerals + words: 20 million 20 percent (and see Chicago 8.17), but in areas of heavy usage and in tables, OK to use % Use commas in 4-digit numbers: 4,508 (but p. 1409)

Series: When dealing with more than one series of quantities, use numerals: "The first shape had 4 sides, the second had 7, and the third had 3." Also, when small numbers occur in a group with large numbers, set them all in numerals for consistency.

Use numerals for numbered items such as parts of a book: chapter 5, part 2, page 35, volume 4.

Times: 2:00 p.m., noon

Inclusive numbers: Use all numbers except in year spans: 893-897; 1,023-1,045; but 1989-92


Foreign terms Italicize only those foreign terms that do not appear in the main section of Webster's. Italicize them on first use only, but allow exceptions in cases of problematic terms (e.g., the Japanese word "ie"). Plural "s" sets in Roman.

Words as words Italicize words used as words in written context, but when spoken context is implied, use quotation marks: "A speech event is a way of speaking"; "What he calls `incorporating practices' are ways . . ."

[sic] Italicize word, not brackets.

Legal usage Use italics for names of legal cases (Chicago 7.69).


Initial letter: OK to change case of initial letter of quote to fit sentence without using brackets.

Spelling/punctuation corrections: Leave all spellings and punctuation alone in quotes; use [sic] if necessary, and give an explanation in text if absolutely necessary.

Yes and No Do not use quotes for yes or no except in direct discourse (Chicago 10.33).

Format for block quotations/excerpts Block quotations of 5 or more continuous lines. If italics have been added, specify: [Smith 1993, emphasis added] If 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. Per Chicago 10.29, "when a quotation run into the text in the typescript is converted into a block quotation by author or editor, the initial and final quotation marks must be deleted and the internal marks changed." Do not use initial ellipses. Within articles, indent left, use smaller type. Within reviews, comments, special sections, indent left, use same type size Use brackets for callouts at the end of a block.


AAA Reference Style is as follows, punctuation/italics as indicated. All references must be cited in author-date form; all author-date citations must be referenced. Use full first names when possible for authors and editors (but not if author goes by initials). Use space between initials: T. S. Eliot In book reviews and other reviews, references are handled in text instead of at end of chapter. Use "et al." in text citations of 3 or more authors. In References Cited, spell out all names. In in-text citations (author/date), use colon between year and page number instead of comma. For instance, use Waterman 1990:3-7 instead of Waterman 1990, 3-7 (exception to Chicago). Don't use state name with city of publication unless city is obscure or there are several with that name. Where state name is used, use two-letter postal code. Do not use ibid. for repeated references. Place text citations as near the author's name as possible; place quotation citations after the quote. When citing an author, put the year in parentheses, but when citing a work, put the year (and page numbers, if applicable) in the running text. Newspaper names used as authors in citations are italicized, but as authors in references they are roman. Cite a specific volume of a referenced work by inserting the volume number after the year (e.g., Waterman 1990, 2:3-7). If only one volume of the work is cited in article, reference only that volume and don't include volume number in citation.

A. Single-author book

Castles, Stephen
  1984  Here for Good. London: Pluto Press.

B. Coauthored book

Bonacich, Edna, and John Modell
  1980  The Economic Basis of Ethnic Solidarity: Small Business in
    the Japanese American Community. Berkeley: University of
    California Press.

C. Author, with others

Bonacich, Edna, with Mark Smith and Kathy Hunt
  1980  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

Gallimore, Ronald
  1983a  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
  1983b  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

E. Work accepted for publication

Spindler, George
  In press  In Pursuit of a Dream: The Experience of Central
    Americans Recently Arrived in the U.S. Stanford: Stanford
    University Press.

F. Work submitted for publication, unpublished work

Spindler, George
  n.d.  Education and Reproduction among Turkish Families in
    Sydney. Department of Education, University of Sydney,
    unpublished MS.

G. Chapter in book with editor(s)

Rohlen, Thomas P.
  1981  Education: Policies and Prospects. In Koreans in Japan:
    Ethnic Conflicts and Accommodation. C. Lee and George DeVos, eds.
    Pp. 182-222. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Price, T. Douglas
  1993  Issues in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Research. In Hunting
    and Animal Exploitation in the Later Palaeolithic 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.

H. Editor as author

Diskin, Martin, ed.
  1983  Trouble in Our Backyard: Central America in the Eighties.
    New York: Pantheon Books.

I. Article in journal (If page numbering does not continue throughout volume, include issue number in parentheses after volume number.)

Moll, Luis C.
  1986  Writing as Communication: Creating Strategic Learning
    Environments for Students. Theory into Practice 25:102-108.

J. Article in journal theme issue

Rutherford, Danilyn
  1996  Of Birds and Gifts: Reviving Tradition on an Indonesian
    Frontier. In Resisting Identities. Theme issue. Cultural
    Anthropology 11:577-616.

K. Book in a series

Bartlett, H. H.
  1973  The Labors of the Datoe and Other Essays on the Batak of
    Asakan (North Sumatra). Michigan Papers on South and Southeast
    Asia, 15. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.

L. One volume in a multivolume work

Clutton-Brock, Juliet, and Caroline Grigson, eds.
  1983  Animals and Archaeology, vol. 1. Hunters and Their Prey.
    BAR International Series, 163. Oxford: British Archaeological

M. Review

Trueba, Henry T.
  1986  Review of Beyond Language: Social and Cultural Factors in
    Schooling Language Minority Students. Anthropology and Education
    Quarterly 17:255-259.

N. Report

Kamehameha Schools
  1977  Results of the Minimum Objective System, 1975-1976.
    Technical Report No. 77. Honolulu, HA: Kamehameha Schools,
    Kamehameha Elementary Education Program.

O. Ph.D. dissertation

D'Amato, John
  1986  "We Cool, Tha's Why": A Study of Personhood and Place in a
    Class of Hawaiian Second Graders. Ph.D. dissertation, University
    of Hawaii.

P. Paper

Shimahara, Nobuo K.
  1983  Mobility and Education of Buraku: The Case of a Japanese
    Minority. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American
    Anthropological Association, Chicago, November 18.

Q. Reprint/translation

Gennep, A. van
  1960[1908]  The Rites of Passage. M. Vizedom and M. Caffee,
    trans. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

R. Subsequent edition

Gallimore, Ronald
  1986  Qualitative Methods in Research on Teaching. In Handbook of
    Research on Teaching. 3rd edition. M. C. Wittrock, ed. Pp. 119-162. New
    York: Macmillan.

S. Article in a newspaper or popular magazine

Reinhold, Robert
  1986  Illegal Aliens Hoping to Claim Their Dreams. New York
    Times, November 3: A1, A10.

T. Personal communication (including e-mail, listserv, and newsgroup messages)

Should be cited in text, with specific date, but not in references. Example: "Horace Smith claims (letter to author, July 12, 1993) that . . ."

U. Court case

Should be cited in text but not in references. Example: (Doe v. U.Mich., 721 F. Supplement 852 [1989]). See Chicago 16.174 for details.

V. Internet document

Use this format (the "URL") for documents obtained at FTP or Telnet sites (ftp://...), WWW sites (http://), and gopher sites (gopher://):

Rheingold, Howard
  1992  A Slice of Life in My Virtual Community. Electronic
    retrieved Jan 5, 1997.

Other AAA Style Rules and Word Treatments

Abbreviations: Do not use in narrative text in most cases (see Chicago 14.31).
Appendixes: Place at the end of the article, after references.
Arctic (n); arctic (adj)
basketmakers (artisans); Basket Maker (cultural period)
bride-price (per Webster's)
bridewealth (per Webster's)
Classic Maya
Commas between clauses: Use commas between clauses separated by conjunctions unless the clauses are short and closely related. Also, use commas around parenthetical elements:

It is right here, in the center of the room, that we should put the bookcase.
It was the January 3, 1993, issue of the journal.
It was wrong in the Abilene, Texas, version of the law.

Comma, series: Use a series comma--in a series of 3 or more items, a comma is used between the next-to-last item and the and, as follows: The umbrella was red, blue, and white.
coresident; coworker
e-mail: No need to spell out; no caps
Euro-American (not Euramerican)
fax: No caps
field notes; fieldwork; fieldworker
full-time; part-time (hyph. in any position as adj)
The Hague (but the Netherlands; check Webster's)
Heads: Do not number heads; use bold face or italic to indicate level of head
health care systems; but federal and state health-care systems (if it makes it clearer, hyphenate)
he/she: Use "he or she" or "they" or another workaround. See Casey Miller & Kate Swift, The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing: For Writers, Editors, and Speakers, 2nd edition. New York: Harper & Row, 1988; also, Marilyn Schwartz and the Task Force on Bias-Free Language of the Association of American University Presses, Guidelines for Bias-Free Writing, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.
a historical study (not an historical study); a hotel
i.e., e.g., etc.: Use only in parentheses unless unavoidable
Initials: Use a space between two initials: T. S. Eliot
Letters as shapes: Leave normal font (i.e., do not use with sans serif typeface) in cases such as U-shaped, L-shaped
Ligatures: Do not use except in an Old English language piece
Linguistic translations: Do not use half-quotes for linguistic translations unless the article is heavily linguistic and use is consistent in manuscript.
Lists: Run lists into text with numbers: (1), (2), (3), not (a), (b), (c). If the list is quite long, break out into excerpt style.
m.y.a. (million years ago); B.P. (before the present); b.p. (before the present, uncalibrated)
non-kin (hyphenate if necessary to avoid confusion)
nonnative (per Webster's 10th)
Note numbers: Don't put any superior figures with display type such as heads and epigraphs unless unavoidable
rain forest (per Webster's)
re-create (create again)
semi-independent; semi-indirect (use hyphens to avoid double vowels)
Spelling: Where alternate spellings exist, use the Webster's preferred spelling with AAA exceptions listed in this style sheet.
States: Spell out state names in text. In notes, references, tables, addresses, etc., use 2-digit postal abbreviations (e.g., AL, TX--see Chicago 14.17).
Table/figure callouts: Every table and figure has to have a callout in text.
toward (not towards)
Teotihuacan (Nahuatl, without accent on last a; Spanish, with accent)
underway (adj); under way (adv)
worldview (per Webster's)