Style Sheet for Reviews

You may type your review directly into the text editor in the Reviews Management System, or you may do all your work in another word processing program, such as MS Word, and then copy and paste the review into the RMS text editor. We recommend that you type your review directly into the RMS text editing box and use the formatting pane to add italics, underlining, bolding, etc. If pasting from another program, we recommend that you use the "Paste from Word" or "Paste as Plain Text" buttons in the formatting pane to protect the integrity of diacritics and character sets and avoid importing any unwanted hidden formatting. You can watch a video to learn how to upload a review to the Reviews Management System here.

Review Title

A descriptive review title is not mandatory. The review title is specifically not the title of the book review under review. Should you choose to provide a review title, please make it succinct. 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. You may choose to leave this blank. Please be aware that the title you provide in this field will be incorporated into the review. So if you include a review title, please ensure that it appears in the "Title" field as you want it to appear in the review itself.

Text Guidelines

H-Net generally follows the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), 17th ed. (2017).

All text should begin flush with the left margin. Please do not indent anything anywhere in the review, including titles, paragraphs, and block quotations.

Use single-spaces in the text, with a double space between paragraphs. Do not use tabs or extra spaces anywhere in the review.

Use 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, and poems should be placed in quotation marks.

H-Net guidelines concerning titles follow those set out in CMS. All major words should be capitalized, while such words as prepositions, conjunctions, and articles are not capitalized unless they represent the first word of the title or subtitle. See CMS beginning at 8.157 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. Follow CMS 9.61 in abbreviating inclusive page numbers (for example, pp. 100-109; 101-8; 322-29). 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 premodern eras where a first name is not given or is not easily obtainable, and, in a very few instances specific, obvious exceptions--for example, Hitler and Luther on H-German, Shakespeare on H-Albion, or Erasmus on most networks. Even for these, H-Net prefers a first and last name for the first mention because reviews are often reposted on other networks.

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: "In Superman Returns (2006), the producer shows..." For longer or unwieldy citations (to journal articles, websites, 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 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:

Lex Luthor has written extensively of his struggles with Superman.[1]

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). Please also note that per CMS (17th edition), ibid. is no longer used in endnotes (see example below). For example:

[Last line of the review.]


[1]. Lex Luthor, My Struggles with Superman (Metropolis: Planet Books, 1999), 11-20.

[2]. Lois Lane, "My Struggles with Superman," in Superman: The Man, the Myth, ed. Lana Lang (Metropolis: Planet Books, 2001), 202-38.

[3]. Perry White, "Why I Hired Clark Kent," The Journal of Superhero History 25 (2000): 572-93.

[4]. White, "Why I Hired Clark Kent," 590.

Per CMS, we do not 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. Please proofread your text carefully.

For the sake of consistency, H-Net uses American spelling and punctuation styles. Use double quotation marks with the exception of quotations within quotations.

In a list of items, a serial comma should appear before "and," for example: "... green, blue, red, purple, and yellow...."

In general, spell out whole numbers from 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: "1,200." 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 numbers 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. However, do not put spaces between the dots, because the dots may otherwise become separated on different lines in various email programs or on the web. For example: “Special representation rights ... are typically intended to be a temporary response.”

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."

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 network 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 8.75. 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 8.113.

H-Net List of Commonly Used Words and Phrases

This list of spelling and capitalization is based on The CMS, 17th ed. (2017), 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


the Bible; biblical

the Capitol (building), but the capital city

the church today; the United Methodist Church (denomination); a Methodist church; church and state

the civil rights movement


the Cold War

the Communist Party (but Communist parties); the party; Communist(s); Communist countries; communism or Communism (See CMS 8.66)

decision-making; a decision-making body

the East, eastern, an easterner, the East Coast (referring to the eastern U.S.); the Far East, Eastern (referring to the Orient and Asian culture); eastern Europe, but Eastern Europe when referring to the post-World War II division of Europe

the Equal Rights Amendment (usually capitalized though not ratified); ERA; but an equal rights amendment

fall (season)

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; Latin American studies; comparative literature (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

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; MAs and PhDs

midcentury; the mid-twentieth century

the Middle Ages; medieval village; late Middle Ages, but High Middle Ages

the middle class; a middle-class neighborhood

the Midwest; midwestern; midwesterner

Miranda v. Arizona; the Miranda case

New York City; the city of New York

the nineteenth century; nineteenth-century history; early nineteenth-century history

the North, northern, northerner, but Northern/Northerner in American Civil War contexts; North Africa, North African countries, in northern Africa; Northern California (considered a cultural entity)


the Pacific Ocean; the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

Ottoman Empire; the empire

Parliament; the British parliament; an early parliament; parliamentary


the pope; Pope John Paul II



President Lincoln; the president

prewar; postwar; interwar

the professor; Kriste Lindenmeyer, professor of history; Professor Lindenmeyer

the Progressive Era; Progressive-Era reforms

Qur'an; Qur'anic (or Koran; Koranic)

the Republic of Indonesia; the republic; the Republic in the US context

scripture(s); scriptural; Hebrew scriptures

so-called (adjective), a word or phrase preceded by so-called should not be placed in quotation marks, unless it is necessary to call attention to only one part of the phrase as in, These days, so-called "running" shoes are more likely to be seen on the feet of walkers.


the South, southern, southerner, but Southern/Southerner in American Civil War contexts; South Africa; southern Africa (referring to the southern part of the continent); Southern California (considered a cultural entity); the Deep South

ten- and twenty-year intervals

transatlantic; trans-American

the United States; US foreign policy; United States (or US) Army; the army

the University of Chicago; the university; the University of Chicago and Harvard University; Northwestern and Princeton Universities; the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Washington, DC

a well-known person; he is well known; a widely known critic (no hyphen after adverb ending in "ly" within compound modifier)

the West, western, a westerner; Western (referring to the culture of the Occident, or Europe and the Western Hemisphere)

the web; a website; a web page