The Chicago Manual of Style (17th Ed., 2017), abbreviated CMS herein, is the basic style authority for Class Line and should be consulted to answer any questions not specifically covered by this Style Guide. Webster’s New World Dictionary (5th College Ed., 2014), abbreviated WNWD herein, is our first-reference desk dictionary. If you cannot afford a copy of these books, they are available at local public libraries. You can also access CMS and WNWD online at and

I. Spelling and Special Treatment of Words

A. Terminology

1. Do not use America or American to refer to the United States. Write out United States when used as a noun; U.S. may be used as an adjective. But: American Revolution; American Civil War.

2. Use USSR as noun, Soviet as adjective. For other countries, use full name on first use, with abbreviation (if to be used subsequently) following in parentheses: Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).

3. Do not use the West and the East (or forms of these) to refer to capitalist and non-capitalist countries.

4. Population groups within the United States: African-American is now the preferred term; when Black is used to refer to this group, it is capitalized. Euro-American may be used; if white is used, it is not capitalized (since no single ethnic group is designated, the term is not analogous to a proper noun). Latina/o is preferred for those of Latin-American background. Do not use Hispanic.

5. Use gender-neutral and gender-inclusive terms and compounds. Do not use the generic he or man; rather than using forms like s/he or they, recast sentence (retaining pronoun agreement). For example, instead of: Each author should reread his paper, write: Authors should reread their papers.

B. Capitalization

1. Capitalize the following: Liberal Party (and others, when full proper name is given); Native American; Red; the Left, the Right; Second World War, World War II; Third World.

2. Do not capitalize the following: cold war (if not referring to the historical period); leftist, right-winger; white (Euro-American).

C. Possessives

1. Singular nouns, add apostrophe and an s; plural nouns, add apostrophe only (except for a few irregular plurals). This general rule covers proper names as well as common nouns, including most names of any length ending in sibilants: Marx’s theories; Engels’s works; Dickens’s novels; the Joneses’ car.

2. For exceptions, see CMS, pp. 160-62.

D. Hyphenation

1. Prefixes: Most common prefixes are now written solid except with capitalized nouns or adjectives. See CMS list of compound words (pp. 176-81) and check a recent standard desk dictionary; WNWD, for instance, lists several hundred non-hyphenated compounds at non-. Examples: nonunion, antiwar, midsummer, unstable, proslavery. But: neo-Darwinian.

2. Compound modifiers: Most compound modifiers are hyphenated when they come before the noun they modify: a well-known writer, hand-to-hand combat, soft-coal miner. Some compounds remain open (not hyphenated): civil rights struggles, cold war policy, high school sports, highly developed economy.

E. Spelling & miscellaneous

    • lifestyle, worldview, and sugarcane are written solid as single words.
    • day care and work force are each two words.
    • Spell judgment and acknowledgment without the extra e.
    • data takes a plural verb.
    • politics and dialectics take singular verbs.
    • The plural of apparatus is apparatuses.
    • practice is normally preferable to praxis.
    • For emphasis, or for discussing a word as a word, use italics (underlining in typescript) rather than quotation marks.

Single quotes should be used only for specialized philosophical terms (see CMS § 6.53, 6.60–63).

II. Numbers

A. Figures or words

1. If it takes more than two words to write out a number, use figures: 150, not one-hundred fifty.

2. Do not use “and” in a worded number: two-hundred twenty, not two hundred and twenty.

3. Keep numbers compared in the same style: 5 out of 362, not five out of 362.

B. Percentages

1. Percentages and decimal fractions (including academic grades) are set in figures in humanistic as well as scientific copy: For these purposes pi will be considered equal to 3.14. Grades of 3.8 and 95 are identical.

2. In scientific and statistical copy use the symbol % for a percentage, in humanistic copy, the word percent.

C. Dates

1. In text, notes, and bibliographies, exact dates should be listed day, month, year (without commas): 10 July 1986. The events of August 1945 were decisive.

2. Figures or words may be used for decades: in the 1970s or in the seventies. Figures are preferred.

III. Punctuation

A. Periods

1. Do not use periods in: FBI, CIO, CP, USSR, GDR, FRG.

2. Abbreviate et alia as et al., not et. al.

B. Commas

1. Use a comma before the final and in a series: Smith, Harkins, and Jones.

IV. Quotations
  • For handling quotations in the text, see chapter 10 in CMS.
  • Note especially how to handle ellipses (pp. 292-96). For ellipsis within a sentence, use three periods — that is, do not leave a space before and after each period, except where they would otherwise abut a word. For ellipsis after the end of a sentence, use three periods following a sentence period — that is, four periods, with no space before the first: “After the coup … military rule was reinstated.” Or, “racial discrimination and prejudice…. He was genuinely …”
  • Do not use ellipsis points at the beginning or end of a quoted passage.
  • Indent and block any quotation longer than eight to ten typed lines (CMS) or quotations with special emphasis.
V. Documentation

A. Author-date system

This method of giving citations parenthetically in the text is explained in CMS, chapters 15 and 16, esp. pp. 400-405. A brief summary and examples are given below.

1. Form: List the last name of the author(s) and the year of publication in parentheses. Use no punctuation between the name and the date. The page number, if used, follows the date, preceded by a comma. If author’s name or date appears in the text, do not repeat it in the parenthesis. The parenthetical citation is best placed just before a punctuation mark, preferably at the end of a sentence or clause:

This forgery has been attributed to Oswald (Smith 1982, 16).

The parenthesis should be placed immediately after the author’s name early in a sentence only if necessary for clarity.

2. Following a block quotation, the parenthetical citation should follow the final mark of punctuation of the quotation, with no mark of punctuation after the final parenthesis:

No poem written by a thirty-year-old, surely, has ever so totally rejected so many of the beliefs of the society it was written in. No poem, certainly, has lived to see so many of its heresies so widely accepted before its author turned forty. (Hodgson 1976, 323)

B. Bibliography

Citations in the text must be keyed to a list of all the works cited, titled “Bibliography.” This list should be typed double spaced on a page (or pages) following the last page of the text (or endnotes, if any). It may include works not cited specifically in the text. All works should be arranged alphabetically by author; multiple works by one author should be arranged chronologically. If a single author appears also as editor and as first of several coauthors, entries with this name as author appear first, then those with this name as editor, then a coauthor. The examples below indicate the style which citations of various types of publications should follow (see also CMS, chap. 16, Style a):


Green, Gil. Cuba at 25: The Continuing Revolution. New York: International Publishers, 1983.

Levernier, James A., and Douglas R. Wilmes, ed. American Writers Before 1800. 3 vols. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1983.

        • Supply both place of publication (first city only) and name of publisher as it appears on title page.


In books: Mullings, Leith. “Ethnicity and Stratification in the Urban United States.’ In Racism and the Denial of Human Rights: Beyond Ethnicity, edited by Marvin J. Berlowitz and Ronald S. Edari, 21–38. Minneapolis: MEP Publications, 1984.

In journals: Navarro, Vicente. “Health, Health Services, and Health Planning in Cuba.” International Journal of Health Services 2 (Winter 1972): 123–42.

        • For volume numbers of books (as well as journals), use Arabic figures. For journal articles and parts of books, indicate inclusive page numbers as follows: 3–17, 23–25, 100–103, 104–7, 124–28, 1115–20.
        • Abbreviate months in three letters except for May. June, July, Sept.

C. Endnotes

In addition to author-date references, endnotes may be used sparingly, i.e., only when further discussion is necessary. If only a phrase is needed, place it in the text in parentheses rather than in an endnote; examples: (see also Smith 1982, 212) or (compare Mullings 1984).

Form: Endnotes must be numbered consecutively and correspond with numbers in the text. Type the list of notes double spaced on a page (or pages) following the last page of the text. References within endnotes should also follow the author-date system with the full reference included in the Bibliography.

VI. Citations from the Classics of Communist Thought

For the convenience of readers, authors are asked to cite from the recognized authoritative Collected Works of communist thinkers (e.g., Progress Publishers; International Publishers; Lawrence & Wishart Ltd.). If no such Collected Works exists in hard-copy form, then authors may cite from compilations, anthologies or authoritative online archives (e.g., Volumes of hard-copy works in PDF format that were reproduced as originally published are considered equivalent to their original form.

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Class Line No. 1 — Summer-Autumn 2019


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