Style Guide


The following is a style guide for those wishing to submit a journal entry for the Illini Journal of International Security (IJOIS). The authors are expected to abide by this style guide, as it will make the editing process much faster and smoother and allow for each submission to follow a set pattern for conformity. If you have any questions regarding this style guide, please email

Basic Guidelines: All submissions must be typed, double-spaced, and be between 2000-6000 words, excluding the title and works cited. The font should be Times New Roman and set at 12pt size. The content of the submission must be original work that has not been submitted elsewhere and should fit the requested topic(s). Authors must include a bibliography of works cited. Additionally, a short biographical blurb will be requested upon acceptance of abstract.

Title of Submission: Authors are expected to use a descriptive title in a concise manner. Titles should not be overly long and should be relevant to the information in the article. Subtitles are acceptable so long as the overall length of the title is under 100 characters.

Abstract Guidelines: Abstracts should be a short descriptive summary of no more than two paragraphs of what the full journal submission will entail. Keep in mind that abstracts are designed to entice readers to your work, so a good abstract should answer such questions as: Why does this matter? What are the implications? How can one go about solving the issue at hand?

Biographical Blurb: The biographical blurb should be a short, descriptive bio of the author set in the third-person narrative, i.e “John Doe is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he focuses on Political Science.” Any relevant information should be included. Bios need to be under 100 words.

Punctuation: Please include a single space after periods, commas, colons, semicolons, et. al. Periods should be used for abbreviations such as “i.e.”, “”, “Mrs.”, “Dr.” etc., but do not abbreviate words when unnecessary. Additionally, there should be no periods inside acronyms (UN, NATO, CIA, etc.) or units of measure (lbs, mph, etc.)

Capitalization: Letters should only be capitalized for proper nouns, such as the names of names, cities, countries, or specific places, or for organizations. For example, words such as “West Africa”, “United Nations”, “Washington DC” and “Russia” should all be capitalized. Please refrain from capitalizing when speaking of governments and/or titles in general or for directions in reference to a geographical location (i.e. northern Mali.) All letters of acronyms should be capitalized.

Quotations: Please use double quotation marks to indicate quoted material, or any wording that is not one’s own. Single quotation marks can be used to emphasize irony. Example for single quotation marks: “The so-called ‘analysts’ have been wrong on many facets of the group’s modus operandi.” Please include the punctuation marks inside the quotations, as seen above.

Spelling and Grammar: All journal submissions must be in American English throughout.

Paragraphing: New paragraphs should be started after hitting the “enter” key twice. There should be no tabs or spaces at the beginning of new paragraphs.

Italics: Please use italics when referring to a title of a book, work, newspaper, journal, or any foreign language term.

Dates: A comma should come after the day of the month, as well as after the year. Example: “The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), founded on April 4, 1949, was originally meant to counter Soviet influence in Europe.”

Numbers: All numbers under 10 should be spelled out; those over 10 can be put as a numeral.

Citations: All citations need to be American Psychological Association (APA) style. A Works Cited page must be included with all submissions. In-text citations need to be used throughout and must contain the author’s surname and year of publication. Example: (Smith, 2015). Please refer to the Purdue Online Writing Lab for more information and guidelines on how to do citations –

Sources: Sources should be of reputable quality that provides accurate information or data.

Copyright: Please refrain from using photos, graphs, information,  etc. of someone else without permission. If using a photo, graph, or information is a necessity, please try to contact the owner(s) about obtaining the rights to use the material. If no owner(s) can be reached or found, please try to find something in free use. Wiki Commons is a good outlet for such material.