We do our best to have On Watch conform to a consistent style from article to article and issue to issue. If you are asked to submit an article, please review the basic style conventions that we use and make sure your article conforms to them before submitting. Thank you.
- Don’t type titles or subtitles in ALL CAPS.* Don’t underline them. (Don’t underline anything.)
- Titles and subtitles should be written in sentence style, not with Every Word Capitalized.
- Don’t center titles or subtitles, or break them with a hard return.
- Don’t format text with tabs or spaces. Charts or tables should be submitted as images.
- Don’t indent paragraphs — not with tabs, not with spaces, not with formatting settings.
- Double space between paragraphs.
- Single space after punctuation. That includes periods.
- We use endnotes, not footnotes. And for those endnotes, we use Arabic numerals, not Roman.
- Do not embed photos inside your Word document (see below).
Spelling and such
- Ensure that all acronyms are written out fully on the first use. Even those you think our readers know, like PTSD or DoD.
- Plurals of time periods, acronyms and abbreviations: no apostrophe. Examples: the 60s, GIs
- Numbers under 10 are spelled out: one, five. Unless at the beginning of a sentence, use numerals for numbers 10 and above.
- The names of publications, books, films, and TV programs are italicized. Names of songs, poems and short stories are put in double quote marks. Examples: Army Times, For Whom the Bell Tolls, “Blowin’ in the Wind”
- We use “servicemember” as a single word. Your spellchecker tool may disagree.
- Make sure you include your name under the title in a byline — do not use ALL CAPS here either.
- Include a brief bio at the end.
- Suggested URLs (links) for content in your article are encouraged. For instance, if you mention an organization, a link to their website. If your article has footnotes, links to cited sources will provide a lot of additional value to your work. However, don’t hyperlink any text within your document; we will make the hyperlinks during layout. Rather, provide the URLs within carets after the relevant text: “Military Law Task Force <nlgmltf.org>”
- We encourage submission of photos (or relevant graphics) that can accompany your article (including a headshot). These should be images that you have taken or acquired the rights to publish, or that are not otherwise copyright protected. You should not send originals, and we cannot guarantee that all or any will be used. They should be sent in image file format (.jpg, .png, .gif) and attached, not embedded within, your article or email. They should be at least 150 dpi and at least 600 pixels on the longest side (roughly six inches). Please include a note that indicates the photographer and any subjects in the photo.
*We appreciate it if you suggest a title, but we sometimes change titles or subtitles, or add them.