Citing Sources in American Anthropology Association Style

AAA Style Guide

AAA uses The Chicago Manual of Style (14th edition, 1993) and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (10th edition, 1993; On-Line edition, 2003). This guide is an outline of style rules basic to AAA style. Where no rule is present on this list, followChicago. In Webster’s, use the first spelling if there is a choice and use American not British spellings. (This guide does not apply to newsletters, which deviate frequently from these guidelines in the interest of space and tend to follow many Associated Press style rules.)

Article Titles and Section Heads

  • Do not put endnote callouts on display type such as titles, section heads, or epigraphs. Place them after nearest hard punctuation or at the ends of excerpts. Never use endnote inside excerpts or after soft punctuation (i.e., commas, em-dashes, in lines of poetry, etc.)
  • Do not number section heads
  • Use the following terms for each separate submission:
    —  paper = conference
    —  article = journal or newspaper
    —  chapter = book
    —  essay = essay in journal, book, etc.
    —  review = review in journal or newspaper


Follow Webster’s and Chicago

Ethnicity (Chicago 7.33–7.35):

  • Capitalize these terms as noted (unless author objects): African American, Afro-American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Canadian American, Euramerican, Euro-American, Euro-Canadian, European American, European Canadian, Hispanic, Indo-European, Jew, Latina, Mesoamerican, Native (indigenous), Native American, Pacific Islander, Australian and Canadian Aboriginal and Aborigine
  • Lowercase these terms as noted: aboriginal (where not Australian or Canadian); black; highlander, but Highlander (where referring to Scottish); mestizo; redneck; white

Events (Chicago 7.68):

  • Capitalize historical, quasi-historical, political, economic, and cultural events or plans: Battle of the Books, Boston Tea Party, Cold War (20th century, USSR vs. USA), Great Depression, the Holocaust, Industrial Revolution
  • Lowercase: California gold rush, civil rights movement, cold war, depression

Figures, tables, appendixes (exception to Chicago):

  • Capitalize in text if they refer to items within the present work, lowercase if they refer to those in other works:
    —  In Figure 1
    —  As you can see in Table 2
    —  In Johnson’s figure 1
    —  Evidence in Johnson’s table 1 agrees with my own  (Table 2)

Historical or cultural terms (Chicago 7.63–7.73):

  • Where capitalized by tradition or to avoid ambiguity, per Chicago and Webster’s use: Middle Ages, Progressive Era, Restoration, Roaring Twenties, Stone Age,
  • Lowercase: ancient Greece, nuclear age, romantic period, U.S. colonial period

Names of organizations, committees, associations, conferences (Chicago 7.50–7.62):

  • Capitalize full official names—lowercase “the” preceding a name, even where it is part of the official title: the Baltimore City Council, Bureau of the Census, Census Bureau, Circuit Court of Cook County
  • Lowercase where they become general: the bureau, city council, congressional, council, county court, federal

Place-names (Chicago 7.36–7.39):

  • Capitalize geographical and popular names of places: Antarctica, Asia, Atlantic, Back Bay (Boston), Central America, City of Brotherly Love, Foggy Bottom (D.C.), Ivory Coast, North Pole, Orient, the States, Third World (do not hyphenate as adj.), Upper Michigan
  • Directions should be capitalized where used as a name but not where used as a direction:
    —  Caribbean Islands; Far East; North India; North Pole; Pacific Islands; the South; South India; South Pacific; the Southwest (n.), but southwestern (adj.); the West; Westernize
    —  northern Michigan, the south of France, southeastern, western Samoa, the Western world
  • Lowercase: eastern Europe, western Europe, central Europe. Exceptions: use Eastern and Western Europe in the context of the political divisions of the Cold War; use Central Europe in the context of the political divisions of World War I

Titles of offices (Chicago 7.16–7.26):

  • Capitalize civil, military, religious, and professional titles only where they immediately precede the name. In formal usage, such as acknowledgments or lists of contributors, capitalize the title following the name: B.A. in anthropology; Judy Jones, Smith Professor Emeritus at Yale University; Professor Jones, associate professor of education studies; a professor emeritus; Henry Trueba, chair of the Department of Education Studies; the chairman of the department
  • For academic degrees or titles, capitalize where formal, lowercase where informal: Louis Spindler, Ph.D.; a Master of Science degree from University of Virginia; a master’s degree in education

Titles of works (Chicago 7.126):

  • For titles of works in AAA journals, references cited, and notes: change capitalization only. Do not change anything else, even spelling or punctuation (exception to Chicago)
  • Capitalize first and last words of titles and subtitles in English. For other languages, follow Chicago
  • Capitalize both words in a hyphenated compound (exception to Chicago)
  • Do not capitalize parenthetical translations of titles in references cited

Foreign Words and Foreign Quotations


  • Alert field office and AAA of unusual characters or fonts in advance of submission to verify they are printable.


  • Put foreign sentences and quotations in quotation marks (and do not italicize)


  • Include translations of foreign words in parentheses immediately following (or vice versa, but keep consistent throughout the work):
    —  ellai (borders) and cantippu (crossroads)
  • Include translations of foreign-language quotations either in an endnote or in brackets immediately following the quotation (without italics and without quotation marks):
    —   “Todas somos amigas de desde chiquitas, casi puras vecinas” [We are all friends since we were small, and almost all are neighbors].
  • See Reference Examples, example X, for translation of foreign titles in references


  • Italicize non-English words that do not appear in the main section of Webster’s.Italicize them on first use only, unless used as a term (see Italics, Words as words)


Words as words:

  • Italicize words used as words (e.g., as terms) in written context; but where the context is solely the spoken word, is used for ironic effect, or is a concept, use quotation marks:
    —  In Smith 1994 the term subaltern implies
    —  to keep children on the “right path” academically
    —  Bourdieu, who utilized notions of “cultural capital” and “habitus”
    —   Bourdieu defines cultural capital and habitus as

Legal usage (Chicago 7.72):

  • Use italics for names of legal cases

Publication names:

  • Italicize publications used as authors in in-text citations, but leave roman in references cited

[sic] (Chicago 10.7):

  • Italicize word, not brackets
  • Correct obvious typographical errors rather than use [sic]

Do not italicize: e.g., i.e., or cf.


Spell out numbers in the following instances:

  • One through ten
  • Numbers at the beginning of a sentence
  • Numbers where used in the approximate sense:
    —  The area comprises roughly two hundred viable sites; not 200
    —  About 15 thousand soldiers were killed; not 15,000 or fifteen thousand


  • 24 years old, 11 months old, a 34-year-old woman, in her thirties


  • Assume dollar designations are in U.S. currency. Otherwise (e.g., Canada) use:
    —  US$200 (not U.S.) and CAN$200
  • Do not use $ with USD (e.g., $20 USD), as it is redundant
  • Refer to the Government Printing Office for pre-Euro designations, or flag for the production department at AAA


  • ninth century, 20th century; 1960–65; 1960s (not 60s); the sixties; October 6, 1966; April 1993 (no comma); C.E. 1200; 1000 B.C.E.; April 18, not April 18th


  • Hyphenate as both adjective and noun: a two-thirds majority, two-thirds of those present

Inclusive numbers:

  • Do not elide numbers in a range: 893–897; 1,023–1,045
  • Elide year spans (exception to above): 1989–92

Mid -“:

  • Hyphenate numbers or numerals: mid-thirties (age), mid-1800s (years)
  • Use an en-dash, rather than hyphen, with an open compound: mid–19th century, mid– Cold War

Numbered items such as parts of a book, are not capitalized:

  • chapter 5 (in reviews ch. 5 or chs. 5–7), part 2

Ordinals (nd or rd):

  • 22nd, rather than 22d; 23rd, rather than 23d

Quantities (Chicago 8.18):

  • Use numerals above ten and spell out measurement: 26 millimeters, five miles, 15 kilometers (not km); but in tables, OK to use 26 mm, 5 gm, 10 mph
  • Express round numbers above ten million in numerals + words: 20 million
  • 20 percent, but in tables, OK to use %
  • Use commas in four-digit numbers: 1,409; but not page numbers (p. 1409)


  • Where dealing with more than one series of quantities, use numerals for one of the series: The first shape had 4 sides, the second had 7 … and the twelfth had 3
  • Where small numbers occur in a group with large numbers, set them all in numerals for consistency

Statistics (Chicago 8.19–8.20; 12.66):

  • Decimal fractions: use initial zero only if number can equal or exceed 1
    —  0.3–1.5
    —  according to a Chi-square test yielding a value of 4.2, p < .05
    —  Kappa = .33, p < .05
  • Use N for sample sizes, but use n for subgroups of samples


  • 2:00 p.m., noon


Binary distinctions, dichotomies, or equal relationships: use en-dash, not solidus or hyphen

  • parent–teacher; us–them; mind–body, not mind-body or mind/body
  • Previously published phrases are excepted: Foucault’s power/knowledge


All published quotations must be cited with year and page number(s):

  • (1992:7–8)

Avoid “cited in” where citing quotes within another work. Use the work listed in references cited and adjust the language outside parentheses:

  • As Johnson notes (Webber 1992)
  • Do not use: (Johnson, cited in Webber 1992)

Format for block extracts:

  • If extract takes more than four manuscript lines, make it a block extract
  • Use brackets for citation at the end of a block; put sentence period before citation
  • If italics have been added, specify:
    —  [Smith 1993:22, emphasis added]
    —  Do not use “emphasis in original”
  • If multiple 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

Initial letter:

  • Change case of initial letter of quote to fit sentence without using brackets

Per Chicago 10.28:

  • When a quotation that is run into the text in the typescript is converted to a block quotation [by author or editor], the quotation marks enclosing it are dropped, and interior quotation marks are changed accordingly.

Spelling and punctuation corrections:

  • Leave all spellings and punctuation alone in quotes; use [sic] only if necessary, and give an explanation in text if absolutely necessary

Do not use initial or final ellipses

Do not use quotes for yes or no except in direct discourse (Chicago 10.35)

Running Text

Abbreviations (see Chicago 14.32–14.33):

  • Do not use in narrative text in most cases
  • Ampersands: replace all “&” with “and”
  • Scholarship:
    —  Only abbreviate in parentheses: (i.e., e.g., etc.)
    —  Spell out in text: that is, for example, et cetera, and so forth

Articles in titles:

  • Drop or romanize articles in titles (a, the) from text:
    —  In 1998, a New York Times op-ed piece indicated
    —  The Washington Post article contends

Avoid gender-related language:

  • See Casey Miller and Kate Swift’s The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing (New York: Lippincott and Crowell, 1980)
  • Never use “s/h e,” “him/her,” or “his/her”: Use “he or she” or rewrite as plural to avoid. See The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing (Casey Miller and Kate Swift) for more on nonsexist language


  • Use serial commas. Use a comma to separate the clauses of a compound sentence but not a compound subject or a compound predicate unless there are three or more elements. Use commas around parenthetical elements


  • Spell out names on first occurrence and then use first initial on subsequent occurrences:
    —  Curly Mustache:
    —  Author:
    —  CM:
    —  A:


  • Run lists into text with (1), (2), (3), etc. Do not use (a), (b), (c), etc.
  • Use pairs of parentheses, not singles

Spaces between initials:

  • T. S. Eliot, H. L. Mencken


  • Use the first spelling in Webster’s unless otherwise noted

Tables, Figures, and Appendixes

Table and figure widths depend on the size of the journal. Ensure that all text and figures are sized to fit within the margin limitations of submitting journal or contact AAA production office for verification

Every table and figure should have a callout in running text: [Place Table 1 here]

Place appendixes at the end of the article, after the references cited

Text Citations and References Cited

All references must be cited in author–date formall author–date citations must be referenced


  • References with the same author and date should be placed in alphabetical order, by title


  • Place text citations as near the author’s name as possible, except place quotation citations after the quote
  • Use colon, no space, between year and page number (exception to Chicago):
    —  Waterman 1990:3–7
  • Use “et al.” in text citations of three or more authors , but use all names in references cited
  • Use full first names where possible for authors and editors (but do not force if author goes by initials)
  • Where citing an author, put the year in parentheses, but where citing a work, leave the year (and page numbers, if applicable) in the running text:
    —  Author: Smith (1990) eloquently describes the material.
    —  Work: Smith 1990 contains an analysis of the material.

Do not use ibid. for repeated references


  • Where citing a note or notes, use:
    —  (Boulifa 1990:10 n. 12, 24 nn. 12–13)

Works in production or near publication:

  • Text citations: in press; n.d.
  • References cited: In press; N.d.

Reprinted material:

  • Where citing reprinted material, use date from work used in text citations and insert all dates in references cited list:
    —  Text citations: (Webber 1994)
    —  References cited: Webber 1994[1849]


  • References are handled in text citations, rather than the end of the chapter—provide title, author, publisher, and year, but omit the city of publication:
    —  (What Was Socialism, and What Comes Next? Katherine Verdery, Princeton University Press, 1996)
    —  (“Ethnography in/of the World System: The Emergence of M ulti-Sited Ethnography,” Annual Review of Anthropology, 1995:95–117)

States (Chicago 14.17):

  • Spell out state names in text
  • Do not use state name with city of publication in references unless the city is obscure or there are several with the same name
  • Where state name is used in notes, references cited, tables, or addresses, use two-letter postal code abbreviations (e.g., AL, TX, DC)


  • In references where the author also is the translator use: Victor Hugo, ed. and trans.


  • If volume is the only one referenced in the article, then include its number in references cited and omit its number from the text citation
  • Cite a specific volume of a referenced work by inserting the volume number after the year: (Waterman 1990, vol. 2:3–7)

Various Other Style Rules and Word Treatments

  • Acronyms: do not spell out common acronyms: CIA; FBI; IMF; NASA; NATO; UNICEF; USAID; WTO
  • America or American: For clarity use the noun United States and the adjective U.S.unless a wider region is intended
  • and/or: never use
  • anti-inflammatory
  • archaeology; exception is Archeology section of AAA
  • Arctic (n.), arctic (adj.)
  • audio-recorded, audio-recording, audiovideo
  • basketmakers (artisans), Basket Maker (cultural period)
  • besides
  • bride-price (per Webster’s)
  • bridewealth (per Webster’s)
  • Classic Maya
  • cross-gender
  • coresident, coworker
  • database
  • de-emphasize
  • early-century, late-century
  • e-mail, Internet, on-line, website
  • fax
  • field notes, fieldwork, fieldworker
  • full-time, part-time (hyphenate in any position as adj.)
  • health care systems; but federal and state health-care systems (hyphenate only for clarity)
  • a historical study (not an historical study), a hotel
  • Letters as shapes: Leave normal font—that is, do not use with sans serif typeface—in cases such as U-shaped, L-shaped
  • lifespan, lifestyle, lifeworld
  • Ligatures: Do not use except in an Old English language piece
  • m.y.a. (million years ago), B.P. (before the present, calibrated), b.p. (before the present, uncalibrated)
  • nation-making, nation-building (exception to Chicago)
  • the Netherlands; but The Hague (Webster’s)
  • non-kin (hyphenate to avoid confusion)
  • participant-observation
  • rain forest (per Webster’s)
  • re-create (create again)
  • semi-independent, semi-indirect (use hyphens for double vowels, except as inWebster’s)
  • Split infinitives:
    —  The thirteenth edition of this manual included split infinitives among the examples of “errors and infelicities” but tempered the inclusion by adding, in parentheses, that they are “debatable ‘error.’ ” The item has been dropped from the fourteenth edition because the Press now regards the intelligent and discriminating use of the construction as a legitimate form of expression and nothing writers or editors need feel uneasy about. Indeed, it seems to us that in many cases clarity and naturalness of expression are best served by a judicious splitting of infinitives. [Chicago 2.98 n. 9]
  • sub-Saharan
  • toward (not towards)
  • Teotihuacan (Nahuatl, without accent on last a; Spanish, with accent)
  • Turn of the Century, for beginning of 20th century; but turn of the 19th century— avoid the ambiguous “turn of this century”
  • underway (adj.); under way (adv.)
  • unselfconscious
  • worldview

Click on link below for examples

Reference Examples