Warring States Papers
Style Sheet

This page supplements the Guidelines for Authors page by giving additional suggestions about small matters. These are editorial preferences, and except where stated otherwise, are open to discussion or reasoned authorial preference.


Tone. Matter-of-fact (no exclamation points), brief, clear. Normal expectations of scholarly civility will apply. Criticism of others' work is in order when relevant, but personal hostility is not acceptable. Mention directly relevant scholarship, but do not undertake a literature survey (this is not your PhD thesis).

Ethics. Your work must be your own. Relevant results of others must be properly credited, and conclusions of others, when cited, must be accurately described.

Methodology. We accept, and recommend, the standard humanistic critical methods, for history in general and for texts in particular.

Acknowledgement of grant or other support may be made in an unnumbered first footnote. General expressions of gratitude to advisors or colleagues, or dedications to persons, are inappropriate for these brief articles. Specific information or assistance from others may be acknowledged in a footnote at that point.


Length. We seek short articles, typically 2-4 pages as printed; 20p maximum.

Titles should be both brief and clear. We do not allow subtitles. A title may include, but should not consist wholly of, Chinese characters. (See further below; note that characters will be omitted from the italicized running head). Greek words may be used in titles (and in running heads) if that is more suitable to the subject.

Introduction. The first paragraph, however labeled, should function as an abstract, stating the problem and summarizing the conclusion. Orient the reader.

Argument. An extended data set may be treated as an Appendix, to avoid interrupting the argument visually.

Conclusion. Do not introduce new data into the Conclusion (however labeled). The Conclusion should simply pull the argument together, or suggest implications. If the latter, that paragraph may be labeled Implications.

Works Cited. Expand all in-text short citations in this section, at the end of the paper. Author, Title, Publisher, and Date are sufficient information; for articles, give also the page range. Some frequently mentioned works do not require inclusion here; see under Citations, below. Works in Chinese or Japanese may be cited in those languages, though for footnote purposes, we will need transcription for author and short title. See again the Bibliography page.


Periods. The term "Jou" must be limited to the period when that dynasty was the functioning head of a feudal system. It may not be used for the period following the Jou collapse in 0771. For the period between that date and the Empire (0221), one standard term is "pre-Chin." We warmly recommend the division of that period into Spring and Autumn (0770-0479) and Warring States (0479-0221).

Dates BC should be given with a leading zero, thus 0479 = 479 BC. Give uncertain dates as ranges (0347/0332), or as circa dates (c0340).

Chinese Characters may be added in text as needed, but not gratuitously (we presume a certain minimum level of Sinological acquaintance), and must be available in the TwinBridge 4.0 character set. For technical reasons, abbreviated characters are not available; please substitute standard characters (so also in Japanese). Remember that characters in titles will be removed from the righthand running head. Greek terms may be given in that language, but (out of consideration for the secondary audience) preferably with translation on first occurrence.

Tables or other graphic aids are welcome, but must be within the capacity of WordPerfect 7, or submitted as a graphics file (JPG or TIF) of modest size.

Romanization. Authors may use any system for Chinese, but must indicate tones. If an otherwise acceptable paper lacks tones, the Editors, in adding them, will also convert to the journal's preferred system, Common Alphabetic. Tables for CA and two other systems appear at the end of each volume of WSP. For our classical subjects, use etymological tone rather than Mandarin sandhi forms. For transcribed Greek, use the forms ê and ô.

English Usage. Some specific suggestions for this always difficult matter are available on the Usage page. In general, individuality of authorial style is welcome. Thus, Briticisms (eg "colour") are acceptable from Continental authors, and will not be standardized.

Latinisms. With JAOS and other journals, we recommend that authors avoid ibid, op cit, and loc cit, deservedly the most hated abbreviations in scholarly writing. But some Latinisms are useful. When appropriate, give in lower case, without periods: ad loc (ad locum, "at the passage in question"), aet (aetate, "at the age of"), ap (apud, "next to, in connection with"), cf (confer, "compare; see also"), eg (exempli gratia, "for example"), ie (id est, "that is"), qv (quod vide, "which see"), sv (sub verbo, "under the rubric or heading of"), and vs (versus, "as against").

Italics should be generally limited to sentence emphasis. Do not use italics to distinguish foreign from English words, or book titles from article titles. Book titles and article titles are treated exactly the same in this journal.

Boldface is reserved for section headings, for keywords in citations, and for emphasized portions of quoted texts. For technical reasons, boldface may not be combined with italics.

Places. Give unfamiliar place names (and most archaeological sites are unfamiliar to nonspecialists) with map coordinates to the nearest minute, in the form 35° 36 N, 117° 58 E.

Citations of certain standard works do not require expansion in the Works Cited section at the end of the paper, and familiar journals may be listed by acronym. The standard works and journal acronyms are given at the end of the volume. Here is that list from WSP v1. (The content of that page may change with the needs of authors in any given volume).


Appended Discussions. Discussion by others, transcribed from conference tapes, assembled from written or E-mailed comments, or provided by the Editors, may be appended to an article at the discretion of the Editors. Authors will have an opportunity to add their own responses.

Notes will be placed at the bottom of the page. We arrange the journal so that readers do not have to keep a finger at Page A while reading Page B.

Copy will be edited to avoid breaking a paragraph, or a note, over a page turn. Authors will see the result, and are free to suggest alternate solutions.

Schedule. Authors will see proof (in PDF form), but if not corrected within a reasonable time, the Editors will proofread in good faith and go to press with the result, in the interest of maintaining the publication schedule.

Thank you for your interest, and best wishes with your work.

Calligraphic Separator

Page Format. WSP is edited to avoid breaking words over a line, or paragraphs over a page. This makes for a clean appearance and easier reading. Some authors like to do their own page formatting, and have asked for our specifications, so they can submit their copy in as near-final condition as possible. For those who wish to try this, our principal journal (not book) page parameters are the following.

Margins L/R 1.8in, T/B 1.3in. Body type: Times New Roman (TT) 10.5pt, normal spacing (1.0). Inset matter is at L/R 2.1in, TNR 10pt, spacing 0.96. Footnotes: 9.5pt, spaced 0.96. Chinese characters: in main text 9pt, in inset text also 9pt; in footnotes 8.5pt. Main text for single-author articles begins at 2.8in from top of page. Headers and Footers. There is a footer on the first page (containing the journal name and copyright date) but not on subsequent pages. The header on all pages consists of the page number. In addition, on pages after the first, the left header is the author's name (centered, 10.5pt TNR italic); the right header is the article title (centered, no characters; 10.5pt TNR italic). Paragraph indent is 0.2 in, other tab stops at the author's pleasure. Spacing between paragraphs is 0.06in; before subheads (which are in 12pt TNR), a full space. A full space also before the final Works Cited list; that heading is in 12pt TNR italic; the list itself is in 10pt TNR, spacing 0.96, with 0.02in separation between items. Paragraph incipits may be in bold for clarity; be advised that boldface in any line increases the height of that line. Bold and italic may not be used together; pick the most appropriate. Use bold chiefly for items to be compared across columns (or keywords in footnote citations); italic exclusively for sentence emphasis.

For other details, examine a sample article or inquire of the editors at the mail link given below.

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