Authors' Guidelines

The contents of all BMAF publications are the sole responsibility of the individual authors and therefore do not

necessarily represent the views of BMAF or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Guidelines for Articles Being Submitted to BMAF

BMAF actively solicits and welcomes three kinds of manuscripts: (1) articles that are equivalent to those published in scholarly journals, (2) book reviews, and (3) short, informative documents (three pages or fewer) that are suitable for mass email distribution. Preferably, all three kinds of manuscripts should reflect Book of Mormon-related content.
Manuscripts that are submitted to BMAF for publication should, in general, follow the guidelines in The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), Style Guide for Publications of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4th ed. (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2013), and the BYU Religious Studies Center Style Guide ( An online copy of the Church’s Style Guide can be found on the Religious Studies Center website.
Manuscripts should be submitted via email attachment in Word format, including images/pictures, to either of the following:
Doug Christensen, or, 208-736-3779
Ted Stoddard,, 801-221-0566
Doug and/or Ted will review/edit the manuscript initially for content purposes and, if necessary, return it to the author if content issues need to be resolved. When the content is “cleared,” Ted will review/edit the manuscript for organization and style issues. Either Doug or Ted will then upload the article to the BMAF website. At any time, authors can review their articles on the website and request changes via either Doug or Ted.
Article manuscripts should follow formatting and usage conventions in Chicago and the Church’s Style Guide. At least the following directives should be applied to article manuscripts:
1. Use single-spacing throughout the manuscript with double-spacing between paragraphs.
2. Use endnotes. However, show scriptural citations in the body inside parentheses following the scripture. If the citation follows a run-in scripture, put the final sentence period following the right parenthesis of the citation. If the scripture is set off as a separate paragraph(s), put the final sentence period at the end of the quotation preceding the citation in parentheses.
3. Use the bolded word Notes at the beginning of the notes section; use Word's conventions for formatting the notes; use superscript Arabic numerals for note numbers in the body; use 10-point Arabic numerals for the numbers preceding each note; delete the endnote separator line and the endnote continuation separator line.
4. Use a Times New Roman font with 12-point font for the body and a TNR10-point font for the endnotes and for visual captions.
5. Use a complete endnote for the first reference to a source. For subsequent endnote references to that source, use an abbreviated endnote that contains the last name of the author, the title (or abbreviated title) of the publication, and the page number (if available) that applies to the quotation or paraphrase. If the formatting of endnotes in Word turns out to be an insurmountable task, Ted Stoddard will help you (; 801-221-0566).
6. Use 1-inch margins.
7. Insert page numbers at the bottom of the page with a 1/2-inch margin following the numbers. Use TNR 12-point font for the page numbers.
8. Use only one space following periods.
9. Center the title of the article in inverted-pyramid style, bolded, TNR 14-point font.
10. Double-space preceding and following the author’s name. Center the author’s name following the title, no bolding, preceded by a copyright notation and date. For example: Copyright © 2015 by Douglas Christensen.
11. Determine how many levels of headings the article requires, and then format those headings as follows: (a) First-level headings are centered, bolded, and preceded and followed by one blank line. (b) Second-level headings are blocked at the left margin, bolded, and preceded and followed by one blank line. (c) Third-level headings are also called “paragraph headings” and are run in to the text, bolded, and capitalized according to sentence-style conventions (capitalize only the first word and proper nouns).
12. Capitalize first- and second-level headings and titles of books and articles as follows: Capitalize all words except internal articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (and, but, or, for, nor, so, yet), prepositions, and the word to in infinitive phrases.
13. Set off long direct quotations or direct quotations that need special access emphasis by indenting them 1/2 inch on the left only and by using one blank space before and after.
14. Use an ellipsis consisting of three spaced dots with spaces preceding and following to show the omission of a word, phrase, line, or paragraph from within a quoted passage ( . . . ). Do not use an ellipsis at the beginning or ending of a quoted passage. Use a fourth period to show the end of a sentence that precedes the ellipsis. At the end of a line, do not divide the three periods of an ellipsis; where necessary, use hard spaces between the three periods of the ellipsis.
15. In the first reference to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, use the full name of the Church: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (note the capitalization of “The,” the lower case of “day,” and the hyphen between “Latter” and “day”). Avoid the use of “Mormon Church,” “LDS Church,” and “Church of the Latter-day Saints.” For subsequent or shortened references, use “the Church” or “the Church of Jesus Christ.” For further comments about the name of the Church, see
16. Use capitalization that conforms to guidelines typically followed by the Church. Examples: bishop; counselor; bishopric; elder; elders quorum president; stake president; high priest; prophet, seer, and revelator; standard works; biblical; high councilor; celestial kingdom; the gospel; the restored gospel; oath and covenant of the priesthood; plan of salvation; the promised land; land northward; land southward; narrow neck of land; east sea; west sea; narrow strip of wilderness; east wilderness; land of Desolation; city/land of Nephi; city/land of Bountiful; city/land of Zarahemla; Saints (in specific references to members of the Church in all dispensations); house of Israel; Gentiles; Primary; Relief Society; Sunday School; General Authority; the Brethren; President of the Church; the First Presidency; Presiding Bishop; the First Vision; the Restoration; the Atonement (of Christ); the Fall (of Adam); the Resurrection (of Christ); the Second Coming (of Christ); etc. See other examples in the Church’s Style Guide.
17. Note the following from Chicago: “If a quotation that is only a part of a sentence in the original forms a complete sentence as quoted, a lowercase letter may be changed to a capital if appropriate.” The same advice applies to the use of a lowercase letter in place of a capital letter if the quoted material becomes merely a part of one of the sentences. Brackets are not necessary for either of these changes.
18. Except in direct quotations that do not use capitalization for references to Deity, capitalize all pronoun references to Deity as well as names and titles of members of the Godhead.
19. Use [brackets] rather than (parentheses) to enclose editorial corrections, explanations, comments, etc. in quoted material.
20. Distinguish among hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes. Use hyphens (-) in compound words, en dashes (–) between dates or numbers, and em dashes (—) for clarifying comments.
21. Use double quotation marks for an initial direct quotation and single quotation marks for a quote within a quote. Use “curly” formatting for both single and double quotation marks.
22. Place commas and periods inside quotation marks.
23. Use commas to separate items in a series consisting of three or more elements, and use the “Oxford comma” before the conjunction in a series (for example: “The Saints purchased sheep, horses, and oxen at the auction.”). 
24. Do not use a comma before such coordinating conjunctions as “and” or “but” unless the conjunction joins independent clauses or the commas separate items in a series.
25. In source citations, whether in the text or in the endnotes, (a) spell out “Doctrine and Covenants”—do not use the abbreviation “D&C” unless it appears in a direct quotation, and (b) spell out the names of the books of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Pearl of Great Price.
26. Preferably, use third person throughout the document except in direct quotations that use first or second person.
27. Avoid plagiarism. In that respect, document both direct quotations and paraphrased material to show you have “borrowed” quotations or ideas from someone else.
28. Note the following exceptions to directives in the BYU Religious Studies Center style guide: (a) except in direct quotations, always use an apostrophe and an “s” to show possession in a singular noun (e.g., Jesus’s, Moses’s) and (b) except in direct quotations, show pronoun references to deity in capitals (e.g., He, Him, His, etc.).
Appropriate directives from that list should be applied for both book reviews and informative email documents.
For book reviews, authors should reflect the differences between a book report and a book review. That is, a review is a critical evaluation of a book. A review lets the writer enter into a discussion with the book’s author and with other audiences. A review’s author can agree or disagree with the book’s author and point out how the book’s content is valid and exemplary or deficient in facts, judgments, outcomes, or organization. 
The following directives should be applied to book reviews:
1. Give the review a title that contains the italicized full title of the book.
2. In the first lines of the review, give the basic publication facts for the book (author; complete title, in italics; edition, if applicable; and publishing facts, including location, publisher, and copyright date).
3. In the opening paragraph of the review, include the central thesis statement for the book as perceived by the book’s author(s).
4. In the middle paragraphs, give a critical evaluation of the book. Each paragraph should reflect paragraph unity (only one central idea is developed in a paragraph).
5. In the final paragraph(s), remind the reader about the book’s central thesis, and give final judgments about the book.
6. Show documentation for paraphrases and direct quotations via page numbers inside parentheses following a paraphrase or quotation. Include all other documentation inside parentheses at appropriate locations (do not use footnotes or endnotes).
7. Except in direct quotations, use third person throughout.
Stoddard Ted Dee