August 21, 2017

The Preparation of Articles

By Jimmy Tuten

If you contribute articles to Truth Magazine you can lessen the burdens of editorship by conforming to simple rules of manuscript preparation. Since hundreds of manuscripts cross the Editor's desk each year, it stands to reason that the article (though it is well researched) which is neatly typed and formulated receives prime attention. An article that is shoddy and trashy in appearance stands a good chance of being rejected. Material submitted to publication editors must be orderly in appearance if it is to catch the eye of the editors to whom the material is submitted.

Each writer, regardless of experience, should be familiar with the mechanics connected with the formulation of articles. It is worth while to make your manuscripts easy to read!

Arbitrariness Not Intended

After consultation with Truth Magazine's editor and a number of recent publications dealing with manuscript preparation, this writer is submitting suggested guidelines for those who are writing for Truth Magazine. This material is not offered as arbitrary pronouncements. A simple effort is being made to better the lines of communication between writer and Editor, and to lighten the burden of editorializing. Since it is the task of brother Willis to see that certain specifies of uniformity are adhered to, his desires take prime consideration. Why should this not be the case? It makes his work easier.

Preliminary Principles

There are certain matters which are preliminary in nature, others are more specific. For example, no hand written articles are to be submitted. All material is to be typewritten on a good grade of 8 = x 11 paper (with pica or pica elite type preferable). The article should be double spaced with extra spacing between paragraphs. An inch margin should be left at all four edges of your pages. Each sheet should be numbered consecutively in the upper right hand corner (p. 1, p. 2, etc.). Do not number your first page. Try to keep your manuscript confined to about four double spaced pages. Always make a copy for your personal files.

The First Page

The first page of your article should contain your name, address and zip code (with the state spelled out) in the upper left hand corner. The approximate number of words should be placed in the upper right hand corner. Observe the illustration:

Below your name and address, center your title with a generous amount of spacing in between the title and the last line of your address. The word "by" should be centered about five spaces below this and your name centered five spaces further down the page. Now you are ready to begin your article. As you do so be sure to indent each paragraph. 

The Second Page

While today's preparation of articles does not require the tide and author's name on each page, 1 Truth, Magazine's Editor does. So regardless of what the Writing Manuals say, place your name and copy title in the upper left hand corner of each page, beginning with page two. Place the number of the page in the upper right hand corner.

Your typing on the pages following the first page should begin about five spaces below your name and title.

Mailing Your Manuscript

The manner in which you prepare your material for mailing is important. It is impossible to estimate the rough treatment that a manuscript sometimes receives while on its way to the Editor.

All articles should be placed in a good grade of envelopes. If the manuscript contains more than four or five pages, it would be wise to mail it in either a 6 x 9 (with your copy folded once) or 9 x 12 manila envelopes. Do not staple the pages together. Never roll an article. Use a paper clip to secure the pages. Be sure to mail it first class and never include a self-addressed envelope since no article will be returned from Truth Magazine's Editor, unless its return is specifically requested.

A Final Check

The importance of double checking your manuscript cannot be overestimated. It should be checked for spelling, punctuation, footnoting, etc. No writer should expect an Editor to rewrite material. His work is very time consuming as it is. In checking your material, it is permissible to make two or three corrections per page in your final draft in pencil or pen. But if such corrections involve more, then retype the page. A neatly prepared manuscript makes a good impression on any editor.

Some Manuscript Mechanics

Some of the more rigid specifications are more often violated by authors. However our concern is with religious writings which contain Scripture quotations and some documentation. While there can be some deviation from some specifics of journalistic writings, there are certain things that are essential. In the interest of uniformity in writing the following pertinent suggestions are presented.

(1) Numbering Paragraphs: 2 when numbering certain, sections of manuscripts use numerals. 3 Indent each paragraph and place the numeral within parentheses. 4 This will make them stand out in the writing. Be sure to maintain consistency throughout the writing.

(2) Italics: When a special use or a grammatical function demands stressing, it should be placed in italics. In typewritten copy it should be done as follows: "it was a perfect day." With the typewriter italics are indicated with underscoring. Be careful to avoid the overuse of italics.

The titles of books, newspapers, magazines and all publications should be italicized. Do not add the word "the" to titles unless it belongs with the title. Truth Magazine should not be typed The Truth Magazine.

(3) Section Headings: Sometimes an article is sectioned off as is the case with this article. When headings for such sections are needed, they should be centered and set off with upper and lower case letters. The word, Some Manuscript Mechanics which heads this particular section serves as an example.

(4) Capitals: Always capitalize religious terms or words having sacred significance. Some examples are God, Christ, Heavenly Father and words of like nature. 5 It is not necessary to capitalize Christian or church of Christ.

(5) Greek Words: All Greek words should be typed in lower case letters and underscored. The three words used in I Timothy 2:9 to regulate the dress of women are: kosmios (Modest), aidous (Shamefacedness), and sophrosunas (Sobriety). These three words are placed in lower case letters and underscored with the typewriter as in illustration, but italicized when set in type.

(6) Scripture Abbreviations: All Scripture abbreviations should follow conventional standards with the following exceptions: Acts should not be Ax. Second Timothy should be 2 Tim. and not II Tim.

(7) Punctuation and Quotation Marks: Recognizing exceptions, 6 the Editor of

Truth Magazine requests uniformity in quoting and punctuating Scripture. The preferred way to quote John 11:35 is as follows, "Jesus wept" (Jno. 11:35). If the Scripture reference is not cited, then the passage would read "Jesus wept." All punctuation marks should be inside the quotation marks except when the Scripture reference is cited. John 11:35 would not be properly displayed if it were typed, "Jesus wept" or "Jesus Wept". (Jno. 11:35). In the first example, the period is out of the quotation mark when it should be placed inside. In the second example the period comes at the end of the bracket, not before. When parts of a Scripture quotation are used it should look like this: John said, "it was Mary who anointed the Lord," not Martha. Sometimes it is necessary to use periods to indicate that words are omitted in a quotation.

(8) Footnotes: Footnotes serve two uses. One is to give additional evidence or illustration in support of an assertion. The other is to give the source of a fact or a quotation. The rules for footnotes are very complex. Fortunately, many of the conflicts and divergences of the different systems have been resolved by the Modern Language Association. 7

All footnotes used in Truth Magazine articles should be placed at the end of the article and not inserted within it, except when only very brief documentation is needed. They should be separated from the body of the material by a solid line running across the page, from margin to margin. Number them consecutively. Single space the footnote itself and if there are a plurality of footnotes then leave a double space between them. Indicate the appearance of a footnote in your text by a raised number, as in the paragraph above (...Language Association. 7). It should be placed at the end of the quotation or statement to be documented. The number should be repeated at the beginning of the footnote itself and raised slightly above it (cf. footnotes at the end of this writing). The numbering of footnotes should run in one series through the entire paper. Footnotes should contain the author's name, title of the book, facts of its publication, the volume and page number (or numbers). The following list is a presentation of suggested forms:

For A Book with One Author:

1T. W. Farrar, The Life And Work of St. Paul (New York: 1889), p. 149.

For A Book with Two or More Authors:

2Mackey and McClenachan, Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry (New York: 1920), Vol. II, p. 532.

For An Article In An Encyclopedia:

3 "Ink-horn," International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Grand Rapids: 1952), Vol. III, p. 1469.

For A Magazine Article:

4Cecil Willis, "Have Your Cake, and Eat It Too." Truth Magazine, Vol. V, (February 25, 1971), p. 243.

Please observe that a footnote differs in form from that used in a bibliography. In the section on "abbreviations" given next, give close attention to the use ibid, or op. cit.

(9) The most frequent abbreviations used in writing manuscripts and footnotes are:

anon. anonymous

Cf. confer (compare)

ch., chs. chapter (s)

ed. edition

et al. et alli (and others)

ibid, ibidem (in the same place)

i.e. id est (that is)

ms., mss. manuscript (s)

op. cit. opere citato (in the

work cited)

p., pp. page (s)

Vol., vols. Volume (s)

Whenever possible use the abbreviations of these words since this is considered proper in writing. Never use ibid. except to refer to a title cited in the footnote immediately preceding. If the page differs, cite the page. You should use op. cit. when you wish to refer to a work already cited, but there is a reference (or references) following it. In this case you not only give the page number, but the author's name (Farrer, op. cit., p. 71).


The guidelines suggested in this writing will serve to' make one's writing more suitable, uniform and correct. It is a privilege to write for Truth Magazine. Let us learn to write more correctly. Prayerfully, the suggestions presented will achieve that goal.


1. Leggett-Mead-Charvat, Handbook For Writers (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1954), p. 15.

2. Ibid., p. 198, 17.

3. Turabian, Student's Guide For Writing College Papers (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press), p. 74.

4. Turabian, A Manual For Writers (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press), p. 8.

5. Leggett-Mead-Charvat, op. cit., p. 174.

6., Turabian, op. cit., pp. 20-21.

7. The MLA Style Sheet is available for a small sum Write: Treasurer, Modern Language Association, 6 Washington Square North, New York.

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 28, pp. 5-8
May 20, 1971