A publication of AAEA

A publication of AAEA

Manuscript Style Guidelines

General Information

Choices authors should write for the general public, avoiding the use of highly technical information, economic jargon or concepts that may not be readily understood. Remember, the average American reads at an 8th to 9th grade level. While not all readers of your article will be average, the goal is to extend readership and knowledge of important information. See the Choices Writing Style Guidelines for more information.

Article Document

Please submit the manuscript double spaced and in Times New Roman, 12 point font. The article should not exceed 3,500 words or 8-10 double-spaced pages. 

Title Page

Final submissions should include a title page containing:

  • Article Title: Catchy and less academic.

Magazine Style Example: Structural Change Implies Unique Role for Federal Credit

Academic Style Example (NOT PREFERED): Farm and Lender Structural Change: Implications for Federal Credit

  • Author(s)’ Names: for two authors, separate their names with the word “and”; for more than two authors, separate each name with a comma, and include “and” between the last two names.

Example: Ralph B. Waterson and John R. Craven

Example: Ralph B. Waterson, Joel Smith, and John R. Craven

Example: JEL Classifications: Q11, Q13

  • Keywords: Add 3-5 keywords following the JEL classifications in alphabetical order and each word in upper case.

Example: Keywords: Agricultural Exports, Immigration, International Trade, Meat Consumption

  • Tweet: Provide a Tweet using no more than 140 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Tweets should communicate an active theme or conclusion of your article.

Example: Effective risk management strategies are vital to farmers marketing through local food systems. @ascheetzMU via @Choices_AAEA

  • Link to Published Journal Article: If you have previously published the research from which your Choices submission is written in an academic journal, please provide a link or citation here so that readers who would like more in depth information or model specifics can find it easily.
  • Author Information: List information about each author, including email address, at the bottom of the Title Page. Please include the information about each author in a new sentence and indicate the corresponding author.

Examples: Ralph B. Waterson (, is Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.
John R. Craven ( is Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

  • Acknowledgements and Disclaimers should follow the author information as a new paragraph.

Example: This study was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Grant No. 92-EPMP-1-0027.

Main Text

  • Remove any citation manager (EndNote, Zotero, etc.) field codes since these make it more difficult to edit references and citations. 
  • Do not use scholarly abbreviations or expressions (such as e.g., i.e., or ceteris paribus).
  • Spell out the first use of abbreviations or acronyms (with the acronym following in parentheses).

Example: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is over 100 years old. The USDA provides a multitude of services.

  • Do not use and/or. Make a choice or rewrite the sentence.
  • For percentages, use numerals and the % sign (e.g. 25%), as opposed to the word percent with the number in word form.
  • Geographical terms and abbreviations :
    • Follow AP Style (e.g. DC should be D.C., and KY should be Kentucky.)
    • U.S. is to be used for adjective forms (e.g. U.S. food systems) and United States is to be used for the noun form (e.g. It is the oldest agricultural land-grant university in the United States.) 
    • EU requires no periods. Spell out European Union (EU) in first use.


  • Use one space after a period at the end of a sentence and start of the next. Use one space after a colon.
  • Use the final comma in a series of three or more elements.

Example: James Jones, Marcus Smith, and Robert Adams


  • Article titles should be short and attention grabbing rather than usual journal style. Capitalize all words in headings and subheadings except prepositions, articles, conjunctions, and “to”.
  • The headline and the headings within the article should be flush left.
  • Paragraphs are flush left and ragged right.


  • Footnotes are not allowed. Integrate the material into the text or list it as a text citation in the “For More Information” section. See rules on text citation and list of work cited.

Citations/For More Information

  • When citing an article in the text, use author (or authors) last names and year in parentheses. Use et al. only for four or more authors.
    • Examples:                               
      • (Warren, 2006)
      • (Jones, Olson, and Smith, 2004)
      • (Shoemaker et al., 2009)
  • List all cited articles under the heading “For More Information” at the end of the article. List any works you did not cite specifically that might provide more information for an interested reader. For more information on how to list these references, please consult the Choices References Guidelines.
  • List any websites you cited within the article.
  • When listing more than one work by the same author or authors, list each entry completely. Do not use the convention of a line or series of dashes to replace the author’s or authors’ names.

Tables and Figures

  • Limit the number of tables, charts, and figures. Select these carefully, but up to three can help make the article more appealing.
  • Submit all tables and figures only in the formats stated in the Figures and Tables Guidelines
  • Include tables, figures and box text in the same document as the text, placed after the references. Indicate in the text where you want these items to be placed by including [Place Figure 1 here], for example. 



  • Include any appendix at the end of the article.

Style Guides Used by Choices Editors

  • Webster's 11th for spellings.
  • Associated Press Stylebook.
  • This style sheet with specific decisions for Choices overrides the Associated Press Stylebook. This style sheet is updated as needed.