CSD Style Guide

Dear Classics of Strategy & Diplomacy Aspiring Authors: 

“The English language is one vast San Andres fault, where things are slipping and sliding every moment.” That was American Scholar editor Joseph Epstein—with a  remarkably unstarched statement for an editor. Authors and scholars ourselves,  we’re aware of the epic feuds that traditionally exist between authors and editorial  offices. We want you to know that we do not view you as the enemy, and hope that  by the time the editorial process of your submission is complete, you will not  categorize us as the enemy either. 

We believe the editor’s purpose is not to choke the author’s voice and personality, but to help each author uncover the best written version of themselves. The sleekest Lamborghini without wheels fails as a car. So too does the greatest argument, when  made through questionable grammar and sloppy expression. We love original  insights, probing arguments, and essays that breathe free—free especially from  jargon—but as editors we believe we are also called to be defenders of the English  language, of grammar, and of good diction. Clarity of expression has ever denoted  clarity of thought. An exactness of words has always been crucial to successful  diplomacy. In short, the words do matter. They ought to be your allies rather than your enemies. 

We want your work for CSD to be successful, and therefore we want your work to be  read. To help your work be read at CSD, we have a few guidelines we respectfully  ask you to keep in mind as you write, because we will have them in mind when we  read your submission—and when we edit it—should your essay reach that stage.  

At CSD, we embrace grammar as powerful and purposeful.  

We believe in the Oxford comma, and punctuate accordingly.  

In general, we follow AP style in the body of the essay. We ask that you format citations and notes as footnotes. To format your footnotes, please follow Chicago  style. We absolutely require you to cite your sources, and to provide evidentiary support for your assertions. Avoid any whiff of plagiarism by giving proper credit where credit is due. Links to user-friendly quick guides of both AP style and Chicago style are  included below.  

Additionally, we’ve included some informative style/writing guide links below for your perusal to help you in crafting your essay as something more expansive than a mere academic exercise. We care deeply about our Classics of Strategy and Diplomacy Project; therefore we care about the quality of the essays we publish; and thus we care about the clarity of your essay’s  argument. These are our North Stars. Please write accordingly. 

To submit your article for CSD publication consideration, please send as a Word Document attachment to [email protected] or drop in the form below, along with a brief bio and your Twitter and LinkedIn identifiers, should you have these. 

We look forward to reading your work, and to welcoming you into our community of writers.


The CSD Editorial Team



Quick AP Style Guide 

Quick Chicago Style Guide 

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 

Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips

The Elements of Style

 The Economist Writing Guide