Writing & Style Guide 


Publication Schedule

We publish issues the third Friday of every month. In order to make sure we meet our publishing date each month, we need you as a contributing writer to have a draft ready and sent to us two weeks prior to your publishing date. During the first week, the editors will work on developmental revisions, tone, checking your sources, evaluating your evidence, etc. Please make yourself available during that week to address any revisions we may have for you. One week out from publication, we send articles to our copy editor, and any changes that occur in this stage are minor and do not require any further revision on your part.

General Writing Guidelines

The best way to prepare for writing a Lady Science essay is to read back issues and model the organization of your piece on a previous essay of a similar type.

Your essay will be read by a diverse crowd, not just academics. Aim to be accessible in language and tone. As this is not an academic journal, a more informal tone is encouraged.

Bear in mind that people of all different genders, races, sexual orientations, professions, and interests read our letter. We respect our readers, and we ask that you do as well.

Create your draft as either a Word document (.doc or .docx) or as a Google Doc. Your revisions will be returned to you as a Google Doc.

Your essay should be between 1,000- 1,500 words


You are responsible for giving proper attribution to other’s work and ideas

  • Avoid footnotes and endnotes, unless it is absolutely necessary. In-line citations in the form of hyperlinks are preferable. If you hyperlink to a source, in-text attribution of date and page number is not necessary; the hyperlinked material supplements. For example:


Like Rich in “Diving Into the Wreck,” I had carried with me “a book of myths/ in which/ our names do not appear.”  


Like Rich in “Diving Into the Wreck” (1973), I had carried with me “a book of myths/ in which/ our names do not appear” (25).


Like Rich in “Diving Into the Wreck,” I had carried with me “a book of myths/ in which/ our names do not appear” (1973, 25).  

  • If you cannot find an internet source for your quotation and a direct quote is necessary, use Chicago style footnotes. PLEASE don’t use automated formatting for this. Instead, after each passage you intend to note, place a parenthetical number in plain text (1) at the end of sentences, outside of punctuation. For example:

Phelps’ textbook remained in publication for 40 years, selling nearly 400,000 copies, many to female students.[3]

At the bottom of the document begin a list of notes with corresponding numbers:

[3] Rudolph, “Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps,” 1164.

  • Hyperlinks should also provide supporting material or context for people, places, historical events, etc. that do not fit or relate specifically to the piece at hand.
  • The external webpages that you link to are up to you. Through the editing process we may ask that additional links be included, or the editors might add them at their discretion

Further Reading:

You should provide at least 2 further reading suggestions to close out your piece. These can be journal articles, books, or quality internet sources. Use Chicago Style bibliography citation.

These recommendations get added to the Lady Science reading list, so we ask that you choose high-quality readings. In general, peer-reviewed books and articles are best, but use your best judgement. Online sources are great as well if they are credible and useful; links to online sources need to be included for easy access for our readers.


You are not required to supply images for your essay. If you do need to use images, you are responsible for ensuring terms of use and that Lady Science has permissions to publish those images.

  • The image needs to be at least 450 pixels to accommodate any necessary editing or resizing

  • Provide all necessary and/or available source information: title, author/creator, source, and license. For example:

        “Casseiopeia.”[title] Illustration from Poetica Astronomicon (1482), by Hyginus

[author]. (Internet Archive [source] I Public Domain [license])

If you are unsure about image permissions or license, please email us @ladyscienceinfo@gmail.com


We use American English standards of spelling.


  • Oxford comma or bust

Dates and periods

  • Use numbers to indicate centuries (e.g.- 20th Century instead of twentieth)

  • American style date:, Month, Day, Year.


  • Use double quotes for direct quotes and the titles of poems, journal articles, short stories.

  • Use double quotes for emphasis on individual words.

  • Only use single quotes for quotations within larger quotations.

  • Punctuation should go inside quotations marks (there are some exceptions)


  • Do not spell out numbers of any value, use numbers (e.g. 3 not three)

  • Do not spell out percents of any value, use numbers (e.g. 50% not fifty-percent)

Lady Science is always italicised.


For circa, use (ca ????).

Language and Terms to Avoid:

Diversity in authors and readers is important to us. We respect the professional, racial, gender, and sexual orientation diversity of our readership, and we ask that authors keep that in mind.

Avoid using any ableist language: “psycho” (as a description of an individual), “crazy,” “nuts,” “crippled,” “retarded,” etc.

Other terms to avoid:

  • Manned [spaceflight, mission, etc] – Use crewed

  • Female scientists [pilots, engineers, etc] – Use women scientists

  • Female [in reference to women] – Unless used in the biological sense or in terms of gender/gendering. When used as a replacement for “woman” or “women,” it implies depersonalization and dehumanization

  • Marie-Curie Complex- any more mention of that and we will become the thing we hate

  • Feminazi – Never acceptable, even in the context of humor.