TLI Style Guide

Materials that don’t follow this Style Guide will be delayed in moving through editorial processes and may be postponed until the next issue of the journal to avoid delaying the relevant issue.  We appreciate your attention to these details.
Thank you,
The small but mighty TLI production team

This page provides important information regarding the formatting, grammar, and technical style of submissions to Teaching & Learning Inquiry.  For information about appropriate content, submission types and length, and procedures for submissions of manuscripts and supplementary materials, visit the "About Teaching & Learning Inquiry" page.


To encourage submissions from all disciplines, research traditions, and genres, the body of the manuscript need not follow a prescribed structure (e.g., IMRAD). However, authors should take care to ensure that the structure is appropriate for the manuscript’s thesis and purpose.

When submitting for review, make sure all materials you upload into OJS are anonymized: remove all bylines and biographies, as well as identifying information in the manuscript, such as the name of your institution. Do not include a cover page.

  • If your manuscript is accepted for publication, then include all of this information, including the byline at the very beginning and a brief bio at the end. (See the sample formatted manuscript at the end of this document for details.)

The technical formatting and layout of all written submissions should follow the guidelines below:

  • Text-based submissions should be submitted as a single Word, OpenOffice, or RTF file. (Please, no PDFs.)
  • Audio or video files should be submitted according to the “Supplementary Files, Data, or Multimedia” instructions in the journal’s Author Guidelines section below.
  • Use 12-point type on an 8.5 x 11” page setting with simple (and anonymous) page numbering.
  • Please don’t include a title page or running heads.
  • Single-space (without extra spacing between paragraphs) and left-align your document throughout with one-inch (2.5cm) margins.
  • Make sure that all pieces of the manuscript appear in the correct order, as relevant—title, abstract, keywords, article body, acknowledgements, notes, references, appendices—and use headings and subheadings as illustrated in the sample formatted manuscript at the end of this document.  

View a sample formatted document here.


  • Make sure all URLs are hyperlinked.
  • Please use the Oxford comma (the comma between "apples" and "and" in the following sentence): I like bananas, apples, and oranges.
  • Periods and commas always go inside of quotation marks. For instance, “here is a quoted passage,” “‘here is a quote within a quoted passage,’” and “‘here’s the end of a quoted passage.’”
  • Single space after periods, commas, question marks, colons, and semi-colons. (Use Word’s Find & Replace function for convenience.)
  • Capitalize all words in titles that are four letters long or more: “Permanence and Change.” Exceptions apply to short words that are verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs: Writing New Media, “There Is Nothing Left to Lose.”
  • Use hyphens and dashes correctly, and don’t surround them with spaces. Use a single dash (-) for hyphens, and an em dash—or two dashes with no spaces before the following word—as dashes.
  • If the manuscript identifies the research question(s), put it in bold and italics. For instance, in this passage: The overarching question this study attempts to address is How are transfer of learning and beliefs about vocationalism related to GE goals? This question is answered….
  • For abbreviations, please use the following conventions:
    • SoTL (not SOTL).  Also, please spell out and capitalize the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning the first time you mention it, and use SoTL thereafter.
    • MA, PhD, CD, HTML, APA, US, USA, UK
    • For other abbreviations, see this page.


Include all relevant figures, tables, and illustrations with titles and captions within the text of the submission, rather than at the very end or submitted separately as supplementary files. Each should be discussed or mentioned in the text and numbered (with Arabic numerals) in order of mention. Each should have a brief descriptive title, should be understandable even without reference to the text, and should not simply duplicate explanations in the text. See this page for figures and graphs and this page for tables.


The default citation style for TLI is APA, from the American Psychological Association. However, we are aware that citation styles often carry the values and assumptions of specific disciplines, so if you prefer to use a different standardized citation style, please identify it and your reasons in an endnote, and use it consistently and correctly throughout your submission.

Please make sure all in-text citations correlate with a full entry in your bibliography, and vice versa.

The following rules are specific to APA citation style:

  • The basic parenthetical or in-text citation of a direct quote is (AuthorLastName, date, p. pagenumber), which looks like (Prosser, 1994, p. 144).
  • Sources with two authors are cited with an ampersand (Smith & Jones, 1994), and with the page number for direct quotes (Smith & Jones, 1994, p. 28).
  • Multiple citations in a single sentence appear alphabetically and are separated by semicolons (Chen, 1983; Johnson, 2002; Martensson, 2010).
  • Sources with many authors are initially cited with all last names (Smith, Jones, Sun, Holloway, & Globe, 1993), and subsequent citations include only use the first author's last name followed by "et al." in the signal phrase or in the parenthetical citation, such as Harris et al. (2001) argued.... (Kernis et al., 1993).
  • Electronic sources without page numbers are cited just with the author’s last name and the year of publication, like Kenneth (2000).
  • For more, see this page.


Please make sure all entries in the Reference list correlate with an in-text citation, and vice versa.

  • When available, references should include DOIs (or stable URLs, if DOIs are unavailable), which should be hyperlinked.
  • Use hanging indent for all lines after first of each entry.
  • Invert authors’ names.
  • For multiple articles by the same author, or the same authors listed in the same order, list the entries in chronological order from earliest to most recent.
  • Capitalize all major words in journal titles, and maintain all punctuation used by the journal in its title.
  • When referring to books, chapters, articles, or web pages, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns. Do not capitalize the first letter of the second word in a hyphenated compound word.
  • Italicize titles of longer works, such as books and journals.
  • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works, such as journal articles or essays in edited collections.
  • See examples below for journal articles and books, and refer to the options in the left-hand navigation column here for other source types.

Journal Article

Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55, 893-896.


Calfee, R. C., & Valencia, R. R. (1991). APA Guide to Preparing Manuscripts For Journal Publication. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


View a sample formatted document here (PDF download).