Style Guidelines

  1. Headings. Use ALL CAPITALS to indicate major sections of a paper, and Initial Capitals to indicate subsections.
  2. SI units. Include SI units in parentheses after conventional units (see
  3. Measurements. Do not put periods after metric measurements (e.g., 3.5 mmol per L, 11.6 mg per kg).
  4. Numbers. Spell out numbers one through nine. Use numerals for 10 and higher. Exception: Always use numerals in dosages, percentages, degrees of temperature, and metric measurements.
  5. Drug names. Use the generic name for all drugs. Include the trade name in parentheses after the first mention of a drug in the text. Trade names used in AFP are the first brand approved. If a drug is not available in the United States, indicate so in parentheses after the name.
  6. Abbreviations. Except for units of measurement, abbreviations are discouraged. When first used, an abbreviation should be preceded by the words for which it stands.
  7. Percentages. Use the percent sign (%) rather than the word “percent."
  8. Style questions. For questions about medical writing style, consult the American Medical Association Manual of Style.1
  9. Formatting text. Note the following general text formatting guidelines: (1) do not justify the right margin; (2) do not use bold print or italics; and (3) use a single, standard typeface of letter quality, such as Times New Roman or Arial 12 point.

Author's Guide References

  1. Iverson C, Christiansen S, Flanagin A, Fontanarosa PB, Glass RM, Gregoline B, et al. American Medical Association Manual of Style. 10th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.