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Author Guidelines for the Michigan Defense Quarterly
MICHIGAN DEFENSE QUARTERLY
GUIDELINES FOR MANUSCRIPTS
The Quarterly is published in January, April, July and October. Due date for each issue is the first week of the preceding month.
These guidelines are offered to assist you in developing your article.
Content: Original manuscripts are preferred.
Any article of interest to the defense bar is welcome, such as
(1) articles on new developments in the law,
(2) articles advocating changes, and
(3) practical articles on handling specific issues or types of cases.
(1) Informal style is preferred. Gender-neutral language should be used.
The audience is attorneys whose expertise may well not extend to your specific area of expertise, so it is good to begin by describing the context in which the issues arise. Also, you should briefly explain important concepts, even though they may need no explanation within your specialty.
(2) Avoid the first person whenever possible.
Length: The normal length is 7 to 10 double-spaced pages.
Endnotes: Please use endnotes rather than footnotes. It is preferable to avoid putting substantive discussion in footnotes or endnotes.
Citations: Please use the Michigan Uniform System of Citation for cases:
1. Cases names are italicized: Engler v Granholm, not Engler v Granholm
2. No periods in abbreviations: Pizza, Inc v Dyspepsia, 123 Mich 321 (1898)
Editing: In general, editing is limited to checking for typos, inserting short headers to break the article into sections, and other minor changes. In addition, the editor prepares an executive summary and returns the article with the summary for your final approval.
Biography: You should include a short biographical statement informing the readers of your expertise and including an email address. If possible, you should also include a photograph in electronic format
Format: MSWord, WordPerfect and RTF formats are acceptable. PDF format is not acceptable because it cannot be edited.
We always modify the style to be consistent, but you may want to observe the following:
All citations are put in endnotes.
Case names are always italicized, never underlined.
Abbreviations in case citations do not use periods.
Authority from other states should have citations to regional reporters.
Title, headings and subheadings are bold, never underlined
Guidelines for quotation marks and punctuation:
Periods and commas are always inside.
Colons and semicolons always outside.
Question marks and exclamation points are placed according to meaning:
Special Tips for Non-Lawyer Authors
The Quarterly welcomes articles by consultants and experts whose area of expertise is of interest to practicing trial lawyers. Here are some suggestions to make the articles more effective:
1. Write for the audience.
This is the first rule of effective writing. In practical terms, this means that you need to be alert to jargon. Jargon is a good, effective way of communicating within a field of expertise, but it becomes a barrier to those outside of it. The solution is to use the jargon but explain the term. Doing this educates your reader about your field of expertise and draws him or her closer to you by showing that you know how to communicate across professional boundaries.
2. Avoid the first person.
If you write in the style of “what I do for my clients is . . .” or “we helped win a case by doing . . .,” it sounds like an advertisement. It is more readable and more effective to write in the third person: “The attorney should expect the consultant to be able to do the following . . .,” and “to build an effective case, the attorney and the consultant should . . ..”
MDTC\ Author Guidelines 8 0101