AMA STYLE - TCU - Writing Center
AMA STYLE - TCU - Writing Center
SOME BASIC ELEMENTS
©2012 TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY, W.L. ADAMS CENTER FOR WRITING
Table of Contents
AMA Style Summary……………
AMA Manuscript Form…………
The Title Page…………………..
Levels of Headings………………
Superscripts in AMA……………
Citing Page Numbers……………
Use of Numerals…….
Units of Measurement……………..
Abbreviations of Periodicals….
Chapters in Books…………………
AMA Style Summary
“AMA style” refers to the American Medical Association
Manual of Style, 10th edition. Some features that distinguish
it from other documentation styles:
In-text citation of sources with superscript numerals assigned by the order in which you
first refer to them in a document.
Consistent use within a document of the assigned superscript for all your citations of a
Inclusion of page numbers in superscripts, for any direct quotations you use. (AMA3.6)
A reference page that lists each source once in the order in which you first referred to it in
the body of your paper, preceded by the assigned superscript.
Consistent use of abbreviations standardized by the National Library of Medicine for
medical journal titles in references.
AMA Manuscript Form
Many AMA manuscripts follow the the “IMRAD” model for section headings
and structure: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Some Journal
of the American Medical Association (JAMA) guidelines:
Use a conventional 10-, 11-, or 12-point font, Courier or Times New Roman.
Double-space entire text, including references.
Do not indent paragraphs.
Do not justify the right margins; leave them “ragged.”
Use a title page and a running head.
Include an abstract after the title page.
For a complete checklist of manuscript submission tips, see the table on page 37 of
the AMA Manual of Style, 10th edition.
JAMA also recommends the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted
to Biomedical Journals, published on the International Committee of Medical
The Title Page:
The AMA Manual encourages the use of a title
page, but suggests that writers refer to the
specific guidelines of various publishing venues
before formatting a document for submission.
Many AMA manuscripts follow APA style for title
Running head appears upper left.
Page number appears upper right.
Paper title, author and institutional
affiliation (if required) appear centered
The running head should capture the main point
of the paper in shorter form than the title.
Different journals have different length
standards for length of running heads. JAMA’s
is 45 characters.
(AMA 2.1, 2.2.2-2.4.2)
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Texas Chris ing and Social Wor
An abstract is a concise summary or overview of your research article,
presented on a separate page between the title page and the body.
Do not cite sources in abstracts.
Include important key words in your abstract; this enables electronic retrieval
Structured abstracts accompany reports of original data and meta-analyses.
They are usually 250-300 words in length and in IMRAD order:
Introduction of Research Objectives
Methodology and Research Design
Discussion of Conclusions.
Unstructured abstracts are summaries of about 150 words that accompany
other types of AMA-formatted research writing or position papers.
Some publishing venues add other requirements for abstracts.
Levels of Headings
AMA style does not specify any particular
rules for levels of headings, but does advise a
consistently maintained pattern for
formatting and typeface within a document.
Many authors of AMA papers use APA format
for levels of headings; otjers adapt it to AMA
Secondary-level headings should be
formatted in a consistent style or typeface,
visually distinguishable from the primary
Avoid inclusion of abbreviations, figures,
tables, or references in headings.
APA levels of headings
Level 1 :
Centered, Boldface, Uppercase & Lowercase heading
Flush Left, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase heading
Indented, boldface, lowercase paragraph heading
with a period.
Indented boldface, italicized, lowercase paragraph
heading with a period.
Indented, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading with
Superscripts in AMA
Cite sources in AMA by assigning
numerals, based on the order in
which you first cite them in the
For all subsequent citations of a
source after its first mention, use
the same superscript you first
assigned to it.
Position superscript numerals
outside periods and commas and
inside colons and semicolons.
(AMA 3.5 - 3.6)
When quoting a source directly, use a
signal phrase to provide context for the
To cite sources of direct quotations, use
the appropriately sequenced superscript,
plus the page number.
Notice that there is no period or space
between the “p” and the numbers in the
example to the right:
(AMA 3.6, 8.6.1)
When to Include Page Numbers in AMA
With direct quotations:
Ressler concluded, “When we controlled for
common stress-related phenomena (depression and
history of substance abuse), the effect of PACAP
level on PTSD remained stable (P<0.05).”22 (p493)
With separate sections of
Ressler concluded that controlling for the usual
stress-related catalysts for PTSD, depression and
prior substance abuse, the effect of PAD-CAP
level on PTSD did not vary(P<0.05).22(p493)
If a direct quotation extends
beyond 4 lines of your text, set it
off in a block in a smaller font
size and omit quotation marks.
Add a space above and below the
Do not indent, unless to indicate
the beginning of a paragraph in
the original source.
As with all direct quotations in
AMA, include the page number
in the superscript.
and Fetal Ou
Writing in th
e July 11, 20
12, issue of
sternak et al
l of the Amer
associations e cohort study in Den
sure to an A k found no significant
e in pregna
ncy and risk
or birth defe
cts, preterm verse fetal
respect to ou
rth, and grow
exposure, re omes associated with se bust evidence of safety
sults from an
cond- or thir
alyses of fir
viewed as pr
ex sure sh
d need conf
Given that pr
on the topic
has been lim
ited, 13 the gr
ctive in this
ed cohort st
udy was to
posure to an
sk of advers
e fetal outcom 22
Use of Numerals
Always use numerals to express quantities, except in these cases:
beginning of a sentence: Twenty-five patients responded to the medication.
common fractions: Two-thirds of the respondents were male.
ordinals: The second intubation was compromised by a non-sterile environment.
Express percentages in numerals; avoid beginning sentences with
percentages, but if you do, express in words.
Sixty-five percent of studies used intention-to-treat analysis; only 42% had adequate
sequence generation, 35% concealed allocation, and 61% had adequately described blinding.
Decimal fractions below 1.0 must be expressed with a leading zero:
The standard dosage for the control group was 0.5 ml every four hours.
Express consecutively occurring numbers using a combination of words and
Fourteen 12-year-olds eligible to participate in the study tested positive for staph infections.
The study surveyed 203 five-year maintenance and warranty contracts on first-responder
defibrillators in five boroughs in New York City.
(AMA 19.1, 19.2.1)
Units of Measurement
Report measurements of height, length, weight, and
volume in conventional metric units (meters, kilograms,
or liters) or their decimal multiples.
Report temperatures in degrees Celsius.
Report blood pressure in millimeters of mercury, unless
required otherwise by a particular journal.
Many journals use the International System of Units (SI)
Consult Section 14.12 of the AMA Manual for
(AMA 4.1.4, 14.12, 18.1, 19.1.4)
Proprietary Drug and Product Names
Use the generic, non-proprietary name in titles, headings, and the text,
unless comparing various brands or particular formulations of a drug.
Avoid using proprietary (brand) names of pharmaceuticals to preclude
any implication of bias or conflict of interest.
Medtronic Paradigm Revel
Prinivil, Tensopril, Zestril
neoprene exam gloves
Visual Presentation of Data
Tables present data in its relationships and support
statements made in a paper without being redundant.
Eachtable requires a title; number consecutively. For
guidance, consult AMA Manual, 4.1.
Figures are graphic displays such as charts, graphs,
scatterplots, illustrations, pie charts, maps, or other
visual representations of data. They also require titles
and a separate numbering system from tables in a
document. For guidance, consult AMA Manual, 4.2.
Citations must include “minimum
acceptable data” for a reader to access the
source: author or agency, book title &
publisher, or article title and journal title,
with standardized publication information
or standardized electronic identification
systems such as URL, DOI, or
List sources only once, in the order they
first appear in the document. Number
For research papers submitted for
university classes, a common practice is to
single-space reference lists, leaving a line
space between each entry. Some
professors require that students follow
submission guidelines for medical
journals such as JAMA. If in doubt, ask
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Submitting Manuscripts for Publication
To submit manuscripts for publication in a
particular journal, the AMA Manual
recommends preparing a manuscript
according to the guidelines issued by that
journal. Preferences may vary from journal
to journal on such matters as spacing and
title pages, as well as accompanying
The Journal of the American Medication
Association (JAMA) recommends following
the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts
Submitted to Biomedical Journals, which are
published on the International Committee of
Medical Editors website, which advises
“double-spacing all portions of the
manuscript— including the title page,
abstract, text, acknowledgments, references,
individual tables, and legends” for both paper
and online submissions.
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Abbreviations of Periodicals
When citing articles from journals in the reference list, use the title abbreviations standardized in
the US National Library of Medicine’s current Fact Sheet or Index Medicus.
Ebneshahidi A & Mohseni M. Hoarseness after tracheal intubation. Anesth Analg. 2010;111:8924.
No periods are necessary after the abbreviations.
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists = AANA J
American Journal of Nursing = Am J Nurs
BMJ: British Medical Association = BMJ
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism = J Clin Endocrinol Metab
Journal of Nursing Administration = J Nurs Adm
Medical Letters of Drugs and Therapeutics = Med Lett Drugs Ther
Southern Medical Journal = South Med J
List authors by surnames and
initials (without periods) using
commas to separate them.
If there are more than 6 authors,
use only the first 3, along with
the “et al.” notation.
Use lower-case letters for the
article title, excluding the first
word and any proper nouns
Abbreviate the journal title
according to the AMA-endorsed
list (see previous slide).
List year, volume number, issue
number, and inclusive pagination
in the pattern shown to the right.
erg LD. Th
e cost of m
d its treatm
ent. Am J
r S, Thom
as D, Toka
rz D, et al
r 1 gene
sis. Arch N
Cite authors by surname and
initials, without periods. Use
commas to separate author names.
Italicize book titles and use
Include edition numbers, city of
publication, publisher’s name or
imprint, and copyright date.
If six or fewer authors, list all. If
more than six, list the first three
followed by “et al.”
For edited books, add “ed.” or
“eds.” after the names in the
author position of the citation.
alysis in Pl
r a Polio Ou
sco, CA: Pe
ead and N
3rd ed. San
: Plural Pu
d TH, ed.
c Agents. th
7 ed. Ba
AK, et al.
Pain in Ost
2 ed. Glen
view, IL: A
Chapter in a Book
ent of re
in. In: L
ey P, ed.
3 ed. N
er LF, M
s ME. Ch
. In: Fit
son JS, P
Cite the authors of the particular chapter
or essay by surname and initials. Separate
author names with commas.
Follow the unconventional capitalization
rules for titles of articles: use lower-case
letters for all except the first word and
Cite in full the title of the book in which
the chapter appears. Use conventional
Provide the city of publication, the
publisher, and the year.
Provide inclusive page numbers of the
Government or Agency Bulletins
If no single author is named,
cite the issuing government
agency as the author.
Italicize titles of reports;
follow article title rules for
sections of reports.
Provide any relevant
information such as series
numbers, or numbers used to
identify the documents within
(AMA 3.13.2, 3.15.5)
1. Centers for Dis
ease Control and
n. Sexually Transm
0. Atlanta, GA: Cen
ters for Disease
Control and Preven
U.S. Dept of Healt
h and Human Ser
2. Sin HB, Bruno
R. Census 2000 Bri
ef C2KBR-29: Lan
guage Use and En
, DC: US Census Bu
3. World Health
for monitoring alc
related harm. Ge
neva (CH): World
4. World Health
liminary dose est
imation from the
accident after the
2011 Great East
e and Tsunami
ml Published 20
12. Accessed Jul
y 9, 2012.
Electronic sources should be cited in a way as to be accessible to your reader.
Electronic source citation format is determined by method of access: e-books,
journals, databases, list-servs, websites, government archives, and others.
Some electronic citations require URLs and dates accessed, if website layout is
subject to change. Other citations have permanent locators such as DOIs or PMID
numbers, which will not change and therefore require no URL.
Citation formats may vary slightly according to whether the source first appeared in
print; some sources now appear online before they appear in print. Some online
journals have pagination; others do not.
Some electronic sources are available in more than one format. For example, a
source may appear in an online journal as well as a database such as PubMed or
“Versioning” refers to a means of citation that includes updates and edits to an
electronic source. A good rule of thumb for citing electronic sources in AMA style:
always cite the version you consulted.
Cite an electronic book by providing the
conventional elements of a book citation, then
add the URL and date of access:
Author and/or editor
Title & edition number if applicable
City and state of publication
Year of copyright
URL & Date of access.
(AMA 3.4, 3.15)
n DT, Ro
http://w 2. Available fro Histology Atlas.
d July 16
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The basic elements of an online journal
Journal name, abbreviated
Volume number (if available)
Inclusive pages (if available)
DOI, or PMID number
URL and date of access if necessary
Several versions of a source may exist online.
Cite the version you consulted.
( ) *"+%,-. / ,-0 1-2. ,-34$5-67 ,-7 8 4%9-*: ,-34$5-7 3)-0 ; <=> 4?-$"> =#" %<4%[email protected]+' "-#+$?=91<8 4%@-=%<AB4<=+%-8 =<1+A<-> A' &?" -$" ?4C4%<' -=%-1" 4?<1D-; 4<=" %<' -8 =<1<1=+; "%<4?-&[email protected]> =%=' <$4<=+%E-4-; $+' ; "&<=F"-$4%@+> =G" @-' <[email protected])-! " #$%
&' ( )*+, )*-. /)-HI ( H-*A?-( J )-3K LME-HHNI ( ON( )H) 6=> ; ' +%-PM,-! +' ' -K *,-K &Q" +8 %-M: ,-! 4D-MR)-/ $4&1"4?-=%<AB4<=+%-=%-<1"&$=<=&4??D-=??E-4-> A?<=S&"%<$"-%4<=+%4?-' <[email protected]+#-; $4&<=&"-4%@-&+> ; ?=&4<=+%' )--0#$%
&' ( )*+, 1-L66TE-( UV( SWVV( ,-HI ( H-K 4DX-Y+?)-( I NZO[,-; ; )-V\HS\X-3K LMEHHJ ( OJ HW)
J ) 6A5D' -P2,-6&1F4$<' > 4%-R,-! " =' -2P,-] F4?A4<=+%-+#-$4; [email protected]' " ^A"%&" -=%<AB4<=+%=%-<1" -; " @=4<$=&-" > " $9" %&[email protected]" ; 4$<> " %<)-%
$2)3-( +#-_! =+-*`)-L66TE-( WVNSUVNH,HI ( ( -*A?S2A9X-Y+?)-NV-ZU[,-; ; )-J UJ S\X-3K LME-H( NUH( ( H)
U) [email protected]"' ' +-R,-TA%"' -3,-6=?F"' <$"-R,-K 4<=4' -] ,-a+A$"=$+-7 ,-2?> "[email protected] )-T+%S
=%F4' =F"-F" %<=?4<=+%-=%-4&A<" -$" ' ; =$4<+$D-#4=?A$" -=%-&[email protected]$" %)-2)3-( +#$4)5)-HI ( H2; $-HX-UZH[E-" ( W)-_] ; AB-HI ( H-2; $-( I )`-3K LM-HHNI H\\U)-
In citing databases, include the following
elements in this order:
Author(s), if available
Title of database
Publisher’s location, name, most recent
in Man, OM
ore, MD: Jo
ly 16, 2012
2. PDQ: NC
, MD: Natio
ly 16, 2012
1. Wen XJ, Ka
“DOI” stands for “digital object identifier.” A
DOI is a permanent online address that is not
subject to any changes of URL.
A DOI has 2 elements, a prefix and a suffix,
separated by a forward slash:
DOIs are preferable to URLs; do not cite
URLs with them, and there is no need to
provide date of access.
WW, Okoro CA
, Town M, Ballu
z LS. Binge
sity and healt
ty of life amon
U.S. adult bin
Chronic Dis 20
eester V, Baay
M, Van Marck
E, Weyler J, Ve
rmeulen P, La
n J. Tumor inf
ocytes: an int
survival of co
r in the
C Immunol. 20
online 2010 Ap
ril 12. DOI: 10
3. Spence K,
Barr P. Nasal
versus oral int
ubation for me
ts. Cochrane Ne
21, 2009. DOI:
PubMed (PMID) Numbers
1. Jeon, YT, Oh
AY, Park SH, Hw
ang JW, Park HP
. Optimal remife
ntanil dose for
ts in healthy pa
. Eur J
12 Jul 13. PMID
PMID numbers denote journal articles that are
indexed in PubMed. Include them in citations.
If you use a PMID number, there is no need to
cite a URL or date of access.
1. Goldberg J. Us
To cite newspaper sources, include author,
article title, newspaper title (in italics), date
of publication, section and page numbers.
of drugs endang
told. Los Angeles
To cite newspaper sources retrieved
electronically, follow the same pattern as for
print and include the URL, plus the date of
March 28, 2003
dicaid plan. New
es of India.
phrenia drugs do
(AMA 3.13.1, 3.15.4)
tem to monitor
4. Vedentam S.
Cost benefits of
rse racing, senato
es are drawn ove
r opting out of Me
Times. July 13,
3. Majumdar P.
ers horses and ho
es. July 12, 2012
When citing a website in AMA style, provide the
elements crucial for your reader to locate the
precise source you used:
Author or authorial agency (if given)
Title of article or document
Name of the web site
Date of publication
Date of access or retrieval.
ciety for Infect
2. National Ele
dations for the
care and maint
enance of high
halide and mercu
lighting in schoo
ls. National Ele
December 6, 20
Provide the product brand name, specifying in
brackets that it is an insert. Also provide the
manufacturer’s location, name, and date of
copyright for the insert in a format similar to
book or report citations, as shown in the two
examples to the right.
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ing Kit [p
Index to Slides
Chapters in books…………….
Levels of headings…………………………..
Page numbers in superscripts………
PubMed (PMID) numbers……………..
Summary of AMA style……………………
Units of measurement…………………….