EBBDA Style Guide

The goals of this site are to engage student-scholars with other students and a wider general audience. Ideally, this means that the authors of the exhibits will write in a way that is accessible to those with all different perspectives and previous knowledge of history. For you (the author) this means upholding a high standard of rigor in terms of research and information, while still making it digestible to all that might visit us at the Early Black Boston Digital Almanac.

Length and Format

Your exhibit should be no more than 3000 words, not including citations.

All exhibits are reformatted in HTML once submitted. While we can work with you directly to form the exhibit as you wish, we cannot make any guarantees about image placement, color, font, or header style.

See the Submit Your Own Exhibit page for more information on formatting and expectations of submissions.


Be sure to use Standard American English spelling and grammar conventions.

Integrate quotations into your narrative as logical, grammatical parts of the text. Blockquotes are acceptable, but must directly relevant to the surrounding text and not simply referential to the larger work in itself.

Voice and Style

You are the expert on this topic. This means that you should speak from a place of authority and confidence. You should also make clear your own point of view and stay true to your own communication style -- there is no need to be “dry” or dis-present in your writing.


Please send along the highest quality images possible, no smaller than 300x300 px or 70dpi. We do make exceptions for images where the originals are small themselves. You are free to include your own images (and credit will be attributed) and images from any other resources you can access. It is on you to get proper photo images rights to the images you put in your exhibit. Tip: our archive has plenty of high-quality prints for you to use without any concern.

Citation and Documentation Style

Please use the Chicago Style citation format (footnotes). See The Chicago Manual of Style Guide if you are not familiar.

If possible, please hyperlink all available online resources for the sake of the users' easy access (bonus if they are open-access!).



You don’t need to be entirely neutral, in fact, you should have an argument. However, you should be straightforward and transparent about the sources that you use and they should be clearly cited throughout the work.


Be generous with definitions. While somethings might be second nature to you as a well-seasoned researcher, some terms are uncommon or used differently outside of the “academic bubble” be sure to draw out exactly what you mean, and how you mean it. While there is no need to “dumb down” what you are saying, it is helpful to not take your own point of view for granted.


Show your writing to a variety of people before you submit it. Having multiple eyes (with multiple viewpoints) will help you identify what can be strengthened, and what is strong and should be kept as it is initially. While most of your work might be kept between you and a small group (perhaps your professors, peers, or fellow history buffs) this is ideally going to be shown to the masses and it is important that you attend to that in the work. The more that see it, the more that can point out “blinders” you may have in your presentation of the research.