AMA Formatting - Quick Guide

Formatting

  • Text is double-spaced and left aligned (pg. 37)
  • General university guidelines call for 1” margins, 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
  • Specific information regarding title page format, page numbers, headings, font style/size, and margins are not explicitly stated in the AMA manual. Please consult your professor or departmental guidelines.

Style

  • Active voice is preferred. (pg. 320)
  • Further instructions regarding writing style may be found in the submission guidelines to the following publications: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)

Paper Requirements

  •  An AMA paper should have four major sections.
    • Title Page
    • Abstract  (structured or unstructured)
    • Text  (introduction, methods, results, discussion)
    • References

Title Page

  • AMA does not give specific formatting requirements for a title page. It only provides the information that should be included.
    • Title
    • Authors’ Name
    • Degrees (above bachelors)
    • E-mail Addresses
    • Institutional Affiliation
    • Word Count (for text only, excluding title, abstract, references, tables, and figures)

Abstract

  • “The abstract of a research report summarizes the main points of an article: (1) the study objective or background, (2) the study design and methods, (3) primary results, and (4) principal conclusions.” (pg. 20)
  • Structured Abstract (pg. 20-23)
    • Used for reports of original data, systematic reviews, and clinical reviews.
    • Uses predetermined headings depending on the type of report.
    • Usually limited to 250 words, though some journals allow for 300 words. (pg. 21)
  • Unstructured Abstract (pg. 23-24)
    • Used for any other major manuscript.
    • No more than 150 words
  • Keywords
    • Located at the end of the Abstract
    • 3-10 terms that represent the key concepts

Text

  • The text of an AMA paper typically consists of four sections: (pg. 25)
    • Introduction
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Discussion

References

In-Text Citations (pg. 42-44)

    • Each reference is cited consecutively using a superscript Arabic numeral. 
    • Multiple references can be cited by listing each in order in the superscript citation, separated by a comma.
    • Specific page numbers within a source can be cited by placing the page reference in parentheses after the citation number.
    • Citation numbers come after commas and periods, but before a colon or semicolon.

Reference List

  • References are numbered and listed in the order they appear in the text. (pg. 42)
  • The following is the minimum acceptable data necessary for references:
    • Print Journals: Author(s). Article title. Journal Name. Year;vol(issue No.): inclusive pages.
    • Online Journals: Author(s). Article title. Journal Name. Year;vol(issue No.): inclusive pages. URL. Accessed [date].
    • Print Books: Author(s). Book Title. Edition number (if it is the second edition or above). City, State (or Country) of publisher: Publisher’s name; copyright year.
    • Online Books: Author(s). Book Title. Edition number (if it is the second edition or above). City, State (or Country) of publisher: Publisher’s name; copyright year. URL. Accessed [date].
    • Website: Author (or, if no author is available, the name of the organization responsible for the site). Title (or, if no title is available, the name of the organization responsible for the site). Name of the website. URL. Accessed [date]. The second line and all subsequent lines of each item on the reference list should be indented.
       

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