Ministry of Defence, Singapore Singapore Government
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Guidelines for
Author's Guide
Writing a Pointer
Writing a Pointer
Book Review
Guidelines for Contributors

Guidelines for Contributors

POINTER accepts the contribution of journal articles, book reviews and viewpoints by all regular/NS officers and warrant officers. POINTER also publishes contributions from students and faculty members of local academic institutions, members of other Singapore Government Ministries and Statutory Boards, as well as eminent foreign experts.

Contributors should take note of pertinent information found in the Author's Guide when preparing and submitting contributions.

Article Topics
POINTER accepts contributions on the following topics:
- Military strategy and tactics
- SAF doctrinal development and concepts
- Professionalism, values and leadership in the military
- Military campaigns or history and their relevance to the SAF
- Personal experiences or lessons in combat operations, peacekeeping operations or overseas training
- Defence management, administration and organisational change
- Regional geopolitics and strategic issues
- Defence technology
- Warfighting and transformation
- Leadership
- Organisational development
- Conflict and security studies

Book Reviews
POINTER accepts reviews of books under the SAF Professional Reading Programme and other suitable publications. Contributors may review up to 4 books in one submission. Each review should have 1,500 - 2,000 words.

Viewpoints discussing articles and those commenting on the journal itself are welcome. POINTER reserves the right for contents of the viewpoints to be published in part or in full.

Required information
Manuscripts must be accompanied by the biography or CV of the author detailing his/her rank, name, vocation, current unit & appointment, educational qualifications, significant courses attended and past appointments in MINDEF/SAF.

Upon selection for publication, a copy of the "Copyright Warranty & License Form" must be completed, and a photograph of the author (in uniform No. 5J for uniformed officers and collared shirt for others) must be provided.

Submission of Manuscript
The manuscript should be submitted electronically, Microsoft Word format ONLY, to

Article Length
Each article should contain 2,000 to 4,000 words.

Honorariums may be awarded for the contribution of an article that has been selected for publication as a token of appreciation and to recognise the effort of the writer(s).

As with all serious professional publications, sources used and borrowed ideas in POINTER journal articles must all be acknowledged to avoid plagiarism.

Citations in POINTER follow the Chicago Manual of Style.

All articles in POINTER use endnotes. Note numbers should be inserted after punctuation. Each endnote must be complete the first time it is cited. Subsequent references to the same source may be abbreviated.

The various formats of endnotes are summarized below. Punctuate and capitalise as shown.


Citations should give the author, title and subtitle of the book (italicised), editor or translator if applicable (shortened to 'ed.' or 'trans.'), edition number if applicable, publication information (city, publisher and date of publication), appropriate page reference, and URL in the case of e-books. If no author is given, substitute the editor or institution responsible for the book.

For example:

1. Tim Huxley, Defending the Lion City: The Armed Forces of Singapore (St Leonard, Australia: Allen & Unwin, 2000), 4.

Huxley, Defending the Lion City, 4.

Ibid., 4.

Edward Timperlake, William C. Triplett and William II Triplet, Red Dragon Rising: Communist China's Military Threat to America (Columbia: Regnery Publishing, 1999), 34.

Articles in Periodicals
Citations should include the author, title of the article (quotation marks), title of periodical (italicised), issue information (volume, issue number, date of publication), appropriate page reference, and URL in the case of e-books. Note that the volume number immediately follows the italicised title without intervening punctuation, and that page reference is preceded by a colon in the full citation and a comma in abbreviated citations.

For example:

Chan Kim Yin and Psalm Lew, "The Challenge of Systematic Leadership Development in the SAF," POINTER 30, no. 4 (2005): 39-50.

Chan and Lew, "The Challenge of Systematic Leadership Development in the SAF," 39-50.

Ibid., 39-50.

Mark J. Valencia, "Regional Maritime Regime Building: Prospects in Northeast and Southeast Asia," Ocean Development and International Law 31 (2000): 241.

Articles in Books or Compiled Works
Citations should include the author, title of the article (quotation marks), title of book (italicised), name of editor, publication information (city, publisher and date of publication), the appropriate page reference, and the URL in the case of e-books.

For example:

Michael I. Handel, "Introduction," in Clausewitz and Modern Strategy, ed. Michael I. Handel, (London: Frank Cass, 1986), 3.

H. Rothfels, "Clausewitz," in Makers of Modern Strategy: Military thought from Machiavelli to Hitler, eds. Edward Mead Earle and Brian Roy, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), 102.

Articles in Newspapers
Citations should include the author, title of the article (quotation marks), title of newspaper (italicised), date of publication, appropriate page reference, and URL in the case of e-books.

For example:

David Boey, "Old Soldiers Still Have Something to Teach," The Straits Times, 28 September 2004, 12.

Donald Urquhart, "US Leaves it to Littoral States; Admiral Fallon Says Region Can Do Adequate Job in Securing Straits," The Business Times Singapore, 2 April 2004, 10.

Online Sources
Citations should include the author, title of the article (quotation marks), name of website (italicised), date of publication, and URL. If no date is given, substitute date of last modification or date accessed instead.

For example:

Liaquat Ali Khan, "Defeating the IDF," Counterpunch, 29 July 2006,

If the article was written by the publishing organisation, the name of the publishing organisation should only be used once.

For example:

International Committee of the Red Cross, "Direct participation in hostilities," 31 December 2005,

If the identity of the author cannot be determined, the name of the website the article is hosted on should be used. For example:

"Newly unveiled East Jerusalem plan put on hold," BBC News, 2 March 2010,

POINTER has a strict policy regarding such intellectual dishonesty. Plagiarism includes using text, information or ideas from other works without proper citation. Any cases of alleged plagiarism will be promptly investigated. It is the responsibility of the writer to ensure that all his sources are properly cited using the correct format. Contributors are encouraged to consult the NUS guidelines on plagiarism, available at

Last updated on 20 May 2011
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