After you have determined which contract to trade, the following components need to be defined to complete the order instruction:
Buy or Sell – You seek to take a long position by selecting buy or a short position by selecting sell.
Quantity – This is expressed in number of contracts.
Contract month and year – Since futures contracts have different expiration months and the price of a March contract is likely to be different from the price of a December contract, you need to define the month and year they wish to trade. Day traders typically wish to trade the active month, which is the contract with the highest open interest, since liquidity is an important factor for these participants, so make sure to carefully select the month before placing an order.
Order type – You must decide in what manner the order will be sent into the market by setting the price and condition that will activate the order in the marketplace. This last step completes the order and allows you to transmit the order into the market.