Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures School of Languages and Cultures

Preparing Your Manuscript and Electronic Documents

The process

After your manuscript has been examined by our readers, changes may be recommended. We would like to explain our requirements for preparation of the final manuscript. As you revise according to suggestions of our readers and editors, we would like you to include some changes that will make the manuscript easier to prepare for the printer. The document produced when you incorporate these revisions will be called the final manuscript.

Preparing the final manuscript

We consider the ideal length for manuscripts for our books to be 80,000–110,000 words (250–300 pages). If your manuscript is already longer than this, see that its length is not increased by the revisions. The entire manuscript, including the quotations, notes, and works cited, should be double spaced.

The paper copy will be the reference copy throughout the editing process. If the paging is maintained, queries can be located by page and line number. Pages may be added to the paper copy by numbering the new pages 22a, and so on, in order to avoid renumbering the entire manuscript.

Language, quotations, translations

You may write in English, French, or Spanish. Our policy is to treat the language of the literary work(s) as primary and the language of composition (if different) as secondary. Therefore, quotations from literary works should be in the original language. Quotations from critical works may be in the language of composition when a published translation in that language is available. If not, include both the original and your translation of the quotation. Translations should be provided for quotations in any language other than English, Spanish, or French.

Ideally, translations for long quotations should be placed either immediately following the original or in an appendix. In either case, the quotations in the original language should remain in the text as block quotations. Translations of shorter, run-in quotations should be placed in parentheses following the original. If for reasons of content and audience, you and the editors agree to include English translations (in English text) of Spanish or French quotations, these translations will be handled in the same manner. If you are citing a published translation, please make very clear whether you have modified it in any way by enclosing the changed words in square brackets. Titles should be translated only the first time they appear. Thereafter, the original-language title should be used. See MLA instructions on this subject.

Documentation style and notes

All manuscripts must be prepared according to the latest edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (New York: MLA). The notes for the books of our series are endnotes, placed at the back of the book. Therefore, you should copy the notes into a separate document.

Although we use endnotes, in order to achieve the immediacy that footnotes allow, we have chosen to follow the parenthetical style for documentary references recommended in the main part of the MLA Handbook. In parenthetical documentation, the convention of putting full bibliographic information in the first note no longer applies. The reader is expected to look at the works cited for this information. All notes are classified as either “documentary only” or “long documentary and commentary.” The former are inserted in the text within parentheses. The latter are placed in the endnotes section. Refer to the MLA Handbook for details. The basic parenthetical reference consists of the author’s last name plus a page number with no intervening punctuation. If you use more than one book by the same author, add a short title (not the publication date) to each reference to distinguish the books. Place a comma between the last name and the short title, but no punctuation between the short title and the following page number. All references consisting of only name (or name plus short title) and page number(s) should be parenthetical. Notes should be limited to comments and those documentary references that are too long to fit comfortably within the text. Any references included in the endnotes should also be prepared in parenthetical form.

To make it as easy as possible for the reader to locate the reference in the works cited, be certain that each work is listed under the name or title cited in the parenthetical reference. For example, if you are citing a dictionary, you must decide whether to refer to it by the editor or by the first word of the title, and it should be listed alphabetically under the same thing in the works cited. It is also best if the works cited is not subdivided, since doing so forces the reader to guess which section to consult.

Preparing the electronic documents

We also require an electronic copy of the final manuscript, in Microsoft Word® for Mac or PC. We will be working on a Macintosh in Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign®. The electronic copy and the paper copy must be identical.

Please do only minimal formatting on your documents. We will reformat them to match our series specifications. Each element in your text should be a separate file. This includes dedication, table of contents, preface, introduction, individual chapters, endnotes, and works cited. Poetry should be prepared with hard returns where the line breaks occur in the poems. For complicated arrangements of lines and indents, please provide photocopies of the poems.


Your book must have an index. While the page references cannot be filled in until you receive the page proofs, it will save time at page proof stage if you begin early to select the terms for indexing. The Chicago Manual of Stylehas a good discussion on preparing an index. The discussion emphasizes the reader’s needs and considers the theme of the work in decisions about whether or not to index a term or name. The length of your index will depend on the nature and length of your study, but usually it should be around eight or ten double-spaced single-column manuscript pages.

Editing and proofing

Your manuscript will be copyedited, scanned, and the scan returned to you so you can review it and answer queries. If you do not respond to the queries on time, we will proceed to the next stage without the answers. You will be charged for changes made on the proofs.

You should give the marked manuscript close attention, since there will be no galley proofs. Consider this your last chance to ask for revisions, since changes made at page proof stage will be charged to you. After you have examined the scanned manuscript, approved or rejected the changes, supplied missing information, and clearly indicated any revisions you want made, we will make the changes to the electronic documents and send you page proofs. You will be charged for any changes requested at proof stage other than our errors. From the page proofs, you will prepare your index. We will need the proofs and index returned within three weeks after you receive the proofs.

For further information, write

Joyce L. Detzner, Production Editor, PSRL
Stanley Coulter Hall
640 Oval Drive, 
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2039
phone (765) 496-6624, fax (765) 496-1700
e-mail psrl@purdue.edu 

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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