Guidelines for Manuscript Preparation


Download a PDF version of the guidelines on this page.

To ensure that the evaluation, editing, and production process proceed smoothly, we ask you to follow these specifications when you prepare your final manuscript. Once your manuscript has been accepted for publication, please send the complete manuscript, with all elements in the proper sequence and with a completed manuscript checklist. Include all illustrative materials (tables, graphs, photocopies of photographs) you would like considered for inclusion, along with a completed illustrations checklist. (If you plan to include illustrative materials, please see our guidelines on the preparation of illustrations.)

Download PDF version of these complete manuscript guidelines here.


For most monographs (a detailed written study of a specialized subject, as opposed to a book intended for a general audience), the Press uses a set of template designs that incorporate basic structural elements one would find in most standard scholarly works. If your book is a monograph, please include only the following structural components in your text:

  • part numbers and titles
  • chapter numbers, titles, subtitles, and chapter epigraphs
  • text, block quotes (prose, verse, and dialogue), two levels of subheads, and lists (numbered, unnumbered, bulleted, and two-columned)
  • tables, captions, and figures
  • section breaks (i.e., ornaments or line spaces)
  • glossary, notes, and bibliography

Including unconventional structural elements (i.e., items not listed above), such as numerous levels of subheading beyond two, sidebars, or epigraphs on subheads, slows down the production process, as our standard templates are then not available for use, requiring that your book enter a nonstandard production process that is more time and labor intensive. If you have questions regarding whether your book is a monograph, consult your acquisitions editor.


  • Up to date. Be sure the manuscript you submit is as up to date as possible. Adding substantial new material or rewriting during editing and production can be complicated and costly.
  • Balanced. A book seems most cohesive if its structure is balanced. Ideally, all chapter titles are of roughly similar length and all subheadings are of roughly similar length; all chapters or none have subtitles; all chapters or none have epigraphs; all chapters or none are divided into sections titled with subheadings; and so on.
  • Dynamic. Stuffy phrases, passive voice, and polysyllabic jargon are roadblocks in the path of readership. Read questionable passages aloud; if they sound stilted or obscure, they probably are. The copyeditor will be attuned to such problems but may not know how you, the author, would prefer to resolve them. Taking the time to polish your prose prior to editing can give you greater satisfaction with the final result. Strunk’s Elements of Style has lots of good advice, especially the section titled “Elementary Principles of Composition.”
  • Concise and direct. Avoid repetition, wordiness, and digressions.


  • Check your typescript for the absolute fidelity of all quoted material. Checking quotations at a later stage can cause delays and unnecessary expense.
  • Ensure that sources for quotes are properly credited.
  • Our house style is to set two or more lines of poetry and ten or more lines of prose as extracts. Shorter quotations generally should be run into the text and enclosed in quotation marks. Contact us if you have reason to favor a different style.
  • In poetry extracts, follow the alignment of the original as closely as possible. (If you followed the alignment carefully in an earlier draft that used a proportional font, do not redo the work after changing to Courier. We can use an earlier version of your manuscript for alignment reference.) Provide photocopies of previously published versions for alignment reference.
  • Avoid long quotations in your notes.
  • Epigraphs, when used, should be reserved for part or chapter openers and should be used consistently. Please do not place epigraphs on subheads, as such usage creates design challenges; if a block quote following a subhead is important to include, work it into the text instead.


For a full discussion of notes, bibliographies, and citations, we refer you to The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition. Samples of preferred note and bibliography styles also appear on our website.

  • Pare down literature reviews to the most essential works, and eliminate most or all discursive material from the notes. If applicable, see Revising Dissertations for Book Publication.
  • For most books, notes are grouped together at the end. However, notes for collections of essays by various authors should be gathered at the ends of their respective essays and preceded by the subheading “Notes.” (See our Supplemental Guidelines for Volume Editors.)
  • Please do not position notes at the bottom of the manuscript page; use endnotes instead (end-of-chapter notes are fine).
  • Please carefully proofread authors’ names, titles, page numbers, and dates and places of publication.
  • If your bibliography is comprehensive, use short citations (author’s surname, shortened title, and page number) in the notes or parenthetical references in the text. If you do not have a bibliography or if your bibliography is in essay form, provide full bibliographic information for the first citation in each chapter and short citations thereafter.
  • Notes and bibliography, like all manuscript materials, should be double-spaced. Do not add blank lines between notes or between bibliography entries.
  • Please number notes consecutively within each chapter.
  • To cut down on the number of notes, we recommend parenthetical notes in the text for poetry line numbers and for numerous references to a single work within a chapter.
  • If you inserted notes with your word processor’s notes feature, please place a page break at the end of each chapter so that the notes begin on a new page. If you know how to adjust page numbers for different sections of a document, place all pages of notes for the book at the end of the manuscript (before the bibliography) and paginate them accordingly.
  • You may use the hanging indent feature of your software to format your bibliography; please do not use hard returns and tabs.


  • Material owned by others. Authors are almost always responsible for securing permissions required for the publication of their books; check your contract under the paragraph “manuscript.” Please submit a text permissions inventory and art inventory and permissions summary as relevant with your final manuscript. We recommend that you acquaint yourself with the doctrine of fair use and request permission only where the doctrine does not apply. Note: Permissions to quote copyrighted song lyrics are often difficult and costly to obtain; consult your editor if you feel that some lyrics are essential to your work. In addition, for image permissions, request use of the image for publicity, marketing, and social media promotion with credit line; this latter request is not essential to use in your book, so the rights holder may decline, but it assists in the marketing of titles. When seeking permission, please request world rights for all editions and all media, including digital. If the rights holder does not have its own application form, please use the Press’s Reprint Permission Request letter.
  • Your own previously published material. Per section 201 of the current copyright law, copyright in each separate contribution to a collective work is distinct from copyright in the collective work as a whole, and vests initially in the author of the contribution. In the absence of an express transfer of the copyright or of any rights under it, the owner of copyright in the collective work is presumed to have acquired only the privilege of reproducing and distributing the contribution as part of that particular collective work, any revision of that collective work, and any later collective work in the same series [emphasis added].
    If any chapters or sections of the manuscript were previously published in a collective work (for example, a journal or an edited volume), please check your contract(s) to see whether you transferred any additional rights to the publisher. We may ask you to provide the following documentation as appropriate:
    • a photocopy of the journal’s statement of copyright policy, if it states that all rights, other than the right of first publication, remain with the author
    • a copy of your original contract indicating that you control all reprint rights
    • if you transferred additional rights to the publisher, a statement from the publisher transferring all rights to you or a statement from the publisher granting permission to reprint the work (we prefer that you request world English-language rights for all editions and all media, including digital)

    If you are reusing only a portion of a work published previously, please consult the press before requesting permission.

  • A word about open access. Permissions of any sort make our ability to release your book to an open access environment difficult, and limits to print run or time make such a release impossible. If you have an interest in your book being presented as open access, consider carefully what you include; eliminate anything that is not created and owned solely by you, that is not in public domain, or for which you have not obtained very generous usage rights.

The Press has sample letters available for requesting rights transfers and permissions.


In general, the University of Georgia Press follows The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed., University of Chicago Press, 2017), though we allow styles appropriate to other disciplines, such as MLA. Questions of spelling and hyphenation are referred to Webster’s Third New International Dictionary or Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.). Some particular points:

  • Do not put note markers on display matter (chapter titles, epigraphs, and subheadings) and do not use more than one note per sentence.
  • Although we prefer Chicago style for citations, we accept other styles (including, for example, MLA) as long as they are reasonable and consistent. In addition, for certain books intended for a strictly general, nonscholarly audience, the Press may accept an informal citation system for documentation; consult your acquisitions editor if you intend to use or have questions about adopting such a system.
  • We allow either U.S. style (July 19, 1865) or European style (19 July 1865) for dates. Please be consistent.
  • If you use a lot of abbreviations, consider creating a list of abbreviations.


We require electronic files for all manuscripts, including collections of previously published works. Speak with your acquisitions editor if you have questions.

  • Layout. Use one-inch margins throughout. Pages should be as uniform as possible (consistent margins, type style, and number of lines per page).
  • Spacing. Double-space everything, including notes, bibliography, quoted material, lists, poetry, appendixes, tables, captions for illustrations, and any other supplementary material, by formatting paragraphs for double-space. Do not add blank lines between paragraphs except to indicate a break in topic. Complete double-spacing allows us to assess the length of the manuscript accurately.
  • Alignment. Do not fully justify your manuscript; leave it “ragged right,” like these instructions.
  • Page numbering. The entire manuscript should be numbered consecutively (beginning with the title page) in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Design. We can work most easily with a simply formatted manuscript. Do not use fancy word-processing features to “design” your manuscript. Such special formatting has to be stripped out to enable the designer and compositor to do their work, so we prefer that you not include it in the first place. Please use only such formatting as is necessary to distinguish content: underlining for book titles or for emphasis, centering vs. flush left for two levels of subheadings, paragraph indents for extracts (block quotations), and so on. Avoid word-processing “styles” such as “Heading 1” and “Body Text Indent.”
  • Font. Use Courier at 10, 11, or 12 points. Most other fonts are proportionally spaced (for example, an m is wider than an i), making the length of the manuscript much harder to estimate. Use the same size of font for all features, including notes and quotes.
  • Extracts (block quotations). To set off block quotations, format the paragraph to indent the left margin; do not use hard returns and tabs.
  • Submitting the electronic file. When submitting the electronic files, please indicate operating system (e.g., Windows, Mac) and word-processing application (e.g., Microsoft Word 97, Corel WordPerfect 8.0).