How to Write a Scholarly Book: Preparing Your Manuscript for Peer Review (paper edition)

The goal of this book is to offer editorial suggestions that will help scholars prepare manuscripts for both peer review and publication. It proposes some issues authors should consider as they engage in the self-critical questionings that are crucial to their revising the text of their manuscripts.


The literary style I advocate in this book is "plain style." This plain style and its alternative have recently been contrasted as follows:

"The plain style aims at ease and lucidity. It favors simply structured sentences, short words of Saxon origin and a conversational tone ... the [grand style] is characterized by rolling periods, decked with balanced subordinate clauses, a polysyllable Latinate vocabulary, elaborate rhythms, stately epithets, sumptuous metaphors, learned allusions, and fanciful turns of phrase."

Table of Contents

1. The Scholarly Reader

2. The Contribution to Scholarship

3. The Order of Presentation

4. Providing Clear Directions

5. Offering Evidence

6. Writing in Right-Sized Units

7. Formatting for Readability

8. Proofreading and Copy Editing

9. Titling and Indexing

10. The Peer Evaluation Process

11. How to Find a Publisher