Seven Tips for Formatting Your Article Manuscript

When you are attempting to impress a magazine editor, professionalism counts. If you are a beginning writer without a strong industry reputation, you can”t afford to submit material in a manner that marks you as a novice or an amateur. Here are seven tips to help your article manuscript appear more professional.

  1. Don”t use staples.
    Do use paper clips in the top left corner of your manuscript (butterfly clips or paper clamps for articles of more than ten pages). Don”t use staples.

  2. Don”t clip, and especially don”t staple, your cover letter to the manuscript.

  3. Don”t use a separate cover page.
    It”s pretentious for an article-length manuscript and wholly unnecessary.

  4. Don”t justify text or align the right margin.
    Ragged right is fine.

  5. Don”t insult the editor”s intelligence or intentions by putting a copyright notice on the manuscript.
    It”s copyrighted as soon as you write it.

  6. Don”t use unusual fonts.
    A simple Times Roman will do fine.

  7. Do include suggested subheads
    If the magazine”s style is to use subheads, in the body of your manuscript do include suggested subheads; however, don”t rely on subheads as a substitute for transitions.

From Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript

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