Manuscript Formatting Essentials

Whether it’s a book or a short article that you’re writing, it’s essential that you present your work professionally and in a way that readily identifies you as the author.

Your manuscript front sheet should always show the title of the work and the ‘byline’. The byline is your name and identifies you as the author. Some authors do not wish to use their own names and use a pseudonym.

The title and byline should be in a prominent position across the middle of the sheet; approx one third to one half of the way down.

Your manuscript front sheet should also include the date and your contact details including your address, telephone number and any e-mail address you use for your writing.

Body Layout

The body, or general content of your manuscript, should be presented clearly. Make sure that you use double line spacing. This leaves one full line space between each line of text, making the paragraphs much easier to read. Since very few people indent the first line of a paragraph nowadays, you will need to make each new paragraph clear to readers. Alternatively, you may choose to indent the first line of each paragraph. It is still perfectly acceptable.