The Philip Roth Society

Official home of the Philip Roth Society

Checklist for Contributors

General Considerations

1)  Your final, corrected manuscript must be submitted electronically.

2)  Please revise your essay according to the recommendations of the readers and editors.  We do not wish anything to impede the publication of your article.  Therefore, be especially diligent when implementing warranted changes to your manuscript.

3)  Use the third edition of the MLA Style Manual.  This is especially important, particularly when it comes to the Works Cited page.  There are some changes to the third edition—e.g., including both volume AND issue numbers to all journal sources, indicating what format or medium the source is in, etc.  You, as author, are ultimately responsible for seeing that your Works Cited page, and the rest of your essay, adheres strictly to the latest edition of the MLA Style Manual.

4)  Check and double check all of the quotes in your essays for accuracy.  Your essay will be fact-checked, but we utilize such redundancies to avoid embarrassing mistakes later on.  Please understand that you are responsible for all quotes.  Therefore, it is crucial that you go back and confirm that the quotes are exact.

5)  Make sure that all of your page references for quotes (and paraphrased comments) are correct and exact.

6)  In terms of your Works Cited pages, verify that you have all the information correct.  Along with this, see to it that all works cited in the body of the essay are listed in the Works Cited, and that there are no entries on Work Cited that are not used in the essay.

Style Sheet for Contributors

For purposes of standardization, please use Microsoft Word when submitting your final manuscript.  We encourage you to become familiar with the “Track Changes” function of Microsoft Word, as our comments and questions will appear in this manner.

Style Checklist

Manuscript strictly adheres to the MLA Style Manual, 3rd ed. (2008), EXCEPT when house style supersedes MLA.  (These exceptions are specifically noted below.)

  • Entire manuscript is double spaced, including block quotes, between paragraphs, and in the Works Cited page(s).  (As a default, Microsoft Word 2007 will add an extra space between paragraphs.  Please disable this function.  For instructions on how to do that, please refer to the “Using Word” document.)
  • Manuscript is between 4,000 and 8,000 words long, unless otherwise indicated by executive editor.  Notes should not exceed 2,500 words.
  • Paragraph indentions are created using the tab key or “increase indent” function and not by using the space bar.
  • Block quotes utilize a double intent.  (Refer to “Using Word” document for an easy way to do this.)
  • Block quote formatting is used only when a quote runs more than four lines when run into the text (MLA 3.9.2)
  • Endnotes, rather than footnotes, are used (if necessary).
  • Endnotes appear after the essay proper and before the Works Cited.  Microsoft Word can be frustrating to use in this endeavor, as it is programmed to put the endnotes at the end of the document.  (Refer to “Using Word” document for an easy way to do this.)
  • Superscript Arabic numerals are used to indicate the presence of an endnote, not Roman numerals.
  • Any ellipses that are used to indicate deleted material are placed in brackets.  (House style issue.) Roth uses so many ellipses in his fiction, it’s important for authors to differentiate their own ellipses from Roth’s.  And for matters of consistency, all inserted ellipses, regardless of source, must be placed in brackets.
  • Quotations usage should reflect the American practice, where double quotation marks are used to enclose exact text (the primary quote), and single quotation marks are used within the double quotations (secondary quote), or a quote within a quote.  If your essay reflects a different quoting system¾e.g., English single-quotes or French guillemets¾please format it according to American standard practice.
  • All spellings should reflect American English usage.  If your essay includes any British spellings, please convert according to American spelling practices.
  • The medium of publication (Print, Web, Radio, Television, etc.) consulted is present in the Works Cited as recommended by MLA 6.5.1
  • The long and complete URL in the Works Cited page is omitted.  Only the root URL and the medium of “Web” are necessary.  For instance, if citing an essay in the New York Times online edition, use “<>”, not “<>”.
  • Works Cited page entries use a hanging indentation.  (Refer to “Using Word” document for an easy way to do this.)
  • Times New Roman 12 font is used throughout the entire document, including block quotes.
  • Headers and footers are blank with exception to page numbers.
  • All references to the abbreviation for United States appear as US, not U.S. (MLA 8.3)
  • All dashes are represented as (—) and not as a hyphen (-).
  • There are no spaces on either side of any dashes.

Abbreviations for Roth’s Works

Philip Roth Studies uses standardized abbreviations for Roth’s works.  These are only used within parenthetical citations.  Titles used within the sentence proper, not within parenthetically, should be written in full.  Please ensure that your parenthetical abbreviations conform to the following list:


Book Title PRS Abbreviation
Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories

Letting Go

When She Was Good

Portnoy’s Complaint

Our Gang

The Breast

The Great American Novel

My Life as a Man

The Professor of Desire

The Ghost Writer

Zuckerman Unbound

The Anatomy Lesson

The Prague Orgy

Zuckerman Bound

The Counterlife

The Facts: A Novelist’s Autobiography

Deception: A Novel

Patrimony: A True Story

Operation Shylock: A Confession

Sabbath’s Theater

American Pastoral

I Married a Communist

The Human Stain

The Dying Animal

The Plot Against America


Exit Ghost


The Humbling


Reading Myself and Others

Shop Talk: A Writer and His Colleagues and Their Work


Letting Go






My Life


























Story Title PRS Abbreviation
“Goodbye, Columbus”

“Defender of the Faith”

“Conversion of the Jews”

“Eli, the Fanatic”

“On the Air”





“On the Air”


Essay Title PRS Abbreviation
“Writing American Fiction”

“Some New Jewish Stereotypes”

“Writing about Jews”

“My Baseball Years”

“‘I Always Wanted You to Admire My Fasting’; or, Looking at Kafka”

“A Bit of Jewish Mischief”

“Juice or Gravy? How I Met My Fate in a Cafeteria”

“The Story behind The Plot Against America.”

“American Fiction”

“Jewish Stereotypes”


“Baseball Years”

“Looking at Kafka”

“Jewish Mischief”


“Story behind Plot

Created December 2009; Updated July 2010