Longman’s Style Guide

A guide to Authors on the Preparation of Manuscripts and on Proof Correction, Longmans.


Apostrophe: Do not insert an apostrophe in plurals such as M.P.s, 1960s. Always give the possessive ‘s’, e.g. Jones’s, except in ancient classical names, e.g. Herodotus’ (optional).

Bibliographical references: Examples


GOUROU, P. The Tropical World, trans. E.D. Laborde. 2nd edn. Longman, 1961.

(In footnotes, initials precede surname, if page reference is to be given, place at end.)

Article in a symposium
CLAUSER, F.H ‘The turbulent layer’ in Advances in Applied Mechanics, ed. H.L. Dryden and T. Von Karman. Academic Press, 1956.

Article in periodical
CASTLE, M.E. ‘Fodder-beet for dairy cattle’, Agriculture, Lond. 60, 1953, p.406.

An alternative method, known as the Harvard system, may be used in scientific works where references relate by date to the text, as follows:

GOOD, RONALD (1964) The Geography of Flowering Plants. Longman, 1964. p.361.

CASTLE, M.E. (1953) ‘Fodder-beet for dairy cattle’ Agriculture, Lond., 60,406. (volume number in bold type)

CAPITALS: Capital initials for words in text should be used as seldom as possible.

Dates: Day-month-year, as 12 November 1962, unpunctuated, with the month in full, except in colloquial use.

Figures: Numbers one to ninety-nine in words, except in percentages, measurements, or recurrent expressions of exact amounts. The symbol % to be used only in statistical tables.

For periods of years use ‘1962-69’ or ‘1962 to 1969’.

Hyphens: should be kept to the minimum.

Italics: Use italics for names of books (but not articles) papers, plays, films, ships. Article titles in single quotes.

Quotation marks: Single marks should be used, double only for quotations within quotations. Quotation marks are not required for long extracts, which are to be printed in small type, provided these are clearly indicated in the typescript copy.

Proof correction
All corrections should be made clearly in the margin of the proof, in ink. Both margins may be used. Each correction should be closed by a ‘concluding mark’. Comments and instructions to the printer should preferably be given on a separate sheet. If they are written on the proof they should be prefaced by the word ‘PRINTER’ and ringed around to prevent their being incorporated in the text.

Symbols for correcting proofs
Care should be taken to use the system of proof correction laid down in British Standard 1219. A leaflet listing the range of symbols usually required is supplied with this booklet.