Style Sheet

Style Sheet

Please refer to the following guidelines as you prepare your manuscript. Compliance will expedite the review process and the preparation of manuscripts for publication.

Mississippi Quarterly uses a modified version of MLA style. For all matters not covered in the following style guidelines, refer to the MLA Handbook, 9th ed. Consult the latest edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary or Merriam-Webster Online for guidance on spelling and usage.

  • For all quotations and references, cite the best texts you can find—preferably a scholarly edition, a text from a publisher recognized for rigor (Library of America, Modern Library, etc.), or a first edition.
  • Always cite original texts unless doing so is not possible. If you do use an indirect quotation, omit “qtd. in” from the parenthetical citation.


  • Clear all headers and footers.
  • Double-space text and notes; single-space within Works Cited bibliographical entries and double-space between entries.
  • Use footnotes rather than endnotes but keep them to a minimum. In notes, cite last name only for short references (e.g., See Rubin 234-38); full name on first mention in discursive notes is acceptable.
  • Use indented blocks for quotations that exceed four full lines.


  • Use lower case when referring to regions (southern, northern, etc.)
  • Use lower case for broad regional literary-cultural and academic fields (southern literature, southern history, southern studies, etc.) and upper case for specific titles of fields or movements (Southern Gothic, New Southern Studies, etc.).
  • The author decides whether to capitalize the terms “black” and “white” when used as racial designations and should maintain consistency within the manuscript. 

Punctuation and Italics

  • US and USA, not U.S. and U.S.A.
  • Use em dashes (—) for long dashes; no spaces between text and dashes.
  • Use one space between the dots in ellipses and between the ellipses and the text.
  • Keep use of italics for emphasis to a minimum.


  • In Works Cited, list all edited collections or editions of an author’s work—including letters, previously uncollected works, new editions of standard works, etc.—under the author’s name, not under the editor’s or editors’; reference the works that way in the text of your essay.
  • Provide the URL or DOI for electronic sources in Works Cited.
  • Check all bibliographical citations against their original sources for accuracy and consistency.
  • Check all quotations against their original sources for accuracy.

Note: The author is responsible for bibliographical and scholarly accuracy. Making sure that citations are correct will expedite the review process and the preparation of manuscripts for publication.


  • Spell out centuries (nineteenth, twentieth, etc.).
  • Spell out numbers less than one hundred.
  • Use full numerical designations without apostrophes for decades (the 1930s, not the 30’s or the thirties).