Pennsylvania Literary Map Biographies Style Manual
Pennsylvania Literary Map Biographies should be laid out as follows:
Font: Times New Roman, 12 point. Use bold or italics wherever indicated (see sample also).
List the Last Name, First Name Middle Name or Initial. (Nicknames,
Pseudonyms or Maiden Names in parentheses) Do not
precede the name with "Name:".
Geographic connection to Pennsylvania: Gettysburg, Adams County (See appendix.)
Keywords: Universities attended/staff or faculty of, additional pseudonyms if different from name in header, title of most popular work, major award, important relationship with other writer, etc. There is no limit to the number of keywords you can include.
Abstract: This section should note (1) the key events of the figure's life—major work(s), primary occupations(s) held by the individual; (2) the figure's specific connection to Pennsylvania (no matter how tenuous); and (3) the essential trajectory of the figure's life. The abstract should not contain redundancies or "filler." It should be brief and to the point (100 words or fewer).
The Biography and Reference Lists
The biography—introduced by "Biography:"—should be presented in three separate but not labeled sections, with single spaces between. Each section may contain one or more paragraphs.
Section One should mention the early life, schooling, and career of the figure.
Section Two should contain the most important literary contributions and any significant awards. This part should note the work or field of endeavor, literary or otherwise, for which the individual is most known, and any criticism of the author's work the biographer deems useful.
Section Three will describe the figure's present endeavors and provide the most current information on his/her place of residence or on the place and circumstances of his/her death.
Works: Create a bulleted list of the major works of the writer (maximum of 12) —do not confuse this list with your list of sources!—dividing and grouping the works in categories (e.g. Novels, Short Stories, etc.). Always use the first publication year for each citation: check the CAT or WorldCAT (if Penn State doesn't own a first edition). All works should be listed in chronological order.
Use the following formats:
For any work with a co-author or collaborator, insert "(With [John Doe])" after the title of the work cited. You need not list the author because the entry is in his/her "Works:", as in this entry for Moss Hart.
Sources: The list of sources used should begin here. Follow the style of the bibliography but include the author's name. Refer to the MLA style guide for additional guidelines as needed.
For More Information: For well-known figures, list the most recent (or best known) biography here. This would also be the appropriate spot to provide the URL for sanctioned websites.
©2001 The Pennsylvania State University
U.Ed. LIB 02-53