PWSJ Style Guide

11Essays submitted to the PWSJ should be written in clear U.S. English in the active voice in a style accessible to the broadest possible audience. Authors should be sensitive to the social implications of language and choose words free of discriminatory overtones.

For documentation and citation, the PWSJ follows the Modern Language Association style, as articulated by Joseph Gibaldi and Walter S. Achtert in the paperback MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (New York: MLA). The most current edition of the handbook will be the requested edition for use. This style calls for a Works Cited list, with parenthetical author/page references in the text. This approach reduces the number of notes, which provide further references or explanations.

For punctuation, capitalization, hyphenation, and other matters of style follow the MLA Handbook. The most current edition of the handbook will be the requested edition for use. The Purdue Online Writing Lab provides updated information on this formatting style.

It is essential for authors to check, correct, and bring manuscripts up-to-date before final submission. Authors should verify facts, names of people, places, dates, and source information, and double-check all direct quotations and entries in the Works Cited list.

Before final submission, the author will be responsible for obtaining letters of permission for illustrations and for quotations that go beyond “fair use,” as defined by current copyright law.

PWSJ Detailed Style Guide


  • Format: Justified 
  • Paragraph Indent: Not indented first paragraph in section, subsequent  paragraphs indented 2.5 
  • Block Quotes: indented 2.5 on each side 
  • Margins: 1.5in all around 
  • Spacing: 1.15in 

No double spacing 

  • Extra space after Title, Contributor Name, Subheader, all at 12pt • Figures: Fig. #, Centered 
  • Footnotes, not endnotes 
  • Footnotes should be single-spaced, justified, and 10pt  
  • Multiple footnotes on same page should be separated by 10pt space Font Style 
  • Font Style: Times New Roman 
  • Font Size: Title is 18pt, Contributor Name is 14pt (all capitalized),  Subheader is 14pt, Text is 12pt, Footnote is 10pt 
  • Titles and Subheaders: Capitalize each new word (unless a quote) • Sub-subheaders are italicized — otherwise, italics only allowed for  copyrighted titles and non-English words not commonly used 
  • No bolding or underlining unless in quote or source title 
  • All URLs active 

Headers and Footers 

  • Headers should be 1.0 from the top 
  • Footers should be 0.5 from the bottom
  • Footer Content, First Page Only: Bio (see below); Popular Culture Studies  Journal, Vol. x, No. x, Copyright © 20xx, and page number centered 
  • Bio: Footer first page, contributor name capitalized, 10pt 

Tables and Figures 

  • Tables should be inserted as close to where discussed as possible. • Font is Times New Roman 12. 
  • Single-spaced lines in tables. 
  • Table X. aaa bbb ccc 
  • Figure X. aaa bbb ccc 
  • Space between table/figure and preceding text. 
  • Space between table/figure and following text. 
  • Table title immediately following table. 
  • If table is too big to copy-and-paste following above guidelines, then it  must be converted into a tiff image with at least 600 dpi. 

Works Cited 

  • Citation Style follows basic MLA 8th Edition: with  modifications as noted below 
  • No automated citation formatting 
  • Language Style: American English for spelling and punctuation • First reference to source should have full names of authors if outside  parentheses
  • No commas in in-text citations except if source title included for multiple  authors 
  • All “&” should be “and” inside and outside of parentheses unless in  original source title 
  • All direct quotes from an audiovisual source (e.g. television show, film, or  podcast) need timecode stamps for range of quoted dialogue 
  • No DOIs or Accessed Bys 
  • University presses should abbreviate the university name where possible  while retaining the information as to location (e.g. New York University Press is NYU Press, University of Minnesota Press is U Minnesota P, etc) • Publisher locations are not needed, only publisher names 
  • List should be Left Hanging at 2.5 
  • All online sources need active URL links with date of publication as Date  Month (Abbr). Year, URL… 
  • “Episode Title.” Series Title, written by …., directed by…., Network, year. Reviews 
  • Separate reviews into each medium type, label subsection in 18pt font • Title of text being reviewed in 14pt font 
  • Reviewer’s name and institution right justified, space after text • “Works Cited” in 12pt font 
  • Header Content, Odd Numbers: Reviews Section Title Left, Page Number  Right 
  • Header Content, Even Numbers: Page Number Left, PCSJ Reviewers Writing 
  • No contractions. 
  • No passive tense. 
  • Write forward with clauses. 
  • Remove “to be” verbs, especially with present participles 
  • Write out numbers under 100 unless some form of statistics. • Reduce page number ranges (e.g. 160-165 becomes 160-5)
  • Positive tense over negative tense 

All — or — should be — (except for page or year ranges, then -)

Any … by itself should be […]