Author Submission Guidelines

Penn Working Papers in Linguistics

1. Overview 

Please use the following guidelines in preparing your article for publication. 

  • Submit the following to the volume editor by the deadline given:
  1. A short abstract, of roughly one paragraph to half a page. Use plain text (.txt) format, and no special symbols (including IPA symbols) or graphics. Submit your abstract as a separate document; do not place it at the beginning of your paper.
  2. A PDF copy of your paper. If you use special symbols like IPA symbols, make sure they appear correctly in the PDF.
  3. Your paper as either:
    • A Word document, using our Word template, or
    • A LaTeX file, including our style file and bibliography style file, so that it compiles with pdflatex.
  • Name your files as follows: 
  1. Abstract: Smith2017-abstract, or SmithJonesLee2017-abstract for multiple authors
  2. PDF and Word/LaTeX files: Smith2017, or SmithJonesLee2017
  • All papers must conform to our style guidelines (see below), and be no more than 10 pages long, including references and contact information. 
  • The Working Papers Committee consists of volunteer graduate students and does not have the resources to correct grammatical or typographical errors in your work, or deviations from the style sheet. Please proofread and edit your article carefully. If you are not a native speaker of English, please have a native speaker proofread for you. We reserve the right to refuse publication of submissions that exceed the page limit, does not conform to our style sheet, or is too difficult for us to edit.  

The guidelines below are divided into the following sections:

For points of style that are not covered in our guidelines, please consult the style sheet of Linguistic Inquiry or the Chicago Manual of Style. If, after reading the guidelines carefully, you have any further questions regarding your submission, please email us at

2. General Page Format and Templates

The general format of a PWPL submission may be seen in our sample document (PDF). 

  • Word users must use our Word document template, which is set up to conform to this format. 
  • LaTeX users must use pwpl.sty (information on how to use this file is contained at the top of the file) and pwpl.bst for bibliographic styles. We also recommend gbpenn.sty for example sentences, our own version of gb4e.sty that indents according to our style.

We make occasional changes to our style sheet. Thus, if you have submitted to PWPL before, please download all pertinent files again to ensure that you are using the latest versions.

Specific details about page format follow. These should be taken care of by using either the Word template or the LaTex pwpl.sty file, but please read these guidelines to ensure your paper complies with them. All of the following points are exemplified in our sample document.

2.1 Page Setup

  • Your paper must be formatted for U.S. Letter-sized (8.5"x11") paper. All pages must have the following margins:

      Top margin: 1 inch
      Bottom margin: 1 inch
      Left margin: 1.5 inches
      Right margin: 1.5 inches

  • The page limit is 10 pages, including references and contact information. This is a very strict limit. We will send your paper back to you if it exceeds this limit.
  • Use the Times or Times New Roman font family for all material.

2.2 Titles and Headings

  • Center the following at the top of the first page:

    Title of Your Paper
    (skip one line)
    Your Name
    (skip one line before beginning text)

    Both title and name should be in 12-point font. The title should be bold, your name should not. If there are multiple authors, separate them with commas and the word "and," (not "&") as necessary. Do not include your institutional affiliation here; it goes at the end of the paper.
  • Place any acknowledgments in an asterisk footnote after the last author. For LaTeX users, use \thanks.

  • Section headings should be flush left and set in boldface, skipping one line both before and after (skip only one line between successive headings). Use 12-point text for first-level headings, 10-point for all subheadings.
  • Number headings consecutively starting from 1 (do not use 0 anywhere); subsections should be numbered 1.2, 1.2.1,etc. Each number should be followed by two spaces before the heading itself.
  • If a heading is more than one line, use a hanging indent of 0.25 inches, and do not justify the text of the heading.

2.3 Body Text

  • The body of the text should be10-point Times, single-spaced, justified on both sides. Indent each paragraph 0.25 inches, but do not indent the first paragraph after any heading, or after the title. Do not skip a line between paragraphs.
  • Use footnotes rather than end notes. Footnotes should be in 9-point Times, numbered consecutively from 1, and separated from the text by a 2-inch line. Justify footnotes on both sides, like the text. Footnotes should be indented by 0.25 inches, and there should be no space between the footnote number and the footnote text.
  • Hyphenation should be turned on.

  • Use smart quotes so that your quotes do not look "like this," but “like this”.

2.4 Examples, Tables, and Figures

  • Example sentences should be numbered in parentheses and indented 0.375 inches. Subexamples should be numbered a., b., etc. Leave a blank line above and below a block of examples, but do not leave extra space between example items. See the sample document/word template for further details.
  • Glosses in examples should follow the Leipzig glossing rules. Use small caps for morpho-syntactic categories (not CAPS). 
  • All figures, charts, and tables should appear in the body of the text. Skip one line after them and place a caption, centered (unless it is more than a single line), in regular (not bold) 10-point font. Leave a blank line above figures and below their captions. 
  • Adjust the text so that there are no large empty areas where a figure or table does not fit at the bottom of a page. (You can "float" figures by placing them before or after the point where they are discussed).
  • When including figures (in Word, or in LaTeX when saved as an image file like png), be sure the figures are saved at a high resolution: 300 DPI or better.

2.5 End Material


  • The References section should immediately follow the end of the text, without beginning a new page.
  • The heading "References" should be left-aligned, set in 12 point Times bold, with 2 blank lines above and 1 below. (I.e., treat it as an unnumbered section heading, but leave an additional line before it). 
  • The references themselves should be in 0-point type type, justified on both sides, in 0.25 inch hanging indent format. (Use Word's paragraph formatting functions to accomplish this. Do not use tabs and spaces to accomplish the formatting.)
  • Do not abbreviate the first names of authors; abbreviate the first names of editors of collections.
  • Provide page numbers for articles in journals and edited volumes.
  • Include volume numbers for journal articles, but do not include issue numbers. 
  • Capitalize content words in book, journal, and dissertation titles, but not article titles.
  • Italicize book and journal titles. 
  • Separate article volume numbers from page numbers with a colon (no space).
  • Format the references identically to those examples given in our sample document. If you import references from a bibiographic software program, confirm, after importing, that references match our formatting exactly.

Mailing and email addresses:

  • Leave two blank lines after the references section, and provide your mailing address (left-justified) in 9-point Times (like the references). 
  • Do not include your name in the address, unless there are multiple authors with different addresses. Immediately below the address, provide your email address in 9-point italic. Example:

Department of Linguistics
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

  • If there are multiple authors with the same address, just list the additional e-mail address(es) underneath the first. Make sure that these do not become hyperlinks.

3. Article Style

The following guidelines are not implemented in either the Word template or the LaTeX file. Hence, you are responsible for ensuring that your paper adheres to them.

  • Capitalize Content Words in all numbered section and subsection headings.
  • Do not place punctuation at the end of (sub)section headings (unless, for example, the heading is in the form of a question).

  • End all captions (for figures, tables, etc.) with a period.

  • Place all footnotes outside of punctuation.

  • When referring to a person with an in-text citation, put parentheses around the year of publication: e.g., Chomsky (1993) observes that… 
  • When referring to a work, put no parentheses around the year: e.g., In Chomsky 1993… Put no parentheses inside a parenthetical: e.g., This is the subject of much work (Chomsky 1993, …).
  • For parenthetical in-text citations, place no punctuation between author and year (Chomsky 1993).
  • For multiple citations in a single set of parentheses, place a comma between each year and the subsequent author (Chomsky and Halle 1968, Chomsky 1993). 
  • Separate years from page numbers with a colon (no space) and place an 'en'-dash (–) between page ranges (Chomsky 1993:5–7). 
  • Refrain from citing software that is widely-known in the field (e.g. Praat, Plotnik, VARBRUL).
  • Refer to sections, figures, and tables with capital letters: e.g., See Section 4, Section 4.2, Figure 1, Table 1. Do not use the section symbol (§).
  • Refer to examples by putting parentheses around the example number: e.g., The process depicted in (4) is highly productive (5–7).

4. Instructions for Microsoft Word Users

  • To include IPA or other special characters in your document, use the Doulos SIL font, or, when possible, Unicode characters in the Times font. The Doulos font creates some line spacing problems: certain characters add spacing above and below. If you observe this in your document, it can be solved in a few simple steps:
  1. Select the lines with extra spacing.
  2. From the Format menu, choose Paragraph.
  3. In that dialog box, select "Exactly" in the drop-down box labeled Line Spacing (not "Single").
  • On even-numbered pages, put all authors' full names in the header in 10-point caps. (Replace the "FIRST AUTHOR" header text that comes with the template.) Only abbreviate authors' first names if the author list is too long for a single line. Use the word "and" rather than an ampersand.
  • On odd-numbered pages (except the first page), put the title of the paper in the header in 10-point caps. (Replace the "SAMPLE TITLE" header text that comes with the template.) Shorten the title if it is longer than a single line.
  • On the first page of the document, there should be an italicized footer containing "U. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics," the volume number, and the year of publication. (This information should have been included in your invitation to publish.)
  • Please don't use automatic referencing software. Our computers don't support it and when we open your document we have to attempt to correct the references by hand.
  • For aligned glosses, use tab stops (not spaces or anything else). We may send your paper back to you if you use spaces to align glosses. 
  • When drawing syntactic trees, do not use a special tree font, as these fonts are not free and we don't have them. We strongly prefer that you embed trees as pictures, since trees are especially hard to edit and do not convert well between Word versions. 
  • Do not send us Word documents containing links to external files (e.g., to Excel spreadsheets). 
  • Import all tables, etc. so that the file you send us is self-contained and can be processed by Word by itself. Paste graphs or charts in as "pictures," NOT as editable files, and send us the graph data and chart in an Excel document separately.  

5. Instructions for LaTeX users

  • Don't forget to send us your .bib and .sty files, as well as any figure files (png or pdf). 
  • For references, use BibTeX, together with our BibTeX style pwpl.bst.
  • Ise the natbib package for in-text citations, with the \bibpunct[:]{(}{)}{,}{a}{}{,} command to format citations appropriately. Do not abbreviate the first names of authors (but do abbreviate the first names of editors of collections). 
  • You will need to change the volume number and year in the footer on the first page of your document to bring them up to date. (This information should have been included in your invitation to publish.) These changes are made in pwpl.sty: search for ThisYear and ThisVolume and change the numbers accordingly.
  • Use the Times font family for all material. For IPA fonts, we recommend the TSIPA font. Since the installation of non-standard fonts is a non-trivial matter, please avoid using any fonts other than times, tipa, tsipa, wsuipa, or the standard fonts without consulting us. Note: the mathtimes package is a commercial product, not freeware, and we don't have it.
  • For numbered examples, we recommend the use of gbpenn.sty