More than Muses

Style Guide

All contributions to the More than Muses website must follow the guidelines explained below:

How to Write a Biography for this Website: 

Biographies on the More than Muses website are written in English and follow the norms and conventions of the Modern Language Association.

Author’s name and pseudonyms: Provide the author’s full name. Also list all known aliases and pseudonyms.

Important Dates: Provide the author’s exact date of birth (if known), date of christening (if known), or birth year. Indicate if the birth year is approximate. Provide the author’s exact date of death (if known) or death year. Indicate if the death year is approximate. 

Region: Provide the region of the Iberian Peninsula where the author spent most of her life or wrote most of her works.

Suggest an image: You may suggest an image related to the author. If a portrait or photograph of the author exists, please provide a digital image or link or information about how to obtain a copy of the portrait. If no authentic portrait exists, you may suggest an image from a source text (manuscript or original printing) by the author. More than Muses will not use paintings or photographs of other women (which have proliferated on the internet) to represent the authors. Provide the source of the portrait or the text image.

Epigraph: Provide a few sentences or a few lines of poetry written by or about the author. Provide the name of the author of the epigraph.

Summary / Hook: Provide two or three sentences that will encourage readers to want to know more about the author and will explain the author’s most important contributions. This section should indirectly answer the question, “why is this person included on the More than Muses website?”

Biography: Provide several (two to eight) prose paragraphs (no bullet points). The biography should have two sections corresponding to these questions: 1) What are the major events of the author’s life, particularly experiences or situations that may have affected her writing or world view, and 2) What are her major literary works and what are they like (style, period, genre, themes, etc.)?

The biography must be an original piece of writing by the contributor(s) and not published anywhere else. The information in the biography must take into account and be based on all the most reliable sources (including information published during or shortly after the life of the author and all recent scholarship on the author). At the same time, the contributor(s) should be willing to question claims about the author that seem to be based more on wishful thinking or guesswork than on careful documentation. The contributor(s) must carefully and thoroughly cite their sources, using the MLA’s parenthetical citations and a Works Cited list. Wikipedia and similar sites are not appropriate sources.

Contributors: Provide the full names of all contributors to (authors of) the biography.

How to Annotate a Reference for a Bibliographic Citation on this Website: 

Cite the source using proper formatting and all the information required by volume 9 of the MLA Style Guide. Write three to five sentences in English that outline the main thesis of the article and its supporting ideas. The annotation should provide the reader with a cursory understanding of the text. Provide the names of all the website authors who should be linked to the annotation.

How to Create a Diplomatic Transcription for this Website: 

A diplomatic transcription on the More than Muses website should record only the characters as they appear in the source text, with minimal editorial intervention or interpretation. The copyist should adhere as closely as possible to the original format, spelling, and overall presentation of the source text. Type what you see and follow the order and layout as best you can. Type words, punctuation, accent marks, etc. exactly as they are written in the document.

Transcriptions can be submitted in an MS Word DOCX or on a Google DOC. Also submit a scanned PDF of the source text.

Page Numbers: Include the page or folio numbers of your source text in your transcription. If the number appears in the source text, include that number flush left on a line before the transcription of the page. If the page is unnumbered include the number in square brackets: [3]. If the recto side of a folio is numbered, include a letter “r” in square brackets following the number, for example, 3[r]. If the verso side of a folio is not numbered, include the number and the letter “v” in square brackets: [3v].

Lines breaks: Preserve the lineation of the source text by using a hard return at the end of each line.

Punctuation: Adhere to the style of the source text. Include periods, commas, colons, semi-colons, dashes, question marks, exclamation marks, slashes, ampersands, etc. only and exactly as they appear in the source text. Represent dashes (m dashes) by typing two hyphens.

Capitalization: Adhere to the style of the source text. Capitalize only the letters capitalized in the source. Capitalize all of the letters capitalized in the source (even if they appear in the middle of a word.

Accent marks: Adhere to the style of the source text. Include only the accent marks that appear in the source text. Include all of the accent marks that appear in the source text, even if the words do not carry accent marks (or the specific accent marks included in the source text) today.

Underlining: When words are underlined in the source text, this should be retained in the transcription.

Centering and Indentation: When words (titles or cast lists, for example) are centered in the source text, retain this centering in the transcription. Retain indentation at the beginning of paragraphs or spacing between paragraphs in the transcription.

Spacing: Retain unusual spacing between letters, in the middle of words, and between words and punctuation marks.

Spelling and printing conventions: Transcribe the source text just as it is. Retain the spelling (and misspellings) letter-for-letter of the source document. When “u” is used to represent “v” or vice versa, retain the letter used in the source text.

Long s (ſ): When a source text uses a long s, replace it with a lowercase s in the transcription.  

Difficult-to-read handwriting: Handwritten manuscripts are often hard to read. When you cannot decipher a letter or letters, look for similar shapes in other words on the same page or within the same document. This can help you to recognize a letter in various contexts.

Mutilated or Illegible Source Texts: Use a footnote to explain a burn, ink blot, or illegible writing that obscures the meaning of the text.

Words Crossed Out: Follow the source text exactly. Use a strikethrough for every word or letter crossed out in the manuscript or printed text.

Uncertain Readings: Use a footnote to explain why the reading is uncertain, offer alternative readings, and/or to hazard a guess about what the word passage might mean.

Omissions: When a source text leaves out a word that would clarify the meaning of a phrase or passage, leave the word out of the transcription. If absolutely necessary, the word can be added in square brackets to the pedagogical edition.

Additions: Words inserted above a line in a manuscript can be represented in the transcription using a caret before and after the word(s): ^inserted words^.

Abbreviations, Raised letters, and tildes: When the source text abbreviates words (using initials, raised letters, and/or tildes), use angle brackets in the transcription to spell out the word or words. For example, a “q” topped by a tilde (˜) should be spelled out as “q<ue>” in a transcription, “Da” in a Spanish text should be spelled out as “D<oñ>a,” “V.m.” should be spelled out as “v<uestra> m<erced>.”

Source Text: Transcriptions for the More than Muses website should be based on a single source text (manuscript or printed source) produced during the lifetime of the author or, in a few cases, a copy of the work as closely associated with the “original” source as possible. 

Provide the author’s name and the title of the text as they appear in the manuscript or printed source text. In the case of a manuscript, provide the name of the archive that houses it. In the case of a printed text, provide all of the bibliographic information required by volume 9 of the MLA Style Guide (place of publication, publisher, date of publication or journal title, volume and number, year of publication, page numbers, etc.). If a digitized copy of the manuscript or printed source text is available online, provide the URL.

Transcription Notes (optional): If appropriate and necessary, explain anything specific about the source text that may have affected your transcription.

Footnotes (optional): If appropriate and necessary, provide a footnote about a specific word, phrase, or line by typing the note in double parentheses immediately following the word, phrase, or line in the body of the transcription: (​(The footnote would go here.)​) Generally speaking, footnotes should be provided in the language of the source text.

Contributors: Provide the full names of all contributors to the transcription.

How to Create a Pedagogical Edition of a Text for this Website: 

Pedagogical editions should include modernized spelling of words, modern punctuation and accent marks, and should follow the formatting of volume 9 of the MLA Style Guide. However, editors should not change the words of the text. Texts should be single-spaced and justified to the left margin. Page numbers from the original text should not be included. 

Title, Author, and Form: Provide the title of the work, the author’s full name, and the poetic form (soneto, décima, romance, adágio, etc.) or sub-genre (loa, coloquio, vilancico, etc.).

Punctuation: Do not use the “Oxford comma” in Spanish, Portuguese, or other languages from the Iberian Peninsula. Colons used at the end of sentences in source texts should be replaced by periods in pedagogical editions. Semicolons can be used to separate too independent, but parallel clauses. The addition of question marks and exclamation points to enhance meaning in the pedagogical edition should be noted and explained in an edition note. 

For more information on specific genres, see below:

Poems: Only the first word of sentences should be capitalized rather than the first word of each line. Stanzas should be separated by an extra line space.

Narratives and other Prose Texts: Pedagogical editions of prose texts should not maintain line breaks found in the original text. For longer texts where source texts do not provide paragraph breaks, editors should make thoughtful decisions about where to insert such breaks. 

Dialogue should be set apart in narrative texts with a paragraph break and an initial em dash (–), for example:

Él respondió que era hijo de unos padres muy desdichados y la tierra Milán. Instó Laura,

—en fin, ¿que sois hijo de padres desdichados y de Milán? Pues, ¿cómo me ha dicho esa cautiva que sois su hermano y del Reino de Valencia?— y prosiguiendo la plática dijo—, No extraño que quien es tan falso no le haya escarmentado los trabajos para que continúe con los fingimientos. 

Plays: The cast list should appear between the title and the beginning of the dialogue and should be indented. Characters’ names should be written in bold capital letters and followed by a colon above their lines of dialogue, for example, LISARDA:

Dialogue should appear under the character’s name and should be indented. An extra line space should separate each character’s lines from the next in the dialogue. Pedagogical editions of non-verse (prose) plays should not maintain line breaks found in the original text. 

Stage directions should be italicized, preceded and followed by an extra line break, and justified to the left margin. For example,

Salen el Amor y la Mujer, y los hombres no reparan en la mujer ni en el Amor, y están como hablando.

When stage directions apply to a specific line or lines, they will appear italicized and in parentheses at the end of the corresponding line or lines, for example: (Vase.)

Edition Notes (optional): If appropriate and necessary, explain anything specific about the source text that affected decisions you had to make about your edition.

Footnotes: Editors should make texts accessible to beginning literature students by defining difficult words and explaining mythological and Biblical allusions, as well as other literary and historical references. Additionally, footnotes should explain any complicated syntax (hyperbatons) or other linguistic difficulties. Provide footnotes about a specific word, phrase, or line by typing the note in double parentheses immediately following the word, phrase, or line in the body of the transcription:1The footnote would go here. Generally speaking, footnotes should be provided in the language of the source text. 

Contributors: Provide the full names of all contributors to the edition.

How to Translate a Text for this Website:

References

References
1 The footnote would go here.