Style Sheet for Oral Tradition

OT Style Sheet


Style Sheet for Oral Tradition

We ask that authors whose articles have been formally accepted follow the guidelines below as closely as possible. For manuscripts at the submission stage, there is no need to align format and style with these guidelines.

I. Formatting

Font Type: Times New Roman. (For non-English/Latin encoding [for example, Greek], please use Unicode, and if diacritics [especially combined diacritics] are heavily used, please include a note on the original font or encoding used in composition so that we can format the script properly.)

Font Sizes: 12 pt.

Justification: entire text, footnotes and body, left- and right-justified

Margins: 1 inch margins all around. Block quotations are indented 1⁄2 inch on the left and 1⁄2 inch on the right from the margins. Paragraph indentations should be set at 1⁄2 inch from the margins.

Italicization (rather than underlining): single foreign words or phrases; book and journal titles.

Example: The tradition behind Homeric narrative is replete with instances of heroic nostoi (“returns”).

Institutional Affiliation: at end of article text, before References, right-justified and italicized, exactly one space after end of body text

Spelling: American rather than British English.
Examples: “color,” “armor,” and “catalog,” rather than “colour,” “armour,” and


Square Brackets: Reserve square brackets for the insertion of extra-authorial remarks or other material into direct quotations.

Example: Dué (2002:25) notes that “Nevertheless, in the Classical period, although variability was limited, significant performance variants are attested . . . [for] traditions that once flourished.”

Series: Items in a series require commas after all items, including the penultimate one. Example: “The collection includes ballads, epics, elegies, and encomia.”

II. Spacing

Spacing: the entire article (except for footnotes) should be set to “exactly 15pt spacing.” If this is not possible, single-spacing should be the default. Exceptions: double spacing before and after block quotes. Footnotes all single-spaced.

Spaces: after all punctuation, 1 space. Exception: no space between colon and page numbers in citations of References.


In-text: (Wells 1999:117)
References: Olsan 1999 Lea Olsan. “The Inscription of Charms in Anglo-Saxon

Manuscripts.” Oral Tradition, 14:401-19.

III. Citations

Because Oral Tradition draws contributions from a wide variety of scholarly disciplines, we have blended usages from a number of styles of reference.

Footnotes rather than endnotes: Keep footnotes principally for extra information. Otherwise, cite source(s) within the body of the text:

Within sentence where author is not mentioned:
Example: Jonathan Hill’s thesis commands a central position in the author’s analysis of first-century European society (Wells 1999:117).

Within sentence where author is mentioned:
Example: Peter Wells (1999:117) approaches questions of “tribalism” using the theoretical framework of Hill’s study.

Neither the author nor year is necessary if there is an immediate prior mention of the work by the same author.

Example: Wells (1997:49) begins his analysis by denying that colonial literary sources present accurate accounts of pre-contact indigenous cultures. He uses research on nineteenth-century North American tribalism to suggest possibilities for Southern Gaul in the first century (116-19).

IV. References (In the format shown in the examples)

  • Inclusion of an author’s middle name or initial should reflect the form used in the given works.
  • References should include all sources cited in the body of the article and footnotes. Publications by the same author are ordered chronologically, from oldest to most recent, using a, b, c, etc. for publications that appeared in the same year.
  • Do not abbreviate the titles of journals or the names of publishers:
    • Example: Southern Folklore Quarterly, not SFQ; “University Press,” not “UP.”


Foley 1991

John Miles Foley. Immanent Art: From Structure to Meaning in Traditional Oral Epic. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Foley 1995a

__________. “The Poet’s Self-Interruption in Andreas.” In Prosody and Poetics in the Early Middle Ages: Essays in Honour of C. B. Hieatt. Ed. by M. Jane Toswell. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 42-59.

Foley 1995b

__________. “Sixteen Moments of Silence in Homer.” Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica, 26:7-26.

Book, one author:

Foley 1999

John Miles Foley. Homer’s Traditional Art. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.

Book, two authors:

Scherzer and Woodbury 1987

Joel Scherzer and Anthony Woodbury. Native American Discourse: Politics and Rhetoric. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Book, three or more authors:

Shuldham-Shaw, Lyle et al. 1981-2002

Partrick N. Shuldham-Shaw, Emily B. Lyle et al., eds. The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection. 8 vols. Edinburgh: Mecat Press.

Book, with editor:

Arias 2001

Atruro Arias, ed. The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Book, with different author and editor:

Fo 1992

Dario Fo. Fabulazzo. Ed. by Lorenzo Ruggiero and Walter Valeri. Milan: Kaos.

Book, a translation of a primary text, with same translator and editor:

Crépin 1991

Andre Crépin, ed. and trans. Beowulf. Edition diplomatique et texte critique, traduction française, commentaires et vocabulaire. 2 vols. Göppingen: Kümmerle.

Book, a translation of a primary text, with different trans. and ed.:

Friberg 1988

Eino Friberg, trans. The Kalevala: Epic of the Finnish People. Ed. and intro. by George C. Schoolfield. 2nd ed. Helsinki: Otava.

Donaldson 1975

E. Talbot Donaldson, trans. Beowulf. Ed. by Joseph F. Tuso. New York: Norton.

Book, a translation of a secondary work:

Gentili 1990

Bruno Gentili. Poetry and Its Public in Ancient Greece: From Homer to the Fifth Century. Trans. by A. Thomas Cole. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Book, a translation of a secondary work, with different trans. and ed.:

Barba and Savarese 1991

Eugenio Barba and Nicola Savarese. A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology: The Secret Art of the Performer. Ed. by Richard Gough. Trans. by Richard Fowler. London: Routledge.

Book from multi-volume series:

Bauman 1986

Richard Bauman. Story, Performance, and Event: Contextual Studies of Oral Narrative. Cambridge Studies in Oral and Literate Culture, 10. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Book, in multiple volumes:

Drachmann 1903-7

Anders B. Drachmann, ed. Scholia Vetera in Pindari Carmina. 3 vols. Leipzig: Teubner.

Article from a journal with continuous annual pagination:

Collins 2001

Derek Collins. “Homer and Rhapsodic Competition in Performance.” Oral Tradition, 16:129-67.

Article from a collected edition:

Griffith 1990

Mark Griffith. “Contest and Contradiction in Early Greek Poetry.” In Cabinet of the Muses: Essays on Classical and Comparative Literature in Honor of Thomas R. Rosenmeyer. Ed. by Mark Griffith and Donald J. Mastronarde. Atlanta: Scholars Press. pp. 185-207.

Article from a collected edition elsewhere in references for this OT article:

Griffith 1990

Mark Griffith. “Contest and Contradiction in Early Greek Poetry.” In Griffith and Mastronarde 1990:185-207.

Article, added introduction, or other item from a book in a series:

Mitchell and Nagy 2000

Stephen Mitchell and Gregory Nagy. “Introduction to the Second Edition.” In Albert B. Lord, The Singer of Tales. Harvard Studies in Comparative Literature, 24. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. pp. vii-xxix.


Barnes 2003

Michael H. Barnes. “Inscribed Kleos: Aetiological Contexts in Apollonius of Rhodes.” Unpubl. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Missouri-Columbia.

Unpublished Conference Paper:

Oyler 1997

Elizabeth A. Oyler. “Koshigoe: Narrative Cycles and the Telling of History.” Unpub. paper presented at the 1997 Cornell Symposium in Early Japan Studies: Presenting Tales of the Heike in Medieval Japan.

Unpublished Interview(s):

Fo 1993

Dario Fo. Interviews with Antonio Scuderi, October, Milan.

Internet Source:

When referencing internet sources, whether a journal or another web resource, the entry should include, minimally, a document title or description, date of publication or retrieval, and a URL. A working URL is absolutely critical. Also, where possible, include the author of the document.

HROP 02 19 05

“How to Read an Oral Poem Bibliography.”

Whitmarsh 2003

Tim Whitmarsh. Rev. of Les personnages du roman grec. Ed. by Bernard Pouderon. Bryn Mawr Classical Review.


Other Electronic Sources
For e-mail, give the full name of the correspondent and the date of the correspondence, but not the actual e-mail address.

Kelber 2005

Werner J. Kelber. April 1. E-mail.

For a Blog, give the name of the person who posted the blog, the date, the title of the blog site, and the URL of the post. If a permalink is available, use that. Avoid citing the home page, as that may change.

Foley 2002

John Miles Foley. “Pathways of the Mind: Oral Tradition and the Internet.” .html-c110994746124979268

For audio citations, give the author, date of production, title, and publisher, where possible.

Glau 1998

Katherina Glau. Rezitation griechischer Chorlyrik: Die Parodoi aus Aischylos’ Agamemnon und Euripides’ Bakchen als Tonbeispiel auf CD mit Text. Heidelberg: C. Winter.

Betancourt 1996

Philip P. Betancourt. The Ancient Greek Theater: An Interactive Educational Experience in Pictures and Sound. Moorestown, NJ: Pseudo News Films and CD-ROMS.

For film citations, list the director along with the release date and releasing company/studio of the film you are referencing. For better known movies, you may wish to list the IMDb (Internet Movie Database) web address.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? Dir. by Joel Coen. Touchstone Video. 2000.

Oral Tradition Journal



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Also see

Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature


E-ISSN 1542-4308