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Author Guidelines

Submitted texts should be between 3 500 and 6 000 words in length, including a list of works cited. Authors/guest editors should submit their texts (preferably) via email to, as attached documents in MS Word format. A document template may be requested from the editors.


Contributors are kindly asked to include an abstract of about 60 words in English (for the contents page).

Short Biographical Note

Submissions should include a brief note on the contributor to be presented in the journal; so please sketch:

  • your academic development and career
  • the focus of your research
  • your publications

Key Words

Contributors should provide 4-6 English key words for their articles. They will be entered into the American Studies Journals Database.


Authors are responsible to resolve the legal status of illustrations (copyright) to be included in COPAS.


In the text it should be clearly noticeable what is a heading, a body paragraph, citation, footnote or a block quote. It is not necessary to mimic the final publication style, e.g. by inserting tab or space characters at the beginning of paragraphs.


Texts should not be hyphenated, neither automatically nor manually. The use of typographical quotation marks is encouraged. Please note that closing quotation mark(s) should follow the punctuation mark(s). A carriage return (paragraph mark) should only be used at the end of paragraphs; there is no need to enter it twice for spacing paragraphs. Indentations, such as at the beginning of new paragraphs, should not be made by authors. Please use emphasis, such as italics, bold print, and single quotation marks, sparingly.



The guidelines of the most recent MLA Handbook apply. COPAS requires the use of a parenthetical system of documentation rather than footnotes or endnotes. Footnotes should be used sparingly and should be reserved for actual comments. Citations in parentheses within the text point to sources. The list of works cited appears at the end of the article. In-text citations give the author(s) and the page number(s) (with no comma in between). If the name of the author already appears in the body of the text, only put the page number(s) in parentheses. An example:

Psychologist Jane Flax explains that women usually do not blame their mothers because they “tend to feel guilty that they are somehow betraying their mother in the attempt to resolve and terminate the symbiotic tie” (35).

If the list of works cited contains more than one work by the author, add the cited title in a shortened form after the author’s last name.

(Frye, Anatomy 278)

(Frye, Critical Path 1-10)

See the most recent edition of the MLA Handbook for more information.


Ellipsis points in square brackets mark omissions in quotations.

Quotation with an ellipsis in the middle:

Louis D. Rubin explains that “[h]istory […] remains a striking characteristic of the Southern literary imagination, black and white” (5-6).

Quotation with an ellipsis at the end:

Louis D. Rubin explains that “[h]istory, as a mode for viewing one’s experience and one’s identity, remains a striking characteristic of the Southern literary imagination […].”

For quotations containing an ellipsis in the original, three periods without brackets are used.



Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has been presented as a paper at the annual Postgraduated Forum of the German Association for American Studies (GAAS),
  2. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration.
  3. The submission file is in Microsoft Word document file format.
  4. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  5. The text is formatted using the COPAS document template available here and employs italics, rather than underlining; and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.

  6. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Submission Guidelines.

Copyright Notice

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

    1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

    1. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

    1. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).


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