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Abstract Guidelines & Samples


We ask that you provide an abstract for your book and an abstract for each individual chapter. These abstracts, increasingly required by e-book vendors, will become part of the book’s metadata and will allow users, particularly library patrons, to search your book’s content more thoroughly. Please keep in mind that providing good metadata substantially increases the visibility of your book.



Please provide a description of 200 words or less of the overall book. Please also provide a description of 150 words or less for each chapter, including the introduction and conclusion if they appear as separate chapters. You should include chapter numbers and titles, if applicable, in the chapter abstracts.

It is best to use language that includes strong, specific references (e.g., “judicial appointments,” “Gothic revival,” “postcolonial Haiti”) as well as proper names of people and titles of works prominently discussed (e.g., Fernand Braudel, Song of Solomon). Avoid using “I” or “we”; speak, rather, in terms of the book (“the book discusses…”).



The book abstract and each chapter abstract must be accompanied by five keywords. In choosing keywords, it may be helpful to think in terms of an index and which words would be most usefully represented or consulted there. Keeping a keyword to a single word is good where possible, but when this results in language that is too general, it should be avoided. For example, “women judges” should not be reduced to “women.” If possible, these keywords should also appear in their respective abstracts.

Please submit these abstracts and keywords to your acquiring editor in a single Word document along with your final manuscript when it arrives for editing.

Examples of book and chapter abstracts, including keywords, are provided below.


Susan B. Haire and Laura P. Moyer, Diversity Matters: Judicial Policy Making in the U.S. Courts of Appeals


Book Abstract
Until President Jimmy Carter launched an effort to diversify the lower federal courts, the U.S. courts of appeals had been composed almost entirely of white males. By 2008, a quarter of sitting judges were women and 15 percent were African American or Hispanic. Underlying the argument made by administration officials for a diverse federal judiciary has been the expectation that the presence of women and minorities will ensure that the policy of the courts will reflect the experiences of a diverse population. Drawing from oral histories and data on appellate decisions through 2008, the authors demonstrate that diversity on the bench affects individual judges’ choices and the overall character and quality of judicial deliberation and decisions. The first three chapters of the book trace the paths of minority and female judges to the bench and examine how group membership, status, and socialization forces shape individual judicial behavior. The next two chapters shift to consider how gender and racial diversity affect the collective behavior of small groups and institutions. Chapter 4 evaluates how the makeup of appellate panels drives decisional outcomes, while chapter 5 looks at the ways that changing norms and critical actors affected how individual courts experienced judicial diversification.  Looking forward, the authors anticipate the ways in which these process effects will become more pronounced as a result of the highly diverse Obama appointment cohort.

Book keywords: judicial behavior; U.S. courts of appeals; women judges; minority judges; judicial diversity


Chapter Abstract
Chapter 4: Diversity on the Panel
This chapter examines how gender and racial diversity on appellate panels affects deliberative processes. One perspective on diversity suggests that stereotypes will shape expectations toward one’s colleagues and fuel processes that diminish the influence of women and minority judges.  Although the analysis finds that white male judges’ voting behavior is more variable in the presence of nontraditional judges, they are no more likely to author a dissent in response to a majority opinion by a woman and/or a minority judge. Another perspective suggests the presence of nontraditional judges will enhance the robustness of information processing in deliberations. The analysis provides support for the premise that diverse panels yield opinions with more points of law when compared to those produced by panels composed of only white males. However, this effect held only if two of the three panel judges were nontraditional judges.

Chapter keywords: deliberations; nontraditional judges; majority opinion; appellate panels; gender and racial diversity



James A. Jacobs, Detached America: Building Houses in Postwar Suburbia


Book Abstract
This book explores the quarter century between 1945 and 1970, when Americans crafted a new manner of living that shaped and reshaped how residential builders designed and marketed millions of detached single-family suburban houses. These dwellings were the basic building blocks and the single most important components of the explosive suburban growth during the postwar period, luring families to the metropolitan periphery from both crowded urban centers and the rural hinterlands. Favorable government policies, and sympathetic and widely available print media such as trade journals, popular shelter magazines, and newspapers, emboldened the residential building industry while informing the public of these new possibilities. A vast and long-lived collaboration involving government and business—and fueled by millions of middle-class homeowners—established the financial mechanisms, consumer frameworks, domestic ideologies informed especially by the notion of “casual living,” and the architectural precedents that permanently altered the geographic and demographic landscape of the nation.

Keywords: detached single-family houses; spatial evolution; consumer culture; casual living; middle class


Chapter Abstract
Chapter 1: The Housing Industry Reinvented
Chapter 1 considers the residential building industry as it reorganized and expanded as a central part of the postwar period’s energetic consumer culture. Residential builders and their industry attained a new level of national prominence and cohesion through energetic and unrelenting self-promotion and product marketing.  Builders commenced their postwar activities in a manner closely circumscribed by government policies put into place by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The agency’s far-ranging policies reduced the financial risk of conducting business, massively increased the number of prospective buyers through a softening of class- and income-based exclusion at the expense of racial inclusion, and raised the design and construction standards for new houses. This solid foundation permitted postwar builders on all scales of business to assertively market a suburban lifestyle to receptive American households using eye-catching advertisements, the modish interiors of furnished ”display” or  “model” houses, annual events such as National Home Week, and new types of models.

Keywords: residential building industry; Federal Housing Administration (FHA); home advertisements; model houses; National Home Week