Guidelines for Preparing Abstracts and Keywords

The following guidelines explain how to prepare book and chapter-level abstracts and keywords for your book. The abstracts and keywords you prepare will facilitate the discovery of your book via online retailers. It will also enable us to consider the book for digital collections such as MIT Press Scholarship Online, part of the University Press Scholarship Online (UPSO) publishing platform hosted by Oxford University Press. Inclusion in such collections will increase the readership of your book and its availability in libraries worldwide.

Please use the templates below to prepare your abstracts and keywords. We will need this material when you submit your final manuscript.

Book Abstract and Keywords


The book abstract should be concise, between 5-10 sentences, around 200 words and no more than 250 words, and should provide a clear idea of the main arguments and conclusions of your book. It might be useful to use the book’s blurb as a basis for the abstract (as supplied in your Author’s Marketing Questionnaire). Where possible, the personal pronoun should not be used, but an impersonal voice adopted: ‘This chapter discusses . . .’ rather than: ‘In this chapter, I discuss . . .’


Please provide keywords that describe the content, themes, concepts, or other relevant aspects of the book. Keywords increase the likelihood that your audience will be able to find your book through search on a retail website. 

  • Keywords should be no more than 500-600 characters in total. 
  • List the most relevant keywords first.
  • Do not use any special characters.
  • Separate keywords with semicolons.
  • Each keyword should be a single word or a 2-3 word phrase.
  • For additional help creating keywords, please refer to the Guidelines and Tips document provided at the bottom of the page.

Chapter Abstracts and Keywords


Please supply an abstract for each chapter of your book, including Introductory and Concluding chapters, giving the name and number of the chapter in each case. Each chapter abstract should be concise, between 3-6 sentences, around 120 words and no more than 150 words. It should provide a clear overview of the content of the chapter. Where possible, the personal pronoun should not be used, but an impersonal voice adopted: ‘This chapter discusses . . .’ rather than: ‘In this chapter, I discuss . . .’


Please suggest 5–10 keywords for each chapter which can be used for describing the content of the chapter. They should distinguish the most important ideas, names, and concepts in the chapter.

  • Each chapter keyword should be a single word or a 2-3 word phrase.
  • Chapter keywords should not be too generalized.
  • Each chapter keyword should appear in the accompanying chapter abstract.
  • A chapter keyword can be drawn from the book or chapter title, as long as it also appears in the text of the related abstract.

Sample Abstracts and Keywords


The Act Itself

Book Abstract: The distinction between the consequences of an act and the act itself is supposed to define the fight between consequentialism and deontological moralities. This book, though sympathetic to consequentialism, aims less at taking sides in that debate than at clarifying the terms in which it is conducted. It aims to help the reader to think more clearly about some aspects of human conduct—especially the workings of the ‘by’-locution, and some distinctions between making and allowing, between act and upshot, and between foreseeing and intending (the doctrine of double effect). It argues that moral philosophy would go better if the concept of ‘the act itself’ were dropped from its repertoire.

Book Keywordsaction; allowing; consequences; consequentialism; deontological ethics; double effect; ethics; intention; human conduct; human behavior; morality; moral thought; conceptual analysis; metaphysics; philosophy of action

Chapter Abstract: This chapter discusses attempts by Dinello, Kamm, Kagan, Bentham, Warren Quinn, and others to explain the making/allowing distinction. In each case, it is shown that if the proposed account can be tightened up into something significant and defensible, that always turns it into something equivalent to the analysis of Bennett (Ch. 6) or, more often, that of Donagan (Ch. 7). It is argued that on either of the latter analyses, making/allowing certainly has no basic moral significance, though it may often be accompanied by factors that do have such significance.

Chapter Keywordsallowing; Bentham; Dinello; Donagan; KaganKamm; making; Quinn

University Press Scholarship Online, Abstract and Keyword Forms