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Effective: 12/1/1984

Revised: 9/15/2003

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[ASU logo] CAM 202–01: Organization of Manual Contents


To suggest methods of organizing manual contents

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Academic and Administrative Documents

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Once the focus for a new manual has been established, it is important to organize the contents of the manual so that work can proceed in an orderly way.

Why is the new manual being developed? What does the group hope that the manual will accomplish? Answers to these questions should clarify the purpose of the manual. Knowing the purpose of the manual helps the committee choose for inclusion those policies and procedures that help fulfill the manual’s purpose.


After both committee members and intended users of the manual have identified the subjects that they would like the manual to address, organizing the planned contents of the manual is the natural next step. It is very important to organize the manual’s intended contents at this stage, because it gives the committee a clear picture of the finished product and it reveals gaps in information.

Begin with a rough list of topics, in no particular order. Then group similar topics together so that there are several topics in each group. For example, several policies on the administrative unit’s services or on safety might be grouped together.

Examine the groups of topics to see if an appropriate order suggests itself. Perhaps the topic groups are roughly chronological. Perhaps they range from very important to less important. Arrange the groups in the order chosen. If no natural order is evident, the groups can be placed in alphabetical order.

Then arrange the subjects in an appropriate order within each group. Alphabetical order is fine if no natural order is obvious. At the beginning of the list, add items for introductory material: a table of contents, table of exhibits, index, introduction, and organizational chart. A departmental directory is an optional addition to the introductory material.

The last step is to create a table of contents from the ordered list of topic groups and subjects. In ASU administrative manuals, alphanumeric identifiers are used in the table of contents to identify policies and procedures (see CAM 202-01A and CAM 202–01B). This system provides an orderly, topical structure for the manual that does not require consecutive numbering of pages throughout the manual.


The table of contents features:

  1. an alphanumeric identifier for each section, which is a division that encompasses a major topic (e.g., DPS 100, “EMERGENCIES”)
  2. an alphanumeric identifier in the appropriate range for each subsection, which is a subdivision of a major topic (e.g., DPS 101, “Emergencies—General”)


  3. an alphanumeric identifier in the appropriate range for each subject, which is the individual policy and/or procedure (e.g., DPS 101–01, “Reporting an Emergency”).
  4. Note:Subjects that do not fall under a subsection but instead, stand alone, use three-digit numbers (e.g., DPS 301, “Parking Regulations”).

The letters in each identifier represent the name of the manual, as “CAM” represents Creating Administrative Manuals. The numbers indicate the section, subsection, and policy numbers within that manual. The numbering scheme was chosen for its simplicity, as illustrated in CAM 202-01A and CAM 202–01B.

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Some manual exhibits are available only in PDF format. An Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in is required to view these PDF files. See our main policies and procedures page if you require this plug-in.

CAM 202–01A, Sample Table of Contents Page

CAM 202–01B, Sample Table of Contents Page (Cont.)

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Note:Please be advised that the policies and procedures used as examples in the CAM manual are often out of date and no longer applicable. They were chosen as examples when the CAM manual was revised in 1992. To access the current policies and procedures manuals, please go to http://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals.

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