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Effective: 12/1/1984

Revised: 9/15/2003

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[ASU logo] CAM 401–02: Order of Manual Contents


To describe the standard organization of contents within administrative manuals

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Academic and Administrative Documents

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A manual assignment page is a great help in controlling a manual. Typically, it assigns a manual with a particular number to a user and explains the user’s responsibilities for the manual. Alternative formats are shown on the Sample Manual Assignment pages (see CAM 401-02A and CAM 401-02B). A manual assignment page is optional.


The title page lists the title of the manual, followed by “Arizona State University,” the publication date, and the names of the administrative unit or units preparing the manual.


Section Contents

The section contents page shows the contents of a single section. It appears as the first page in every section, including the introductory material section. It duplicates the table of contents entries for that section and, in that sense, is a mini table of contents.

Table of Contents

The table of contents is the framework of the manual and gives the user an overview of the organization. It lists the introductory material, the sections, the subsections, and the subjects in order, as illustrated by CAM 202–01A and CAM 202–01B.

Organization of the Table of Contents

Policies and procedures contained in the same manual are grouped by subject into sections. This grouping enables the user to refer easily to all the policies and procedures related to a topic. The structure for grouping the subjects may vary between manuals. For example, the Staff Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual groups the material functionally: that is, the order of the policies—from “Employment” at the beginning to “Termination” at the end—generally follows the employee’s “chronological” progression through the university. Alternatively, the Student Affairs Policies and Procedures Manual groups its policies according to its organizational structure: Each section in the manual corresponds to a unit within Student Affairs (e.g., Student Life), and these are arranged alphabetically.

Alphanumeric Identifiers

The table of contents features (all examples appear in CAM 202–01A and CAM 202–01B):

  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”).

Note:Subjects that do not fall under a subsection but, instead, stand alone have 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 is illustrated in CAM 202–01A and CAM 202–01B.

Table of Exhibits

If the manual contains exhibits (i.e., forms, tables, charts, graphs, figures, or illustrations), a table of exhibits should be included (see CAM 002).

The table of exhibits lists alphabetically the materials treated as exhibits in the manual and their locations. The listing includes the complete title of an exhibit as it appears in the policy, the alphanumeric identifier, and the page number within the policy.

Note:In the table of exhibits and within policies, the exhibit callout, or title, is not enclosed in quotation marks.


Manual users, especially those who are not familiar with the manual, require a tool for finding a particular policy, procedure, or topic. The index, constructed to anticipate users’ needs, is that essential tool. It follows the table of contents and the table of exhibits because users frequently refer to all those items in accessing information.

The index entries, ordered alphabetically, reference information found in the manual. An entry consists of the main heading and its subheadings, if any, and their corresponding alphanumeric references to the text, which point the reader to a topic’s location in the manual. When appropriate, cross-references (i.e., See or See also references) are included in the entry.


Headings should be keywords referencing materials in the text and exhibits that are pertinent to the manual’s audience.


Subheadings should be created whenever there are many page references (usually more than five) for a heading or when more specific references would be helpful to the user. It is possible to have two levels of subheadings; more than two levels are generally not useful to the reader.


Use See references when a topic has more than a few page references. Otherwise, duplicate the information under the appropriate keywords. Use See also for additional, related information—not for references to the same page numbers under different headings.

Indexing Software Programs

A variety of indexing software packages are available, for both PCs and Macintosh computers. AAD uses CINDEX. For suggestions on a suitable software package, contact the American Society of Indexers (ASI) at http://www.asindexing.org.


The introduction is a brief statement of the manual’s purpose, scope, applicability, and use (see CAM 401-02C).


The definitions page allows the manual preparer to define important terms used in the manual. It acts as a safeguard against misunderstanding and adds clarity to the process of creating, as well as using, the manual. Although a definitions page is not mandatory, it is recommended (see CAM 003).


The directory is a list of the names, titles, and telephone extensions of key personnel in the administrative unit producing the manual. Usually included are persons and offices the manual user may need to contact for specific information related to the manual (see CAM 401-02D). Some directories include a brief description of the responsibilities of the units within the department. A directory is optional.


Section Contents

The section contents page shows the contents of a single section.


Each section contains the material itself (i.e., the policies and procedures, as well as the pertinent exhibits). (For example, CAM 401-01 through CAM 402-02 make up the “Format Standards” section.)

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For detailed information on the internal format for individual policies and procedures, see CAM 402-01, “Uniform Format for Policies and Procedures.”

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Additional Information
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The use of appendices is discouraged. Forms, charts, and similar material should be reduced and printed as part of the policies and/or procedures (usually as exhibits) so that manual users can reference them more easily. Special documents or long policy statements should be presented as policies rather than treated as appendices.

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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 401–02A, Sample Manual Assignment Page: Comptroller’s Office Policies and Procedures Manual

CAM 401–02B, Sample Manual Assignment Page: Student Affairs Policies and Procedures Manual

CAM 401–02C, Sample Introduction

CAM 401–02D, Sample Directory

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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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