[horizontal rule]

Effective: 12/1/1984

Revised: 9/15/2003

[horizontal rule]

[ASU logo] CAM 701: Producing an Internal Manual


To explain the steps in producing an internal manual

[horizontal rule]

[horizontal rule]

Academic and Administrative Documents

[horizontal rule]

[horizontal rule]

When the last review is completed and the appropriate administrator has approved the manual for publication, the manual moves to the production phase. Internal manuals usually are short (fewer than 75 pages), so production is comparatively easy. Distribution, which goes hand-in-hand with production, is an easy process also, since these manuals have a distribution limited to employees within one administrative area. Still, committee members need to plan for binders, tab dividers, printing, distribution, and control.


Choose a rigid, vinyl-covered 9 x 12-inch binder in a dark color. (Flexible binders do not stand up on a shelf, and light-colored binders show dirt and fingerprints.) Binders may be plain ones purchased inexpensively from any store or fancy ones ordered from a special vendor. A logo or other design in a contrasting color may be silk-screened on special order binders, or printed by computer and slipped into clear pockets on the front and the spine. Budget and preferences of committee members and administrators determine the choice.

All binders, whether plain or fancy, should have D rings, rather than round rings; D rings (rings with one side on a slant instead of round) enable the paper to lie flatter and turn easier. Each binder also should have a page lifter, for greater ease in turning pages.


Tab dividers should be used to separate sections in an internal manual. They can be simple, inexpensive ones purchased at any office supply store. The kind with plastic tabs that allow labels to be inserted are often used for an internal manual. A professional look can be obtained by word processing the label to be inserted in the tab.

Tab dividers should show the name and number of the section on both sides. (Identical information on both the front and back is for the benefit of users who flip through a manual from back to front.)


Most units producing an internal manual do not find it necessary to have it printed by a commercial printer. Printing an internal manual is usually accomplished by reproducing the word processed text on the office copy machine. For a professional look, be sure that the original copy is free of stray marks. Use 20-pound bond, or heavier, paper. Most office copy machines automatically collate. They also need to be drilled (hole punched). It is much easier to take them to a copy service for this operation than to do it yourself with a conventional office punch. Have large holes drilled (5/16-inch) rather than small holes, which tend to tear as they pull against the rings.


Early in the process of manual creation, the committee identified the intended manual users. Create both a distribution list of and labels for these users. Apply a label to each manual. Distribute the manuals promptly to all users.


Assign a control number to each manual. Type these numbers on labels and place one inside the front cover of each manual.

Create a page of instructions for manual users and place it in the front of each manual. The instructions let the manual user know that he or she is responsible to follow the procedures in the manual, keep the manual updated, and leave the manual for a successor when vacating the position. Put the control number on this page, also.

[horizontal rule]

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.

Back to Top