The text is normally taken from the first edition when available, or from a definitive modern text. Where a text presents complications, the headnote preceding the item describes the situation. Editorial interference has been kept to a minimum. In some details the text has been normalized to follow modern practice. Texts originally printed in italic are here given in roman, but otherwise contemporary capitalization, punctuation, and italics are retained. Typographical errors are silently corrected, as are quotations and line references, except where the misquotation affects the writer's remarks. The form of footnotes and references has been adapted to suit modern conventions where the original is misleading or obscure. Footnotes added by the editor are in square brackets, as are alterations or explanatory additions to the text. Latin and Greek quotations are given in English, the translation usually being that of the Loeb editions. As far as possible, translations from the French originals are given from eighteenth-century versions: despite their freedom, contemporary translators share their authors' critical vocabulary.
In the case of short excerpts from longer works, page references to the original are given in the headnote; where the selection is more substantial, page references are given in square brackets in the text itself. Long quotations from Pope's poetry used for illustrative rather than critical purposes, are replaced by line references to the Twickenham edition.
The dates of attacks on Pope are normally taken from J.V. Guerinot, Pamphlet Attacks on Pope 1711-1744 (1969).