"A comprehensive, well-written and beautifully organized book on publishing articles in the humanities and social sciences that will help its readers write forward with a first-rate guide as good company."
—Joan Bolker, author of Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day
“Humorous, direct, authentic … a seamless weave of experience, anecdote, and research.”
—Kathleen McHugh, professor and director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Women
Wendy Laura Belcher’s Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success is a revolutionary approach to enabling academic authors to overcome their anxieties and produce the publications that are essential to succeeding in their fields. Each week, readers learn a particular feature of strong articles and work on revising theirs accordingly. At the end of twelve weeks, they send their article to a journal. This invaluable resource is the only guide that focuses specifically on publishing humanities and social science journal articles.
- Has a proven record of helping graduate students and professors get published: This workbook, developed over a decade of teaching scholarly writers in a range of disciplines at UCLA and around the world, has already helped hundreds to publish their articles in peer-reviewed journals.
- Demystifies the academic publishing process: This workbook is based on actual research about faculty productivity and peer review, students’ writing triumphs and failures, as well as the author’s experiences as a journal editor and award-winning author.
- Proceeds step by manageable step: Within the context of clear deadlines, the workbook provides the instruction, exercises, and structure needed to revise a classroom essay, conference paper, dissertation chapter, master’s thesis, or unfinished draft into a journal article and send it to a suitable journal.
- Targets the biggest writing challenges: This workbook focuses squarely on the most difficult tasks facing scholarly writers, such as getting motivated, making an argument, and creating a logical whole.
Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks can be used individually or in groups, and is particularly appropriate for graduate student professional development courses, junior faculty orientation workshops, post-doc groups, and journal article writing courses.
Wendy Laura Belcher is assistant professor of African literature at Princeton University in the Department of Comparative Literature and Center for African American Studies. She has taught journal article writing workshops in North America, Europe, and Africa.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Using This Workbook
Goals of the workbook. History of the workbook. Philosophy
of the workbook. Pedagogy of the workbook.
General instructions. Using the workbook according to your
temperament, discipline, or career stage. Using the workbook
by yourself, with a writing partner, in a writing group, with
coauthors, or to teach a class. Feedback to the author.
Week 1: Designing Your Plan for Writing
Instruction: Understanding feelings about writing. Keys to
positive writing experiences. Designing a plan for submitting
your article in twelve weeks.
Exercises: Selecting a paper for revision. Choosing your
writing site. Designing your writing schedule. Anticipating
and overturning writing obstacles.
Week 2: Starting Your Article
Instruction: Types of academic articles. Myths about
publishable journal articles. What gets published and why.
Abstracts as a tool for success. Getting started on your
Exercises: Hammering out your topic. Rereading your
paper. Drafting your abstract. Reading a model article.
Revising your abstract.
Week 3: Advancing Your Argument
Instruction: Common reasons why journals reject articles.
Main reason journal articles are rejected: no argument.
Making a good argument. Organizing your article around
Exercises: Drafting your argument. Reviewing your article for
an argument. Revising your article around your argument.
Week 4: Selecting a Journal
Instruction: Good news about journals. The importance of
picking the right journal. Types of academic journals:
nonrecommended, questionable, and preferred. Finding
suitable academic journals.
Exercises: Searching for journals. Evaluating academic journals.
Matching your article to suitable journals. Reading relevant
journals. Writing a query letter to editors. Making a final
decision about which journal.
Week 5: Reviewing the Related Literature
Instruction: Reading the scholarly literature. Types of
scholarly literature. Strategies for getting reading done.
Identifying your relationship to the related literature.
Avoiding plagiarism. Writing about others’ research.
Exercises: Evaluating your current citations. Identifying
and reading the related literature. Evaluating the related
literature. Writing or revising your related literature review.
Week 6: Strengthening Your Structure
Instruction: On the importance of structure. Types of
structures. Article structures in the social sciences and
humanities. Solving structural problems. Revising for structure.
Exercises: Outlining a model article. Outlining your article.
Restructuring your article.
Week 7: Presenting Your Evidence
Instruction: Types of evidence. Writing up evidence in
the social sciences. Writing up evidence in the humanities.
Revising your evidence.
Exercises: Discussing evidence in your field. Revisiting your
evidence. Shaping your evidence around your argument.
Week 8: Opening and Concluding Your Article
Instruction: On the importance of openings. Revising your
opening and conclusion.
Exercises: Revising your title. Revising your introduction.
Revisiting your abstract, related literature review, and author
order. Revising your conclusion.
Week 9: Giving, Getting, and Using Others’ Feedback
Instruction: Types of feedback. Exchanging your articles.
Exercises: Sharing your article and getting feedback. Making
a list of remaining tasks. Revising your article according to
Week 10: Editing Your Sentences
Instruction: On taking the time. Types of revising. The rules
of editing. The Belcher diagnostic test. Editing your article.
Exercises: Running the Belcher diagnostic test. Revising
your article with the diagnostic test. Correcting other types of
Week 11 Wrapping Up Your Article
Instruction: On the perils of perfection. Finalizing your
Exercises: Finalizing your argument, related literature review,
introduction, evidence, structure, and conclusion.
Week 12: Sending Your Article!
Instruction: On the importance of finishing. Getting the
Exercises: Writing the cover letter. Preparing illustrations.
Putting your article into the journal’s style. Preparing the
final print or electronic version. Send and celebrate!
Week X: Responding to Journal Decisions
Instruction: An exhortation. Waiting for the journal’s decision.
Reading the journal’s decision. Types of journal decisions.
Responding to journal decisions.
Exercises: Evaluating and responding to the journal decision.
Planning your revision. Revising your article. Drafting your
revision cover letter. Requesting permissions. On the
importance of persevering.
About the Author