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How to Teach a Journal Article Writing Class

Hundreds have used my workbook Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success to teach classes about article publishing. Those who most benefit are (1) graduate students who want to publish an essay they wrote for the classroom or part of their master's thesis, (2) doctoral candidates hoping to publish a chapter from their dissertation in progress, and (3) recent doctorates and junior faculty under pressure to publish for jobs or tenure.

Instructors use the workbook as a guide to the complex world of academic publishing and give writers practical experience in getting their work published in academic journals. The goal of a course based on the workbook is to aid participants in taking their papers from classroom or conference quality to journal quality and in overcoming anxiety about academic publishing in the process. During the workshop, the instructor uses the workbook to explain the publication process and shares strategies for achieving success in the academic writing arena, including setting up a work schedule, identifying appropriate journals for submission, clarifying arguments, organizing material, working with editors, using citation software, and writing query letters. In a supportive environment, participants are led through a rigorous revision of an already written academic paper. They complete weekly assignments of reading and writing, receive feedback on that writing from the instructor, and then actually submit a final draft of the article to an academic journal. The class is part lecture, part workshop, that is, a combination of learning and doing. I generally recommend no more than twelve in a course, but instructors have used it to teach seminars of up to thirty.

I drafted the workbook as a textbook for a journal article writing class that I taught at UCLA for over a decade. If you would like to learn more about how I designed that course, or my experiences teaching it, see my article "Reflections on Ten Years of Teaching Writing for Publication to Graduate Students and Junior Faculty," Journal of Scholarly Publishing 40, no. 2 (January 2009): 184-199.

Free Syllabi

I have developed syllabi for using the workbook to teach courses of various lengths: six weeks, ten weeks, twelve weeks, and fifteen weeks. I don't post them here, so that students cannot see the instructions to the instructor, but I'm happy to email any of the syllabi to you for free. Just email me or tweet me and ask!