Solution to Writing Obstacle No. 37:

“I’ve heard that editors at journals in North America and Britain automatically reject articles written by nonnative speakers—so why should I even try to write an article for them?”

Some editors at Anglo-American journals are biased against nonnative speakers for writing in less than perfect English.

One study of Hong Kong scholars found that was not the case (Hyland 2016), but I’m not so sure. I think that non-standard language can bias editors and reviewers.

However, don’t get discouraged!

The main reason that articles by non-native speakers get rejected is because of macro problems with their articles (to do with argument and structure), not micro problems (to do with word choice and sentence structure). In other words, their articles don’t get rejected for putting “the” in the wrong place or using the wrong syntax. They get rejected for having no argument or having a circular structure.

Fortunately, my workbook is designed to help with exactly such macro problems, so using it will dramatically increase your chances of getting published. Then, any good scholar will ignore the English packaging and attend to the value inside.

Works Cited

Hyland, Ken. 2016. “Academic publishing and the myth of linguistic injustice.”  Journal of Second Language Writing 31:58-69.

Solution to Writing Obstacle No. 37, one of the resource obstacles listed on page 32 of Belcher’s Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success (University of Chicago Press, 2019).