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Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Writing, Second Edition
John Chaffee et al.
Guide to Publishing Your Work
Attention to Detail

As with the cover letter itself, an important part of submitting work is attention to detail. If a venue asks that you send two copies of your work, then be sure to send two copies (and two good copies at that). If they ask for biographical detail, then provide some. If they require that your name not appear on the work itself, but appear rather in your cover letter, then be sure to prepare your manuscript appropriately. (Such a request will often come from publication venues who are trying to ensure a fair reading—one not based on name recognition—for all work submitted.) And if a venue asks for work no longer than 5 pages, for example, don’t send them 10 pages. Or don’t take your 10 page essay and shrink the type size and spacing so it fits on 5. You are just setting yourself up for easy rejection that way.

Always take the time to read work already published in the venue to which you are planning to submit. (This is particularly easy in the case of Internet venues, since they are, for most students, easily accessible.) You may otherwise end up spending a lot of time planning and preparing your work, only to find that a particular venue does not even consider certain kinds of writing. Many places are very specific about what they are looking for, and they will, for the most part, provide potential contributors with clear guidelines.

So again, do a little research before submitting. And be sure to get a hold of, read, and follow all the submission guidelines a venue has available. Remember you are saving yourself a lot of work, and perhaps disappointment, by making sure that your work is appropriate for the venue you’ve chosen. Of course, you want to be sure that your own work is as error-free as possible; in short, you want your work to look as well as to be as professional as it can be. Keep these brief Guidelines for Revising handy for polishing up your work.


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