Graduate Program

How to Publish Essays

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Tuesday - 9:50 a.m.
MU 302

How to Publish Essays

Sarah Novacich

This course puts writing under a microscope, considers the form and function of the scholarly essay, and demystifies aspects of the publication process. The practical goal is to transform a piece of writing – seminar paper, shorter essay, or dissertation chapter – into an article that you can submit to a journal by the end of the semester. Much of the course will be conducted as a workshop, in which we will work on skills and pose questions concerning sentence and paragraph structure, clarity and pace of argument, the balance between overviews of critical conversations and your own interventions, the place of “close reading,” the use of theory and technical vocabularies, the importance of readability, the cultivation of a personal style, and the pleasure of writing. We will workshop our own articles and also examine model essays by writers we admire. Along the way, students will research the array of journals in their field(s) to become familiar with their profiles, submission policies, and decision timeframes. Together, we will discuss how to choose a home for your work, how to know when you are ready to submit an essay, and how to respond to readers’ reports or handle rejection. Over the course of the semester, you will learn (or become more aware of) what you admire most about yourself as a writer, as well as practice honestly identifying tendencies you are ready to change.

The course is open to students in their third year, but aimed at students in their fourth year (and beyond). Students in their third year should consult with an advisor before enrolling. All enrolled students should enter the class with work they plan to transform into a publishable article.