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What We Do and Don't Publish


According to our website, “Young Scholars in Writing: Undergraduate Research in Writing and Rhetoric publishes research articles written by undergraduates on topics related to rhetoric and writing.” But what does that mean? This post will help prospective authors determine if YSW is the right venue to share their research. 


YSW publishes four types of articles:

Research Articles integrate secondary sources and primary research to explore the subjects of rhetoric, writing, writers, discourse, language and related topics. These articles should make an original intellectual contribution to their respective fields. To support methodological diversity, YSW is especially interested in submissions that rely on primary research and/or empirical methods. These articles should be 10-25 double-spaced pages in length. Here are some examples of research articles from Volume 18:

First-Year Spotlight articles are original research articles about writing and rhetoric written by first-year students. These articles should also present original and intellectual contributions to their respective fields. First-Year Spotlight articles should be 5-25 pages double spaced. For an example of this kind of article, check out Huy Gia Troung’s Visual Rhetoric in Medical Illustrations and the Implications in Medical Practices

Comment & Response articles provide commentary on an article from a previous volume of YSW. These articles should be 2-5 double-spaced pages, focus on presenting an argument in response to the previous article, and use new or additional sources to back up the argument. For an example of this kind of article, check out Noah Bolls’ “For all of us”: Feminine Style in the Rhetoric of Rosalynn Carter.

Methodological Reflection articles should include a detailed narrative of and reflect on empirical methods used in the process of a current research project. These articles should be 3-8 double-spaced pages long, and must use and cite literature focusing on research methods. For an example of this kind of article, read Angela Myers’ Creating Impact through User-Centered Research.


YSW does not publish:

  • Undergraduate research on topics not related to writing studies or rhetoric 
  • Analysis of literature or literary criticism
  • Analysis of films, music, etc. that is not explicitly grounded in rhetorical scholarship
  • Opinion pieces on academic practices or culture, etc

There are lots of other great publication venues for undergraduate research. If your piece does not fit within the scope of what YSW publishes, you might consider the following journals that publish a wider range of undergraduate research topics: The Journal of Undergraduate Research, Queen City Writers, Apollon Undergraduate eJournal, or Inquiries.

If you are unsure whether your article is a good fit for YSW, please email with a summary of your article and any questions you may have.