Submission FAQs

General FAQs

Does the paper have to be from a WR course?
The paper must have been written for a WR course or one that was considered a WR equivalent during the semester you took the course. Only papers from the current academic year are accepted.

What type of papers can I submit?
Most papers written for major WR paper assignments are eligible for submission. “Other Genre” or alternative genre paper assignments are accepted. When submitting an other genre paper,  you are required to submitting the assignment sheet for the paper in addition to completing the rest of the submission form.  If you are not sure if your paper is considered a traditional paper or an “other genre” paper, please read the “Other Genre” Submission FAQ section at the bottom of this page.

Do I have to submit my final paper?
No, you can submit any paper written for a major assignment. You should pick whichever essay you feel was your strongest.

Can I submit a paper from a WR 097 or WR 098 course?
WR 097 and WR 098 paper are welcome. The papers will be judged in comparison with other papers from WR 097 or WR 098 and will not compete directly with papers from WR 100 or 150. We aim to publish several excellent papers from WR 097 and WR 098  each issue.

Is my WR 100 or WR 150 paper an “other genre” paper?
Some WR 100/150 courses include an “alternative genre” assignment. Here are some examples of these assignments:

  • op-eds (opposite the editorial page)
  • curated photographs
  • creative writing (i.e fairytale, poem, play, short story, etc.) accompanied with criticism
  • introductions to a collection
  • a personal essay
  • reviews (i.e. poetry collections, theater performances, etc.)
  • a public intellectual article

Argument-based essays that incorporate at least two sources should be submitted as a traditional essay submission.

How do I enter the Prize Essay Contest?
All submissions to the journal are automatically considered for both publication and for a Prize Essay Award. All winners will be published in the journal. You cannot enter the contest separately.

How many papers can I submit?
Students may submit one paper for consideration each semester. Instructors may submit up to three papers each semester and will ask your permission before submitting your essay. Only one essay per student will be published in each issue.

Can I submit my whole portfolio?
Please do not send your entire portfolio. We only accept individual papers.

Do I have to submit the same version of my essay that I gave to my instructor?
You are welcome to revise your essay again after your instructor returns it. In fact, we encourage you to revise again to address any comments your teacher may have given you and to correct typos and errors. You may also want to make your essay more accessible to a general reader. For example, you may want to add background context (brief descriptions, definitions of terms, or explanations of events or characters you refer to in your essay) for readers who are not familiar with your course material.

Do I need to list my sources?
A Works Cited page or Bibliography page is required for each essay you submit. Appropriate in-text citations are also required. Submissions will be disqualified if there are missing citations or if plagiarism is discovered.

What style of citations should I use?
You can keep your essay in whatever style you used when you wrote it for your class. For example, if your class used MLA style guidelines, you should cite sources and arrange your bibliography according to MLA rules.

Can I still submit a fall paper if I missed the fall deadline?
We strongly encourage you to submit fall papers by the fall deadline to facilitate our reviewing process. If you missed the deadline, however, you can submit your fall paper any time before the  spring deadline.

What criteria do you use to judge the essays?
Reviewers consider many aspects of each essay. This short list is meant to provide you with some guidelines and not a complete list of all criteria. Some are considered more for particular class levels (such as strong research for WR 150 papers). In general, essays should have received an “A” grade. Essays should be ambitious and scholarly and  include a well-developed argument if that is part of the assignment. They should feature a strong problem statement. They should use evidence effectively to support all points. They should provide enough background context to be understandable to a broad readership. Essays should be grammatically correct, free of typos, and include proper citations of all sources.

What can I do to improve my chances of getting selected?
First, proofread your essay before submitting it. Papers with many typos or grammar errors are less likely to be advanced even if they are otherwise well written.

Second, if your paper was originally written for a specific audience (like your class or your instructor) assumed to be familiar with the topic you are writing about, we encourage you to add some background context to make the essay more accessible to a general reader who may not be familiar with your class discussions or the theories, critics, or texts you include. Small bits of context like definitions of key terms or a brief description of a plot event or character can help a general reader understand your points better.

How do I find out if my essay will be published or if I won a Prize Essay Award?
Reviewing will not be completed until June. In late June, we will send email notifications that will tell you if your paper was selected or not and give you further instructions if it was selected.

When will the issue be published?
The journal is published in August.

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WR Transfer Credit

Did you take or are you planning to take a writing class at another school? You may be able to receive WR transfer credit for it.
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