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.
What type of papers can I submit?
Most papers written for major WR paper assignments are eligible for submission, but we do not accept fiction, personal essays, self-assessment essays, or portfolio introductions.
Do I have to submit my final paper?
No, you can submit any paper you wrote a major assignments. You should pick whichever essay you feel was your strongest. Many students do submit their final papers, but your strongest paper may be a paper written for an earlier assignment.
Can I submit a paper from a WR 097 or WR 098 course?
Please do submit your best paper from WR 097 or WR 098. 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 at least one excellent paper from a WR 097 or WR 098 course per issue.
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 (a total of two papers per issue or academic year). Instructors may submit other additional papers for students each semester (as many as they like) and will ask your permission before submitting your essays. 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.
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, and 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. On a basic level, essay 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?
There are a few simple actions you can take to improve your chances. First, proofread your essay before submitting it. Papers with many typos or grammar errors are far less likely to be advanced to later review rounds even if they are otherwise well written, researched, or argued.
Second, if your paper was originally written for a very specific audience assumed to be familiar with everything you are writing about (such as your class or your instructor), 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. In most cases, this context does not need to be lengthy. 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 much better.
How do I find out if my essay will be published or if I won a Prize Essay Award?
Because of the late spring submission deadline, reviewing will not be completed until July. We will email you as soon as we know the final status of your paper. Depending on how far your essay advances in the review rounds, you may be emailed in early spring or as late as July.
When will Issue 6 be published?
Issue 6 will be published in August 2014.