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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 10-point Arial font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  • In submitting this article for publication, I confirm the following:

    • That the content of the article is my own work or, where third party content is utilised, I have obtained permission from the third party to include their materials in this article and (where necessary) the third party has approved the article for publication;
    • That I agree to grant an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, non-exclusive licence to Coventry University to publish this article;
    • That the article may be licensed under a creative commons licence, as detailed in the Copyright Notice;
    • That the article contains nothing that is abusive, defamatory, libellous, obscene, fraudulent or illegal;
    • That the decision to publish this article rests solely with Coventry University; and
    • That Coventry University may withdraw publication of the article at any time at its discretion without notice in the event that Coventry University becomes aware, or has reason to believe, that the author has not met any requirement(s) set out in this submission checklist.

Author Guidelines


  • Journal article submissions should be approximately 5,000 words, excluding references. A word count should be supplied with the submission.
  • Each submission must be preceded by an abstract of no more than 200 words.
  • Submissions should be compiled as follows: title, author name, affiliation, abstract, main text, acknowledgements (where relevant), references, appendices (where included).
  • For all manuscripts non-discriminatory language is mandatory. Sexist or racist terms should not be used.

Book Reviews

Please discuss reviews with our Book Reviews Editor in advance of submitting. We suggest book reviews should be around 1,500 words, but this is flexible. Also, we ask that you try to hold a focus or argument in the piece, through, for example, critical appraisal or contextualisation.

Reviews should also follow our standard formatting guidelines for articles, below.



We occasionally publish dialogue pieces, and invite responses. Dialogues are normally initiated through commissions, or as part of special conference issues. Please email us if you are interested in initiating a dialogue.

Guidelines for responses to open dialogues:

  • include a short abstract (max 50 words);
  • and a focused, limited bibliography, to draw out the context of the responses;
  • aim for a maximum of 750 words.

If in doubt please email the editors.



Margins should be set at 2.54 cm on all sides.

All indented material should be set at 1.27 cm.



Chapter title

18 pt, bold, title case, aligned left, and followed by one empty line

Author(s) and affiliations


'University, Country'

{one empty line}

'Second Author'

'University, Country' etc.

N.B. Please simply type the words 'Author', 'University' etc. in order to ensure blind review.

Level 1 subheading

11 pt, bold, title case, aligned left, preceded by two empty lines and followed by one empty line

Level 2 subheading

11 pt, bold, italic, sentence case, aligned left and preceded by two empty lines

Level 3 subheading

11 pt, italic, sentence case, aligned left and preceded by two empty lines

Text (including footnotes)

10 pt, both margins justified

Interline spacing


Figure/table captions

9 pt

Reference text

10 pt, aligned left with hanging indent



Please consistently use either British English or American English.

Dates should be given in the form 1 January 2011.



Double-barrelled names and number ranges contain a hyphen (-).

Parenthetical dashes use an n-rule (–).  Parenthetical dashes should have a space on either side.

Please note: 1960s, not 1960’s.


Use of italics

Italics should be used for names of publications (books, journals, newspapers etc.) and titles of films, paintings etc.

Foreign words, including Latin ones, should also be italicised.



Numbers one to ten should be spelt out, as should any number which begins a sentence; figures should be used thereafter.  Figures and spelt-out numbers should not be mixed in the same clause.

Numerals should always be used with percentages, units of measurement and in tables.  Please note, there should be a space between the numeral and the unit (e.g. 5 cm).

Number ranges, including those of pages in citations and references, should be given in full and elided with a dash. For example: 123-150.



Please use single quotation marks; double marks should be used within quoted material, as necessary.

Quotations longer than 30 words should be indented.

Generally, quoted material does not need to be distinguished from the rest of the text in any other way (for example, by using italics).



In-text citations should be in the form (Surname year: page).

  • Where there are more than three authors 'et al.' (no italics) should be used after the first author’s surname. Please note, all authors must be listed in the full bibliographic reference.
  • Multiple publications in one citation should be listed in alphabetical order and separated by commas, e.g.: (Adams 1999: 27, Carter 1992: 5-7, and Jones et al. 2000: 16).

The list of references should contain full bibliographic entries for all cited material. Similarly, items appearing in the reference list must also appear in the main text. The reference entries should be compiled as follows:

  • Books:

Biggs, G. (2000) Gender and Scientific Discovery. 2nd edn. London: Routledge

  • An essay or article in an edited volume:

Aggarwal, B. (2005) ‘Has the British Bird Population Declined?’. in A Guide to Contemporary Ornithology. ed. by Adams, G. London: Palgrave, 66-99

  • Journal articles:

Street, B. (2004) ‘Academic Literacies and the “New Orders”: Implications for Research and Practice in Student Writing in Higher Education’. Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences 1 (1), 9-20

  • Online journal articles:

Dhillon, B. (2004) ‘Should Doctors Wear Ties?’ Medical Monthly [online] 3 (1), 55-88. available from <http://hospitals/infections/latest-advice>  [1 July 2011]

  • Websites:

United Nations (n.d.) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [online] available from < http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/> [1 July 2011]

[NB: The date in square brackets is the date on which the website was accessed.]


Figures and Tables

All figures and tables must be cited in the main text and carry captions to explain what they are.



For figures, captions should be set below the image. For tables, captions should be set above the table. In both cases, they should be numbered sequentially using Arabic numerals; tables and figures should be numbered separately.

All images, illustrations and diagrams should be referred to as ‘figures’.  The abbreviation ‘Fig.’ should be used in the text (unless the word begins a sentence, in which case it should be spelt out in full).


Acknowledgements and permissions

If a figure, model, image, chart or table has previously been published, its reproduction in the Journal of Academic Writing will require copyright permission (even if minor modifications have been made). It is the responsibility of the author to secure such permission from the original publishers, for publication in both electronic and print formats. Proof of permission will need to be forwarded to the editor.  The author is also responsible for paying any permission fees associated with such materials. Any queries regarding this matter should be directed to the Assistant Editor.

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