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RTE Submission Guidelines - Previous Revision

About Research in the Teaching of English

Thank you for considering Research in the Teaching of English (RTE), the flagship research journal of the National Council of Teachers of English, as a venue for your work. A refereed, scholarly journal, RTE encourages submissions of previously unpublished scholarly articles on topics of significance to those concerned with the teaching and learning of language and literacies, both in and beyond schools and universities.  

We invite manuscripts on a wide range of topics related to research on the teaching of English, especially in the following areas:

  • Discourse(s) and other semiotic forms (e.g., genre, media, modes of delivery) shaping literacy teaching and learning
  • English teacher education and professional development
  • English teacher professionalism (e.g., tenure, unions, etc.)
  • Global, political, and economic forces shaping literacy teaching and learning
  • Identity, power, and culture in the teaching and learning of English
  • Impact of new technologies on students’ literacy practices
  • Language and literacy policies
  • Multilingualism and World Englishes
  • Social, ideological, and ethical values embedded in texts, textual practices, and teaching
  • Standardization, testing, and accountability
  • Students’ literacy development
  • Teacher effectiveness
  • Teaching and interpretation of literature
  • Writing and reading in P-12 and postsecondary school settings
  • Writing and reading in community and other settings

welcomes studies bridging institutional, school, and community settings and those that explore the learning and teaching of language and literacy in diverse settings beyond classrooms  such as prisons, shelters, and workplaces. We invite manuscripts exploring the internal diversity of the United States, conceptualized in terms of such variables as heritage language(s), race, class/SES, culture, gender, sexual orientation, religious faith, and nationality. We also invite research from countries and cultures around the world where the teaching and learning of English(es) happens alongside, oftentimes in tension with, the teaching and learning of other languages.

The new editorial team, led by coeditors Ellen Cushman and Mary Juzwik at Michigan State University, will publish their first issue in August 2013.

General Submission Guidelines

All submissions to RTE should conform to the requirements of the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA Manual). While following APA citation guidelines, we nevertheless welcome narrative and other genres of research reporting, as appropriate to inquiry traditions within which authors are working.

Submissions to RTE should fall into one of two categories: (1) full-length articles or (2) Forum pieces. Choose the appropriate category (Article or Forum) from the drop-down menu during the submission process (see below).

Full-length articles typically present empirical research (broadly defined) and analyze or interpret data the author has generated using sound research methodologies.

RTE also publishes various sorts of essays in the Forum, including but not limited to:

  • Commentaries about current trends in the research of teaching and learning of English(es)
  • Innovations in research methodologies
  • Considerations of connections between research and practice or policy
  • Critical reviews of emerging areas of research and scholarship
  • Brief reports on larger empirical studies
  • Responses to articles published in RTE

We prefer that all submissions be written in a way accessible to diverse readers, including those who are not experts on the topic of the paper. Research based on highly focused contexts or questions should be framed to appeal broadly to a wide variety of audiences. Work in RTE tends to reach audiences across several research communities or topical areas.

Because RTE reports substantive findings and models research in the field, articles submitted for publication must meet high research standards. We recommend authors of full-length articles consult the following paper by former RTE editor Peter Smagorinsky:

Smagorinsky, P. (2008). The method section as conceptual epicenter in constructing social science research reports. Written Communication, 25(3), 389-411.

Submission Instructions

Please submit a manuscript through the Editorial Manager system. First-time users will be asked to register. If a paper has more than a single author, the person submitting the manuscript needs to identify as corresponding author and to add other authors.  

All citations should be in APA style; however, do not include DOIs in the reference list (as specified by the APA Manual). Articles should be no more than 10,000 words (including references, notes, and tables), and contributions to the Forum should be no more than 3,000 words (including references, notes, and tables). Please include word counts at the end of your submitted manuscripts, and format submissions in 12 pt font.

To facilitate the double-blind review process, please do not refer to your research within the text in first person (e.g., "In my research," "elsewhere I have," "in previous studies," "we have reported," etc.). Submissions should be free from internal references to the author’s identity.

Again, to ensure that your manuscript is not delayed due to formatting issues, please check that it:

  • is completely blinded such that your name does not appear anywhere in the manuscript, even on a title page
  • is double-spaced
  • includes word count on manuscript 
  • follows length guidelines (full length articles: no more than 10,000 words; Forum piece: no more than 3,000 words)
  • follows APA citation guidelines

If you have questions about the submission process, please contact the assistant editors, April Baker-Bell and Amanda Smith, at

The Review Process

Both established and early-career researchers will review manuscripts sent out for review.  When evaluating manuscripts for publication in RTE, reviewers consider the following categories and questions:

  • Significance to the Field. Does the manuscript identify a problem and is it a significant one for the field of English education and literacy research? Is the problem identified, or the approach to the problem that is taken, original? Do the findings or conclusions deliver new insights in relation to that problem?
  • Methodological Soundness. Does the manuscript clearly describe and employ a methodology consistent with the theoretical orientation that informs the investigation and the goals of the paper?
  • Analysis & Interpretation.  Are the claims insightful and clearly grounded in the analysis of the evidence?
  • Quality of Scholarship. To what extent does the article demonstrate strong scholarly grounding? How well is the theory that grounds the article extended or reconceived as a consequence of the analysis?
  • Quality of Writing. To what extent is the writing clear, fluent, and engaging?

To respect reviewers’ time, RTE restricts submissions to one per author at any given time. We will return multiple, simultaneous submissions without review.

Agreements and Permissions

Manuscripts submitted to RTE should not have been previously published nor should they include previously published material. Manuscripts should not be under consideration for publication elsewhere. All reported data that involve human participants should be collected and analyzed under appropriate ethical standards.

Authors must secure permission to reprint tables or figures used in or adapted from another source. Written permission from the copyright holder is required before RTE can publish the material.

RTE editors reserve the right to make editorial changes in any manuscript accepted for publication to enhance clarity, conciseness, or style. Authors of accepted manuscripts will generally have five to ten days to respond to copy edits and page proofs. The editors’ decisions are final.

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