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TETYC Advice for Reviewers

Reviewers serve the important function of sharing their expertise and knowledge of the profession of two-year college English teaching, which consequently shapes the journal's scope and focus. Ideally the journal then reflects the needs of readers in both practical and theoretical areas of the field.

When reviewing a manuscript, you will be asked to consider several questions. Think about your own professional and personal values as you review a manuscript for TETYC, as well as how and whether other professionals in the field--your colleagues--will have their needs met as teacher-scholars by the text.

First, reviewers will assess the article's contribution to the field; based on your understanding of the manuscript's topic, including previous published work on the topic, how will the article you are reviewing advance, supplement, or challenge what our current understanding is? This could mean offering a new perspective on a familiar topic or tackling an issue that is of increasing importance to teachers in the field. Ground your response in a demonstrated understanding of current published work and feel free to gesture toward those pieces you know to be foundational, particularly if you are recommending a writer revise and resubmit. Identifying other sources that the writer should demonstrate familiarity with is one way reviewers can provide helpful feedback to authors.

Reviewers are also asked to identify how and whether the manuscript is appropriate to the audience--that is, typically teachers who work in a two-year college setting or who teach in the lower-division curriculum. This can also include non-degree credit/developmental education courses. Reviewers can and should read with a critical eye toward how a manuscript will fit the needs of this audience: providing background where necessary and assuming knowledge where appropriate. Identify places where you see audience needs being fulfilled or where you notice gaps.

A third area reviewers will be asked to comment on is "quality of presentation" in terms of how the piece's presentation contributes to its overall effectiveness. Or put another way, in what ways has the writer made choices in terms of arrangement, background, tone, or other elements that make it an effective piece? If you have ideas about how to make the piece more effective in this regard (does it require scaling back, reorganization, additional scholarly situating, a good editing, etc.), they should be identified in this area of the review.

Like all scholarly journals, TETYC also wants reviewers to comment on the quality of the scholarly context. This is where the journal relies heavily on the expertise of our reviewers--though no one person can keep up-to-date with every new article or book on a topic, we hope that between the author, reviewers, and editors, each piece demonstrates a strong familiarity with what, as a field, we would consider to be the important works on the topic. Good articles will show conversance with these important pieces and be able to articulate how their own piece is in dialogue with the work that has previously been published.

Finally, TETYC is a journal focused on teaching, and so all pieces must be linked in some way to the teaching of college English. Even articles that address issues not directly about the classroom such as writing program administration, literary study, writing centers, or any of the other topics of relevance to college English teachers should be linked carefully with how teaching and learning happens in the English curriculum in postsecondary education. Reviewers should thus be attentive to how effectively the manuscript is able to make these connections clear.

Ultimately, reviewers are asked to make one of four recommendations: accept, accept conditionally, revise and resubmit, or decline to publish.

  • Accept: You may recommend that the manuscript be published with minor revision or edit.
  • Accept Conditionally: This is a strong commitment to publishing the manuscript but indicates that some revision will be required prior to publication, perhaps substantive but with optimism about the outcome.
  • Revise and Resubmit: This recommendation suggests that the manuscript has potential for publication but that the journal reserves judgment pending significant revision.
  • Decline to Publish: Reviewers should make this recommendation when the manuscript does not appear to be a good fit for the journal or when, in the reviewer's judgment, substantial rewriting would be required to align it with the journal's goals.

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