Reference Guides to Rhetoric and Composition: Submission Guidelines


Series Editors: Charles Bazerman, University of California Santa Barbara; Mary Jo Reiff, University of Kansas; and Anis Bawarshi, University of Washington

Submissions to the Reference Guides to Rhetoric and Composition series should follow the guidelines provided below. If a submission is judged by the editor to be consistent with the goals of the series and possesses strong scholarly merit, it will undergo a rigorous peer review by scholars drawn from our Publications Review Board or Editorial Board. Reviews are typically completed in one or two months.

The Clearinghouse and its partner in the series, Parlor Press, will not consider work submitted simultaneously for consideration by another publisher.

Each volume of the Reference Guides to Rhetoric and Composition series will provide an introduction and overview of a major area of composition studies along with the means for the reader to pursue an in-depth exploration of the research, theory, writing practices, and pedagogical practices associated with that area. The volume will also provide practical advice about improving individual, teaching, and institutional practice in line with the collective knowledge in the field. Readers of the volume might typically include experienced teachers who want to look more deeply into some area of writing practice, mid-level graduate students who wish to begin serious investigation of an area, researchers who want to develop a more comprehensive view of the area of their work, who want to enter into a new area, or want to understand an area outside of their specialization. The goal is not to produce specific arguments about or advocate for a topic, but rather to synthesize and make available the sum and parts of what has been learned on that topic.

Each volume will provide introductory explanations of the chief issues and concepts of the field; historical overviews of the literatures associated with the field (detailed, though not necessarily absolutely complete); a discussion of current approaches, perspectives, and lines of development; advice for application in relation to individual, group, class, and institutional practice; and annotated bibliographies to direct future reading. The following organization is strongly suggested, but alternatives that achieve similar effects can be negotiated with the series editor.

I. Introduction and Overview": Why this subject is of interest and importance, what the goals and achievements of work in this area are, what issues the work in this area directs us towards, etc. If needed or useful, this could include or be followed by a section on Distinctions and Definitions of key concepts or elements in order to orient the reader to the topic.
II. Historical Review of the Literature: What findings, theories, methods, programs, practices have emerged; what are the important figures and publications that have presented these various developments; what is the relationship among the different kinds of developments—that is, how have theory, research, practice and programs informed each other. This should be fairly detailed, and included in the bibliography should be all works that can be considered of consequence.
III. Current Views: What are the range of current positions, arguments, lines of research, etc.; also, what are the possible openings for new research, programs, applications; what are the open questions, issues, unanswered practical needs. This section might encompass several chapters.
IV. Practical Guidelines: What is best practice based on research and theory; what are the practical or pedagogical implications; what programs implement current wisdom.
V. Glossary
VI. For Further Reading: A short bibliographic essay or annotated bibliography directed towards people who want to pursue the field further. This may duplicate some material in sections II and III but should in no way be as comprehensive. It should include the most important and generative works in the area. This may act as a kind of summary of the field.

Each volume is projected to be from 75,000 to 120,000 words (around 250-400 double-spaced manuscript pages).

Areas of Focus

We are seeking proposals for Reference Guides on the following or similar topics:

Contact Zones
Contrastive Rhetoric and ESL Writers 
Craft of Writing  
Critical Pedagogies
Critical Theory and Writing
Cultural Studies and Composition
Digital Rhetorics and Multimedia
Discourse Communities  
Ethnographic Research  
Emergent Writing and Development of Ability to Write 
Gender and Writing
Global Englishes 
Grammar and the Teaching of Writing 
Information Literacy
Journals and Writers' Notebooks
Knowledge Transfer and Composition
Language Policy and Composition
Multiculturalism and writing 
New Media and Technologies in Writing Classrooms
Portfolio Pedagogy and Assessment  
Professional and Workplace Writing
Public Writing (or civic rhetoric)
Second Language Writing
Social Class and Composition
Speaking and Writing  
Teacher Research in Writing 
Technical Writing
Visual Rhetorics and Design    
Writing about Literature
Writing in Primary and Secondary Schools
Writing Program Administration

Format for Submissions

To ensure timely consideration of your proposed work, please provide the information outlined below:

Please include with your proposal a copy of your current vita or resumé, as well as those for any co-authors or editors. If relevant, enclose a copy of the table of contents of the proposed work, preferably annotated. You may include a sample chapter from the manuscript, if available, or the full manuscript, if it is available.

Where and How to Submit

You may submit your prospectus and supporting material electronically by email directly to the series editors. Files may be sent as PDF documents or word processing documents (Word, RTF, Open Document Format, etc.). Please combine all materials into one file where possible. You may compress the file using WinZip or a similar program. If materials are too large to be submitted as email attachments, you may use other means, such as DropBox.

Preparing Your Manuscript

To view our manuscript preparation guidelines, please see our Guide for Authors and Editors.

A Note on Open-Access Publishing

The Reference Guides to Rhetoric and Composition series offers books in free digital editions and low-cost print editions. Books are offered through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 United States License. Copyright is held by the author(s) or editor(s) of the books. The publishers cover the costs of reviewing, designing, producing, and distributing the books. Any proceeds from sales of print books in the series are used to support the publication of subsequent books. Our goal as publishers is to make work available to the widest possible audience while maintaining the highest standards in scholarly publishing. We welcome contributions to the series and to the larger goal of supporting open-access scholarly publishing. If you have questions about the goals of the larger WAC Clearinghouse project, please contact Mike Palmquist at or 970 491-3132.