In an effort to make our review processes transparent, we want to share our goals and guiding review questions publicly, below. Please reach out if you have questions.
Our goal in reviewing posts is to honor the labor of writers, working with them to reach their vision. We respect the writer’s expertise in their area, recognizing that writers develop expertise through both experience and scholarship, and that scholarship has a range of meanings. In light of this, we rely on the following questions to guide our review of pieces submitted to and published on FEN Blog.
- Is the subject or purpose of the piece relevant to the diverse readership of FEN Blog and Composition Studies? FEN Blog readers may come from institutions as wide-ranging as R1 institutions to community colleges or high schools and may hold positions from graduate student to administration.
- Does the scope of the writer’s piece encompass a clear, manageable idea? Is the scope appropriately-sized for a blog post? Does the piece focus on and develop its idea(s), rather than taking detours to subjects outside of its scope?
- Is the development of the piece accessible to different levels of experience and expertise among the field? In general, a person with a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field should be able to read and benefit from the post.
- Does its argument account for differences within populations or subjects (e.g. if teaching is addressed, does the suggested pedagogy work for students from varied linguistic backgrounds, racial groups, geographic groups, etc? )
- How do the form and language choices work with the blog context? Does the piece use a vernacular suited to the writer, purpose, subject, and/or blog context, rather than (excessive) academic jargon?
- Does it integrate multimodal affordances (e.g. hyperlinks, embedded audio/video, images, etc.) to amplify and communicate the purpose of the piece? Are multimodal elements accessible and ethically sourced?
- Does the post include or address actionability or impact, e.g. what the audience can do with the writer’s ideas? The post should point towards next steps in theory, research, teaching, and/or administration.
- Does the post rely on inclusive citations from a diverse range of authors? Does the post hyperlink to material from the authors if possible and relevant?
As we read, we concentrate on what we describe as “non-overhaul” changes. In other words, we focus on lower-level concerns that help the writer’s vision come through more clearly. Our goal is not to regulate writers’ work but to have a conversation that ensures we arrive at a place that works for all.