Developing the Professional: Unpacking Graduate Student Resources

Written by Teresa Blumenthal, Associate Editor for Spanish and Portuguese Review.

Quick Facts

Resource Type: Book/Workbook
Title: Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A guide to Academic Publishing Success
Author: Dr. Wendy Laura Belcher
Year of Publication: 2019 (2nd edition)

Book Synopsis and Layout

Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A guide to Academic Publishing Success is an interactive guide to publishing academic work, specifically aimed at guiding the reader through the academic writing process, while including important topics such as writing techniques and equitable citation practices. Readers are invited to self-assess their progress, time availability and commitments, and make realistic plans to get work done. 

Dr. Belcher organized the book to guide the reader through the publication process. She begins the book with an introduction, followed by twelve chapters, one for each week of work, concluding with chapter “X” centered around advice regarding revising and resubmitting an article for publication. Each chapter contains information pertaining to the week. For example, in Week 2: Advancing Your Argument, Belcher discusses the reasons articles without an argument are not accepted for publication along with methods to better understand factors comprising an argument. Within the chapter is space for the reader to analyze the argument in their project along with tools to formulate and strengthen an argument. Each chapter concludes with tasks for the week and space to articulate goals and plan writing time. 

Spanish and Portuguese Review Relevance

This book is an excellent resource when seeking to publish at any stage, ranging from projects in the idea-phase or those near completion. A strength of this resource is that readers can follow the 12-week/chapter guide to submission, or consult one chapter to improve their work. For example, I return to chapter three often when creating abstracts. Readers following this guide can expect a strong product, whether improving a section of their project or writing an entire manuscript. Graduate students may be interested in contributing to Spanish and Portuguese Review (SPR), but are unsure where to begin: I recommend reading Chapter four to find the right journal for publication! 

Important to mention is that Dr. Belcher is an academic in the humanities, and includes a multitude of humanities-focused examples in this resource. Graduate students in Spanish and Portuguese seeking to publish about literature, culture, or linguistics will find this book to be an accessible and relatable handbook. Additionally, this guide also confronts issues such as writing in a non-native language. A free micro-editing tool specifically for writing in English is included. Even if English is the reader’s native language, the micro-editing tool exposes patterns with guidance on how to produce strong academic writing.

Personal Highlights

This book is a must-have for graduate students. I appreciate Belcher’s honesty regarding the time commitment necessary to produce a publication while simultaneously demystifying the publication process. This guide was recommended to me by a mentor when I mentioned that I had a project that I believed was of value, but knew needed development before attempting publication. I decided to work through the twelve weeks and it transformed my approach to research and improved my writing. I now use this book as a reference for all of my academic endeavors. 

If you have used this resource, let us know in the comments below. If you choose to give this resource a try, report back on this post! We’d love to know which chapter has been most helpful to you and how your relationship with the publication process has changed! 

Stay tuned next month for another resource for graduate students! 

MLA Reference

Belcher, Wendy Laura. Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. 2nd ed., Chicago UP, 2019.

APA Reference

Belcher, W. (2019). Writing your journal article in twelve weeks: A guide to academic publishing success (2nd ed.). University of Chicago Press.

Teresa Blumenthal is a PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include Heritage Spanish, language attitudes, educational motivation, Spanish in the U.S., and language acquisition. She is particularly interested in Spanish spoken in Texas, and the language attitudes related to Spanish in Texas.

Developing the Professional: Unpacking Graduate Student Resources, a blog series written by Teresa Blumenthal

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