You can learn a lot from comparing the criteria for assessment of postgraduate or doctoral research student work with those for academic publication. Much of the academic literature that you read will have been judged by reviewers as being worthy of publication. The academic literature offers you models of good practice in meeting some of the criteria that are also used in assessing student work. There is considerable overlap between the criteria for assessing both kinds of writing.
If you are interested in presenting or publishing your work, awareness of this overlap can help you to build on your present writing for assessment as a student. You can also identify the additional criteria for academic presentation and publication and try to ensure that you meet them.
Here is a list of academic journal criteria for assessing whether submitted papers should be accepted for publication. Note down in the middle column how relevant you think each criterion for publication is to your writing for assessment as a postgraduate or research student. In the right hand column give your reasons for your judgement about the degree of relevance for each criterion.
You are likely to have noticed that most of these criteria are quite or very relevant to writing for assessment as a postgraduate or doctoral research student. This finding is only to be expected, since student work is an induction into learning how to follow the logic of enquiry.
But some of the academic journal criteria connected with the projected audience may be less relevant to you if you are a student because you are writing primarily for your tutors, supervisor or examiners. Writing for an academic journal means writing for a much wider, international projected audience. So if you are interested in writing for academic presentation or publication you must develop a strong sense of the largely anonymous gatekeepers whom you must impress if your work is to be accepted for publication:
· develop a clear image of this wider audience (e.g. academics working in the field across the world)
· identify their interests and expectations (e.g. in general theoretical ideas or empirical findings that are not specific to a particular context);
· try to meet their interests and expectations (e.g. by pointing to the international policy implications of your work).
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