Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Got snow? Got revision?

My friend and colleague Jane Wellman-Little at the university said Bailey looks like he has goth make-up on in this picture. Truth is, he just finished playing sno-frisbee with the two boys. He won. Hands down. He had them diving into snow banks and running here and there. Large and in charge on this Sunday in January.

For his writer, I started an article for an educational journal last summer and submitted it. The inevitable critique landed on my computer screen just before the holidays... Merry Revision, Mr. Kent.

It's interesting to read the critiques by reviewers. Usually, the writer receives 3 different sets of comments from 3 different readers. They don't know the writer and the writer doesn't get to know the readers... it's called "blind review" for a peer reviewed journal. Here are a few sentences from each review:

Reviewer 1: This is a very interesting manuscript. While is does not fully comply with traditional journal writing practice and APA style, it is thoughtful and generally well documented.

Reviewer 2: The article you submitted is very difficult to follow and the organization of its contents need improvement. You seem to be sharing the results of a study you completed; however, your writing fails to provide a review of the literature, your methodology, etc. It is suggested that you review the APA Manual (6th edition) to determine the type of article you are presenting (see pp. 9-11).

Reviewer 3: This is an interesting article—the author provides an engaging narrative on Athletes’ Journals. However, the article in some sections lacks clarity and tends to drift away from the central focus on the key participant (Charlie). The narrative style is unique and is refreshing, but would be better served by a more clear and concise outline that provides a bit more context on Charlie followed by a discussion of the various elements contributing to this writing outlet.


After a conversation with the journal's editor, I revised the piece over the next ten days. It's interesting, every writer goes through the same process and each time this request for revision happens we're all just a bit surprised it's happening yet again. You'd think we'd get it right the first time... but that's just not how writing works.

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