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How to Write a Cover Letter for an Academic Journal Submission

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You can submit your written work to academic journals for possible publication. According to the Johns Hopkins University Press, a cover letter is essential when submitting to an academic journal. This letter should establish your credibility and state that the work is ready to be published. Read the journal's specific guidelines before submitting your cover letter (there may be additional requirements).

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Type out your contact information: This should include your name, address, phone number and email address and should appear on the upper left-hand side of the page. Add a line space and type the contact information for the academic journal directly below this information, including the person to whom the paper or manuscript is being directed (check the journal's submission guidelines to ensure that the appropriate person is being addressed).

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Skip one space after the contact information and write "Dear," followed by the name of the person being contacted. Skip another line and start your first paragraph.

Write the first paragraph, which should include the title of the work being submitted, the word count and your name if you wrote the text of the work. The work should be ready for publication, and the cover letter should state this. Describe concisely why the work would be a good fit for this particular academic journal. This description should be no longer than one paragraph.

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Write a second paragraph about why you have authority and knowledge on the topic. Discuss education, as well as relevant jobs, internships, studies or fellowship experience. State any memberships or awards received. This section should be no longer than one paragraph.

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Name any individuals who have read the paper or manuscript and endorse it or promote its possible publication. Provide details about the people who have read it beforehand, including their areas of expertise or relevant industry information. This should be your third and final paragraph.

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State your thanks and provide your contact information once again.


Each academic journal has its own submission guidelines. These guidelines could range from what to include in the cover letter to stating that the journal accepts only email submissions. Read these carefully before submitting your cover letter and manuscript.

About the Author

Lisa Basile has been writing for magazines and newspapers since 2003. She has a Master of Fine Arts in writing and has contributed to local news and national magazines such as "Billboard," "Maxim" and "Cosmo!Girl." Basile also edits an online magazine and writes daily content for Alloy Media.

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