Academic Writing

This sample of my academic writing was published in the journal American Music. It’s a modified version of a chapter from my doctoral dissertation, and is the result of a thorough peer-review editing process.

If you’re not familiar with this process, it’s pretty cool, and usually results in a vastly improved piece of work that gets published. Peer-reviewed journal publications are the gold standard in scholarly writing. The process goes like this:

  1. The author or authors submit a piece to a specific journal or journals (in my case here, the journal’s editor knew of my work and asked me to submit a specific chapter of my dissertation).
  2. The journal’s editor replies (sometimes it takes months to get a response), indicating whether the journal wants the piece, or not.
  3. If they want it, they ask the author to list several experts in their field who might be good reviewers of the work (for this publication, I supplied the journal with five scholars in my field whose work I admired).
  4. After several months, I received a reply from the editor with extensive comments from three anonymous reviewers, and I was instructed to edit my work based on their suggestions and criticisms. The time-frame for revision varies by publication, but in my case they asked me to respond with a revised essay within two weeks. I was also asked to provide the journal editor with a summary of my revisions, and any issues with specific comments from the anonymous reviewers.
  5. After working hard on the revisions, I submitted the essay and summary letter to the editor. A couple of weeks later, after he and his editorial board reviewed my revised essay, they informed me they would publish it as is. Sometimes an author is asked to submit to a second round of comments/revisions, or the journal could decide to reject the work.
  6. Once the “final” piece is typeset and ready to publish, some journals will provide the author a proof for a quick copy review to make sure that nothing obvious was missed. In my case, I caught a few typos and noted them.
  7. About 9-12 months after initially submitting my work, I received a few copies of the published journal in the mail. The rigorous, lengthy process produced a piece of work that involved lots of minds and a few hearts and which was much, much better than the original. You can view/download the entire essay at the link below.