Author's Toolkit

Before you submit your paper, make sure you can answer yes to each of these questions:

  1. Have you looked at our annotated example?

    Not sure how to format your project? We took a previous publication that exemplifies the writing and formatting that we’re looking for and added notes to areas of interest.

  2. If your paper was written for a course assignment, have you adapted it for the journal?

    1. Have you changed the target audience from your instructor to a broad audience of scholars?

      • In your introduction have you explained why the question you are investigating is important or interesting?

      • Throughout your paper, have you explained theoretical ideas in a way that can be understood by an audience that is not familiar with the theories?

      • In your conclusion have you summarized what your work has contributed to scholars?
    2. Have you explained technical terms that a general audience might not know?

    3. Have you removed references to previous assignments or course discussions with which a general audience would not be familiar?

  3. Does your paper further a scholarly conversation?

    1. Are you framing your paper around a question or questions you are trying to answer?

    2. Have you summarized relevant work from previous authors who have asked similar questions?

    3. Have you explained how your paper will fill a gap in knowledge or provide a new perspective or insights?

  4. Have you accurately used Chicago Style?

    Chicago is significantly different from other writing formats. There are a number of very helpful quick reference websites available, notably:

    If you’re unsure how to format something in your writing project, there’s an excellent chance that it’s covered in one of these manuals. If you have consulted these sources and still need help, do not hesitate to Ask A Librarian.

  5. Are you prepared to go through the peer-review process and potentially revise your paper?

    1. Are you aware that the research process can include multiple stages of review, including review by peers and editors?

    2. Are you aware that the process may take many months to complete and that there is no guarantee that your paper will be accepted for publication even after it has been revised?

    3. Are you willing to accept constructive criticism in order to improve your research and writing?

  6. Have you read and adhered to the journal’s policies?

    1. Did you receive permission to reproduce any copyrighted material in your paper?

    2. Are you aware that authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal?

    3. Is the first author an undergraduate or a recent graduate (within 6 months) of an undergraduate program?

    4. Are all of the other authors undergraduates? If the answer is no and you feel that we should make an exception, please e-mail us at crossingborders@ksu.edu with an explanation.

    5. Is your paper less than 26 pages in length?

  7. Do you use headings (e.g., Introduction, Conclusion) in your paper to help the reader?

    1. Have you chosen how many levels of headings you wish to have in your paper? At minimum you need one level, but it is often useful to have two or three levels.

    2. Have you formatted the headings properly? For guidance see the headings section of https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/02/.

  8. Have you spell checked your paper?

    This may feel infantile, but it’s surprising how many mistakes you’ll find by simply reading through your paper. Automated spell checking functions are convenient, but they don’t catch everything and sometimes things that look wright to the computer need some more attention.

  9. Have you considered visiting the writing center?

    Hit a wall in your writing? K-State’s Department of English administers a writing center for students to provide one-on-one feedback and constructive criticism at any stage of the writing process. Sit down with a trained writing tutor to get help with grammar, focus, argumentation, organization, and a whole lot more. See their website for more information and to schedule a session: https://www.k-state.edu/english/writingcenter/.