Writing a Journal Article

Note: This course is intended for English PhD and PhDU students. English MA and (especially) MACRW students as well as PhD/PhDU students in other departments may be considered for admission on an individual basis. If you wish to take the course and fall into one of these latter categories, contact the professor at cannon.schmitt@utoronto.ca.


Thursday, 2 pm - 4 pm


C. Schmitt

Course Description

Writing publishable work: without doubt the single most important ability for success in the academy but rarely explicitly taught in graduate school. This course teaches it. Students will choose the best paper (or the paper they judge to have the most potential) from their first-term coursework. Via workshopping and in response to feedback from their peers and the instructor, they will take that paper through a series of expansions and revisions to produce, by term's end, a polished article ready for submission to a scholarly journal of the student's choice. Along the way students will locate fitting venues for their work; identify and emulate successful aspects of recently published articles they consider the best in their field; evaluate academic writing for its style as well as its argument (recognizing that, in the humanities at least, the two are inseparable); and develop habits that enable them regularly to write and revise. Above all, they will come to think of themselves as writers: people for whom writing is not a sporadic activity driven by deadlines but a quotidian part of who they are and what they do.

Course Reading List

Our main guide throughout the term will be Eric Hayot's Elements of Academic Style, which we'll read cover to cover. We'll also scrutinize examples of powerful academic wrifting (including those "recently published articles they consider the best in their field" referred to above). And of course students will read and reread their own and each other's writing, the real centrepiece of the course.

Course Methods of Evaluation and Course Requirements

  • A series of assignments including participation (10%)
  • A writing accountability log (10%)
  • A journals research assignment (20%)
  • Written comments on classmates' drafts (10%)
  • A final, polished article including abstract (50%)

Term: S-TERM (January 2023 to April 2023)
Date/Time: Thursday / 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)
Delivery: In-Person