Reviewer Guidelines & Policies

For our reviewers: Please read these guidelines BEFORE you complete your review.

Thank you for agreeing to review a manuscript for the Journal of Response to Writing. We acknowledge the time, labor, and engagement this task entails, and we are grateful and appreciative of your involvement.

JRW endorses the views in Anti-Racist Scholarly Reviewing Practices and strongly encourages that you peruse this document, paying particular attention to section 5, which has helpful information and a heuristic guide specific to scholarly review. We also recommend checking out the MMU Scholar Bibliography (Itchuaqiyaq, 2021), which curates and amplifies recent work by multiply marginalized and underrepresented (MMU) scholars.

Our Ethos: Expectations for Reviewers

We believe that response to writing is an integral and necessary step in a successful writing process, no matter the rhetorical situation. Feedback benefits the writer when provided both at the point of need (in-text), but also via a reflective, comprehensive response (in an end comment). Response should be focused on the text, with the goal of helping the author(s) improve that text. At this stage of the manuscript, we expect comments to be focused more on higher-order concerns, such as research quality, argument, and evidence, and not on lower-order concerns like grammar and style.

Importantly, we believe feedback is meant to be constructive and worthwhile, and it should not demoralize or discourage. In addition, we acknowledge the positionality of the reviewer, as this informs their response. As such, reviewers for the Journal of Response to Writing should provide a response that is professional, thoughtful, detailed, and encouraging; it should be contextualized within relevant and inclusive scholarship, and situated within the reviewer’s positionality and lived experiences.

Composing Your Review

When you log back into our site to submit your review, you will complete three major tasks:

  1. Letter to editors: Drafting a short response to JRW editors
  2. Feedback: Composing an anonymous response to the author(s)
  3. Decision: Suggesting a next step for the manuscript

Letter to the Editors. You will be prompted to write (or copy/paste from another document) a brief note to the JRW editors. This response will NOT be shared with the manuscript author(s). Please provide a brief overview of your review, including a concise justification for your recommendation. You can also use this letter to ask any questions or say anything you did not feel would be appropriate to say to the authors.

Feedback. Commensurate with the ethos of our journal, JRW requests that reviewers compose a detailed written response to the author(s). Often this task is completed by writing the author(s) a letter or providing them with a bullet-pointed list or table of feedback and suggestions. We recommend a written response to the authors of at least 500-600 words. Be sure to ANONYMIZE all documents!

Optional: Tracked Changes on the Manuscript. If you wish, please also include any tracked feedback/changes on the manuscript. This step is not required but is always appreciated by the author(s). If you choose to upload a commented-on document, please ensure that you have anonymized both the individual comment boxes and the metadata in the document.

Decision. Ultimately, you will register a decision for your review. On the JRW site, you will choose from the following options:

  • Accept this article with minor (or no) revisions as described in my report.
  • Encourage major revisions as described in my report.
  • Reject this article without an option to resubmit.

Again, thank you for your contribution; your labor is essential to the energy and agility of the Journal of Response to Writing. Our authors benefit from your thoughtful, encouraging feedback and suggestions. We value this relationship and feel fortunate you have agreed to be part of this scholarly community.