Author's Guide

The Academic Exchange is a journal of Emory faculty work and thought, a published forum for ongoing intellectual discourse among colleagues. The majority of writing is opinion and commentary contributed by faculty authors.


The primary readership of the Academic Exchange is the faculty of Emory University, a circulation of roughly 3,200. This audience varies widely across a range of fields and disciplines. Articles and essays, therefore, should be accessible to educated non- specialists. For sample articles that successfully address this concern, see

The Academic Exchange from start to finish

Articles and essays come to the Academic Exchange in a variety of ways: occasionally faculty members will submit a full draft; faculty members may contact the editors to pitch an idea for a piece; and often the editors invite a faculty member to develop an essay on a particular topic.

Each article or essay travels through the editorial and production process on a firm schedule. Proposed essays are assigned a deadline for a completed draft. After the piece is edited, it is then returned to the author for further consultation and/or clarification. Sometimes revisions are required.

Nothing appears in print without the author’s review and approval. The author should mark any desired changes and answer any highlighted questions marked on the reviewed copy. When the author returns the essay to the editor, the two can discuss and resolve questions or revisions as needed. Authors should read the piece with attention to detail at this point to avoid revision at layout. No substantial changes to copy will be made during layout. Text must be final at that stage.

Usually, a period of four weeks lapses between the last review of copy and publication. Authors receive advance copies as soon as the printed piece is available.


Each author has his or her own style. The editors strive to preserve this style while at the same time trying to make the ideas clear to readers. Clarity stems from logical organization, simple syntax, good grammar, and correct punctuation. The tone and organization of the articles and essays in the Academic Exchange range from the formal to the somewhat casual, but they are all accessible and concise. The editors stress relatively simple sentence structure and focused argument. Authors should try to avoid jargon, but if they feel it is necessary to introduce discipline-specific terms, they should define the terms briefly for a general audience.

The guide that the editorial staff uses for most style decisions—such as punctuation and capitalization—is the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition. On matters of spelling and hyphenation, the staff consults the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. For issues of organization, grammar, syntax, and so forth, other useful style guides are The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, On Writing Well, by William Zinsser, and Line by Line: How to Improve your Own Writing, by Claire Kerhwald Cook. The editors try to stay abreast of changes and trends concerning correct usage, grammar, punctuation, and so on.

The Academic Exchange does not employ footnotes or endnotes. Please incorporate references to other sources into your text. If necessary, you may add a “Further Reading” list as a sidebar.


Academic Exchange readers say they value articles and essays that are easily read in one or two sittings. You and the editor should come to an agreement on the length of your piece. Articles and essays range between 800 and 1500 words, but the average length is roughly 1000 to 1300 words. If the author wishes to include any charts and tables, the length of the text should be adjusted to accommodate the graphics.

The editors reserve the right to work with an author to revise a piece for length, focus, clarity, concision, and style. If an author wishes to introduce additional material, it usually can be accommodated on the Academic Exchange web site.

Allison O. Adams