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EDUC.7130: Research Writing in Social Sciences

Cover Letters

Example of a poor cover letter, (from Springer):

Dear Editor-in-Chief,
I am sending you our manuscript entitled “Large Scale Analysis of Cell Cycle Regulators in bladder cancer” by Researcher et al. We would like to have the manuscript considered for publication in Pathobiology.
Please let me know of your decision at your earliest convenience.
With my best regards,
Sincerely yours,
A Researcher, PhD



❖ Check to see whether the journal’s Instructions for Authors have any cover letter requirements (e.g. disclosures, statements, potential reviewers). Then, write a letter that explains why the editor would want to publish your manuscript. The following structure covers all the necessary points that need to be included.

❖ If known, address the editor who will be assessing your manuscript by their name. Include the date of submission and the journal you are submitting to.
❖ First paragraph: include the title of your manuscript and the type of manuscript it is (e.g. review, research, case study). Then briefly explain the background to your study, the question you sought out to answer and why.
❖ Second paragraph: you should concisely explain what was done, the main findings and why they are significant.
❖ Third paragraph: here you should indicate why the readers of the journal would be interested in the work.
Take your cues from the journal’s aims and scope. For example if the journal requires that all work published has broad implications explain how your study fulfills this. It is also a good idea to include a sentence on the importance of the results to the field.
To conclude, state the corresponding author and any journal specific requirements that need to be complied with (e.g. ethical standards).

TIP: All cover letters should contain these sentences:

  • We confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal.
  • All authors have approved the manuscript and agree with its submission to [insert the name of the target journal].


Submission Checklist

Before submitting your manuscript, thoroughly check its quality one more time. Evaluate it critically—could anything be done better?

Be sure that:

❖ The manuscript follows the Instructions for Authors
❖ All files are in the correct file format and of the appropriate resolution or size
❖ The spelling and grammar are correct
❖ You have contact information for all authors
❖ You have written a persuasive cover letter


Make sure all files in your article are in the prescribed format.

Submission Guideline Sample

Submission Guidelines from Duke University Press, (The Philosophical Review)



Submission Guidelines

Authors submitting manuscripts should go to our web-based submissions system at and create an account and upload the paper there. There is a text box for comments or questions.

For more information about the submission process, please see our editorial policies for authors.

Manuscripts must not have been published previously, in part or in whole, or be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Neither the author's name nor the author's affiliation should be included in the manuscript, and any acknowledgments or references to the author's own work should not reveal the author's identity. Any prefatory or explanatory remarks intended for the editors or readers should be brief and should be in the e-mail and not part of the submitted manuscript, so that they may be kept anonymous by the editorial office.

The Philosophical Review practices a system of triple-blind review. The identity of a manuscript’s author is never revealed to referees, nor is the identity of referees ever revealed to authors, and the author’s identity is not revealed to editors until after they have reached a final (accept/reject) decision on the manuscript.

Double-space all text, including extracts and notes; all pages must be numbered and have margins of at least one inch on all sides. Please use a 12-point font size. We accept papers in PDF format only. We do not accept papers in Word, RTF, or LaTeX.  Please be sure to include an approximately 150-word abstract at the top of your paper. There is no set maximum for paper length; however, authors are generally discouraged from submitting papers that exceed sixty double-spaced pages. Manuscripts chosen for publication must eventually conform to The Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition, but for the initial review any clear and consistent citation style is acceptable.

Book reviews: Unsolicited book reviews are not accepted. Publishers and authors may send books to be considered for review to Book Review Editor, Philosophical Review, Cornell University, 217 Goldwin Smith Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-4601. The Philosophical Review generally does not respond to publisher or author inquiries about books for possible review, nor do we generally solicit specific books for review.

Sample Submission Guidelines, Journal of Family Theory & Review

Author Guidelines

The Journal of Family Theory & Review publishes original work consistent with our mission.

GENERAL: Manuscripts must be submitted online. For detailed instructions on uploading your manuscript, please visit the Journal of Family Theory & Review online submission site and log on. If you need assistance select Get Help . Once logged on select Author Center, and then select Submit a new manuscript. If you do not have a user ID, click the Create an account icon and follow the online instructions. Any major word processing software may be used for the preparation of manuscripts, and both DOS-based and Macintosh operating systems are acceptable. The author checklist must be completed during the submission process.

Please note that all submissions are prescreened for suitability. Papers that fail to comply with manuscript preparation guidelines may be rejected without peer review at the discretion of the Editor, particularly in cases where the paper does not comply with APA style guidelines, or clearly falls outside the scope of the journal.

Submission Guidelines

The Journal of Family Theory & Review is a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Council on Family Relations.

  • Submit manuscripts on line at The site contains links to instructions for manuscript preparation (Instructions and Forms) as well as on line user's guide (Get Help Now) for help navigating the site.
  • Submit only previously unpublished work.
  • The Journal of Family Theory & Review has a policy of anonymous or masked review. Manuscripts should not include authors' names, institutional affiliation, or contact information on the title page.
  • Authors should make every effort to see that the manuscript itself contains no clues to the author's identity.
  • A manuscript submission fee is required ($25 for NCFR members, $35 for nonmembers). Authors are prompted for payment information at
  • Prior to publication in JFTR, corresponding authors will receive an email from Wiley’s Author Services system which will ask them to log in and complete a copyright agreement.
  • Comments on articles published in JFTR are evaluated in the same way as other manuscripts. If the comment is accepted for publication, the author(s) of the original article will be invited to reply

Please note that the web link is to a commercial journal submission service, ScholarOne Manuscripts. There is a fee for this service. See their Author User Guide.