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Author Guidelines

Prompt publishes academic writing assignments for undergraduates or graduate students accompanied by reflective essays.

Please note that we do not publish assignments aimed at pre-college students, including those used in summer bridge or college-bound programs. Detailed guidelines for authors follow below.

There are no author fees for submitting or publishing in Prompt. We are a scholar-published, non-profit journal and are not affiliated with any publishing company.

Detailed Guidelines for Authors

We accept open submissions, which should be emailed to Please disregard the above portal and links for online submissions. Your email should indicate that you are submitting to the journal and offer a very concise description of the submission (1-2 sentences). We also ask that you indicate whether any portion of the submission has been previously published elsewhere, including less formal publication venues, such as blogs or on a personal webpage, or if it is under consideration for publication elsewhere.


Our journal focuses on individual writing assignments. If there are multiple assignments in a course, choose the most innovative to highlight in your submission to our journal. You may offer details about other relevant course assignments in your reflective essay, and you might even offer other course materials as "supplementary materials" that readers of Prompt can review if they wish.  If you want to describe a series of assignments that is linked in such a substantive way that it does not make sense to write about only one assignment apart from the others, we recommend that you query the editors before composing a submission to the journal.

We ask contributors to treat the assignment as an artifact that they use the essay to explain. You may lightly revise the assignment in order to make it more legible to an outside reader, but the assignment should not be substantially rewritten. The kinds of revision you might undertake include:

  • Adding information that was communicated in class and which is fundamental to understanding the assignment
  • Removing departmental or university boilerplate language (e.g. about learning outcomes) that isn’t representative of your own thinking
  • Defining terms that your students would know but that a reader of Prompt may not know

The one change we do ask that you make is replacing specific dates with more general markers of time. So, if an assignment happens during the course of the week, you could use Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. If an assignment takes a month to complete, Week 1, Week 2, etc., will be appropriate.

The assignment can be any length--as short or as long as it was when it was presented to students. The assignment will stand alone and be referenced by the essay through paraphrase and quotation; it should not embedded in the essay in its entirety. (See previous issues for examples of the presentation of the assignment itself.)

Assignments must have been taught to students at least once to be considered. Assignments that have been taught multiple times tend to form the basis for stronger submissions.

Reflective Essay

A writing assignment needs context to be intelligible and useful to our students, and the same is true when we share assignments with colleagues. Each assignment in Prompt is accompanied by a short essay of approximately 2500 words (not counting references, titles and sub-titles, and any figures).

Your essay should consist of both description and reflection, and it should respond to the following guiding questions:

  • What are the key ideas and features that characterize this assignment? Keep in mind that many readers will read the essay before examining the assignment itself. The essay should fully introduce the assignment as though the reader is unfamiliar with it. We recommend that the introduction to your essay include a clear, succinct (2-3 sentence) description of the assignment to help orient the reader.
  • What were the institutional, disciplinary, and specific course contexts for this assignment?
  • How and why did you develop the assignment? Are there precedents, influences, or points of reference you can share?
  • What were your experiences of teaching the assignment? This may include details of how you approached teaching aspects of the assignment inside the classroom, your responses to student work, or other relevant details of the experience of teaching this assignment.
  • What is your sense of students’ experiences of undertaking the work of the assignment? What was noteworthy to you about the approaches they took and the work they did?
  • In implementing the assignment in your teaching, what successful outcomes have you seen? What limits do you think the assignment has?
  • What future plans, if any, do you have for developing this assignment or adapting it to new contexts?
  • How do you imagine that other faculty might build on the work you have done?
  • Optional: Links to any supplementary online material, such as examples of student writing that was made public as a part of this assignment.
Beyond covering these topics, we invite you to invest the writing with your own style and to emphasize the elements that are most appropriate for your submission.

Format and Documentation

Because we accept submissions from scholars in a wide variety of disciplines, we encourage you to write in a format that suits your home discipline(s) and your purpose. We ask that you document your sources using APA style (6th. ed.). We also ask that you follow NCTE’s guidelines for gender-fair use of language.

See further details on format below on our "submission preparation checklist."


Every submission should have a brief abstract. Please formulate an abstract that communicates: (1) The type of assignment, (2) key intellectual or disciplinary contexts for the assignment, and (3) aspects of process or teaching highlighted by your essay.

Sharing student writing

If you share any student writing in your essay, we ask that you secure written permission to do so from the student. If you quote from three or more student works, your institution may require IRB approval, and you should consult with your research protocol office. We do not host sample essays at Prompt, but we will link to work your students have made public elsewhere. Again, it is your responsibility to ensure that student work is only shared with explicit consent from the student.

Plagiarism and Academic Honesty

All ideas, language, data, and visual elements that are not the author's own should be clearly attributed to their sources. If evidence of plagiarism or other scholarly misconduct is brought to the editors' attention, we follow the Commission on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines for resolving the issue(s) in a transparent and ethical manner.


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, Markdown, or LaTeX document file formats. If you submit in LaTeX, please also include a PDF conversion of the document.
  3. The submission is made in a single file, including both the assignment prompt and reflective essay (demarcated from one another by a page break).
  4. All sources are cited following APA style (6th ed.). Where available, DOIs or URLs for the references have been provided. If a reference has a DOI, please use the DOI rather than another URL.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  7. The submission is sent to with an accompanying email that clearly indicates that the above submission requirements have been met.

Copyright Notice

Prompt endorses the open-access publishing model which maximizes access to information. Authors retain copyright of their published work. Reuse of work published in Prompt must include clear attribution to the original text and be for non-commercial purposes, as specified by Creative Commons BY-NC.


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