JoLLE Genres and Review Criteria
The Journal of Language and Literacy Education publishes articles representing a broad array of scholarly writing. We next detail the genres we publish, with definitions, examples, resources, and review criteria.
We have divided our manuscript genres into three general categories. First, we list traditional scholarly genres; we next list multimedia genres; we then list creative scholarly genres. JoLLE is committed to publishing whatever sort of work the field is producing, assuming it meets our standards for quality. We hope that these guidelines are useful to you in preparing your work for review by the JoLLE Editorial Board.
When submitting a manuscript to JoLLE, please include in your cover letter a preference for which genre you are submitting, and which criteria you wish to have applied to your article, so that we can review your manuscript according to the standards most appropriate to your intentions.
Traditional Scholarly Genres
Autoethnography/Narrative Inquiry
Research Report
Research Reviews
Theoretical Analyses/Data-driven Conceptual Articles
Voices from the Field
Video-Based Research
Creative Scholarly Genres
Creative Nonfiction
Autoethnography and narrative inquiry are approaches to research and writing that seek to describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. Autoethnography challenges canonical ways of doing research and representing others and treats research as a political, socially-just and socially-conscious act. A researcher uses tenets of autobiography and ethnography to do and write autoethnography. Thus, as a method, autoethnography is both process and product. (source:
Smagorinsky, P. (2011). Confessions of a mad professor: An autoethnographic consideration of neuroatypicality, extranormativity, and education. Teachers College Record, 113, 1701-1732. Available at
Wall, S. (2006). An autoethnography on learning about autoethnography. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5(2), Available at
Review criteria:
Controversy of Evaluating Autoethnography
Autoethnography manuscripts stand outside the reporting conventions of most scholarly forms of writing. Nonetheless, there need to be some means by which to evaluate a memoir that has broader implications. Some suggest that the following concerns be addressed in reviewing an autoethnographic essay:
Possibilities of meaning: Does the author’s rendering of meaningful experience allow readers to reflect on that experience in ways that promote understanding and an emotional connection?
Absence of self-indulgence and narcissism: To what extent does the author’s account avoid naval-gazing and use experience to speak to broader social issues?
Verisimilitude: Through the rendering of experience, to what degree does the author convey a felt reality in ways that ring true emotionally to readers? This area is not designed to test a reader’s belief in the truth of the narrative, but rather to emphasize that a strong autoethnography often allows for emotional resonance with readers, including those who lack the life experiences (or might doubt the author’s) that comprise the narrative.
Narrative flow: To what degree does the narrative proceed engagingly and coherently? In other words, is it a ripping good story that also embeds a broader message without doing so clumsily or overly didactically?
Scholarly integrity: Some, but not all, autoethnographies pause their narratives to include more formal scholarly reflections. In the event that scholarship is recruited to substantiate autoethnographic points, to what degree is this scholarship responsibly employed and coherently integrated into the narrative?
Creating better ways of living: To what extent has the author reflected on experience to suggest broader possibilities for society? This aspect of the essay need not, and perhaps should not, be a deliberately constructed section such as an “implications” statement, but may be embedded within the narrative more implicitly.
Return to the Top
A research report is an empirical study from any paradigm that presents an interpretation of data through the conventional APA structure that includes Introduction & Research questions, Theory, Context (when appropriate), Research subjectivity statement (when appropriate), Method, Findings/Results, Discussion. See for the APA guidelines.
Flint, A. S., Allen, E., Nason, M., Rodriguez, S., Thornton, N., & Wynter-Hoyte, K. (2015). “It happened to me”: Third grade students write and draw toward critical perspectives. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 11(2), 23-43. Available at
Ngaka, W. & Masaazi, F. M. (2015). Participatory literacy learning in an African context: Perspectives from the Ombaderuku Primary School in the Arua District, Uganda. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 11(1), 89-108. Available at
Review Criteria adapted from
Does the project “fit” JoLLE? State whether and why you feel the project is appropriate for JoLLE, in terms of both quality and fit. To support your claims about the manuscript’s appropriateness for JoLLE, please provide detailed feedback on the following:

Significance to the Field
Does the manuscript identify a problem and is it a significant one for the field of language and literacy research? What ongoing conversations is it entering into? Is the problem identified, or the approach to the problem that is taken, fresh and timely? Do the findings or conclusions deliver new insights in relation to that problem?
Methodological Soundness
Does the manuscript employ a methodology consistent with the theoretical orientation that informs the investigation and the goals of the manuscript? Does the manuscript clearly describe the research design and relevant methods used so knowledge gained on language and literacy research may be increased? To what extent is the methodological design aligned with the research questions? Does the methodology hold to the highest standards set by other relevant studies?
Analysis & Interpretation
Are the claims insightful? How well are the claims grounded in the evidence? How well is the evidence synthesized into the discussion?
Scholarly Quality
To what extent does the article demonstrate strong scholarly grounding? How well is the theory that grounds the article extended or reconceived as a consequence of the analysis?
Quality of Writing
To what extent is the writing clear, fluent, and engaging?
Return to the Top
adapted from
A research review article takes a body of works and organizes it in some form of argument that helps people understand the field and how it works. JoLLE publishes critical, integrative reviews of research literature bearing on education. Such reviews should include conceptualizations, interpretations, and syntheses of literature and scholarly work in a field broadly relevant to education and educational research. 
The following types of manuscripts fall within the journal’s purview:
Integrative reviews pull together the existing work on an educational topic and work to understand trends in that body of scholarship. In such a review, the author describes how the issue is conceptualized within the literature, how research methods and theories have shaped the outcomes of scholarship, and what the strengths and weaknesses of the literature are.
Meta-analyses are of particular interest when they are accompanied by an interpretive framework that takes the article beyond the reporting of effect sizes and the bibliographic outcome of a computer search.
Theoretical reviews should explore how theory shapes research. To the extent that research is cited and interpreted, it is in the service of the specification, explication, and illumination of a theory. Theoretical reviews and integrative reviews have many similarities, but the former are primarily about how a theory is employed to frame research and our understandings, and refer to the research as it relates to the theory.
Methodological reviews are descriptions of research design, methods, and procedures that can be employed in literature reviews or research in general. The articles should highlight the strengths and weaknesses of methodological tools and explore how methods constrain or open up opportunities for learning about educational problems. They should be written in a style that is accessible to researchers in education rather than methodologists.
Historical reviews provide analyses that situate literature in historical contexts. Within these reviews, explanations for educational phenomena are framed within the historical forces that shape language and understanding.
Perry, K. (2012). What is literacy?–A critical overview of sociocultural perspectives. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 8(1), 50-71. Available at
Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Paris, A. H. (2004). School engagement: Potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74(1), 59–109. Available at
Review criteria adapted from
    1. Quality of the Literature: Standards used to determine quality of literature in education vary greatly. Any review needs to take into account the quality of the literature and its impact on findings. Authors should attempt to review all relevant literature on a topic (e.g., international literature, cross-disciplinary work, etc.).
    2. Quality of Analysis: The review should go beyond description to include analysis and critiques of theories, methods, and conclusions represented in the literature. This analysis should also examine the issue of access—which perspectives are included or excluded in a body of work? Finally, the analysis should be reflexive—how does the scholars’ framework constrain what can be known in this review?
    3. Significance of the Topic: The review should seek to inform and/or illuminate questions important to the field of education. While these questions may be broad-based, they should have implications for the educational problems and issues affecting our national and global societies.
    4. Impact of the Article: The review should be seen as an important contribution and tool for the many different educators dealing with the educational problems and issues confronting society.
    5. Advancement of the Field: The review should validate or inform the knowledge of researchers and guide and improve the quality of their research and scholarship.
    6. Style: The review must be well written and conform to style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association(6th edition). Authors should avoid the use of unexplained jargon and parochialism.
    7. Balance and Fairness: The review should be careful not to misrepresent the positions taken by others, or be disrespectful of contrary positions.
    8. Purpose: Any review should be accessible to the broad readership of JoLLE.The purpose of any article should be to connect the particular problem addressed by the researcher(s) to a larger context of education.
Return to the Top

These articles do not necessarily report original research, or provide a broad review in the manner of a research review article. Rather, they focus on a more narrow topic or issue and explore it in depth. They might focus on a specific researcher or a subset of that researcher’s work, on an issue (e.g., community literacy), or other topic on which the author’s synthesis produces original insights about the work addressed.
Chin, E. (1994). Redefining “context” in research on writing. Written Communication, 11(4), 445-482. Available at
Smagorinsky, P. (2012). Vygotsky, “defectology,” and the inclusion of people of difference in the broader cultural stream. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 8(1), 1-25. Available at
Review Criteria:
This genre should be evaluated according to the manner in which the author compellingly takes an established body of work and provides new insights conceptually or theoretically. Reviewers should attend to the following areas:
Fidelity to work recruited for the paper: To what extent does the author demonstrate an understanding of the work under review and ability to explain it clearly to readers unfamiliar with the topic?
Presentation of scholarship: To what extent does the author relate extant scholarship to readers in engaging and provocative ways that suggest the importance of the concepts, theories, and points both in the original work and in this revisiting and extension?
Insight: To what extent does the author insightfully and originally treat the topic in ways that are intellectually responsible?
Broader points: How does the author take extant work and consider how it might be more broadly applied to other scholarship?
Responsible use of data: If data are included to make points, to what extent are they used responsibly and persuasively in the context of this argument?
Return to the Top
This genre includes articles from practitioners in any genre focused on any aspect of their work. These are typically shorter reflections on practice as teachers and teacher educators.
Kyser, C. D. (2015). Reading, writing, and designing: Getting students on the path to thinking like designers.  Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 11(2). Available at
Van Duinen, D., & Schoon-Tanis, K. (2015). “Who are our mockingbirds?”: Participatory literacies in a community-wide reading program. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 11(1). Available at
Review Criteria:
Authenticity: To what degree does the article ring true in terms of classroom realities?
Voice: Does the author’s personal voice come through clearly and invest the manuscript with life and human perspective?
Engaging prose: To what degree does the article engage readers in the events that comprise the classroom stories?
Organization: To what extent is the article’s organization sound in terms of conveying the author’s points?
Points: Are the article’s points clearly conveyed and supported by the accompanying presentation of classroom life?
Transformation: If the article illustrates a transformation in practice, disposition, assumptions, etc., how convincing is the transformation and how might other educators learn from reading about it?
Return to the Top

JoLLE seeks to take advantage of its online-only platform to encourage the submission of multimodal work driven by video evidence and illustration. Opportunities for such presentations are currently quite limited (e.g., the Journal of Video Ethnography, on which we rely for our guidelines to authors/directors). This new vehicle for illustrating research or practice is wide-open, and so specifying details at this point would be premature. Nonetheless, we borrow from JVE to provide the following guidelines for submitting video-driven work. These guidelines are not designed to limit or control content, but rather serve to provide minimum components of a video submission. Each submission must be accompanied by:
A downloadable video file up to 500MB in size. The video should be uploaded to a private Vimeo site. Provide the private link (URL) in the submission form.
A summary of the film’s content of no more than 250 words.
A statement concerning the theoretical, conceptual framework/perspective that influenced your making of this film (no more than 250 words).
A statement concerning the methodology that influenced your making of this film (no more than 250 words).
A statement concerning the main ethnographic and/or social scientific “findings” or insights that you intend your film to convey/present (no more than 250 words).
A short list of key scholarly references (e.g., peer-reviewed articles, books, films) that situate/contextualize your film in a body of empirical research literature (no more than 1,000 words).
A list of keywords that best describe your film (no more than 10 words).
Each submission must conform to the following:
Frame rate (Frames Per Second or FPS) should be in either 24, 30 or 60.
Total running time (TRT) must not exceed 360 minutes (from first frame to last frame).
A minimum of 80% of the footage must be recorded by the author/video maker (i.e., archival footage must not exceed 20% of the film’s TRT).
Archival footage must conform to international, national, and local laws concerning “fair use” and copyright infringement; all archival footage must be properly attributed.
The person submitting the video must own the copyright to the video.
All persons appearing in the video must have provided informed consent to the filming and to the distribution of the film. All responsibility and legal liability for relations with film subjects rest solely upon the filmmaker.
Other guidelines:
Every video submission will undergo peer review.
Filmmakers who submit a film for consideration must be willing to revise the film in response to the critiques provided through JVE’s peer review system.
Published videos are protected from downloading by users.
The author grants JoLLE a three year non-exclusive license to distribute and publicly display the film online via the JoLLE website ( Deviations from this policy are granted in writing on a case-by-case basis by JoLLE’s Editorial Board.
Review Criteria
Conceptual Questions
– Is this film watchable?
– Is this film principally a film as opposed to, for instance, a narrated photo-essay?
– Is this film ethnographic? Does it reflect an ethnographic sensibility/imagination?
– Does this film tell a coherent story and/or present a coherent rhetorical structure and/or answer a clear research question and/or present a clear and compelling argument about some aspect of the featured culture(s)?
– Does the film’s main subject matter (and the method of its elaboration) demand videographic treatment? Or would the subject matter be better (or just as effectively) addressed through text/print, still photos, or audio-only?
– Is there integrity to the filmmaker’s “sampling” process? Does it seem as though she/he did a reasonably good job of capturing diversity and complexity in the sampling of people, events, time, etc.?
– If we liken the process of editing video to the process of composing text, would you say that this film is “well written”?
– Does this film contribute important theoretical and/or empirical insights to the body of literature/film in which it’s situated?
Sensitizing Technical Questions for Reviews
– Is the audio clear? Is it synchronized with the video?
– Is the subtitling (English) correct and well-synchronized?
– Is the imagery clear (when it needs to be)?
– Is the narration (if present) appropriate? Does it serve to advance the narrative and/or argument at the film’s core?
– Is the editing clean/precise/strategically sound?
– Is the pacing of the film responsive/appropriate to the film’s subject matter and/or argument?
– Is the soundtrack/score /exogenous audio working for or against the narrative and/or argument structure?
– Are the angles and focal lengths working for or against the narrative arc/argument structure?
– How well does the filmmaker’s accompanying text (re: methods, findings, literature, etc.) jibe with the film itself?
Assessing the Submission’s Accompanying Synopsis
Evaluate each of the following:
    1. Please provide a brief (250 words/3,000 characters maximum) summary of the film’s content, which may be used verbatim in the catalog if the film is selected.
    2. Please provide a brief (250 words/3,000 characters maximum) statement concerning the theoretical, conceptual framework/perspective that influenced your making of this film.
    3. Please provide a brief (250 words/3,000 characters maximum) statement concerning the methodology that influenced your making of this film.
    4. Please provide a brief (250 words/3,000 characters maximum) statement concerning the main ethnographic and/or social scientific “findings” or insights that you intend your film to convey/present.
    5. Please provide a short list (1,000 words/5,000 characters maximum) of key scholarly references (e.g., peer-reviewed articles, books, films) that situate/contextualize your film in a body of empirical research literature.
In preparing your review, please assess the quality of each question’s response in relation to the film itself. Generally speaking, an ethnographic film should do more than merely describe a situation or phenomenon. Ideally, the film would present an interpretation—the filmmaker’s “take” on the cultural matter explored in the film. Here are some questions to guide you in further evaluating the film’s rigor:
    1. Is there consistency between what’s written and what you see/experience in the film?
    2. Is your critical interpretation of the film consistent with the filmmaker’s intent?
    3. Is the theoretical perspective articulated by the filmmaker manifest in the film’s narrative and/or rhetorical structure and/or content?
    4. Are the methods appropriate to the research question/subject matter/central point?
    5. How effectively did the film itself convey the intended findings/insights that the filmmaker intended to impart?
    6. Does it seem that this film will make a contribution to the body of literature identified/outlined by the filmmaker?
Return to the Top
This is a wide-open genre in which the author produces, often through narrative but not confined to narrative, an imaginative reconstruction of events through which points about language and literacy education are available.
Berchini, C. (2017). The paper bag. English Education, 49(4), 377-383. Available at
Sedaris, D. (2017). The IHOP Years, 1983-1990: Life at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the International House of Pancakes. Available at
Review Criteria:
Review criteria are wide-open, yet not lax. Good stories have qualities that engage readers.
Assessors of creative nonfiction can best assess creative nonfiction responsibly if they themselves engage actual creative work on a regular basis so that they understand which conventions an author is employing, and not invoke inappropriate “scholarly” criteria in their evaluations. Those who do not write creatively have the responsibility to read widely in creative genres so that they are better equipped to make decisions about such manuscripts.
Reviewers should not judge the work according to what they themselves would have written, instead of what the author did write. An author’s intentions need to be honored rather than the reviewer’s assumptions and images being confirmed or played out, or the reviewer’s preferred narrative being told.
Ultimately, readers should focus on the author’s points and perspective and evaluate whether the text functions to produce an effect on the reader that enhances understanding and meaning in relation to the events related.
Return to the Top
Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government, or society itself into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society. A feature of satire is strong irony or sarcasm—”in satire, irony is militant”—but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. This “militant” irony or sarcasm often professes to approve of (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist wishes to attack. Satire is nowadays found in many artistic forms of expression, including internet memes, literature, plays, commentary, television shows, and media such as lyrics. (Source:
Berchini, C. (2016). Ctrl f: A scholar’s tips for delving into the world of creative writing. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 12(2), 1-8. Available at
Smagorinsky, P. (1984). Office of the principal. The Journal of Irreproducible Results, 29(2), 28. Reprinted in the Quarterly Review of Doublespeak, 9(2), January, 1985, pp. 7-8. Available at
Wikipedia entry on Satire
Wikipedia list of satirists and satires
Satire Wire
The Onion
Political Humor
The Purpose and Method of Satire
Review Criteria:
Like other literary forms, satire may be produced through a wide variety of forms. Reviewers should attend to the author’s skillful critique of human folly, the wittiness of the presentation, the role of irony to make points, and the use of the textual medium to both make fun of human foolishness and imply a better way for society to function.
Return to the Top


The views expressed on this website and contained within featured documents are solely those of the author(s) and artist(s) and do not reflect the views of the Department of Language & Literacy Education, The College of Education, or The University of Georgia.

Please report any issues or questions regarding the website to