The Insider: Journal Puts a Serious Spin on Writing

August 1, 2011 5:43 AM


Ashley Rhodes and her classmates went above and beyond what a typical undergraduate English course might expect from its students. In fact, they learned the process of what many college professors constantly work toward: a coveted spot in a peer-reviewed journal.


Starting with an English capstone course taught by associate professor Rebecca Mark, students were offered the opportunity to research and learn the process of writing for acceptance in a scholarly journal. To make sure that their work was not in vain, the class opted to create its very own student-run journal, Second Line: A Literary Journal of Student Conversation, which launched earlier this year.

“It was very demanding, but rewarding at the same time,” says Rhodes, a spring graduate who served as one of the journal’s co-editors. “Hearing about every student’s original and surprising findings made us realize that undergraduates have something meaningful, insightful and original to contribute to the academic community now.”

In addition to writing for Second Line, students also were encouraged to submit to existing journals including The Southern Literary Journal, Mississippi Quarterly, The Faulkner Journal, and The Journal of Utopian Studies.

“The journal is a way for advanced-level English majors to have the experience of preparing a piece of their own writing for publication and eventually seeing their work in print,” says Mark, who also serves as the journal’s faculty adviser. “Moving through the steps of research, revision, peer editing and publication allows students to take pride in their own expertise. The online journal allows them to share their ideas with people all over the world.”

Any student wishing to submit their work may do so by following the submission guidelines located on the journal website.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000