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Author Guidelines

Author Guideline

Introduction

The introduction is a little different from the short and concise abstract. The reader needs to know the background to your research and, most importantly, why your research is important in this context. What critical question does your research address? Why should the reader be interested?

The purpose of the Introduction is to stimulate the reader’s interest and to provide pertinent background information necessary to understand the rest of the paper. You must summarize the problem to be addressed, give background on the subject, discuss previous research on the topic, and explain exactly what the paper will address, why, and how. A good thing to avoid is making your introduction into a mini review. There is a huge amount of literature out there, but as a scientist you should be able to pick out the things that are most relevant to your work and explain why. This shows an editor/reviewer/reader that you really understand your area of research and that you can get straight to the most important issues.

Keep your Introduction to be very concise, well structured, and inclusive of all the information needed to follow the development of your findings. Do not over-burden the reader by making the introduction too long. Get to the key parts of the paper sooner rather than later.

Best Practice:

  • Begin the introduction by providing a concise background account of the problem studied;
  • State the objective of the investigation. Your research objective is the most important part of the introduction;
  • Establish the significance of your work: why was there a need to conduct the study?
  • Introduce the reader to the pertinent literature. Do not give a full history of the topic. Only quote previous work having direct bearing on the present problem;
  • Clearly state your hypothesis (if available), the variables investigated, and concisely summarize the methods used;
  • Define any abbreviations or specialized/regional terms;
  • Provide a concise discussion of the results and findings of other studies so the reader understands the big picture;
  • Describe some of the major findings presented in your manuscript and explain how they contribute to the larger field of research;
  • State the principal conclusions derived from your results, and;
  • Identify any questions left unanswered and any new questions generated by your study.
  • Be concise and aware of who will be reading your manuscript and make sure the Introduction is directed to that audience. Move from general to specific: from the problem in the real world to the literature to your research. Last, please avoid to make a sub section in Introduction.

Method

In the Method section, you explain clearly how you conducted your study in order to: (1) enable readers to evaluate the work performed and (2) permit others to replicate your study. You must describe exactly what you did: what and how experiments were run, what, how much, how often, where, when, and why equipment and materials were used. The main consideration is to ensure that enough detail is provided to verify your findings and to enable the replication of the study. You should maintain a balance between brevity (you cannot describe every technical issue) and completeness (you need to give adequate detail so that readers know what happened).

Best Practice:

  • Define the population and the method of sampling;
  • Describe the instrumentation;
  • Describe the procedures and if relevant, the time frame;
  • Describe the analysis plan;
  • Describe any approaches to ensure validity and reliability;
  • State any assumptions;
  • Describe statistical tests and the comparisons made; ordinary statistical methods should be used without comment; advanced or unusual methods may require a literature citation, and;
  • Describe the scope and/or limitations of the methodology you used.

In the social and behavioral sciences, it is important to always provide sufficient information to allow other researchers to adopt or replicate your methodology. This information is particularly important when a new method has been developed or an innovative use of an exisiting method is utilized. Last, please avoid to make a sub section in Method.

Results and Discussion

The purpose of the results and discussion is to state your findings and make a interpretations and/or opinions, explain the implications of your findings, and make suggestions for future research. Its main function is to answer the questions posed in the introduction, explain how the results support the answers and, how the answers fit in with existing knowledge on the topic. The discussion is considered the heart of the paper and usually requires several writing attempts.

The discussion will always connect to the introduction by way of the research questions or hypotheses you posed and the literature you reviewed, but it does not simply repeat or rearrange the introduction; the discussion should always explain how your study has moved the reader's understanding of the research problem forward from where you left them at the end of the introduction.

To make your message clear, the discussion should be kept as short as possible while clearly and fully stating, supporting, explaining, and defending your answers and discussing other important and directly relevant issues. Care must be taken to provide a commentary and not a reiteration of the results. Side issues should not be included, as these tend to obscure the message.

Best Practice:

  • State the major findings of the study;
  • Explain the meaning of the findings and why the findings are important;
  • Support the answers with the results. Explain how your results relate to expectations and to the literature, clearly stating why they are acceptable and how they are consistent or fit in with previously published knowledge on the topic;
  • Relate the findings to those of similar studies;
  • Consider alternative explanations of the findings;
  • State the clinical relevance of the findings;
  • Explain the implication of your findings into school counseling settings;
  • Acknowledge the study’s limitations, and;
  • Make suggestions for further research.
  • It is easy to inflate the interpretation of the results. Be careful that your interpretation of the results does not go beyond what is supported by the data. The data are the data: nothing more, nothing less.  Please avoid to make overinterpretation of the results, unwarranted speculation, inflating the importance of the findings, tangential issues or over-emphasize the impact of your study.

Work with Graphic:

Figures and tables are the most effective way to present results. Captions should be able to stand alone, such that the figures and tables are understandable without the need to read the entire manuscript. Besides that, the data represented should be easy to interpret.

Best Practice: 

  • The graphic should be simple, but informative;
  • The use of color is encouraged;
  • The graphic should uphold the standards of a scholarly, professional publication;
  • The graphic must be entirely original, unpublished artwork created by one of the co-authors;
  • The graphic should not include a photograph, drawing, or caricature of any person, living or deceased;
  • Do not include postage stamps or currency from any country, or trademarked items (company logos, images, and products), and;
  • Avoid choosing a graphic that already appears within the text of the manuscript.

Conclusions

The conclusions is intended to help the reader understand why your research should matter to them after they have finished reading the paper. A conclusions is not merely a summary of the main topics covered or a re-statement of your research problem, but a synthesis of key points. It is important that the conclusion does not leave the questions unanswered. 

Best Practice:

  • State your conclusions clearly and concisely. Be brief and stick to the point;
  • Explain why your study is important to the reader. You should instill in the reader a sense of relevance, and;
  • Prove to the reader, and the scientific community, that your findings are worthy of note. This means setting your paper in the context of previous work. The implications of your findings should be discussed within a realistic framework.
  • For most essays, one well-developed paragraph is sufficient for a conclusions, although in some cases, a two or three paragraph conclusions may be required. The another of important things about this section is (1) do not rewrite the abstract; (2) statements with “investigated” or “studied” are not conclusions; (3) do not introduce new arguments, evidence, new ideas, or information unrelated to the topic; (4) do not include evidence (quotations, statistics, etc.) that should be in the body of the paper.

Acknowledgments (Optional)

Acknowledge anyone who has helped you with the study, including: Researchers who supplied materials, reagents, or computer programs; anyone who helped with the writing, or offered critical comments about the content, or anyone who provided technical help.

State why people have been acknowledged and ask their permission. Acknowledge sources of funding, including any grant or reference numbers. Please avoid apologize for doing a poor job of presenting the manuscript.

References

References should follow the style detailed in the APA 6th Publication Manual. Make sure that all references mentioned in the text are listed in the reference section and vice versa, and that the spelling of author names and years are consistent. Please to not be used footnote or endnote in any format.

Best Practice:

  • Please cross check for:
  • Spelling of author names;
  • Punctuation;
  • Number of authors to include before using “et al.”, and;

 

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, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  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.
 

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