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Guidelines for Prospective Authors

Leadership Abstracts

The Leadership Abstracts series began in 1988 with the intention of providing brief, useful articles focused on the needs of community college leaders. Advice on performing essential leadership tasks, solutions to common problems, descriptions of model programs, and applications of leadership theory are the general thrust for the pieces, with an edge given to high-value, cutting-edge material presented in a clear and organized format. While there are many ways to approach the task of preparing a manuscript for Leadership Abstracts, what follows are some suggestions that should help prospective authors.

Contact a member of the editorial team to discuss your idea. Touching base with a member of the editorial team can save considerable time. Typically, editor and author work closely together to target submissions to the series audience and to ensure that the article meets the format and style guidelines. While the call for manuscripts is open, authors who take the time to make the connection with the editorial team prior to submitting a manuscript will likely have a better chance at having their article accepted quickly.

Focus on the audience. Leadership Abstracts is intended to be of use to thousands of  community college leaders in community and technical colleges around the world. Keep in mind that the primary audience of presidents, senior administrators, and board members is made up of busy people with hectic schedules and much competition for their time. Authors should use straightforward prose and provide useful content.

Organize the article clearly. One of the most common difficulties of submitting authors is the failure to build a clear organizational structure - one that is easy to follow. Again, the audience for the series is made up of individuals with little time to spare. So, here are some basic guidelines regarding organization:

  • Provide a brief introduction that places the subject in context and forecasts the central idea. This section is typically one to three paragraphs long and previews the task, challenge, idea, or subject to be discussed. In addition, local or institution-based topics must be framed in a national or international context.
  • Include several major sections with meaningful section titles. Two to five sections that organize the central points of the argument, outline the steps in a process, or delineate the elements of an initiative will help the reader better understand the message and follow the flow of the piece.
  • Finish strongly. Include one or two concluding paragraphs that bring the sections together and reinforce the relevance, utility, or significance of the article.
  • Use Leadership Abstracts’ style. Manuscripts are generally 1,500 to 2,000 words in length and written in narrative prose using third person. First or second person (I, we, and you), references or citations, long quotations, and the names of individuals should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. If citations or quotations are necessary, please provide full references and permissions. To avoid inconsistencies and errors, rely on dictionaries and language manuals in lieu of digital spelling and grammar checkers. Finally, please do not use electronic tracking in your manuscript.
  • Review past Leadership Abstracts. Past articles from the series should be reviewed for guidance in developing a Leadership Abstract. Each of the suggestions discussed here will be in evidence in past issues, making them most useful models.

Submit the manuscript as a Word document. Submit your manuscript through the online submission process at www.league.org/publication/forms/pos.

     For more information, contact:
Cynthia Wilson, Vice President, Learning and Research