I’m really excited to announce my first publication. This is a project I started during the first semester of graduate school (two years ago this month). This project was definitely a learning experience for me– I learned a lot about both research and academic publishing. I had originally submitted this in August of 2015, so from that time to publication it was almost exactly a year!
One of the most important lessons I learned, I think, is that seminar papers have completely different goals than articles you submit for publication. Primarily, the purpose of seminar papers is to show that you processed and understood the theory and concepts of the course by applying them to an argument. This sometimes means that you include scholarship that may not quite fit, or use class texts where others might be better suited. But, it’s more of a show-and-tell. “Look, I get it!” you’re telling the professor.
Writing for publication is a different beast. You’re writing for a different audience and the purpose is primarily to add to the conversation in the field rather than show competency in subject matter. What that means is that reviewers will definitely take you to task, and your writing (especially if it started as a seminar paper) will evolve drastically. While I sometimes felt very defensive in the face of reviewer feedback, ultimately this article has been drastically improved because of that feedback. Though I didn’t always agree with reviewer suggestions, even those disagreements caused me to rearticulate my argument, verbalizing (so to speak) connections that I had made quietly behind the scenes– the section on “true self” in the article is one such example.
Though the road to publishing is treacherous and (sometimes) full of potholes, I am very pleased with the end result. So, I present to you: “Disturbing Hegemonic Discourse: Nonbinary Gender and Sexual Orientation Labeling on Tumblr”