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Guidelines for Preparing Dimension Manuscripts

Please follow these guidelines for each draft of your manuscript.

In general, correspondence between the authors and editorial team will be conducted
electronically, rather than by postal mail or telephone. Please send all information and questions to Dr. Paula Garrett Rucks, editor of Dimension.

  • The editorial team asks that authors check their e-mail frequently.
  • To reduce the chances that your message will be caught in a SPAM filter, include the phrase
  • Dimension in the subject line of e-mail messages when corresponding with the editor.
  • Authors should use the APA (American Psychological Association) guidelines for preparing and
  • formatting manuscripts.
  • Submissions will be reviewed multiple times, and authors may be asked to make multiple revisions prior to a decision to accept for publication.
  • The final decision to accept a manuscript for publication will be based in part on authors’ adherence to Dimension Guidelines for Preparing Manuscripts, their incorporation of reviewer suggestions in revised manuscripts, and their timely correspondence with the editorial team.
  • Authors must include a written statement that their work submitted for review is original and not under consideration for publication by any other entity.


  • The subject matter of your manuscript must relate to language teaching.
  • Content must be current and reflect best professional practices.
  • The title should be brief and give readers a precise idea as to what they will read in the article.
  • The first section after the title of your article should be an abstract of 75 to 100 words. The word
  • Abstract is written in boldface, and the text in the abstract itself should be printed in italics.
  • The next section following the Abstract should be labeled Background. The Background section should be a few paragraphs in length. It serves as an introduction and overview of your article.


  • Use Microsoft Word as your word processing software.
  • Double space the entire manuscript, including text, notes, and references.
  • Number all pages except the first page. Insert the page number in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Use Times New Roman, font size 12, throughout your article.
  • Use the “tab” key on your computer to indent five spaces each time you begin a new paragraph. Do not use the space bar.
  • There should be only one space after each period, according to APA format.


  • Dimension follows the APA Publication Manual in matters of grammar, punctuation, citations, format, references, etc.


  • Periods and commas appear within quotation marks.
  • Semi-colons and colons should appear outside of quotation marks.
  • Question marks and exclamation points appear inside the quotation marks only when they are part of the actual quoted material [as opposed to being a reaction on the part of the author of the article, in which case they should appear outside of the quoted material].
  • APA guidelines suggest that commas, parentheses, or other marks of punctuation are generally more effective than dashes. Dashes (which are used sparingly) appear as two hyphens with no spaces on either side. Most software programs automatically convert two hyphens into a dash.
  • Absolutely nothing should be underlined; use italics instead.
  • All numbers above “nine” must appear as Arabic numerals. [“nine school districts” vs. “10 textbooks”]


  • Refer to the APA Publication Manual for assistance.
  • Page number references in parentheses are not part of the actual quotation and must be placed outside the quotation marks following quoted material.
  • In the reference section, use standard postal abbreviations for the names of states [NC, IL, NY, etc.], but in the text, spell out the names of states unless they are part of an address or appear in a list of cities.
  • When citing periodicals, if the pages of a publication are numbered consecutively throughout the year, do not include the issue number in your citation.
  • When preparing the References section of your manuscript, use the simple heading “References” at the end of the article. Include only references you have made in the text itself. Cross check to be certain that every citation has a matching reference and that the dates in the text, citation, and references all correspond.
  • If you cite the ACTFL standards book (The Standards for Foreign Language Learning), use the following format: The National Standards Collaborative Board. (2015). World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages: 4th Ed. Alexandria, VA: Author.
  • When preparing the References list, indent all but the first line by using the hanging indent tool, not the tab key or space bar. If you experience problems with the hanging indent, simply align all text “flush left,” but do not use the tab key or space bar.
  • When listing electronic references (URLs) in the References section of the manuscript, include the most recent retrieval date with every new draft of your manuscript.
  • Enclose textual references to electronic references (URLs) in angled brackets, such as “The Web site for SCOLT is <www.scolt.org>.”
  • Do not spell out the first and middle names of authors cited in your list of References; use their initials.
  • Use an ampersand (&) rather than the word “and” to cover joint authorship.
  • APA guidelines discourage both footnotes and endnotes. Significant information should be included in the text itself, and tangential information or “asides” should be excluded. When notes are necessary, authors should use endnotes. To avoid problems, do not use automatic endnote programs available with your computer software. To format endnotes, simply use raised superscripts in the text and superscripts in the notes at the end.
  • When using commonly known, high-frequency abbreviations, spell out names and titles the first time they are used in a text; for example, “The Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) is comprised of 14 member states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


  • To ensure the integrity of the review process, disguise all references to personally identifiable information. For example, instead of saying “My students enrolled in the teacher education program at the Wonderful University are fantastic,” say “The researcher’s students enrolled in the teacher education program at XYZ University are fantastic.”
  • When submitting the final draft accepted for publication, you will change all blind references (to yourself, your home institution, etc.) to the appropriate form. In the final version you should use the first person to refer to your own research, whereas in the manuscript you submitted to reviewers, you “disguised” such information.


  • If you use material from other sources, such as extended quotes, charts, handouts, or song lyrics, or if you use any material that may require permission from the copyright holder, it is your responsibility as the author to secure the permission. You must submit documentation of that permission when you submit your manuscript.
  • Any payment required by the copyright holder is the author’s responsibility. Dimension’s editorial team, its publisher, and the SCOLT Board will not be able to assist with such fees.
  • Should you find that the copyright holder will not grant you permission to reproduce material or wishes to impose a fee beyond your means, you may not include the material in your text.


  • The Publisher asks that you not place boxes around any items. If specific sections of your manuscript need to appear in boxes (tables, charts, etc.), please make a notation to that effect in the manuscript by writing “[Examples below are to appear in a box.]” If a text is submitted with a box already in the text, the entire manuscript usually has to be retyped and resubmitted by the author prior to publication.
  • The editorial team discourages the use of graphs and illustrations, and SCOLT reserves the right not to include graphs and illustrations that the editorial team deems are not essential to the manuscript. When approved by the editorial team, graphs and illustrations must be camera ready. The page size for Dimension is 6”x 9” with a mandatory ¾” margin all the way around. The total amount of material on any one page, then, may not exceed a 4 ½” x 7 ½” limit. Because they can prove to be unusually expensive to reproduce, visuals should be used only when they are truly essential to the reading and interpretation of the material in the article.


  • If you are notified that your manuscript has been accepted for publication, you will be asked to prepare and submit a final draft. It is your responsibility to ensure that your manuscript follows APA guidelines, that the contents are accurate and authentic, that you have properly cited material taken from other sources, and that references are properly formatted.
  • When submitting the final draft, change all blind references (to yourself, your home institution, etc.) to the appropriate form. In the final version you should use the first person and refer to your own research, whereas in the manuscript you submitted to reviewers, you “disguised” such information.
  • In the final step, you will be asked to again provide information for the publisher that you may have given earlier to the editor. On a separate sheet before the first page of the article, include a statement that your manuscript is an original work and not under consideration for publication by any other entity. Once again provide the names and titles of all authors. Indicate which author will be the primary contact person. Give each author’s home and office mailing addresses, home and office phones and FAX numbers, and home and office e-mail addresses.
  • In the final draft, at the top of the first page of text you should include the title, names of authors, and their academic affiliations. List the authors in the order in which you wish them to appear, such as alphabetically by last name, by order of their contributions, etc. Use both upper- and lower-case letters for all of these items. [See recent volumes of Dimension for the model.]
  • Before submitting your final version, run a “Spell Check” and “Grammar Check” on your computer.
  • Send your final manuscript by e-mail attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Note the period between SCOLT and Dimension in the address.)
  • Include the title of your article in the subject line of your e-mail message, and copy yourself as a recipient of the message.
  • Save a copy of the e-mail with the attachment in your personal e-mail files.
  • Follow up with a separate e-mail message asking the editor whether she was able to open your attachment.

Click here to download a pdf copy of Examples: Title, Abstract, Citations, & References.