Well-known journal editors and Communication scholars Alison Alexander and W. James Potter provide an insider’s guide to getting published in scholarly communication journals. Alexander and Potter begin with a review of the manuscript submission process followed by coverage of writing traps that should be avoided. Additional chapters, written by eight other distinguished journal editors, tell prospective authors what editors and reviewers look for when deciding which articles should be published and which should not.
Chapter 4: The Challenge of Writing the Theoretical Essay
The Challenge of Writing the Theoretical Essay
An oft-heard lament among communication scholars is that there are too few theories in our published literature. One possible reason for this is that scholars are frequently unsure as to what constitutes a theory. Can it be as succinct as Einstein's theory of relativity? Need it be as formal as a mathematical equation? Does a model or taxonomy qualify? How much “flesh” must a theoretical skeleton have before it is granted the status of a theory? The nebulousness of the criteria that must be met, coupled with wide variability across disciplines in what counts as theory, makes it unsurprising that many scholars are reluctant to label their work “a theory,” ...