Everybody Struggles with Writing, Everybody Gets Rejected

Everybody Struggles with Writing, Everybody Gets Rejected is an ongoing project curated by ECHER. With this project we wish to engage scholars, in the field of higher education studies and beyond, in a conversation on academic writing.

How does it work?

It’s fairly straightforward. We ask each participant to address any or all of the following open questions:

  1. What in your experience are the most common mistakes scholars (junior and senior alike) make when it comes to article writing?
  2. If you were asked to give one to three short pieces of advice to an early-career researcher submitting their first article to a journal, what would it be?
  3. Could you recommend one or two journal articles which you believe are exceptionally well written (taking into account the structure of the argument, language, and style)?
  4. Is there any more general piece of advice you would like to give to higher education scholars at the beginning of their career?

We also have a few “rules” we follow:

  • We do not disclose the identities of the colleagues who have contributed, in part because we would like to accentuate the community dimension of the exercise. Instead, we assign each contributor a name of a widely known literary character. (We would, however, like to point out that any similarity with the fictional character attached to individual responses is accidental. The only exception so far is gender.)
  • All the answers we collect are published on this page. We also have a Gallery of Quotes made from parts of the answers.
  • We publish the names of all the contributors as a way to say Thank You. This is, of course, optional.

Gallery of Quotes

Who can participate?

Anyone who considers themselves sufficiently experienced in peer review, editorial work, supervision, and in guiding early-career scholars with respect to academic writing and academic work in general, is a welcome contributor.

If you wish to take part, please send us an email, or simply send your responses to the four questions. Our email is: echernetwork@gmail.com.


We are grateful to all the scholars who have taken part in this initiative so far. Their time and generosity are much appreciated!


Responses collected so far



If some of the responses don’t open properly, refresh the page, give it a moment to load, and then open the response again. That should work!

Spotted a mistake? A typo?
Please send an email to echernetwork@gmail.com