Submission Criteria and Instructions
Essays should be submitted by e-mailing the essay as an attachment in either Word (.doc) or Rich Text (.rtf) format to firstname.lastname@example.org. The submission must include the following information and meet the following requirements:
A title and/or subtitle should describe the focus of the essay.
Preferred Author Name
Please indicate how you would like your name to appear when the essay is published.
Indicate whether this is a regular submission or a Junior essay (written by an author age 16 and under). If your native language is not English, please also indicate that here.
The author of each essay should also submit an abstract: a 50-100 word summary that gives a brief overview of the essay.
Essays must be at least 1000 words.
Essays should not discuss content that exceeds a PG-13 rating. Furthermore, fanfiction is not accepted.
In general, Scribbulus follows the publishing format of the Chicago Manual of Style as closely as possible. If Chicago format is unfamiliar to you, visit the Chicago Manual of Style Online. For a summary of the Chicago referencing and bibliography rules you can visit this link.
For a quick reference to our most important formatting guidelines, please check our Scribbulus-specific formatting guide.
If works, including those of J.K. Rowling, are cited, essays must have a bibliography attached in Chicago format. For examples of bibliography listings, see the links provided above.
Important Note: The Leaky Cauldron and Scribbulus take honesty and plagiarism concerns very seriously. Essays will not be published if it is discovered that the submission is not the author’s own work. Other sources, including canon and outside facts, must be properly credited and cited. Every effort will be expended to ensure that the intellectual rights of authors are protected.
Essay Evaluation Criteria
We publish essays that we believe fans will find interesting or will stimulate debate, and which adhere to specific criteria. Essays can range from relatively informal to highly academic, but all must display a high standard of writing quality, originality, and interest.
All essay submissions will be reviewed by Scribbulus staff. Essays that are accepted for publication are subject to editing and revision to ensure the highest quality possible. Editors will work with authors to make necessary changes. It is highly recommended that essays be beta-read or edited by another person before submission, as essays that need little editing are more likely to be accepted than those that require a lot of work.When reviewing a junior essay (written by an author of the age of 16 or under), the editors will keep the age of the author in consideration. Essays will be judged by the following criteria:
Originality and Content
The essay should not simply retread old arguments and ideas; rather, it should bring new insights and intriguing viewpoints to canon or the fan experience. The essay must have a point to make, and that point should be well-presented and supported. The subject should be one that would be interesting to a majority of Harry Potter fans.
Quality of Information: Evidence & Canon Consistency
This is the foundation of the essay which the arguments are based on. Evidence should be found in a variety of reliable sources. For persuasive essays this is an obvious criteria. For personal testimonial essays, this takes the form of personal details including such things as memorable anecdotes.
While the essay may or may not focus on the works of J.K. Rowling, those works can not be contradicted or misquoted. For the purposes of Scribbulus, canon is defined as the published Harry Potter books, the two schoolbooks (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through The Ages), statements made by J.K. Rowling on her website, and direct quotes given by J.K. Rowling in interviews and articles. While the Harry Potter films may be used as points of comparison, they are not considered canon. Essays that confuse canon facts with movie details or events in fanfiction, especially if the main argument of the essay rests on those misconceptions, will not be considered.
Organization, Clarity & Development of Ideas
Essays should be well organized with a logical transition between subtopics. The information presented should be well developed and contribute to the analysis of the thesis. Information not relating to the thesis should be limited.
Analysis & Conclusion
The essay should have a clear conclusion which can be logically drawn from the evidence presented.
All essays are expected to conform to the rules of Standard English. Apart from grammar and spelling, essays are also judged on writing style. Sentence structure, word choice, and vocabulary all contribute to style. Those works that show a skillful command of the English language are most likely to be accepted. Allowances will be made for those whose first language is not English, but a best effort to employ standard grammar and usage must be present. If English is not your first language, it is recommended that you have your essay looked over by someone familiar with English grammar and mechanics before submission.
Essays need not be perfect in all areas; however, the more polished an essay is, the more likely it is to be accepted.