Advice from the Editors

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Public Administration Review

Advice from the Editors

In order to ensure the clarity and cohesiveness of your article, please refer to the advice from the editors below.   Remember, PAR is a professional journal that publishes relevant research and commentary for practitioners and scholars.  Make sure your article incorporates the following items:




  1. Use the following structure for your research article: Abstract, Practitioner Points, Introduction, Theory, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion
    • Include a robust discussion section distinct from your conclusion.
    • Do not use a heading for your introduction. It is implied that your first several paragraphs are introductory.
    • Do not use in-text citations in your practitioner points. The practitioner points are intended to be direct, concise statements about implications and insights for practice.
  1. Give your article a title that is both descriptive and inviting to prospective readers.
    • Your article title should appeal to both scholars and practitioners.
    • Use a shortened version of the main idea of your article in the title. Be sure to consider including keywords that people will use to search for your topic.
    • Use keywords, but do not use technical jargon or esoteric words.
    • Try to limit your titles to 8 words or less.
    • Titles should fit evenly into one or two lines.
  1. Your abstract should inform readers what your article is about and its most important findings.
    • Readers, including scholars and practitioners, should be able to understand your topic, argument, and conclusions. Make your abstract straightforward and do not use technical language or jargon.
    • Your abstract should be 150 words or less.
    • Lead with the main message and primary findings of your article.
    • Do not refer to the “article” in your abstract; it is understood that the content of your abstract is about your article.
  1. Provide a distinct conclusion that tells readers what you found, why it is important, and what difference it will make for research and practice.
    • Make sure you separate your discussion section from the conclusion of the article.
    • Synthesize your article; don’t summarize it. Show readers how the pieces of your article fit together.
    • Answer the question “So what?” Why is your article significant, and how is it relevant?
  1. References are included in your word count, so make sure they are necessary.



  1. Follow the Chicago Manual of Style, Author-Date format for citations.
    • Use endnotes, not footnotes.
    • Minimize the number and length of notes. If content is important, then put it in your main text.
    • Do not use numbered headings.
    • Do not use autonumbering or the autoformat feature.
    • Do not use outline numbering in the ABC format. Instead, use bullets or numbers.
  1. Follow PAR guidelines for general style.
    • Do not refer in the text to your “paper” or “manuscript;” refer to it as an “article.”
    • We prefer the terms “scholar,” “practitioner,” or “professional.” Avoid using the terms “researcher” or “academic.”
    • Use the terms research and/or scholarship instead of “work.”
    • Spell out the meaning for all acronyms you create when you first use the acronym. In general, limit the use of acronyms.
    • Use active voice. Convert passive to active voice wherever possible.
    • Avoid parenthetical statements unless they are clearly justifiable. Limit the use of italics and other special fonts.
    • Use “which” and “that” appropriately.
    • Use modern American English, not British English or forms of Olde English.



  1. Be consistent in language and style.
  1. Make sure your article both fits with PAR and is distinct from previous scholarship.
    • Explicate what separates your article from prior research.
    • Pay attention to recently published PAR content on topics related to your article.
    • Make sure your topic is accessible to the broad reach of PAR’s readership.
    • Make sure your language is accessible to PAR’s readership.
  1. Acknowledge your source(s) of funding.
  1. Maintain a critical eye to cut unnecessary words. This will make your article both shorter and more readable.
  1. Professional editors are resources who can help to improve an article’s organization, clarity, and accessibility. If you have access to professional editors, we encourage you to seek their assistance.   


Upon return of your manuscript, the editors may request further editing of these items.  If you have any questions, email