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HLS 401: Letter to the Editor/Commentary Guidelines

Letter to the Editor/Commentary assignment

Journals Currently Accepting Student Commentary


Find Health Sciences Articles in the Library Databases

Use CINAHL, ScienceDirect, ProQuest Research Library or the journal's homepage to access recent articles for commentary.  These databases (and others) can also be used to locate your supporting articles.        

How to Submit a Letter to the Editor


Your letter/commentary should be cited according to the preferred style of the journal in which it will be published.  Many journals use APA  style, but some use AMA or their own publishing "house style."  Follow the Information for Authors guidelines on your journal's web site, or check other articles in your journal to determine which style should be used.

Commentary/Letter to the Editor

Your Research Steps:

1. Select a journal - 

A list of journals that currently accept student commentary is available at the link in the top left box on this page. Browse journals that are related to your major or another area of interest to you. Use the "Indexed in" column to find the article online, and the "Full text" column to read the article in full.   Article should have been published only in the most recent 1 or 2 issues.

2. Locate a previously published commentary or letter to the editor within your journal -

Use the "Letter" and "Commentary" limits in CINAHL, or add these words to your search to find examples of letters to the editor or commentaries. For print journals, be sure to check several issues for the Letters to the Editor feature, as some journals don't publish them in every single issue.

3. Locate your journal's Information for Authors or Submission Guidelines -

Find your journal's official web site (search Google for the journal title) and look for an area called "For Authors" "Submission Guidelines", or similar.  This will tell you what citation style to use and how to format your letter (manuscript). Often the different types of article will be listed; if so look for the specific guidelines for letters or commentary (not all journals provide specific guidelines re: word count and references -- if you don't find them, follow the example letter you found in #2 above.)

4. Find additional articles to support the points you will make in your letter -

Search the library catalog and databases for other articles on the same topic as the article you're commenting on.

5. With your instructor's approval, submit your article to the editor of your journal -

The submission process is different for each journal; please read How to Submit a Letter to the Editor (link on the left side of this page).


Janis Winn's picture
Janis Winn
Frank E. Gannett Memorial Library

Utica College

1600 Burrstone Road

Utica, NY 13502-4892

(315) 792-3351

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