Community Development Practice Tips for Non Native English Writers

Community Development Practice aims to be an international journal; thus, article submissions from persons whose first-language is not English are welcomed and encouraged. This document provides some practical points for writers whose first-language is not English, so that their articles may be read more favorably by reviewers. Additionally, all authors looking to submit to Community Development Practice can use these tips as they prepare their manuscripts.

  1. Keep your sentences succint. Sentences that are fewer than 20 words are best suited for the journal. Longer sentences are likely unnecessarily complex, and your points may get lost. The use of colons (:) for lists and commas (,) are great, but ensure proper semicolon (;) use.
  2. Use brackets and parentheses wisely. All in-text references should be located within parentheses. The use of parentheses and brackets for other purposes should be done sparingly.  Consider using commas instead of parentheses and brackets in your narrative.
  3. Avoid contractions. Your writing is expected to be more professional than colloquial. Do not use contractions, such as couldn't, shouldn't, wouldn't, can't, isn't, aren't, won't, etc.
  4. Spell out ordinal numbers. Instead of using numerical notation like "1st," please use "first." There are exceptions regarding titles, such as the 47th Annual International Community Development Society or 2st Century.
  5. Avoid passive writing when possible. You are welcome to use the word "we" when you speak about the work your co-authors and you have directly enacted. Otherwise, please avoid using the term "we" in any impersonal forms.
  6. Use consistent verb tenses throughout. Most likely you are describing work that you have finished conducting, so please use the past tense throughout your manuscript unless you are speaking to on-going work. Please also use past tense in any literature reviews or references to the work(s) of others.
  7. Have others read your work prior to submission. An editor will look at your work prior to passing it on to reviewers. Submissions with many grammatical errors will be returned to authors prior to review for revision.

Please direct any additional questions or concerns regarding writing style and manuscript form to Craig Talmage, Editor of Community Development Practice at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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