NUML Journal of Critical Inquiry (JCI)

ISSN: 2789-4665
Print: 2222-5706

Researcher Guide

Authors are required to abide by the following instructions while submitting their contributions to NUML JCI:

Length, Content and Format

We publish papers in the domains of LanguageLiteratureLinguistics, and Education. The manuscript should be typewritten and single-spaced. The length of research paper/articles should be 5000-8000 words including title, abstract, main text, figures and tables excluding references. Language should be strictly academic without colloquial, slang, and regional expressions, etc. The authors should avoid using idiomatic and affective language. The protocols of academic research should be maintained. Consistency of American spelling is required. Papers should be proofread and free from all grammatical and typographical errors. We demand a sharp and practical understanding of punctuation from our prospective authors.

The format for citations, endnotes, and references should conform to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, latest edition). All submissions to NUML Journal of Critical Inquiry should be original and well-scripted. The authors bear full responsibility for the accuracy of references and originality. With their manuscripts, the authors should attach short professional biographies covering their full names, qualifications, current designations, and institutional affiliation(s), area(s) of interest, and email address(es).

The research paper would normally include introduction followed by main argument, theoretical framework (lens(es) to support it, hypothesis/statement of the problem, controlling research questions, and research methodology/methods of data-collection that explain(s) how the research is likely to be carried out, analysis and interpretation, and findings/inferences/conclusion/recommendations that round off the main proposition. But since a research paper is not a dissertation/thesis, the authors, especially those writing literature papers (using qualitative approach) are supposed to knit up these ingredients within the larger argument without using subheadings like Hypothesis/Statement of the Problem, Theoretical Framework, Research Methodology. We do not strictly ask for writing Literature Review in research papers because the authors build their argument on the strength of available critical scholarship in their respective areas of study and pull in many secondary sources in their analyses/interpretations of texts. In this way, their work gets situated/located in the contemporary scholarship. However, the authors may write their essays in multiple parts by using subheadings that complement their main argument or analyses of texts and bring clarity and cohesiveness to their argument.

We have, however, a flexible format for authors who write papers in Language/Linguistics or education and use quantitative methods. They may use subheadings like Hypothesis/Statement of the Problem, Research Objectives/Questions, Theoretical Framework, Research Methodology, Data Analysis, Findings/Conclusion, etc. But if a linguistics paper is written with a qualitative approach, or qual-qant method, they may not follow this format strictly and adjust their priorities accordingly.

It is important to note that the word ‘data’ is used for empirical/quantitative research and should not be used by those who are using literary texts (novels, poems, plays, and non-fiction). Since their research is qualitative/interpretive, they need to use the word ‘text.’ However, if the author is doing qualitative analysis of data collected through quantitative means, they may use words like ‘data,’ ‘data collection,’ and ‘data analysis.’

Whether authors use subheadings for ‘Introduction’ and ‘Conclusion’ in their essays or not, they are supposed to open and close essays convincingly. They should start off by giving clear leads into what their papers are about, laying out the basic premises of their research supported by a convincing argument that leads to the theoretical support and methodology of their essays. The entire body of the essay, including analysis of data or texts, should stay relevant to the key claims of research. Methodology, Methods of Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation should suit the implications of the hypothesis/statement of the problem/questions and carried through in the light of adopted theoretical stance. The last 1-3 paragraphs should conclude the discussion through findings or affirmation of the research claims staked out in the beginning. The researchers working in quantitative paradigm are generally supposed to come up with finite/factual/verified results and their language should support their inferences. On the other hand, those writing papers with qualitative approach need to use language of possibility (may, might) while rounding off their main proposition and avoid closure and finitude because of the non-generalizable nature of their research.

File Format

MS Word

Headers and Page Numbers

Do not include headers or page numbers in the manuscript.


An abstract of 250-300 words, Calibri 11 point, indented 1 centimeter on each margin, at the beginning of the paper; preferably presenting a brief of what to expect in the paper. Abstract should be one continuous paragraph in which headings are to be avoided.


“Keywords:” in Straight, Bold followed by 3-4 key words in Italics, pertaining to the main concepts of the paper, separated by a comma within the same line

Body Text

Calibri 11 point, single spacing with 6 pt paragraph spacing, Justified

Title of the Paper/Heading Level 1

Title in Calibri 14, Bold, Centered

Sub-Headings/Heading Level 2

Sub-headings in Calibri 13, Bold, Left Aligned with 6 pt paragraph spacing after. All headings are in sentence case; however, too many headings and heading-numbers should be avoided.

Sub-Headings/Heading Level 3

Sub-headings in Calibri 12, Bold, Left Aligned with 6 pt paragraph spacing after

Tables and Figures

Tables and Figures should be Centered. Use Calibri 12 for captions and titles of figures and tables, leaving one blank line before and after. Tables are labeled above and figures are labeled below. A colon is inserted after the number of the Table or Figure. Use Calibri 10 for text within the tables and figures.


May be avoided, if possible


References are listed as per the latest APA format aside from these details:

  • Calibri 11 point, single spacing
  • Second and subsequent lines within each reference are indented 0.5cm
  • A blank line is left between references
  • Add complete web link(s) without hyperlinks along with the retrieval date
  • In case of a reference from a journal/magazine, mention the complete title of the Journal, Paper/Article, Volume Number, Issue Number and the Page Numbers
  • Please avoid references from Wikipedia


References stated within text should be author and date:
… Bates (2000) contended that …
… Berge, Collins, and Dougherty (2000) found that …
… there is strong evidence of this in the literature (e.g., Reeves & Laffey, 1999)