About Essays


While the journal’s primary form of content—as the primary mission for the sake of which it exists—is the Article from which is constituted the Issue, Essays serve an important function as well: for not every idea that is worth publishing and discussing that we thinkers have is one which can be developed into an Article, either because the idea remains inchoate and needs external stimulation (engagement by others) to develop, or simply because we are too pressed for time and too strongly committed to other obligations.  These may be serious but still-developing philosophical inquiries or budding inspirations on any number of topics.

While there is no official procedure of Review/Response for Essays, if someone wishes to address a previously-published Essay in their own submission, we will certainly help facilitate the dialogue.

Evaluation Criteria

As more casual pieces, evaluation criteria for Essays is considerably more relaxed than with Articles.  Here, there are only two criteria considered:

  • Interest: is the Essay interesting? Is it proposing some discussion, idea, or question that merits consideration?  Does it have insight or put forward some new approach?  Essays should be philosophical in their approach but need not be explicitly philosophical in their content; thus, historical, political, literary, artistic, or general discussions pertaining to culture, society, and the nature of human existence are all suitable, so long as they are interesting.
  • Writing quality: is the Essay clearly and accessibly written? Overly-specific topics and terminology are even less suitable for Essays (which target a broad intelligent but not-necessarily philosophically-educated readership) than they are for Articles.

Submission Guidelines

Length: 2,000-5,000 words.  We view length restrictions as guidelines.  If an Essay is a few hundred words short or long, this will not be cited as a reason for rejection.  If considerably over, we may suggest publication as a multi-part piece or transforming it into an Article.

Footnotes: all references must be placed in footnotes; submissions containing endnotes will not be accepted.  Bibliographic sourcing and footnote formatting should be done according to Chicago Style, although the editors recommend the practice of historical layering (including date of composition in all footnotes, rather than date of the particular version’s publication).

Keywords: it is recommended that Essay submissions contain 2-6 keywords sometime before publication.

Reality retains exclusive copyright on all Essays for a 3-month period from date of publication.  Requests to republish material within the timeframe of exclusive copyright will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  It is kindly asked that any republication of material originally published with Reality receive some attribution of its original publication.