Here's how to have an article rejected.
Have a very skimpy bibliography. Nine items is enough, especially if it is a canonical work with hundreds of articles that might be cited. Don't quote anyone on the editorial board of the journal. People hate to have their work cited. Don't engage in dialogue with the field. You know best.
Submit a 10-page course paper or a 50 page dissertation chapter, unrevised.
Don't bother with a cover letter. The editor will never read it anyway.
Don't follow MLA style; the editor will recognize your brilliance and fix the format for you. Don't bother looking at the guidelines for authors before submitting. That would be a waste of time.
Don't familiarize yourself with the journal beforehand, looking to see what kind of things they like to publish. Journals are pretty much all the same. Submit an article on an obscure writer to a journal that only publishes on the canon.