Guide for articles/posts

We’re keen for as many knowledgeable people as possible to write for the blog, so we have very few rules for posts – this isn’t an academic journal…  However, to keep the spirit of the site going, we ask that all posts are about inequality research in one form or another.

If you’re interested in writing a (longer) article or (shorter) blog post, then follow these simple steps:

  1. Contact us, providing a short (1-2 sentence) outline of what you want to write about. This way, we can check that the topic will fit the site.
  2. Write your draft post – please (please!) read the guidelines and WordPress instructions below first.
  3. [For articles: tell us when you’ve finished the draft, and we’ll get one of the existing contributors to send you back some quick comments.  These aren’t binding peer-review-style comments, just suggestions – we find it really helps to get feedback from someone else before we put anything online].
  4. Tell us when the post is ready, and we’ll then publish it!

Article guidelines

There’s no word limit for articles, but about 700-1,000 words is a good guide as to what most people are likely to read online, and we’d tend to avoid going beyond 1,500- 2,000 words.  If there’s something even shorter you’d like to write, then blog posts (like this) are welcome.

The most important thing to do when writing is to keep thinking about your readers.  We’d suggest that you:

  • Engage the reader quickly.  People will decide whether to keep reading based on the title, the first couple of sentences and sub-headings – so give them a good clue as to what the article is about.
  • Be clear throughout: express one idea in each paragraph, have a clear narrative, and stay focused on your main points.
  • Write concisely: avoid long sentences and over-long paragraphs.
  • Include one or two images, particularly for longer articles.
  • Make the article accessible to readers outside of your home country (e.g. by explaining necessary acronyms or background knowledge).  To save time, you can link to other articles that explain this.

Using the WordPress site

If you’re not a member of WordPress, we’ll invite you to join the site – this is very fast, and will make it easy for you to post on the site in future.  [If you don’t want to join WordPress, or if you’d like to write an anonymous post, then we can arrange this too].

You can then simply write your post into WordPress, or copy the text across from another program.  When its in WordPress, there are a few good – and quick! – you might want to do/know:

  • Putting links into your article is very straightforward; see here for details. Linking to other blogs is a particularly good way of starting a discussion.
  • Putting images in your article is also easy – see here for how to put the image in your post, and here for how to get text to wrap around it.  Please put alternative text for your image (Google will pick up on these, so choose something that someone might search for).
  • Tag your article so that people interested in a topic will find what you’ve written (you will see a list of pre-supplied tags on the WordPress submission page).
  • It’s a good idea to preview your post, to make sure that everything looks OK (the Preview button is on the top-right area of the WordPress page).
  • And if you’re feeling more adventurous…
    • You can use footnotes in your article
    • Display only the first part of your article with a link to ‘continue reading’, rather than just putting the full post on the home page
    • You can think of ways of encouraging Google to pick up on your post. Basically, choose words/phrases that people might enter into a search engine, and use them fairly often (particularly in your title). Emphasizing key words in bold can also help.

If you have any problems, then just let us know and we’ll be happy to help 🙂