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Department of Social Policy Guidelines

The Department of Social Policy blog encourages submissions from LSE staff, students and alumni. External contributors are welcome to propose ideas to the Editors, and the editors may approach individuals, including faculty, students or external contributors as relevant.

We are interested in submissions covering a wide range of topics such as behavioural public policy, criminology, development, economic and social inequality, education, migration, non-governmental organisations and population change and the life course. Alongside this, we welcome blogs on life in the Department of Social Policy, academic community and wellbeing. We are keen to include tables, charts, relevant figures and images where appropriate.

To submit a blog post for consideration, please email it to Abi Black a.a.black@lse.ac.uk in Word format along with an author bio and image. Please include any images etc. so that they can be modified.

Style Guide

Length and format

  • Approximately 800 words, written in an accessible way.
  • We are happy to accept longer posts if appropriate for the topic. Please discuss this with the Editors prior to submitting.
  • ‘Snap’ contributions of around 400 words are also welcomed, particularly if they are timely.
  • Please send the draft article in Word format, with your name at the top.

Audience, writing style and language 

  • Your post should be written with a relatively wide audience in mind, including policy-makers and other non-academics.
  • A more natural style is encouraged and we recommend that you avoid overusing acronyms and academic terms, such as Latin words, or specific terminology that may not be well known outside disciplinary circles.
  • Please try to avoid using introductory phrases such as “In this paper I will…”, or “This paper aims to…” and go straight into your discussion.
  • As with journalistic pieces, ‘lead with the best.’ Don’t save your main argument or analysis until the end of the post.
  • Write your article as a standalone piece, even if it summarises material in a longer paper or journal article. Try to present all of your argument and evidence within the text and avoid relying too heavily on information contained in external sources.
  • Avoid suggestions to find the information elsewhere e.g. “In my recent paper, I…” and state the facts instead. Many journal articles are behind a paywall and not all readers will have access to them. Ultimately the aim is to present your research, not to describe what you have written elsewhere.

Referencing

  • We use links rather than citations for references. Links should direct readers to more detailed reports or other pieces of research, news items or other blog posts. Open access sources are preferred to those behind paywalls.
  • Please insert a hyperlink at the relevant point of your argument that you’d like to reference. The easiest way to insert a hyperlink in Word is to copy the address of the website, highlight the phrase you’d like to appear as a link in the text and press “ctrl” and “k”. This will bring up an option menu that allows you to paste in the web address.

Titles

  • We use narrative titles – a single sentence that sums up the main argument of the blog post. The more descriptive and catchy the title, the more likely the post will be read. Try to avoid questions or general topics.
  • Try to keep titles to 20 words or less, is possible.

Graphs and charts 

  • We encourage the use of charts and figures. Graphs and charts are preferable to tables, as they are easier for readers to interpret quickly. In all cases, please send us the raw data of your chart, table or figure in Excel format.
  • Each chart needs a clearly labelled heading, labels for the X and Y axes or histogram bars, including units of measurement and a readable scale or background grid.
  • There should be a clear legend distinguishing multiple data series from each other and a brief note on sources. Lines must be thick enough and distinctly coloured. Charts should use a numerical progression to make comparisons more visible.

Biography and contributor photo

  • Please send us a short, three to four line, biographical note, stating who you are, your academic position (if relevant), research interests etc.
  • Please also send us a portrait headshot (ideally more portrait style, rather than a photo in a group or from an event).

Our editing process 

  • We aim to post blog articles within two weeks of receiving them, although this may be delayed if we have received a high number of submissions at one time. Please note this will not be the case during School closure times.
  • The Editors will review the post and send you the final version of the article, giving you the opportunity to make any corrections.
  • Any research related blog posts should be evidence based. With this in mind, Editors may double-check factual accuracy of certain points, or ask you for links to supporting information.

Student contributions

  • Contributions from students should be sent to Abi Black, a.a.black@lse.ac.uk in the first instance.This will be passed to the editorial team for editing and approval by the relevant editor.
  • We welcome non-academic related subject matters related to your time in the Department and London.