These guidelines will help you to have your article published on U.S. Studies Online as quickly as possible. If you have any questions about your contribution, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Length and format
- In order to increase readability and accessibility, we aim for our articles to be between 700 and 1,200 words.
- We are also happy to post longer essays, if appropriate for the topic. If you are interested, please discuss this with the editors.
- Please send us your draft article in Word format, with your name at the top.
- Regular guest bloggers will be given contributor rights, allowing you to input your article straight in a post, which will then be sent to the editors for approval. This will help speed up the publication process.
Audience, writing style and language
- Our target audience includes postgraduates, early career researchers and academics, as well as people outside of academia who have an interest in any and all aspects of American Studies. The best posts tend to be entertaining, informative, accessible and innovative. Although posts are not subject to peer-review, we are keen to provide PGRs and ECRs a platform to showcase aspects of their work that would not necessarily fit elsewhere.
- Because we hope to reach a wide non-academic audience, we prefer articles written in a more natural style, rather than those that are impenetrably esoteric or jargon- and acronym-heavy.
- Use short paragraphs made up of four or five sentences
- As with journalistic pieces ‘lead with the best.’ Don’t save your main argument or analysis for 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 phrases such as “in my recent paper, I have shown that …” and simply say “Political pollsters get it wrong for these reasons…” Remember that many journal articles are behind a paywall and not all readers will have access to them.
- We use Chicago-style Endnotes at USSO, so please cite all secondary material in this manner.
- We encourage authors to include links to relevant references and related material. Ideally these will be to open access sources rather than those behind paywalls.
- Please insert a hyperlink at the relevant point of your argument that you’d like to reference (using ctrl-K in Word) or simply place the URL in parentheses where you would like it to be placed and we will link it ourselves.
- If appropriate, we are happy for authors to include links to their other research or publications, in order to guide the reader to longer or more in-depth research. This can also be done using footnotes.
- We use narrative titles, i.e a single sentence that sums up the main argument of the article. The more descriptive and catchy the title, the more likely the article is to be read. Titles can be questions but avoid general topics.
- Try and keep titles to twenty words or less, if possible
Images and Videos
- We encourage the use of images and videos assuming they are within the public domain. If you wish to include images in your post, save them as JPEGs and incorporate them into the draft of your post in Word. Where possible place them where it makes most sense for the overall piece and include a short caption detailing the origins (if known) and content of the image.
- Alongside the written draft of your article, please submit an appropriate image that can be used as a featured photo for the post. This should give the reader a sense of the article’s content and can be included in the Word document.
- As the online network for BAAS PGRs and ECRs, USSO wants to get to know its contributors! With that in mind, please include a photo of yourself, a 2-3 line biography in third person giving your present institution, current research project, and (if appropriate) a link to your online profile (perhaps your academia.edu or Twitter page) at the end of your draft.
Our editing process
- In most cases submitted articles will be reviewed as soon as possible by the Editorial Team, who will edit the piece to enhance readability to the blog’s wider audience. Once these edits are complete, we will send you the final version of the article, and give you an opportunity to make final edits.
- We also ask you to confirm that the article or significant portions of it have not been published elsewhere. If you wish to submit a post that has been published elsewhere (online or in print) then please contact the editors at email@example.com