How to write for IYC

You have been invited to write for the SJDM blog “It’s Your Choice” but you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry: we are here to help! The purpose of this outline is to give you pointers on how to write a successful post. The blog editors will also work with you to edit your post.

General guidelines for research briefs

  • Write a good headline summarizing your research in one compelling and informative sentence (140 characters is ideal for Twitter!)
  • Describe your research (e.g. what you did, what you found, and what it means). Be as straightforward as possible while still being accurate.
  • Include a main takeaway message and also a statement of limitations.
  • Avoid jargon or specialized language; if you have to use it, make sure to define it.
  • Use short, snappy sentences.
  • Write to your audience, who will include SJDM members, interested members of the public, and policy makers
  • Keep it short: length should be ~1,000 words

Additional suggestions

  1. Start with a broad topic overview or anecdote. Something to draw readers in. Make it interesting within the first paragraph.
  2. Make sure readers will know what the payoff will be in the first two paragraphs. What did you find and why is that interesting, etc.
  3. Relate research to recent events and/or everyday experiences.
  4. When appropriate, create suspense by telling stories and raising questions that then must be answered.
  5. Conclusions and future directions: What is the main takeaway message you want to convey, in a sentence? What questions does this research leave unanswered?

Still further guidance…

For more advice, see this website:

Also, articles on The Conversation can serve as a good model for your post:

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