Send us your Political Ecology text at email@example.com.
Below we offer a guide to help you structure your post.
I. Type of posts
Within the basic condition that the post needs to be related to political ecology and written in an accessible fashion, endless types of posts are possible. A post can be a narrative related to your research, a reflection on an experience in the field, or some more theoretical/philosophical musings. Other options are an interview, a book review, thoughts on a documentary or a film (for example, the light it has shed on your research, what it means for political ecology more broadly), a commentary on a museum exhibition, an analysis of a photograph…
Apart from general blog post category Short Essays, that includes many different formats and contents, we have created the specific categories of Long Reads, Doing Political Ecology, Art and Multimedia, and Calls for Action.
Posts can be collectively written as well; they could even take the form of a conversation.
A post does not need to be an absolutely brilliant finished polished piece, but can be a work in progress or a reflection.
Think about how you can get your reader to think in a different way, provoking them to write a comment to enter into a discussion or to ask questions.
II. Post tips: length, style, images, hyperlinks, tags
Please send your completed post to the person you were first in contact with, they will take care of sending it along to the editing team. If any significant changes are made, the editing team will contact you; otherwise we will let you know when it is posted on the blog.
If you are a guest writer don’t forget to include a 2-3 sentence (max) biography. This will appear at the end of the post.
a. Post length and style
Each post should not exceed 1000 words – please consider splitting a long text into two or more posts.
All blog posts should have a short one or two-liner at the beginning to draw the reader in. The idea here is to concisely communicate the point of your text. The format should be normal paragraph style and italics.
Review your post, and see if a paragraph looks too chunky. If so, break it down into smaller paragraphs, maximum 3-4 sentences. Web readers are turned off by large blocks of text. Blockquotes can be inserted when citing texts, when it makes sense to make them stand out from the rest of the text.
Try not to be “academicky”! In general we are not in favour of citing more than handful of academic texts; if you do this, contextualise the author and provide a link to their work. For example:
“Just as environmental historian William Cronon in his now (in)famous essay The Trouble With Wilderness was perturbed by unexamined ideals of wild nature as untouched and inhuman within the environmental movement in the 1990s…”
To avoid being too “academicky”, here are some tips adapted from The Conversation (theconversation.co.uk) to keep in mind:
- Keep paragraphs to a maximum of 3-4 sentences.
- Less than 17 words per sentence on average.
- Eliminate acronyms.
- Avoid jargon.
- Avoid stringing together multiple prepositions.
- Don’t verb nouns.
For more tips on writing simply, see this post on Giorgos Kallis’s blog.
b. Images and image credits
Always include at least one image (3-4 would be the best for a regular post). This can be a photograph you took or something you found on-line (diagram, graph, chart…). In general, always include an image at the top of your post to get a reader’s attention. A video can also be embedded in the blog post, and so can audio (e.g. soundcloud).
Send the person editing your post as high quality images as possible, in .jpg format and as separate attachments. Refer to each image in text where you would like them to be inserted. You can also decide which of your images will be the featured image. The latter is the image that appears on the homepage of the blog alongside, it can be any image from the text or another image which is not in the text. If instructions are not given, the editor will insert images and select the featured image as they see fit.
All images should have the corresponding copyright permission, ideally a creative commons license.
Always include image credits! This is really important. These should appear below each image: One phrase description. Source: ____. The source should be hyperlinked (unless it’s a print source). No parentheses. Note the full stops.
Include hyperlinks in your posts if at all relevant (they almost always will be). Link to websites about key organisations, people, events, or sources you reference – you don’t have to go overboard, but do provide links where a reader may want more information.
As often as possible (if relevant), link to each other’s posts – it can be in response to something else that X wrote, or as a contrasting viewpoint, etc. This will help reinforce links between what we are thinking and for readers to perhaps visit an earlier post they had not read.
d. Tags & Categories
Our main post categories are: Short essays (typical blog posts), Long reads (article type and length), Doing Political Ecology (engaging with learning and teaching PE, including reflections on research processes and useful resources), Art & multimedia (non-text based contributions, or that engage with artistic pieces/expressions), Calls for action, and Reviews (of books, films, events, etc.).
Try to include tags so that your posts can be found more easily through web searches.We use the following tags:
- Climate Change
- Colonialism, Post-colinialism & Decolonization
- Conservation & Biodiversity
- Crisis & Austerity
- Environmental Change
- Environmental History
- Environmental Justice
- Feminism & Gender
- Governance, Policy & the State
- Indigenous Peoples
- Mining & Extractivism
- Movements & Resistance
- Pollution, Toxicity & Health
- Science & Technology
We have the Undisciplined Environments Facebook and Twitter feeds, but please repost blog entries on your personal social media sites. If you write about an organisation, a book, an exhibition, a documentary etc., share what you have written with them through email, twitter and other means – this helps us get the word out about what we are doing and to build a readership base.
Let’s try to read others’ posts consistently, and make meaningful comments when we can.
Also, invite other people to write something with us!!