Notes for contributors

We welcome submissions to the Politics&History blog, and we’re happy to reproduce online articles published elsewhere (and credit the original blog of course) if you own the copyright. We’re interested in writing that uses history to inform the study of politics (or vice versa) and in work that explores the links between the two disciplines.


  • Please email your draft article to
  • Text should be provided as a MS Word file attachment.
  • The name, institutional affiliation, academic position, and email address of each contributor should appear at the top of the first page.
  • We aim to respond promptly. If accepted, we may edit the article to enhance readability to a general audience. We will let you have the edited version before publication to allow you to make final (minor) amendments.
  • You, and any co-author/s, must own the copyright to submitted articles (and submission is taken as confirming that).
  • All articles must be based on evidence. The editors may double check factual accuracy and reserve the right to reject articles where doubts about accuracy cannot be easily allayed.
  • Submitted articles should follow the style guide below.

Length and format

  • From 750 to 1250 words
  • British spelling (e.g. “privatisation” not “privatization”)
  • Use ‘per cent’ instead of ‘%’.
  • Spell out numbers below 10, use figures for 10 and above; but ‘7-12’ not ‘seven-12’.
  • Graphs and charts
    • Please provide in an Excel file the underlying data as well as the graph or chart (so that we can modify if necessary for online readability).
    • Graphs or charts need a clear heading
    • They should also be clearly labelled – e.g. labels for both the horizontal and vertical axes of a graph, units of measurement, use of horizontal and/or vertical lines if they make it easier for the reader
    • Lines should be thick enough to see and in deep and contrasting colours.


  • Make it short (15 words max, and preferably fewer), to the point, and catchy in a way that sums up the main argument you’re making in the article.
  • Here are some examples of good titles:
    • Why the SDP failed to ‘break the mould’ of UK politics
    • Women: always important in the Conservative Party
    • Labour was better at recruiting members than keeping them

Writing style

  • We aim to communicate not just with academics but with a broader (but well-informed) public so please write in a way that can be understood easily by non-academics such as policy-makers.
  • Use a more natural style than you would in a journal article. Avoid overusing
    • acronyms (and if you do use them make sure to explain what they mean)
    • Latin words, or
    • academic terminology not easily understood by mere mortals.
  • Avoid introductory formulations such as ‘In this paper I intend to …’. Just get straight to the point.
  • Give a succinct summary of your conclusion/s early on in the post (i.e. follow the example of good journalists).
  • Use short paragraphs. Any more than five sentences is probably too long online.
  • Avoid long sentences, especially those with convoluted sub-clauses.
  • Ensure that your article stands as it is, even if it is summarising findings presented in a much longer article or in a book.
  • Don’t refer out to another article in a way that requires the reader to have access to it (because many people don’t). So avoid phrases like ‘In my recent article I have shown that Thatcher was much more pragmatic about pensions reform than has been realised …’. Say ‘Thatcher was pragmatic about pensions reform in several ways …’.


  • Don’t use standard citations such as footnotes or Harvard referencing. Instead provide an online link to the more detailed work, news items, blog posts, etc. that you are referring to (open access sources are much preferred).
  • Insert that link in your text either
    • By copying the URL (click the address at the top of your browser and press Ctrl+C), then select the relevant words in your text and press Ctrl+K (in Word) and, finally, insert the URL as the hyperlink using Ctrl+V.
    • Or just put the URL within parentheses at the point in the text at which you want it placed it and we’ll create the hyperlink for you.
  • Don’t use footnotes for tangential material – either delete it or integrate into your text.

Bio and photo

  • Send us a short biography of each contributor, including your institution and academic position, and details of one or two recent books.
  • Please include a small photograph of each contributor: portrait not holiday snap, head shot, in colour, and recent (or at least recognisably you today).