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Style Guide for Contributors

For writing style, consult The Elements of Style for construction and APA 6 for tone and voice.  Some highlights:

  • Use the “Oxford comma” before the conjunction in the last item in a list: “… lions, tigers, and bears.”
  • Use neutral, objective language in your commentary.
  • Cite articles using hyperlinks where possible.  If you cannot embed hyperlinks in the article as submitted, include direct links to sources after the relevant text.  For peer-reviewed research, link to the full-text article where possible; otherwise, link to the journal of publication or to the record for the article in a publicly-accessible database (such as ERIC).
  • When identifying political figures, avoid identifying the person’s or group’s party affiliation unless it is utterly necessary for the policy analysis.  The rationale is to avoid politics for its own sake in our discussions of important issues, and to avoid the potential bias generated by identifying political affiliation.
  • Avoid criticizing individuals or organizations directly.  Our mission is to provide tools and knowledge for leaders and stakeholders to make and implement effective policy.  Direct criticism risks alienating audience and closing off opportunities for communication.
  • Avoid commenting on issues involving the organization which currently employs you or for which you do any work or from which you may stand to gain any value.
  • At the end of posts, include specific policy and practice recommendations for the situation described.  We want our commentary to be constructive, positive, and proactive.

This list is not exhaustive and is subject to revision.

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