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Best practices when writing a blog

Be clear and concise and make the main point at the beginning
The best blogs usually state the main point in the first paragraph. You should always show your readers why they should take care of the problem you are dealing with. Start raising your main claims right away and later offer evidence to corroborate them. Avoid introductory phrases such as “In this paper I will try…” or “This document is intended to…”.

Corroborate the blog with evidence and sources
The claims made in the blogs should be based on evidence from your own research or research of other individuals or organizations. The hyperlinks that lead to lengthy research papers, reports, databases, examples of situations or cases you are discussing can be very helpful in supporting the claims and arguments you make. Be careful not to rely too much on information contained in external sources as it is still your own text you are writing.

Be short and concise
The blogs should have a clear structure and easy flow. They should be written in short paragraphs, in an understandable and informal style. The posts should be between 600 and 800 words.

Informal style
The blogs are usually direct and informal, in order to be available to a wider audience. The writing style should be more journalistic than academic. A blog is neither an academic paper nor a public policy document. Do not use too many acronyms and Latin words or specific terminology that the general public cannot recognize.

The blog structure
Do write the blogs in many short paragraphs, divided into two to three short sections. You can also use subheadings in order to support the argument. Each paragraph can be usually four or five sentences long.

At the end of the blog, make a brief conclusion that reinforces the arguments and offer suggestions for overcoming the problem or changing the policy you are discussing.

Essential elements of a blog

The authors often overlook the importance of the title. Having an appropriate title is extremely important for its greater readability. The title should include a sentence that summarizes the main argument of the text. Avoid questions or general topics (“Pollution in Macedonia”). The best titles contain up to 6-8 words and use simple and understandable language that can be understood by those who are less familiar with the topic.

Do not use academic references in your blog. Instead, use hyperlinks to direct the readers to additional sources. They can be documents, laws, reports, research papers, other blogs, etc.

Footnotes should be used only as a last resort and very rarely. If the information is relevant, then you should usually try to fit it into the text.

Graphs and pictures
The diagrams or graphs and pictures are a great tool for providing better interpretation of the arguments and data contained in the text. Graphs and charts are generally more efficient than tables because they can be interpreted faster and easier by the readers. Each graph or image should clearly state the source, even when it is the author himself.
The author may also provide any photographs or still images from a video, but it must be clear that he/ she has the right to use them. They must: 1) belong to the author of the blog; 2) be licensed for free distribution; or 3) to have a license to use the image.

Personal information and photograph
All authors should submit a photo and two-to-three line resume that will be placed in the text and on the webpage of the partners, with links to your webpages or social media profiles that you would like to include.