How to write an OHS blog post

The Oral History Society’s blog is a place to share ideas and experiences in an informal and supportive way. It’s a way to tell others what you’re doing and how things are going.

Use it to drum up interest in your oral history project and get some useful feedback. Write about your achievements but also about what you’ve learnt from things that haven’t gone to plan. 

Remember that writing for the web is different from writing a journal article. Below are some guidelines to help you on your way.

5 things we need from you when you contribute to the Blog

1. A title

Try not to make it too long. Some say that the optimum is 6 words. Why? Because our eyes tend to pick up on the first three words of a headline and the last three words. But the key thing is to write a headline that grabs the attention of readers. Make it clear that you are writing about something that is important or useful to them.

2. A featured image

Send us a good photo to use as the blog post’s featured image. This is the image that will appear at the top of your post. It will also become the post’s thumbnail and the image used when your post is shared on social media channels. The ideal size for a featured image would be 1200 x 628 pixels i.e. landscape format. Send it to us as a .jpg file.

You can also send other images for inclusion in the post. These can be either landscape or portrait format .jpg files.

Please make sure that you have permission to use the images you want to post. For every image, please provide the following:

  • Image source and copyright ownership
  • Wording of copyright attribution
  • a short caption, if needed

3. A summary

Set out the main point of the article in no more than a couple of sentences. If you can summarise it in 140 characters or fewer, even better – this makes it easy to share on Twitter. If you know of any relevant Social Media accounts to tag in posts, please do let us know. The summary is also what appears with the title and featured image when the post appears in tile format on the website.

4. Name of post author(s) + a short biography/team description

Include a short bio of yourself and/or your organisation (no more than 2-3 sentences). Provide links to your webpage, social media accounts, etc. if you wish.

5. The article itself

One of the strengths of the oral history community is that it is made up of individuals and groups from all walks of life and many disciplines. Write informally and keep this diverse audience in mind when writing your blog post.

  • We would like you to write posts between 500 and 1000 words in length. Longer feature pieces will be accepted at the discretion of the editors.
  • Keep your writing brief, simple and to the point.
  • Make it easy on the eyeBreak up any large paragraphs (2–5 sentences maximum is your goal) and run-on sentences.
  • Clarify overly complicated wording. If you can’t say it simply, don’t write it.
  • Try not to use terms and acronyms that may be unfamiliar to many readers – we want blog content to appeal to people from all backgrounds.
  • Always cite sources. If you’re using or sharing someone else’s content or ideas, give credit where credit is due. The easiest way to do this if the original material is online is to provide a hyperlink.
  • If you want to add in a few suggested texts, articles or websites for further exploration, add these at the end of the blog.
  • Please feel free to provide links to YouTube videos, Soundcloud recordings or other online content produced by your project. We will do our best to include them.

Email it to us

Please email your contribution to: beth.tomos@btinternet.com

We will post your contribution as soon as possible and let you know when it has gone live. Please indicate if there is a particular date or anniversary which relates to your blog, and we will try our best to post around this date. 

After your blog post is submitted

The Oral History Society’s blog editors will read it carefully to see if it fits the criteria for publication.  The editors aim to read each blog and give comment within 3 weeks.  The editors may decide a blog can be posted without any changes.  They may also ask for some amendments to be made before publication on the website.  If the blog is not suitable to publish on the OHS blog, the editors will explain why. 

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