Submit a Blog Post!

The European Union Center is always seeking new contributions for our main blog.  If you are knowledgable on a topic or event related to the European Union Center or the European Union, and wish to write about it, the European Union Center's Blog would love to host your article.  We are looking for submissions that are informative, brief, vivid, and inviting. If you are interested in submitting a post, please read over our submission, image, and writing guidelines.

Submissions


  • Blog article submissions must be emailed to the EU Center (eucenter@illinois.edu) with the phrase "EUC Blog Submission-Your Name" in the message title.
  • Submissions should be sent as an MS Word attachment, should include an appropriate title and your name, and should contain one or more relevant images to accompany the blog.
  • Articles should not be more than 500 words.  Remember to be concise with your article.
  • Images should be submitted as attachments, and not embedded in the Word document.
  • If you would like to indicate how the images should be laid out, do so with notes in the Word document.
  • Bloggers must credit images appropriately, providing the internet address and copyright information. This includes creator name, title, date and internet address for the image.
  • All submissions will be evaluated and either posted to the blog, or returned with feedback designed to help make them more publishable. 


Choosing Images

Images found via Google Image search may be in violation of copyright, so the best way to choose images is to search for those that are in the public domain or protected under the fair use clause.  This means that the image may be used for educational purposes, as long as attribution is given. The following sites may serve as resources for finding these kinds of images:


  • Flickr Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/. This site includes mostly images that you are free to use as long as you give attribution. You can search for images in the top-left corner.
  • Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page. Same as Flickr Creative Commons has a majority of images that are okay to use, and for many you don’t need to give attribution. You can also search for by type of  images (such as maps) and also high-quality images.
  • Google Images with Advanced Search: You can actually specify what kind of copyright you want your images to have in Google Image’s advanced search. To do so, first, type in your search term. On the image results page, click the “options” icon on the right (the wheel icon), and select “Advanced Search”.  Scroll to the bottom of the Advanced Search page and select from the “usage rights” drop-down menu. You’ll want to select “free to use or share”. Click the advanced search button, and the new results will appear.
  • The EUCE’s audiovisual website http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/photo/index.cfm?sitelang=en has a lot of photos that are free for educational use. Most government sites will provide images for educational purposes as well


Writing the Blog



  • Blog articles should be creative, thoughtful, and well-informed.
  • While writing the article, consider if the content and style of writing will appeal to other readers and would grab their attention sufficiently to finish reading the post and to encourage their comments or feedback.
  • Have fun while composing the blog
  • Excessive spelling and grammatical errors, failure to adhere to these guidelines, or failure to appropriately cite other sources and images can result in rejection of submissions by EUC Blog editors.
  • If you would like an idea of what a typical blog post looks like, please browse our archives located to the right of the main page


Tips on Composing Your Blog
(Adapted from Corey Tomsons’ blogpost “How to write an academic blog” and Darren Rowse’s “How to Craft a Blog Post – 10 Crucial Points to Pause”)

Adhere to the “FOUR BEs” – BE BRIEF, BE VIVID, BE CONNECTED, BE INVITING


  • BE BRIEF – While following the 500-word limit, keep paragraphs and sentences short and to the point. Consider that blog readers will be scanning your work; variation in sentence structure and staying on topic will assist them. Do not use extensive quotations – summarize and use short clips to maintain reader interest. Instead of being too comprehensive, provide readers with links to other relevant work and focus on tailoring your entry to provide valuable content on the most significant point or argument.
  • BE VIVID – Do not use jargon; technical language or concepts should be linked to relevant explanations. Incorporate your own opinions and acknowledge others’ conflicting viewpoints.
  • BE CONNECTED – Always comment on quotations. Incorporate applicable links and issues of current interest into your post. Choose a pithy title that attracts interested readers to your topic. Maintain credibility by correctly citing authorities and sources, and review your post to eliminate any punctuation and spelling errors! Use your expertise to attract and keep readers coming back.
  • BE INVITING – Encourage readers to do something in response to your post; submitting a call to action may provoke further comment and discussion. Follow any conversations about your blog in the comments section and engage in a dialogue with contributing readers.




Additional Resources

“Finding and Using Images,” University of Illinois’ Library LibGuide http://uiuc.libguides.com/images

"How to Craft a Blog Post-10 Crucial Points to Pause," Darren Rowse
http://www.problogger.net/archives/2008/08/12/how-to-craft-a-blog-post-10-crucial-points-to-pause/

"How to write an academic blog," Corey Tomson
http://thoughtcapital.wordpress.com/2007/03/11/how-to-write-an-academic-blog/

 “Marking Users,” Attributing Creative Commons resources http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Marking/Users

“How To Write Excellent Blog Content: What We Wish We Knew”
http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/07/13/how-to-write-excellent-blog-content-what-we-wish-we-knew/

“Writing for the Web: Guidelines for MIT Libraries”
http://libstaff.mit.edu/webgroup/writing/

“Writing Good Content”
http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/02/18/writing-good-content/

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