Article Guidelines

If you’re thinking of writing an article for The York Historian, but are not sure where to start, the guidelines below should help to outline the editing process and give you an idea of what we’re looking for in an article.  As a board we are, however, happy to be flexible so if you have any queries about the guidelines please feel free to contact us.

  1. Your article can be about anything historical you are interested in, whether you’ve studied a module on it here at York or it falls outside of the material currently covered by your course.  It can be an analysis, commentary or a review – and it can even be collaborative. It can be related to current affairs or it might even be an anniversary of an event you want to discuss. You can even pose a question that you want to answer, just like an essay.
  2. Once you have an idea for an article, pitch it to one of the corresponding period editors to confirm that your article topic is appropriate and has not been written about recently. If you’re not sure which category your article fits into, or which editor to get in touch with, feel free to contact the Co-Editors-in-Chief directly – we encourage articles that span across periods and topics or which seem unconventional!
  3. Our articles are not opinion pieces, so it’s best to aim to be neutral and steer clear of controversiality.
  4. Once confirmed, begin your article! Articles should aim to be between c. 600 – 2000 words, but these are soft restrictions and are up for discussion if you need to use more words. For smaller articles, headings are not necessary, but for larger articles sub-categories with section topics are preferable (have a look at our current articles for examples).
  5. In terms of providing sources for your material, we essentially work in line with normal departmental practices.  We don’t use footnotes but be sure to include a bibliography, and we strongly encourage that articles are written after having done some reading or research (this may be less the case with review articles).
  6. Keep your audience in mind – they are likely to be non-specialist, so if there are key terms or concepts that are commonplace knowledge to the field it is worth explaining them.
  7. You are welcome to submit old procedural and assessed essays, however it is worth keeping the following in mind.  Essays will need to be substantially reworked into article form, particularly assessed pieces, in order to maintain the department’s standards of academic integrity.  The department has advised us that in the case of articles which are drawn from and very similar to assessed essays it may be best to wait until after the August period of re-sits to submit the article to be published. For single-project work (such as dissertation), there is no risk of others plagiarising in the August re-sit period so the length of time necessary to wait until submission is shorter.
    This point is both important and confusing, feel free to contact the editing team to clarify anything.
  8. Your content should come with several images to be used as preview pictures on the website and within the article itself. Usually we use Gmail to pass articles back and forth – just attach your images separately in an email to us.
  9. Once finished, submit your article back to the Editor you approached for a proof read. Once it is proof read, it will be sent back to you with any revisions. It will then go through the Co-Editors-in-Chief for a second read, and possibly after some further revisions it will be published on the site the following day.
    For those writers who are more active with the site, their work will likely be included in the annual print edition around Easter.

We hope this helps, but if you have any queries please feel free to get in touch.

The York Historian