• bmsawestern

Blog Submission Guidelines


Courtesy of University of Surrey

First of all, anyone can write! No experience necessary


Writing can be incredibly intimidating, especially for students who didn’t come to university to do essay courses *ahem* most medsci students. So don’t fret about your writing abilities at all! We believe you all have an interesting story to tell, and we’re here to help you tell it.

So without further ado, here’s our submission guidelines.


Pitching

  • Pitch ideas to communications team before starting your piece

  • Finding the direction of your piece makes the message of your piece stronger

  • It’s good to pitch ideas that are relevant to what’s going on in society

How to pitch?

  • Find an angle for your piece

  • Most topics are broad, so it helps to narrow the scope down — think of it like a research paper; researchers don’t just research “mental health”, they research topics like, “how perfectionism harms mental health”

  • Once you’ve got your angle, think about the progression of your article

  • For example, going back to “how perfectionism harms mental health”

  • Maybe it’ll go something like this: Introduce the topic, talk about how perfectionism diminishes self esteem, talk about how it can increase stress, talk about how these two diminish well-being, and conclude with coping strategies

  • It doesn’t have to go exactly like that, but it’s good to come up with a few points that will be organized by section

  • Summarize angle + article progression in 3-4 sentences to whoever you’re pitching to

Potential Topics to Write About

  • Research experience

  • Volunteer experience

  • Medsci culture

  • Personal anecdotes

  • Mental Health

  • Wellness

  • Applying to professional school

  • Opinions on science/health news

  • And really, anything that relates to being a medsci student!

Length

  • 500-600 words - not a hard limit

  • Speak to Vivian if you’d like to submit a longer piece :)

Style

  • Strike a balance between formal and informal writing

  • You want to project your voice, but you also don’t want to put slang in every other sentence

  • Contractions are fine

  • Can do a narrative style piece or informative styled piece (see examples below, if you wish)

To submit a piece


  • Submit as word doc, with full name and preferred name of piece in the title

  • Send email to: bmsawestern@gmail.com

  • With subject: BMSA Blog Submission - Full Name

*Not all pieces will be published*

All pieces must be approved by Vivian before publishing


Stuck on ideas? Check out these resources!


The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/column/on-campus

The NYT has several personal columns that are great for this personalized style of writing! The one linked is especially helpful because its targeted towards university students


Student Newspapers

https://thevarsity.ca/

https://www.ubyssey.ca/


American

https://www.thecrimson.com/

https://www.nyunews.com/

https://yaledailynews.com/

http://cornellsun.com/


Student Newspapers are a great source for science-related news that relates to students! I would especially recommend UBC and UofT’s paper because they have stellar writing and also have science sections


You can also check out some American ones, but they may not be as relevant: Yale, Harvard, NYU, Cornell (all have stellar writing)


The News

Keep your eyes peeled for any science related news in the media! (CBC, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, NYT, Associated Press, Ipolitics, Council on Foreign Relations)


Other Examples:


Humanizing Research

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/23/opinion/graduate-student-cancer-research.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fon-campus&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection


HIV Crisis in London

https://www.westerngazette.ca/opinion/it-s-time-for-students-to-care-about-the-hiv/article_300b21b8-1d07-11e8-8773-531ac7939ab6.html


Finding Your Identity While Facing the Pressure of Professional School Applications

https://thestudentinfluence.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/finding-your-identity-while-facing-the-pressure-of-professional-school-applications/


I’m 19 and on the Cusp of Something

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/im-19-and-on-the-cusp-of-something/article19493731/


The Flaws in the GPA System

https://www.westerngazette.ca/opinion/the-gpa-system-is-failing-students/article_4578db9a-bd20-11e7-832c-6f52168a3d1c.html

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