Submission Guide to our Commentary

Submission guidelines

  Army Press Online seeks carefully constructed opinions on topics relevant to the Army. We seek to provide a space for the interaction of multiple perspectives. To that end, we are looking for submissions that do one of the following:

Engage directly with debates occurring in other forums

Provide a careful analysis or synthesis of a topic

  • Utilize personal experience to enhance understanding of a topic

We encourage you to tailor your writing to current Army conversations. Check out these important publications for source material and ideas or look at our archives for inspiration.

As our goal is to foster open communication, we do not pose restrictions on positions held in arguments made, though be mindful of our participation policy.

In our online space we are looking for the following types of writing:

  • Commentaries (800-1200 words) that quickly state a position and explain using research and anecdote. We are also interested in turning longer essays into serials.
  • Research (max 5k) that is well grounded in the literature and provides a new perspective or solution.

These pieces should seek to do one or more of the following ‘moves’ of argumentation:

  • Synthesis: distill and interpret a concise portrait of the points of view inside a debate, a news topic or what is trending.
  • Clarification: Ideas sure do pile up in today’s mode of info-sharing. Not every piece of writing needs to provide a new solution or new idea. Write something that helps boil it all down, helps remove some of the confusions that abound. Through simplicity comes clarity.
  • Call for action: Talk only gets us so far. What can you convince someone to do or not do in 800 words or less? Be realistic.
  • Polemic: take a stance on a running debate that gets people fired up.
  • Reaction: give a reaction to something you’ve read, seen, or experienced. Let others learn from your unique perspective.
  • Question Posing: Not every piece of writing has to solve the world’s problems. Pose or present a question in a new way to get our collective gears whirring productively.

We also provide ‘assignments’. If you are looking for guidance in developing your writing and critical thinking skills,

email the Army Press for a writing assignment.

Style & Content Criteria

Your piece needs to respect the time and intelligence of your readers. Before you sit down to write, see what the current conversation is–ask yourself as you explore other forums of digital conversation, is my idea something others take for granted? Is it something most agree with already? Disagree with? In order to shape your message, you have to understand where you audience is coming from.

Also, keep your concluding ideas as focused, precise and narrow as possible. Everybody wishes the ideals could come true. Keep your conclusions well-grounded in real events, processes and possibilities. Think about what, exactly, it is possible to change with one piece of writing.

Research & Formatting

Use Chicago style bibliographies to document your research.

For a sample manuscript using Chicago style, click here.

  • Courier New Font, 12 pt, double spaced
  • Do not use footnotes. References should be MANUALLY ENTERED endnotes, highlighted in yellow and superscript

 

Email with questions.