ESSA Blog

The ESSA blog is a platform where you can contribute ideas and discuss issues related to education that matter to you. 

Blogging Guide

Blogging Tips

  • Categories

    Our blog’s aim has three main categories with three aims: 

    • ESSA comment - sparking debate about topical trends and issues in education.

    • ESSA voices - people’s personal stories and first-hand experiences about education and employment across sub-Saharan Africa. 

    • ESSA inform - highlighting emerging evidence and research. 

    Our target audience is broad; made up of educators, researchers, students, employers and policymakers in sub-Saharan Africa and globally.

  • Choosing a topic 

    The ESSA blog seeks to be current, relevant and reactive to events happening, particualrly in sub-Saharan Africa. We are interested in blog posts which react to or discuss major trends and key events of relevance to education.  

    It helps to begin with something you are passionate about. What do you want to say about a topic and why do you think it is important? You can browse through our blog for inspiration.  

    A guide to each of our general themes: 

    • Education - Our work at ESSA is about improving education for people in sub-Saharan Africa. We are interested in any interesting opinions, research and ideas you have related to education. This could be education outside of sub-Saharan Africa too, which is still very important to learn from. 

    • Sub-Saharan Africa and lifestyle - Whether it’s the environment, gender equality or youth governance that you care about, we cover all the issues that matter to you across the continent. Current affairs and topical issues are particularly interesting for our readers.

    • Employment - ESSA looks at the transition between education and work. We want to strengthen education systems to better prepare young people in sub-Saharan Africa for jobs. We are interested in any topic related to employment, entrepreneurship and the labour market. Largely we are interested in blogs which look at this issue within sub-Saharan Africa. However, if you would like to blog about this issue in a global context or in the context of countries outside of sub-Saharan Africa, it can still be relevant.  

    • Lifestyle - Culture and all the things that make our lives interesting. If you’ve got a view on how things like music or sport can help create change in education or the world of work in Africa, let us know. 

  • Structuring your blog
    • Who/What? – Be clear about who or what your blog is about from the beginning. Who or what is the focus of the story? What are you trying to say about it? What information does the reader need to know to be informed about the topic? The best blogs don’t try to say everything at once but concentrate on one issue at a time. This might mean you need to do some wider research on the theme. Use links if there are wider points you would like to make but don’t have room to say it all, make use of hyperlinks so people can do more reading if they want to. 

    • Where? – Set the scene for your blog. Don’t assume that the reader knows anything about the topic. Give your blog context. Think about where the story is set. 

    • When? – Blogs are often timely and sometimes reflect or relate to events happening in a wider context, therefore you sometimes need to be clear about why the topic you are talking about is important at the time you are writing it. 

  • Writing style
    • Think like the reader - Keep asking yourself; If I saw the headline, would I click through to find out more? If I was reading through, would I keep reading until the end? Would I understand what this blog was about if I didn’t know anything about the topic? Be creative with your title so that you can entice a reader.  

    • Be informal but informative - This is your voice so be yourself and write however you feel comfortable. Feel free to be emotive and use casual, conversational language.  

    • Keep it short unless a long read - Aim for between 400-800 words. Use short sentences and try to stick to one paragraph per idea. Blogs should be a more informal way for people to read about a topic. You can also write a long form blog which are usually over 1,000 words. However think very carefully about who will read it and what the message is.

  • How your blog looks
    • Use images - these can break up a page and give a visual description for the reader. We need at least one photo to go with each blog so we can promote it online. Sometimes people like to get creative and draw and illustration or make a graphic.  Don’t worry though, because we also have stock images which can be used and work well. 

  • Guidelines for submission 
    • Language - Blogs can be submitted in English, French or Swahili. If in French or Swahili, a short abstract in English is requested. 

    • Biography - Please include at the end of your post one to two sentences about yourself and your preferred contact email. This should include any personal or professional connection you have to the subject of the post. 

    • Submit - Please contact the ESSA communications team if you would like to submit a blog post. You can also submit your blog post in a Word document format or let us know if you have any questions before writing your blog: comms@essa-africa.org 

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