Arab Food and Nutrition Security Blog Competition Guidelines
Arab Food and Nutrition Security Blog
By entering the IFPRI Blog Student Competition on Arab Food and Nutrition Security you agree to comply
with the following rules, guidelines and best practices.
Think hard about the content of your blog. Content must be accurate and must adhere to U.S. and
international copyright law (including guidelines for fair use).
Blog stories are intended to appeal to the general public and must translate research findings into more
easily accessible language without compromising the integrity of the research in the process (they
should link back to related research outputs and other relevant materials). The Arab Food and Nutrition
Security Blog will address key issues of the Food Security debate in the Arab Countries and specifically
issues of public concern. Stories should be kept short (target length is 500-700 words). Authors should
be as concise as possible to avoid delays in the editing process due to the need to drastically reduce the
story length prior to publishing.
Authors should consider the following principles when drafting a new blog story:
Well-developed, evidence-based statements: With preference for a first-person account of
experience, observations, and conclusions.
Visuals: Visuals help in illustrating the content of the message to the reader, so include them
Clear policy-/strategic relevance: The aim behind the Arab Food and Nutrition Security Blog is
to foster evidence-based and informed discussion amongst the community.
Avoid: (i) The mention of religion, (ii) Any mention of “partisan politics”, (iii) The mention of
geopolitics and (iv) Criticism of a personal nature on third parties.
Authors should consider the following principles when writing their blog story:
Title/Headline: Blog story titles should be descriptive, clear and interesting to Arab Food and
Nutrition Security Blog audience. Titles should also be based on accepted best practice for
blogging and search engine optimization (SEO)1
. Statements, questions, and calls to action are
useful formats for attracting readers’ attention via the title and short descriptions (e.g., in
subtitle or at top of post) should be used to support title as needed.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is based on the keywords or search terms web visitors use to find your site’s
core content. For further information about SEO terms related to your story’s content, please contact a member of
IFPRI’s web team or the blogging coordinator.
Opening paragraph: The most interesting content should be found in the opening paragraph.
Avoid lengthy descriptions of the research output, event, and listing partner organizations, etc.
in the first paragraph, as such content is better suited for subsequent paragraphs (and
sometimes not at all).
Blog body: Whenever possible, tell a story. The body of the blog post should put the most
interesting point (raised in the opening paragraph) into a broader context and explain why the
research output, event, etc. is important and adds value to ongoing research and discussions
around the given topic. Complex sentences should be broken up and authors should avoid using
jargon or including too many technical details.
Closing paragraph: One highly effective strategy for closing paragraphs is to consider the
“What next?” question. In other words, now that we know what we just learned, where do we
go from here? The closing also should link back to the main idea presented in the opening
paragraph wherever possible. Sometimes bulleted lists are a good way of highlighting the “take-
aways” and wrapping up a post in a concise and digestible manner.
Adherence to IFPRI’s style guide: To the degree possible, all published materials for the blog
competition should be consistent with IFPRI’s publication style. Please refer to the IFPRI Style
Manual on the intranet for additional guidance.
Ideally, your blog would be related to research/desk review that you have undertaken, alone or
collaboratively with other students. When applicable, contributors can be credited with a statement at
the end of the story “XX contributed to this blog.”
Cite all sources (preferably with a hyperlink), including giving appropriate credit to speakers’ statements
when quoting or paraphrasing their remarks from an event. Under no circumstance should any
copyrighted material from a third party (including photos) be uploaded to the blog without explicit
written permission from the owner.
Links to external sources
Careful consideration should be given when linking to other sites and materials. Hyperlinking to external
resources and websites is common practice, but posts should only link to reputable, evidence-based
sources, and only after it has been confirmed that such linking is permitted (i.e., not expressly