Submission Guidelines

General Guidelines

The PPGR is a platform for bold and thoughtful public policy analysis, and welcomes submissions of articles on issues relevant to contemporary policy issues in Canada and around the world. Generally, submissions should be under 900 words. Articles that are shorter in length tend to have the widest reach. All questions and/or submissions should be sent to

Format and style

  • Relevant external sources should be hyperlinked in the article. For example: “In a recent report published by the National Energy Board…” Avoid footnotes.
  • Writers should avoid using academic jargon and prioritize clarity. Writers should assume their audience is well-informed but does not have academic or professional expertise in public policy.
  • Spell out numbers under 10 (“One in five people…”) and write numbers 10 and over with numerals (“There have been 15 studies…”).
  • Avoid using a passive voice when you can use an active one. For example: “Tom carried the box” would be preferred to “The box was carried by Tom.”
  • Avoid using clichés.
  • Make the argument or topic clear near the beginning of the piece. This will help readers follow the organizational logic.
  • All images submitted alongside your article must either be your own personal work; originate from a free-images site (e.g. Pixabay); or be labelled as “free to use, share or modify, even commercially” under Google Images usage rights. Images must be at least 600 x 800 in size.

Three types of articles can be submitted to the PPGR:

  1. Commentary

The best commentary articles make a well-researched argument based in facts and evidence about a current policy issue. Commentary pieces should include enough information about the topic to give readers some context, but explaining the policy issue is not the point of this section. A good test of the coherence of your argument is whether or not your main point can be summarized succinctly. Could you say it in a tweet? For examples, read Federico Vargas on ideology and pension reform and Ali Nasser Virji on Justin Trudeau’s brand.

  1. Explainer

An Explainer describes a complex policy issue and makes it more accessible by breaking it down into digestible parts–particularly good practice for emerging policy professionals who will have to simplify complicated topics on the job! Explainer pieces do not take a position on the issue but give the reader the necessary information about the context and related factors to understand the policy problem. See Andrew Abballe on Blockchain, and Ian T.D. Thompson on the environmental impact of an invasive species. Original infographics are also encouraged. For example, see “What Happens After the Election? A Quick Visual Guide to Canadian Democracy.”

  1. Seen+Heard

Seen+Heard pieces report on university and community events related to public policy. They can also be profiles or interviews with Canadian and international policy leaders and scholars. Rather than a descriptive summary of an event, the article should encapsulate the main points raised, put the topic into context and/or connect it to a current policy discussion, and make clear why this matters to a reader who may or may not have been present at the event itself. Writers are encouraged to take photos at the event/interview and submit them along with their article. For examples, see Taylor Davis’ coverage of a conference on Decent Work for the Nonprofit Workforce and Christal Huang’s review of a working paper on Measuring Prosperity in Ontario.