Well, we’re pretty sure you can, too—no dance-offs required. Still, there are some guidelines that will help you in pitching an article idea and getting from proposal to finished product. We work hard to make sure that this is a rewarding, relatively painless process in which your words get the special treatment from our editorial staff and your graphics get spiffed up by our excellent graduate student Suzy McElrath. Here’s how to get started:

  1. TSP is not a typical journal. Broadly, we want to publish big picture articles that can provide basic data and information missing from public debates, supply context to the news, or add sociological insights to the general public.
  2. Jargon lover? Strip it out to the extent that you can. Again, we have an enormous and lively audience of readers, and there’s no way all million of them are sociologists. They don’t speak academic-ese, so you’ll have to try to drop it. When it’s useful, use the terminology but add a parenthetical that explains it informally.
  3. Now, if you’re still feeling excited and want to get a little feedback before diving in to a full-length draft, send us the following:
  • Your hook. What’s the intriguing first sentence? What’s the five-word title of true interest? We prefer titles without colons or question marks, so try to go for interest over explanation in your title. Let the paper do that work.
  • Your first paragraph; we’d like an idea of what your style is and where you’re going with the piece.
  • The overall point. What do you want readers to take away from the piece?
  • Your recommended readings. We’d like to see 4-6 recommended readings that will help the lay reader who is interested in learning more about your topic. If it’s not behind a paywall, awesome! Eventually, we would also like a descriptive sentence that explains why each reading is particularly useful or ground-breaking.

Now you’re ready! Get that sociological imagination in gear, because open-access AND the chance to make it into a print volume is just too cool to pass up.