Writing Guidelines

The Canadian Centre for Strategic Studies (CCSS) is an open access research group dedicated primarily to the publication of writings and similar works by degree-seeking students (PhD, Masters, brilliant undergraduates), recent post-graduates, independent (non-academic) researchers, and early career researchers. The principal aim of the CCSS is to ‘make room’ for a wide diversity of approaches and emerging voices to engage in ongoing conversations in and around the field of strategic studies. 

Prior to submitting your article using the submission form, kindly review these Writing Guidelines to see if your article fits within the scope of one our publications, and to ensure that it complies with our formatting requirements and length criteria. We strongly encourage you to contact our editors before writing your article to pitch your idea and get feedback before you even begin.


CCSS readers are well-informed, intelligent individuals with a wide range of interests. They are not necessarily specialists in international affairs (though many are). Our readers want to be provoked by smart, fresh takes on the world and rigorous analysis presented in clear, accessible prose. The ideal article strikes a balance: It should spark debate among specialists but also engage and inform a general interest reader. Articles should be driven by data and original reportage.



Rules of Thumb

Before you pitch us an idea, keep a few things in mind:

  • Read the articles published here on the website. It’s the best way to get a sense of what we like and the easiest way to avoid sending us something we’ve already covered.
  • Avoid the obvious such as  articles like “NATO at the Crossroads” and “The Future of Trans-Atlantic Relations.”
  • Connect the dots. The CCSS focuses on why what happens “there” matters “here” — and vice versa.
  • Steer clear of wonky, technical language. We are in the business of making big ideas accessible to the widest possible audience.
  • Provide original research or reporting to support your ideas. And be prepared to document what you say. We fact-checks everything we publish.

The Analysis section is for political analysis and forecasting. The purpose of an Analysis article is to provide a detailed and thorough investigation or study of a specific topic designed to deepen understanding or identify the component parts. It idealy elaborates on policy prescriptions or scenario forecasts. These articles are composed of 800 to 1200 words.

Commentary The Commentary section is for opinion-editorial style articles. The purpose of a commentary article is to express an opinion, assessment, or explanation about an event or specific situation based on an analyst’s position and arguments. These articles should be composed of 600 to 1000 words but may vary according to the level of detail of the commentary.
The Essays section is for long-form research articles. The purpose of these articles is to provide a research question, review of conventional wisdom, and a case study. These articles are composed of 2000 to 5000 words.
The Reviews section is for book review articles. The purpose of the review is to articulate a work’s over-arching thesis. The review should then break down and critique each of the work’s premise and come to a judgement of the author’s conclusion. These articles are relatively brief and are composed of 600 to 800 words.