ACM at UCLA
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ACM at UCLA

How to write for ACM Impact at UCLA

Welcome to ACM at UCLA’s Medium publication! We want to use this blog to highlight the ways that tech affects all of us in the UCLA student body, and we would love to see what you have to talk about. If you’re interested in contributing articles, art, short pieces, or anything else, read this page to see how to get your content published on our blog.

Mission

ACM Impact focuses on the intersection of tech with public policy, ethics, social justice, and society in general. Our work involves varying perspectives and opinions, but above all is dedicated to promoting tech literacy combined with social good, inclusivity, and equity. Feminism and anti-racism are at the core of our values.

We welcome writing that addresses everything from current events to legal analysis to opinions to personal projects to anything else. In the past, we’ve published pieces about environmental tech initiatives and Google’s AI ethics, and we’re excited to read about any and all of your new ideas!

Instructions for Full Articles

  1. Create your own Medium account. This account should be under your name. See here for instructions on how to create a Medium account.
  2. Get started! Come up with a topic and write, research, and proofread your Medium draft. See here for how to get started with writing. All pieces should align with our mission above.
  3. Office hours: If you’d like support as you write, come to ACM’s office hours! Check out our calendar and newsletter to see when and where they are (look for “ACM Impact Blog Office Hours”). Note that these are optional.
  4. Disclaimers: At the top of your piece, make sure you write the following sentence in italics (check out examples on our past blog posts): “This blog post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of ACM at UCLA and the UCLA CS department.
  5. Submit! Submit your draft for review by our publication. Use this guide to help you submit your draft to our page. In addition, email us at acm.impact.ucla@gmail.com with the subject line “ACM Impact Blog Submission”. In the body of the email, make sure you include your post title, a link to the draft, your name, major, and year, and a brief (3–5 sentence) summary of your piece. Not sure if it will be accepted? Submit it anyway! We love reading what everyone has to write.
  6. Editing: We review pieces during the 3rd and 7th week of every quarter. Writing periods (when you write your post) are weeks 1–2 and 5–6, and each writing period’s respective Editing & Publication period is weeks 3–4 and 7–8.
  7. Publication: If you submitted before the Editing & Publication period and did not get any updates by the end of the cycle, this means we did not decide to publish your piece. Please don’t worry if your piece wasn’t published this time! You can always review it to make new edits, double-check that it aligns with ACM Impact’s mission statement, and come to our office hours to discuss it with us before submitting again in our next publication cycle.
  8. Feedback: We might leave comments on your piece; please make any appropriate edits, then send us a brief email to let us know you’re ready for a final review.
  9. Woohoo! If your piece gets published, congrats! We’ll send you an email with the official link. Share it with everyone you know — tell them all about the work you did and your publication (and our blog too!).

Instructions for Shorts

If you don’t want to write a full piece, exercise your creativity! We’ll send out a current topic twice a quarter with the ACM mailing list, and we want your thoughts and input on it — whether in 3–5 sentences, a visual/creative piece, a poem, or a submission of any other form! All pieces will be compiled and published as one Medium post after Week 4 and Week 8.

Send us your submission to acm.impact.ucla@gmail.com with the subject line “ACM Impact Shorts”. See below for what you should include in the body of your email.

You can publish your short under your name or anonymously — please specify your choice in the body of your email. If your piece has a title, include that in the email as well. In addition, please include a short summary/explanation of your piece.

  • If you’re submitting writing/poetry, enclose what you want to submit in quotes in your email!
  • If you’re submitting a visual piece, please attach it to your email as a JPG or PNG file.
  • If you’re submitting something else, send it to us as you see fit and we’ll work together to figure out how to best present it!

Tips

  1. Outline: Have an outline and coherent idea of your topic before you start writing (even if this topic changes throughout the course of writing). This helps with streamlining your research and writing process. Remember, the more specific your topic, the better the quality and precision of your ideas and writing, and the more likely you are to be published!
  2. Mission: All pieces should align with our mission statement above. We reserve the right to not publish a piece if it does not align with ACM’s mission and values.
  3. Proofread: Proofread, and then have your friends proofread! Ideas should flow logically, and sentences should be well-written and use proper grammar and spelling.
  4. Links! Links! Make sure every claim you make, even if it’s an opinion piece, is hyperlinked to a reputable source. Here are the best Medium practices for citing sources. Make sure your piece is well-researched, and cross-check facts from one source to another. While you don’t need to write about them, consider alternate points of view as you do your research.
  5. Sources: Reputable sources include national and local publications, government organizations, research studies and papers. Even social media posts can be reputable, if they are used to reference the direct opinion of the original poster (OP), e.g. quoting a politician’s Tweet to show their opinion on a certain event. Social media posts should not be used as a source for factual information beyond the scope of an OP’s personal perspective.
  6. Spice it up! Add pictures, headers, embedded content, and more! Medium has an array of tools — take advantage of them! The one thing we require is a banner image at the top of the publication (check out our past pieces as examples). Create your own, or check out freely-usable images on sources like WikiCommons or Unsplash.

We hope this was helpful, and we can’t wait to see what you have to share with us! If you have any questions, email us at acm.impact.ucla@gmail.com. Happy creating!

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Maya

Maya

computer science major by day, English major by night