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Latin Post Style Guide

First Posted: Oct 22, 2015 10:48 AM EDT
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Style Guide

Last updated March 9, 2016.

Latest Updates

Here are the latest updates to the Style Guide. These are only the most recent changes, but there may be more info about individual sections already established in the guide below. Read further for more info. 

Citations

If the source is a major national news operation -- CNN, Reuters, AP, Fox, etc -- do not include the name of the publication. If it is a smaller niche outlet, or if the information coming from the source is entirely unique to that source -- like a new report or study -- then include the source name.

Do not cite external sources in the first two paragraphs of a story. Internal links to past Latin Post stories are fine.

Links

When citing, always put the link on a verb phrase elsewhere in the sentence, not on the source name itself. Begin the link on the verb take a few words from there to create a decent phrase, but don't necessarily take the entire verb phrase because the link should remain as short as possible. Try to pick a SEO ready phrase.

Sub-headlines

Sub-headlines should be included in all articles. They should be formatted like normal headlines, though the guidelines aren't quite as strict.

Use the Heading 3 format for sub-headlines. If there are sub-sub-headlines, use Heading 2 for the sub-headlines and Heading 3 for the sub-sub-headlines. Do not simply use bold or italics.

Related Articles

Include related articles in all pieces. Use articles on two different subjects, rather than two on the same subject, but make sure they both relate to the primary article. For example, a piece about a singer's new album could include one related article on the singer and one on another artist releasing a new album. 

Photos

The Summary field of the photo should be used to describe the article itself, not the photo. This should be paraphrased and shortened from the primary Article Summary. Remember to include the photographer credit and source in the Attribution field.

Summaries

In the Article Summary field, describe the piece in 2-3 sentences. If the lede does so, feel free to copy/paste. Otherwise, draft a unique description for the summary. 

Font (Copy/Pasted Text)

The typeface of all articles should show up as Georgia by default. Do not use other fonts and be sure to fix any erroneous changes to typeface.

Sometimes when text is copied and pasted from another website into the CMS it brings along html tags that change the font, making articles appear to the reader with multiple typefaces. This change will not be obvious from the CMS editor because all text shows up the same there.

If you copy and paste into an article (or if you're simply being a diligent writer), check the html for any tags that begin "<span style=" and delete the tag, along with the corresponding </span> at the end of the pasted text. 

acronyms

In general, avoid alphabet soup. Some organizations and government agencies are widely recognized by their initials: CIA, FBI, GOP. Let the context determine, for example, whether to use Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI.

AVOID AWKWARD CONSTRUCTIONS: Do not follow an organization's full name with an abbreviation or an acronym in parentheses or set off by dashes. If an abbreviation or acronym would not be clear on second reference without this arrangement, do not use it.

Generally, omit periods in acronyms unless the results would spell an unrelated word. But use periods in most two-letter abbreviations: U.S., U.N., U.K., B.A., B.C. (AP, a trademark, is an exception. Also, no periods in GI and EU.) In headlines, do not use periods in abbreviations, unless required for clarity.

addresses

For numbered addresses, always use figures. Abbreviate Ave., Blvd., and St. and directional cues when used with a numbered address. Always spell out other words such as alley, drive and road. If the street name or directional cue is used without a numbered address, it should be capitalized and spelled out. If a street name is a number, spell out First through Ninth and use figures for 10th and higher: 101 N. Grant St., Northwestern Avenue, South Ninth Street, 102 S. 10th St., 605 Woodside Drive.

affect/effect

- Affect, as a verb, means influence. (EXAMPLE: "The game will affect the standings.")

-Affect, as a noun, is best avoided. It is occasionally used in psychology to describe emotion, but there is no need for it in everyday language.

- Effect, as a verb, means to cause. (EXAMPLE: "He will effect many changes in the company.")

- Effect, as a noun, means result.

(EXAMPLE: "He miscalculated the effect of his actions. It was a law of little effect.")

ages

For ages, always use figures. If the age is used as an adjective or as a substitute for a noun, then it should be hyphenated. Don't use apostrophes when describing an age range: A 21-year-old student. The student is 21 years old. The girl, 8, has a brother, 11. The contest is for 18-year-olds. He is in his 20s (no apostrophe).

allege

The word must be used with great care. Some guidelines:

Avoid any suggestion that the writer is making an allegation.

Specify the source of an allegation. In a criminal case, it should be an arrest record, an indictment or the statement of a public official connected with the case.

Use alleged bribe or similar phrase when necessary to make it clear that an unproved action is not being treated as fact. Be sure that the source of the charge is specified elsewhere in the story.

books, periodicals, reference works, and other types of compositions

Put creative/composition titles (movies, songs, albums, TV shows) in quotation marks, NOT italics, unless it is a journal/periodical.

Example: Capitalizing on her latest success, "Team" singer Lorde begins a new tour next week.

Do not use italics or quotations around the names of magazines, newspapers, the Bible or books that are catalogues of reference materials: The Washington Post first reported the story. He reads the Bible every morning.

citations

If the source is a major national news operation -- CNN, Reuters, AP, Fox, etc -- do not include the name of the publication. If it is a smaller niche outlet, or if the information coming from the source is entirely unique to that source -- like a new report or study -- then include the source name.

Do not cite external sources in the first two paragraphs of a story. Internal links to past Latin Post stories are fine.

colloquialisms.

Relegate less formal usage (such as yay) to celebrity gossip stories.

dates, months, years, days of the week

Always use Arabic numerals, without st, nd, rd, or th.

Always capitalize months. When used with a date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone.

Commas are not necessary if only a year and month are given, but commas should be used to set off a year if the date, month and year are given. Use the letter s but not an apostrophe after the figures when expressing decades or centuries. Do, however, use an apostrophe before figures expressing a decade if numerals are left out: Classes begin Aug. 25. Purdue University was founded May 6, 1869. The semester begins in January. The 1800s. The '90s.

When referring to events that occurred the day prior to when the article will appear, do not use the word yesterday. Instead, use the day of the week.

Capitalize days of the week, but do not abbreviate. If an event occurs more than seven days before or after the current date, use the month and a figure.

dimensions

When writing about height, weight or other dimensions, use figures and spell out words such as feet, miles, etc. Examples: She is 5-foot-3. He wrote with a 2-inch pencil.

Democrat/Republican

Always capitalized.

directions and regions

In general, lowercase "north, south, northeast, northern, etc." when the word indicates compass direction; capitalize when these words designate regions or are used in proper names.

EXAMPLES:

- Compass: "He drove west."

- Regions: "A storm system that developed in the Midwest is spreading eastward." "She had a Southern accent."

- Proper Names: "Western Hemisphere, South Pole, Middle East, etc."

exclamation points

As a general rule, never use exclamation points in articles, headlines, or anywhere else, unless the exclamation point is part of a composition title, proper noun or a direct quote.

Font (Copy/Pasted Text)

The typeface of all articles should show up as Georgia by default. Do not use other fonts and be sure to fix any erroneous changes to typeface.

Sometimes when text is copied and pasted from another website into the CMS it brings along html tags that change the font, making articles appear to the reader with multiple typefaces. This change will not be obvious from the CMS editor because all text shows up the same there.

If you copy and paste into an article (or if you're simply being a diligent writer), check the html for any tags that begin "headlines

Latin Post follows a mixture of Associated Press and New York Times style for headlines.

- Words with three letters or less (unless it's a verb, noun or pronoun) are not capitalized.

- Never use ALL-CAPS in headlines unless it's a proper noun.

- Never use parenthesis in headlines. We use brackets instead. (EXAMPLE: "[Video], [Watch], [Listen], [Trailer], [Rumor], [Pics], etc.")

- Never use periods or exclamation marks in headlines.

- Never use attribution/citation in headlines unless absolutely relevant to meaning of story (No: reported, reportedly, according to, etc.)

- US, UN, UK without the period.

- Use only single quotation marks ( ' ' ) instead of traditional ( " " ).

Don't Capitalize: but, the, to, and, of, on, in, a, at, as, by, or, for

Capitalize: Not, Is, Be, Can, Her, He, His, Let, No, Yes, We, Was

hyperlinks

Link sources within the text of the article, not as a separate hyperlink. Always put the link on a verb phrase elsewhere in the sentence, not on the source name itself if it is included at all. Begin the link on the verb take a few words from there to create a decent phrase, but don't necessarily take the entire verb phrase because the link should remain as short as possible. Try to pick a SEO ready phrase.

Include the http://www. text in the link, or it will not open properly. The CMS will automatically open links in new tabs, so no extra HTML is necessary to make this happen

Example: Vegetarian diets may lower blood pressure, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. 

illegal immigrant, illegal immigration

Always use the term undocumented immigrant or undocumented immigration instead. A particular action can be illegal, however, though undocumented is preferred if that action is immigration. As usual, quotes are exempt.

names

Always use a person's first and last name the first time they are mentioned in a story. Use only last names on subsequent references, unless needed to differentiate between people who have the same last name. Do not use courtesy titles such as Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms. unless they are part of a direct quotation.

Double-check spelling of all names and organizations, particularly names that have unusual or complicated spellings: Scarlett Johansson, not Johannson. Justin Bieber, not Beiber. Michele Bachmann, not Michelle. Lil Jon, but Lil' Kim. McDonald's, not Mcdonald's or McDonalds.

In particular, double-check the spelling of all words in the headline, as the URL is derived from it and cannot be changed afterward.

numerals

In general, spell out one through nine. Spell out the numbers one through nine. Use figures for 10 or above and when referring to measurements or ages.

Never begin a sentence with a figure, except for sentences that begin with a year: Two hundred freshmen attended. Five actors took the stage. 1776 was an important year. The Yankees finished second. He had 11 months to go.

Use figures for:

- Centuries, 10 or higher. Spell out names of centuries less than 10: the 21st century, the fifth century B.C.

- Court decisions: The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the plaintiffs.

- Decimals, percentages and fractions larger than 1: a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, 3.7 percent interest, a margin of 4 percentage points.

- Distances: She walked 4 miles. He missed a 3-foot putt.

- Mathematical usage: multiply by 4, divide by 6.

- Millions, billions, trillions: Use a figure/word combination for numbers larger 1 million or larger: There are more than 7 billion people on the planet, spread throughout nearly 200 countries across seven continents.

- Monetary units: 5 cents, $5 bill, 8 euros, 4 pounds.

- Playoff games: Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4, Game 5, Game 6, Game 7.

- Political districts: Ward 9, 9th Precinct, 3rd Congressional District, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

- Recipes: 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1 cup of milk.

- Speeds: 7 mph, winds of 5 to 10 mph, winds of 7 to 9 knots.

- Sports scores and standings: The Dodgers defeated the Phillies 10-3 (No comma between the team and the score). In narrative, spell out nine and under except for yard lines in American football and individual and team statistical performances: The ball was on the 5-yard line. Seventh hole. Three-point play, but 3-point shot.

- TV Seasons: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, etc.

Spell out:

- Beginning of a sentence, except for years: Forty years was a long time to wait. 1968 was a great year for music.

- Casual usage (typically seen in quotations): I must have tried it a hundred times. I'm bound to win one of these days.

- Fractions less than one: One-third of the Senate voted against the bill.

- Proper names or sayings: Big Three automakers, Final Four, Gang of Eight.

Use roman numerals to describe wars and to show sequences for people: World War II, Pope John Paul II, Elizabeth II.

obscenities, profanities

Do not use them in stories unless they are part of direct quotations and there is a compelling reason for them. If used, replace the vowels of the offensive word with an asterisk: sh*t, f*ck.

opinion

Refrain from offering opinion when not writing a review or obvious subjective analysis, e.g. sports commentary. Avoiding taking sides in news stories. The publication is, of course, opposed to racism, sexism and homophobia, so balance is not required when dealing with news subjects advocating positions like that. The publication is also pro-immigrant and immigration, but it should avoid taking sides on policy, except in opinion or analysis pieces.

percent

Spell out "percent." Never use the % sign. Use decimals, not fractions. For amounts less than 1 percent, precede the decimal point with a zero: The cost of living rose 0.6 percent.

pictures

We primarily use Getty Images to find pictures for articles.

Instructions for downloading images from Getty:

1. Go to http://www.gettyimages.com

2. Click the icon of a person's head in the upper right portion of the screen to sign in.

Username:

Password:

3. Click Sign In.

4. The search window loads. Click the black Select Media Type button beneath the search box.

5. Make sure these boxes AND ONLY THESE BOXES are selected:

- Editorial photos

- Subscription images only

This will let you search through news-related photos that are part of our subscription. Make sure Creative Images, Creative Video and Editorial video are NOT selected.

6. Enter your search terms in the search box. You can narrow the search with the drop down lists beneath Editorial photos, if you want.

7. Browse for the photo you want to use. Click it, and a popup window will appear.

8. Click Subscription download.

9. Click the second radial button to select the smaller size to download.

10. Click Download.

11. Add the image to your article as normal. Use the caption provided by Getty (just copy and paste. The credit field can just say "Getty."

Finding Images on Flickr: Make sure you check the two buttons at the bottom of the Advanced Search:

- Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content

- Find content to use commercially

Flickr's search might return photos that aren't licensed for commercial use. You can quickly check by clicking the Info button (the lower-case "i" in a circle) and clicking the "rights" link next to the copyright symbol. The license page will list the ways the photo can be used, which should include:

- for any purpose, even commercially

You can also use:

- Wikimedia Commons for photos.

- Facebook images from celebrity or brand pages are usually fine, as are Twitter photos posted by celebrities on their personal accounts.

When in doubt, just embed the tweet, post or video into your article instead; that's always fine if the site provides embed codes, which are always available for Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and most other sites. It also makes your article look more professional.

Consumer products, tv shows, films and games typically have a Media or Gallery section on their website with images specifically for news organizations to use.

Never: use photos credited to the AP or AFP. Never use photos from other news organizations like NBC, CBS, Fox News, or magazines like the Daily Mail or Maxim. Don't use photos from source websites like E! or HollywoodLife. You can always link directly to these photos in your article; just don't use them on the Latin Post site.

Whatever photo you use, always make sure to attribute it in the Credits section of the File Uploader. That means including the name and username of the source, as well as the site the photo is from.

The Summary field of the photo should be used to describe the article itself, not the photo. This should be paraphrased and shortened from the primary Article Summary. 

punctuation

Use a single space after a periods at the end of sentences.

Do not use commas before a conjunction in a simple series: In art class, they learned that red, yellow and blue are primary colors. His brothers are Tom, Joe, Frank and Pete.

However, a comma should be used before the terminal conjunction in a complex series, if part of that series also contains a conjunction: Purdue University's English Department offers doctoral majors in Literature, Second Language Studies, English Language and Linguistics, and Rhetoric and Composition.

Commas, periods and other punctuation go inside quotation marks: "I did nothing wrong," he said. She said, "Let's go to the Purdue game."

No oxford, or serial commas in a simple series. Example: The colors on display at the really included red, white and blue.

Use double hyphens instead of em- or en-dashes with a space on either side -- like this.

race

Only mention a person's race or ethnicity when it is pertinent to the story. However, as a publication that serves a racial and ethnic constituency, the identification of a source or subject's race or ethnicity is pertinent more often than at a publication with a general news focus: Sonia Sotomayor, the first Supreme Court Justice of Hispanic decent, cast the deciding vote.

related articles

Include related articles in all pieces. Use articles on two different subjects, rather than two on the same subject, but make sure they both relate to the primary article. For example, a piece about a singer's new album could include one related article on the singer and one on another artist releasing a new album. 

states and cities

The Associated Press has changed its rules regarding spelling out state names in stories.

WE NOW SPELL OUT the names of the 50 U.S. states when using them in the body of a story, whether standing alone or in conjunction with a city, town, village or military base.

sub-headlines

Sub-headlines should be included in all articles. They should be formatted like normal headlines, though the guidelines aren't quite as strict.

Use the Heading 3 format for sub-headlines. If there are sub-sub-headlines, use Heading 2 for the sub-headlines and Heading 3 for the sub-sub-headlines. Do not simply use bold or italics.

summaries

Summaries should accurately describe the piece in 2-3 sentences. If the lede does so, feel free to copy/paste. Otherwise, draft a unique description for the summary.  

times

The exact time when an event has occurred or will occur is unnecessary for most stories. Of course, there are occasions when the time of day is important. In such cases, use figures, but spell out noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes, but do not use :00. Examples: 1 p.m., 3:30 a.m.

That, which (pronouns)

- Use that and which in referring to inanimate objects, and to animals without a name. Use "that" for essential clauses, important to the meaning of a sentence, and without commas.

EXAMPLE: I remember the day that we met

- Use which for nonessential clauses, where the pronoun is less necessary, and use commas.

EXAMPLE: The team, which finished last a year ago, is in first place.

titles

Generally, capitalize formal titles when they appear before a person's name, but lowercase titles if they are informal, appear without a person's name, follow a person's name or are set off before a name by commas. Also, lowercase adjectives that designate the status of a title. If a title is long, place it after the person's name, or set it off with commas before the person's name. Examples: President Bush; President-elect Obama; Sen. Harry Reid; Evan Bayh, a senator from Indiana; the senior senator from Indiana, Dick Lugar; former President George H.W. Bush; Paul Schneider, deputy secretary of homeland security.

- Separate with commas when referring to the specific party affiliation and state of a politician. (EXAMPLE: "Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., went on to express his support for immigration reform.")

technological terms

Here are the correct spelling and capitalization rules for some common technological terms:

  • BlackBerry, BlackBerrys

  • download

  • eBay Inc. (use EBay Inc. when the word begins a sentence)

  • e-book

  • e-book reader

  • e-reader

  • email

  • cellphone

  • Facebook

  • Google, Googling, Googled

  • hashtag

  • IM (IMed, IMing; for first reference, use instant messenger)

  • Internet

  • iPad, iPhone, iPod (use IPad, IPhone, or IPod when the word begins a sentence)

  • LinkedIn

  • PlayStation

  • social media

  • smartphone

  • the Net

  • Twitter, tweet, tweeted, retweet

  • World Wide Web, website, Web page

  • Wi-Fi

  • webmaster

  • YouTube

today/tonight/tomorrow/yesterday

In general, never use today, tomorrow, or yesterday in an article, headline or anywhere else. Instead, use the day of the week and/or date.

EXAMPLES:

- On Friday, the "Glee" star filmed the video for "On My Way."

- The deal ends on Saturday, April 26.

Versus

We use AP Style for writing versus: "vs."
Example: USA vs. Ghana.

wikipedia

Online information sources that rely on collaborative, voluntary and often anonymous contributions should be handled with care. Wikipedia can be a good starting point for research, but it should not be used as an attributable source. Do not quote from it or copy from it. The information it contains has not been validated and can change from second to second as contributors add or remove material. Move on to official websites or other sources that are worthy of attribution. Do not link to Wikipedia or similar collaborative encyclopedia sites as a source of background information on any topic. More suitable sites can almost always be found, and indeed are often flagged at the bottom of Wikipedia entries. It is only acceptable to link to an entry on Wikipedia or similar sites when the entry or website itself is the subject of a news story.

Tips for News Writing

1) How to Write a Traditional News Lead

It's easy to waste time at the beginning of your articles by contextualizing, or discussing the background of your topic in detail rather than hooking the reader immediately with a strong, provocative lead.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the most common type of lead: the straight news lead.

Learning to write a good lead is one of the most difficult things to do in journalism, but once the skill is mastered, the writer is much more adept at any kind of analytical composition.

The straight news lead is one sentence of no more than 35 words and no more than one comma. That probably sounds too rigid, and it is, but a writer who aims to meet those criteria will produce a cleaner lead than a writer who doesn't. A straight news lead - and a news article - is objective: that means it does not take sides and is fair to all sides, regardless of the reporter's personal opinions.

The lead must contain all the essential information of the article so a hurried reader, or a reader not particularly interested in the topic, can quickly grasp the essentials and move on. With that in mind, the lead should also make the reader want to continue reading on to learn the details of the article. A lead strikes a balance between communicating the integral details of your story/news angle while saying just enough to intrigue your audience into reading further. That said, writers should respect the reader's time and certainly not try to draw the reader into an article under false pretenses, such as sensationalism.

The most common form of the lead sentence is the straightforward declarative sentence. Use the active voice rather than the passive voice. It is more forceful.

Don't clutter up the lead, or the article, with adjectives and adverbs. Adjectives add color and description, yes, but writing that employs vivid verbs and telling details is much more powerful than writing that leans heavily on modifiers. And a great deal of objectivity can be lost and bias introduced through the use of adjectives and adverbs.

Don't use unfamiliar names in the lead. The principle behind this rule is that readers find it easier to grasp a lot of information quickly if you begin with something they know or will recognize and then add the unfamiliar details later.

Tell the readers in the lead when the event being covered happened. That "when" dimension of an article is called a time element. Articles that describe a trend often have no specific time element because they concern something that is continuing. In that case, having a progressive ("is beginning") or present perfect ("has begun") verb obviates the need for a specific time element. Here's an example from a New York Times article by William Glaberson:

The role of the American jury, the central vehicle for citizen participation in the legal system, is being sharply limited by new laws, court rulings, and a legal culture that is moving away from trials as a method of resolving disputes.

The most important thing to know about a news article or a news lead is the following: Put the news at the beginning. That rule is so important that it often trumps the active-voice rule in police articles. That's why "Three people were arrested. ..." is often better than "The police arrested three people. ..." The police almost always do the arresting, so the fact that it was police officers who made an arrest would be unlikely to be the most important part of an article. If a bank teller performs a citizens' arrest during a robbery attempt, the fact that the teller did the arresting is worth putting at the beginning of the lead.

If who is speaking is the most important piece of information, as is often the case when a prominent person is speaking, put the speaker first.

When what the speaker said is the most important thing, put that first, followed by the attribution. If the time element is the most important thing, put that first. But the time element is rarely the most important thing in an article, which is why it is usually a mistake to begin by saying, "On Tuesday. ..."

One strategy many writers have found helpful in writing a lead is to consider everything that must be in the lead, then write down those elements in subject-verb-object order. Then, if there is room, add some of the somewhat less important things. The cliché is that journalism is supposed to tell the famous "five W's and an H": who, what, when, where, why and how. Yes, you do want to cover all those bases (or all that are relevant) in the article, but it is almost never necessary to get them all in the lead. Most of the time, who, what and when make up the fundamentals of a lead. Why or how something happened may or may not be important enough for the lead; that's where news judgment comes in.

EXAMPLE ("Xbox One News: Cheaper Version of Console Rumored for 2014; Can It Match PS4 Price?")

Is it really possible? Could we see a cheaper version of the XBox One released in 2014? If a new leak is to be believed, a new competitively priced version of the Xbox One may arrive by the end of the year.

2) Inverted Pyramid Structure

This is the most fundamental way to structure any news article.

Following this structure, the "base" of the pyramid-the most fundamental facts-appear at the top of the story, in the lead paragraph. Non-essential information appears in the following paragraphs, or "nut" graphs, in order of importance.

Essential information generally refers to the oft-cited "Five Ws" of journalism: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. A successful lead communicates, on a basic level, the essential facts of who did what, when, where, and why.

The "nut" graphs that follow contain additional details, quotes from sources, statistics, background, or other information. These are added to the article in order of importance, so that the least important items are at the bottom.

Common Mistakes

Text Blocks

There is a formatting quirk with our Admin system that leaves awkward amounts of space at the top and bottom of articles, or odd spacing between paragraphs, but this is actually a remarkably easy thing you can fix yourself. Once you've entered the text into the cell, click "Edit HTML" and then click "Compose," and the problem should be solved. If there's still dead space at the bottom or top of the article, simply delete the extra spaces from the piece.

Overusing Words

Be mindful of overusing words. Get creative (within reason) with your vocabulary; style can get repetitive very quickly.

Pretentious Voice

Avoid affecting an ornate, overly formal, or pedantic tone ("Latin Post believes..."; "from the opinion of this writer..."; "The viewer sees..."; "One could sense ..."), otherwise your writing will flow as well as dried concrete, and could easily read as masturbatory. Instead, speak directly to the reader without outright announcing your role or inflating your importance as a reporter/reviewer/critic/writer. Such style is obtrusive and threatens to disrupt the flow of an otherwise well-written article. Remember what George Orwell said: Great writing is like a window pane-it doesn't get in the way of what the reader is trying to see.

1) Don't refer to actors/actresses as "thespians"-unless you're trying to be funny.

2) Have some confidence in your audience's intelligence; don't overstate things. ("As aforementioned ..." ; "As of this writing ..."; "For those curious ..." ; "For those unfamiliar ..."; "The former/the latter ...").

Superfluous Words/Overwriting

Good writing is tight writing. Yes, you should write enough to meet your required 300 words, but you should never be writing words just to fill up space. Strive to be as concise and straight-forward as possible.

There are two questions you should always ask yourself after finishing any article:
1) Are any of these words superfluous?
2) Have I written anything just to meet the required word count?

© 2015 Latino Post Company. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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