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Editorial Guidelines

he following are editorial guidelines for contributors to our site:

Topics

Choose a fresh topic. If it’s something that you have written about before for the site, try not to revisit the topic unless you have something substantially different to say. Debate is fantastic, a rebuttal is interesting but circular debate is dull.

Length

While there is no set guideline for length, you should think long and hard about anything over 1500 words. And if it’s crossing 2000, your post should be exceptional.

If your story really is novel length, consider breaking it in to a multi-part series.

Opinionated but Fair

Strong opinions are welcome (and desired), but be fair, fact-check and always check your assumptions.

Fact Check

Once in a while, it’s acceptable to say “I recall a game in the early ’90s when Kambli beat Australia to a pulp.” But if said pulp-beating of Australia is the central premise of your article, and critical to any point you are making, go find the game in Statsguru, make sure it played out as you remember it. Check your assumptions.

Visualize

If you are writing a numbers or facts heavy story, is there a more visually appealing way to present it? Obviously, visualizing any data is time-consuming but it adds considerable value to any story. Talk to the core members, maybe someone can help.

Editing Yourself

When you write, imagine your ideal reader. This is the one person you are trying to impress or convince with your story. Is it your father, or Harsha Bhogle, or Homer? Would they want to read this article? Would they be convinced by your argument? This will help you be the best editor of your own work.

Voice

Not every article needs a voice, but many can benefit from one. Your voice is what sets apart an article written by you from one written by anyone else. When you read @achettup on Twitter, you know it’s him. Even in 140 characters, his voice is unmistakable. When you read King Cricket or Cricket With Balls, their voice is unmistakable. No one else could have written what they wrote.

Controversy

See it coming, and talk to one of the core members first. Religion, nationalism and politics are obvious topics, but direct attacks on individuals or teams should warrant additional thought.

Attacks

When criticizing an individual or a team, do not resort to name-calling (“Shastri is an idiot”). Dig deeper to describe what specifically you don’t like or don’t agree with.

Title and Lede

An obvious and sad truth of writing for the Internet is that the Title of your story is its biggest advertisement. Many Twitter, Facebook, Google search and other readers will decide whether to click on a link or not based on the Title.

If you’re lucky, they will get to the first paragraph. And if the first paragraph isn’t interesting or does not tell them why they should read until the end, you will lose them.

Copyright and Attribution

When quoting text, always link to the source. Only quote what is needed. If you find yourself quoting more than a few sentences at a time, you may want to re-think your presentation.

Do not use copyrighted photographs without the permission of the owner. Images you can find on the Internet are usually copyrighted by someone, even though it may be difficult to ascertain the owner. When in doubt, do not use the photograph.

For openly licensed images, try the Advanced Search feature on Flickr and select “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content”. Another option is to search Wikimedia Commons but make sure to check the License for the image before use. For example, this image has a Creative Commons license for re-use.

Re-publishing Your Article

You may re-publish the article you write for our site, under the following conditions:

  1. Any re-publication should be at least 24 hours after it originally went live on our site

  2. Any re-publication should contain a link back to the original article, with text similar to “This article originally appeared on The Sight Screen and is republished here with permission.”

Link Love

Be generous with links. Link to other stories within our site, and link to other blogs.

Break in to Sections

If you are writing a long article, consider breaking it in to logical sub-sections. Give each section a sub-title, in bold text. This will break up the monotony of a large body of text and will help readers refocus.