Thursday, June 4, 2015

For Writers And Journalists: The INNLIVE Style Sheet

This will provide writers with useful information to improve one's writing and enhance reader enjoyment. It also provides information regarding our policy on writing and the use of images.

Headlines should consist of single sentences or clauses, descriptive of the content of the article, written in UL (upper and lower case) only. Do not use all caps. All words except prepositions, conjunctions, etc. should be capitalized.
The headline may be cryptic, it may be punny, but it must give the reader a clue as to what is in the article.

If the piece is an interview, the headline should begin with the word "Interview:" followed by a colon. If a review, "Review:"

Try to kill the orphans. If the headline fills a line (about 38 characters) on the home-page display, with one word left over (that's an orphan, to a printer), either shorten the head by one word or lengthen it to fill at least half of the second line. The display may vary in different browsers and on different monitors, so this is not critical.

Sub-heads - an Important Section of the Article
The sub-head is the descriptor that will appear with the headline on the home page to draw people to the piece. Ideally, it should be two short sentences expanding on the headline. Or it could be an excerpt from the piece. As the headline should give the reader a good idea of what the piece is about, the sub-head should indicate the style of the writing.

To maintain the formatting of the home page, the sub-head must not be extremely short or unduly long.

  • Text must be in standard size and format, UL (upper and lower case), with only sparing and appropriate uses of bold, underlined, italicized or capitalized letters. Large sections of capitalized or otherwise emphasized text will not be accepted.
  • As is the case with all caps, excessive capitalization must be avoided. Capitalizing the first letter of a word is not a proper way to emphasize the word. The titles of book, movies, publications, songs and the like should be italicized, not enclosed in quotations. On the other hand the titles of articles within publications, or in newspaper, should be enclosed in quotation marks but not italicized.
Avoid blind quotes -- that is, using quotation marks around a word to emphasize it or somehow alter its meaning, as in "Oh, yeah, he's "cool." The only proper use of quotation marks is to indicate that they are the exact words of a speaker, who must be identified.
  • We use paragraph style, that is, the first lines of paragraphs are not indented and there is a linespace between paragraphs.
  • We do not accept offensive material, which may include anything that is profane, vulgar, pornographic, abusive, harassing, discriminatory, defamatory or hateful.
  • We do not accept personal attacks. We welcome investigative journalism, but any allegations or reporting of criminal or other transgressions by an individual or company must be well and verifiably sourced -- that is, the article must attribute the allegations to a reputable or authoritative source, or reference documents substantiating the claim.
  • We do not accept plagiarism, or violations of the Fair Use standards of copyright law.
  • We do not accept articles whose only purpose is to promote a product, service, or website.
  • We welcome links whose purpose is to source or amplify the material in the article, not when their purpose is to promote another website. We prefer that you indicate the destination of the link, and highlight as few words as practicable when setting the link: as in, "according to the New York Times today...."
Picture Credit
This is the place to identify the owner of the copyright on the photograph or illustration used. It should be straightforward, as: "Photo by Sam Snead."
We do not accept an internet address, or the name of a publication. We do not want the location of the illustration, we want the name of the person who created it and/or owns the copyright.

If you took the picture or created the illustration, enter your full name, or if you prefer. your pen-name. Please, do not enter "me." Nor is "anonymous" acceptable. This credit is a requirement of both copyright law and professional ethics, and is not the place for humor.

Picture Caption
  • The purpose of a picture caption is to identify the subject of the picture and relate it to your article. Usually this will take two sentences.
  • Sentence number one identifies, i.e. "A small village in Italy lies in ruins after a severe earthquake." Note the use of the present tense.
  • The second sentence relates some additional information related to the picture, or ties it to the article it is illustrating: "Scientists are getting better at predicting earthquakes in recent years."
  • Please do not use this space for a self-portrait. This is provided for on your profile page.
For guidance on every conceivable matter of style and English usage we recommend Jack Lynch's Guide to Grammar and Style.

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