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Writing Guide

Previously, Oatboat has lacked a formal writing guide. This page is finally changing that.

Styling

Headlines 

Your headline is what makes someone click, or not. So make it catchy; make it interesting. Every word in your title should be capitalized unless it includes a brand name like iPhone, or a name like Neil deGrasse Tyson. Your title should never include all-caps words unless it includes a brand name, like TIDAL.

Italics

When writing something like “the New York Times reported…”  please italicize the publication’s name. You should italicize and capitalize: newspapers, magazines, movies, TV and radio shows, video games, music albums, blogs, and books.

General rules

 #1. Use a minimum of 300 words.

300 words is not very much. A good article should be 400+ but we understand that some stories just don’t need a lot of words to be explained. And most of the articles on Oatboat are much less than 400. The 300 word rule is only ok to disregard when covering breaking news. Breaking news should be updated with additional information as available.

#2. Choose one category per article

Please only pick one category for your post. The ‘featured’ category can be added to a post that already has a category, but featuring a post is left to the discretion of the editor, please don’t feature your own post.

 #3. Include a relevant, legal image

Make sure that the image you’ve chosen is available for reuse. If it is, it likely requires you to attribute the author. To provide an image with credit, please put [photo via (author’s name)] at the bottom of your post.

 #4. Set up a Gravatar

If you don’t have an account at Gravatar, please set one up using the email you have registered at Oatboat. Add a profile image to Gravatar and assign it to the email address you use at Oatboat. That way, you will have a small profile picture under your post.

 #5. Give credit where it’s due

The worst thing you can do as a writer is simply copy someone else’s work.  When you write news aggregation, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you’re not just copying someone else. Plagiarism is not welcome at Oatboat.

 #6. Use no more than 5 tags per post

You should use no more than 5 relevant tags per article.

 #7. Quotes 

Full-sentence quotes should start their own paragraph. Block quotes should have quotation marks around them, and you should select the blockquote and click the blockquote button in the toolbar. Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 7.47.08 AM