CFL Department

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Department Overview

Department Head: Matthew Bin

Official Twitter: @LastWordOnCFL

Official Facebook group: [1]

Content

The LWOS Canadian Football League department prides itself in its coverage of teams, players, and Canadian football in general. Each department writer should seek to establish a network, write thoughtful and honest analysis, and assist fellow writers from within the department and the site as a whole. “Last Word on CFL” and “LWOS CFL" should be used exclusively and repeatedly when developing, discussing or promoting articles or other works associated with our department.

The main method of communication between the department is the department’s Facebook group, LWOS College Football [2]. Writers should use this room to exchange ideas, notify editors of articles in pitch and broach department wide conversations. We maintain a parallel Facebook Messenger chat stream as well. Writers should request to be added to this Messenger chat stream.

LWOS asks for one article in-season and one every second week in the off-season. If you are going to be away for an extended time, please let your department head know. Otherwise, it is important to hit the standard quota.

Before you start on an article, it’s a good practice to pitch it first to the department on Facebook--doing so will limit duplicate topics. If two writers want to write on the same topic, they can either collaborate on a piece together or decide which writer will take the topic. Remember to focus on “Why It Happened” or “How It Happened” rather than “What Happened”.


SEO

Well crafted Search Engine Optimization is the difference between writers who build a name and readership versus those who perpetually struggle. Take a few moments to review LWOS SEO guidelines, which will help to improve your search engine results. LWOS SEO Guide [3]

Mid-form Article

Mid-form pieces are meant to be very well-researched and topical articles. These articles are typically 1000-1500 words and must have a very clear thesis stated near the beginning of the article, most often in the first paragraph. If you find you are approaching the 2,000-word mark and still have more to say, discuss with the dept head the idea of breaking it up into a multi-part serial. This isn’t about content density but content quality.

There should be a minimum of three sources that are meant to give the article depth and a level of expertise that will tell readers you have thoroughly researched the topic. Your sources can include quotes and previous research, but be sure to give credit by adding the source in brackets at the end of the sentence with hyperlink to the original. These articles are usually highly promotable and often can reach a very wide audience.

Short-form Article

A short form article tends to be an article between 500-1,000 words which doesn’t have the same level of research and doesn't go into the same depth as a mid-form. It is usually based on current events and tries to be timely. A short-form article should source at least one link to add a level of professionalism and expertise (for instance, CBC, TSN, national newspapers, official Twitter accounts, etc).

In terms of balance, short form articles should be 75% facts/quotes and 25% opinion. Other articles may be acceptable with approval by an editor, the Department Head, or another administrator.

Examples of short-form analytical articles include: player profiles, career milestones, front office and coaching hiring/firing news, coaches on the hot seat, division/conference decisions, current state of a team, and analysis of a team's or player's performance over a period of time or during a specific part of the season.


Special

It is important to note the formatting for when you use a direct quote. "Today, we played the way we needed to play," Hargreaves told members of the media. If you obtain the quotes from another source, it is important you give credit to the source--always. Same goes for source material.


News

LWOS standard is 300-500 words max, and focused on telling the facts. Editorializing and analyzing should be avoided in a news report. It is important to use at least one main source, though more than one is acceptable, and should include quotes if possible. Be sure to source the quote at the end in brackets with a hyperlink to where you found the quote. Timeliness is an important factor in getting news published.


Historical Articles

Historical articles must be at least 600 words in length. These include, but are not limited to, analysis of a career milestone or record and the history of that milestone or record, articles about the history of a team, a player, or the league.


Group Articles

During the season, LWOS CFL also publishes weekly group articles. Previously we have published game-by-game predictions and power rankings, although other possibilities are being considered. During the season, writers are expected to provide content for these weekly articles. If you know in advance that you will be unable to participate, let the department head or article writer know in advance.