Style Guide

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As a global site, LastWordOnSports.com has adopted a two-part style guide protocol.

US -- AP OR Tameri Guide [1]

Canada -- AP OR The Canadian Style [2]

UK/World -- The Economist's Guide [3]

MISCELLANEOUS/EXTRA -- The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr. [4]

Misc/EXTRA -- Grammar Girl [5]


There are several exceptions to the above:

NFL and CFB - must be written in American English, observing Garbl's Guide [6]

Premier League - must be written in UK English, observing The Economist Guide [7]



LWOS Content

Each department at LWOS has a slightly different set of content rules that better reflect their respective sport. In general, there are four types of articles published at LWOS:

Mid-form (1000-1500 words), Short-form (500-1000), Preview/Review (400-800) and News (300-500). You will notice that the absolute maximum word length is 1500 words, however, there may be some exceptions made to go over the 1500 words but they must be approved by a senior editor or department head.


Mid-form

Mid-form pieces are meant to be very well-researched and topical articles. Examples of mid-form topics include issues regarding officiating, the sport's culture, league policies, corruption, health concerns, player salary debate, etc. 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. 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.

Exemplars: A Case for Regionalisation of European Qualifying Draw[8]


Short-form

Short-form articles are meant to be analytical in nature, usually with a team or player-centric topic. Examples of short-form articles would be analysis of a team's result(s), coaching situations, a stand-out performer (either good or bad), analysis of a news topic, etc. Similar to the mid-form, there still must be a point to writing the article, so a thesis statement near the beginning is necessary. There should be two sources that are meant to give the article depth and a level of expertise that will tell readers you have thoroughly researched the topic. For short-form, embedding tweets from established, reliable sources (teams, players, journalists) or by adding quotes from press conferences or from media are excellent ways to give value to your writing. You must always source your quotes by putting the source in brackets after the quote with hyperlink to the original.


Preview/Review

LWOS will not publish general previews of games, however, there is a way to take a more analytical approach. If you are doing a preview, it must be in the following format with these headings:

Team v Team

Stadium/Arena name

City, Country (or state/prov in North America)

Game time

Three players who could impact the game/match - 2-3 sentences about three different players to watch for

When Team A is on offence/Team B is on defence - 3-4 sentences

When Team B is on offence/Team A is on defence - 3-4 sentences

Deliberation - 4-6 sentences about what to expect


Here is an example:

Chicago Blackhawks v Detroit Red Wings

Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI

7:30pm EST


Three players who could impact the game


When Detroit has the puck


When Chicago has the puck


Deliberation


News

The LWOS NEWS writers are just that--NEWS focused/driven. They are not writing analyses or editorials but instead are concentrating their efforts on helping to provide our readers with quality news reports. The articles are to be 300-500 words -- NO longer.

Articles should try to include at least two sources; quotes and tweets are very easy ways to add value. When including a quotation, you must give credit to the source in brackets at the end of the sentence with hyperlink to where you found the info or. For a tweet, use the Twitter embed tool which is easy to do and looks great. To embed a Tweet, go to the tweet and click the three little dots (options) and choose "embed". Copy the code and paste it into your article. When pasting it, you MUST be in TEXT mode (toggle to "Text" mode in upper right of your screen). After pasting, feel free to go back to "Visual" mode.

There are two ways for our news writers to get topics:

1. LWOS Dept Heads and Editors can post a topic in our Facebook group or in dept news chats.

2. A news writer can find a big news story on their own.

Please remember that we need to focus on the biggest stories. For instance, we do NOT need a news story on Russell Westbrook battling the flu, but we do need one on Le'veon Bell put on season-ending IR. Choose the most important news first.