General Topic View Guidelines
- Accurately cover the topic by providing the most essential information (either in synopsis or list-like form) in roughly 400 to 500 words.
- The research conducted before you start writing the article will dictate the article's angle. Decipher the intent of the title, using the Titles/Formats section of the studioD General Guidelines. Then choose an angle based on your research. You may use the Topic View Style Guide Addendum: Suggested Angles as guidance.
- Shape the information in a way that provides a well-rounded, informative overview of the topic. Don't include a partial list of items if the title is broad. Thin articles that contain the bare minimum or do not fully cover the topic may incur a rewrite or rejection. Instead, think conceptually.
- Be specific. If you are writing about heirloom tomatoes, provide specific information about heirlooms, as opposed to other kinds of tomatoes.
- You must complete the introduction, at least four sections, key concepts, location (if the article is location-based) and references field.
The introduction should ideally contain 25 to 100 words.
If you claim a title that only has one item and the title is plural, such as "Types of Emus," use the introduction to explain that there is only one type of emu, then refer to the Headers and Subheads section of the studioD General Guidelines for ideas on potential subheads. (i.e. Identification, Diet, Geography and Behavior).
- How To, Topic View and Topic View Lite articles should contain one image, which will appear with the introduction of your article.
- Some templates allow multiple images to be added; however, unless explicitly directed to add multiple images by an editor, do not upload more than one image.
- Horizontal images are preferred over vertical.
- If you are unable to find a suitable image for your article, you may submit for review without one.
Refer to the Headers and Subheads for further clarification.
Complete at least four sections, each ideally totaling 75 words. You can exceed that total if the content warrants it.
- Assign a subhead to each section.
- Ensure the number of items included constitute a well-rounded article that encompasses nearly all -- if not all -- elements suggested by the title. (See Topic View Style Guide Addendum: Suggested Angles.)
NOTE: Sections 1 through 4 are required.
Include a location name or address that directly relates to your article if your article is location-based. Many List articles will be location-based. The main objective of this section is to categorize the article using the lowest common denominator for all locations mentioned. See examples below:
- If your article is titled "Things to do in Chicago," type Chicago in the city box, and select Illinois from the state pull-down menu.
- If your article is titled "Best Shops on Armitage Avenue in Chicago's Lincoln Park," type Chicago, select Illinois, and add 60614 to the postal code box.
- If your article is "Best Ways to Explore Disneyland," type the street address of Disneyland.
- If your article is "Backpacking Through Eastern Europe," type "Eastern Europe" in the Region box.
Each article must contain at least three unique "key concepts" in separate boxes, which concisely summarize what the article is about. Key concepts (or tags) are the phrases the reader uses to search for the subject of your article.
Refer to the References/Sources section.
- The References field is used to cite external sources and reference any material you used for your research. Sources enhance an article, improve the quality and lend a tremendous amount of credibility to your work.
- Only reference websites of establishments you used directly for your research. For example, if you are writing about the Hard Rock Café in London and included the date it opened, reference the exact website from which you drew the information in the References section. Include the longer URL, such as: http://www.hardrock.com/locations/cafes3/cafe.aspx?LocationID=91&MIBEnumID=3, with the appropriate link text. However, if you did not use any information from the establishment's website as research, do not reference it.
- Never regurgitate one source's list. A list taken from another publication or website (including repeating the same subheads) will be considered plagiarism.
- The Resources field provides pertinent information that expands on the article content. It is separate from the References section, which is used to cite material used as research. Think of this as suggested reading for the audience.
Topic View Style Guide Addendum
The research conducted before you start writing Topic View articles will dictate the article's angle. Package the information in a way that provides the reader with a comprehensive, serviceable article. There are multiple angles to take; choose the one that you feel best answers the title. Below are some options.
When deciding an article's angle, research the topic, and consider the title's intent. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What would appeal to a general audience?
- What direction best serves the reader and speaks to my strengths?
- What's the most logical way to present the information? (Chronological? Biggest to smallest? Cheapest to most expensive?)
Topic View articles may take one of the following directions:
Summary: Some titles may call for a broad synopsis of the topic, such as "How Does the Stock Market Work?" In this case, consider structuring your article to provide a thorough summary of the topic. Think of this as a mini encyclopedic-like entry; choose subheads that define the topic, such as History, Significance, Time Frame, Geography, Considerations, etc.
- For example, if the title is "Brain Aneurysms," there are numerous ways to structure the article. The title is essentially calling for a comprehensive synopsis of brain aneurysms; possible subheads might include: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Complications.
Thematic List: Some titles may call for a thematic list, such as "Hotels in New York City." The thematic list works best for broad topics that encompass more items than can reasonably be listed within the template. Try grouping the information with subheads that provide a complete roundup of the topic. Potential subheads could revolve around concepts, neighborhoods, ideas, themes or categories, just to name some.
- For example, if the title is "Types of Pasta," there are multiple ways to structure the article. Because there are numerous kinds of pasta, using the subheads to name a handful of individual pasta types won't provide a sufficient article. Instead, break different pasta types into categories. One option is to use subheads that focus on varieties of pasta; another option might be to focus on pasta regions. The content under each subhead would then include the specific names of pasta.
See below for examples:
CORRECT: Ribbon Pasta, Strand Pasta, Tubular Pasta, Stuffed Pasta and Shaped Pasta
CORRECT: Italian Pasta, Asian Pasta, German Pasta, Polish Pasta
WRONG: Spaghetti, Ravioli, Farfalle, Fettuccine
Itemized List: Some titles may call for a particular list of items, such as "International Airports in Hawaii." The itemized list works best for topics that comprise a handful of items. Choose subheads that cover the topic in its entirety or its near entirety. It's acceptable to include specific items as the subheads (as opposed to concepts or themes), as long as the subheads are the only items relevant to the title (and there aren't any items not included).
- For example, if the title is "What Are the MLB Teams in California?" it's acceptable to list each team, as there are only five MLB teams in California; subheads would include: San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. However, if the title is "What Are the MLB Teams in the U.S.?" it's unacceptable to list specific teams, as there are numerous MLB teams in the U.S., and naming a handful of teams doesn't completely address the title. For this title, use the thematic list or summary angle.
- Some titles may call for a mix of specific items and thematic subheads. For example, the title "Airports Near Los Angeles" may have the specific subheads LAX, Long Beach Airport, Bob Hope Airport, John Wayne Airport, since these are the obvious answer to the title. Two additional sections called Other Airports and Considerations may mention some of the smaller airstrips in the area and things you would want to keep in mind if you are weighing your options.