• Deleting a damaging online post can cost as much as 10,000 yuan.

Deleting a damaging online post can cost as much as 10,000 yuan. (Photo : Reuters)

1.    HEADLINE (news article title): With 6-25 words, the headline must be unique, front-loaded, SEO-rich and properly punctuated.

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1a. Keep the headline concise. A headline with fewer than five words is too short and one with more than 25 words is too long.


1b. To make the headline SEO-rich, put two major keywords in the headline.

 

1c. To make the headline front-loaded, put the two major keywords in the first half of the headline. You may add more keywords but five or more major keywords in a headline are too many.

 

1d. Capitalize only the first word and all proper nouns in the headline. No need to capitalize words that always start with a small letter, such as iPhone. If it’s a compound headline (2 headlines combined as one), capitalize the first words of both parts.

 

WRONG: IPhone Sales Drop in China; Analysts Blame Facebook

CORRECT: iPhone sales drop in China; Analysts blame Facebook


1e. Keep the verb in the present tense in the headline.
WRONG: Justin Bieber Kissed Super Junior Member Choi Siwon
CORRECT: Justin Bieber kisses Super Junior member Choi Siwon

1f. Delete "empty" words such as articles and be-verbs. Other words may be replaced with punctuation marks. "And," "Or," "So" and "But" may be replaced by a comma (,) and "according to" by a colon (:)
LONG HEADLINE: Justin Bieber kisses Super Junior member Choi Siwon and ‘Gangnam Style’ rapper Psy but Selena Gomez ignored the bromance, according to Barrack Obama
CONCISE HEADLINE: Justin Bieber kisses Super Junior's Choi Siwon, ‘Gangnam Style’ rapper Psy; Selena Gomez ignores bromance: Barrack Obama

1g. Use contractions, acronyms or abbreviations instead of spelling them out. Numbers are not spelled out and use symbol %. All of these should be spelled out in the article.

 

1f. The headline must be different from what those that are currently online. Try combining two headlines if it is difficult to change what is already published online.

 

1g. When combining two headlines or compound sentences, separate them with semi-colon (;).
LONG HEADLINE: iPhone 8 is very expensive but it has excellent features and the fans are willing to buy it instead of the cheaper iPhone9
CONCISE HEADLINE: iPhone 8 very expensive, has excellent features; Fans willing to buy it over cheaper iPhone9

 

2.    LEAD (first sentence of the article): In 2-3 concise sentences, summarize the entire article and at the same time explain the headline.

 

2a. The lead must contain all the major news keywords.

2b. Since the lead is a summary of the article, it should not contain any cited sources and hyperlinks.

 

2c. Avoid essay introductions unless you are writing a commentary or an opinion article.

 

3.    ARTICLE: The article must have at least 350 words with proper lead and smooth flowing supporting paragraphs. No subjective statements, non-news statements, second-person reference and unsupported claims allowed.

3a. The article should not be less than 350 words based on the plagiarism check word count and must be at least 85& unique. Check it here: http://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/

3b. Always use proper transitions. When transitioning to a story not directly related to the lead, use "Meanwhile" or "In other news."

3c. Unless it is an opinion article, avoid subjective statements that reflect the writer’s opinion and non-news statements that don't present news such as common knowledge.
SUBJECTIVE STATEMENT: The crime was totally shocking!
NON-NEWS: Technology is indeed very important in this modern generation.

3d. Avoid unsupported claims [sentences that present unproven allegations or accusations without citing sources]. Always use the words "allegedly" (for crimes) or "reportedly" (for non-crimes) when presenting claims and rumors.

3e. Do not casually talk to the readers. Unless it’s an opinion article, never use first-person and second-person pronouns "I" (my), "You" (your), and "We" (our) unless they are part of a title or a quoted phrase or sentence.

 

3f. No one-sentence paragraphs allowed. Always use 2-3 concise sentences per paragraph.

 

4.    PUBLICATION SOURCES: There should be 2 publication sources cited and hyperlinked in the article (unless it is a recap or review of a TV show or a movie).

4a. Do not put publication sources for TV show recap, radio show recap or film review articles except for added information.

 

WRONG: During her recent appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Zhang Ziyi talked about her husband and their one-year-old daughter, Reuters reported.

 

4b. Cite publication sources for TV show or upcoming film spoilers.

 

CORRECT: Zhang Ziyi will play a new character in the upcoming “Furious 8,” an insider told CNN.

CORRECT: Raj (Kunnal Nayyar) will have a new interest, who will be introduced in “The Big Bang Theory” Season 10 episode 4, Broadway World has learned.

 

4c. Don't cite a publication source with a statement that contains general or public knowledge, such as social media information.


WRONG: Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach was born in Germany but raised in the Philippines, CNN reported. (It became a general knowledge when she was crowned so it was not something a certain publication exclusively reported.)  
WRONG: Eminem took to Twitter to lash out at his critics, CNN reported.

4d. Write the publication source’s name properly and hyperlink it accordingly. Don't add the website suffix expect for publications that include its suffix in its official name such as the Australian news site News.com.au.

 

4e. Cite the publication source that originally released the information. Use 2 sources only; 1 source makes a rewritten article; 3 or more sources are too many. Hyperlink only the name of the publication.

PUBLICATION SOURCE: Obama resigned, CNN reported. (Hyperlink "CNN.")


4f. If the original source is an official website or official blog of a company, an agency, an office, a group or an individual, it may be used in place of a publication source. In this case, hyperlink the words “official website” or “official blog.”

 

NON-PUBLICATION SOURCE: In a statement posted on his official blog, Justin Bieber came out. (Hyperlink "official blog.")

NON-PUBLICATION SOURCE: Samsung posted on its official website a photo of its very first flying car. (Hyperlink "official website.")


4g. Never use the source's name as the subject of a sentence. Instead, put the source's name in the middle or at the end of the sentence.


WRONG: Billboard reported that 2NE1’s Sandara Park will collaborate in a song with Justin Bieber.

WRONG: Recently, Billboard reported that 2NE1’s Sandara Park will collaborate in a song with Justin Bieber.

CORRECT: 2NE1’s Sandara Park will collaborate in a song with Justin Bieber, Billboard reported.

 

4h. When citing a publication source, keep the verb that follows in the past tense.

WRONG: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are dating, reports Losangelestimes.com.
RIGHT: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are dating, Los Angeles Times reported.

4i. Don't repeat the name of the publication. After the first mention, replace it with a common noun (e.g. the publication, the magazine).

 

4j. You may get general information from Wikipedia and IMdB but these sites should never be cited as sources.



5.    SOCIAL MEDIA SOURCES: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook  and Tumblr cannot be cited as publication sources because they are social networking sites, not publications. However, they should always be cited if they are the source of the information. 

 

5a. Always add 1 related YouTube video at the end of the article. 

 

5b. Always embed Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts. Prior to the post, write an introduction with 2-3 sentences explaining the post. Do not copy or quote the caption in the post here. 

 

5c. For Tumblr posts, quote only the important parts and paraphrase the rest then hyperlink the words "Tumblr post."

 

TUMBLR POST: In a Tumblr post, Zhang confirmed that she will be part of the "Furious 8" cast and described it as "the most exciting news" she has ever received in her life. (Hyperlink "Tumblr post.") 

 

6.    SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: Use SEO supporters for names (but don't overdo it as it may sound awkward and confusing).

6a. For actors/directors/writers, use "Film Title" actor/actress/star/director/writer Name. ["The American Sniper" actor Bradley Cooper]

6b. For singers, use "Song Title" singer/ hitmaker Name. ["Blank Space" singer Taylor Swift]

6c. Limit the movie/song titles to be mentioned as it can be confusing and awkward to mention too many for a 350-word article.

6d. For executives, use Brand/Company Name. [Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg]

 

7.    PLAGIARISM: The article should pass Plagiarism Check (smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/). Articles that are less than 85% unique shall be returned.

7a. It is highly recommended that you make your article more than 85% unique based on smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/ as results may vary and exactly 85% may fail.

7b. Articles often fail this plagiarism check because of quoted statements. To avoid this, quoted dialogues are limited to 3 sentences only in each article and paraphrase the rest.


7c. As soon as you say someone or a group said something, cite the publication source whether the statement is directly quoted or paraphrased. If it’s an exclusive interview, say either “(Person) told (Source)…” or “In an interview with (Source), (Person) said…” If it’s a conference (in which the person talked to many reporters), quote 1-2 sentences from the statement and right after the first sentence, say “(Source) quoted (Person) as saying.”

 

WRONG: Apple CEO Tim Cook said iPhone 10 will be released exclusively in the Philippines in 2017. (Without citing the source, it implies that the person talked to the article writer directly.)

 

CORRECT: Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNN that iPhone 10 will be released exclusively in the Philippines in 2017. (Cook had an exclusive interview with CNN.)

 

CORRECT: In an interview with CNN, Apple CEO Tim Cook said iPhone 10 will be released exclusively in the Philippines in 2017. (Cook had an exclusive interview with CNN.)

 

CORRECT: “We are pleased to announce that iPhone 10 will be released exclusively in the Philippines in 2017,” CNN quoted Apple CEO Tim Cook as saying. (Cook said this during a press conference or a similar event and CNN was one of the attendees.)

 

7d. Sentences directly quoted from the sources' report, even if properly cited, are not allowed unless it is the story itself. Paraphrase such sentences. Quote only dialogues and released statements.

WRONG: "Donald Trump doesn't like Barack Obama," CNN wrote.
RIGHT: Donald Trump is not a big fan of Barack Obama, CNN has learned.

 

 

8.    GRAMMAR: Keeping a formal tone, the article must have no grammar errors, letters italicized or emphasized as bold, typographical errors, and contractions.

8a. Contractions [isn't, don't, can't] and % are allowed in the title but they should be spelled out in the article [is not, do not, cannot, percent].

8b. Grammar errors, redundant sentences or words, and unclear or awkward statements will be underlined.

68. Avoid slang, colloquial and informal expressions [big mouth, bonkers, ain't, y'all, wanna, gonna]. Derogatory or politically incorrect words contained in quoted titles and statement should be censored [B---h, motherf****r, the N word].

8d. In the first sentence of a paragraph, avoid using a pronoun without revealing its a
ntecedent. 

 

CORRECT: Held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, on Jan. 6, the 42nd People's Choice Awards was broadcast live on CBS. It was hosted by "Angel from Hell" star Jane Lynch.

 

During the awards ceremony, Arden Cho wore a Mario Dice dress matched with patent leather Christian Louboutin pumps, according to Fashion N Style. "Teen Wolf" was nominated for Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show but lost to "The Walking Dead."

 

WRONG: Held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, on Jan. 6, the 42nd People's Choice Awards was broadcast live on CBS. It was hosted by "Angel from Hell" star Jane Lynch.

 

During the awards ceremony, she wore a Mario Dice dress matched with patent leather Christian Louboutin pumps, according to Fashion N Style. "Teen Wolf" was nominated for Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show but lost to "The Walking Dead."

 

8e. Avoid directly speaking to the readers or asking them questions unless you are writing a commentary or an opinion article.



9.    All dialogues and titles of songs, tours, albums, TV shows, films, books and video games are in single quotes in the title and double quotes in the body of the article.

9a. The entire title, with all first letters capitalized, should be inside the quote.

 

9b. All punctuations except for the punctuation ; should be inside the quotes.

 

9c. Season number and episode number should be outside the quote as well.

 

9d. In TV show titles with season and episode numbers, capitalize the word Season but not episode both in the headline and in the article.  

CORRECT: "Teen Wolf" Season 13 episode 5

WRONG: "Teen Wolf" Season 13 Episode 5

WRONG: "Teen Wolf" season 13 episode 5



9e. Titles inside a dialogue should be inside single quotes.

CORRECT: Zhang Ziyi told Yibada, "It's really my dream to play an Asian femme fatale in 'Fast & Furious' but I'm not sure if they would even consider me."

WRONG: Zhang Ziyi told Yibada, "It's really my dream to play an Asian femme fatale in "Fast & Furious" but I'm not sure if they would even consider me."

WRONG: Zhang Ziyi told Yibada, "It's really my dream to play an Asian femme fatale in Fast & Furious but I'm not sure if they would even consider me."

 

 

10. Numbers, dates and names should be written AP style.

10a. Always write numbers numerically if they are used as a date, currency, or measurement. If not used as a date, currency, or measurement, spell out one-nine and write 10 and above numerically and spell out first-ninth and write 10th and above numerically.


10b. Spell out numbers when they are placed at the beginning of a sentence except a year. If the number is too long, re-order the sentence.

10c. Abbreviate months with six or more letters if they are used with a specific date. Spell out those with five or fewer letters. For days of the month, use only numerals. Do not use nd, rd or th. [Aug. 13, June 6, May 31]

10d. Spell out the month when it is used without a specific date. [In September the football team …/ he class begins in February 2014.] Don't include the year if it is the current year.

10e. Use the date with the day of the week for events that have occurred within a seven day time period from the writing of the story. [If you are writing on May 10 and the event took place on May 7, it should be written as: “Obama resigned on May 7, Thursday.”]

10f. Mention the full name of the person for the first reference and just the family name in the following references.

10g. If there are several persons in the article with the same family name, use the full names in the first reference and just the first names in the following references. If there are two persons with the same family name [Jackie Chan, Jaycee Chan], you may use ""the younger"" [Chan] and ""the older"" [Chan]. If twins, use first names. For couples with the same family name, you may use “Mr.” and “Mrs.”

10h. Spell out “the United States,” “the United Kingdom” and “the United Nations” for the first reference and just use the abbreviation “the U.S.,” “the U.K.,” and “the U.N.” in the following references.

10i. Capitalize a formal title if it is used immediately before a person's name [President George Bush]. The titles can be lowercase if no name is present. [The president issued a statement.] Abbreviate titles when used before a full name. [Dr. Mehmet Oz, Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Ted Cruz]

10j. Spell out acronyms with the acronym inside a parenthesis [World Health Organization (WHO)] in the first reference and use just the acronym [WHO] in the following references. For well-known acronyms [FBI, CIA, NBA, NFL, WWE], no need to spell out in the first reference.