The following post tries to clarify doubts of freelance writers working with Cosmos Media, explaining all the vital components of our articles to them.

Headings

First, we write article headings in title case rather than in sentence case.

Second, we expect witty and sharp titles from our writers, so that the readers feel compelled to click on our features and articles. Here’s a site that carries catchy titles: http://www.mgid.com/. From this source, you can pick ideas on the kind of headlines and feature titles we are looking for. Of course, we cannot hype the gist of the article or feature, but we can still capture the Wow! factor in most informal features and some (not all) formal features.

Blurb

With blurb, we tell readers what they can expect to read. In the blurb, we don’t beat about the bushes and come straight to the point directly after the heading. Here are a few ways to write a blurb:

–          Just try to summarise in roughly 15-25 words what you have written in the whole article

–          Or, instead of summarising, you can also mention something interesting from within the feature and leave it for the readers to guess what the focus of the feature is going to be

–          Another way to write a blurb would be to try and sell your article to the readers in 15-25 words; just think how you can do that

–          To get a practical idea, go through the blurbs on the features published on our sites

Lead

This is the first paragraph — or, in some cases, first few paragraphs of the feature — that makes the angle or the focus of the feature known to the readers. It comes directly after the blurb and is the device feature writers use to attract the attention of the reader.

–          Usually just one or two graphs long

–          Different ways it can be written:

  • You can make the reader curious; explain what’s in store for him; ask a question or questions; make an unusual statement; provide surprising or alarming statistics; write a quotation, adage or proverb; or state an unusual opinion

Sub-Headings

You have to provide sub-headings within the body of the feature; we do not accept a feature without them.

–          Make sub-headings bold this way: <strong>Text to be made bold</strong>

Within the body of the feature, we try to write at least 30 words under a sub-heading. This is to give the feature more body as well as for the sub-headed part to justify having a sub-heading.

–          Sub-headings having hardly any matter in them or those having just a one liner are not acceptable (like the one below).

  • <strong>7. Take a Small Nap</strong> Studies reveal that a small nap during the day helps our mind and body recover from energy loss.

Box

The information in the box is not really central to the feature but is still germane to the topic, in that it throws a sidelight on the issue, or provides something extra to the readers that they will appreciate. To get ideas for the box material, kindly go through published features on our sites.

Authenticating Arguments and Ideas

Statements in any publication have to be backed by research, data, facts, and further information to acquire credibility. We would require you to not only cross-check facts and figures (that they are authentic and are coming from reputed sources) you may furnish in the article, but also make sure that every premise and argument you bring up is backed by logical reasoning and ample knowledge to expand on the argument.

Condensed Information

Contain all the researched information within 300-400 words. We need condensed information rather than verbose prose. So from your researched material, choose the most enlightening information bits, the most informative nuggets, if you will, the kind that spark an epiphany in the reader. You can discard the less informative stuff, as we are trying to provide the maximum value to the readers in a ‘tablet article’, so to speak.

Also, to further cut down the number of words, check verbiage, repetition, or wordiness in your writing style.

Portals’ Target Audiences

Also, kindly keep in mind that we write for the U.S. audience (in case of The Journeyer), and whatever research you do and whatever facts you choose to mention in the article are supposed to be relevant to the U.S. audience predominantly. For Brisvaani, the target audience is Indians living in Australia. Check with your assigned portal’s editor on the target audience, if you are not sure.

Formatting

You need to format the write-up this way: single line spacing between paragraphs, first word aligned left like the rest of the para, font style ‘Times New Roman’, and font size 12.

Any questions on the above? Just get in touch with the core team — shoot us a mail, message us on Yahoo Messenger, or just give us a tinkle.

Happy writing,

Cosmos Writers Editorial Team