Writing Standards for The Winged M
The Winged M follows the Associated Press Stylebook to maintain a professional and consistent approach to editorial guidelines. The magazine also uses a style sheet and club terminology to address programs and locations within the clubhouse. Dictionary references should be directed to Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. Use the first spelling listed in the dictionary unless the reference is listed in the AP stylebook. Anyone who has questions about style should contact the editor.
The magazine standards are similar to other publications and often differ from office correspondence standards. For example, in the magazine the names of months are abbreviated (Sept. 12), unlike business letters which the name of the month is written out (September 12, 2002).
Articles are also edited for present tense in order to make articles more active. This means “will be” or “will” are usually changed or eliminated.
When writing an article, make sure to use the reverse pyramid method of organizing information such that the most essential information for readers is at the beginning. Subsequent paragraphs should embellish essential information with anecdotes or other descriptive information.
• Essential information is the story’s who, what, where, when, why and how
• Interesting information: fun facts, anecdotes, quotes from individuals involved in the event or activity
• Filler information: comical remarks on an individual’s abilities or clothing, color of napkins and place mats
Use third person voice “he, she, they, or it” rather than first and second person voices of “I, me, you or we.” The Winged M submissions are edited to remove all references of first or second person (I, we, me, you, etc.) except in a monthly column or to make a specific point. The reason for this is to maintain a professional tone to the magazine and eliminate editorializing. If the author wants to express an opinion, he or she should attribute it through a quote.
Example: “I am excited about the new athletic program for adults,” says Steve Johnson.
Quotes make the article more interesting and bring notoriety to the member. Articles submitted in first or second person increase the likelihood of editing errors and may be returned to the writer.