Format

General Style

DARROW publishes articles in British English. We operate editorial guidelines to ensure that your material is as accessible as possible to our readership. It is important to make sure that a piece is presented so that the reader’s attention is maintained. If something is too long, it might benefit from being serialised..

Posts must be ‘justified’ (the square rectangle in the toolbar). For any posts with more than 800 words, you must select the first letter and press ‘D’.

Pronouns should all be capitalised. For example, the Republican Party and the Conservative Party. You should only capitalize a title before an individual’s name or when directly addressing a person in that role. The Prime Minister Theresa May compared to the president lives in the White House. President Obama and the new prime minister.

Publications, magazines and the names of artistic works must be italicised. The Telegraph and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Names of episodes or songs or singular works are, for example, formatted as Doctor Who’s last episode, ‘Hell Bent‘, featured Peter Capaldi. ‘Beautiful Day’ by U2 is their best hit on their ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation CD. If the title is possessive, the plural is not italicised. For example, Star Trek‘s latest incarnation, Discovery, has been hailed as a success.

Nouns, such as Netflix, Amazon, or Twitter are capitalised but not italicised.

Quotations more than two lines long should be in a separate paragraph, in the quotations bubble clicked from the toolbar. Attributions to all quotes must be made, but not in academic style unless the piece is an academic essay.

Acronyms should only be used after they have been written in full in the first instance.

Hyperlinks & Sources

Hyperlink to all sources mentioned or quoted such as books (link to Amazon), articles (both on the site and elsewhere), YouTube videos, music etc. Major documents or items of reference like legislation should also be linked.

Only hyperlink only one word (the site automatically generates blue).

Always link to the original source. Whether it be legislation or reports if it’s mentioned in the news make sure you find the link to the original document/source.

Make sure the text of the post is justified.

Legality

Please make sure that ‘allegedly’ and non-pejorative language is used when making a claim that is with or without empirical evidence.

All pieces can are free to assert an argument, but it’s important to ensure it doesn’t border on defamation. For example: ‘Nicola Sturgeon is running the country into the ground’ is an opinion, utilising the facts as I understand them, but ‘Nicola Sturgeon is not paying her taxes’ is an assertion and should be accompanied by an ‘allegedly’ or evidence.

You are also liable for publishing a defamatory statement made by someone else, even if you quote them accurately. You need to identify any problems in what you write and how it could affect someone’s reputation.

Only say what you can prove

Truth is usually the most important defence in a defamation claim. Ask yourself what evidence could you put before a court if someone challenged you, and how convincing that evidence would be.

Do you have sources? Are they credible? Do they have first-hand knowledge? Would they be willing to give evidence? If you’re relying on documents, do you have someone who can authenticate them?

The safest thing to do is to use the exact language of the courts: There are reasonable grounds to suspect Jack is corrupt. That may be clunky, but language like this covers all bases.

Make sure the opinion is based on true facts

You should express these facts but keep them separate from an opinion. The facts don’t need to justify the opinion, they just need to provide a platform for it, so that the audience can tell it’s an opinion and have some idea about what it concerns.

If you’re accusing someone of a crime, or of (for example) lying, you need to have particularly strong evidence. It is difficult to prove someone’s state of mind, so you are better off talking about the person’s conduct itself (what she said was false/misleading) rather than stating baldly that she lied.

Grammarly

Grammarly is an advanced spelling, grammar and sense checker. The programme checks for duplication, syntax and vocabulary.  In order for the editorial team to spend its energies fact checking and refining articles, Grammarly must be used as standard practice before submissions.

Profile

Update your public profile by hovering over your name in the top right corner. Add your social media handles and add a custom profile picture and description to appear next to your articles as well as on our ‘meet the team’ page.

Writing

We typically have three types of article, review, analysis and opinion.

Articles, on a general basis, fall into three brackets of 400, 800 and 1200-1500 words. Anything beyond this should be agreed upon with the editor. 400 words are a snapshot of an issue, an instant reaction to news or an opinion to a current event. 800 words are an overview or a breakdown of a particular issue. 1200-1500 are in-depth analysis of a theme or topic.

Reviews are anywhere between 400 – 800 words, perhaps longer if it’s considering, say, a television series as a whole compared to a single episode. Additionally, if it is longer, we would ask it be capped at a maximum of 1200 words.

Obvious exceptions to this include poetry, fiction and personal reflective pieces.

As a rule of thumb, working to a word limit is the best way to ensure succinctness. We try to enforce word counts as typically any more than 1200 words might be better split into two, perhaps three, articles to maximise readers’ interests.

Using Images

DARROW operates a Creative Commons policy.

All images on DARROW must have the permission of the author for republishing or be permitted for ‘commercial use’ to be compliant with copyright law. This is identified by ‘CC’ on some of the websites listed below.

‘Featured images’ must be assigned by the author or the editor will do so.

If you use images in your articles, they must be your own or from the following sources only and attributed as required to ensure copyright compliance. Full-width images must be 1034 x 450.

General Sources

When using general sources, be sure to select ‘advanced options’ and search for ‘commercial use allowed’.

Free Sources

Tools

Having the tools to help you write is often just as important as writing itself. We’ve put together our top list of free tools that have helped our writers get the best out of their writing:

Grammarly

This has been advertised a lot on YouTube lately. It is totally worth the attention, providing a free browser integrated grammar and spell checker. It’s superior to all spell checks we’ve seen and it provides an easy to use pop-out screen to make edits and to see alternative word choices. You can also put documents through its desktop counterpart. An absolute must-have.

Evernote

Another browser integrated application which lets you highlight, edit and clip some or all of a website to a desktop app. The best way to research a topic and have the information to hand later.

Skitch

A sister of Evernote, Skitch is an image clipper that lets you do full or custom screen grabs. It’s a real time saver to help make pictures the exact dimensions to accompany your articles.

Career

From the experience of all of the team we know that career advice, and sometimes just that push in the right direction makes all the difference for breaking into a field or making a transition.

We encourage our members to get to know their colleagues on the ‘meet the team’ page and to privately email each other for advice and assistance.

As a courtesy to all team members, we would ask that all communications about Darrow to fellow writers clearly indicate that they are a fellow Darrow writer.

References and Endorsements 

Darrow is happy to provide a reference for our writers. As a rule of thumb, we supply references after a minimum of four pieces have been submitted to the site.

We encourage you to place your contributions on your CV and LinkedIn profiles and we are happy to provide endorsements for when you do.