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Article - 'The Article Criteria' by Xanqui

An item about Miscellanious posted on Mar 2, 2004

Blurb

Wondering why your article hasn't been posted? Find out here, and how to improve your articles to be posted on GamingW.

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GW5 not only called for new features in GamingWorld, but new standards as well. It is important that we try to show more professional articles to the members of GW. Recently, I had to delete several articles that may have been alright for GW4, but would never be posted on GW5. Because of this, I find it necessary to give some tips on the new standards that I’ll be looking for with newer articles. Since I am now doing roundups, I think it’s important that you know what I’m looking for.

First of all, this is not a new policy that I created, but a policy GW has created. Articles should at least be 1000 – 1500 words at LEAST. This means around three or four pages per article. It’s not a difficult thing to do, folks, as long as you know what you’re talking about. Long articles look nice, and they tend to get better user reviews. However, if you do manage to say a lot in fewer words, there’s a good chance we’ll post your article.

Secondly, know what the hell you’re talking about. I see tons of articles that never get posted because they simply don’t have a point to them. They’ll start on one topic, then go off to others, and eventually I realize that it’s just a big mess of ideas, most of which have already been implemented in previous, better articles. This may have flown before, but we’re cutting down on the mindless babbling bull crap.

Item Lists are also a bad idea. I will not post item lists. These are long lists of just names that probably came from a random name generator or an encyclopedia. These lists will NOT be posted. However, if you do wish to tell people what each and every item does, I may consider it post-worthy. And no, this doesn’t mean some massive D&D guide, but something that YOU created that could help game makers and story writers. These require a hell of a lot of work to create, so you’d better be serious about it if you want it posted.

Tutorials are not articles. There’s a reason you can submit things as tutorials. DO NOT EXPLAIN HOW TO PROGRAM A GAME in articles. Put it this way: articles should be several paragraphs of information, and tutorials should be a set of instructions to do something. There’s a huge difference, and you need to understand that. I will not post tutorials. That’s for the other staffers to handle.

Do a little bit of research for you articles. I research every article I write, to make sure the information I’m providing is factual, and if it is opinion-based, I state it clearly. Research could include playing multiple games that relate to the subject, going to the library to find books on the subject matter or historical events relating to it, or even reading other articles. However, do not blatantly write an article that has already been written before. Unless you have entirely new ideas and facts, don’t bother.

It’s not difficult for me to decide what is worthy of posting or not. I can usually tell after the second paragraph if the writer is staying on topic and making the point clear. The following is not a list of rules, but a list of tips that can help you out while writing your articles:

Use Examples
This is by far the best way to express any point. Screenshots, quotes, a summarization of the event/s in a story, and other various methods are a sure way to make your article not only make more sense, but an article can look pretty damn nice with HTML coding for italicized quote and stuff.

Take Your Time
Make a list of ideas, then select what you think is best for your article. Use as many as you wish, but be sure they’re relevant. When you finish writing the article, which should have at least taken half an hour, put it aside for a day or two, then go back to it and fill in all the holes. If you’re still worried, put it aside again, play some games, watch some movies, read a book, whatever. Just get your mind off the article for a while. Then, when you feel the time is right, go back and revise it again, and fill in the rest of the holes that you realize you didn’t notice last time.

Articles YOU Can Relate To
The biggest reason most articles have nothing to say is because the writer is writing about something they’re not familiar with. Writer articles that involve personal experiences. I write a book series, which is why I focus on storyline and character development so much. This makes it easier for me to relate to my articles, which is why I can stay on topic.

I don’t claim to be a better writer than anyone who has submitted an article. I know that each and every person has the potential to write. It’s just a matter of being able to enjoy it and stick to it. Articles can be a great way of not only sharing your knowledge with others, but through your research, you can learn a lot more of what you thought you knew everything about.

Take a look at some of the ancient articles of GW. Most were just lists of random ideas, with a subject bolded, then a paragraph or two below it explaining the subject. These articles have been banned from GW since. Hell, I wrote one, and a few days after it was posted, it was removed due to the lameness of it. That was the second article I ever wrote, and it has been wiped out of existence.

Lastly, since I didn’t mention this before, NEVER write your articles in the dialogue box provided to you to post articles. Write them in Microsoft Word or SOMETHING with a spellchecker. I can’t stand correcting articles anymore, and if the article has more than five idiotic spelling or grammatical errors on one page, I will not edit it. If your article has good points, but god-awful grammar, you’re going to have an article posted with, you guessed it, god-awful grammar.

Well, this article matches most of the criteria pointed out within it. I just broke 1000 words in the previous paragraph. Good luck with your articles, and I look forward to reading more of them from the members of GW.