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Feb 17 / Joel Cordes

Internship Insider: Citations, style resources & word flow

How can I cite more thoroughly?

When quoting, paraphrasing or alluding to something written/reported by another writer, each reference must be clearly attributed to its ORIGINAL source. (Hyperlink WHENEVER possible!) If obtaining something elsewhere than the original source, credit the original source and give a “hat tip” (either by writing “(h/t)” or “via”) to the place that led you to the original source.

How can I add depth to my writing?

Don’t simply allude to five players who will “make this season a success.”  What is a successful season? 10 wins? An NFC championship? Super Bowl or bust?  Define and explain such assertions.

How do I write out stats?

When written out, stats should generally not be capitalized—“Wins, ERAs, strikeouts, walks, etc.”

Don’t Forget:

- Are you writing and proofreading with the B/R Stylebook open? If you’re ever confused on the proper way to capitalize or hyphenate a phrase that isn’t present in our Style Guide, Google it. Or find a respected publication/website (ESPN, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Washington Post, New York Times, etc.) and use their construction.

- Avoid “I think/feel” expressions, as this is implied by your name on the byline.

- Your job as an editorialist is to convince readers of something, not simply to place your opinions out there in the hope that someone might agree.

- Watch out for over-punctuating. Even if it’s for emphasis, ask yourself whether the pacing is being disrupted.

- Try to avoid using the same prepositions and/or infinitives twice or more in a sentence. They clog up your word flow.

- A comma is needed before conjunctions (and/but/or) that introduce clauses with a new subject AND verb (not just one or the other).

Joel C. Cordes is Bleacher Report’s Sportswriting Internship Program Feedback Editor. Along with fellow editor Greg Pearl, he develops B/R interns by providing feedback and mentoring, the highlights of which are shared with the B/R Blog.

  • Blakes314

    Great resource.. Thanks

  • Ken Kraetzer

    Can you go over post game and other press conferences when as the reporter on scene you are actually participating? Do you need to reference the questions you ask differently from questions other reporters ask?

    I always try to use the answers to my own questions, but sometimes other reporters ask the same questions I would have asked. It seems to be bad form to ask a player or coach more than two to three questions in a group setting.

    • Joel Cordes

      excellent question, Ken! I’m going to use this in Friday’s installment… stay tuned, and thanks for the inspiration!