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Sep 23 / King Kaufman

Tips for writers from Bleacher Report’s Quality Editors

The quality editing team is a small group of editors tasked with intensive reviews of all content bound for the Bleacher Report front page and CNN sports section.

Before our team can approve any article to be placed in those slots, it has to meet strict standards in regard to structural composition, writing mechanics, sports-specific expertise and factual accuracy.

We asked the quality editors—QEs, as they’re known around here—to talk about the things they look for as they review articles for prominent placement. The changes quality editors make and the fixes they request writers to make are done in the name of presenting the best possible experience for Bleacher Report’s readers. In other words: quality editors sometimes ask a lot of Bleacher Report’s writers and editors, but they do so with a high purpose in mind.

Here’s what QEs look for writers to do:

Deliver on headlines

QE Alison Myers: “When I’m deciding whether to approve an article, I look to make sure the writer has executed the topic as it is promoted in the headline (i.e. he or she didn’t just gloss over it in their arguments or sum it up in one paragraph).”

QE Ben Rosenthal: “I like headlines that reflect exactly what the intro/text deals with, even if that makes them not as glamorous.”

Support all arguments

QE Mosang Miles: “Strength of argument is an important factor. Generic statements without support will get rejected. “He’s having a fantastic season.” “He’s far and away the best in the league.”

QE Alison Myers: “I like to see that the writer has done his or her research and can support their argument with past performances, notes about a player’s strengths and weaknesses, statistics, etc.”

Offer your own original insight

QE Tyler Collison: “The articles that get immediately approved are those that raise arguments or cite stories in a way I haven’t heard yet—and if you’re knowledgeable on a topic, it shows, and it makes our job so much easier.”

QE Ben Rosenthal: “Readers know about a subject they are plugging into a search engine, so the writer needs to exhibit a deep understanding of what they are writing about.”

But don’t be afraid to cite others

QE Erica Patten: “I’m looking for a piece that is comprehensive; something that (while attributing outside sources) is thorough and doesn’t require the reader to find any pertinent details elsewhere. As a reader, I don’t want to have any questions when I’m done with a piece.”

QE Tyler Collison: “The articles that openly address counterarguments and utilize the words of other writers to enhance their points are those that I will approve almost 100 percent of the time; such little changes to voice within an article create a natural progression of the narrative, and that’s the stuff I enjoy reading.”

Be wary of word choice

QE Ben Rosenthal: “Hyperbolic words and phrases more often than not take away from an article, especially when they aren’t used sparingly.”

Reread for redundancy

QE Ben Rosenthal: “It’s not just repeating the same idea more than once, but the same word in the same sentence or in close proximity.”

* * *

Matt Connolly is Bleacher Report’s Quality Editing Manager. 

  • Ben Fink

    Ben, reread for redundancy:

    QE Ben Rosenthal: “It’s not just repeating the same idea more than
    once, but the same word in the same sentence or in close proximity.”

    “Close proximity” is about as redundant as it gets. Who edits Bleacher Reports “Quality Editors?”

    • King_Kaufman

      Ha! I do. Good catch. Fixed.