Cogito Magazine Style Guide:
Many have been asking how their articles should look like whether they should be more academic in nature or in the style of Medium or Aeon. We expound on this:
There are a few things people look for when reading articles on the internet. The working person who wants to get short articles/videos to learn some tidbits without it being too mired in jargon. The student who wants something to read outside their major that isn’t too difficult to understand.
As far as possible, try to give an Asian context or solution to the issue discussed. We recognise that the information we injest is mostly tinged with a Western context, and the point of Cogito is to put forth a parallel narrative to the prevailing one.
Our goal at Cogito is to introduce ideas and topics to these people who want something to engage them in a way that Netflix cannot. But we understand that sometimes it’s difficult to write for a non-specialist audience about something so complex and multi-faceted. That’s where our editorial team comes in to help.
There are three guiding questions that should help you understand what we’re looking for:
- Does the content engage the reader and make them think?
- Does the argument flow in a way that is easy to follow?
- Has this topic been covered way too much?
We are generally looking for:
- Expositories: an area of your field that you think is not talked about enough in public discourse, or that it would be interesting for a non-specialist to know about;
- Op-ed: opinions and/or new research on a topic that you wish to share with the non-specialist;
- Book reviews: enlightening and novel (excuse the pun) books which you have read which you believe should be shared with the world;
- Literature: to a lesser extent, we would publish some pieces of literature which fit the themes of Cogito.
If your piece is exceptional, we will feature it on our webpage, social media, and take special note of it for our special editions. What would help our editorial team:
- Proofreading: please, run your piece through a spell-checker;
- Keywords: drop a few keywords so that we know what to expect;
- Images: it really helps us when we publish your piece, but these can be submitted later, and it would help us immensely if the pictures are your own or in common use;
- Deadlines: while we do not demand strict deadlines, giving us some lead time before the next publication is due will really help us out.
We will not impose a strong in-house style, but there are some details which should be taken note of, especially for writers who have not published for online articles before:
- The Oxford comma, please;
- Endnotes, not footnotes. It’s much easier to format for a medium that is based on scrolling screens;
- Bibliographies aren’t needed, strictly, as long as the endnote contains enough information to find the original sources;
- As far as possible provide weblinks to your sources, which we will embed into the text.
And, that’s it! That’s most of the information you need to write an article that is readable, concise, and thoughtful! We will do our best not to interfere with your writing too much, because ultimately you are the experts in your fields. We are merely here to take note of the blindspots in your writing which might affect readability.
Let’s share knowledge together!
Featured Image: Photo by Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash