These style guidelines are meant to help prospective writers for CMC Magazine.
Copy editors and production people can also use these style guidelines during the editing and production processes of the magazine.
As an overall goal for the magazine, I want to move toward:
- A lively, first-person style for the articles, particularly the columns.
- Provocative content that engages our readers from many perspectives, focusing on their common interest in how computer-mediated communication affects our lives.
In developing this style guide, our goal is to draw from established style guides that can be modified for our needs (to adapt existing guides in order not to "reinvent the wheel") while at the same time identifying unique needs of a Web-based publication. The other unique challenge of this work is to negotiate a style appropriate to the identity of CMC Magazine for its audience in academia, industry, and the general public.
- Hypertext style suggestions: We are developing a particular hypertext style for the magazine. We encourage prospective authors to be aware of this style, and we request that submitted articles are written following it.
- Language style guidance; We encourage writers to
- Use active voice whenever possible.
- Introduce subject matter within the context of those interested in CMC, using terms and cultural references that either are in the usage glossary, contain a hyperlink to more information, or are explicated in the article itself.
- Present material recognizing the diverse interests and backgrounds of the readership.
- Length: target length for articles is 2,000 words maximum; columns and reviews, 1,500 words maximum; news items and other will vary in length.
- Title: unless absolutely necessary, the title of an article should not contain a colon.
- Citation style: Use CMC Magazine citation style, which uses the APA American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide as a basis.
- Language usage: Associated Press (AP) Style Guide as
a basis; but with exceptions.
- Use "online" instead of AP's "on-line"
- Use "email" instead of AP's "e-mail"
- Language bias: articles published will be free of words or phrases that either implicitly or explicitly categorize persons so it either demeans or implies a bias against them (from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (4th ed.)). Prospective authors should submit manuscripts which use gender-fair language and avoid racial, ethnic, stereotypes or other examples of language bias.
- Vocabulary: we will develop a glossary of language and cultural references considered part of audience knowledge (impossible to fully enumerate this, but we'll attempt a characterization). In the meantime, the CMC Studies Center resource list may serve as a starting point for determining vocabulary. Here is a preliminary draft of this usage/glossary guide.
- Spelling: American English.
- Format: see the current issues for
a specification of the hypertext layout
and format for how final articles as well as specialized
articles (book reviews, etc) will appear.
Note that starting with the January 1996 issue, the magazine uses hypertext more intensively: write for this format. Think of how you can augment and extend your meaning using several files which each give a "way in" to your article, so that a reader might not read it from top to bottom but in a variety of orderings. See our statement on hypertext style.
- Format of manuscript: You can send the URL of your prepared manuscript. If your article will appear in a single file (for short essays, or essays that won't be broken into individual files), send your manuscript in plain ASCII text, with blank lines between paragraphs. If you want, your text can contain HTML tags to indicate bold, italics, bulleted or numbered lists, etc., but it is not necessary to put headers and footers to conform to magazine style on your manuscript--this will be done later if you manuscript is accepted.
- Links in manuscript: links in an article might eventually go stale---archived articles will be saved (see link policy). Take this into consideration when making links in the article.
- Biography, email, web page: Please include a short biographical statement (up to 75 words) with your manuscript. Indicate if you would like your email address published as well as a link to your web page.
- News (conference report):
- Doherty, M. (1994). "Show Me" a decade of computers and writing: Mizzou '94. Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine, 1(3):2.
- Doheny-Farina, S. (1994). The last link: Default = offline or why ubicomp scares me. Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine, 1(6):8.
- Schmeiser, L. (1995). From the nets: Of style and substance. Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine, 2(3):44.
Last revision: 21 Jan 1996 firstname.lastname@example.org