These guidelines for writing summaries have to be followed strictly by all volunteers and moderators. When rejecting a submission, a moderator includes a comment with the reason for the rejection and which guideline was not followed.
We always try to improve how we work together at Newsvoice, you can propose changes to the guidelines here.
Highlight essentials and check facts. Scan the articles you are summarizing carefully. Highlight the points you think are essential for the readers. Make sure that the facts are correct.
Summary should be longer than title. The summary has to provide more information and be substantially longer than the headline.
Use correct spelling and grammar. Make sure that the spelling and grammar is correct.
Avoid bias. Keep your summary short, sharp and unbiased. Your summary should emphasize objectivity. Try to think of the "4 Ws": who, what, when and where.
Example: President Duterte (who) installed martial law (what) in parts of the Philippines (where) after ISIS militants started taking over parts of cities (when).
Use simple language. Use language that is understandable for the whole community. Keep it simple, spell out acronyms and avoid or - if not possible - explain jargon. Newsvoice aims to be accessible to everyone. Some acronyms might be allowed if they are widely known (eg. WHO, UN).
Do: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker got angry at today's European Parliament plenary session reviewing the Maltese Presidency of the European Council.
Don't: EC President Juncker got angry at today's EP plenary session reviewing the Maltese Presidency.
Refer to original study. When summarizing an article based on a study, always refer to the original study.
Example: Study shows that average Millennial eats out five times a week. Data reveal that 29% of Millennials say they buy brewed coffee at least 3 times per week, 51% go to a bar at least once a week and 54% eat out at least 3 times a week or more.
Don't include opinion. Don't include your own opinion or analysis of the original article.
Do: President Trump went on a Twitter tirade targeting 'Morning Joe' host Mika Brzezinski (objective). Trump claimed that he had stopped watching the show (fact), but his tweets came only a few hours after the show criticized him (fact).
Don't: President Trump went on another (subjective) funny (subjective) Twitter tirade this time targeting 'Morning Joe' host Mika Brzezinski. His tweet should be seen as an attempt to target fake media (own analysis)
Avoid quotations. Avoid using direct quotations if unnecessary.
Do: A 42-year-old man from Nevada was released from jail after 23 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit.
Don't: According to Fox News, 'a 42-year-old Nevada man was freed from prison after 23 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit'
Avoid repetitions. Avoid repetitions in the summary.
Do: Colombian rebels recently gave up all their weapons in a historic peace deal with the government. Rebel commander Rodrigo Londono is still in intensive care after suffering a stroke. There is still a possibility he could be released in 48 hours.
Don't: Colombian rebels recently gave up all their weapons in a historic peace deal with the government. Rebel commander Rodrigo Londono is still in intensive care after suffering a stroke. There is still a possibility rebel commander Rodrigo Londono could be released in 48 hours.
Do not copy-paste. Rephrase instead of copy-pasting. If you have difficulties using your own words, try to write short phrases instead of long, complex sentences.
Avoid question and exclamation marks. Avoid question or exclamation marks unless absolutely necessary, for example if they are part of a quote.
Be gentle with punctuation. Be gentle with punctuation marks. For example, don't use a semicolon (also known as ";") if you can say the same thing using a comma, dash, period or - even better - nothing at all.
Do: On Tuesday the BBC announced that it will invest $44 million in children's content over the next three years. The company is attempting to recapture the audience of young children ages 6-12 years, 70% of which name YouTube as their favorite brand.
Don't: On Tuesday the BBC announced that it will invest $44 million in children's content over the next three years. The company is attempting to recapture the audience of young children ages 6-12 years; 70% of which name YouTube as their favorite brand.
Don't capitalize every word. Only use capital letters in the title to start off a sentence or when writing names.
Do: Brazil is rocked by political crisis
Don't: Brazil is Rocked by Political Crisis
Avoid describing type of media. Avoid describing the type of media in the title. For instance, do not refer to live coverage or videos.
Do: Meteor lights up night sky, rattles Michigan with loud boom
Don't: Meteor lights up night sky, rattles Michigan with loud boom (videos)
Keep impersonal. Keep your summary impersonal. Don't write in first or second person.
Do: New Jersey is set to end the government shutdown that closed beaches over the holiday weekend. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie could be seen lounging on the beach shortly after he ordered they be closed down.
Don't: I have read that New Jersey is set to end the government shutdown that closed beaches over the holiday weekend. You might find it interesting to know that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was seen lounging on the beach shortly after he ordered they be closed down.
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We are committed to keeping the discussion around the news stories as open as possible, and will never remove content based on political views or bias. We are, however, also committed to keeping the quality of the discussion at a high level. Therefore comments will be removed in the following cases:
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