When you are attempting to impress a magazine editor, professionalism counts. If you are a beginning writer without a strong industry reputation, you can''t afford to submit material in a manner that marks you as a novice or an amateur. Here are seven tips to help your article manuscript appear more professional.
- Don''t use staples.
Do use paper clips in the top left corner of your manuscript (butterfly clips or paper clamps for articles of more than ten pages). Don''t use staples.
- Don''t clip, and especially don''t staple, your cover letter to the manuscript.
- Don''t use a separate cover page.
It''s pretentious for an article-length manuscript and wholly unnecessary.
- Don''t justify text or align the right margin.
Ragged right is fine.
- Don''t insult the editor''s intelligence or intentions by putting a copyright notice on the manuscript.
It''s copyrighted as soon as you write it.
- Don''t use unusual fonts.
A simple Times Roman will do fine.
- Do include suggested subheads
If the magazine''s style is to use subheads, in the body of your manuscript do include suggested subheads; however, don''t rely on subheads as a substitute for transitions.