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Style guide

Articles written for publication on use an informal, conversational tone, though not at the cost of clarity or correctness. Experts require neither excessive formality nor excessive casualness to express their authority. If you write with ClassicalClaps readership in mind and sound like yourself, you’re most of the way there already.

Concise articles with snappy intros

Our article space is intentionally limited to a single page. There is no room for meandering, no space for encyclopedic completeness. You need to get in, score, and get out. State your idea clearly and quickly. If your tutorial solves a problem, state the problem. Don’t warm up to your subject by preceding it with generalizations.

Keep your readers in mind

Our readers come from many backgrounds—a reader who knows all about Kathakali might not necessarily have heard of Kumar Gandharva—so take time to define your terms and provide pertinent background information, if only as a link.

On metaphors

Extended metaphors can provide gentle uplift and support, but they make poor lifeboats. Avoid extended cooking and spell-casting metaphors unless you can carry it off in a truly novel and delightful way. They may be apt, but are without question overworked.

Clarity first

Avoid unnecessary jargon, trendy constructions, vagueness, and buzzwords. Omit needless words. Make sure that pronouns point the way to their referents like the tidy signposts they are. Strive for brisk pacing and precise explanation. Limit the use of opaque idioms and references to non-essential points; no reader should need to be familiar with a particular thing to understand your central argument.


Images should be no more than 696px wide. If your images are high-DPI, please send both standard and high-DPI versions. For example, if you have a screenshot taken on a Retina device meant to be displayed at full-column width, please send one that is 696px wide, as well as one that is 1392px wide.

PNG, GIF, and JPEG are all acceptable submission formats. GIF or PNG are preferred for images in which text features prominently. (Don’t use JPEG for a gallery of typefaces or a screenshot of a web page.)

Author bios and photos

All final drafts should be accompanied by an author bio and photo. Author bios should be 40 to 50 words long and may include links. They should be snappy, informative, and brief.

Author photos don’t need to be professional portraits, but should look polished. We will prepare them for publication, so please send them as un-tweaked files with a minimum size of 400px by 400px.

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