A short guide of the Do’s, Don’ts, Conditions and pointers to writing and contributing an article to India Opines.

Your Opinion Matters – Publish Them at IndiaOpines. Please send us your writing via the contact us page or via email to submissions [ @ ] indiaopines [ dot ] com .

A few examples of posts and genres:

Open letter to Kiran Bedi
AAP’s Referendum Good For Democracy
The Three Indias
Jai Ho Review – It’s a Salman Khan Film – Res Ipsa Loquitor
Jodha Akbar, Ekta Kapoor’s historical biopic, irks even with the disclaimer !
Jodha Akbar Weekly Review
Maharana Pratap was Not a Son of India

India Opines is an Internet Media company which aims to create a platform for people to discuss their views, opinions and difference in perspectives; something which is very rare in existence specific to our country. How it differs from say, a chat room or a stray post on a Facebook page is because of the detail and depth we aim to bring to the readers via the articles published. Then it becomes not only a platform to discuss and debate but also one to simply become more aware.

An Introduction

The title of this platform consists of two very weighted words: ‘India Opines’ and we must all strive to uphold that. You are the people who constitute India. Fortunately, you are a part of the few elite people who have access to state of the world education. If together we’re going to create a space for the elite, educated, thinking individuals of India to opine-we’re going to do it right. It’s not only okay to have opinions, it’s odd if you don’t. However, an opinion can never be diplomatic; the word in itself means your personal version of your viewpoint of the event at hand. It’s not a narration of events or news reporting and thus leaves no space for detailing out what the pros and cons are. 

We at India Opines don’t have a distinct set of guidelines for you to write an Op-Ed. An Op-Ed (Opinion-Editorial) is an article which only conveys the views of the author, unaffiliated to any news agency or organisation so to say. We aim to publish your opinions without any personal bias or views, as you send them to us; only editing what is required from an editorial team. India Opines in not pro-left, pro-right, pr0-any religion, pro-any caste or pro-any other division of society you can come up with. For all practical purposes, we are unthinking mechanized bots with no personal opinions just refining your views and publishing them on an open forum as they come to us.

Zola Leandre Writing for India Opines: A GuideThere will be occasions where you, as a reader, will come across posts that go against everything you hold dear in context to the subject matter of the post. Chances are you will get agitated if your opinion is strong enough. As tempting as it might be to pen down an agitated, angry message to the author questioning the basis of his existence on Planet Earth, you have another option. You can always put together another Op-Ed on why you feel what you feel and we’ll publish it! Not only will you get your point across, you will be able to convey it to a larger audience- everyone who accesses the site. That’s the beauty of India Opines- we don’t mind publishing conflicting, strong-worded articles up; in fact, it simply makes our day.

The genre of our articles is not simply constricted to those on Politics or Economics, as many seem to perceive. We welcome any well-written pieces of writing on current events, lifestyle trends, Bollywood movies and T.V. shows, even your deepest introspection about life on that lazy Sunday afternoon in the sun. It’s your opinion; we won’t ask you what to opine on and neither will we tell you how. Take a topic/event/personality/theme and put in on a pedestal or bury in into the ground; that’s the power your words and opinions have.

If this all still seems a tad bit vague to you, here are an even vaguer set of Do’s and Don’ts to guide you while writing your article.

Do’s

Do write articles with more than or equal to 300 words. Our experience says that if you really do have an opinion strong enough to write about, it will stretch to much more than 300 if you express it, substantiate it and put in everything from your end to convince the reader of your view point. Within your article, organize and categorize your points within sub-titles based on the theme or the major arguments you are making. And of course, as you must have been taught in school, a catchy title is a must to catch the reader’s attention.

However, if you have an opinion on something you believe to be clear as day, needing no explanation- send it in anyway! We’ll publish your point as an Aside note- but not a full-fledged article- in a new section we’ve put together called ‘You Speak: Reader’s Voice’.

Do send in all your submissions at info@indiaopines.com with the subject being ‘Article Submission’. Make sure to type in your post on MS-Word and attach the file in the mail; makes life easier for us.

Don’ts

Just because we’ve harped on and on about how it’s great to have an opinion, there is a very, very bold and obvious line to it; a line which you often fail to see because of your opinion. No discriminatory or derogatory comment will be allowed on any caste, creed, religion, sex or any other community bound by common beliefs. All adult content, abusive languages, ‘french’ words and unwarranted adult references will be censored. There is a vast body of knowledge and facts you have at your disposal to substantiate your stand; utilize it so you don’t have to resort to such tactics.

However, there’s just one thing we look for and hope to see in the articles sent to us: a well-substantiated opinion on whatever it is you are opining. Your words can be and should be as bold as required to best put your point across but you must support your point with reason, analysis and well-researched facts. For instance, simply saying ‘The resolution passed by the Security Council on the issue of Kashmir was bad’- this is your opinion but it is of no good. Why is it bad? What aspects did it miss? Who were the key players in passing this resolution? What points do you feel should be discussed and included? All these points and many more, when added to your opening theses, makes for a good opinion article and consequently, a thorough debate. See how we just supported our point about substantiated opinions by an example?

Plagiarism Writing for India Opines: A Guide

Lastly-and we would write this in capital letters and bold face to stress the importance of this, but we’re told it’s impolite- do not plagiarize. We look for unpublished, original articles not taken from any source. It goes without saying that copying from someone else’s intellectual piece of work is as wring as it gets; additionally, using open sources of information such as Encyclopedia, Wikipedia and the like is fine as long as it aids your research- direct copying is not okay from anything published before. If you’re going to use content that belongs to a piece published by another writer, take explicit permission and cite their work as your source. The Editorial Team receives about 35-40 articles per week on an average and it has happened in the past that plagiarized work has been published. When it has come to our notice, we have taken due action and removed said articles. We now follow a policy of strict plagiarism checking before publishing. What good if your article on what you strongly believe in if it’s not yours in the first place? Not only is it redundant, it is also a serious ethical offence.

Conditions

  1. The Op-Ed/Write-Up/Opinion piece should be 100% original and not be taken from any source or work published before.
  2. Once published at IndiaOpines – they cannot be published elsewhere – that would be deemed a Copyright violation
  3. Contributors are fully responsible for the content of their posts, granting India Opines the license to use them in perpetuity.
  4. In adding the articles to the web-site we reserve the right to make edits.
  5. The decision to accept any post resides with the administrators of the site.
  6. The terms can be changed at any time and all terms are the discretion of the administrators of the site.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

As much as we have now convinced you that we are unthinking, neutral humanoids behind silver computer screens in all-white rooms, we’re not. We can make mistakes; if you ever think we have erred by publishing an article which is offensive or takes advantage of the Freedom of Speech and Expression we all have- tell us. We will take it down after reviewing your complaint; but if and only if your point is valid. Do not expect us to take down posts simply because it makes you uncomfortable about your views. That’s exactly what we want to do: make you uncomfortable about someone challenging your views, and channel and discomfort POSITIVELY by getting you to respond with constructive criticism. Healthy debate will then ensue.

Comments by readers on articles are moderated by us and we try our best to retain as many of them as possible, since they are where the discussion begins. However, any comment which is abusive or offensive will be either not allowed or deleted by us. Again, if we miss out on moderating a comment due to the sheer volume we receive, let us know and we’ll do the needful.

Note to much-welcome Guest Writers

You don’t need to be a frequent contributor to the site to publish your viewpoint. If there is something you want to pen down your thoughts about, be our guest. We will publish your article without any tampering- other than the usual editing- and acknowledge your name and even you blog/website within the post. The only detail we want you to know is that the article you send in should be original (again!) and not published anywhere else- even if by you. You can publish an excerpt of your piece on your personal website/blog, but not your entire post to prevent duplication of content.

In short, it’s really not that complicated. Have an opinion? Write it down and send it to us. Keep it original, simple, thorough and most importantly, legal.

By The Editorial Team

Image Source: By Scanned by user:Van Nuytts (Uploader’s Own Scan of original) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, Nina Paley [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Do you have any contrary opinion to this post - Do you wish to get heard - You can now directly publish your opinion - or link to another article with a different view at our blogs. We will likely republish your opinion or blog piece at IndiaOpines with full credits