The Shaughnessy Report: So You Want to Write an Article!


Reading time ( words)

As a journalist and editor, I can’t imagine a better beat to cover than PCB design and EDA. This is the perfect career for me. I come armed with an English degree. I studied Chaucer and Shakespeare for years to prepare myself for through-holes and fanout routing.

“I bear a charmed life,” as Macbeth put it. But it’s people like you who write the fantastic articles and columns that make our publications great. We’d be nowhere without these wonderful writers who sacrifice their nights and weekends putting their thoughts on paper.

That said, this month I’m going to offer a few tips for anyone considering writing articles or contributing press releases to this magazine, or any B2B pub, for that matter.

Spell Check is Your Friend

We try to leave your copy as untouched as possible. We want your particular tone to shine through. But we also want all of our magazines to adhere to the same style. We follow the Associated Press style for the most part, but AP doesn’t cover certain terms, such as microvia vs micro via vs micro-via. (We’ve settled on microvia, since that’s how most of the industry spells it.)

Our writers keep us on our toes. Some of our contributors capitalize words for no reason, such as High-Density Interconnect. That’s not a proper name, so it doesn’t need to be capped. Other writers only capitalize every Noun, as if we were speaking high German. And beware the writer who has--recently--discovered the dash; the same holds true for the semicolon. It could be great stuff; then again, it might be trouble.

And some articles have obviously never been run through spell check. I use spell check, and so should you. It won’t catch your use of “threw” instead of “through,” but it will catch the biggest snafus, and it highlights sentences that are unclearly worded. Read the full column here.Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of The PCB Design Magazine.

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