Editorial Guidelines

In an effort to maintain continuity and the consistency of our brand voice, we would appreciate it if you would follow these editorial guidelines when you are producing content and programs for The MAPS Institute. If you have any questions, please email Laura at laura@themapsinstitute.com.

Our Audience

Our readers are those looking to create the best version of themselves and are willing to look at wellness from a variety of perspectives to create balance – the ultimate form of wellness.

We engage our readers with a wide range of topics including neuroscience, leadership and organizational development, psychology, nourishment, and meditation, among others. We believe those who engage with our content are seeking the opportunity to be more human.

Content Expectations

We strongly prefer content that is either research-based, scientific, or which references other reputable work. While we will publish editorial and opinion pieces on occasion, our primary goal is to provide our readers with fact-based, action-oriented guidance that they can put to use in their life.

We accept various forms of original content including written, video, and audio contributions! For written pieces, we generally would like you to have a word count of between 500 and 2000 words. However, if you think your piece is best voiced as something longer or shorter, please let us know.

Audio and video content needs to be submitted as an idea like any other content prior to creation and submission. If we choose to publish it, we will add MAPS bumpers to the beginning and end prior to publishing.

Style Guidelines

Please adhere to the following guidelines around content structure, punctuation and other style elements:

Voice & Tone

  • Avoid academic tone, we want pieces to be accessible and action-oriented so that our readers can act on what you are sharing with them.
  • To that end, try to write as much as possible in second person e.g., “You can do…”. Avoid “we”, “they”, etc. as much as possible.
  • Avoid passive language.
  • Stories are golden and we encourage you to write in first person to make your work more relatable.

Structure

  • Add Sections to your piece and title them with capitals (but not ALL caps) — target a section break approximately every 300 words.
  • Reference and links to both other MAPS content and to external resources. Links are preferred, but you may also cite scholarly research or books that do not have links. 
  • Paragraphs should be no more than 2-3 sentences. One sentence paragraphs for effect are acceptable and encouraged.
  • Sub-headings should guide the reader, but you should write as if they don’t exist — do not begin a section after a sub-heading as if the reader has read it, you want complete thoughts and ideas in each sentence and paragraph.

Punctuation

  • Avoid semicolons if at all possible.
  • Use a single space after each period.
  • Avoid quotes unless actually quoting someone. Use italics for emphasis or use-mention words.
  • We encourage the use of dashes in your writing to create dramatic effects and for aesthetic appeal, however, if you use them, ensure that you are using em dashes. Further, we are electing to style our em dashes with a single space on either side.
  • Avoid ellipses except to denote text excluded from a quote or if you are assuming the first person and are trailing your thought in the context of a story. If you do use an ellipsis, please use the proper ascii code rather than simply using three periods (most word processors will automatically substitute it for you now). 
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