A Brief History
This article, updated on August 30, 2019, covers our guidelines for guest and sponsored articles on our site. By submitting a guest or sponsored article to this site, as well as by paying for a sponsored article to be included on this site, you are agreeing to abide by these guidelines and policies. NOTE: As of February 24, 2020, I am no longer accepting sponsored articles or links on this site aside from the usual ads from AdSense, Amazon, Disqus, and Lanista.
General Guidelines and Policies for Guest and Sponsored Articles
- Defining “guest articles” vs. “sponsored articles”: As a teacher and writer, Dr. Zar does allow guest authors, including his students, to contribute their original content to this site as a means of helping them have a published post on a site that typically receives thousands of unique views every day. For the purpose of these guidelines, because authors who contribute “guest articles” to this site are not expected to pay any kind of fee for having their work included on this site, a “guest article” is therefore an article that only showcases the author’s work and thus cannot contain any links to any kind of businesses or that are written with the intent of promoting some kind of business. By contrast, a “sponsored article” is an article that either explicitly advertises or promotes a business, a product, or a service or that at least contains a link to that business’s website within the article. Because “sponsored articles” are primarily intended by their authors to promote or draw traffic to specific businesses’ websites, such articles cost $100 each to be paid to Dr. Zar’s PayPal email within a week of being published on this site.
- Any guest or sponsored article contributed to this site must be original content, i.e. it cannot be copied from an article that appears on another site. If a sponsored article is posted on this site and Dr. Zar (the owner of this site) determines that it was copied (plagiarized) from another site, the article will be removed from our site and any payment made to Dr. Zar for posting the article will not be refunded.
- Any links within a guest or sponsored article that you contribute to our site must not link to anything that is dangerous to visitors’ computers, illegal, or pornographic in nature. If Dr. Zar discovers that any such links were placed in any article submitted for inclusion on this site, the link(s) and possibly the article will be removed from our site and any payment made to Dr. Zar for posting the article will not be refunded.
- Any person credited by name as the author of an article must be the actual author of that article. Aliases and pen-names are generally fine alternatives to an author’s birth or given name and authors of guest and/or sponsored articles may use our site’s generic alias of “Abdul Alhazred,” which is also sometimes used by our regular writers on controversial articles for privacy reasons, but an article cannot be attributed to someone who actually did not write the article in question. Similarly, any photograph submitted as part of an author’s biography must be of the actual author and must not be under any kind of copyright protection that would prevent its legal use on this site. Finally, any biographical information posted for an article’s author must be factually accurate and not in any way be deceptive to readers. If Dr. Zar discovers that a submitted author’s name and/or biography is in any way fraudulent, the attributed author for such an article will be switched to “Anonymous Author” and any payment made to Dr. Zar for posting the article will not be refunded. Also, just because an article is attributed to “Anonymous Author,” that does not necessarily mean that it was switched to that as a result of changing a previously inaccurate author name. In some cases, authors have requested to be considered anonymous for various reasons. So, to any readers of this site, please do not assume that either “Abdul Alhazred” or “Anonymous Author” always refers to an author of a sponsored post or to an author who gave Dr. Zar a false name.
- Posting of sponsored articles must comply with the laws of the United States of America (U.S.). Thus, if Dr. Zar discovers that he has to add or change anything to any sponsored post in order to comply with such laws, then he must make such additions or changes. Any such additions or changes made to an article to comply with U.S. laws will not result in any refund of any payment made for such a sponsored post that has to be altered in any way to comply with U.S. laws.
- Posting of sponsored articles and links must comply with the guidelines and policies of Google. Thus, if Dr. Zar discovers that he has to add or change anything to any sponsored post or link in order to comply with Google’s guidelines and policies, then he must make such additions or changes. Any such additions or changes made to an article to comply with Google’s guidelines and policies will not result in any refund of any payment made for such a sponsored post that has to be altered in any way to comply with Google’s guidelines and policies.
- Even if Dr. Zar does have to make any additions or changes to a sponsored post for legal or quality purposes as described above or in the “Style” section below, if your article and link continues to exist on this site, even in altered form, your site would of course continue to enjoy promotion on this site, which has historically received thousands of unique daily visitors, hence why any payments for sponsored articles will not be refunded.
- If you request that Dr. Zar replaces an existing article with an all new article or with a significantly revised version of an existing article, you will be expected to pay for the new article or compensate Dr. Zar for his time and work updating the article.
- If an article is not doing particularly well in terms of views, it is possible that Dr. Zar may add one or more additional authority links to any article to improve the article’s SEO. Doing so is intended to improve the article’s presence in Google results and should therefore not diminish the visibility of your article’s link within the article and if anything should actually increase the likelihood of your link be seen and clicked. As such, if Dr. Zar believes it is necessary to add one or more link(s) to help increase the views of your article, you will not receive any refund.
- If you request “permanent” or “lifetime” placement of a sponsored post on this site, Dr. Zar takes that to mean “during the time that he is the owner of this site.” Dr. Zar has no control over what any subsequent owner of this site might do with its content. Nor could a future owner of this site perhaps years from now be expected to continue agreements made by Dr. Zar perhaps years earlier. Thus, neither Dr. Zar nor a future owner of this site can be expected to refund payment for a sponsored article if someone other than Dr. Zar becomes the owner of this site and subsequently alters or even removes any sponsored articles. If you submitted a sponsored article on this site and ever notice that Dr. Zar is no longer the site’s owner, you are encouraged to contact whoever the new owner is to negotiate any new advertising terms for hosting sponsored content.
- Moreover, “permanent” or “lifetime” placement can be voided without a refund if it is determined that the article was plagiarized or if a link has to be removed due to the nature of the link changing. For example, if a sponsored article is posted on this site with a link to say a cable service provider at the time of publication on this site and payment to Dr. Zar, but the nature of the site that that link links to changes from being a cable service provider to something that is dangerous to visitors’ computers, illegal, or pornographic, then such a link will be removed and any payment made to Dr. Zar for posting the article will not be refunded. In this context then, “permanent” and “lifetime” means the “lifetime” of the current version of the approved link.
Grammar and Style Guidelines for All Articles on Our Site
- Any author contributing a guest or sponsored article is encouraged to review other articles on this site to get a sense of their typical format. For example, all articles on this site have “A Brief History” to start the article with an historic date in the opening sentence to introduce the topic, i.e. a “On this date in history” kind of opening. Next, articles have a “Digging Deeper” section that can be a “top ten list” or some paragraphs that expand upon the historical event or topic that is the subject of the article. At the end of any article on this site, there is a question for students (and subscribers) followed by an invitation to readers to follow the site on social media (Facebook and Patreon) and a thank you for reading the article. Finally, a “Historical Evidence” section includes one or more published sources (books) for further information, including a link to where the book can be purchased on Amazon.com as a further convenience for readers interested in learning more about the article’s topic. Also in the “Historical Evidence” section will be any necessary information and links about the featured image used in the article.
- Articles must be written in a proofread and professional manner consistent with other articles on this site as written by regular contributors such as Beth Michaels and Major Dan. Articles that are not of sufficient quality may be rejected or revised by Dr. Zar or Major Dan to meet the academic standards of this site. If a “sponsored article” has to be revised for quality reasons, any payment made to Dr. Zar for posting the article will not be refunded.
- Please avoid using contractions in any guest or sponsored articles on this site. As Mary Lynn Rampolla writes, “Finally, contractions (for example, wasn’t for ‘was not’ or won’t for ‘will not’) are generally too informal for use in a history paper. Rather, you should use the expanded form.” See Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History, Fifth Edition (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007), 62.
- William Strunk instructs us to “Avoid starting a sentence with however when the meaning is ‘nevertheless.’ The word usually serves better when not in first position….When however comes first, it means ‘in whatever way’ or ‘to whatever extent.’” See William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White, The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition (New York: Allyn & Bacon, 2000), 48-49.
- Diana Hacker explains that “The pronouns this, that, and which should not refer vaguely to earlier word groups or ideas. These pronouns should refer to specific antecedents. When a pronoun’s reference is too vague, either replace the pronoun with a noun or supply an antecedent to which the pronoun clearly refers.” See Diana Hacker, A Pocket Manual of Style, Fourth Edition (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004), 39. Strunk adds, “The pronoun this, referring to the complete sense of a preceding sentence or clause, cannot always carry the load and so may produce a vague statement.” See Strunk, 61.
- According to Hacker, “Try and is nonstandard for try to. I will try to (not try and) be better about writing to you.” See Hacker, 39. Strunk agrees that “try” takes “the infinitive: ‘try to mend it,’ not ‘try and mend it.’…try to is precise, and when you are writing formal prose…write try to.” See Strunk, 62.
- Strunk also says to use “very…sparingly. Where emphasis is necessary, use words strong in themselves.” See Ibid., 63. He adds, “Rather, very, little, pretty–these are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words. The constant use of the adjective little (except to indicate size) is particularly debilitating…” See Ibid., 73.
- All paragraphs should have at least three sentences to be considered sufficiently developed.
Image Guidelines and Policies for All Articles on Our Site
- Nearly every image or video used on this site must be either in the public domain or available via a Creative Commons or similar license, with few exceptions as indicated below.
- Given that this site is intended for educational and journalistic purposes, some images may also be used per fair use, such as movie posters in articles that review (provide critical commentary) on films.
- Thus, in order to avoid any possible copyright trolling, the owner of this site, Dr. Zar, will only use images in articles that are from such sites as Wikimedia Commons or Wikipedia that clearly say on the links for the images that the images have a free to use license (such as public domain or Creative Commons). Moreover, links back to the original location of the image as well as any required attribution(s) will also be included within any article on our site. Only featured images will be stored on our site’s server. Any other images or videos will be embedded with a link back to its original source.
- In the event that an image used on this site that was taken from or embedded from Wikimedia Commons or Wikipedia that claims to be either in the public domain or available via a Creative Commons or similar free license on those sites but has been in demonstrable fact erroneously labelled as such on Wikimedia Commons or Wikipedia, if you own the copyright to such an image that should not have been used on Wikimedia Commons or Wikipedia in the first place and can prove that you own the copyright to said image, you may email Dr. Zar with proof of your copyright in order to request respectfully that the image be removed from this site. Dr. Zar will of course swiftly remove any images that meet that criteria. Given that Dr. Zar makes a good faith effort to only use images that he believes to be in the public domain or usable per a free license on this website that is clearly used for educational and journalistic purposes (and so could arguably be used on this site per fair use anyway), Dr. Zar cannot be reasonably held as liable for what would amount to someone else’s deception of him and others on another site. You therefore may not include in any request to remove an image from this site any financial demands of Dr. Zar or after an image has been removed threaten legal action in the hopes of getting money from Dr. Zar, considering his good faith use of any images on this site that is clearly intended for educational and journalistic purposes. Given all of the above, any attempt to extort Dr. Zar over use of images will be considered and treated as illegal harassment and an attack on Dr. Zar’s honor.
Question for students (and subscribers): Have you ever written a guest article for a website? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Hacker, Diana. A Pocket Manual of Style, Fourth Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004.
Rampolla, Mary Lynn. A Pocket Guide to Writing in History, Fifth Edition. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007.
Strunk, Jr., William and E.B. White. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. New York: Allyn & Bacon, 2000.