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PSA Community Guide: Tips for writing a good FanPost

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Have a good article idea but aren't sure what to do? Check out these tips for writing a FanPost.

The Yankees' postseason run came to an end much earlier than many of us would have liked, but the good news is that we have a long offseason full of rumors and trades to look forward to. All Yankee fans have opinions about how they should improve the team, and who they should or shouldn't trade for, and we welcome you to share your ideas with us, especially in the FanPost section of the site. Whether you've been a member of the site for years, or just found us today, one of the best ways to engage in a community discussion is to write a FanPost.

The great thing about Pinstripe Alley is that we have such a large community of Yankee fans who can bounce ideas off of each other and have civil disagreements. A lot of the time, these discussions happen in the comments section of articles that run on the front page, and we welcome that. However, there are times when a discussion going on in the comments section of an article would make for a better FanPost, such as when the comments are unrelated to the article topic, or when a comment is really long. FanPosts are a great way to share ideas, and they promote deeper discussion. In the past, several Pinstripe Alley staff members were hired because they wrote quality FanPosts, and the last time we hired new writers we also utilized the FanPost section of the site. We are also open to publishing well-written FanPosts on the front page of PSA. As a community member, the best way to point out high quality FanPosts to the staff is by commenting on them and using the rec button.

If you have an idea, but don't know where to start, check out these tips for writing a good FanPost:

1. The recommended length for FanPosts is at least 250 words. If you can't hit that minimum, consider whether you have fleshed out your opinion.

2. All FanPosts should have an opening and closing paragraph. The opening paragraph introduces your idea, while the closing paragraph wraps up your thoughts.

3a. Always back up your arguments and opinions with facts and statistics. For example, "The Yankees should sign David Price because he had the lowest ERA in the American League this season" is a much more compelling argument than "The Yankees should sign David Price because he's good."

3b. FanGraphsBaseball ReferenceBaseball Prospectus and the like are all helpful resources to use when looking for statistics.

4. It's a good idea to pose questions to the rest of the community, especially if you want PSA members to respond to your FanPost. The poll feature can also be useful for asking questions.

5. Feel free to use charts, graphs or photos to support your ideas, but try not to go overboard. If you have more graphs than you do paragraphs of text, that's probably too many.

6. Always write in complete sentences. This makes it easier for everyone else to read your work and follow your train of thought.

7. Try to avoid cursing in the FanPost. Save that for the comments section.

8. Respect opinions that differ from yours, stay open to constructive criticism, and don't stoop to name calling.

9. Double check your spelling and grammar before you publish. This is especially important when it comes to player names. It only takes five seconds to google Rob Refsnyder's name and figure out if your spelling is correct. We don't expect perfection, but community members are more likely to read a FanPost if it's relatively free of typos.

So, next time you have an idea that is going to derail the comments section of an article, head on over to the FanPost section and share it with us. If you keep these suggestions in mind while you're writing, your FanPost just might end up featured on the front page. Feel free to ask any questions you have about the FanPost process here.