99% Editorial Guidelines

This page sets out the guidelines we seek to uphold in what we publish:

  • Any article we publish should adhere to the 99% values;
  • Our articles should be verifiably trustworthy;
  • We should present our arguments as clearly and simply as possible given the technical nature of the contents;
  • Our articles should be positive and constructive, not merely critical.

Any article we publish should follow the 99% values

Our values are:

We will… We will not…
Be inclusive Divide and rule
Use peaceful means Use or endorse any form of violence
Use fact-based argument Rely on or accept argument from authority
Tackle the argument Attack the person


In practice, these mean:

  • Be inclusive We will welcome people from all backgrounds (racial, religious, sexual, age, wealth, ability/disability, etc) and political viewpoints as long as they align with our values and support our objectives.
  • Use peaceful means We will work peacefully but determinedly to adjust our legal and economic framework to end mass impoverishment.
  • Use fact-based argument When we take a public position, it must be fact-based. This means:
    • stated or implied facts must be evidence-based, and have reputable attributed sources;
    • opinion must be clearly stated to be opinion;
    • important assumptions must be stated, not hidden;
    • we should never knowingly or carelessly mislead.
  • Tackle the argument, not the person When others dispute our arguments, we should focus on the facts, not the others’ history or character.


Our articles should be verifiably trustworthy

Our members and other readers should be able to trust what we say. That means that not only must we take care to be fact-based, but we must also make it easy for readers to verify for themselves that we are being fact-based. In general, this will be through in-line links to reputable sources used in the article.

We should present our arguments as clearly and simply as possible given the technical nature of the contents

The style, wording, and logical structure of our articles should make them as easy to understand as possible:


We adopt, as far as possible, a simple writing style based on Orwell’s six rules:

  1. Avoid over-used similes and metaphors;
  2. Don’t use a long word where a short one will do;
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, cut it out;
  4. Avoid the passive where you can use the active;
  5. Don’t use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent;
  6. Break any of rules 1-5 if the result of following them does not read well.


Where we find we need to break the fifth rule, we should explain the word or phrase as clearly as we can. In the case of technical terms, this may require a sentence or more of explanation.

In the same way, we should spell out any abbreviations which we are not sure our readers will already know.

Logical Structure

Our articles should as far as possible follow a clear and simple logical structure such as the Pyramid Principle:

  • There should be a clear overarching point stated at the outset of the article: a single point which is what we hope the reader will take on board and which sits at the top of a logical pyramid;
  • This overarching point should be supported by (usually three) key points from which it follows logically – ie if I accept all the supporting points, logically, I cannot reject the governing thought;
  • Each of the key points is the heading of a section of the article and follows logically from facts and arguments in that section. If I read that section, there should be convincing arguments and data that will persuade me of the key point in question.

In that way a logical reader will understand, be convinced by, and remember the overarching point.

In other cases, where the writer is seeking the engage the reader with a more discursive style, the article should still aim for clarity and simplicity.

Our articles should be positive and constructive not merely critical

While a large part of what we do is raising awareness, sometimes of extremely negative political and economic developments, it is important that our articles are not themselves negative.

One of the main reasons for lack of engagement is lack of hope. If we present problems without credible solutions, we contribute to the discouragement of the population.

Our articles should at least sketch a solution to the problem they highlight and, if possible, include a simple call to action.

While we should not use emotive phrases that contradict any of the above guidelines, we should not shy away from expressing valid points in a way which is emotionally resonant and energising to our readers.


We do not have firm guidelines for length, but contributors are asked to aim for a word count of 1,500 words or fewer.


All articles published by The 99% Organisation will be reviewed to ensure that they meet the standards above.

This is not meant to say that The 99% Organisation will seek to exercise onerous editorial control – any changes we propose will be subject to agreement by the author.


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