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Opinion Submission Policy

Opinion Submission Policy

The Thresher welcomes submissions from Rice community members, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni. 

The guest opinions and letters to the editor that we publish do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board or of the Thresher. Further, the Thresher does not endorse the views in any published guest opinion or letter to the editor. We fact-check submissions to the best of our ability.

Please note that we do not guarantee publication of any submission. We reserve the right to delay or cancel publication at any time.

The Thresher does not publish hate speech, which we define as abusive or threatening writing that targets a particular group or individual or puts those groups or individuals in danger. We strive for civil and constructive discourse in the opinion section.

Please read the guidelines below, then send your submission to thresher@rice.edu. The editors-in-chief may make exceptions to any of these guidelines.

When is the deadline to submit? 

Our deadline for all submissions is Friday at 5 p.m. before publication in the following week’s issue. In special circumstances, the editors-in-chief may consider late submissions.

Letters to the editor should be submitted within two weeks of the article you are responding to.

Guidelines for guest opinions

A guest opinion is an opinion submitted by members of the Rice community that is distinguished by its call to action. Guest opinions typically run between 500–700 words.

A call to action is a clear and sound request to our readers, who are members of the Rice community. For examples, we encourage you to read recently published guest opinions on our website.

General guidelines 

Can multiple people co-write a piece? 

The Thresher encourages opinion submissions to be limited to one author, and we will allow up to three total authors. A co-author is defined as anyone who has actively contributed to the writing of the piece before its submission, and must be named in the byline. We don’t allow submissions written on behalf of an organization, though we do permit individuals from a shared organization to co-write. 

What is a conflict of interest?

The Thresher will not publish opinion submissions that can be construed as self-promotion. This includes articles originally written for academic credit, monetary compensation, an internship or promotion of a club or an event. All submissions should be previously unpublished.

What happens after I submit? What are the next steps? 

After you submit, your opinion must go through the Thresher’s editing process before being published. Some things we look for include accuracy, conciseness, clarity and relevance. In a strong opinion article, all assertions should be attributed to a reputable source.

Your submission should include a headline, or a short phrase of about 20-30 characters that introduces the reader to the article’s main idea. A good headline should draw from the call to action, which is the most important part of the article. The Thresher will make a good-faith attempt to communicate with the author regarding the headline. While we will not seek to alter a headline without an author’s consent, we reserve the right to change it or write a new one if needed. Similarly, we won’t make edits directly to a document without the author’s approval.  

After submissions are made by the Friday before publication, the opinion editor and the editors-in-chief will make edits by into the weekend and Monday. The text of your submission should be finalized by Monday at 9 p.m. After this point, copy editors may make minor edits to check for grammatical or spelling errors and for Associated Press style

Please be prompt in responding to suggestions and comments on your articles. While edits are not made directly on the document without the author’s approval, the editing process should be cooperative, collaborative and respectful.

Content warnings may be added to any piece at the editor’s discretion for sensitive topics. 

After you submit an opinion piece, it may not be shared with nor altered by anyone other than the authors and Thresher staff.

Anonymity in submissions

After you submit, we ask for identifying information that will be printed alongside your byline, including your preferred full name, a headshot and your affiliation with the Rice community. If you are uncomfortable with giving us this information and would like to publish a piece under full or partial anonymity, please reach out to the editors-in-chief at thresher@rice.edu.

The Thresher will only consider anonymous submissions if you make the case that publishing the piece under your name would put you at serious risk of personal harm. Further, you must reveal your identity to the editors-in-chief and/or opinion editor so that the editor can attempt to fact-check claims while honoring your anonymity. The Thresher will make every effort possible to protect your identity.

In the past, we have allowed anonymous authors on pieces that have discussed severe personal mental health or their experience with sexual assault. Note that the Thresher keeps a high standard for anonymity.

Guidelines for letters to the editor 

Letters to the editor (LTTE) are letters written by members of the Rice community that respond to an article published in the Thresher. LTTEs are typically around 400-500 words and must be submitted within two issues of publication of the article they are responding to.

The Thresher does not publish responses to letters to the editor to avoid back-and-forth exchanges across multiple issues. 

What is an editorial? 

An editorial is written collectively by the Editorial Board of the Thresher on a timely topic every issue. It expresses the view of the Editorial Board. The members of the Editorial Board are identified with an asterisk in the masthead of our print editions.

The proceedings of the Editorial Board are completely separate from the Thresher’s reporting, and the view of the Editorial Board is never a factor in how an article is written.

Sometimes, certain members of the Editorial Board may recuse themselves from an editorial. Members who are directly involved in the reporting of the same topic will be recused. Similarly, members who have a connection to the topic that could pose a conflict of interest will recuse themselves.

Last updated: Jan. 28, 2024