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1. What’s the difference between a letter and a guest column?
The main difference is length. Letters tend to be short, 150-250 word submissions, and are often quick responses to something in the news or something that ran recently on the opinion page. Letters generally are making quick points rather than full-fledged arguments. To get a good idea of the spirit of letters, check out letters to the editor in the New York Times, which are restricted strictly to 150 words. Guest columns, on the other hands, are longer pieces, though are limited to 700 words. Guest columns usually address a new topic that hasn’t been written about before or are long-form responses (usually in opposition) to opinion pieces that ran recently.

2. Are all submissions published?
Since we receive more submissions than we can reasonably process, not all submissions to the DP Opinion section are published.

We do not publish submissions from individuals unrelated or unaffiliated to the University of Pennsylvania.

We do not publish press releases.

We do not publish plagiarized content or any content that violates standards of academic integrity.

We generally discourage individuals from writing on non-pressing or untimely topics that they have no unique relation to.

We generally look for submissions penned by individuals who are directly involved in the topic they are writing about or are in response to stories or columns that have appeared in the Daily Pennsylvanian in the last two weeks.

3. How long should my guest column be?
Guest columns should be no more than 700 words.

4. How long should my letter be?
Letters are restricted to 250 words.

Aside from my content, what else should I include in my submission?
For all submissions, we need to know your name — we do not run anonymous columns — and your connection to Penn (e.g. College sophomore). For guest columns, you should also include a proposed headline and your email address. If you do not provide a headline, we reserve the right to create one for you.

5. Are my submissions edited or modified in any way before publication?
The DP reserves the right to edit for accuracy, grammar, space, clarity and DP style.

6. Can I request that my submissions not be edited in any way?

7. How can I do citations (to URLs, for example) in print?
It is not advantageous for space or helpful for the reader to include long web addresses in print. If you would like to cite a source from online, it would be better to say, “according to [insert some reference to the source].” We will hyperlink online.

8. When can I expect my guest column to run?
We try to make sure submissions that will run appear either online or in print within a week of receiving the submission, though depending on other content and the number of submissions we receive, we cannot always guarantee that deadline will be met. If it is imperative that your column run on a specific date, please include that information in your submission.

9. How often can I write columns?
As a fairly general rule, we will not publish more than two submissions from the same author per semester. Beyond that threshold, we will consider additional submissions on a case-by-case basis, publishing them only if there are special circumstances that specifically warrant the particular author writing on a particular subject.

10. What if I have other questions that are not addressed above?
Send any other questions to Opinion Editor Steven Jaffe at

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