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10 Great Essay Writing Tips
Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.
Prepare to Answer the Question
Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.
Plan Your Essay
Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.
Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable
You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.
View It as a Conversation
Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.
Provide the Context in the Introduction
If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.
Explain What Needs to be Explained
Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.
Answer All the Questions
After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.
Stay Focused as You Write
Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.
Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread
When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.
Avoid Filling the Page with Words
A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.
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Seven Easy Steps in Writing an Article with Substance
- Content Marketing
Who’s your favorite article writer? Do you envy how a writer comes up with great blogs and articles you see on the internet? I’m sure you can name different authors from your favorite sites. But do you dream of writing an article on your own ? The structure of article writing follows general and advance rules. However, article styles vary in creative forms to reach the target audience or readers. This article writing guide gives you a step-by-step plan to help you write your own article content.
Article Writing Guide in Seven Simple Steps
Step 1: Select your main topic and define your objectives.
The first step on how to write an article is to choose your topic. Come up with specific topic to avoid scattered contents. List the objectives your content must have. Decide the scope and boundaries of your article. It is easier to compose an article that has target topic to tackle. Once you’re happy with the choice of topic, be sure to stick to it.
Step 2: Target your audience.
After you settle your main topic, you must know your target readers. Ask yourself, what do you want your readers to learn from you using your article? What information do they need to know in your article? And define your writing approach.
Step 3: Gather your information and resources.
After selecting your main topic and target audience, do research existing works. Find articles with the same taste of idea and content flow. You’ll need to back up yourself once you start writing the article. Pick up ideas and support your claims. If you’re writing an opinion, you must claim facts from researches and authors as your basis. Bullets and adding keywords to highlight your article eases the flow of writing. And you must never forget to site your resources.
Step 4: Create your topic outline and rough draft.
As you gather data and ideas from your research, create a rough draft. Topic outlining is an effective way of letting your ideas flow. Jot down concepts and create section breaks. Write every idea that pops into your mind. Mind your grammar, punctuations, and analytical factors lesser at this step. Just let your mind and hands work. Inject ideas to form your article. Use the bullets and keywords to solidify your article’s work.
Step 5: Edit your draft.
After your rough draft, the next step in article writing guide is to edit your content. Be sure to follow correct grammar usage and punctuations. Scan for misspelled words and track your article’s flow. Ideas must come in order to avoid directing your readers away. Spot proper usage of words and align it to your target audience.
Step 6: Proofread your content.
As any article writing guide would say, proofread your work. Don’t just trust your editing skills. Proofreading defines how your article sounds and how it affects your readers. Grab the chance to spot for any more mistakes and aim for a seamless reading flow.
Step 7: Add visuals, infographic, and images.
Last step in article writing guide, is to add any infographic, visuals, and images in your article. This gives your readers a break. For today’s fast-paced industry, audience engages more with visual materials and it helps them digest what they’re reading. Add visuals relevant to your content to make sure reading engagement.
Seven Tips to Boost Your Article Writing Skills
1. read more..
Reading promotes learning and it harnesses your skills in different areas. Read more and update yourself to the trends of literature and social media.
2. Use lists and bullet points in your article.
As one of the steps in article writing guide, using lists and bullet points organizes your thoughts in crafting your draft. Even using this tactic helps your reader to absorb direct info with lesser stuffing. Arranging the data in bullet or list form attracts readers. This also conveys solid info.
3. Keep a writing tool in your pocket.
Whether it’s a small pad of paper, a notebook or even a gadget, always have a writing tool with you. You’ll never know when an amazing topic hits you or you see catchy quote as you travel. Ideas are everywhere so be ready once it’s in front of you.
4. Engage with your audience.
Talk to your audience. Let them feel you are pointing at them and relate to what they experience. Write an article that your readers want to digest.
5. Stop showing off too much.
Your reader’s capacity to enjoy your article depends on your word usage and style. Unless you’re speaking professionally in jargons, avoid using deep words and prioritize your readers.
6. Remove distractions while writing.
Imagine trying to write while watching your favorite Netflix series. Do you think you’ll be able to write up with distractions around you? It’s best to block the world and enter your article’s dimension.
7. Love what you do. (Writing)
Doing what you love is the most efficient way of working. Fall in love in writing as much as you love your morning coffee. Get excited with your topics and you won’t notice that time flies. Whether it’s a job or a hobby, learn to love writing. All else will follow in the article writing guide for you to create a content with substance.
This article writing guide aims to give you the basic guidelines you need to write an article. Writing offers you a wide range of career fields to grow. Take time to experience writing and its creative world.
Feel certain that this article writing guide from Allied Writers is the great start for good articles.
Sources: writersdigest.com | entrepreneurs-journey.com| thepenmagazine.net | thoughtcatalog.com
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How To Write An Article? An Easy Step By Step Guide (2023)
Did you know, as per worldometers.info, the number of newspapers circulated on the day i write this article is 326, 900, 999 (and counting), and the number of blog posts written are 4,941,999 (and counting) those are huge numbers. with those stats, it is impossible to imagine the number of articles written per day. how to write an article how can you stand out when there are so many article writers do newbies stand a chance these are just some questions i would love to answer through this article..
Also, I am excited to share some really cool free tools that make writing fun and easy.
How to write an article? It’s easy, really. Just be yourself. The cardinal rule is “ TO WRITE .” All else comes next. Yes, the trouble starting is real. Even Stephen King admits to the scariest moment being just before you start. But once you overcome that hurdle, the rest of the track is easy.
In an era of infobesity (yes, that is the new word for information overload), where a simple Google search of “how to write an article?” also yields 2,18,00,00,000 results in just about 0.51 seconds, how will you assimilate all the information out there?
The information undoubtedly exceeds our human processing capacity. While we are at it, do you know about IFS?
When too much information becomes noise, it leads to Information Fatigue Syndrome. The fog created by so much information literally impacts, interferes, and hampers with decision-making ability. Not to forget the stress that accompanies the indecisiveness.
Adding to the situation is the fact that the human attention span is a mere eight seconds owing to technology. But if you are still reading this article, congratulations! Your attention span is not compromised.
Learn the fundamental principles of writing with this free Content Writing E-Book!
Content writing e-book, article writing faqs :.
We fear that which is unknown to us. But once we know about it, the topic is not so intimidating, at least almost always. Any issue of which we do not know comes with a host of doubts and questions.
Similarly, how to write an article also comes with a host of questions for a newbie. Is it difficult? Am I suited for article writing? Do I need special qualifications to do article writing?
I believe answering the frequently asked questions will help clear a lot of the doubts and apprehensions that you might have.
So stay with me till then end while I attempt to give you all the information on how to write an article in the best possible and most straightforward manner.
In this comprehensive guide, you will find answers to:
What is article writing?
How to write an article.
- Golden rules to article writing
- Article writing formats
- Different writing styles
- Writing skills and habits that go into making you a good article writer
- Awesome tools that can be your writing companions.
If you aspire to become a writer, check out the details of the bestselling Content Writing Course .
Other courses to consider from IIM SKILLS
Technical Writing Course
Digital Marketing Course
First things first, what is an article? Any written piece of information published in print or on the digital/electronic medium is an article. The purpose could be anything, from news, research papers, analysis, academics, blogs, scientific journal s, marketing articles, etc.
Generally speaking, an article is for a broader audience, and the motive is to make a positive difference. The topics are various. It uses words to express an idea or present facts and solutions for mass consumption.
Today, it is a lot easier to publish articles online. The digital medium is very powerful and easily accessible with good outreach. Anyone can write and post an article online. But remember, only the useful articles see sunny days while the mediocre ones are relegated to the background with hardly any views and read.
The thing that differentiates good articles from the average or bad is good content. An article with good content provides value to people and can influence or change their perception. The keyword here is “providing value.”
Heard about digital marketing? Read through my article on how digital marketing is redefining business success.
The topic of how to write an article also has information overload but worry not. I am here to simplify the process and separate the wheat from the chaff.
All writers start as readers, and this is true of every single writer out there. If it calms your nerves and eases you any, “Every writer I know has trouble writing.” Well, it’s not me who says so, but Joseph Heller (American author) who did. Couldn’t agree more, right?
But hey, there are ways to make the process easy and stress-free. Though ultimately, it is personalized, there are broad ways to go about it, such that writing is fun and not a task.
Of course, your very purpose in reading through this article is to become an article writer. So yes, this article can be your ultimate guide with detailed tips on article writing.
Golden Rules to Article Writing, our Pro Tips:
Rule #1: select your topic/niche.
Are you a generalist or a specialist? The generalists can write on any topic. They can write about food, travel, pets, etc. With the same finesse, they can even write on marketing, finance, and educational articles.
Specialists, as the name suggests, pick an area of expertise and specialize only in writing about that niche or topic. You will most often come across specialists in the field of finance, academics, and technical writing, as these areas require more in-depth knowledge.
They say the riches are in the niches. To understand this better, let me take an example of the doctor fraternity. How about we consider the generalists as general practitioners or general physicians and the specialists as specialist MDs? Makes sense now?
To choose a niche, you need to start with what you are good at. Each one of us is better at that one thing than others; that could be your niche. It could be something you are passionate about. If you identify opportunities and gaps in the market for your area of expertise, you are good to go.
This is not to say the generalists have no place in article writing. No one is born knowledgeable. Learning is an endless and ceaseless process. One can always learn and earn. Nothing is impossible, and even the word impossible says, I’m possible!
Rule #2: Create a User Persona to address your target audience’s needs.
Okay, you have your topic ready and also know that good content and providing value are essential. But how do you know what is of value? Simple again.
Before you write, create what we know as the “user persona.” Say, for example, you want to write about gardening tips. You have excellent knowledge, and now you want to share it in the form of an article.
Your user persona is someone who loves gardening and wants to learn more about it. Yet, it is someone who is not a professional in gardening. They do not have the time to skim through detailed technicalities but will definitely appreciate simple, practical tips and tricks.
Another example, say you are great at finance, understand the nuances of the share market and mutual funds and all the important financial stuff that helps make wise investments. You have friends who are not as blessed to understand the nuances of the finance industry. All you have to do is write in simple words; the tips and tricks for wise investments.
You can easily spot your user persona, and when you think of the user persona as your friend, you will have all the information that you know the friend needs and has no access to. Compile all the useful information in simple language, easy for a non-commerce person to understand, and you are good to go. You will have an article that is super relevant and super useful.
Once you have your user persona in place, the rest will fall in place. Producing excellent and valuable articles is that much easier once you know your target audience.
Rule #3: Research, Read, Watch, and Take Notes (most crucial and essential rule)
You have the topic; you have the user persona. Now what? Next is research. I cannot stress enough the importance of research. It is the most significant aspect of article writing and lays the foundation for your article.
With a defined user persona/target audience, it is easy to learn their likes and dislikes, their challenges, the problems they face, etc. Write to provide solutions to their questions, and voila! Your content is highly valuable.
In the opinion of American Journalist, Burton Rascoe, “ A writer is working when he’s staring out of the window .”
True that. Once a writer, something is going on inside your head, even when you appear to be doing nothing.
Well, not all inspiration comes from staring out your window, though. Today, we have a whole lot of information to inspire ideas. For your inspiration, you could read through popular blogs, websites, or even watch videos.
In reading and researching well, you can structure out your content and form a skeleton of sorts. Researching will give you all the vital information about an issue, its challenges, and possible solutions.
The more you read and research, the better insights you have on the information you want to provide.
As you keep researching, your brain goes into an autopilot mode and enables you to jot down points for your article quickly. Brainstorm on all the information you have collected. Now organize all your data in a logical outline.
Rule #4: WRITING, THE CREATIVE CRAFT
The next and most significant step is to: START WRITING.
Once you through with the warm-up, you are now ready for the main exercise of writing itself.
There are article writers who need more guidance on how to write an article than a newbie. That is because, some articles though very well-crafted, are so difficult to understand that either you have to be highly literate to make sense of it or sit with a dictionary.
If people don’t understand what you write, all your writing loses meaning. Be like the coaching classes (by the way, they earn maximum bucks right now). Keep it simple; easy to read. Break down the concepts into bite-sized, easily digestible nuggets.
Every writer has a unique voice. You will have yours too. Though most of us have authors or writers whom we admire and seek inspiration from, it is imperative to retain our uniqueness. Convey your perspective of things. Your unique style is a reflection of your inherent personality. When you are another, you lose your individuality and, in the bargain, lose your unique writing voice.
Finally, write about actionable content. Validate your writing with facts and statistics. Link the facts to resources to let your audience know; you know what you are writing about. Linking valuable information to the resources is a way to back up your claim.
Make your writing enjoyable. Tell a story. Talk about trivia, or did you know facts that make for exciting tidbits and keep the audience engaged.
Have clarity in writing and your article structure. You can also include anecdotes or incidents as a form of storytelling. Despite our age, we all have a childlike fascination for stories and are ever willing to listen to a good story.
Rule #5: Read, edit, check your grammar, and proofread again:
Once you are through with the writing aspect, come the editing, grammar, and proofreading parts.
Firstly, fix the grammar and sentence structure. Next on, be absolutely ruthless with editing. Make your article crisp with all the relevant points. Cut out the fluff. Shorter sentences and short paragraphs are the way to go.
Rephrase any complex sentences. There is nothing better than having another pair of eyes read through your article and give you critical feedback. Since this option is not viable in the long term, you should hone your editing skills and be self-reliant.
Avoid repetition. Stay focused on the subject and the solution you wish to offer. Be mindful of the logical flow of information. If it works for you, make a pre-submission checklist.
When you are writing for the digital medium, there are several things you need to consider. Primarily, you have to optimize your article for the SEO or search engine optimization point of view. There are keywords and focus phrases you have to consider. Similarly, different mediums necessitate different requirements. Make sure your article is in total compliance.
Rule #6: Publish
Articles for publications have some guidelines. Follow them implicitly, whether it is the layout, font, font size, or any other aspect. Finally, when the outcome of your article looks satisfactory, pat yourself on the back. Go ahead and publish it or hand it over for publishing.
No article can be perfect. In fact, perfectionism is a myth. So don’t obsess over details. Writing, like most art, gets better with practice.
You will learn more as you write more. Gradually but certainly, you will see a positive difference in your work over a period of time.
The above were some bite-sized tips and rules on how to write an article. Chew on them and assimilate them for efficient and productive article writing.
Basic Article Writing Format:
Now that we have the golden rules in place let us explore the basic format of article writing. Different forms of article writing necessitate different formats, but there is a basic structure of importance.
Succinctly put, the components or article writing framework includes:
Heading/Title/Headline : How to write an article headline?
The heading or title is the most crucial part of an article. It decides in a fraction of seconds whether your article is worthy of reading or not. Even a great article with a drab title will go unnoticed and unread.
The main heading and the subheadings help organize the contents and allow the reader to skim through the article to find out how relevant it is for them.
Some things to keep in mind with headings are to keep them concise and use them to enhance, not replace information in your article. Also, never overdo the titles as not all paragraphs require one.
Main headings are typically short, whereas the subheadings can be a little longer.
Intro : How to write an article introduction?
Writing intriguing introductions sure is an art that not everyone is blessed with, but again, you can be observant and cultivate it. If the heading captivates your reader to glance at your article, it is the introduction that persuades them to give you writing a read-through.
If the introduction is not convincing enough, does not grab the reader’s attention, you will lose the audience.
Smart writers write engaging introductions such that it piques the reader’s curiosity, and he/she wants to read further.
Some great ways to writing introductions that matter is to ask the readers a question, tell a story, use some interesting quotes or statistics and facts, or simply be descriptive and ask the reader to imagine.
The introduction does not stop with a brilliant first line. Speak of something unique and exciting to keep the reader with you. And finally, introduce the content and importance of your article.
Body : How to write an article text/body?
Now that you managed the herculean task of attracting the audience’s interest with your headline, keeping them curious through the introduction, it is time to have them hooked with the body of text as well.
Your article headline and intro have done their work. But your article body has nothing important to convey, does not share the message you intend to, and does not focus on the key topic; then, your reader will just shut your article or flip over to the next article with a catchy headline.
Even though the body of the article is the longest portion and consists of all the essential points you wish to convey, a structured presentation helps.
A logical flow of ideas, well-researched content, using sub-headings, writing smaller paragraphs, not straying away from the main point, and even using bullet points where required, all go a long way visually and from the readability perspective.
Conclusion : How to write an article conclusion?
When you exercise, a cool-down is as essential as a warm-up. Similarly, a proper conclusion is as vital to a good article as is its introduction.
An appealing conclusion either summarizes the article or explains the significance of the article.
Reiterate the main points, summarize succinctly, focusing on the main point, and wrap it up. In many instances, you can talk about the benefits of the topic, or circle back to your opening lines, or end it with a quote.
Suggesting further reads or motivating readers to take action are also great ways to a great conclusion.
Do you feel more confident now about how to write an article? Do you feel comfortable enough to give article-writing a try?
Moving on to our next FAQ, are the article writing types.
Article Writing Types
Moving on, there is a multitude of article types. Each comes with a different set of rules to write. Overall, the golden rules and format apply to any form of article writing.
The skeleton of topic selection, research, write, edit, and publish are common to any form of article writing. There are, however, subtle other nuances that you need to adhere to when writing for different mediums. Writing on each medium is a vast topic in itself, but I can surely give you a gist of what it looks like.
Let me walk you through the different article writing types:
How to write an article for a newspaper/news? News, whether on the digital medium or the newspaper, requires you to be up-to-date with current affairs. These articles are either of recent events or something that is going to happen shortly. Essentially, every news article has details of the five Ws and the H; who, what, where, why, when, and how.
Most news articles are crisp, include all details, create an impact, and involve emotional elements to humanize the story and help readers/listeners relate to it.
Often it necessitates an interaction with first-hand witnesses or people with expert opinions that adds to the credibility of the information. Remember, though, that news articles carry immense social responsibility of presenting nothing but accurate information. So research well before you present the masses with the facts.
A news article format consists of a headline, byline (name and position of the writer), lead/lede (includes all the Ws and H), body, and conclusion.
How to write an article for a feature story? A feature is more creative and descriptive than a news article, and a longer piece at that. Feature articles find a place in newspapers, magazines, and even online. It is all about covering one issue in greater depth and usually has an angle/focus to it. Maybe it is a recent trending story but from a different angle/perspective.
Now, feature articles could be something that:
- Involves humans, not things
- Interviews with eminent people
- Informational features which may be of historical, practical, or even social interest
- Featurettes or mini-features.
Furthermore, a feature need not be a current or recent issue/event, is like an anecdote, and contains various angles and sources.
The feature article format follows pretty standard guidelines and includes The headline, the deck (subhead, a second chance to entice your readers), the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
How to write an article for an editorial? An editorial is more a writer’s/individual’s opinion on an event, current topic, or social issue. It influences the readers to think from the writer’s perspective. An editorial advocates for a cause with the audience and raises awareness.
The goal of an editorial is persuasion. Most often than not, editorials are about controversial topics with very different viewpoints and create a discussion of sorts.
The editorials can be interpretive (information on an event or issue), critical (causes of a problem with solution), persuasive (influencing the masses encouraging them to take action), praising (appreciation of a person or organization).
The standard outline of an editorial will have an introduction, an argument, evidence, counterargument, refutation, and a conclusion.
How to write an article for a profile? This form of article writing includes all information on a person. You can compare it to a portrait of a person, a written portrait at that. It is a non-fiction narrative. The profile story revolves and includes facts discovered through research and previous interviews of the subject.
Profile stories are highly informative about a single subject and blend stories, photographs, and quotes. It involves very very thorough research on the subject.
Some pro tips for writing profile stories are:
- Read other profile stories and get the hang of the tone and format
- Prep up, do your research and do it well
- Create an outline as with all forms of writing
- Interview the subject and even collect all old interviews for references.
- Observation is crucial; translate all you observe into words
- Starting with a robust lede capture’s the reader’s attention
- Incorporate direct quotes; it adds value and helps you showcase your subject’s point of view
- Good profile stories are just that, stories
- Reveal something new and interesting that the readers are not aware of and finally show, don’t tell.
A great profile article format includes a compelling introduction, facts and bibliographic information, quotations, visuals, and observation or quote about the person as a conclusion.
Now, people, this is self-explanatory, or is it what I am currently doing? Well, coming to the how-to articles, these are articles that give clear instructions on how to accomplish a task. The thing about how-to articles is that they are always solution-oriented articles.
How-to articles are an excellent way to share your expertise with people. Depending on the topic, the how-to articles can have varying tones, serious, funny, specific, or casual. There are no set rules for that.
A good how-to article helps the target audience solve a problem or accomplish a task. So first and foremost, identify the problem or task and then set about providing a solution for it. The do-it-yourself or DIYs fall under the category of how-to articles.
One important thing to keep in mind with the how-to articles is to keep your information easily understandable. You should have the ability to break up the intricate pieces of information into more manageable bits. It requires an in-depth understanding of the topic to be able to do so.
The article format for how-to articles is almost standard and includes the headline, dividing the body into step-by-step or smaller points, and conclude.
So, these were the types of article writing and article writing formats. Now, if you intend to become an article writer, there is another aspect to be aware of; the article writing styles. No doubt, each writer has their individual, distinct style. But there are some standard writing styles that you should know. Let’s move onto that now.
How to write an article is a HUGE subject, and since it is not possible to cover all information in one article, I am attempting to cater to the frequently asked questions about how to write an article.
Amongst the various FAQs is a question about writing styles. Did you know there are four main types of writing styles?
From novels to textbooks, billboards to poetry, to scholarly journals, all writing essentially falls under one of the four styles, which are expository, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive.
As an article writer, you should know when to use which style of writing to better connect with your audience.
If you look up the meaning of expository, it is “an intention to explain or describe something.” Defining a particular subject to the readers is one of the most common styles of writing. It is a descriptive process, with information organized sequentially and logically for better understanding.
Where would you find such a writing style?
Textbooks, cookbooks, how-to articles, business writing, technical writing, scientific writing, self-help articles, manuals, etc., all fall under the category of expository writing style.
The main goal here is to explain and inform readers. This style of writing is long on facts and never includes storytelling. It contains facts, citations, charts, links, and other such data to validate the information.
Summing up, tips for expository writing include researching and citing sources, no personal opinion, no persuasion, use quotes, and illustrations.
Descriptive writing takes the expository style a notch higher. While expository will give you bare facts and instructions, the descriptive writing style uses various elements to evoke your senses.
It uses metaphors, adjectives, adverbs, appreciating details, and activating the reader’s senses with vivid images. Descriptive writing always includes a lot more information. It is more profound than expository writing and also makes readers feel they are experiencing it all.
Some examples of descriptive writing, as you can guess, include poetry, personal journals, screenplays, nature writing, travelogues, etc.
Tips for descriptive writing include similes and metaphors, attention to even small details, and evoking the senses to make the readers feel they are experiencing it all.
The narrative writing style is nothing but storytelling, complete with a plot, a beginning, middle, and end. It may contain descriptive writing as well with portions describing the setting or appearance etc.
This is one of the most versatile styles of writing, and in this writing style, the plot is central, not the facts, not the descriptions.
Narrative writing style finds uses in novels, short stories, memoirs, myths and fables, and even historical accounts.
Achieve the narrative style of writing with a plot, timeline sequence of events, giving readers an insight into the elements of your story, all while conveying an important moral or lesson.
Lastly, the persuasive writing style, as the name suggests, has the purpose of influencing the reader. Here, the writer opines and gives justification, reasons, and arguments supporting his viewpoint and tries to convince the reader to agree.
It attempts to persuade readers, make an emotional connection with the audience, and goads them into taking action.
Some examples of persuasive writing are academic papers, advertising copy or copywriting, editorials, company brochures, political speeches, and even business proposals.
You can achieve the persuasive style of writing by connecting with your readers at an emotional level and subtly making them take a decisive and actionable step.
Understanding the different writing styles can enhance your writing abilities.
Writing Skills and Habits of Successful Writers
If you have it in you to express ideas through the written word, you can become a writer. But not every writer has an inborn skill to write well. It is an art, yes. It is a skill, yes, but one that you can acquire through perseverance and loads of practice.
As you set out on the journey of becoming a writer, it is not unnatural for you to try to ape your idol writer. At least one great writer inspires most of us, and in our endeavor to become a writer, we think aping their habits will get us there.
There are newbie writers who will stand and write, just because many famous writers did and do so. Some believe that being morning larks or night owls, like their favorite authors, will get them there for sure.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but nothing can be further than the truth. You have your focus on the wrong habits to ape. It is the discipline and other characteristics like a daily writing habit that you need to copy from great writers.
Let me outline some writing habits that will slowly but surely help you become a good writer over a period of time. These writing skills will not just help you become a good writer but also increase your productivity.
Of course, all of these writing skills are also habits of great authors and writers, but ape-worthy, if I may say so.
Tip#1: Write-A lot-write everyday
Famous author Jodi Picoult opines there is no such thing as writer’s block. Instead, it is having too much time on your hands, and I, for one, completely agree with that. The only way to become a good writer is to first get started.
Make it a habit to write every day, even if it is just 500 words. Think of yourself as a literary laborer who has to work on writing every single day, no matter what.
Tip#2: Set teeny-weeny goals
Tiny goals are achievable and motivating. One step at a time is what takes you distances. As a newbie, set smaller goals such that you have no excuse to skip them. Gradually increase them to reach your goal. Say write for 15 minutes for a few days and gradually increase the duration.
When you are a writer, you consume everything like a writer. It means you read like a writer, and you watch TV like a writer, you even watch movies like a writer. Read voraciously. It is the next big tool for enhancing your writing abilities.
The more you read, the more you learn, and the more you can write. There is no dearth of good content in the form of books, blogs, eBooks, and more. Make it a habit to read every day, and it will help you write every day.
Tip#4: Research, Record and Write Things Down
Before any project or article, be thorough with your research. As you research, note down all the relevant points, and you can further elaborate when you write.
You can even cultivate the habit of carrying a notepad with you for jotting down ideas that strike at moments you are not at your desk. Just make a note of it and take action when writing.
Tip#5: Create a Distraction-Free Zone
This one is essential, as well. A quiet and calm zone, free from distractions, allows your thought process to flow uninterrupted.
When I say distraction-free zone, it is more talking about the biggest distraction in the modern world. Yes, I am speaking of the mobile. Put it in a silent mode or do not disturb mode and concentrate on writing.
Tip#6: Have a routine
This one is a no-brainer. A disciplined routine always leads to improved productivity and efficiency.
Tip#7: Maintain a calendar
Keeping a calendar helps you stay focused and complete your writing tasks on time.
Try to incorporate these tips and enhance your writing skills.
Speaking of skills, the jewels in the crown for an article writer are adaptability, research, originality, time management, communication, and proofreading and editing.
Article Writing Tools
Whether you are writing for a living or as a hobby, a writer’s life is much like a rollercoaster. Some days it is as easy as a walk in the park, and other days it is like the dip of the rollercoaster.
It sure takes hard work, a lot of practice, and being consistent and disciplined with your daily routine to get the productivity rolling.
But thankfully, there are a plethora of tools to make your writing work and organization a smooth sail. I will outline some of the free article writing tools to boost your creative energy and amplify your writing skills. And yes, I personally use all of them and swear by their benefits.
Article writing tool #1: CoSchedule Headline Analyser
This is a brilliant tool to analyze your headlines. It tells you about the optimum word count, the sentiment, power words, etc., and gives you a score for every headline you create, allowing you to choose the best.
Article writing tool #2: Grammarly
Never skip this one. Irrespective of how good you are with the English language, Grammarly always shows you, you can do better. Again, an extremely easy-to-use tool that helps edit your article, provides suggestions, indicates passive voice, punctuations, and other grammatical errors in a fuss-free fashion.
Article writing tool #3: Hemingway Editor
The Hemingway Editor is splendid and intelligent. Writing simple sounds easy, but it is a complicated task to achieve. Writer’s in their enthusiasm, many times incorporate words that make sentences complex. The Hemingway Editor suggests spots complexities and prompts you to change or do away with them to make your content more reader-appealing.
Article writing tool #4: Wordcounter
Word Counter is yet another simple, no-fuss tool that does just what it says. Paste in your content to get your word count. Also, if you think you have a crutch word syndrome (words we tend to use often), it allows you to keep a check on that.
Article writing tool #5: Canva
For visual appeal and graphics, Canva is the way to go. It has a straightforward user interface. You don’t have to be a pro to use this tool, and the thing that makes it even better is that it has a massive library of free templates and designs. Whether it is images, infographics, headers/banners, you can effortlessly customize and give wings to your creativity on Canva.
This is one topic that can be an article in itself. But, some more additions that I would undoubtedly not want to skip are:
- The thesaurus, an absolute necessity for writers
- A built-in note-taking app on your mobile for when inspiration strikes and you are not at your desk. Just make a note and act on it later. For desktop/laptop users, check out Evernote, another incredible tool that allows you much more.
- Plug into some music to boost and augment your writing pace. Whatever works for you, white noise , lyric-less music, nature sounds, or the instrumentals, just figure it out and plug and see the difference. Personally, Yanni is my go-to. I seem to hit the keyboard effortlessly with a Yanni playlist.
Did you know even digital marketing tools that work great ?
Wrapping it up:
The FAQs answered here are just some of the more common ones. I am sure all the information on how to write an article clears a lot of your doubts and apprehensions.
There is no one particular formula for writing an article. If you can clearly articulate your ideas to the reader through the written word, then you have it in you to become a successful article writer.
I hope that the information in this article empowers you to believe you are capable of doing much more than you give yourself credit for. I also hope it has inspired and motivated you to find the strength to flip the page of your life and take that step towards becoming an article writer.
Choose your area of expertise, combine it with a specific style of writing you love, and grab the potential market opportunities to boost your writing career.
So, all you aspiring closet writer’s out there, stop stressing and start writing .
For a Career in Writing:
For all the wannabe article writers, I would highly recommend you take a course in writing to help you take off. Yes, there are numerous resources, blogs, articles, and tools out there that give you a feeling you can become a successful writer without a formal course.
On the personal front, cutting a long story short, I went from being a wannabe writer to a good writer after taking the Content Writing Course at IIM SKILLS .
The institute beyond doubt helps you transition from Learning to Earning , helping you remove the L and empowering you with the knowledge that no free resources can provide.
Many subtle intricacies play a significant role in writing. It depends on the type of writing as well. For example, writing on the digital medium requires knowledge of keywords, SEO, and optimizing your writing. Similarly, copywriting requires a sales tone, and articles on product descriptions are quite different.
If you intend to have a career as an article writer, take up a course and maybe do some internships as well. It pays to showcase your work portfolio when looking at the freelancing market or taking up a job.
Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments below of your preferred writing tools, and what works for you as a writer.
Author: Aarti Kalra
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Glad to know this you found our article helpful.
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Hi sir. Thank you so much for this wonderful article really. I also had a project coming along and I had to present it ad upload it online for viewers, so honestly I was very nervous. My friend recommended me this article. she also went through this article and was very satisfied with it. It piqued my interest no doubt after I heard from her. You are doing a very nice job in writing articles like these. These are kind of short term tips and tricks on writing, which I really needed badly. So thank you so much for writing this. I wish more of readers go through your article. Good luck.
thanks, Akarshita Sharma, glad you found this helpful.
Hey. Thanks for this article. I am interested in writing courses and trainings. So I started to read about the most basic forms of writing. I am still in high school. And I write stories and features sometimes. I like to read a lot too. I don’t know much about article writing, so I wanted to take up this form of writing. And I loved your article so far. Its great and it has very valuable informations and tips on writing. I read a few articles on this and I also think that combining all these knowledge from the internet, anyone can start up and write an amazing article.
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How to Write Articles
Last Updated: February 4, 2023 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Janet Peischel . Janet Peischel is a Writer and Digital Media Expert and the Owner of Top of Mind Marketing. With more than 15 years of consulting experience, she develops content strategies and builds online brands for her clients. Prior to consulting, Janet spent over 15 years in the marketing industry, in positions such as the Vice President of Marketing Communications for the Bank of America. Janet holds a BA and MA from the University of Washington. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 26 testimonials and 80% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 3,221,400 times.
There are a multitude of different types of articles, including news stories, features, profiles, instructional articles, and so on. While each has specific qualities that are unique to its type, all articles share some common characteristics. From forming and researching your idea to writing and editing your work, writing articles can give you a chance to share compelling and important information with readers.
Forming Your Idea
- News: This type of article presents facts about something that happened recently or that will happen in the near future. It usually covers the 5 Ws and H: who, what, where, when, why and how.
- Feature: This type of article presents information in a more creative, descriptive way than a straight news article. It can be an article about a person, a phenomenon, a place, or other subject.
- Editorial: This article presents a writer’s opinions on a topic or debate. It is intended to persuade the reader to think a certain way about a topic.  X Research source
- How-to: This article gives clear instructions and information about how to accomplish some task.
- Profile: This article presents information about a person, using information that the writer typically gathers through interviews and background research.
- What interests you about this topic?
- What is a point that people usually overlook?
- What do you want people to know about this topic?
- For example, if you want to write about organic farming, you might say to yourself, “I think it’s important to know what organic labeling means on food packages. It can be confusing to know what it all means.”
- Your goal is to convey enough passion that your readers think the issue in your article is worth caring about.
- Enter some keywords into an online search engine. This can lead you to sources that write about your topic. These sources can also give you an idea of different approaches to the topic.
- Read as much as you can on the topic. Visit your local library. Consult books, magazine articles, published interviews, and online features as well as news sources, blogs, and databases for information. A good place to start looking for data not apparent on the Internet is the Gale Directory of Databases, which exists in both book format (available in libraries) or online .
- For example, for the organic food topic, you might focus on one grocery shopper who doesn’t understand organic food labeling. Use that opening anecdote to lead into your main argument, known as a "nut graph," which summarizes your unique idea or perspective.
- For example, if you are writing about how one person learns how to read organic labels, your overall argument might be that the public needs to be aware that many companies misuse organic labeling. This leads to dishonest practices in product advertising. Another topic might be: it’s important to know who owns your local media outlets. If corporate media organizations own your local newspaper, you may get very little media coverage of your area and not know much about your community.
- Write your argument in one sentence. Post it near your computer or writing area. This will help you stay focused as you start working on your article.
Researching Your Idea
- Primary sources can include a transcript from a legislative hearing, lawsuit filing, county property indexes with folio numbers, discharge certificates from the military, and photos. Other primary sources could include government written records in the National Archives or special collections sections of your local or university library, insurance policies, corporate financial reports, or personal background reports.
- Secondary sources comprise published databases, books, abstracts, articles in English and other languages, bibliographies, dissertations, and reference books.
- You can find information on the internet or in a library. You can also conduct interviews, watch documentaries, or consult other sources.
- You can make a longer list of evidence and examples. As you gather more evidence, you will be able to prioritize which ones are the strongest examples.
- Don’t assume that one source is completely accurate. You'll need several unrelated sources to get the full picture.
- Choose a citation style sooner rather than later, so you can compile citation information in the correct format. MLA, APA, and Chicago are some of the most common citation styles.
- Don’t copy any text directly from another source. Paraphrase this text instead, and include a citation .
Outlining Your Idea
- For example, if you are writing an article for a specialized academic audience, your tone, and approach will be vastly different from if you’re writing an article for a popular magazine.
- It’s helpful to start with the five-paragraph essay outline.  X Research source This outline devotes one paragraph to an introduction, three paragraphs for supporting evidence, and one paragraph for a conclusion. As you start plugging in information into your outline, you may find that this structure doesn’t suit your article so well.
- You might also find that this structure doesn’t suit certain types of articles. For example, if you’re doing a profile of a person, your article may follow a different format.
- Make sure to fully attribute your quote and use quotation marks around anything that you didn’t write yourself. For example, you might write: A spokesperson for the dairy brand Milktoast says, “Our milk is labeled organic because our cows are only fed organic grass.”
- Don’t overdo the quotes. Be selective about the quotes you do use. If you use too many quotes, your reader might think you’re using them as filler instead of coming up with your material.
Writing Your Article
- Telling an anecdote.
- Using a quote from an interview subject.
- Starting with a statistic.
- Starting with straight facts of the story.
- Be flexible, however. Sometimes when you write, the flow makes sense in a way that is different from your outline. Be ready to change the direction of your piece if it seems to read better that way.
- For example, you might write about the grocery shopper having trouble with organic food labels: “Charlie concentrated on jars of peanut butter on the shelf. The words ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ seemed to jump out at him. Every jar said something different. He felt they were shouting at him: ‘Choose me!’ ‘Buy me!’ The words started swimming in front of his eyes. He left the aisle without buying anything.”
- For example, use words or phrases such as “however…,” “another important point is…,” or “it must be remembered that…”
- For example, a newspaper article will need to offer information in a narrative, chronological format. It should be written with accessible and straightforward language. An academic article will be written with more formal language. A how-to article might be written in more informal language.
- When writing your article, use a strong "anchoring" sentence at the beginning of each paragraph to move your reader forward. Moreover, vary the length of your sentences, both short and long. If you find all your sentences are about the same word length, chances are your reader will be 'lulled" into a standard rhythm and fall asleep. Sentences which are consistently choppy and short may give your reader the impression you are writing advertising copy instead of a well-thought-out article.
- If you started with an anecdote or statistic in your introduction, think about reconnecting to this point in your conclusion.
- Conclusions are often strongest when they use a last, brief, concrete example that leads the reader to new insights. Conclusions should be 'forward-thinking' -- point the reader in a direction that keeps his or her "thirst" for knowledge going strong.
- For example, you could include photographs, charts, or infographics to illustrate some of your points.
- You could also highlight or develop a major point more with a sidebar-type box. This is an extra bit of writing that delves more deeply into one aspect of the subject. For example, if you’re writing about your city’s film festival, you might include a sidebar write-up that highlights one of the films. These types of write-ups are usually short (50-75 words, depending on the publication outlet).
- Remember, these materials are supplemental. This means that your article should stand on its own. Your writing needs to be understandable, clear and focused without the help of charts, photographs or other graphics.
Finalizing Your Work
- Look closely at the central argument or point you’re trying to make. Does everything in your article serve this central argument? Do you have a unrelated paragraph? If so, this paragraph should be eliminated or reframed so that it supports the main argument.
- Eliminate any contradictory information in the article or address the contradictions, showing how the contradictory information is relevant to readers.
- Rewrite sections or the entire thing as necessary. Revisions like this are common for all types of articles, so don’t feel like you’ve failed or are incompetent.
- It’s helpful to print out a hard copy of your article. Go through it with a pen or pencil to catch mistakes. Then go back and correct these mistakes on the computer.
- It is common to be able to identify your mistakes in grammar or writing while reading aloud as well; this could cut down on the feedback that you may receive from someone else.
- This person may also catch errors and inconsistencies that you have overlooked.
- If you want to convey slightly more information, write a sub-headline. This is a secondary sentence that builds on the headline.
Article Outline Template
- Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to write the article. If you don't, you'll be rushing at the last minute to create something that isn't representative of what you can truly do. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
- To find out more about using primary research tools and databases, consult the Investigative Reporters and Editors website or get a copy of The Investigative Reporter's Handbook: A Guide to Documents, Databases and Techniques, Fifth Edition. Authors: Brant Houston and Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc. (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's 2009). ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Determine whether you actually have an interest in writing. Try writing 2 paragraphs with as much creativity as possible. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
- When writing for a newspaper or magazine, do not do so free. Ask what the freelance fee is beforehand. Your pay will usually be calculated on a per-word basis or per-article basis. Your work is valuable. Writing for free makes making a living more difficult for those who depend on freelance fees to pay the bills. If you're just starting out, volunteering to do some articles for smaller community papers, student publications and trade magazines is a great way to build your portfolio. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/journalism/types.html
- ↑ Janet Peischel. Digital Media Expert. Expert Interview. 30 March 2021.
- ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/writing/creating-a-5-paragraph-essay-outline.html
- ↑ https://www.masterclass.com/articles/why-is-context-important-in-writing#quiz-0
- ↑ http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/166662
About This Article
To write an article, use both primary and secondary sources to gather information about your topic. Primary sources include photos, government records, and personal interviews, while secondary sources include books, abstracts, scholarly journals, other articles, and reference books. When you’re writing, use facts, quotes, and statistics from your sources to support your point, and explain your topic as if the reader has never heard of it before. To learn the different types of articles, including news, features, and editorials, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to write an article
The complete guide to writing an article.
THE CRAFT OF ARTICLE WRITING
Writing is a complex skill. A very complex skill.
Not only do we put students under pressure to master the inconsistent spelling patterns and complex grammar of the English language, but we require them to know how to write for a variety of purposes in both fiction and nonfiction genres.
On top of this, writing is just one aspect of one subject among many.
The best way to help our students to overcome the challenge of writing in any genre is to help them to break things down into their component parts and give them a basic formula to follow.
In this article, we will break article writing down into its components and present a formulaic approach that will provide a basic structure for our students to follow.
Once this structure is mastered, students can, of course, begin to play with things.
But, until then, there is plenty of room within the discipline of the basic structure for students to express themselves in the article form.
A COMPLETE UNIT ON TEACHING NEWS REPORTING IN 2022
With over FORTY GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS in this ENGAGING UNIT, you can complete a WEEKLY journalistic / Newspaper reporting task ALL YEAR LONG in 2022 as classwork or homework.
These templates take students through a PROVEN four-step article writing process on some AMAZING images. Students will learn how to.
WHAT IS AN ARTICLE?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines an article as, “a piece of writing on a particular subject in a newspaper or magazine, or on the internet.”
An article’s shape and structure will vary depending on whether it’s intended for publication in a newspaper, magazine, or online.
Each of these media has its own requirements. For example, a magazine feature article may go into great depth on a topic, allowing for long evocative paragraphs of exposition, while an online blog article may be full of lots of short paragraphs that get to the point without too much fanfare.
Each of these forms makes different demands on the writer and it’s for this reason that most newspapers, magazines, and big websites provide writers with specific submission guidelines.
So, with such diverse demands placed on article writers, how do we go about teaching the diverse skill required to our students?
Luckily, we can break most types of articles down into some common key features.
Below we’ll take a look at the most important of these, along with an activity to get your students practicing each aspect right away.
Finally, we’ll take a look at a few general tips on article writing.
KEY WRITTEN FEATURES OF AN ARTICLE
The purpose of the headline is to capture the reader’s attention and let them know what the article is about. All of this in usually no more than 4 or 5 words!
There is an art to good headline writing and all sorts of literary devices (e.g alliteration and metaphor) can be used to create an eye-catching and intriguing headline.
The best way for students to learn how headlines work is to view some historical samples.
Newspaper headlines especially are known for being short and pithy. Here are just a few examples to whet the appetite:
- Hitler Is Dead
- Lincoln Shot
- Men Walk On The Moon
- Berlin Wall Crumbles
You could encourage students to find some pithy examples of their own. It’s amazing how much information can be condensed into so few words – this is the essence of good headline writing.
Headlines Practice Activity:
Give students opportunities to practice headline writing in isolation from article writing itself. For example, take sample stories from newspapers and magazines and challenge students to write new headlines for them. Set a word limit appropriate to the skills and age of the students. For example, younger, more inexperienced students might write 9-word headlines, while older, more skilled students might thrive with the challenge of a 4-word limit.
Subheadings give the reader more information on what the article is about. For this reason, they’re often a little longer than headlines and use a smaller font, though still larger (or in bold) than the font used in the body of the text.
Subheadings provide a little more of the necessary detail to inform readers what’s going on. If a headline is a jab, the subheading is the cross.
In magazines and online articles especially, there are often subheadings throughout the article. In this context, they let the reader know what each paragraph/section is about.
Subheadings also help the reader’s eye to scan the article and quickly get a sense of the story, for the writer they help immensely to organize the structure of the story.
One way to help organize paragraphs in an article is to use parallel structure.
Parallel structure is when we use similar words, phrases, and grammar structures. We might see this being used in a series of subheadings in a ‘How to’ article where the subheadings all start with an imperative such as choose , attach , cut , etc.
Have you noticed how all the sections in this ‘Key Features’ part of this article start simply with the word ‘The’? This is another example of a parallel structure.
Yet another example of parallel structure is when all the subheadings appear in the form of a question.
Whichever type of parallel structure students use, they need to be sure that they all in some way relate to the original title of the article.
To give students a chance to practice writing subheadings using parallel structure, instruct them to write subheadings for a piece of text that doesn’t already have them.
THE BODY PARAGRAPHS
Writing good, solid paragraphs is an art in itself. Luckily, you’ll find comprehensive guidance on this aspect of writing articles elsewhere on this site.
But, for now, let’s take a look at some general considerations for students when writing articles.
The length of the paragraphs will depend on the medium. For example, for online articles paragraphs are generally brief and to the point. Usually no more than a sentence or two and rarely more than five.
This style is often replicated in newspapers and magazines of a more tabloid nature.
Short paragraphs allow for more white space on the page or screen. This is much less daunting for the reader and makes it easier for them to focus their attention on what’s being said – a crucial advantage in these attention-hungry times.
Lots of white space makes articles much more readable on devices with smaller screens such as phones and tablets. Chunking information into brief paragraphs enables online readers to scan articles more quickly too, which is how much of the information on the internet is consumed – I do hope you’re not scanning this!
Conversely, articles that are written more formally, for example, academic articles, can benefit from longer paragraphs which allow for more space to provide supporting evidence for the topic sentence.
Deciding on the length of paragraphs in an article can be done by first thinking about the intended audience, the purpose of the article, as well as the nature of the information to be communicated.
A fun activity to practice paragraphing is to organize your students into groups and provide them with a copy of an article with the original paragraph breaks removed. In their groups, students read the article and decide on where they think the paragraphs should go.
To do this successfully, they’ll need to consider the type of publication they think the article is intended for, the purpose of the article, the language level, and the nature of the information.
When the groups have finished adding in their paragraph breaks they can share and compare their decisions with the other groups before you finally reveal where the breaks were in the original article.
Article Photos and Captions
Photos and captions aren’t always necessary in articles, but when they are, our students must understand how to make the most of them.
Just like the previous key features on our list, there are specific things students need to know to make the most of this specific aspect of article writing.
The internet has given us the gift of access to innumerable copyright-free images to accompany our articles, but what criteria should students use when choosing an image?
To choose the perfect accompanying image/s for their article, students need to identify images that match the tone of their article.
Quirky or risque images won’t match the more serious tone of an academic article well, but they might work perfectly for that feature of tattoo artists.
Photos are meant to bring value to an article – they speak a thousand words after all. It’s important then that the image is of a high enough resolution that the detail of those ‘thousand words’ is clearly visible to the reader.
Just as the tone of the photo should match the tone of the article, the tone of the caption should match the tone of the photo.
Captions should be informative and engaging. Often, the first thing a reader will look at in an article is the photos and then the caption. Frequently, they’ll use the information therein to decide whether or not they’ll continue to read.
When writing captions, students must avoid redundancy. They need to add information to that which is already available to the reader by looking at the image.
There’s no point merely describing in words what the reader can clearly see with their own two eyes. Students should describe things that are not immediately obvious, such as date, location, or the name of the event.
One last point, captions should be written in the present tense. By definition, the photo will show something that has happened already. Despite this, students should write as if the action in the image is happening right now.
Remind students that their captions should be brief; they must be careful not to waste words with such a tight format.
For this fun activity, you’ll need some old magazines and newspapers. Cut some of the photos out minus their captions. All the accompanying captions should be cut out and jumbled up. It’s the students’ job to match each image with the correct accompanying caption.
Students can present their decisions and explanations when they’ve finished.
A good extension exercise would be to challenge the students to write a superior caption for each of the images they’ve worked on.
TOP 5 TIPS FOR ARTICLE WRITING
Now your students have the key features of article writing sewn up tightly, let’s take a look at a few quick and easy tips to help them polish up their general article writing skills.
1. Read Widely – Reading widely, all manner of articles, is the best way students can internalize some of the habits of good article writing. Luckily, with the internet, it’s easy to find articles on any topic of interest at the click of a mouse.
2. Choose Interesting Topics – It’s hard to engage the reader when the writer is not themselves engaged. Be sure students choose article topics that pique their own interest (as far as possible!).
3. Research and Outline – Regardless of the type of article the student is writing, some research will be required. The research will help an article take shape in the form of an outline. Without these two crucial stages, articles run the danger of wandering aimlessly and, worse still, of containing inaccurate information and details.
4. Keep Things Simple – All articles are about communicating information in one form or another. The most effective way of doing this is to keep things easily understood by the reader. This is especially true when the topic is complex.
5. Edit and Proofread – This can be said of any type of writing, but it still bears repeating. Students need to ensure they comprehensively proofread and edit their work when they’ve ‘finished’. The importance of this part of the writing process can’t be overstated.
And to Conclude…
With time and plenty of practice, students will soon internalize the formula as outlined above.
This will enable students to efficiently research, outline, and structure their ideas before writing.
This ability, along with the general tips mentioned, will soon enable your students to produce well-written articles on a wide range of topics to meet the needs of a diverse range of audiences.
HUGE WRITING CHECKLIST & RUBRIC BUNDLE
TUTORIAL VIDEO ON HOW TO WRITE AN ARTICLE
The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh. A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing , can be found here. Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.
A FULL-YEAR of NONFICTION WRITING RESOURCES for busy teachers.
A whole teaching unit on writing news reports ..
How to Write An Article: Get Started With These 12 Steps
My first “official” writing course taught me how to write an article and break into print. Back then, the internet was still fairly new. Magazines were one of the main avenues to accumulating clips and experience. Many a freelance writer got their start by writing feature articles for trade and consumer publications – myself included.
For instance, when I learned how to write an article, I learned the basics for writing a blog post. I learned how to gather facts, anecdotes, quotes, and stories to write a research paper or an essay. I even learned in large part, how to write a book.
This set of 12 tips outlines how to write an article. Complete each step, one at a time, and you’ll acquire those skills. Plus, you’ll have completed an article that you can submit to a magazine or blog or publish on LinkedIn, Medium, or another article sharing platform.
How to Write an Article: Take These 12 Steps
Step 1: brainstorm topics.
Start writing your article with a fun brainstorming session to gather a pool of ideas in a short amount of time. If you have zero ideas of what to write about, then brainstorm a list of topics that are interesting to you . If you have a topic in mind for your article, then brainstorm a list of different subjects associated with that topic.
- The U.S. Civil War
- Baroque music
Or let’s say you’re interested in the weather and you need to brainstorm a list of subjects associated with that topic. Your list might look like …
- Weather maps
- Amateur meteorology
- Planning events around the weather
Step 2: Choose a topic slant
If you’re writing an article about the weather for a bride’s magazine, then slant to outdoor wedding plans for inclement weather. If you’re writing a column for a regional newspaper, then your slant can be how to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Maybe the publication is for entrepreneurial leaders … preteen boys … firefighters … NASCAR enthusiasts. Know the publication’s audience and slant your topic to that readership.
Step 3: Research
An article is a source of information. ( Blog posts, editorials, essays, and copywriting, on the other hand, use facts but also inject opinion. ) In order to write helpful, credible, well-constructed articles, you need source material.
Research your topic and gather facts, statistics, anecdotal evidence, quotes. Go to reference works, periodicals, news sources, books, recorded interviews, government publications, nonprofit publications, case studies to gather background. Gather two times as much information as you need for your article.
What should you do with all the extra? You’ll tag it with keywords and keep it in your files to use for another writing project at another time.
Step 4: Write a premise
Once you’ve collected information about your topic and processed it, you’ll have determined a main point you’d like to make to a specific set of readers. Write that point as a premise or thesis statement – a sentence summarizes your main idea and presents your position. It’s the core tool I use in persuasive writing, including articles, letters, web pages, landing pages, social media posts, case statements, books, grant applications … literally any piece of persuasive content.
Then you can keep your thesis statement in front of you as your write to allow you to stay on message.
Step 5: Write the outline
Now it’s time to organize your material in a logical order.
Review your list of ideas and look for patterns. Sometimes the outline format is evident right away. If not, ask yourself two questions:
- If I wasn’t familiar with this topic or if the topic was confusing to me, how would I want it explained?
- What would I need to know first?
An outline is simply a plan . It’s a plan you follow as you write so that you make your point. Yours can be a detailed, beautifully formatted document with multiple points, sub-points, and sub-points to sub-points. Or it can be 3 words scribbled on the back of a napkin. Style matters less than simply having a plan.
Tip 6: Write the hook
Call it the introduction, the hook, the lede, or the lead – in any case, its purpose is to grab your reader’s attention and entice her to keep reading. Leads boil down to two main types .
- A summary lead presents your main point – or your most important information – in a concise sentence or two. It’s clear and succinct. Use it when you want to simply present facts or get to the point right away,
- A creative lead can be a provocative quote, a funny anecdote, an intriguing fact, a common misconception, a problem or mystery to be solved, an inspiring promise, a surprising statistic, a comparison, contrast, or conflict, a zinger or punch statement – these creative leads operate as legit “hooks” to draw in the reader. It’s the surprise or twist that makes a creative lead so successful.
Step 7: Write the body
You’ve done a good job researching your topic and writing your outline. Now that you’ve hooked your reader, work your way through each section of your outline. Make each point and support it with a fact, statistic, quote, an anecdote or example. Use transitional phrases to move logically from one idea to the next, either starting with your strongest argument to the weakest … working chronologically … following a step-by-step order … or building your case sequentially.
What should you do with the extra content that you cannot use in the main body of the article? Where possible, include a sidebar – a short “article within an article” – that adds value to your content. Your “5 Day Trips to U.S. Civil War sites near Baltimore,” for instance, can include a sidebar that lists addresses and hours for the five sites in your article.
Step 8: Quote at least one expert
Quoting from a knowledgeable source is standard operating procedure when writing an article (which is written to inform) – much more so than when writing a blog (which is written to share a viewpoint.)
A carefully-chosen quote instills authority. Choose a respected or credentialed source for your quote. And choose the shortest quote possible – one that is memorable, such as a pithy statement, vivid example, or colorful turn of phrase. Your purpose in quoting an expert is not to repeat their work but support your point or argument.
Step 9: Finish strong (and short)
The weakest articles end with a rehash of the article. The strongest are not only short – comprising 10% or less of the total word count – but add a twist or surprise that supports your main idea . Give yourself a bonus point if you can tie your ending to the story, fact, or piece of information you used in your opening hook.
Step 10: Edit and revise
Entire books and courses are taught about editing, but t here are two areas you can self-monitor quite easily . Some writers call these the “Two Pillars of Editing.”
- First, edit your article content. Do you have a clear premise? Do you have support for each of your points?
- Second, edit your language. Read your article aloud. Ask yourself, “Does this post read like I talk?” Catch errors or awkward phrasing. Eliminate complicated words.
Review your article until it is as clear and accurate as you can make it. Then you’re ready to …
Step 11: Submit your article
Thousands of print and online publications publish weekly or even daily editions. They are looking for freelance writers to fill their pages. Among these publications are hundreds of niches from fashion dolls to potato farming. Start with one or two markets that interest you.
Make a list of publications that serve that market. Perhaps you already subscribe to a few of them. You’ve read the content and you’d like to write for them.
If you submit your article for publication in a print or online magazine, be sure to offer first rights – that is, the right for that publication to be the first to print your masterpiece. This way, after publication you can offer reprint rights to other publications and get your article before more eyeballs.
Or if you published your article on your blog or website, then publish it again on an article sharing platform like Medium to get additional exposure.
Step 12: Repeat
Go back to Step #1 and start the process again – with another article. Your stable of clips will grow. And so will your bank account.
More Writing Tips for Articles
How to Develop a Story Idea ,,,
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10 Simple Steps to Writing Articles
- Business Ideas & Tips
- Finance Your Business
- Market Your Business
- Keep Your Business Compliant
Writing articles-and distributing them to other sites-is a proven way to position yourself as an expert in your industry and to gain quality links back to your own site. To make the task easier to manage, break down the article writing process into these ten easy steps.
You have probably heard that writing articles is a great way to promote your business. But how do you reach the goal of writing an article? Mark Twain said it best, “Write, write, then write.” All humor aside, to reach the goal you will need to spend some writing. Like a lot of things it is easier to find time to write in small chunks. Spending just thirty minutes a day on one or more of the following steps will move you toward your goal.
Step 1: Getting an idea. Many people get put off of writing because they immediately think they need to come up with a new idea. It is much better to start by writing about topics that you have already read about and formed opinions on. Look at titles of articles and choose some topics you might write about.
Step 2: If you are like most people, you will start having great ideas for articles, and then promptly forget them. Write your ideas down in a pocket notebook as soon as you have the idea. You won’t use every idea you write down, but some will turn out to be just the topic you wanted.
Step 3: Now that you have a topic you need to write one sentence that outlines the paragraphs you are going to write. The sentence will go something like this: You (the reader) need to know about the importance of _____________ because of ________, ________, and ________. Let’s say you are writing an article about paying attention to your customers. You might write, “You need to know about the importance of paying attention to your customers because of customer retention, more sales, and more referrals.” Don’t worry about making this sentence sound good for now. Keep it simple.
Step 4: Write the first paragraph. Bring up the topic in the first sentence or two, and then use your outline sentence. In the example above you might use, “The importance of paying attention to customers just can’t be stressed enough.” Then insert the outline sentence. Then finish up with something like, “This article will explain how paying attention affects retention, sales, and referrals.”
Step 5: Write two or three sentences about each of the other topics (paragraphs) in your thesis statement (e.g., retention, sales and referrals). Don’t worry about writing more now.
Step 6: Finish up by writing a summation sentence and paragraph. Continuing with the “attention” example you might begin by writing, “You can see why paying attention to your customers is so important and can make life easier on you in the long run.” In general you will tell the reader what benefits they are going to get, the time they are going to save, money the are going to make, etc. I recommend you keep the last paragraph brief and to the point.
Step 7: Read through the article and fill in any things you obviously left out, but don’t get too carried away. You just want to clean it up a bit and get the outline of the article in your head. Now set it aside for a day or two and let your brain work it over for awhile.
Step 8: Now go back and carefully read your article. Fill in any information you think needs to be there and take out the unneeded. If needed, turn most, if not all of the passive sentences into active ones. Improve your sentences, making sure each one flows to the next. At this point you’re done, or at least almost done. Read it over a few times to make sure it sounds good to you and spell check it. If it does not sound good to you put it aside where you can find it in a few days or weeks. I always have several articles at this stage. Once a week I look them over and choose one to finish.
Step 9: (Optional) Have someone you trust read the article to get their opinion and find typos.
Step 10: Publish the article. The Internet has made this simple. You can publish it in your own newsletter or send it to other newsletter publishers.
Spend thirty minutes a day on one or more of these steps you will be at step 10 before you know it. Keep it up and in a short time you will have several articles in your portfolio.
Copyright 1999. All Rights Reserved
Dr. Polk is a goal and time management coach, writer and speaker. Need more time to write? More time for fun? Drop me a line at [email protected] or visit http://www.timedoctor.com .
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