Tips for Writing an Article

Most of us don’t think of ourselves as authors, when in reality we are. Though we may not have published a book, many of us have written an article whether it was for a blog or a high school newspaper.

The following are tips on how to write an article about any topic:

Don’t focus primarily on word count
Stay focused on your subject and use concise words. Unlike a story, an article is meant to give information and the amount of wordiness doesn’t equate to success. Using a thesaurus helps to pare down your descriptions to one good word instead of using several.

Have a goal
What kind of thought, feeling or action do you want your article to achieve? For instance, as an author my blog has tips that help writer’s improve their writing, therefore the goal of those articles is to educate. Perhaps the purpose of your article is to stimulate the reader to buy a product. You want them to learn about the product (perhaps a new car), but also to feel what it’s like to drive that new car. If your article has hit its mark, it should elicit a beneficial thought or feeling in the reader.

Decide on the type of article
There are various types of subject material, so choose which one your article is about. Some article types are better suited to certain topics. Here is a list of the most common types:

  • News: The most frequently seen article that covers the “where, when, why, what and how.”
  • Editorial: Used to present the writer or guest’s opinion on a certain topic.
  • Profile: An informative article about a person.
  • How-to: As the name implies, it gives instructions on how to accomplish a task.
  • Feature: A more imaginative presentation of the news, that goes into more detail and commentary.

Writing an article for your audience
Writing an article that may be read by hundreds, or even thousands of people deserves some forethought and skill. Firstly, choose a topic in which you are knowledgeable. The best advice is to write about what interests you and will benefit others. Secondly, create a working outline. This will provide you with a general plan for where your article is headed, while allowing you the flexibility to change. Thirdly, write all your thoughts about the subject, then edit ruthlessly. Lastly, proofread your article several times. Nothing shouts “lazy” as loudly as a writer who didn’t use spell check.