“Hi! Welcome back to my blog. Today, I’m going to tell you how to-”
Oh! Quit it with the formality!
I have been kind to the bloggers as of late, so today I’m going to focus on the writers.
How To Write An Article is what you’re going to be learning today.
Let’s jump into it!
1. Pick a Topic
What is your article about? Music? Sports? Politics? Choose a topic that interests you. Focus on it for a week or two. Maybe three.
If it’s too broad, for example, How To Build a Drone, you could narrow it down to How To Build a Drone on a Shoestring Budget or How To Build a Drone with Recycled Materials. Make your topic relatable, though.
Once you pick a topic, write a rough draft and don’t try to be analytical or perfect. Just write. Then when you are done, put it aside for a while.
2.Plan it out
How long do you want to article to be? What kind of words are you going to use? What exactly are you getting at in the article?
3.Put yourself in the Audience’s place
Come back to your draft. Pick three words to describe the audience you intend to address. Also, imagine you are the reader and look for the main points that they will want to see in your article. What questions will they want to be answered? You might not know the answers but write down the questions.
The research will make your article factual. Good details to include with your how-to are:
Quotes by well-known people
Helpful tools, resources or products (if many, consider creating a sidebar)
References to local venues or events (if for a regional/local publication).
Collect everything you have gathered and put it together. It could be a folder or on your laptop. Keep track of your sources in case you are asked by an editor to verify them.Work on it until you feel that it’s “just right.”
Don’t write the article from the same angle that everyone has been writing it before. It will just make it boring and too predictable. Write it from a different angle.
6.Go over your draft again
See if there is anything that you will like to add or remove.
7.Start with the introduction
A compelling introductory paragraph is important to hook your reader. Within the first few sentences, the reader will evaluate whether your article is worth reading in its entirety. There are a number of ways to start an article, some of which include:
Telling an anecdote.
Using a quote from an interview subject.
Starting with a statistic.
Starting with straight facts of the story.
8.Follow your outline
When writing, use the outline you created. But don’t be too rigid. You may have a new flow when you are writing. You can follow that flow but don’t divert from the topic too much.
9.Give proper context
Don’t assume that your reader knows about what you’re writing about. If they did, they wouldn’t have to read your article. Since they might not know, you have some explaining to do. Make it brief but explanatory.
Link separate ideas with transitions so that your article is one piece.
11.Style. Structure. Voice
You have to pay attention to those three things. For example, newspapers have a chronological format. An academic article might be written with formal language. A how-to article might be written with slight informal language.
12. Have an interesting conclusion
The end of your article should leave your readers feeling inspired or impacted. Your conclusion must be strong.
Add some graphics so your reader can understand your idea more.
Do a run-over of your work. Remove some things that you feel are unrelated. Proofread your work. Read aloud to identify the awkward-sounding sentences, the long and confusing sentences and the sentences that are just weird.
15.Find an Editor
Give it to a friend or a teacher, or someone who is better at writing than you are, to read it for you. Do they understand it? They might also catch some slight errors.
16.Have a headline
Create a headline for your article. It must not be more than 10 words and it should sum up your entire article. It should also be creative and catchy. Better still, if you feel that your headline cannot completely summarize your article, add a sub-headline.
Now you are finally (finally!) done, you can go ahead and publish it in the newspaper or magazine or your blog. Or you can submit it if it was a project for school.
So that’s all for today. I hope to hear from you on Twitter.