Article Writing 101
Writing an article is slightly different than writing a blog post. Focusing on your opinion and being laid back is fine for a blog post but when writing an article, it is best to be more professional and focus more on the researched information and the topic at hand.
Here are a few tips to keep you focused for when you need write a fantastic article!
When you are writing an article, you need to focus on the facts and information; opinions are frowned upon and are not the reason for writing an article. A good example of this kind of thing would be a news article from The New York Times. While they do have opinion pieces, they focus primarily on getting the facts straight for news articles.
Speak With an Air of Credibility
When you are writing an article, you should be adding plenty of facts and data to support the claims or statements made in the article. In order to achieve this, it is best to focus on writing as if you understand the topic as much as the people you are quoting as experts. If you don’t understand something then you need to do further research. Adding inaccurate information to push an agenda is never a good idea when it comes to article writing.
Make Sure to Use Excellent Grammar
Slang and colloquialisms are common in much of today’s writing which is focused on connecting with a specific demographic. When it comes to writing articles this is simply not done – it is best to maintain more formal language as this will create a level of professionalism which results in the article being taken more seriously. Second person is also generally not allowed, so not “you’s” or “I’s” when it comes to writing articles. It is also vitally important to make sure your spelling and grammar is excellent. The use of larger words where appropriate is also a positive move but there is no need to overuse them as it will come across as being forced or bombastic. More articulate language in article writing is best done if said words work well in the topic you are writing about, such as an article about a scientific topic. Finally, arrange for your work to be proofread whenever possible. It will ensure there are no embarrassing mistakes and that the reader will not be put off by errors in spelling or grammar.
Remember the Target Audience
When writing a scientific article for scientists, they will expect to hear scientific language. When writing a scientific article for children, the language needs to be simpler but still include some scientific terms which you can explain (in brackets) as you go along. This consideration of the audience is vital if you are to properly inform the reader and ensure your article is credible. Similarly, the average person will speak and interpret things differently than an expert so make sure to explain any jargon that has to be used when necessary either through brackets or a footnote.
Write More Than 300 Words
Blog posts are generally short, and can often be far fewer than 300 words. Articles, on the other hand, are often much longer. In fact, they can be thousands of words long, and packed full of research, quotations, and information.
While SEO should not be the primary focus of writing a good article, there is evidence to support the theory that Google and other search engines value longer articles. That said, don’t artificially inflate the word count for the purpose of SEO as that will put the reader off.
The more information that you can add to the article, the better as long as you can add information that is relevant to the topic. Going off on a tangent in an article, or not sticking to a single topic can destroy the article’s credibility as well as cause confusion to the point where your main point can be missed.
Use the Reverse Pyramid Method
This method is tried and tested when it comes to all writing, but is particularly important when it comes to article writing as if the article is not clearly defined immediately it can put some readers off reading further. With this in mind, the beginning of the article should include the most important, fascinating and/or eye-catching information. This information is critical to your article, such as what is happening, when it happened, and how.
Having done that, you can write in more detail about what is happening, other people’s opinions, quotes, logic, and data that backs up any claims that are listed in the article. Then lastly would be more general content which can include general as well as background information. This information is not absolutely necessary, but can help fill in details which help in the understanding of the topic.
Include a Brief Summary
If you write an article of 500+ words, a brief summary can re-highlight the main point in the article to ensure the important information stays with the reader. This can range from a line or two to a paragraph, depending on the points made, the level of detail in the article and the overall length.
Organization – The Real Key
When writing anything, organizing your thoughts, keeping them together and focused as well as laying them out in an intelligent fashion are vital to achieving a positive result.
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