“Remember your words can plant gardens or burn whole forests down”, Gemma Troy
An article can be described as information mostly in written format to provide information. Articles surround us. Information about the latest topics spring overnight over the internet. Writing is helping unravel knowledge to people. Ideas and content reach more people now than ever before. There are many tools and websites offering to assist in writing. But then again we know that as any other art form article writing is not for everyone. They may be experts in their field but they are unable to put their thoughts into words and produce a structured and coherent piece.
Articles are written for both electronic medium or print. These articles can be on any topic like technical, public awareness, political opinion or on well-being. The form and style of article also varies depending on the target group. Yard stick for a good article would be one that gives relevant information, is able to catch the attention of reader, provides something the reader to think and triggers action. An article writer tries to present the topic in an unbiased format.
Objectives of Article writing
Before starting article writing thought has to be given for the results to be achieved from the article. Hence, objective of article writing can be broadly put as: –
- To bring attention to the subject covered.
- Article should be able to cover topic not just introduce the reader and end abruptly.
- Stories, anecdotes or technical developments related to topic is discussed.
- It should make an impact on the reader.
Building the source for Article Writing
Sources of information builds the credibility of the article hence it is essential one performs enough research before writing an article. In-depth analysis of resource opens up the subject to article writer and helps in critical thinking. Sources can be of primary or secondary category.
Primary sources are those content that was created during the occurrence of the event. They provide first-hand report to the reader. These can be minutes of the meeting, audio recording or any original article present at meeting. Article writer proves authenticity of the article while citing primary source.
While second hand sources quote the primary source and analyse the event. Typically, encyclopaedia, textbook or magazines fall under this category. The biggest advantage of using secondary source is they use the expert knowledge of the article writer and expands the topic. They can provide the context and in-depth understanding of the topic.
In case of conflicting facts, it is good to cite or give reference of the source. The reader will understand that the thought conveyed in article are based on which material. It also safeguards the article writer in case of dispute.
Format for Article writing
The article writer can choose any style to pen his article but a structured format allows him to convey the message with clarity. Readers too find easy to browse through such articles. Following is a structure followed in most articles: –
- Title or Heading – Captivating title or heading is prerequisite for article writing. It should be simple yet self-explanatory. A good title gives a jumpstart to the article. At times quotes from famous people are added below the heading. This reiterates the title and gives a glimpse in which the article will be heading towards.
- Body of the article – Length of article is up to the article writer to decide. Mostly a blog of 500 to 800 words is preferred. Keeping in mind short attention span of reader articles are usually written in paragraph format. The first paragraph is the introduction or the history of the topic. Next sections in article writing explain the topic covering facets like causes, effects, statistics, case studies and such details are spoken off. Use of subheadings to break the topic into smaller parts for the reader to make connect with the topic is a good technique. At times article writer uses tables to put the facts in better perspective. Graphs and pictures are also included to support the information.
- Conclusion – A good summation is also important in article writing. About a third of the total length of article should be dedicated to conclusion. In the conclusion author notes various solutions currently available for the issue. Also the advancements possible in the field are discussed for the reader to explore the topic.
Quick tips for impactful Article writing
- Keep the content original – Content or subject is the king for article writing. Make effort and time to make original content. Nobody likes to read an imitative content. This will not only undermine your credibility as a writer but also may be put you in a challenging situation. It is possible that the core subject has been written many times. Yet try to add something new for your reader. For example, this article itself.
- Crisp – A good and crisp article attracts more reader. Article writing is also about hitting the mark. Don’t try to be vague in projecting your opinion. Reader might be looking for assertion for his thoughts or some proof. In such cases leaving the end loose and not providing enough proof is not the quality of good writer.
- Flow of the content – Try to keep the flow of content in one direction. Some article writers draw a flowchart before starting. In this way reader is not confused. As well as writer can be assured that all the subheadings have been covered.
- A good narrative – Every one likes a good story. Article writing should use this art form to catch attention. Unlike some stories keeping the suspense for too long can drive away the audience. In this quick paced world, people do want information but in small capsules.
- Target audience is the key – An article goes through a journey and the destiny depends on the target audience. Choosing the audience and formatting the content accordingly makes sure the article reaches its destination. If the article has to reach more people, then choose current trending topic for article writing. For example, currently NFTs and metaverse are trendy and any article on them is to receive more audience.
- Avoid personal opinion – While every article writer has his own style of writing. Personal opinion or writing the article in first person should be avoided.
- Positive approach – Keeping positive approach through out the article is a good thought. Negative words deter audience. Even while condemning or projecting wrong article writing should incorporate positive methodology.
- Grammar and spell check – Electronic medium has been a boon for article writers. Various websites and softwares are available to assist the writer to produce error free compositions. Getting article proof read by a peer or professional is also a good option.
- Review – for starters article writing is more of trial and error method. Do not hesitate to review your writings many times. To get a refined and perfect article one needs to go through written piece many times. It is likely to miss out on a point or two. Or may be the structure of article needs fine-tuning. Article writer should have critical eye of his own work. If one has a deadline set to publish the article it always a good idea to start the writing process early giving ample time for research and reviewing.
- Font matters – No reader would like to strain through an illegible font. Article writing is about choosing appropriate colour, size and style of font to make impactful reading. And if possible, selection of font should be in sync with the topic. For example, an article about art could use a cursive script, while an article about finance could use professional font like ‘Helvetica’.
- Attention to detail – Pay attention to smallest of the details. As mentioned many times article writing is an art, and finish touch is important for any art piece. For example, try to use same bullet pointers through out the article. As used in this article.
- Special tools for online article writing – If the article is going to be published online make sure to use keywords which will attract more search result. Also including links to your other articles wherever possible. However, remember that including many links may distract the reader and they may not complete the intended article
Create an article which would interest even a casual reader to read till the end. Do not hesitate to pen down whenever you come across any information pertaining to the topic. For a good article writer, the inspiration for the topic or content for topic can originate from anywhere. Influencing your audience should be the motive for article writing, but it has to be done in a manner where the reader is exposed to the topic. Use of simple language aides in reaching more audience. Article writers should also be aware of impact their article in today’s digital era.
Adding information about article writer in short is a good practice. Treat each article as your creation. Investing time will enrich your article writing skill and the article comes out as original construction. For producing good quality articles, one should also read quality material from another article writer to understand various styles of article writing.
So what are you waiting for? Pick a topic and happy article writing!!