How to write an article

If you are reading this then you are probably thinking about writing your own articles and publishing them online, either on a blog or a community website. If so, it is worth considering a few things before you begin.

First of all, think about why you are going to write. Do you want to put forward a certain view or argument about a topic or do you want to just make information about a certain subject more accessible? Bear this in mind throughout your writing.

Do your research

No matter what the subject matter of your article is you can always benefit from doing some research on the topic. Take a look at articles that other people have written and take on board the things you like and dislike about their writing. You might learn something new about the topic in the process which you can then incorporate into your own work.

Structure your article

One of my University lecturers always said that he would tell a class what he was going to tell them, then he would tell them, then he would tell them what he just told them! Whilst it sounds a little strange, this three step repetition is a very effective way to share information.

Start by introducing your reader to the subject matter via a short literature review, go on to explore the subject in more detail, and then close with a summary of what they have just read.

Be clear and concise

Your article will be competing against a world full of information on the Internet so make sure that your reader gets the point. Be clear and concise with your language and don’t pad out articles with unnecessary superlatives.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar

Modern blogging and word processing programs will help with this, but it is certainly an advantage if you have a good understanding of the language you are writing in. There is not much worse than trying to decrypt the content of an online article.

Be natural

Don’t forget that you are writing for other people! Nobody likes to read through hundreds of lines of flat, boring text so make your article interesting and entertaining. A sense of humour is not always appropriate, but it can certainly help your reader enjoy your article.

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