How to Get Started with Article Writing: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
So you've always had a way with words, and you've finally decided to dip your toes into the realm of article writing. Congratulations, my friend! Whether you're itching to express your thoughts and insights or aiming to make a career out of crafting captivating content, writing articles can unlock a world of creativity. But where do you begin? Fear not, for this step-by-step guide is here to help you embark on your journey as a budding wordsmith.
From finding your niche to perfecting your writing skills, let's dive in and uncover the secrets to kickstarting your article-writing adventure. Get ready to unleash your inner storyteller and captivate readers one word at a time!
What is Article Writing?
Article writing is the craft of creating written content for various purposes. It involves conveying information clearly and engagingly to a specific audience . Starting with a compelling introduction, an article provides valuable insights and knowledge on a given topic. It is essential to include relevant facts and examples to support your ideas. A well-structured article typically comprises of short paragraphs and uses headings and subheadings to guide readers.
Strong article writing requires good research skills, excellent grammar, and proper formatting. By mastering the art of article writing, beginners can effectively share their ideas and opinions with a broader audience.
Benefits of Article Writing for Beginners
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Article writing is an excellent starting point for beginners. It helps develop writing skills and boosts creativity. Writing articles enhances critical thinking by requiring research and analysis . It also enables the writer to share knowledge and ideas with others. The process of writing articles improves communication skills and helps build a writer's portfolio. Moreover, article writing allows beginners to explore different topics, positioning them as experts in a specific area.
Step 1: Choose a Topic
Finding a topic that interests you.
Finding a topic that interests you is crucial when starting your article writing journey. Think about subjects you enjoy or have knowledge about. Consider your hobbies, passions, or areas where you excel. It's important to choose a topic that you genuinely care about, as it will make the writing process more enjoyable and help you connect with your readers. Don't be afraid to explore different angles or niches within your chosen topic to make it more unique and engaging.
Remember, the more interested you are in your topic, the more likely it is that others will be interested too. So, choose wisely and have fun!
Researching Popular Topics
Researching popular topics is an essential step in article writing. It not only helps you stay updated with current trends but also enables you to create content that resonates with your target audience . Here are some tips to streamline your research process:
- Identify your target audience : Define the demographic and interests of your readers to understand what topics are most likely to engage them.
- Utilize online tools : Leverage search engines, social media platforms, and keyword research tools to identify popular topics in your niche.
- Analyze competition : Explore articles and blogs written by competitors to gain insights into what topics have performed well for them.
- Stay updated : Follow news websites, industry publications, and influencers in your field to keep up with the latest trends and topics that are gaining traction.
- Engage with your audience : Pay attention to comments, feedback, and questions from your readers to identify what they're interested in and shape your content accordingly.
By conducting thorough research, you can ensure that your articles are relevant, engaging, and resonate with your target audience.
Narrowing Down Your Topic
When choosing a topic for your article, it's important to narrow it down to something specific. Start by brainstorming all the potential ideas and then consider which ones interest you the most. Once you have a general idea, try to make it more focused by asking yourself questions like "Who is my target audience?" or "What aspect of this topic do I want to explore?" This will help you create a clear and concise angle for your article, making it easier to write and more engaging for your readers.
Remember, specificity is key!
Step 2: Understand Your Audience
Identifying your target audience.
Identifying your target audience is crucial when writing an article. Who are you trying to reach? Start by defining their demographics - age, gender, location. Dive deeper to understand their interests, needs, and pain points. Are they tech-savvy or more traditional? What challenges do they face? Consider their motivations and desires. By analyzing their behavior and preferences, you can tailor your content to resonate with them.
This will help you engage and connect with your readers on a morepersonal level. Remember, understanding your target audience is the key to creating impactful articles. So, take the time to do your research and get to know them well.
Understanding Audience's Needs and Preferences
In order to be an effective article writer, it is crucial to understand the needs and preferences of your audience. This means taking the time to research and analyze your target readers, their interests, and what they are searching for. By doing so, you can tailor your content to meet their expectations, making it more engaging and relevant.
Whether it’s providing informative guides or entertaining stories, remember to keep your writing concise, easy to understand, and free of unnecessary fluff. By doing this, you will attract and retain your audience's attention, building a loyal readership over time.
Step 3: Conduct Thorough Research
Gathering information from reliable sources.
When writing an article, it is crucial to gather information from reliable sources. This ensures that your content is accurate and trustworthy. Start by identifying reputable sources, such as reputable websites, academic journals, or expert interviews. Use multiple sources to get a well-rounded perspective on the topic. Check for citations and references in the sources you find, as this indicates the information has been substantiated by other experts.
Avoid using sources that lack credibility or have a biased agenda. By gathering information from reliable sources, you can provide valuable and accurate content to your readers.
Organizing Your Research Findings
When it comes to organizing your research findings, it's crucial to have a systematic approach. Here are some tips to help you make sense of all the information you've gathered:
- Create a clear and logical structure for your article, outlining the main points you want to cover.
- Determine the most relevant and valuable findings from your research and highlight key data or evidence to support your claims.
- Categorize your findings into different sections or subheadings, making it easier for readers to navigate through your article.
- Use bullet points or numbered lists to present concise information or important details.
- Consider creating an annotated bibliography or reference list to keep track of your sources and ensure correct citations.
By organizing your research findings effectively, you'll be able to present your ideas in a coherent and structured manner, enhancing the clarity and impact of your article.
Step 4: Create an Outline
Structuring your article.
Structuring your article is essential for effective communication. Start with a compelling title that grabs attention. Divide your article into clear sections using subheadings to guide the reader. In the introduction, present the main idea and provide context. Keep paragraphs short and focused, each discussing one key point. Use bullet points or numbered lists for easy comprehension. In the conclusion, summarize the main points and conclude with a thought-provoking statement.
Remember to edit and proofread for clarity and coherence. A well-structured article enhances readability and ensures your message is conveyed effectively.
Outlining Main Points and Subtopics
When starting an article, it is crucial to outline the main points and subtopics you want to cover. This helps you maintain focus and structure throughout your writing. Begin by identifying the main idea or argument you want to convey. Then, list the key points that support or elaborate on this idea. Make sure each point flows logically and sequentially.
Next, break down these key points into subtopics that provide further details or examples. This way, you can organize your thoughts in a clear and coherent manner, ensuring your readers will easily follow your train of thought.
Step 5: Start Writing
Developing a strong body.
Developing a Strong Body is essential for article writing beginners. Regular exercise is key. Start with simple activities like walking or jogging to improve stamina and overall fitness. Include strength training exercises to build muscle and boost metabolism. Focus on workouts that target different body areas such as squats for legs, push-ups for upper body, and planks for core. Consistency is crucial, so aim for at least 3-4 times a week.
Alongside exercise, eat a balanced diet rich in proteins, vegetables, and whole grains to fuel your body and aid in muscle recovery. Hydrate adequately to stay focused and energized during writing sessions. Prioritize self-care and get enough rest for optimal physical and mental performance. With a strong body, writing will become effortless.
Creating an Engaging Conclusion
In order to create an engaging conclusion for your article, consider leaving the reader with something to think about or a call to action. A thought-provoking question or a compelling statement can keep your readers engaged and encourage them to explore the topic further.
Additionally, you can summarize your main points briefly and end on a strong note. Remember, a good conclusion should leave a lasting impression and leave the reader wanting more.
Step 6: Edit and Revise
Checking for grammar and spelling errors.
When you finish writing your article, take a moment to check for grammar and spelling errors. Read it aloud or use a spell-check tool to catch any mistakes. Pay attention to punctuation, capitalization, and word choice. Double-check names, dates, and statistics to ensure accuracy. If possible, ask someone else to proofread your work. Give yourself time between writing and proofreading to identify errors more effectively.
Taking these simple steps can greatly improve the quality of your article and make it more professional.
Improving Sentence Structure and Clarity
To enhance your article writing, focus on sentence structure and clarity. Keep your sentences short and to the point. Avoid lengthy, convoluted sentences that confuse readers. Use active verbs to make your writing more engaging and dynamic. Break up long paragraphs into smaller chunks to improve readability. Use transition words to create smooth transitions between ideas. Lastly, always proofread your work to eliminate any grammatical errors and ensure clarity. By improving sentence structure and clarity, you can make your article more concise, engaging, and enjoyable for your readers.
Ensuring Coherence and Flow
Ensuring coherence and flow in your article is crucial for keeping the reader engaged. Start by using clear and concise language to express your ideas. Break your article into short paragraphs and vary their lengths to maintain a smooth flow. Use transition words and phrases to connect your ideas and guide the reader through the article.
Additionally, make sure each paragraph focuses on a single point to avoid confusion.
Finally, read your article aloud or ask someone to read it to ensure it flows naturally and is easy to understand. Remember, coherence and flow are keys to effective article writing.
Step 7: Proofread and Finalize
Reading and re-reading your article.
Once you finish writing your article, take a moment to step back and give it a read. Look for any typos, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. This initial read-through allows you to catch any obvious mistakes or areas that need improvement.
After this first pass, take a break. Give yourself some distance from the article before coming back to it for a second read. This time, focus on the overall flow and structure of your piece. Does it make sense? Is the information organized logically? Take note of any areas that feel disjointed or confusing.
When you're satisfied with the structure, read it through one final time, paying attention to the details. Check for consistency in verb tenses, formatting, and citation styles. Ensure that your article flows smoothly and that each sentence serves a purpose.
By actively reading and re-reading your article, you can catch errors, improve clarity, and deliver a polished final piece that engages and informs your readers.
Formatting and Styling
Formatting and styling is crucial when it comes to writing an article. A well-structured article enhances readability and grabs the reader's attention. Start with a catchy headline that summarizes your content. Use subheadings to break up the text and make it more scannable. Keep your paragraphs short and to the point. Bullet points and numbered lists are great for conveying information concisely. Incorporate relevant images to engage your readers visually.
Lastly, proofread your article for grammar and spelling errors. Taking the time to format and style your article properly will greatly improve its impact and readability.
Reflecting on Your Article Writing Journey
As you near the end of your article writing journey, take a moment to reflect on how far you've come. Think about the skills you've acquired, the topics you've delved into, and the challenges you've conquered. Remember the moments of frustration and the triumphs that followed. Embrace the growth you've experienced and the knowledge you've gained along the way. Appreciate the progress, no matter how small, and use it as fuel to continue honing your craft. Remember, every step counts and every article is an opportunity to improve. Keep writing, keep learning, and keep pushing yourself to new heights.
Taking Next Steps to Improve as a Writer
Now that you've taken your first steps into article writing, it's time to take the next ones in order to improve as a writer. One way to do this is by reading extensively. Pick up different genres and styles of writing to broaden your horizons. Another crucial step is to write consistently. Make a writing schedule and stick to it, even if it's just for a few minutes each day.
Additionally, seek feedback from others. Join writing groups or ask friends to read your work and provide constructive criticism. Remember, practice, exposure to different writing styles, and feedback are key to becoming a better writer.
Writing articles can be a daunting task for beginners, but with this step-by-step guide, you'll be well on your way to becoming a proficient article writer.
First, choose a topic that interests you and conduct thorough research to gather all the necessary information. Then, create an outline to organize your thoughts and ensure a logical flow in your writing. When crafting the introduction, aim to grab your readers' attention with a compelling hook. In the body of the article, present your ideas clearly, providing evidence and examples to support your claims. Use subheadings and bullet points to enhance readability. Once the main points are covered, wrap up your article with a conclusion that summarizes your key takeaways and leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Remember to proofread and edit your work to eliminate any errors or inconsistencies. With practice and perseverance, you'll develop your own unique writing style and become an accomplished article writer.
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How to Write Articles
Last Updated: June 13, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Janet Peischel . Janet Peischel is a Writer and Digital Media Expert and the Owner of Top of Mind Marketing. With more than 15 years of consulting experience, she develops content strategies and builds online brands for her clients. Prior to consulting, Janet spent over 15 years in the marketing industry, in positions such as the Vice President of Marketing Communications for the Bank of America. Janet holds a BA and MA from the University of Washington. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,264,698 times.
There are a multitude of different types of articles, including news stories, features, profiles, instructional articles, and so on. While each has specific qualities that are unique to its type, all articles share some common characteristics. From forming and researching your idea to writing and editing your work, writing articles can give you a chance to share compelling and important information with readers.
Forming Your Idea
- News: This type of article presents facts about something that happened recently or that will happen in the near future. It usually covers the 5 Ws and H: who, what, where, when, why and how.
- Feature: This type of article presents information in a more creative, descriptive way than a straight news article. It can be an article about a person, a phenomenon, a place, or other subject.
- Editorial: This article presents a writer’s opinions on a topic or debate. It is intended to persuade the reader to think a certain way about a topic.  X Research source
- How-to: This article gives clear instructions and information about how to accomplish some task.
- Profile: This article presents information about a person, using information that the writer typically gathers through interviews and background research.
- What interests you about this topic?
- What is a point that people usually overlook?
- What do you want people to know about this topic?
- For example, if you want to write about organic farming, you might say to yourself, “I think it’s important to know what organic labeling means on food packages. It can be confusing to know what it all means.”
- Your goal is to convey enough passion that your readers think the issue in your article is worth caring about.
- Enter some keywords into an online search engine. This can lead you to sources that write about your topic. These sources can also give you an idea of different approaches to the topic.
- Read as much as you can on the topic. Visit your local library. Consult books, magazine articles, published interviews, and online features as well as news sources, blogs, and databases for information. A good place to start looking for data not apparent on the Internet is the Gale Directory of Databases, which exists in both book format (available in libraries) or online .
- For example, for the organic food topic, you might focus on one grocery shopper who doesn’t understand organic food labeling. Use that opening anecdote to lead into your main argument, known as a "nut graph," which summarizes your unique idea or perspective.
- For example, if you are writing about how one person learns how to read organic labels, your overall argument might be that the public needs to be aware that many companies misuse organic labeling. This leads to dishonest practices in product advertising. Another topic might be: it’s important to know who owns your local media outlets. If corporate media organizations own your local newspaper, you may get very little media coverage of your area and not know much about your community.
- Write your argument in one sentence. Post it near your computer or writing area. This will help you stay focused as you start working on your article.
Researching Your Idea
- Primary sources can include a transcript from a legislative hearing, lawsuit filing, county property indexes with folio numbers, discharge certificates from the military, and photos. Other primary sources could include government written records in the National Archives or special collections sections of your local or university library, insurance policies, corporate financial reports, or personal background reports.
- Secondary sources comprise published databases, books, abstracts, articles in English and other languages, bibliographies, dissertations, and reference books.
- You can find information on the internet or in a library. You can also conduct interviews, watch documentaries, or consult other sources.
- You can make a longer list of evidence and examples. As you gather more evidence, you will be able to prioritize which ones are the strongest examples.
- Don’t assume that one source is completely accurate. You'll need several unrelated sources to get the full picture.
- Choose a citation style sooner rather than later, so you can compile citation information in the correct format. MLA, APA, and Chicago are some of the most common citation styles.
- Don’t copy any text directly from another source. Paraphrase this text instead, and include a citation .
Outlining Your Idea
- For example, if you are writing an article for a specialized academic audience, your tone, and approach will be vastly different from if you’re writing an article for a popular magazine.
- It’s helpful to start with the five-paragraph essay outline.  X Research source This outline devotes one paragraph to an introduction, three paragraphs for supporting evidence, and one paragraph for a conclusion. As you start plugging in information into your outline, you may find that this structure doesn’t suit your article so well.
- You might also find that this structure doesn’t suit certain types of articles. For example, if you’re doing a profile of a person, your article may follow a different format.
- Make sure to fully attribute your quote and use quotation marks around anything that you didn’t write yourself. For example, you might write: A spokesperson for the dairy brand Milktoast says, “Our milk is labeled organic because our cows are only fed organic grass.”
- Don’t overdo the quotes. Be selective about the quotes you do use. If you use too many quotes, your reader might think you’re using them as filler instead of coming up with your material.
Writing Your Article
- Telling an anecdote.
- Using a quote from an interview subject.
- Starting with a statistic.
- Starting with straight facts of the story.
- Be flexible, however. Sometimes when you write, the flow makes sense in a way that is different from your outline. Be ready to change the direction of your piece if it seems to read better that way.
- For example, you might write about the grocery shopper having trouble with organic food labels: “Charlie concentrated on jars of peanut butter on the shelf. The words ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ seemed to jump out at him. Every jar said something different. He felt they were shouting at him: ‘Choose me!’ ‘Buy me!’ The words started swimming in front of his eyes. He left the aisle without buying anything.”
- For example, use words or phrases such as “however…,” “another important point is…,” or “it must be remembered that…”
- For example, a newspaper article will need to offer information in a narrative, chronological format. It should be written with accessible and straightforward language. An academic article will be written with more formal language. A how-to article might be written in more informal language.
- When writing your article, use a strong "anchoring" sentence at the beginning of each paragraph to move your reader forward. Moreover, vary the length of your sentences, both short and long. If you find all your sentences are about the same word length, chances are your reader will be 'lulled" into a standard rhythm and fall asleep. Sentences which are consistently choppy and short may give your reader the impression you are writing advertising copy instead of a well-thought-out article.
- If you started with an anecdote or statistic in your introduction, think about reconnecting to this point in your conclusion.
- Conclusions are often strongest when they use a last, brief, concrete example that leads the reader to new insights. Conclusions should be 'forward-thinking' -- point the reader in a direction that keeps his or her "thirst" for knowledge going strong.
- For example, you could include photographs, charts, or infographics to illustrate some of your points.
- You could also highlight or develop a major point more with a sidebar-type box. This is an extra bit of writing that delves more deeply into one aspect of the subject. For example, if you’re writing about your city’s film festival, you might include a sidebar write-up that highlights one of the films. These types of write-ups are usually short (50-75 words, depending on the publication outlet).
- Remember, these materials are supplemental. This means that your article should stand on its own. Your writing needs to be understandable, clear and focused without the help of charts, photographs or other graphics.
Finalizing Your Work
- Look closely at the central argument or point you’re trying to make. Does everything in your article serve this central argument? Do you have a unrelated paragraph? If so, this paragraph should be eliminated or reframed so that it supports the main argument.
- Eliminate any contradictory information in the article or address the contradictions, showing how the contradictory information is relevant to readers.
- Rewrite sections or the entire thing as necessary. Revisions like this are common for all types of articles, so don’t feel like you’ve failed or are incompetent.
- It’s helpful to print out a hard copy of your article. Go through it with a pen or pencil to catch mistakes. Then go back and correct these mistakes on the computer.
- It is common to be able to identify your mistakes in grammar or writing while reading aloud as well; this could cut down on the feedback that you may receive from someone else.
- This person may also catch errors and inconsistencies that you have overlooked.
- If you want to convey slightly more information, write a sub-headline. This is a secondary sentence that builds on the headline.
Article Outline Template
- Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to write the article. If you don't, you'll be rushing at the last minute to create something that isn't representative of what you can truly do. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
- To find out more about using primary research tools and databases, consult the Investigative Reporters and Editors website or get a copy of The Investigative Reporter's Handbook: A Guide to Documents, Databases and Techniques, Fifth Edition. Authors: Brant Houston and Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc. (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's 2009). Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
- Determine whether you actually have an interest in writing. Try writing 2 paragraphs with as much creativity as possible. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
- When writing for a newspaper or magazine, do not do so free. Ask what the freelance fee is beforehand. Your pay will usually be calculated on a per-word basis or per-article basis. Your work is valuable. Writing for free makes making a living more difficult for those who depend on freelance fees to pay the bills. If you're just starting out, volunteering to do some articles for smaller community papers, student publications and trade magazines is a great way to build your portfolio. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/journalism/types.html
- ↑ Janet Peischel. Digital Media Expert. Expert Interview. 30 March 2021.
- ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/writing/creating-a-5-paragraph-essay-outline.html
- ↑ https://www.masterclass.com/articles/why-is-context-important-in-writing#quiz-0
- ↑ http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/166662
About This Article
To write an article, use both primary and secondary sources to gather information about your topic. Primary sources include photos, government records, and personal interviews, while secondary sources include books, abstracts, scholarly journals, other articles, and reference books. When you’re writing, use facts, quotes, and statistics from your sources to support your point, and explain your topic as if the reader has never heard of it before. To learn the different types of articles, including news, features, and editorials, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to Write an Article (the Complete Guide)
- Sarah Neidler, PhD
- February 9, 2021
Did you just launch your new website and want to fill it with content? Or would you like to work as an article writer and you’re asking yourself, how do I write an article that actually gets results?
In both cases, you want to know how to write an article.
This is a step-by-step guide that shows you how to come up with article ideas, get started with writing, and edit after writing. The guide is intended for online articles, but most points also apply to offline, print articles. Also, note that the difference between an article and a blog post is marginal, so most recommendations also apply to blog posts.
Because it’s crucial that your article ranks in Google, we also cover some basics about search engine optimization (SEO). For more detailed information, I recommend you reading our 25 Point Blog Post Checklist for SEO .
1. Come up with a topic and a focus keyword
Before you start writing, you have to decide what you want to write about. That should be obvious. But what makes a good idea for an article?
Writing an article takes a lot of time and effort. Your articles should help you to generate traffic to your website. One of the most important factors that decide how much traffic you get is Google ranking.
Ideally, you want your article to rank for a high volume keyword. If 10.000 people per month type a specific keyword into Google and your article is the first to come up, many people will click on it and thereby land on your website.
When it comes to ranking, you should not only consider the search volume but also how difficult it is to rank for this keyword. A huge search volume is useless when your article appears on page number 256 of the search results.
It’s best to use a keyword research tool to find out the keyword difficulty (KD). We recommend Ahrefs because it provides you with accurate keyword data and many other functions that help you rank in Google.
There are two main ways to come up with article ideas:
- You have some ideas in mind; then you use a keyword research tool to find out if there are good keywords for these topics.
- You do a keyword search, come up with a list of suitable keywords and then decide which ones to cover in an article.
The focus keyword reflects the topic of your article. It can consist of one or two words or multiple words. As an example, the focus keyword of this article is “how to write an article.”
If you struggle to find good ideas, I recommend you read my article about how to find blog topics .
2. Find the search intent behind the keyword
When typing keywords into Google, you have a problem that you want to solve. You might want to learn more about a particular topic, you have a specific question, or you are looking for products to buy. The content of your article has to match the user’s search intent behind the keyword.
“How to” keywords make it easy: They phrase a question, and your article should answer this question. When someone searches for “best Italian restaurant in town,” the person doesn’t want to know what an Italian restaurant is, but how to find the best one.
Google knows this and will display local Italian restaurants with the best reviews. Also, rating websites like Tripadvisor make it to the top search results because they deliver the information the user is looking for: A short review about the best Italian restaurants, explaining why they are the best ones.
Because Google has, in most cases, a good idea about the search intent behind keywords, googling the keyword you want to rank for is always a good idea.
3. Find out how long your article needs to be
How long your article should be, depends on the topic and the competition. Some topics can be covered comprehensively in a short article. There is always the possibility to write more, but more is not always better. Again, keep the search intent in mind.
If the keywords indicate that the user looks for a simple, short answer, it’s better to keep it short. A long, detailed article would instead repel those readers. Take as an example: “How many strings does a guitar have.” This is a very basic question, and the person typing this into Google expects a short, simple answer. He or she doesn’t want to read a 1000-word article to find out.
But many topics are worth covering in detail. Someone who searches for “How to find the best electric bass guitar” would be thankful for a long, comprehensive article that answers all his questions. For these kinds of topics, you need to find out how long your article should at least be to have a realistic chance to rank for it. Googling your focus keyword is the easiest way to find out. Just check how long the top-ranking articles are and write one that is at least that long.
When you notice that your article is getting much longer than planned, decide if the added points are that important. If they truly add value, keep them. Check if they are highly related to the topic. If not, you can always cover them in a separate article.
4. Read competing articles
Take a close look at the articles that rank for your focus keyword. See if you can find good ideas in there and take some notes. This is not about copying your competition. It’s about getting inspired to make your article better.
5. Research the topic
Do deep research about the topic you want to write about. And simply googling your focus keyword and reading the top-ranking articles does not count as research. Ideally, you should already be knowledgeable about the topic.
The less you know, the more research you have to do. But even if you already know the subject in and out, check if there is new information available. For instance, when you write about CBD oil for anxiety, you may already know that CBD oil can help with anxiety and why. But there may still be a new study that you don’t know about. Covering the latest research that your competition hasn’t written about gives you a leading edge.
6. Brainstorm information to include
Once you know what you want to write about and gathered all the important information, you should do some brainstorming about what you want to cover in the article. There may be many points, likely, you won’t keep all of them. But writing them all down helps you to make sure that you don’t forget any vital information.
7. Come up with unique ideas
When you’re done with brainstorming, make sure that you have ideas with unique content that you cannot find anywhere else. If your article summarizes the top 5 ranking articles, you’re not providing value to your readers.
There are many ways to make a text unique, and it depends on the kind of article. If you’re an expert on the topic, you can give an expert opinion with unique insights. When it’s an informational article, try to find information you cannot find anywhere else.
And even if there’s no additional information, you can still provide value. For instance, by explaining a complex problem better than anyone else does. Or by illustrating a point with a story. There are many ways, be creative!
8. Write an outline
Before you start writing, write an outline to give the article some structure. It is not set in stone, and you can change it while writing. But it makes the writing process much more manageable.
No matter what kind of article you write, it should always have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
Further, each article should answer three questions in the following order:
- What (is it about)?
- Why (is it important)?
- How (to implement it)?
Answering these three questions gives your article a logical flow.
First, you have to let your readers know what the article is about. When you write about something that not everybody is familiar with, you’ll also have to explain what it is and give background information. For instance, when you write an article about magnesium, you should first mention that it is an essential mineral and review its role in the body.
The next step is then to explain why it’s important and why people should care. You would mention how common a magnesium deficiency is and what symptoms it causes.
In the last step, you would address the how and tell your readers how they can prevent a magnesium deficiency.
In how much detail you answer each of these questions is very individual and depends on the kind of article you write. When you write a “How to …” article, like the one you are currently reading, answering the “How” is the main part. Readers looking for “How to do something” already know what it is and why it’s important. So you can briefly answer the first two questions in the introduction and then spend the rest of the article answering the “How.”
But you can also have articles focusing on the “Why.” After briefly answering the “What,” you explain in detail why it is important. The “How” can then be a simple call to action, leading the reader to an article addressing the “How” or to a product that is solving the problem.
If you wrote about the detrimental health consequences of eating too much sugar, this would answer the question, “Why too much sugar is bad for you.” After your readers are convinced that too much sugar is very unhealthy, you can end the article with a call to action to your article about how to eat less sugar.
The What, Why and How questions can serve as a template that you can apply to any article.
9. Follow the rule of one
Following the rule of one is probably the most important advice when writing an article, and most writers don’t follow it. Yet, articles that fulfill this rule are the most successful ones. So when you apply it, you write better articles than most others.
The rule sounds simple but is not easy to follow. It means that you should dedicate the content to one single topic and don’t deviate from it. For instance, in the article you are currently reading, I stick to advice about how to write an article. I don’t tell you how to write an ebook .
You might think that many people who write articles also write ebooks, and this information might be of interest to them. This might be true. But it’s also true that people who don’t know how to get started with an article are probably not ready to write an ebook yet. That’s why I don’t include any advice about ebook writing and instead would link to an article about how to write an ebook.
You have to put yourself into the shoes of your readers. Keep the search intent of your focus keyword in mind. Someone who types these words into Google is looking for specific information. By deviating from it, you risk boring your readers and losing them.
That’s the last thing you want. And the good thing when writing online articles is that linking to other articles is very easy. So if you are not 100% sure if the information is of interest to all article readers, leave it out and simply link to the content with further information.
10. Avoid the curse of knowledge
It’s good to write about something you’re knowledgeable about. In the end, you have something to tell and to teach.
But when you write about a topic that you are very familiar with, you quickly fall into the trap of the curse of knowledge.
This can have two negative consequences, and you should avoid both like the plague.
- You tell your readers everything you know about the topic, or even worth, everything that is even loosely related to it
This is related to the rule of one. Many writers throw too much information at their readers, mostly because they want to demonstrate how much they know about a certain topic. They think that this signals credibility. What it really does is deviating from the subject and boring your readers.
- You don’t write in a way that your audience easily understands
The second danger is that you are using words your audience isn’t familiar with and assume your readers know something they don’t. Simply because you know so much about a certain topic, you cannot imagine how it is not knowing it. As an author, this problem can be very hard to spot. This is why editing is so important (see point 20)
But you’re losing people that way. Your readers might think that you’re smart, but they will nevertheless stop reading your content because they either find it not interesting or because they don’t understand it.
11. Include references from reliable sources
You should try to provide sources for the information you include. This makes you look credible and also gives your readers the chance to find out more. How many references you have to provide largely depends on the kind of article and the topic.
When you write about a personal experience, you won’t have to provide many sources, and even not mentioning any might be fine. When you write about how CBD oil can help with anxiety, you certainly want to link to some scientific studies proving your point.
12. Link to further information
No matter how long your article is, there is always more information about this topic. An easy way to provide value to your reader is to link to useful information. This can be to another article on your website or an external source.
Linking internally to other articles is also a valuable tool to stick to the point. When you catch yourself covering something that is not directly related to the topic, write a separate article about it and link to it.
Here’s an example of a link from one article to another.
13. Make it “snackable”
People who read online are often looking for quick information. They don’t sit down for three hours to read about a specific topic as they might do with a book. When they click on a Google search result, they skim through the article to see if it provides the information they are looking for. And even if they decide that the article is worth reading, they don’t want to read large text blocks.
For these reasons, you should
- Write short paragraphs
- Use many subheadings (as a rule of thumb, you should have at least one subheading every 300 words)
- Use bullet points where it makes sense
- Bold important information
- Use supporting infographics and pictures
- Summarize the most important points after a paragraph covering a lot of information
14. Make it an easy read
This point is related to the advice to make the content “snackable.” Furthermore, you should use uncomplicated language. Try to keep your sentences short and simple. Write in an active voice.
And avoid technical terms unless you’re 100% sure that your audience is familiar with them.
How “easy” the content is, depends, of course, on your audience’s background knowledge. To be precise, it should be an easy read for your audience, not necessarily for everyone.
15. Use the language of your audience
When you write an article for medical doctors, your tone and language differ from when you write for laypeople. Always keep your audience in mind and try to adopt their language. This way, your content relates to them, and it is easier to connect to them and build trust.
16. Write a compelling introduction
The introduction should explain why the article is relevant and how it solves the reader’s problems. You should keep it short and come straight to the point. The intro helps readers decide whether the article answers their question and it’s worth reading or whether they should look further.
For this reason, your introduction should raise the reader’s interest, but it should also reflect the content of the article. If you make false promises in your intro, you’ll disappoint your readers, and you risk that they won’t read your content in the future.
Mentioning a statistic, a quote, or an interesting, relevant fact is also an excellent way to start an article.
I personally prefer to write the introduction after writing the body of the article. I may write some notes before writing the article and then write it out later. Once the article is written, you have a clearer picture of the article’s content and how to lead into it.
17. End with a strong conclusion
It is a good idea to write the conclusion last. But when writing the article, you should already know what the conclusion is so that you can build up to it. As for the introduction, you can write down the points you want to mention and write them out later.
There are many different ways to write the conclusion. In many cases, it’s a good idea to summarize the article and emphasize the main takeaway. A call to action is also an excellent way to end an article.
I n the end, your article has a purpose, and you want your readers to do something after reading it.
You can guide them to further content, your products or ask them to sign-up for your newsletter, enquire about a product, service, or read an article. These are just a few examples; there are many more!
Here’s an example of a clear call to action for ketogenic meal plans.
18. Remove non-important and redundant information
Some people say that they try to shorten their text by one third once they are done writing. How much you have to shorten your text depends on your writing style. If you tend to write very wordy, include non-relevant information, and even repeat information, you’ll have to shorten a lot. When you already write concisely, removing a little bit here and there will be enough. But in general, shortening your text during the editing process will make your article a better read.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot write long articles. But they should be packed with information. That means that to fill a long article, you need a lot of information. Take this article as an example. It’s 3,500 words +, but it provides 21 useful tips, and every single one is valuable. So, your article should have substance. The worst thing is reading an article that says nothing. It’s a waste of time for your readers (and also a waste of time writing it).
19. Edit, edit, edit
Once you’re done writing, the editing starts. Editing can take as long as the writing itself or even longer. You often find the advice not to edit while writing because writing and editing are two separate processes. I don’t think this applies to everyone and largely depends on your writing style.
When you try to get everything perfect in the first draft, writing takes much longer, but you save time editing. When you write everything down as fast as possible, you’re done writing in no time, but editing will probably take longer than writing.
20. Ask someone for feedback
Having someone to edit your article and to provide feedback will always improve your article. This person will likely notice a few language flaws, even if you are a native speaker and your grammar and writing is very good.
The person can also tell you if the article’s structure makes sense and if the transitions are easy to follow. Most importantly, the editor can tell you whether everything is easy to understand. For this reason, it can be an advantage to have a non-expert. This is especially important when writing for lay people.
21. Make a final grammar check
Once the article went through some rounds of editing, you should do a final grammar check. Grammarly is a popular choice that detects most grammar flaws, suggests synonyms, and also checks punctuation. This is especially important when you’re not a native English speaker. But even if you’re native, a grammar checking program can make the text better.
The bottom line
Writing an article may seem simple, but it involves many steps. It’s not only about the writing; it’s also about finding ideas, doing research, and editing the article. Altogether, they can take more time and effort than the writing itself.
Outsourcing articles can save you a lot of time and lets you focus on other parts of your business. Writing Studio has expert writers who can take care of all these steps. They know how to write articles that rank in Google and drive high-value traffic to your website.
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Whether you're just starting out or already have some experience, we offer various Writing courses designed to fit your needs. Curated from top educational institutions and industry leaders, our selection of Writing courses aims to provide quality training for everyone—from individual learners seeking personal growth to corporate teams looking to upskill. For those pursuing professional advancement, skill acquisition, or even a new career path, these Writing courses can be a valuable resource. Take the next step in your professional journey and enroll in a Writing course today!
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Michigan State University
Write Your First Novel
Skills you'll gain : Storytelling
Beginner · Course · 3 - 6 Months
University of Michigan
Good with Words: Writing and Editing
Skills you'll gain : Writing, Communication, Leadership and Management, Professional Development, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Planning, Resilience
Beginner · Specialization · 3 - 6 Months
Skills you'll gain : Creativity, Human Learning, Storytelling, Writing
University of California, Irvine
Academic English: Writing
Skills you'll gain : Writing
Writing in the Sciences
Beginner · Course · 1 - 3 Months
English Composition I
Writing in English at University
Beginner · Course · 1 - 4 Weeks
University of Colorado Boulder
Skills you'll gain : Communication, Writing, Business Communication, Critical Thinking, Professional Development, Natural Language Processing, Decision Making, Reinforcement Learning, Strategy, Visual Design
Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order
Skills you'll gain : Writing, Creativity, Resilience
Grammar and Punctuation
Mixed · Course · 1 - 4 Weeks
Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself
Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation
Skills you'll gain : Communication, Writing, Visual Design, Business Design, Computer Graphics, Creativity, Design and Product, Graphic Design, Interactive Design, Marketing Design, Visualization (Computer Graphics), Business Communication, Professional Development, Critical Thinking, Leadership and Management, Decision Making, Natural Language Processing, Strategy, Reinforcement Learning, Emotional Intelligence
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In summary, here are 10 of our most popular writing courses.
- Write Your First Novel : Michigan State University
- Good with Words: Writing and Editing : University of Michigan
- Creative Writing : Wesleyan University
- Academic English: Writing : University of California, Irvine
- Writing in the Sciences : Stanford University
- English Composition I : Duke University
- Writing in English at University : Lund University
- Business Writing : University of Colorado Boulder
- Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order : University of Michigan
- Grammar and Punctuation : University of California, Irvine
Skills you can learn in Business Essentials
Frequently asked questions about writing, what are the best free writing courses .
If you're looking for the best free writing courses on the web, then look no further! Coursera has you covered with a wide variety of writing classes from Novel Writing to Journalism to Scientific Writing to English Composition to Poetry Workshop . There is something for everyone looking to hone their writing skills.
What are the best writing courses for beginners?
If you're just getting started with writing and looking for a comprehensive suite of courses, Coursera offers great options. The Writing for Business course provides a good foundation for clear and effective business writing. For those interested in honing their editing skills, Writing, Editing, & Words and Writing, Editing, & Structure cover writing process, drafting and revision for maximum clarity. Writing Your World and Writing About Ourselves focus on creative writing development with personal and fictional stories.
What are the best advanced writing courses?
For those looking to take their writing skills to the next level, Coursera offers excellent advanced writing courses. The Just Reading and Writing English course is a great resource for anyone wanting to brush up on their reading and writing skills. Additionally, for those looking for more in-depth grammar instruction, the English: Writing and Grammar: Adverb Clauses , English: Writing and Grammar: Noun Clauses , and English: Writing and Grammar: Adjective Clauses classes provide comprehensive instruction. Finally, Copy of Glasscock: Writing: Grammar & Style delves into the art of editing and revising, allowing users to learn the more nuanced aspects of writing.
Why is it important to learn to write?
Alongside verbal communication and body language, writing is one of the most essential forms of interpersonal communication. In the workplace, strong writing skills allow you to send persuasive emails to your boss or clarify complicated instructions with coworkers. In your personal life, writing allows you to keep in touch with friends and family members via texts, social media posts, or traditional letters.
Not all writing is intended for interpersonal communication. Sometimes you simply need to write to organize your thoughts or record information for later use. Writing things down by hand can also improve your memory retention and understanding of a subject.
What are typical careers that use writing?
Writing is an essential skill if you want to pursue a career in a field such as copywriting, journalism, technical writing, or scriptwriting. Copywriters use their writing to persuade audiences to try a service, buy a product, or participate in an event. Journalists write about current events, and their work can help people make informed daily decisions. Technical writers break down complex processes into more concise and easy-to-understand text. Scriptwriters, novelists, and poets produce artistic works that entertain, inspire, and inform audiences. Artistic works can also challenge viewers to explore a new perspective.
Many other career paths are also writing-intensive. For example, public relations specialists need to constantly communicate with the press and public in media releases, and scientific researchers often have to record and share their findings in academic papers.
How can online courses on Coursera help me learn about writing?
Online courses on Coursera will help you learn or brush up on the basics of spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. Mastering these elements of writing gives you a foundation to build on. Courses in storytelling take your education a step further, offering lessons on crafting coherent and creative narratives. Other courses focus on more specific areas of interest, such as technical writing, poetry, journalism, and personal essays. You can take the lessons at your own pace and work on the lessons from anywhere that has internet access.
What are the benefits of taking an online Writing course?
Online Writing courses offer a convenient and flexible way to enhance your knowledge or learn new Writing skills. Choose from a wide range of Writing courses offered by top universities and industry leaders tailored to various skill levels.
What Writing courses are best for training and upskilling employees or the workforce?
Choosing the best Writing course depends on your employees' needs and skill levels. Leverage our Skills Dashboard to understand skill gaps and determine the most suitable course for upskilling your workforce effectively. Learn more about Coursera for Business here .
How to Write an Article: A Proven Step-by-Step Guide
Are you dreaming of becoming a notable writer or looking to enhance your content writing skills? Whatever your reasons for stepping into the writing world, crafting compelling articles can open numerous opportunities. Writing, when viewed as a skill rather than an innate talent, is something anyone can master with persistence, practice, and the proper guidance.
That’s precisely why I’ve created this comprehensive guide on ‘how to write an article.’ Whether you’re pursuing writing as a hobby or eyeing it as a potential career path, understanding the basics will lead you to higher levels of expertise. This step-by-step guide has been painstakingly designed based on my content creation experience. Let’s embark on this captivating journey toward becoming an accomplished article writer!
What is an Article?
An article is more than words stitched together cohesively; it’s a carefully crafted medium expressing thoughts, presenting facts, sharing knowledge, or narrating stories. Essentially encapsulating any topic under the sun (or beyond!), an article is a versatile format meant to inform, entertain, or persuade readers.
Articles are ubiquitous; they grace your morning newspaper (or digital equivalents), illuminate blogs across various platforms, inhabit scholarly journals, and embellish magazines. Irrespective of their varying lengths and formats, which range from news reports and features to opinion pieces and how-to guides, all articles share some common objectives. Learning how to write this type of content involves mastering the ability to meet these underlying goals effectively.
Objectives of Article Writing
The primary goal behind learning how to write an article is not merely putting words on paper. Instead, you’re trying to communicate ideas effectively. Each piece of writing carries unique objectives intricately tailored according to the creator’s intent and the target audience’s interests. Generally speaking, when you immerse yourself in writing an article, you should aim to achieve several fundamental goals.
First, deliver value to your readers. An engaging and informative article provides insightful information or tackles a problem your audience faces. You’re not merely filling up pages; you must offer solutions, present new perspectives, or provide educational material.
Next comes advancing knowledge within a specific field or subject matter. Especially relevant for academic or industry-focused writings, articles are often used to spread original research findings and innovative concepts that strengthen our collective understanding and drive progress.
Another vital objective for those mastering how to write an article is persuasion. This can come in various forms: convincing people about a particular viewpoint or motivating them to make a specific choice. Articles don’t always have to be neutral; they can be powerful tools for shifting public opinion.
Finally, let’s not forget entertainment – because who said only fictional work can entertain? Articles can stir our emotions or pique our interest with captivating storytelling techniques. It bridges the gap between reader and writer using shared experiences or universal truths.
Remember that high-quality content remains common across all boundaries despite these distinct objectives. No matter what type of writer you aspire to become—informative, persuasive, educational, or entertaining—strive for clarity, accuracy, and stimulation in every sentence you craft.
What is the Format of an Article?
When considering how to write an article, understanding its foundation – in this case, the format – should be at the top of your list. A proper structure is like a blueprint, providing a direction for your creative construction.
First and foremost, let’s clarify one essential point: articles aren’t just homogenous chunks of text. A well-crafted article embodies different elements that merge to form an engaging, informative body of work. Here are those elements in order:
- The Intriguing Title
At the top sits the title or heading; it’s your first chance to engage with a reader. This element requires serious consideration since it can determine whether someone will continue reading your material.
- Engaging Introduction
Next comes the introduction, where you set expectations and hint at what’s to come. An artfully written introduction generates intrigue and gives readers a compelling reason to stick around.
- Informative Body
The main body entails a detailed exploration of your topic, often broken down into subtopics or points for more manageable consumption and better flow of information.
- Impactful Conclusion
Lastly, you have the conclusion, where you tie everything neatly together by revisiting key points and offering final thoughts.
While these components might appear straightforward on paper, mastering them requires practice, experimentation with writing styles, and a good understanding of your target audience.
By putting in the work to familiarize yourself with how to create articles and how they’re structured, you’ll soon discover new ways to develop engaging content each time you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!). Translating complex concepts into digestible content doesn’t need to feel daunting anymore! Now that we’ve tackled the format, our focus can shift to what should be included in an article.
What Should Be in an Article?
Understanding that specific items should be featured in your writing is crucial. A well-crafted article resembles a neatly packed suitcase – everything has its place and purpose.
First and foremost, you need essential information. Start by presenting the topic plainly so readers can grasp its relevance immediately. This sets the tone of why you are writing the article. The degree of depth at this point will depend on your audience; be mindful not to overwhelm beginners with too much jargon or over-simplify things for experts.
Secondly, every article must have an engaging introduction—this acts as the hook that reels your audience. Think of it as a movie trailer—it offers a taste of what’s to come without giving away all the details.
Third is the body, wherein you get into the crux of your argument or discussion. This is the point at which you present your ideas sequentially, along with supporting evidence or examples. Depending on the nature of your topic and personal style, this may vary from storytelling forms to more analytical breakdowns.
Lastly, you’ll need a fitting conclusion that wraps up all previously discussed points, effectively tying together every loose thread at the end. This helps cement your main ideas within the reader’s mind even after they’ve finished reading.
- Critical Information: Provides context for understanding
- Introduction: Sheds further light on what will follow while piquing interest
- Body: Discusses topic intricacies using narratives or case studies
- Conclusion: Ties up loose ends and reemphasizes important takeaways
In my experience writing articles for beginners and experts alike, I found these elements indispensable when conveying complex topics articulately and professionally. Always keep them at hand when looking to produce written material.
How should you structure an article?
Crafting a well-structured article is akin to assembling a puzzle – every piece has its place and purpose. Let’s look at how to create the perfect skeleton for your content.
The introduction is your article’s welcome mat. It should be inviting and informative, briefly outlining what a reader can expect from your writing. Additionally, it must instantly grab the readers’ attention so they feel compelled to continue reading. To master the art of creating effective introductions, remember these key points:
- Keep it short and precise.
- Use compelling hooks like quotes or intriguing facts.
- State clearly what the article will cover without revealing everything upfront.
Moving on, you encounter the body of your piece. This segment expands on the ideas outlined in the introduction while presenting fresh subtopics related to your core story. If we compare article writing to crossing a bridge, each paragraph represents a step toward the other side (the conclusion). Here are some tips for maintaining orderliness within your body:
- Stick closely to one idea per paragraph as it enhances readability.
- Ensure paragraphs flow logically by utilizing transitional words or sentences.
- Offer evidence or examples supporting your claims and reinforce credibility.
As you approach the far side of our imaginary bridge, we reach an equally essential section of the article known as the conclusion. At this point, you should be looking to wrap your message up neatly while delivering on what was initially promised during the introduction. This section summarizes the main points, providing closure and ensuring readers feel satisfied.
Remember this golden rule when writing the conclusion: follow the “Describe what you’re going to tell them (Introduction), tell them (Body), and then summarize what you told them (Conclusion).” It’s a proven formula for delivering informative, engaging, and well-structured articles.
One final tip before moving on: maintaining an active voice significantly enhances clarity for your readers. It makes them feel like they’re participating actively in the story unfolding within your article. In addition, it helps ensure easy readability, which is vital for keeping your audience engaged.
Tips for Writing a Good Article
A persuasive, engaging, and insightful article requires careful thought and planning. Half the battle won is by knowing how to start writing and make content captivating. Below are vital tips that can enhance your article writing skills.
Heading or Title
An audience’s first impression hinges on the quality of your title. A good heading should be clear, attention-grabbing, and give an accurate snapshot of what’s contained in the piece’s body. Here are a few guidelines on how to create an impactful title:
- Make it Compelling: Your title needs to spark interest and motivate readers to delve further into your work.
- Keep it concise: You want to have a manageable heading. Aim for brevity yet inclusiveness.
- Optimize with keywords: To boost search engine visibility, sprinkle relevant keywords naturally throughout your title.
By applying these techniques, you can increase reader engagement right from the get-go.
Body of the Article
After winning over potential readers with your catchy title, it’s time to provide substantial content in the form of the body text. Here’s how articles are typically structured:
Introduction: Begin by providing an appealing overview that hooks your audience and baits them to read more. You can ask poignant questions or share interesting facts about your topic here.
Main Content: Build on the groundwork set by your introduction. Lay out detailed information in a logical sequence with clear articulation.
Conclusion: This reemphasizes the critical points discussed in the body while delivering a lasting impression of why those points matter.
Remember that clarity is critical when drafting each part because our objective here is to share information and communicate effectively. Properly understanding this approach ensures that the writing experience becomes creative and productive.
Step By Step Guide for Article Writing
How do you write an article that engages your readers from the first line until the last? That’s what most writers, whether beginners or seasoned pros are trying to achieve. I’ll describe a step-by-step process for crafting such gripping articles in this guide.
Step 1: Find Your Target Audience
First and foremost, identify your target readers. Speaking directly to a specific group improves engagement and helps you craft messages that resonate deeply. To pinpoint your audience:
- Take note of demographic attributes like age, gender, and profession.
- Consider their preferences and needs.
- Look into how much knowledge they are likely to possess concerning your topic.
Knowing this will help you decide what tone, language, and style best suits your readers. Remember, by understanding your audience better, you make it much easier to provide them with engaging content.
Step 2: Select a Topic and an Attractive Heading
Having understood your audience, select a relevant topic based on their interests and questions. Be sure it’s one you can competently discuss. When deciding how to start writing an article, ensure it begins with a captivating title.
A title should hint at what readers will gain from the article without revealing everything. Maintain some element of intrigue or provocation. For example, ‘6 Essentials You Probably Don’t Know About Gardening’ instead of just ‘Gardening Tips’.
Step 3: Research is Key
Good research is crucial to building credibility for beginners and experts alike. It prevents errors that could tarnish your piece immensely.
Thoroughly explore relevant books, scholarly articles, or reputable online resources. Find facts that build authenticity while debunking misconceptions that relate to your topic. Take notes on critical points discovered during this process—it’ll save you time when creating your first draft.
Step 4: Write a Comprehensive Brief
Having done your research, it’s time to write an outline or a brief—a roadmap for your article. This conveys how articles are written systematically without losing track of the main points.
Begin by starting the introduction with a punchy opener that draws readers in and a summary of what they’ll glean from reading. Section out specific points and ideas as separate headings and bullet points under each section to form the body. A conclusion rounds things up by restating key takeaways.
Step 5: Write and Proofread
Now comes the bulk of the work—writing. Respect the brief created earlier to ensure consistency and structure while drafting content. Use short, clear sentences while largely avoiding jargon unless absolutely necessary.
Post-writing, proofread ardently to check for typographical errors, inconsistent tenses, and poor sentence structures—and don’t forget factual correctness! It helps to read aloud, which can reveal awkward phrases that slipped through initial edits.
Step 6: Add Images and Infographics
To break text monotony and increase comprehension, introduce visuals such as images, infographics, or videos into your piece. They provide aesthetic relief while supporting the main ideas, increasing overall engagement.
Remember to source royalty-free images or get permission for copyrighted ones—you don’t want legal battles later!
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Article Writing
Regarding article writing, a few pitfalls can compromise the quality of your content. Knowing these and how to avoid them will enhance your work’s clarity, depth, and impact.
The first mistake often made is skimping on research. An article without solid underpinnings won’t merely be bland – it might mislead readers. Therefore, prioritize comprehensive investigation before penning down anything. Understanding common misconceptions or misinterpretations about your topic will strengthen your case.
Next, sidestep unnecessary jargon or excessively complex language. While showcasing an impressive vocabulary might seem appealing, remember that your primary objective is imparting information efficiently and effectively.
Moreover, failing to structure articles effectively represents another standard error. A structured piece aids in delivering complex ideas coherently. Maintaining a logical sequence facilitates reader comprehension, whether explaining a detailed concept or narrating an incident.
A piece lacking aesthetic allure can fail its purpose regardless of the value of its text. That’s where images come into play. Neglecting them is an all-too-common mistake among beginners. Relevant pictures inserted at appropriate junctures serve as visual breaks from texts and stimulate interest among readers.
Lastly, proofreading is vital in determining whether you can deliver a well-written article. Typos and grammatical errors can significantly undermine professional credibility while disrupting a smooth reading experience.
So, when pondering how articles are written, avoiding these mistakes goes a long way toward producing high-quality content that embodies both substance and style. Remember: practice is paramount when learning how to write excellent material!
How to Write an Article with SEOwind AI Writer?
Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence has been a major step in many industries. One such significant tool is SEOwind AI Writer, which is critical for those curious about how to write an article leveraging AI. In this section, I’ll cover how you can effectively use SEOwind AI writer to create compelling articles.
Step 1: Create a Brief and Outline
The first step in writing an article revolves around understanding your audience’s interests and then articulating them in a comprehensive brief that outlines the content’s framework.
- Decide on the topic: What ideas will you share via your article?
- Define your audience: Knowing who will read your text significantly influences your tone, style, and content depth.
- Establish main points: Highlight the key points or arguments you wish to exhibit in your drafted piece. This helps create a skeleton for your work and maintain a logical flow of information.
- you get all the content and keyword research for top-performing content in one place,
- you can generate a comprehensive AI outline with one click,
- users can quickly create a title, description, and keywords that match the topic you’re writing about.
As insightful as it might seem, having a roadmap doubles as a guide throughout the creative process. SEOwind offers a user-friendly interface that allows the easy input of essential elements like keywords, title suggestions, content length, etc. These provide an insightful outline, saving time with an indispensable tool that demonstrates the practicality of article writing.
Step 2: Write an AI Article using SEOwind
Once you have a brief ready, you can write an AI article with a single click. It will consider all the data you provided and much more, such as copywriting and SEO best practices , to deliver content that ranks.
Step 3: Give it a Human Touch
Finally, SEOwind’s intuitive platform delivers impeccably constructed content to dispel any confusion about writing an article. The result is inevitably exceptional, with well-structured sentences and logically sequenced sections that meet your demands.
However, artificial intelligence can sometimes miss the unique personal touch that enhances relatability in communication—making articles more compelling. Let’s master adding individualistic charm to personalize articles so that they resonate with audiences.
Tailoring the AI-generated piece with personal anecdotes or custom inputs helps to break the monotony and bolster engagement rates. Always remember to tweak essential SEO elements like meta descriptions and relevant backlinks.
So, whether it’s enhancing casual language flow or eliminating robotic consistency, the slightest modifications can breathe life into the text and transform your article into a harmonious man-machine effort. Remember – it’s not just about technology making life easy but also how effectively we utilize this emerging trend!
Common Questions on how to write an article
Delving into the writing world, especially regarding articles, can often lead to a swarm of questions. Let’s tackle some common queries that newbies and seasoned writers frequently stumble upon to make your journey more comfortable and rewarding.
What is the easiest way to write an article?
The easiest way to write an article begins with a clear structure. Here are five simple steps you can follow:
- Identify your audience: The first thing you should consider while planning your article is who will read it? Identifying your target audience helps shape the article’s content, style, and purpose.
- Decide on a topic and outline: Determining what to write about can sometimes be a formidable task. Try to ensure you cover a topic you can cover effectively or for which you feel great passion. Next, outline the main points you want to present throughout your piece.
- Do the research: Dig deep into resources for pertinent information regarding your topic and gather as much knowledge as possible. An informed writer paves the way for a knowledgeable reader.
- Drafting phase: Begin with an engaging introduction followed by systematically fleshing out each point from your outline in body paragraphs before ending with conclusive remarks tying together all the earlier arguments.
- Fine-tune through editing and proofreading: Errors happen no matter how qualified or experienced a writer may be! So make sure to edit and proofread before publishing.
Keep these keys in mind and remain patient and persistent. There’s no easier alternative for writing an article.
How can I write an article without knowing about the topic?
We sometimes need to write about less familiar subjects – but do not fret! Here’s my approach:
- First off, start by thoroughly researching subject-centric reliable sources. The more information you have, the better poised you are to write confidently about it.
- While researching, take notes and highlight the most essential points.
- Create an outline by organizing these points logically – this essentially becomes your article’s backbone.
- Start writing based on your research and outlined structure. If certain aspects remain unclear, keep investigating until clarity prevails.
Getting outside your comfort zone can be daunting, but is also a thrilling chance to expand your horizons.
What is your process for writing an article quickly?
In terms of speed versus quality in writing an article – strikingly enough, they aren’t mutually exclusive. To produce a high-quality piece swiftly, adhere to the following steps:
- Establish purpose and audience: Before cogs start turning on phrase-spinning, be clear on why you’re writing and who will likely read it.
- Brainstorm broadly, then refine: Cast a wide net initially regarding ideas around your topic. Then, narrow down those areas that amplify your core message or meet objectives.
- Create a robust outline: A detailed roadmap prevents meandering during actual writing and saves time!
- Ignore perfection in the first draft: Speed up initial drafting by prioritizing getting your thoughts on paper over perfect grammar or sentence compositions.
- Be disciplined with edits and revisions: Try adopting a cut, shorten, and replace mantra while trimming fluff without mercy!
Writing quickly requires practice and strategic planning – but rest assured, it’s entirely possible!
Table of Contents
- 1 What is an Article?
- 2 Objectives of Article Writing
- 3 What is the Format of an Article?
- 4 What Should Be in an Article?
- 5 How should you structure an article?
- 6 Tips for Writing a Good Article
- 7 Step By Step Guide for Article Writing
- 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Article Writing
- 9 How to Write an Article with SEOwind AI Writer?
- 10 Common Questions on how to write an article
- How to Use AI for Content Creation – Power Up Your Strategy
- AI-Automated Content Creation – Unleash the Power of AI
- AI-Generated Content: Unveiling the Future
- Affiliate program
- Terms and Conditions
- The Ultimate Content and On-page Optimization Checklist
- SEOwind vs MarketMuse vs Frase
- SEOwind vs Marketmuse vs Clearscope
© 2023 SEOwind.
Explore online writing courses and programs
Why learn writing skills.
The ability to write well is a foundational skill for communication in both personal and professional settings. Writing allows you to express thoughts, opinions, ideas, and emotions. It facilitates connections between people and allows them to engage in the type of discourse that can lead to discovery and progress.
Clear and concise writing that conveys information both accurately and precisely can help guide people’s decision making and actions. The style of writing can express the importance and sense of urgency behind a message. The flow of writing can change the emotions that people feel when reading those words.
Whether you are writing a script for a podcast, crafting an email to your colleagues, or penning a message to a family member, strong writing skills can significantly improve how the communication is delivered and how it is received.
Browse online writing classes
Stand out in your field, learn at your own pace, earn a valuable credential, related topics, online writing course curriculum.
With online writing courses, any learner can master the skills needed to become a strong writer. Start with the fundamentals in an online grammar course, where you can learn about the different parts of speech, punctuation, conjugation, and sentence structure. Or more advanced writers can practice their storytelling and persuasive writing skills with an essay writing course. Develop your own style by reading and analyzing the works of other writers, and explore how to write in different formats and tones in creative writing courses.
You can even find courses that teach writing for specific contexts. For example, a business writing class may cover how to relay tough feedback or how to adjust your tone to build consensus.
For learners interested in advancing their knowledge in a variety of subjects, edX offers a range of educational opportunities, including boot camps , as well as bachelor's degree programs, and master’s degree programs. Explore how online education can help you build the critical skills you need and get started learning today.
Explore writing jobs
Clear writing and communication skills are assets in nearly every industry. Regardless of whether you work as a lawyer or a mathematician, you will likely need to be capable of crafting a well-written message.
But for those who enjoy writing, there are careers that can leverage their talents, including:
Journalist: Writes news or feature articles for video, online, or print publications.
Novelist or author: Focuses on storytelling by writing longform fiction and nonfiction.
Copywriter: Writes marketing-driven copy such as advertisements and emails.
Communications or public relations specialist: Delivers strategic messages on behalf of a client or an organization.
Speech writer: Crafts speeches for individuals including leaders or lawmakers.
Screenwriter: Develops scripts for movies, television shows, and other visual media.
Editor: Reviews and revises written materials for accuracy, clarity, and style.
How to start a career in writing
Writing takes practice. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the field, it’s important to ensure that you have a mastery of the fundamentals of writing. You can build those skills through instruction and coursework in which you have to apply what you have learned. That means responding to prompts, writing essays, and critically reviewing your work to better understand how you can improve.
Writing also requires expertise. While you can be a general writer, somebody who wants to pursue a technical writing career, for example, will need background knowledge of that field in order to be able to understand what they are reporting on or writing about. A strong understanding of how to research, interview, and source can also be beneficial for aspiring professionals in this space.
If you dream of being the next great writer, begin honing your craft with online courses delivered through edX.
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Master's degrees, bachelor's degrees, writing faq.
Effective writing is clear and accurate and provides enough context to engage readers and help them understand the message you are trying to deliver. For example, journalists provide context by focusing on the “who, what, when, where, and why” of a situation.
There are many different types of writing including, but not limited to: persuasive writing, creative writing, poetry, script writing, journalism, nonfiction, academic writing, speech writing, and song writing.
Learners develop writing skills at their own pace. Developing mastery takes practice and time.
Sometimes grammatical rules are not universally applicable, which can make them difficult to remember. Everyone has different learning styles and speeds. Memorization can help, but practice is key.
There are online courses that can help you learn how to organize your ideas and develop your voice for a business setting. You can practice writing effective emails, reports, and presentations.
Aspiring creative writers can develop their skills by taking classes that not only teach them about the essential elements of storytelling, but also give them opportunities to practice writing and critiquing both their own work and the work of other writers.
Last updated June 2023
Learning to write is a process, one that requires consistent hard work and determination—and perhaps some magic! But, as with any other skill, it’s important to work hard on the right thing.
Instead of providing a list of pointers on how to learn to write for general purposes, this guide will offer eight key tips that will help you learn how to write creatively.
Learn to Write with 8 Simple Tips
1. how to learn to write: take a writing class.
A writing class is a great place for writers to begin—it’s also where this writer first learned to write! The writing class is great for all kinds of learners as it provides a range of learning formats, including lectures, discussions, and workshops. The most valuable aspect of taking a writing course, however, is that it provides a supportive environment for writers.
In my experience, taking classes helped me to get over my fear of the blank page by showing me multiple approaches to beginning a poem, short story, or essay. Having the structure of a writing course was particularly helpful, as it kept me accountable to my goals.
writers.com has a great roster of creative writing courses . But, before you sign up for a writing class, I would suggest that you do some research. Some questions to ask include: who’s teaching? Are there prerequisites? What is the class size? If you’re looking for an online writing class, this guide offers some great tips!
Our Upcoming Online Writing Courses:
The Wandering Heart: Tales of Connection
with Giulietta Nardone
November 29th, 2023
Wander through the rooms of your own life to discover stories of deep connection, reconnection or loss of connection and fashion your findings into stories suitable for blog posts, essays, short memoirs, short plays, scenes in screenplays, or chapters of novels.
Poems of All Sizes: Haiku, Tanka, and Japanese Poetic Forms
with Miho Kinnas
November 30th, 2023
Explore the history and poetics of Japanese poetry forms, and write haiku, tanka, renga, haiga, and linked verse poetry.
Kickstart Your Novel
with Eman Quotah
December 3rd, 2023
How do novelists turn an idea into a published book? Gain the confidence to be a novelist in this transformational 3 hour workshop.
Show and Tell: How to Write Captivating Memoir and Nonfiction
with Brad Wetzler
December 5th, 2023
Your true story of healing or transformation can captivate and empower your readers. Learn how to balance showing the vivid details of your own journey with telling the broader themes for readers to apply in their own lives.
Call of the Weird: Poetry and Nature
with Caitlin Scarano
December 6th, 2023
Turn your poetic lens towards the outdoors in this six week workshop, where we'll put to verse everything strange and wonderful about the natural world.
2. How to Learn to Write: Read
Reading is bread and butter for a writer no matter what stage of their career they’re at. Reading is how we both discover what we gravitate to and, inevitably, learn to write. Writers read not just for fun, but also with a critical lens, noting techniques that we can apply to our own work. Indeed, reading as a writer is a skill that’s very different from reading as a reader, as a student, or even as a scholar. Check out this article to learn more about reading as a writer.
For a more comprehensive guide, I recommend Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer: a Guide for People who Love Books and for those who Want to Write Them .
3. How to Learn to Write: Set an intention
Before you start learning to write, take a moment to think about these questions: in an ideal world, what do you want to write? Who would you like to write for? If you’re unsure how to answer these questions, I recommend first listing a few books and/or authors that inspire you. What do these books have in common?
The objective of setting an intention is not to pose an “endpoint” for yourself. Rather, it is to provide yourself with a direction with which to begin . Let’s say that I am interested in writing high-fantasy books like The Lord of the Rings . Although there’s nothing wrong with setting that as my goal and making a step-by-step plan to achieve that goal, having a specified endpoint, in my experience, often becomes debilitating for my writing process. For one, I may become discouraged when I find that my first draft has nothing in common with Tolkien’s epic. Or, I may find that realism comes more naturally to me and feel frustrated that I am not following the path I had planned to take.
In contrast, approaching The Lord of the Rings as a direction (rather than as a goal) looks more like amassing a set of skills. For example, I might begin by practicing the technique of worldbuilding, or the creation of a fantasy world. I might then decide to try my hand at crafting memorable characters . This way, even if your tastes or goals evolve in the writing process (and they will!), you will have developed a skillset that is transferable to other forms of writing.
4. How to Learn to Write: Start
Every writer has a different starting point. For Louise Erdrich, it is often the voice of a character that helps her begin her novel. For others, it may be a narrative situation or personal experience. It is a good idea to experiment with different approaches to beginning. This allows you to not only learn what helps you write, but also challenge yourself as a writer.
When you’re just starting to learn how to write, expect that what you write won’t come out the way you want it. This is natural – all writers, even experienced ones, undergo this process. The important thing is to start and know that your writing does not have to be perfect at first try. The beauty of writing is that you don’t have to show it to anyone until you want to.
With that said, I suggest that you keep all of your writing, even if you don’t like it. You never know when you’ll find it interesting again!
5. How to Learn to Write: Use writing exercises
When the possibilities are endless, it can be difficult to begin. If you find yourself wavering, I recommend using a writing exercise to help jumpstart your process and learn how to write. Even if you don’t end up using what you generated, writing exercises are a great way to learn to write. To begin, check out this article !
If you’re in need of more prompts (and a supportive community!), our Facebook group is also a great resource.
6. How to Learn to Write: Understand the writing process
To learn how to write, it is essential to understand the nature of the writing process, which is often not as straightforward or linear as you think. Make no mistake: even accomplished writers go through multiple drafts, as the writer Anne Lamott shares in Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life . The good news, however, is that there is absolutely no pressure on your first draft—in fact, Lamott actively strives to write a “shitty first draft.”
Often, a piece of writing goes through massive changes from first draft to last. It is hard work, but the bright side of this is that you do not need to plan out the details of your book before you start writing. As the novelist E. L. Doctorow once said, “ Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
In addition to working actively on your draft, it’s important to schedule in time for your draft to “rest,” too. Stephen King, for example, shares in On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft that he shuts his first draft up in his drawer for at least six weeks before revisiting it. This rest time, King explains, helps to create distance and allows the writer to assess their own writing in a more objective manner.
7. How to Learn to Write: Understand yourself.
Of the eight tips in this article, this is perhaps the most important point. By “understanding yourself,” I don’t mean “discovering” your “true self” or “psyche.” Instead, I mean understanding your habits, strengths, likes, and dislikes. In my experience, the most challenging part of learning to write is starting. Understanding what helps you to write on a practical level can alleviate this pressure and create the conditions you need to help your creative juices flow.
To begin, here is a list of things you might want to experiment with:
- Writing requirements: Are you a pen and paper writer? Do you type? Do you do both? If you do both, do you write your first draft and type the second, or vice versa?
- Physical space: Do you need to have your own room—where you will have no distractions—like Zadie Smith, or can you write at the dining table with children running around you, like Suzan Lori-Parks? Do you write best when you have a window you can look out of, or do you need to minimize distractions in your environment?
- Daily schedules: When are you free and most productive? For Toni Morrison, who had young children when she first started writing, it was the time before sunrise. For H. P. Lovecraft, it was at night.
- Routines: Although many say that writers have to write in the morning every single day, the best writing schedule, in my opinion, is one that makes sense for your own life. Do note that even if you have an established writing routine, it may change according to life circumstances. It’s important to be flexible and willing to try new approaches when you feel like your established routine no longer works.
- Writerly tendencies: What genre captivates you, and what genre comes most intuitively to you? Note that these may not necessarily be the same! Personally, I started writing with the intention of writing fiction, but have since written more poetry and nonfiction. I’d encourage you to learn how to write in all three genres—what you find may surprise you!
8. How to Learn to Write: Seek resources
While writing is mostly a solitary activity, don’t underestimate the power of having a community! A writing group keeps you accountable, teaches you how to learn to write professionally, and provides a safe space for you to workshop an early draft. An authentic writing community, however, can be difficult to come by outside of a writing course.
For more tips on learning to write, I recommend the following books:
- On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
- Recollections of My Nonexistence by Rebecca Solnit
- The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
Learn How to Write at Writers.com
Learning to write can seem intimidating, but it’s important to remember that all writers started where you are: at the beginning. Remember to take things slow—habits are built gradually and consistently—as you build your writing routine into your everyday life.
For more resources on learning how to write, check out our weekly writing tips , as well as our upcoming course calendar .
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Free Article Writing Tool
A better way to write articles, find inspiration in these article examples.
- Begin by unplugging your coffee maker and letting it cool down completely.
- Remove any coffee grounds and filters from the machine.
- Fill the water reservoir with equal parts white vinegar and water.
- Turn on the coffee maker and run a brewing cycle. Let the mixture run through the machine until the reservoir is empty.
- Discard the vinegar solution and rinse the water reservoir thoroughly with water.
- Fill the reservoir with fresh water and run another brewing cycle to rinse the machine.
- Repeat the rinsing process until the vinegar smell is completely gone.
- Finally, wipe down the exterior of the coffee maker with a damp cloth and let it dry completely.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are examples of different types of articles, how do you write an article summary, how do you write the title of an article, how do you write an article pitch, how do you write an article abstract, how long does it take to write an article, why are citations an important element of writing an academic article, what is fact-checking, and why is it a critical step in writing an article, what is an ai article writer, and should i use one, what information should i include in my prompt, how can i create articles using generative ai.
- First, download Grammarly .
- From your document, open Grammarly. This will launch our generative AI writing features.
- Then, enter a variety of prompts with instructions and key information about your article to ensure Grammarly has the context to generate a quality draft.
More AI Writing Assistance From Grammarly
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How to Write an Article
THE CRAFT OF ARTICLE WRITING
Writing is a complex skill. A very complex skill.
Not only do we put students under pressure to master the inconsistent spelling patterns and complex grammar of the English language, but we require them to know how to write for a variety of purposes in both fiction and nonfiction genres.
On top of this, writing is just one aspect of one subject among many.
The best way to help our students to overcome the challenge of writing in any genre is to help them to break things down into their component parts and give them a basic formula to follow.
In this article, we will break article writing down into its components and present a formulaic approach that will provide a basic structure for our students to follow.
Once this structure is mastered, students can, of course, begin to play with things.
But, until then, there is plenty of room within the discipline of the basic structure for students to express themselves in the article form.
A COMPLETE UNIT ON TEACHING NEWS REPORTING IN 2022
With over FORTY GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS in this ENGAGING UNIT, you can complete a WEEKLY journalistic / Newspaper reporting task ALL YEAR LONG in 2022 as classwork or homework.
These templates take students through a PROVEN four-step article writing process on some AMAZING images. Students will learn how to.
WHAT IS AN ARTICLE?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines an article as, “a piece of writing on a particular subject in a newspaper or magazine, or on the internet.”
An article’s shape and structure will vary depending on whether it’s intended for publication in a newspaper, magazine, or online.
Each of these media has its own requirements. For example, a magazine feature article may go into great depth on a topic, allowing for long, evocative paragraphs of exposition, while an online blog article may be full of lots of short paragraphs that get to the point without too much fanfare.
Each of these forms makes different demands on the writer, and it’s for this reason that most newspapers, magazines, and big websites provide writers with specific submission guidelines.
So, with such diverse demands placed on article writers, how do we go about teaching the diverse skill required to our students?
Luckily, we can break most types of articles down into some common key features.
Below we’ll take a look at the most important of these, along with an activity to get your students practicing each aspect right away.
Finally, we’ll take a look at a few general tips on article writing.
KEY WRITTEN FEATURES OF AN ARTICLE
The purpose of the headline is to capture the reader’s attention and let them know what the article is about. All of this in usually no more than 4 or 5 words!
There is an art to good headline writing and all sorts of literary devices (e.g alliteration and metaphor) can be used to create an eye-catching and intriguing headline.
The best way for students to learn how headlines work is to view some historical samples.
Newspaper headlines especially are known for being short and pithy. Here are just a few examples to whet the appetite:
- Hitler Is Dead
- Lincoln Shot
- Men Walk On The Moon
- Berlin Wall Crumbles
You could encourage students to find some pithy examples of their own. It’s amazing how much information can be condensed into so few words – this is the essence of good headline writing.
Headlines Practice Activity:
Give students opportunities to practice headline writing in isolation from article writing itself. For example, take sample stories from newspapers and magazines and challenge students to write new headlines for them. Set a word limit appropriate to the skills and age of the students. For example, younger, more inexperienced students might write 9-word headlines, while older, more skilled students might thrive with the challenge of a 4-word limit.
Subheadings give the reader more information on what the article is about. For this reason, they’re often a little longer than headlines and use a smaller font, though still larger (or in bold) than the font used in the body of the text.
Subheadings provide a little more of the necessary detail to inform readers what’s going on. If a headline is a jab, the subheading is the cross.
In magazines and online articles especially, there are often subheadings throughout the article. In this context, they let the reader know what each paragraph/section is about.
Subheadings also help the reader’s eye to scan the article and quickly get a sense of the story, for the writer they help immensely to organize the structure of the story.
One way to help organize paragraphs in an article is to use parallel structure.
Parallel structure is when we use similar words, phrases, and grammar structures. We might see this being used in a series of subheadings in a ‘How to’ article where the subheadings all start with an imperative such as choose , attach , cut , etc.
Have you noticed how all the sections in this ‘Key Features’ part of this article start simply with the word ‘The’? This is another example of a parallel structure.
Yet another example of parallel structure is when all the subheadings appear in the form of a question.
Whichever type of parallel structure students use, they need to be sure that they all in some way relate to the original title of the article.
To give students a chance to practice writing subheadings using parallel structure, instruct them to write subheadings for a piece of text that doesn’t already have them.
THE BODY PARAGRAPHS
Writing good, solid paragraphs is an art in itself. Luckily, you’ll find comprehensive guidance on this aspect of writing articles elsewhere on this site.
But, for now, let’s take a look at some general considerations for students when writing articles.
The length of the paragraphs will depend on the medium. For example, for online articles paragraphs are generally brief and to the point. Usually no more than a sentence or two and rarely more than five.
This style is often replicated in newspapers and magazines of a more tabloid nature.
Short paragraphs allow for more white space on the page or screen. This is much less daunting for the reader and makes it easier for them to focus their attention on what’s being said – a crucial advantage in these attention-hungry times.
Lots of white space makes articles much more readable on devices with smaller screens such as phones and tablets. Chunking information into brief paragraphs enables online readers to scan articles more quickly too, which is how much of the information on the internet is consumed – I do hope you’re not scanning this!
Conversely, articles that are written more formally, for example, academic articles, can benefit from longer paragraphs which allow for more space to provide supporting evidence for the topic sentence.
Deciding on the length of paragraphs in an article can be done by first thinking about the intended audience, the purpose of the article, as well as the nature of the information to be communicated.
A fun activity to practice paragraphing is to organize your students into groups and provide them with a copy of an article with the original paragraph breaks removed. In their groups, students read the article and decide on where they think the paragraphs should go.
To do this successfully, they’ll need to consider the type of publication they think the article is intended for, the purpose of the article, the language level, and the nature of the information.
When the groups have finished adding in their paragraph breaks they can share and compare their decisions with the other groups before you finally reveal where the breaks were in the original article.
Article Photos and Captions
Photos and captions aren’t always necessary in articles, but when they are, our students must understand how to make the most of them.
Just like the previous key features on our list, there are specific things students need to know to make the most of this specific aspect of article writing.
The internet has given us the gift of access to innumerable copyright-free images to accompany our articles, but what criteria should students use when choosing an image?
To choose the perfect accompanying image/s for their article, students need to identify images that match the tone of their article.
Quirky or risque images won’t match the more serious tone of an academic article well, but they might work perfectly for that feature of tattoo artists.
Photos are meant to bring value to an article – they speak a thousand words after all. It’s important then that the image is of a high enough resolution that the detail of those ‘thousand words’ is clearly visible to the reader.
Just as the tone of the photo should match the tone of the article, the tone of the caption should match the tone of the photo.
Captions should be informative and engaging. Often, the first thing a reader will look at in an article is the photos and then the caption. Frequently, they’ll use the information therein to decide whether or not they’ll continue to read.
When writing captions, students must avoid redundancy. They need to add information to that which is already available to the reader by looking at the image.
There’s no point merely describing in words what the reader can clearly see with their own two eyes. Students should describe things that are not immediately obvious, such as date, location, or the name of the event.
One last point, captions should be written in the present tense. By definition, the photo will show something that has happened already. Despite this, students should write as if the action in the image is happening right now.
Remind students that their captions should be brief; they must be careful not to waste words with such a tight format.
For this fun activity, you’ll need some old magazines and newspapers. Cut some of the photos out minus their captions. All the accompanying captions should be cut out and jumbled up. It’s the students’ job to match each image with the correct accompanying caption.
Students can present their decisions and explanations when they’ve finished.
A good extension exercise would be to challenge the students to write a superior caption for each of the images they’ve worked on.
TOP 5 TIPS FOR ARTICLE WRITING
Now your students have the key features of article writing sewn up tightly, let’s take a look at a few quick and easy tips to help them polish up their general article writing skills.
1. Read Widely – Reading widely, all manner of articles, is the best way students can internalize some of the habits of good article writing. Luckily, with the internet, it’s easy to find articles on any topic of interest at the click of a mouse.
2. Choose Interesting Topics – It’s hard to engage the reader when the writer is not themselves engaged. Be sure students choose article topics that pique their own interest (as far as possible!).
3. Research and Outline – Regardless of the type of article the student is writing, some research will be required. The research will help an article take shape in the form of an outline. Without these two crucial stages, articles run the danger of wandering aimlessly and, worse still, of containing inaccurate information and details.
4. Keep Things Simple – All articles are about communicating information in one form or another. The most effective way of doing this is to keep things easily understood by the reader. This is especially true when the topic is complex.
5. Edit and Proofread – This can be said of any type of writing, but it still bears repeating. Students need to ensure they comprehensively proofread and edit their work when they’ve ‘finished’. The importance of this part of the writing process can’t be overstated.
And to Conclude…
With time and plenty of practice, students will soon internalize the formula as outlined above.
This will enable students to efficiently research, outline, and structure their ideas before writing.
This ability, along with the general tips mentioned, will soon enable your students to produce well-written articles on a wide range of topics to meet the needs of a diverse range of audiences.
HUGE WRITING CHECKLIST & RUBRIC BUNDLE
TUTORIAL VIDEO ON HOW TO WRITE AN ARTICLE
The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh. A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing , can be found here. Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.
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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > Understanding present continuous tense
Understanding present continuous tense
The present continuous tense, also known as the present progressive, is one of the most crucial (and misunderstood) components of English grammar. It helps you describe things, conditions, and events that are happening right now—or currently in progress and continuing into the future. Without it, we would have a difficult time describing what we or anyone we know are doing!
What is the present continuous tense?
The present continuous tense is most commonly used to convey actions currently happening at the moment. As a descriptor of what’s going on, it adds energy and action to writing while helping your readers understand when things are happening.
The present continuous tense differs from the simple present tense, in which a verb describing a current action takes on a new form. Here are some examples of the simple present tense:
- I eat gluten now.
- She practices the piano every night.
- Michael calls to say he’s sorry.
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Instead, to form the present continuous tense, you need the verb to be in the present tense and a dynamic verb that shows action. This dynamic verb will be in the present participle: i.e., ending with an -ing suffix. You’ll need the following:
- Subject (I, you, he, she, it, we, they)
- Appropriate form of the verb to be (am, is, are)
- Base form of the verb with “-ing” (e.g., playing, reading, watching)
When you put these components together, you can form the following sentences:
- I am eating dessert before dinner.
- She is reading romance novels at the beach.
- Mom is calling me on the phone right now.
These sentences that use the present continuous tense convey actions happening at the moment while adding a layer of complexity and precision to a sentence versus the simple present tense.
Present continuous tense for the future
The present continuous tense doesn’t just apply to actions happening right now. It can also be used to indicate actions that are in progress but not necessarily at this very moment. For example:
- My bandmates are playing with Steve this weekend.
- Scientists believe that our sun is going to burn out in about five billion years.
- The action of working on the project extends throughout the month.
When not to use the present continuous tense
Do not use the present continuous tense with stative verbs. These verbs show a passive state of being and are especially related to categories such as emotion (to love), possession (to belong), and thoughts (to recognize). Since these do not show qualities of change like dynamic verbs, none of these should use the present continuous form. For example, the following sentence is grammatically incorrect:
- Rachel is preferring French toast instead of blueberry pancakes.
Here, the verb to prefer is a thought, illustrating a matter of opinion. Stative verbs like to prefer can stay in the simple present:
- Rachel prefers French toast instead of blueberry pancakes.
The importance of present continuous tense
Understanding and using the present continuous tense adds depth and context to your conversations, making your language more precise. By using this tense, you can:
- Convey real-time actions. Share what is happening at the moment without confusion.
- Describe ongoing situations. Express activities in progress over specific timeframes.
- Engage your audience. Make your language more engaging and dynamic.
The present continuous tense is handy for describing what’s happening in the moment or over a specified period of time. Whether you’re talking about your current activities or describing events unfolding before your eyes, the present continuous tense has you covered. Check out more writing tips to add vividness and precision to your work, whether you want to understand the nuances between independent and dependent clauses , recognize and avoid slippery slope fallacies, or use regional colloquialisms so you can sound like an expert.
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U.S. officials, who have been pushing for the meeting for the better part of a year, believe Beijing has actively been working to undermine U.S. policy around the world.
The White House confirmed the day of the meeting in a statement on Friday. The Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday that Xi would visit the United States Nov. 14-17, attend the APEC summit and meet with Biden.
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U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they meet on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit in Bali, Indonesia, November 14, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
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Biden, 80, presides over an economy that has outperformed expectations and most rich nations after the COVID-19 pandemic. Unpopular with voters at home , he is seeking a second term in office amid concerns about the stability of U.S. democracy.
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Biden is also expected to press Xi to impress on Iran that it would be unwise to try to expand the conflict in the Middle East, the official said.
Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Heather Timmons, Stephen Coates and Chizu Nomiyiama
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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