Writing an article is a task that many people fear, but in reality, piecing together a good article can be done in a few simple steps and a little practice. Although not an easy task, you can hone your skills of article writing by following a simple structure and habituating yourself with writing.
Here we have provided you a detailed guide on writing a good article, including the format, tips to make your article unique and catchy as well as a few templates for your reference.
Read till the end to understand how you can improve your article writing skills in a few simple steps.
What is an Article?
An article is a piece of writing that is written centred around a theme or topic and aimed at spreading awareness or communicating a message to the readers. The aim of writing an article can be varied-
Spreading awareness about a recent incident
Writing for promotion
Spreading awareness about a social issue
Sharing an Opinion about an issue
Persuading the readers about a topic
Writing an informative piece on a specific topic
But whatever the purpose for which the article is written, there are some preliminary essentials which you need to be well-acquainted with before starting your actual piece.
Types of Articles
Before you write an article, knowing the exact purpose for which the article is written is important because it dictates the tone, content and the style of writing.
There are many types of articles, but they can be clubbed into 4 broad categories listed below:
Type of Article
Used for Spreading Information on a Topic
Formal and to-the-point
Does not Incorporate Personal Opinions
Articles for Events
Narrating a Series of Events
Detailed Article on a Specific Topic
Main Aim to provide Knowledge to Readers
Can be Personal or Subjective
Argumentative & Persuasive Articles
For Communicating an Opinion to the Reader
Aim is to Persuade the Reader in the Direction of the Writer’s View
Incorporates Personal Opinions, Judgements and Preferences
Opinion Based Articles
Social, Socio-Political Articles
Steps for Writing an Article
Before actually writing the article, you should know about and follow a basic set of steps that help you indulge in the process more efficiently and produce better results.
Here we have listed down the basic steps for writing a good, catchy article.
– Choose your Topic
Before writing down a piece, this is the most fundamental aspect to know.
You must choose an appropriate topic based on your needs and the theme you want to write a piece on. If you already know the theme to write the topic, choose a topic which
Can garner a larger audience, e.g. a recently trending topic, a topic with a huge demand or a topic in which people have many doubts and concerns (for descriptive or expository or commercial articles)
Can create a strong impact on the reader’s mind (for editorials and opinion and argumentative articles)
Is catchy and keeps the readers engaged in reading
Choosing a topic is a step you should devote some time to. It is advisable to choose a topic about which you have a basic idea and can contribute some original insights on.
Choosing your topic rightly is also important because it decides the style as well as the tone of writing.
– Know Your Topic
Research, research, research!! The cornerstone of writing a good article is to ensure that you have a strong knowledge base about the chosen topic. This is especially important if you are writing a topical, thematic, persuasive/argumentative or descriptive article.
After having chosen the topic, it is important to read up the topic as well as research about it. Having completed your research, you can support your perspectives and ideas presented in the article with the necessary facts and figures as well as articulate your ideas in a more enhanced manner.
A good step is to firstly read up the basics about the topic, get acquainted with the basic technicalities of the topic, and collect relevant facts, figures and findings that you can quote in your article.
– Form Original Ideas
This is an important practice more than a sequential step while writing an article. Be it any piece of writing, whether an article, a fictional piece or an essay, it is essential that you form your own understanding and original ideas about the theme.
If your article is a simple regurgitation of already well-established facts, without any unique insights or inputs from you, then it fails to impress the reader and make an impact.
So, it is essential that you work consciously towards developing your own ideas while writing an article. Not only is it helpful to make an impact on readers, it also helps to reduce the risks of plagiarism in your content and help you develop a unique piece of writing, especially if you are writing for the web or indulging in SEO writing.
– Knowing the Target Audience
Once you have effectively chosen the topic for your article and researched a bit on it, you will have a fairly good idea about who forms the target audience for your article.
For any given topic, there will be a group of readers that you would want to target as the receivers of your piece of writing.
It is important to know your target audience and its characteristics well, so that you can tweak your article to make it highly relevant to their needs and concerns. This is very relevant in case of commercial articles, argumentative or persuasive articles, descriptive or tutorial articles.
You can make a greater impact on your readers if you know the target group (TG) better, as you can answer the queries better if you know the possible concerns of your TG.
– Prepare an Outline
This is the first step towards actually starting your article. After having completed your research on the topic and gained some understanding, you should make a rough outline of the topic before writing.
In this outline:
List down all the basic ideas you want to include in your article
Arrange the content in a cohesive manner- the introduction, the main ideas in the body, supporting facts and figures, causes and effects (if relevant to your topic), possible solutions in case the topic involves a problem and a conclusion
Decide upon some additional information you wish to add in the article and then include them in your outline
The idea is to jot down the main points based on your research and ideas and decide upon how to inculcate them in your article. Although making an outline before writing the article may seem like an extra investment of time, having an outline prepared beforehand and working on it further to write the actual article not only saves time but also helps you write a more structurally coherent article.
– Draft your First Copy of the Article
After having completed the above steps, you can start writing the actual piece. The basic tips to write an article effectively are described below. Continue reading to know more.
But if you feel your writing is not coming out as effectively as you intended it too, remember that it is normal for the first draft of your piece to be so. The main idea about writing a draft before finalising it is to ensure that you check and review it to tweak it as needed and come out with the best results.
– Edit Your Piece
After completing the first draft of your article, the next step is to go through it thoroughly and edit it accordingly. Some of the main ideas to keep in mind during editing your article are:
Look for Errors: Grammatical, Spelling, Factual (in case you have included them in your piece)
Look for Irrelevant Content: too much irrelevant or extra information in your article makes it less engaging to read and may lead the reader to lose interest in it and give up before it ends.
Analyse the Overall Structure of your Article: Check if your article is coherent and the thoughts and ideas have been articulated in a structured and sequentially logical manner or edit it accordingly.
– Proofread your Final Article
The final step to conclude your article is to proofread the entire piece in one go after it has been edited, to look for any errors and analyse the overall piece.
After having completed these steps, you are more likely to end up with an article that is well-structured and engaging for the readers.
Format of an Article
An article has an easy to follow format and all articles irrespective of the type or purpose follow the basic overall same structure.
An article format consists of 3 main parts:
The Title of the Article: This appears on the top of the article and is centred. The title should be short, crisp and catchy, giving an idea about the topic of the article.
The By Line (Name of Author): This line starts with ‘By (Name of Author)’ and is placed right below the title, with an indentation to the right
The Body of the Article: This is the main part of the article that includes all the information and your writing, and consists of 5-6 paragraphs or more depending on the depth and extensiveness in which you want to cover the topic.
The body of the article further has 3 major parts:
The Introduction Paragraph: This is the paragraph with which you begin your article. This introduces the topic or the problem to the readers, helping them form a basic first idea about the article. You can use
Interesting Fact or Figure
To begin your article, as they help to catch the attention of the readers and keep them hooked to your piece. The introductory paragraph should be brief, concise but should articulate the rest of the article well.
The Body of the Article: This is the main component of your article and requires maximum attention. There is no fixed limit to the size of the body of your article, but usually, the body of the article can be broken down further into 3 to 4 paragraphs which can focus on these
Description of the problem
Causes of the problem/ Main Factors of the Problem
The Conclusion Paragraph: The conclusion paragraph of the article summarises all the ideas presented in the article to draw a final concluding note, as well as leave the readers with some final food for thought. You can conclude a thematic or opinion-based article at an open end or with your own conclusion. In case of expository articles, you can conclude by summarising all the information shared in the article.
Here we have provided you the basic format of an article:
Tips for Writing a Good Article
Here we have listed some of the tips to keep in mind while writing an article:
The title of your article should be catchy and attractive as it hooks the readers to the article
Try to begin with a relevant quote, an interesting or insightful fact/figure, a thought-provoking question or an idiom
Be extra careful so as to avoid spelling, grammar and linguistic errors in your article.
Keep the introduction paragraph brief and to-the-point, and make sure you introduce the topic well and in an engaging manner.
While writing the body of the article, break it into paragraphs based on the different ideas or perspectives you are showing.
Try to support your ideas with relevant facts, figures or research findings wherever possible, but DO NOT stuff your article with too many facts or figures.
Keep the tone engaging, for example, you can end paragraphs with insightful or thought-provoking questions, especially for a persuasive or argumentative article.
Use a simple and concise language to make your article more readable. Do not use too many jargons, flowery or difficult language as it may make the article tough to understand by the readers.
Keep the target audience for your topic in mind, and ensure that you try to answer the relevant queries while writing your article, this makes your article more friendly for the internet and helps you generate greater traffic.
Do not copy content from other sources. Always make sure you write in your own language. Plagiarised writing is highly frowned upon and can even lead to blacklisting or copyright issues.
Use of personal examples, opinions or biases isn’t recommended in case of expository articles. You can use a few personal examples as well as subjective opinions in argumentative and persuasive articles as long as they are relevant to the topic of the article.
If the topic chosen for your article is thematic or involves a social issue, you can suggest a few possible solutions to end your article on an optimistic note.
Always write a good and insightful conclusion.
Make the conclusion paragraph short, and summarise all the major arguments made in the article.
You can end the conclusion paragraph on an open note or with a useful insight of your own.
If you wish to write an article in the future or are planning to write one now, you need not worry as you can upskill yourself with a little practice and certain basic steps in mind. The key to being able to write a good article is working on your linguistic and grammar skills as well as practising writing as an active practice. The ability to write and articulate one’s ideas appropriately improves with actual practice of writing.
FAQs About Writing an Article
What are the types of articles?
Articles can mainly be categorised into 4 types- (a) expository articles (formal, topical and objective), (b) narrative articles (describe a series of incidents/events in a narrative format), (c) descriptive articles (detailed, guide articles) and (d) argumentative and persuasive articles (can be commercial or opinion-based, includes personal opinions and biases).
What is the format of writing an article?
The article format is very simple. It includes three main parts- (i) the title of the article, (ii) the By line showing the author’s name and (c) the main body of the article.
Is it okay to include personal examples in an article?
As long as you are not writing an expository article, it is okay to use a few personal examples and provide some personal opinions. If you are writing an expository article, it is advisable to not include any personal examples, biases or arguments as the tone for such articles should be objective and factual.
How do I write an article?
You can write an article by practising a few simple steps:
Choose an appropriate topic for your article.
Complete your research and homework on the topic
Make a rough outline for your article
Ensure that you include your own ideas in the article as well.
Start the first draft of your article.
Edit your article once you have drafted it.
Proofread the article.
You can write an article by practising writing and improving your linguistic skills.
How many paragraphs should be there in an article?
Ideally, an article can include 4 to 5 paragraphs but you can elaborate further depending on your topic and your article can also include 6 to 7 paragraphs in your article.
How to choose a topic for an article?
While choosing a topic for an article, there are certain factors to be kept in mind:
Choose a topic that you have some basic preliminary knowledge about.
If writing for the web, you can choose a topic that can garner a larger number of readers’ attention.
You can choose a topic that is relevant in the current times, i.e. a topic on a recent development (e.g. global coronavirus pandemic)
You should try choosing a topic that can catch the attention of the readers or that can create a strong impact on the readers in case you are trying to write an opinion-based or argumentative article.
Another approach is to choose a niche-specific topic, especially for expository or descriptive articles.
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