Top 10 Rules For Writing Great Articles
Popularity For Your Articles
Today I will share some easy ways to write interesting articles. Most of us are familiar with these techniques. However, for those new to writing, these simple rules will ensure a better popularity for your article.
1. Have an eye-catching, even crazy title
The title is the first and the most important thing that a potential reader sees in an article.
The heading decides the fate of an article. If it is catchy, only then will readers be tempted to read any further.
Look at the first photo to your right. The magazine's headline simply talks about a baseball player's opinion about his own bowling. But the utterly crazy wording of the headline is what catches our eye, and we decide to delve deeper to satisfy our curiosity and the mischief-lover within us.
Check the second photo to your right. While two photos were really not needed, I simply could not resist putting the second photo, simply because of its headline. Such is the power of an outrageous headline.
2. Correct grammar and spellings
I cannot stress this enough - incorrect grammar and bad spelling can completely ruin the reading experience.
- Using the right grammar ensures good quality of writing. While most readers can tolerate the occasional error in syntax, but frequent grammatical mistakes can be annoying to the readers.
- Common problems are mixing up the tenses or too many wrong spellings.
- To overcome spelling mistakes, the author can type the article in a text editor that offers spell-check.
- These days, most websites have spell-checks integrated into their submission tools.
3. Correct punctuation
This is crucial for perfect understanding of what the author is trying to communicate.
- Mixing up punctuation or missing punctuation can give a very different and unintended meaning to a sentence.
- Reading becomes more stressful if the reader has to add the punctuations mentally.
4. Research on the topic
Get your facts right before publishing an article online.
- Incorrect facts or half knowledge is of no value to anyone.
- An article should be informative, precise and helpful to its readers.
5. Back your points with data or examples
Providing statistics or real-life examples adds authenticity to the statements made by the author. It also helps the readers to clearly understand and visualize what is being said, especially if the topic in question is a complex one or can be interpreted in multiple ways.
6. Keep it simple
Remember that most online readers have a low attention span. We are not trying to compose epic literature here :) Therefore, keep that story short and sweet, so that it is able to capture the reader's interest till the end.
Use bullets or numbering if you are trying to list some points. Do not use extra long sentences. Trying to break down a sentence to comprehend its meaning can be tedious for the readers.
A good format makes an article attractive to read.
- Large contents should be broken down into paragraphs.
- Spaces and blank lines should be adequately used for logical division between contents.
- Bullet points help readers to scan through the most important aspects of the article.
8. Use appropriate image
An interesting image often attracts more viewers than plain texts. The image should be relevant and appropriate to the topic under discussion. It should not be offensive or vulgar.
9. Give proper credit
If you have borrowed certain contents from some other source, provide proper credit by citing the link to the original article. If the image is not created or taken by you, provide the source link. That way, you will be safe from unintentional plagiarism.
10. Final proof reading
Scan through your article once you have composed it fully. This helps in pointing out mistakes, ambiguities and irrelevant sentences.
Top 8 Things to Avoid When Writing
1. Do not use upper-case
Writing everything in upper-case is considered rude as per internet etiquette. It is also hard on the eyes and looks like one huge notice-board. It's okay to use upper-case for titles or sub-titles though.
Do not copy and paste from elsewhere. Some people try to copy from multiple sources thinking that it will dilute the effect of plagiarism. Believe me, it does not !! Plagiarism tools found online can easily detect duplicate contents, even if it is a couple of sentences put together.
Plagiarism is unethical and can attract penalty from websites that are publishing your articles. Your account may get deleted or black-listed.
3. Abusive language
Some authors may resort to occasional abuse words in their texts to add humor or intensity to the contents. But some readers may be orthodox and prudish when it comes to language. You do not want to offend people or attract unwanted attention.
If it is extremely critical that you use a certain word to represent your tone correctly, at least use asterisks from the second letter onwards and let people make their guesses.
4. Comments on Racism or Religion
Never make any racial or anti-religion comments in your articles. It may be humorous in your place but you may end up offending a lot of people. What is funny for you may be very serious for someone else. Respect the sentiments of others.
Cracking a joke verbally is very different from publishing it on the internet. Readers from all over the world may see your post. Be careful before you project your bias to the whole world.
5. Inappropriate images
Many people will try to post images of attractive men or women (mostly women) to grab attention to their articles. It is fine as long as it matches the subject under discussion. But posting a semi-clad super-model's photo in an article on how to be successful in life doesn't make any sense.
Some people also upload provocative images of themselves to gain more views. The only thing I can tell these folks is - you are inviting trouble for yourself. The internet is full of creepy people and you do not know how your image will get used.
Good readers will appreciate your post based on quality, style and information.
6. Filling contents with personal opinion
Stating our personal opinion on a topic is perfectly fine. However, if an entire article raves and rants about how we love or hate something, it is of no value to the reader.
Remember that you are a stranger to your readers. They would be more interested in some hard facts and not just your opinion. Moreover, we have social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook for this purpose.
7. Bombastic words
You may have great command over English. However, if your readers have to look up most of the words in the dictionary, it just spoils the pleasure of reading. Try to use simpler words that most English-speaking people can understand. After all, gone are the days of Chaucer and Canterbury Tales :)
8. Avoid unfamiliar topics
If a specific topic is completely unknown to you, it is best to avoid an article on it. You may end up spending more time on research than on composing the article. For example, if you are a techie, attempting a medical post would be unwise.
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© 2014 Ritu Temptor