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5 Simple Article Writing Tips

Updated on March 31, 2011

Writing a good article is more than just having good spelling and grammar skills. The article should share information in a way that is easy-to-follow and insightful to the reader. When a sentence or a paragraph contains redundant or meaningless “space-filler” information, the article becomes low quality. Below are a number of tips to ensure that your article is worth reading.

1) Have a structure. Articles with structure are easy to read and make more sense than an article that “rambles on” about a number of random facts. A structured article will always begin with an introduction and end with a conclusion. The middle of the article will contain a few points that support the subject of the article. For example:

Introduction: What the article is about, the main points you will be discussing and why the reader needs to know what you are going to be talking about. The introduction quickly lets the reader know whether the article is going to cover the subject they want to read about.

Point 1: A few sentences about the first point you mentioned in your introduction. The sentences should be informative and to-the-point, sharing valuable information to the reader.

Point 2: A few sentences about your second point

Point 3: A few sentences about your third point

Conclusion: Summarize your main points and tell the reader what they can do with the information.

Of course, your structure doesn’t always have to contain exactly 3 main points. You might have 2 main points or you may have 4. Write what is necessary to cover your topic.

2) The content of the article should be relevant. If the title of your article is “Where To Buy Cheap, Fashionable Clothes”, then the main topic of discussion in your article should be where to buy fashionable clothes. The content of the article must be relevant to the article’s title. Additionally, if the introduction mentions certain points, you should explain those points in greater detail within the body of your article. The same applies to your conclusion- you should not discuss new points within your conclusion.

3) The content of the article should flow. The points discussed in your article should flow in a logical manner. For example:

Let’s say that Point #1 has been discussing which clothing styles are in fashion at the moment. The end of the paragraph makes the statement, “Fortunately, filling your wardrobe with the latest fashions doesn’t have to cost you a mortgage”. It would not be logical to follow this sentence with which celebrities wore which outfits to the Red Carpet. No, logically, Point #2 should talk about how to get fashionable clothes on a budget, such as which shops or online stores to buy such clothes from. Point #3 might share some further cost-cutting tips. The conclusion will then briefly summarize the article and let the reader know that they too can be wearing the fashionable outfits they’ve always dreamed of.

When you’re writing, ask yourself, “Does this make sense? Does the information flow in a logical manner?”

4) The content of the article should be insightful. Common sense will tell you whether a piece of information is insightful. For example:

Exercise is good for your body.

Exercise boosts the immune system, kick-starts your metabolism, releases mood-enhancing endorphins within the brain and reduces the risk of developing diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease
.

Clearly, the second sentence gives more value to the reader than the first sentence does. Everyone knows that exercise is “good” for the body. That’s not insightful. Telling the reader how exercise is good for the body is insightful.

5) Avoid “space-filling”. In the book The Elements Of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, rule number 17 plainly states, “Omit needless words”. It goes further to explain:

“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all sentences short, or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.”

Paragraphs should not be littered with sentences that serve no purpose other than to increase the article’s overall word count. Likewise, a sentence shouldn’t contain words that just sit there, taking up room. For example:

When I went to the beach today, I had a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the beach. We surfed, swam and also made some sandcastles. There is no doubt but that a trip to the beach has become one of my all-time favorite pass-times.

The second sentence in this paragraph is redundant. It is simply restating what was said in the first sentence. The third and fourth sentences contain needless words. A slightly better way to write this would be:

I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the beach today. We surfed, swam and made sandcastles. Going to the beach has become one of my favourite pass-times.

Of course, “omitting needless words” doesn’t mean that longer sentences are bad. It also doesn’t mean that all your writing should be dry and devoid of life. It simply means that you avoid filling your article with useless fodder that distracts the reader from the key points of your article.

Aim to write articles worth reading. Articles with structure, insight, flow and relevancy will be worth your time to write and hopefully even teach your reader something new. I hope these tips bring you closer to accomplishing your writing goals!

Comments

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Helpful tips to article writing and you certainly know what you are talking about.

    • George Huss profile image

      George Huss 

      10 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the reminders! Love your writing style. Looking forward to your next hub :) Take care of you.

    • Kaye McCulloch profile image

      Kaye McCulloch 

      10 years ago from Australia

      Great hub! Very insightful and to the point :)

    • ThePepperDen profile imageAUTHOR

      ThePepperDen 

      10 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for the comments everyone! Now all I have to do is make sure I'm following my own advice Lol! ^_^

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 

      10 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Hi PD, I love the title of Strunk's book--"The Elements of Style." That could be a great title for any number of topics including fashion, personality, business acumen and of course, writing. Your article will help many of HP's new writers. I'm working my way through your articles--be patient with me, I'm getting there. =:)

    • Cy V profile image

      Cy V 

      10 years ago

      Excellent information. I could definitely improve the quality of my articles by following these steps.

    • maria.rose profile image

      maria.rose 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Good your hub is very nice & energetic I really appreciate it. Thanks a lot to share this information with us........

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