Are you writing professionally or are you planning to do it? Are you wondering how to make your audience love your texts? It does not matter whether you are starting your adventure with copywriting, journalism or simply – you would like to appear with your creativity on the Internet – from this post you will learn how to write a good article.
How to write an article
Article (from Latin: articulus) – is the name of a written statement in a printed or electronic medium. Articles usually take the form of an informational note or a short essay.
They are used to convey news, knowledge or entertainment. They are also an important element of public debate (journalism).
Articulus (Latin) can be translated as “part” or “fragment”. This term, in relation to writing activity, has been in use since 1712. Articulus should be understood as an element of a larger work, which, however, is independent of the rest and concerns an individual topic.
What the article consists of
The article (theoretically) is a very loose literary form. In textbooks you will read that such a text should consist of the following: title, introduction, development and ending.
Such a composition is probably enough to pass the English language test – but when you think about writing more seriously – it is definitely not enough.
You must be aware that in practice, a number of rules have been developed, which determine whether your article will be considered “good”.
The scheme of good articles is as follows:
4. Introduction (optional)
Are you a little surprised?
You’ll find out exactly where all the fuss is coming from in a moment.
However, first, let’s look at an example of the correct composition of a short online article. To graphically distinguish individual elements of the text, we will use the following subheadings:
What is most important in the articles (title)
Have you ever wondered why some articles are admired and some are completely ignored? Would you like to reach a wider group of readers with your work? In this text you will learn what is most important in the articles. (lead).
The most important element of the article (subheading)
The most important element of the article is the correct composition. This is the result of the reading habits of the media publishing articles. Most recipients, before starting the actual reading, briefly “scan” the text and assess whether its content meets their needs. If you make gross compositional mistakes – the reader will choose a different text. (end).
Why Some Articles Fail (subheading)
Many authors wonder why no one reads their articles. Some people believe that the source of failure is a lack of talent or poorly chosen subject matter of the text. The truth is quite different. (introduction).
Reasons for Article Failure (subheading)
Jakob Nielsen conducted a series of studies in the 1990s, which show that 80% of press readers assess the compositional elements of an article before reading it. Most of them decide to read the rest of the content based on the title, the first few sentences of the text and the headings. Nielsen points out that poor design of these areas is the root cause of the article’s failure. (expansion)
Elements of the article
The above method of composition is the result of the authors’ constant struggle for the reader’s attention.
Exactly! Media publishing articles is “read” quickly and inattentively. If at all we can say that they are “read”. Rather, it would be appropriate to “review”. This is their nature.
I don’t know if you regularly read the full content of a website or newspaper. Certainly not for me. And the overwhelming majority of recipients too. Keep this in mind when composing your lyrics.
1) Title of the article
Let’s start with the title. You already know that an article, by definition, is part of a larger work (e.g. newspaper, magazine, website). In this situation, the title is a strategic place on which the success of your piece depends.
Almost every reader evaluates the subject of an article primarily on the basis of the title. If he does not find out what this particular “piece” of the work is about, he will have no reason to devote some of his time to him. Simply – it will go to the next page or click on another link.
There are tons of effective techniques for composing a title. Choosing the right one depends primarily on the medium in which you plan to act. The title of a scientific or informative article is created differently, and the title of an article for an internet gossip site is created differently.
The general rule, however, is quite simple – you need to define the subject of the text in a few words (preferably from 3 to 7) and win the interest of the recipient.
2) Lead the article
However, you will quickly find out that the title alone is not enough to make your recipient decide to read the text. The title is only the first element that attracts his interest. That’s why you need a lead.
The term “lead” is sometimes literally translated as “introduction”. This is a serious mistake. The first few sentences of the article are not enough to prepare the reader to understand the further content or outline the problem (which is characteristic of the introduction).
Remember that at the moment we only have a loose interest of the recipient. Our reader has not yet decided whether or not he wants to read our article.
Lead should be translated more as “leading” or “leading”. These are the first few sentences of the article that will explain to the reader what your text is about and how they will benefit from further reading. When you’re creating an SEO article, the title and lead are a great place to put your keywords.
3) End of the article
That’s right! We start with the “proper” content of the article with the ending! Such a composition may seem quite perverse, but it has its deep justification. Logically, at this point we should put an introduction in which we will present the reader with a general outline of the issue under discussion.
However, in the overwhelming majority of articles (except perhaps those of a scientific or educational nature), this is unnecessary. A reader who does not need an introduction and will probably bypass it … or get bored and go to the next page or click on another link.
Therefore, whenever possible, get to the heart of the matter in no time. Directly over the lead, place the juiciest elements of your text. You will quickly find out that this is an incredibly effective way to gain audience attention.
Popular news sites make this rule almost absurd – right after the lead you will find a bulleted list with the most important issues of the article. If you don’t want to, you don’t “have to” read the rest. And so you found out, at least cursory, what was going on.
Remember that this is quite an extreme example. Such a composition will not work in every case. You can read more about information management inside the text in the entry about the inverted pyramid principle.
4) Introduction to the article
It may also happen that after reading the title and lead, the topic of the article will actually interest you and want to explore it further. Therefore, the authors move on to a more classical arrangement later in the work.
At this stage, however, it is worth considering whether admission is necessary at all. You have to use your intuition. When your article explains a rather complicated scientific issue – it’s worth doing it.
Either way – when you feel it is right, you can refrain from admission altogether.
5) Developing the article
However, elaboration in the articles is obligatory. They are primarily used to build credibility. Surely you are aware that the survival of the media that publishes articles depends primarily on the number of readers (copies purchased, views, clicks, etc.). That is why their owners are more likely to focus on quantity than quality.
As recipients of these media, we are used to taking a critical look at their content (or at least we should be). After all, we have repeatedly encountered a situation in which the author gave false or incomplete information (e.g. in order to provoke a scandal, outrage or panic so popular in recent times).
Therefore, it is worth using specific data, examples of research or expert statements that will support the thesis of your article. Naturally – emotions are also important and you should not give them up completely. Without them, your song will start to resemble a boring official note.
Features of a good article
Each article should be transparent in terms of composition and contain a logical argument (argumentation) or a description of the situation and events.
You will achieve compositional clarity through the graphic separation of individual text elements using paragraphs and subheadings (see the example above).
The logical reasoning or description of the situation is based on answering a set of 7 basic questions:
This mainly applies to informational content. Other varieties of articles use this list to a limited extent (eg an article on a gossip site – “who, when, where, what”, scientific article – “what, why” etc.).
Learning to write articles
As you can see, writing good articles is not easy at all. It requires a lot of knowledge and experience. Every professional journalist and copywriter is aware of this. If so far you thought that the creators sit down in front of a piece of paper or a keyboard and write what their imagination tells them without much effort – I hope you will change your mind.
>> Copywriter’s Guide <<
Good articles are more often the result of hard work than of using “magic” tricks or talent.
Ultimately, there are only two ways to learn to write effectively. Creating your own content and learning about the work of other authors. The more articles you write and read, the easier it will be for you.
Remember – text written effortlessly reads without pleasure.