General Question

thecall's avatar

To all the writers out there, how do you write an article?

Asked by thecall (31points) April 27th, 2009

what are the steps you follow to write an article? Do you research first and then write, or do you follow any other method. Please share your tips to write quality stuff…

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7 Answers

frdelrosario's avatar

The writer should be able to attribute any assertion the article makes to someone or some source, so s/he has to do at least that much research, or interviewing.

Then s/he has to know the audience — one would do far more research some publications than others.

Your tags include “writing” and “journalism”. Are journalism classes still teaching “good journalism is almost never good writing”? If you’re reporting, your job requires just enough research to satisfy the who,what,where,when,how — that’s all.

Then s/he has to write clearly, for which one piece of advice is “say it, then quit”.

YARNLADY's avatar

When I write, I just say everything I want to say, and then go back and delete half of it. That usually works out well.

kevbo's avatar

I’ve only done health information articles and employee-oriented articles, but generally I research and interview first and get a pile of information. Then I look for a hook that will be the first paragraph. Usually, I fall back on some kind of immediate sensory experience and some alliteration, so for example I wrote about a volleyball camp/college mentoring that was held for some middle school kids in their gym and started off with something (roughly) like “Amid *shouts, slaps and squeals at the [name] gymnasium, elementary and middle school girls learned not just about volleyball, but also what it takes to succeed in college.” Something like that. Then I included a quote from the coach about team sports and leadership and a quote from a participating girl about how she learned how girls can play competitive sports and have opportunties to succeed in college. The quotes were woven in with factual information about what was happening at the workshop (the women’s volleyball team was there to run drills, etc) Finally, I ended in this case with “for more information about future workshops call 555-XXXX.” You can also end with a basic line about the organization or issue in question, such as “Presbyterian Hospital is a 501©(3) nonprofit hospital that has been serving New Mexicans since 1908”—something plain like that.

When I interned brielfly in TV news one of the anchors talked about providing the information and having the person on the street provide the emotion in their quote, so that’s another guideline.

Jeruba's avatar

I feel as if answering this question would be sort of like trying to answer the question “How do you sing a song?”

bright_eyes00's avatar

Depends on what you’re writing about. If its something you know then intense research may not be necessary. I tend to try to write about things i know so that you can put together a better arguement/discussion/whatever. you can always find things about writing articles on google too.

ddtoronto's avatar

I always do a bit of research before I start to make sure I understand the subject and to find my own individual point of view on it. Then I try writing the opening paragraphs of the article to see if I can use my interest in the subject to engage the reader. Then I try to write an outline that breaks the subject/narrative into manageable pieces, and write down the missing information that I’ll have to research. (I know, this all sounds ass-backwards, but I’m not great at doing the outline at the very beginning and then writing—by the time I write down the final point of the outline, I feel like I’ve already written the article, albeit with fewer words.) Then I make my way through the outline, chunk by chunk, until the whole first draft is written. Then it’s time to reread, rewrite, assemble a list of sources for the factchecker, solve the two or three problems that always seem to come up, and then hand the final version in for publication.

chelle104's avatar

Of course! Research first!........duh! Then add to it, with an interesting twist. Your opinion, your approach, Be informative by research, but relate it in your words, with reference to the research!

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