Basic rules on how to write a good article?
In the digital age of consuming everything in clips, images, and captions, writing remains as important as ever. And quality writing isn’t as easy to come by. Being an excellent writer in English sets you apart from the crowd and can turn you from a source to a reliable source.
You want your writing to reflect the effort that you put into it so that people read more and want you to write more! So, how to write a good article for your blog?
Whether you’re writing a news article, contributing to a blog, or honing your English writing skills, there are a bunch of tips that you should remember when writing. If you stick to this guide, you’ll have more eyeballs on your pages in no time.
Save this page to refer to every time you write!
Keep a list of ideas
Have a little notebook at your side at all times. Inspiration for writing an article can come at any time. Keep it at your bedside, carry it in your pocket, take it with you on walks. This idea book is your new best friend.
In fact, keeping an idea journal does more than just preparing you for writing better articles; it is proven to:
- Keep your thoughts organized
- Reduce stress
- Boost your memory
- Inspire creativity
Each of these are crucial to becoming a better writer. If you have a place where your ideas can flourish, it will make things easier in the long run.
There are plenty of ideas can be found online – like in the article from StartBloggingOnline there are over 130 ideas to blog about.
Narrow your topic
If you’ve got an idea to write about, say, things to do in the summer, you’ll need to whittle that down to the specifics.
What part of the world are you writing about? Summer plans in Arizona will be different from summer plans in Canada
What kind of summer activity do you want to write an article on? Hiking? Swimming? Sports?
Narrowing your topic down is essential because it helps you come up with original ideas and eliminate fluff from your writing. Original ideas are crucial when planning on writing a good article. If someone can do a quick Google search and find a million articles just like yours, there likely to not find yours at all.
If you’re pitching your article to a magazine or newspaper, a good question to keep in the back of your mind is, “Why should they care about what I’m writing?” It sounds harsh, but if you’ve got an awesome and fresh thing to write about, you’re going to get the top spot.
Narrowing your topic helps you to eliminate fluff by knowing what you’re going to write about before you start. If you have no ideas, writing in a stream of consciousness is a helpful tool for inspiration, but it is not a method of writing well.
Create an outline
Creating an outline is helpful for all writers and is a great tip for English writing in general. Whether you’re just learning how to write well or you’re fine-tuning your skills, outlining your writing is the best way to create a framework of all the ideas you have for writing about your topic
To outline, you must create an organized plan for your writing. See example outlines and other tips on how to outline on the Writing Center’s webpage.
Several outlines types exist depending on what kind of writing you’re doing. Here is the most basic outline:
1. Hook & intro
If you keep to this basic outline for all of your English writing, you’ll push out quality post after quality post.
Hook & intro is the most important part of writing a good article. It doesn’t matter if your story is incredible if no one ever gets to read it. It takes just a few words and even fewer seconds for a reader to either keep scrolling or turn away.
The best way to write a hook is to think about what would get you hooked into reading something?
- Start with a compelling, relevant quote.
- Invite the reader to imagine something with you. Bringing them into the story is a great way to hook them instantly
- Share a shocking fact or study result
- Start with a question to which the answer is not apparent. If you’re writing about an article about child safety, you will not start it as,
“You love your child, right?”
The answer is, obviously, “yes.” Try something like this instead:
“Did you know that ___ children are harmed by ___ per year?”
In the intro, you’ll want to give as many details as possible and explain them later. You must tell the reader why they should care about what they’re reading. Answer the questions, who, what, when, where, and why?
Writing the body should just flow from there. You’ve told the reader all the pertinent information, now expand on who, what, when, where, and why?
If you’re writing a listicle – which is exactly what this article is – you’ve got your work cut out for you.
1. Decide how many items you’re going to write about based on word count
2. List each item
3. Describe each list item in detail
A good conclusion is a call to action. Tell the reader what you want them to do with the information that they’ve just received. It can be as simple as a follow or share or as big as what they can do to help a cause.
Write in an active voice
Writing in the active voice, rather than passive, makes sentences more exciting to read and adds impact to your writing. Using an active voice is one of the most notable English writing tips out there. It follows the simple formulas:
- Subject – verb
- Subject – verb – object
- Subject – verb – adjective
- Subject – verb – adverb
- Subject – verb – noun
In the active voice, the subject is performing the action (verb), which is received by the object.
“Sarah will write an article”
Is better than,
“An article will be written by Sarah”
The best explanation about Active vs. Passive Voice is done by Grammarly .
Keep your paragraphs short and sentences simple
When writing, especially for online platforms, you want to keep your paragraphs to a few sentences. Often, people are reading on their tablets or cell phones. Large paragraphs can be hard to read on small screens if they aren’t broken up.
The idea of the simple sentence was created by Earnest Hemingway, who is revered as one of the greatest English writers of all time. In as few words as possible, say what you’re trying to say. Make it easy to understand. Don’t confuse your reader.
Show, don’t tell
Make your writing descriptive without going overboard. Don’t use flowery writing, but do make it feel immersive to your reader. If you’re going to describe something, do it in a way that makes it, so the reader feels as if they are there.
“It was a rainy day.”
You could write,
“The gray color sky was heavy, and clouds opened up to soak the ground below.”
A good tip here is to try not to use the word that you want to. See how the word “rainy” wasn’t used to describe the rainy day.
It’s like a game of Taboo!
Write, read aloud, rewrite…
… – share with a friend, teacher, coworker, anyone that will read it over for you. Whether you’re a seasoned English writer or just learning to write well in English, taking a step away from your writing and letting another set of eyes go over it will help you catch mistakes.
This is also an excellent opportunity for feedback. Maybe you’ve gone off on a tangent that you thought was important, but the reader finds unnecessary. Having someone read your writing can be scary; however, it’s the only way your articles will start to get better.
Read how you want to write
If there is a particular style of writing that you like, read, read, read, everything in that style. Digesting the material that is similar to how you want to write is the best way to improve your English writing aside from… –
Some say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. Read and write as much English material as you can from a variety of English authors. You’ll find your personal style along the way.
Copy the writing you read word for word to get used to the grammar, sentence structure, and spelling that is used in the English language. It’s a tricky language to learn how to speak and even more tricky to write in well.
Make sure you save this page to refer to when you get stuck. Once you’ve got the writing process down and the rules for writing a good article, you’ll be about to write your blog post on English writing tips!
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