The art of writing articles has changed a bit due to the internet explosion. Yes, it still works the same way in many of the traditional venues. But, articles have changed mainly because of article submission sites and blogs.
Many people in the internet world consider blogs to be articles and in some ways they are. Blogs started as bits of information a writer intended to get across in an informal setting. Now, they are actually relied upon by many readers. If you Google a topic, you will find a hundred blogs compared to one authoritative site. And blogs have become very authoritative of themselves.
But, article submission sites such as EzineArticles and AssociatedContent have made it easy for anyone to write an article and get it published. I honestly love the internet and many of its venues for giving everyone the same leverage. There are things that need to be said and it’s critical that they get said at the right time. The internet offers everyone an instant voice for anyone who is willing to listen and I love that.
But, some art gets lost in the process. The years of college a journalist goes through and all the discipline that a writer suffers is thrown out of the window when just anyone can step up to the plate. People forget or were never taught the basics of article writing.
Taking notes is the first step in article writing and the first thing that needs noted is who is involved. Now, not all articles are the same. But, “Who” is always a question that needs an answer. If you are reporting on an incident, who was involved? But if you are writing an article about the benefits of a new medical practice, who will it benefit? There is always a way to answer the “Who” part of any article.
The next question to answer is “what,” which can get pretty dynamic. What happened? What is the article about? What is the new medical practice you are talking about? “What” can get rather extensive, so you have to cover your bases to write a good article. Make sure you know every aspect about “What.”
Some articles that are about an accident that took place or some incident in the news, people want to know the motivation. That’s the “Why” part of most articles. Why was the guy yelling in the Chinese parliament? Why is the lady biking across the country? But, “Why” for the new article writing direction is a bit different. Why would people want to read your article? You have to make it interesting and give them a reason, so that’s how you answer the “Why” question in most of these new article venues.
The “When” question should be rather obvious. But, there are several ways to answer this question. When did the incident occur? When should you start considering the new medical practice? The answer to both of these questions would be quite different even though the question is still the same. One might be at 11:00 pm on Wednesday while the other answer might be 3 months after you’ve had surgery. Either way, there’s an answer that is informative to the reader. They’ll want to know.
Location, location, location. You’d be surprised how important the “Where” answer is in an article. When something happens, people want to know where it happened. If something is going to happen, your readers want to know where. It doesn’t do you any good to write an entire article and forget to tell people “Where.”
Just like the “What” part of an article, “How” can be the meaty part too. How did the car get up the telephone pole? Yes, it actually happened. A car up a telephone pole was in the news just as I was writing this and I thought it made a perfect example. And it does make a great example. People will want to know how it happened.
Those are the six questions that make an article completely informative. Now, you can simply cover the answers and wrap up your article or you can make it interesting. Getting the deep information and being really inquisitive is what makes a great article writer. Otherwise, you’re just telling people what they already know.
Oh by the way, in San Diego, California an un-named lady lost control of her car and actually drove up the telephone pole’s guidelines. I can see it happening…now that I know “How.”