Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Cool Writing – Key steps to writing good articles

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008


Thanks for visiting. Here I’ll outline how to ‘write’ a good article, right after the next paragraph. (Next paragraph is for interest :)) I’ll go into details of key elements to making a great article, a few caveats on tabloid writing, and then you can try an article yourself! 🙂

I originally chose this domain name because I wanted to write, post and share some of my own articles, and it was difficult choosing a ‘good’ domain name. (Domain squatters – people who try and hold domain names for ransom to get a big profit – have registered virtually every two word combination of domains in the hopes of getting rich quick, plus registered almost every ‘good’ three word combination domain. They simply use a software program which uses a computer dictionary and mixes and matches names. Totally automated. Totally annoying :)). Anyways, so I decided on this domain name.

Ironically, I have had a number of searches from google from people who appear to either be looking how to ‘write’ a good article, or actual text generators (i.e., making a cool font). So for now, I write an article sharing what I’ve learned to write a good article. I may find/put some online text generator (for ‘cool’ writing) sometime later. Anyways, if you want to add anything, please feel free to post a comment!

Keys to writing a good article

Anyways… To write a good article, decide what you want to write about, and focus on that. Sometimes people tend to ramble and get way off topic. Stay on topic. You can write another article if you have a lot to share/talk about. Then, the standard method used in many (good quality) newspapers as well as what is taught in elementary and high schools is to do the following:

a) In your first paragraph, discuss the 5 ‘w’s. Who, What, Where, Why and How. (Ok, ‘how’ isn’t really a ‘w’, but I think they just like saying the 5 w’s because it sounds better, instead of the “4 w’s plus the 1 h” :). So basically you should cover who you are writing about, what it is about them/it/etc that you are talking about, where it took place if applicable, why you are writing about it, and then how – basically what the entire article is about.

b) The second paragraph should be an outline of what you are going to talk about in the next 3, 4, 5 etc paragraphs. So someone quickly reading the first two paragraphs can easily decide whether the article is informative, and useful to them for further reading. So if you were going to write an essay on cats, and say you were going to talk about 5 different cat toys in great detail – then for your second paragraph – you would literally say that you would be discussing ‘5 different cat toys in detail’ – then do a quick overview of what each toy was. (I.e., one sentence each). Then, in each subsequent paragraph (or page, or however you’ve designed your article) – you would go into great detail about each individual cat toy. So if you had 5 cat toys, you might have another 5 paragraphs, one for each cat toy.

c) Finally, after you’ve written each paragraph (as discussed above) – you would write the ‘conclusion’. What have you learned from the article, why it is useful, how it can be applied to real life, etc, etc.

Anyways, that’s pretty much it to writing a great article! As a side note – you should actually like writing the article, and like the people you are writing to. Amazingly, it comes through in your writing. I remember reading a story about a publisher who walked into a classroom, quickly scanned each student’s article – and could immediately tell whether the student liked his audience, thought his audience was smart/stupid/etc – and could tell them if it was a good article or not. So if you are going to write, enjoy it! 🙂

(copyright 2008

Caveat – Tabloid Writing

If you want to write a tabloid article (i.e., gossip column, etc) – then there are a few extra steps.

1. Create a ‘sensational’ headline. It’s stupid, but it works. Tabloids tend to stretch the truth. Let’s say an ‘Elvis impersonator’ takes some pictures with Japanese tourists in Vegas. If you wrote something like “Elvis Impersonator Takes Pictures with Tourists’ – people would probably ignore that article – because in their minds – “duh! Lots of elvis impersonators go to Vegas and have their pictures taken!”. But… If you phrased it something like “Image of Elvis appears before Japanese Tourist Group only for seconds’ – all of the sudden you’ve ‘caught’ the attention of your readers. ‘Why’ was it only a Japanese tour group? Why did he only appear for seconds, and not say minutes? (Well duh, it’s because he took pictures with them 🙂 — but that is what you write in your article ;)). And it was an image of elvis – does this mean it was real? Or an impersonator? Or what? Anyways, to make a good tabloid headline – you phrase it such that it sounds unique so people want to read it.

2. In the body of your article – lots of tabloids like to write a bunch of garbage before they get to the main point. So unlike the steps for writing a good newspaper or regular article above – if you are writing for a tabloid – you actually would ramble on a bit for the first few paragraphs, and maybe towards the end of the article – explain what the headline was all about. So for example, if you were talking about “Image of Elvis appears before Japanese Tourist Group only for seconds” – for most of the article you would talk about how lots of tourists were going to Vegas, and build the article up to a climax (i.e., thousands of tourists gathered around to witness this great event) – then finally the punchline – (it was an elvis impersonator). So for tabloid articles – it tends to be these three steps – (a) Build Up – (b) Climax – (c) Punchline


Anyways, I hope this article helps get you started on writing great articles! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them here. Thanks!