Effective communication is vital to almost anything you do in life. Failure to communicate effectively is the main cause of many of our problems. Writing articles is no exception. When you take on the responsibility of writing informative articles for other people to read, it is your duty to learn how to communicate the right message.
Here are 10 simple points to keep in mind when writing your next article:
1 - Structure. The structure of any piece of writing is always a beginning, a middle, and an end. In the introduction you name the problem you plan to solve with your article and your solution. In the body of the article you break the solution down into its various components and analyze each component in a short paragraph. In the conclusion, you give a brief summary of the problem and the solution, and identify the next action the reader should take.
2 - Simplicity/clarity. Simple, short sentences help get the message across in the most direct way. Clarity is just as important: say what you mean and try to avoid complicated language. It will only distract your reader from the useful information he expects from your article.
3 - Know the purpose of your article. With the purpose of your article clearly stated, you immediately notice if you are wandering off to another topic. You must know what you hope to achieve with the article, and so must your reader. Then aim to achieve just that with no extra fluff to get in the way of your message.
4 - Know your audience. Once you know the purpose of your article, you will also have a pretty good idea of what kind of person will be reading it. Knowing who you are talking to makes it that much easier to use the correct language and to refer to external facts that you know your reader will understand.
5 - Use a positive, relaxed style. If you are moaning, you're not being helpful. The purpose of writing your article is to be helpful, so don't bore people or scare them off. A positive style will always win the most votes. People prefer to be optimistic, no matter what they tell you. It's what allows us to move forward.
6 - Avoid jumbled or multiple messages. Ideally, your article should be based on one specific message, and built around it. If you have another message, write another article. The problem with jumbled messages is that it is very easy for the reader to either become confused, or to forget a part of the article. So you would really just be wasting your time.
7 - Edit your work. There's nothing more off-putting than running into one mistake after another when you are reading something. It distracts you from the objective of the article and you lose concentration. If you really care about your writing and getting your message across, you will also want to present your work professionally.
8 - Ask for and give feedback. In order to improve you need feedback. If your writing is a one-way communication you are missing the point. Ask for people to give you their feedback. Then apply the changes you think will be most effective. And give what you wish to receive. When you read something and the author asks for feedback, try to give them constructive feedback. It will make a difference to their work and to your own.
9 - Practice. Write as much as you can. Go back after a few days and reread your writing. This is the only way you can develop your skill and get a feel for how your writing "sounds" to the reader.
10 - Read. Read all kinds of writing, newspapers, magazines, novels, letters, anything you can get your hands on. Read for pleasure, but also read as if you were studying. Notice how the writer communicates thoughts and feelings and what specifically made them clear to you. Reading is also the research you need to supply useful information.
So next time you write an article, make sure that it effectively presents the information and ideas you intended to discuss.
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