Now that you have completed all your research, it’s time to write the article. In the beginning, you may struggle for hours over every word, trying to get the piece perfect. This is normal and part of the learning process. Your best bet is to go back to your outline, fit your research in, and write from that framework. If you didn’t create an outline, compose one right now, and follow it faithfully in your work.
Before you write, be sure you are thoroughly prepared. First, type up your notes from interviews and other research so that you won’t have to waste time puzzling over your handwriting during the writing process. Then, position your style guide close by as a ready reference. Finally, sit down and briefly analyze the articles in your target publication. Gauge the tone of the articles, and see how much emphasis they put on research, how heavily they use quotes and statistics, and what length the sidebars are, if any. Keep these points in mind as you write, referring to the publication as necessary to refresh your memory and to look at particularsthe headlines, leads, etc.as you work on those portions of your own piece.
The Parts of an Article
Articles are generally composed of four parts the headline, lead, body, and conclusion. The headline and lead introduce the article and define its focus, while the body backs up the premise. The conclusion ties all the information together into one neat package.
It’s important to make sure that all parts of your article work together to form one cohesive unit. A good article is circular, meaning that the ending reflects the beginning. This echo of the beginning makes the article more memorable for the reader and brings all the points made in the piece back to the original slant.
Helpful Hint: The best articles are circular, meaning that the conclusion reflects the message of the headline and the opening paragraph, literally bringing the reader full circle.
Read more about Headlines, Leads, Article Bodies and Conclusions in How to Publish Your Articles.