Marianne Cooper-vd Veen
Before You Start Writing That Article
Staring at your screen... Waiting for that inspiration to come... A lot of people think that writing is a talent that you're either born with or not. Luckily, writing is something that you can learn! These tips can help you to get started on writing that article you want (or have) to write. And remember: practice makes perfect!
Make a planning What's the deadline? How much time do you have available to write? How long should the article be?
What's the purpose of the text? Do you want to inform, explain, narrate or persuade? The purpose of a text has consequences for the content, structure and writing style.
Create a reader profile Is there one reader or are there more? What's my reader's level of knowledge and education? What does the reader know about the subject? What's the reader's attitude toward the subject? (positive/neutral/negative) What's my relationship with the reader? (distant/business/informal)
Formulate the central question Every text can be seen as an answer to one question, the central question, which often can be split into sub-questions.
Gather information The purpose, reader profile and central question tell you what information is relevant to your text. Gather info by researching (online) sources and by brainstorming (writing down all the words that come to mind about the subject.)
Make a structure A catchy title, followed by an engaging introduction (usually with a question/statement in it), followed by the main body (with pros/cons/examples) and an ending with a conclusion