What Are The Different Features Of An Article – A Comprehensive Study
Let’s start with what is an article? Is it like a longer version of a blog? Is it a features write-up? Does it just provide information or entertains the reader? Or all of the above? And what features of an article contribute to being the best ones?
The basic thing to understand is that whenever you wish to start writing an article, you must first do the follows:
- Make a list of why you are writing the said article.
- What should be the heading and sub-headings?
- What should be included in the body?
- What should be the tone of the article?
- If any examples or mentions of any names are important.
- Do you wish to answer any questions or provide a solution via your article?
- If you have taken reference from someone’s article or write-up, then you have to mention their name or give them credit.
- How to end the article/ conclusion.
After you answer these questions, make it an important point to research the given topic, thoroughly. As there is always a matter of plagiarism and that can really get you into trouble. Nonetheless, researching doesn’t mean that you are copying someone’s ideas. It means you wish to use the idea in your own words.
How to write the perfect article?
Writing is always a tricky concept. Even if you have the idea and wish to share it with a bunch of readers, who you wish would become your followers! Every time you yourself would read it would find something to change or edit. Think of the avid readers! Therefore, what may seem perfect one day may have flaws the next. So just admit it, perfection lies in the eye of the beholder and not the writer. Although, there are ways to create a masterpiece that will just crack on.
10 features of an article that will create new horizons for the writer:
Say you have to write about the best restaurants in town or write about the IPL session and which team is playing well or you have been given a topic on the latest loafer shoes and their features. To get the best article out of your system, choose the topic that will make you happy as a writer. And then select that one, on which you can write wholeheartedly.
Here’s a hook: as soon as you hear the topic, and on whichever topic, your mind starts to give you more and more ideas, go for that one. Try not to write out of your comfort zone.
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2.An Exhaustive Research:
As mentioned above copying someone else’s hard work may get you through the day but might get you into trouble later. Even if you wish to believe that spinning the content or changing some words with their fancier synonyms may work. They might until you are caught.
- You have to understand that we live in the golden age of Google and everything ever is written can be researched and found on the internet. Therefore spinning may also not work.
- If you are getting paid to write it or you wish to write it for a future project, then don’t waste time on copying. Rather invest the time on researching.
- Wikipedia is a friend that can be referred to, to gain knowledge, but know this, the minute you copy their entire text, they get a warning notification and may or may not wish to charge you with it.
- After you have researched the given topic, you must jot it down into points. As that reduces the chance of copying.
- Statistics and Surveys always help to impress the audience.
- Mentioning the line, that, “According to a recent survey” or “As per the statistics taken”; will grab the reader’s eye, for sure.
- Mentioning a few anecdotes, jokes, examples from real life, examples from a movie, examples of a music band, also attracts the reader. As then the reader can relate to those examples and places himself in those examples.
3.Select the Title and jot down the sub-headings before starting to write:
The more headings and subheadings come to mind, the better. Even after you have written the article, and when you read it again, you can replace the title with another one, which you jotted down before.
The title that makes it to your favorite list, can make a sub-heading as well. So, nothing is wasted! Even if the topic doesn’t interest you, you should cut down the fat and focus on what you know. Or in some cases, add the fat of fluff to make it appear bolder and more attractive.
Some writers have made the mistake of just writing fluff on a given topic and nothing concrete in it that actually helped. Like just smoke that doesn’t have any solid material in it. Ask yourself that did it really help anyone or if it just a piece of fuzz.
4.Focus the audience:
It is obvious that you are not writing to amuse yourself, or that would be a diary entry.
- If you are investing your time, energy, and intellect, then there has to be something there! Focus on the targeted audience. Say, you are writing on the ‘latest brewery in town’, then you wish to reach the right people, for example, the people who love to try out freshly brewed beer or the competitors of the product or someone wishing to invest in the business.
- To attain that, one must make a list in their heads, that who will remove time and read their article. Then, whether the targeted people are, students or businessmen! And whether the language of the article has to be B2B or B2C i.e. Business to Business or Business to Customer.
- After the audience is imagined and the language is decided, then the matter of the region or country comes in. Like certain countries or states have rules on certain topics and their limitations. For example, writing about the local government and its current workings can create some issues. And certain countries are more open towards providing sex education to children while some countries like to keep it hush-hush.
- Certain household-related articles tend to shift focus from providing information about a certain product and start selling the product. Make sure that you are just providing the information and writing a sales pitch. Although mentioning the brands that deal in those products also counts as providing info. As a sales pitch will soon be categorized and lose its potential.
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To make sure that your audience is still glued to your article and hasn’t shifted perspective, make the body interesting. By adding in bullet points and numbering the points that you wish to share.
- The Body has to be precise and not dodgy: One has to be very clear on what they are writing. Creating examples and sharing facts can keep the reader interested. But having unnecessary stories will only make them bored.
- Make sure you provide information along with those examples and statistics. As mentioned above, fluff is not enough to make the article worthwhile. No matter how fancy your language is if you fail to provide the information your title claims to have, the reader will be bored.
- Use easy-to-understand language: As it is highlighted above, the target audience has to be known to power through with the written words. For that to succeed, the language has to be grammatically correct and easy to understand. You may use fancy and heavy words in those articles, which are to be published in Business Magazines or Websites.
Otherwise, if you try to use heavy vocabulary in places where the reader is just looking for such basic information, then no reader will open the dictionary, to search for the meaning of the words you have written. That will result in, the boredom of the reader.
Make sure that what you write is relevant and you do justice to the title. By just providing examples and stories about the given topic might grab the readers’ eye, but if you shift from the topic at hand, then the purpose of writing the article will too be lost.
Be it any kind of write-up, a blog, a short story, a press release, or an article, be sure to create a plot beforehand. Otherwise, you may start to write the article but get lost mid-way. By keeping the plot in your mind, will help you to stay in check. Try not to wander off from the plotline, while giving those examples.
Many writers have made this mistake, they started fine and after mentioning a few examples and scenarios in between, they lost their way and by the end, the entire tone of the article was changed. That is just bad writing.
Being original is important but the size of the article matters as well. That doesn’t mean that you go on and on. Write long ones but make sure to be relevant. The short ones do not count as articles, they would classify into the blog category or a features article.
9.Repetition is a big No-No
If you wish to write a lengthy piece, then do not repeat your points. Even if change the language and words, the point still stands. That can make the reader lose interest.
Even if you only have a limited point to elaborate on, for example, if you are writing about a product say, a cold cream, you will mention its features and elaborate on them in a very profound manner, you will mention why to use it and how it can benefit, what then? To fill the space, you may rephrase those points and sound like a parrot. That can cause plagiarism in your content.
10.Conclude in style
The conclusion doesn’t mean abruptly finishing the content. You can make it like a summary of the entire write-up or state why you decided to write on the given topic or you can also mention the brand’s name or company’s name at the end.
Whichever the case may be, conclude in either manner:
- By setting an example.
- Leaving with an expression.
- Leaving with a question that will create curiosity and make the reader want to come to your page and find out more.
Apart from these points, it creates an impressive article. One must have an over-the-top idea of creating a wondrous article. Do not write on something you may not want to read yourself. If you get bored while proofreading then does not put someone else through the pain of reading and appreciating your work.
If you are putting in your hard work to create something that you may want to feel proud about, even years later, then keep the following points in your mind:
Go old school:
Writers for centuries used a notebook and a pencil/pen. This enables you to keep a hard copy of your work that may come in handy, years later. This also helps to prove that you had the idea before anyone tries to steal it. Apart from that, jotting down ideas before starting to write them, will guide me through writer’s block. Even if you fall out of the plot line or lose a sense of why you started to write it, then those points will help you get back on track.
This also enables you to check off what points you have mentioned and not repeat them. This will save you time and energy. At times, notes made for one topic, also help in another one. For example, if you are writing about ‘How to cook chicken noodles without sticking them on the pan’; you will research and make notes about different kinds of noodles and sauces and how not to get them stuck. These notes can help you to write about ‘different kinds of noodles’ or ‘assorted sauces used to cook noodles’, etc.
Be agile and up-to-date on current affairs and news. Giving old-time advice and examples can help but when you mention the current facts, which will prove that the writer is well-informed and updated to recent times.
It is not a story or a script:
Please don’t go daydreaming that your article will be chosen by the next Director of the movies and made into a blockbuster movie. As you are not writing a story or script. You are providing information and sharing news with the readers. The motive of the article is to be as an informant as possible. This means, stick to business and give the information that the reader wishes to receive.
Do not just write about what interests you or which you prefer. As the readers are there to gain knowledge and not know about your preference. Although, narrowing down to the exact information can be helpful like if you are writing about the ’10 best Ice-cream shops in the City, then you have to mention them by name and obviously you will put them in the preference of your choice. But don’t go on about one option, which you liked, and be brief about the one, which you didn’t. That will send a clear message to the reader, that the writer is forcing his choice on the reader.
Make sure that you proofread your work before submitting it or publishing it. As there might be small grammatical mistakes that you may not notice at the time but might catch your eye as soon as you publish them. Then, there will not be any way of getting it back. As they say, words and arrows cannot come back once released. So, even if you have to spend some time, do read your content.
Do not try to be too formal nor too casual in your approach. That may not be well-received by many. Some people might find your language whimsical while some might find it too out there. So, try not to be judgmental and neutral.
You can’t impress everyone:
Understand one thing that there are critics everywhere. And you can’t impress everyone with your writing style. So do your job well and hope for the best.
Being negative is acceptable:
You cannot always write about what is good and what stands out. You can also be critical and go all complaining about someone or some issue. You can also write negative points but just remember you cannot mention yourself in the article. You are reporting something, so provide the information. Be a critic, yourself, go ahead and write about someone else’s work or behavior. That all is acceptable.
Catchy words and lines help
The tone of the article can be decided by the writer. Therefore, writing in any tense, language, person, etc. is the writer’s choice. Using catchy lines and words will grab the reader’s attention and can create a lasting impression as well.
Use Images/ videos:
This is optional but can help in getting the reader to stay longer. Use relevant images or videos, especially the ones that are free or created by yourself. Do not violate someone’s copyright and use their work. Or take permission.
Invest in your content:
If you wish to get acknowledged for your hard work, then invest in a portal or domain name that can get you good views. Even if you have to buy the license for the same or spend money on a video or image or music, do it, as your hard work is not cheap.
Try to cover much ground as possible:
You are not the only one writing about a particular topic, there have many before you and there will be more after you. So, if your article covers the maximum ground, then the reader will not feel the need to go to others.
Know this, where your work is published, will have a comment section and people will express their feelings towards the same. To make the comment section public or not, can be chosen on some websites, but at least you will read them. Some intellectuals in the world actually know better, so don’t ignore the advice or criticism that comes down your way.
If your article is short and precise, then that is fine, too. Just remember the above points. The main motive behind spending the amount of time on creating it has to be achieved by making your point across the room.
Handle the pressure and do not let that affect your writing style. Most of the time, writers get deadlines for submitting their content. That may create a good amount of pressure and can shift the writer’s focus. That will cause the tense of the person in the article to change.
Sticking to one tense, person, language, and format will always be rewarding. Don’t change either of them, even if you write half of the content one day and then the rest, some other time.
Before you submit your work and have proofread it thoroughly, make it a point to see that if you answered the questions and if the information provided by you will be understood by the majority of readers. Some readers may only be browsing through and may not have your capabilities. Some might not even follow the plotline and jump to the bullet points. As we already established that most readers only wish to read the highlighted points, be prepared for it. Make the content as user-friendly as possible.
This article is about the features of an article. The features that make an article can make even the most dump-worthy content into a worth-reading one have been highlighted in this content. When a reader decides to spend their time reading an article and not a short blog that means the content of the said article has to be mind-boggling. The article has to be worth the time, of the reader and the writer as well.