Monday, June 27, 2005

4 Major Mistakes to Avoid when Writing an Article

By avoiding these common mistakes, you will greatly improve your article. The Internet has an overabundance of disregarded content that was written in the same rambling way that the author normally speaks in. Many of these articles would never have been neglected by the general public had the author simply looked for these common mistakes prior to publishing.Number One: Poor TitleThe title, or headline, must grab the reader’s attention and reel him or her into the story. It should not be extremely long. The title can be fun and does not necessarily need to be a verbatim description of the article. Sometimes a title is best written last. Keep in mind that we are talking about titles for articles and not books. This is an important distinction because longer titles and sub titles that might be appropriate for books will not work for articles.Bad Title: Website Promotion Ideas: 8 Simple But Effective Tips To Get People To Visit Your Web Site Again And AgainWhy? This long and clumsy title does not work for an article. The title has unneeded words and does not take the intended audience into consideration. The theme was correct and the title could be salvaged by properly rewriting it.Better Title: 4 Major Mistakes to Avoid when Writing an ArticleWhy? This title is short, informs the reader what the article is about, and is worded to walk the reader into the article. It is properly targeted for the intended audience.Number Two: Poor OpeningThe opening paragraph, especially the introductory line, must be strong and present the topic. The title should flow nicely into the opening paragraph. If the title is “Saving Money at the General Store” and the article leads with “I really don’t understand why more stores don’t supply coupons”—it is time to rewrite. In this example, the reader will become confused quickly. It is important to maintain a logical flow.Additionally, never write the following: In this article, I will show… (Just show it) This article will cover… (Articles do not need a table of contents or an outline) By the end of this article… (Don’t talk to your readers like they are in grade school—unless the audience really is in grade school)Number Three: Poor Flow Poor flow destroys writing in general. Many writers would benefit from creating an outline and rearranging their writing based on it. Writing that does not follow logical flow is completely doomed. Many article authors seem to simply write in the same order as thoughts occur in and then call the job complete. Meanwhile, the writing is a complete mess and a potentially great article remains nothing more than amateur fodder.This mistake can be avoided by printing out the work, reading it over, and labeling the main theme for each sentence. In the “poor opening” example, the introductory sentence belonged later on in the article—perhaps the conclusion. Reading the article draft aloud is a professional technique for discovering sentence structure errors.Number Four: Poor ConclusionIt is poor form to label your conclusion as such in an article. There is no need to type the word “Conclusion” or state “In conclusion”. A conclusion should not be a summary of what was already written. It must include fresh writing, illustrate the main point of the article, and bring the article to a logical closing. Moreover, it can’t leave the reader with the sense of incompletion. An ideal conclusion will drive the point home and give the reader the satisfaction of having read the article. The closing of the article must be communicated well or the reader will come away unsatisfied—even if the article was great up until that point.Writing great articles takes practice and adhering to some basic principles. To eliminate poorly written articles, share them with your friends and family. Write down their questions and comments as they read your article. With newfound information in hand, proceed to rewrite your work. Never be afraid to delete and rearrange—every writer must do this. In the end, your readers will thank you by continuing to read your improved work. ©2005 Jason Andrew Martin LLC About the Author Jason A. Martin has been conducting business on the Internet for 11 years. He is a freelance writer on many topics and is currently working on obtaining a degree in Journalism and Law.His official web site, which contains articles you can use for your web site, can be viewed at: Jason A. Martin _______________________________________________


At 10:37 AM, Blogger Kyle Stich said...

Paragraph length rates high on the mistakes-to-avoid-when-writing-for-the-Web; keep them shorter than in standard paper publication. Readers will generally block out walls of text, or disregard the content altogether.

At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Jason A. Martin said...

It is important to note that this article is not printed in the original format. The original is not one long cluster of text :D

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