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By Bhalachandra Sahaj

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If you are a student, most likely you will at least once have to write an article—for a high school newspaper, college website, as an academic assignment, and so on. If you have already done it before, good for you. But, if it is going to be the first time you will be doing research, systematizing information for an article, and trying to make sense of it all, this blog post might be a lifesaver for you.

Generally, writing an article is not much different than writing an essay, but it has several nuances you should pay attention to. But first, let’s take a look at the steps needed to write an article.

  1. Decide on the purpose of your article. Just as in the case with essays, articles can tell about something, explain causation, rant, analyze, and so on. What do you want to achieve with your article?
  2. Formulate the topic clearly. Once again, as in the case with essays, your topic should be narrow, meaning there is only one clear way of understanding it. Do research on it. The Internet is basically all you need, but in case you need some specific monographs or archive data, you can always go to your local library.
  3. Do not forget to take notes while researching. Also, make sure to organize your notes in such a way that you always know what this or that note refers to. Do not rely on your memory—record everything.
  4. Your next step is deciding on your article’s length, market (or a place where it will be published), and intention.
  5. Check the legalities. Also, if the topic of your article refers to delicate questions (for example, gay marriage or racism) make sure you use neutral and politically-correct language.
  6. Draft the paragraphs in regard to your key points.
  7. Write the rest of the article. The introductory part is usually written last in order to introduce the material in the best possible way.

As for nuances, they are not so obvious, but still crucial. The tone and general style of your article should match with the style and tone of the resource you will publish your article on. The same refers to the topic: an article about racial prejudice in the U.S. will not fit in a glamour fashion magazine. Slang is not accepted—try to make your writing engaging and easy-to-read by other means. Rather often, it’s not bad to follow up your article with relevant photographs; in my opinion, it’s also better to not use stock photos, cartoon images, or computer graphics. Mention your sources, especially when you make a statement or introduce data.

Well, this is basically it. Check out some of the articles written on your topic on the Web—you might find something useful.

Good luck!

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