How to Write an Article

Sydney Gaff

Working on The Bolt means a reporter has to write many articles. Because of this, the staff at The Bolt has become accustomed to the general process that is necessary to produce a well done article.

Writing an article is not something that can be done overnight; writing an article takes many days. There are multiple steps involved in producing an article. Here is a behind the scenes look at what it takes:

Step One: Pick a topic to write about

This can be easy for those who already have an idea in mind, but some people need inspiration. One way to get ideas is by researching the news and recent events. By finding topics and stories that are intriguing to an individual, they will be able to make sure their writing is of the best quality. This is because the best stories are always written when the writer takes interest in the subject they are writing about.

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With the new Chromebooks, students of the journalism class can work where ever and when ever.The more and more one writes articles, the better one can identify their strengths and weaknesses. In the long run, this allows one to write a more compelling article.
Step Two: The prep work for the article

This step might seem simple, but it can sometimes be one of the most frustrating of all the steps. Therefore, it is crucial to plan far in advance because it will make the writing process easier.

For starters, it is important to figure out what the angle or the point of view that the article will be written from. This could be the difference between a excellent article and a mediocre article.

After that, figure out who to interview and have an idea when this interview is going to happen. It is good do this as soon as possible in order to have plenty of time to schedule with the person being interviewed.

Also, it is good to have interview questions planned ahead of time as well, just in case it is necessary to email the questions to the person to conduct the interview. Another tip is to have a back-up person or two to interview just in case they are needed.

Lastly, for the planning period it is important to get the bones of the article or an outline. What is the point of the article? What information should the readers to walk away with? These are all questions that need to be answered in this part of the process. Never just start writing; it is a death sentence for the article. Plan, Plan, Plan!

Step Three: Get the Information

Research is a best friend during the process of writing an article. Getting background information helps a writer write a more in depth article on the prospective topic.

Step Four: The Article and Media

Now that the interviews have been conducted and the article has been planned it is time to finally write it! This step could not get any simpler; just write. Use background information, use the things that were learned in the interview(s), and write until you are satisfied with the outcome.

The media component of an article is not a necessity, but a few photos or a video can bring a whole new dimension to the article. Media tends to be a great visual aspect as well to an article, and it can provide more information that was not included in the article itself.

Step Five: Edit and Revise

This step is the most self-explanatory because it is something that everyone has done since the second grade. Check for any grammatical or convention errors. Then have a few people read it and see their opinions and any suggestions they may have. Getting other opinions can really make the article better and more relatable for multiple demographics of people.

Step Six: Finalize and Publish

Finally, it is the end of the process! It is time to make any last touches to the media component or article. This is the time to make sure the layout is how it should appear. Even if there is not a platform to publish on, do not let it stop the desire to write; just keep writing!

These steps are the guide to writing a successful article, and this is the basic format on how the writers at The Bolt produce articles. There is a significant amount of work and effort that is necessary for an article, but it is possible for anyone to write a great article using these foolproof steps.

Header Photo Courtesy of Sydney Gaff