Before you begin writing an essay or article, you need a topic. A good topic is only the start of writing a great article, though. Other than the basic technical details such as structure that enhance your project, other important tips will improve your end-product.
An active voice makes the read more compelling, but fluff does not. Excessive rambling is distracting, while concise thoughts on paper with loads of interest, maintain attention. Learn how to write better with these 7 tips.
Plan your article structure
The structure is important, no matter what type of writing you do. Everything you write should have a beginning, body and conclusion. Few exceptions exist for this rule, and when they do, they typically involve SEO article designed to generate backlinks.
For the rest, your structure should include these 3 elements, and your headings and subheadings should give the reader a broad outline of your article. Introductory sentences under each heading should capture the gist of the heading. Final sentences under each heading should introduce your line of thought for the following paragraph.
Plan the software and apps that can help you with the article structure and the overall writing from the start to the end. A good suggestion from professional academic writers is the Edubirdie tool. To check your paper for plagiarism free of charge, it’s the best. It’s useful not just for articles, but for all academic work like thesis, dissertations and essays.
Choose a topic you’re interested in
If you’re interested in your topic, it shines through on paper. You’re also able to research and write quicker when you enjoy your subject. If you have very little to say about a topic, your writing can quickly become boring, unless you invest loads of time doing in-depth research.
When writing an essay about an academic subject or a creative article that you are passionate about, it is much easier to achieve a result that keeps your audience attentive.
Show creativity and clarity of thought
Facts are great, but clear creativity is better.
I have a family.
I have a wife, two daughters and one son. My older daughter takes violin lessons, and my younger daughter is a ballerina. My oldest son is my first child, and he is now at university. My second son is my youngest child, and he is now in grade 7.
The second sentence gives the reader a clearer idea of his family and makes for a far more interesting read.
Simple language works better
Use simple words to get your point across without sounding uneducated. Current writing aims for easy reading. Modern writing should be designed for rapid understanding, so use these tips to improve your work to achieve this aim.
Write “use” rather than “utilize”; “nearby” in place of “close proximity,” and replace “commence” with “start.” Use longer words when the short ones just won’t work. Simple!
Long sentences are confusing
Keep your sentences short. Short sentences maintain attention and are faster and easier to read. Long sentences can cause confusion---for you and the reader. You want your thoughts to be understood, so make them a pleasure to read rather than a burden.
Active is much more interesting than passive
The active voice uses the subject, followed by the verb, and then the object. This formula is known as the SVO in the English language. It isn’t always possible to accomplish the SVO in every sentence, but aim for more use of the active over the passive voice.
The passive voice reverses this formula, which then becomes the OVS---object, verb, subject. Active is typically much more interesting than the passive voice. Most writing software programs provide a check to see how much of your article consists of the active and passive voice. Aim for at least 20% and lower for your passive voice.
Edit out the fluff
Get rid of the extra “add-ons” to your sentences that don’t improve your sentence. Ditch the rambling because you are bored, and have lost focus because your audience will also lose interest.
Aim for no more than 2 to 3 paragraphs per double-spaced page for academic essay---much fewer for non-academic articles. Short paragraphs are also easier to read and remember.
Repetition is boring, so avoid that. Edit your work until you cut it down to the bone, without reducing its meaning. Writing well needs loads of practice. Learn good habits from the start, and you will never need to revisit the basics. Take constructive criticism and implement it. Don’t sacrifice your voice in the process, though, because writing is an individual creative expression.
Robert Everett is a blogger and article writer working with a digital agency for more than a decade. He also works as a freelance academic writer and manages business management and technology subjects. In his free time, he shoots YouTube funny videos, plays basketball and reads short stories.