Structure and Flow: Writing a Great Article

Posted: December 26th, 2013, 3:01 pm   By: brittany.corners

Rather than go in-depth on each aspect of structure and flow, this post shows you how to format an article that flows well and is properly structured.

Article Title: Anatomy of an Article

To write a great article demands that you observe the correct structure and construct it in a way that flows well. To accomplish this, it is essential that you conduct research, choose your paragraph subheadings wisely, write at least two body paragraphs and tie things in a nice, neat bow with a conclusion that summarizes and sometimes provides supplemental information. Keep reading to learn this process.

Research

Conduct research before you write a single word. Once you know about what you intend to write specifically, develop a loose outline – whether it is in your head or written down makes no difference. When you embark on writing without any thought to the order in which you intend to present material, it shows with material that comes across as random and unfocused.

Write the introduction

With your outline nailed down and your focus intact, you are ready to introduce your readers to the topic. In general terms, tell them about what you are going to write. Think of it in terms of how you act when you first meet someone new; you say who you are, shake hands and say something general about yourself. Never introduce something in the intro that you do not intend to address in the body paragraphs.

Develop paragraph subheadings

Before actually writing your body paragraphs, develop paragraph subheadings that give your readers a clue about what they are going to read. Paragraph subheadings should stay relatively short, and when possible, make them witty and engaging. Make sure to use the proper punctuation for paragraph subheadings by writing them with sentence case, meaning only the first word is capitalized. In addition, sentence case dictates that no punctuation is included at the end of the subheadings.

Build the body paragraphs

Once you have developed paragraph subheadings, you are ready to write the body paragraphs; these are the meat of your article. Here, you provide detailed information that flushes out the purpose of the article. Essentially, this is where you tell readers what you said you were going to tell them in the introduction, only with far more detail. Avoid writing exceptionally long paragraphs, as this discourages readers from actually reading what you write. For a good article, you should have at least two body paragraphs with a minimum of two sentences each.

Create flow with smooth transitions

Even with paragraph subheadings, your article should flow with a smooth transition from one paragraph to the next. If you did not already notice the flow within this article, look at the first sentence of each new paragraph. To lead into the next subject, the subject previously discussed is mentioned. How you do this is entirely a personal decision, but providing a transition from one paragraph to the next greatly increases the readability of your article as well as its overall flow.

Write the conclusion

You have smoothly transitioned your way to the conclusion, which is the easiest part of an article to write. Close with a brief summary of what you just told readers. Provide information or suggestions for further investigation or include a few additional suggestions your readers can use to learn on their own. Avoid going too far off topic, though, and stay concise. Doing so ensures your well-written article stays that way through the very last word.

To ensure your articles are well written, you must remember the basic tenant of structure: tell readers what you are going to write, write it in the body paragraph and write it again in the conclusion in a summarized fashion. Do the proper research, utilize paragraph subheadings, write relevant and informative body paragraphs and wrap things up nicely with a conclusive paragraph. Through it all, transition well and create a flow that enhances readability. If you follow these guidelines, you are sure to write one great article after another.