Breaking Down How-To Articles

Posted: December 30th, 2013, 9:00 am   By: brittany.corners

A well-developed how-to article transitions well from a brief introduction that tells readers what you intend to teach them and consists of at least two (more is better) detailed steps that explain things in a concise manner. To demonstrate how to write a great how-to article that flows and contains multiple steps, this post consists of a sample how-to article.

Article Title: How to Write a Great How-To Article

Writing how-to articles is a relatively simple way to approach article writing. This type of article breaks down the steps in an easy-to-follow manner to teach your readers the steps they need to take to complete a task. Writing a great how-to article requires research, an introduction that leads into the steps and well-constructed, concise steps. Keep reading to learn how to write a great how-to article.

(How to) Conduct research

If the subject is something with which you are unfamiliar, conduct research to develop the steps necessary to instruct your readers how to accomplish the task. Armed with the information you need, you are ready to proceed.

(How to) Write the intro paragraph

With the proper research in hand, write your intro paragraph. Give a brief introduction to the topic. Explaining why the how-to steps are beneficial is a good way to introduce the subject, as is giving a very brief, general summary of what the steps entail. Always conclude your intro with a sentence that transitions to the how-to steps.

(How to) Choose the wording for how-to steps

Between your research and intro, you have identified of what each step consists. When you write the heading for each step, keep in mind that there is an invisible “how to” preceding whatever you write. Using action words as the first word of your steps is a great way to ensure you stay on track. Insert creativity and wit whenever possible. Use sentence case for each step by only capitalizing the first word and omitting punctuation at the end.

(How to) Write concise information

Once you have worded all your steps, start filling in the details that explain each. Stay concise, and use smaller paragraphs. If you find a step that requires a rather lengthy explanation, break that step into two. Long paragraphs discourage readers from reading.

If breaking the step into two steps is not feasible, break the paragraph into two separate paragraphs within the same step with a blank line separating them. Steps should easily flow from one to the next.

(How to) Wrap up final step

Now that you have eloquently written your way from the intro to the final step, wrap up the article. Your final step consists of the very last thing required of the reader to complete the task. While how-to articles do not require a conclusion paragraph, providing a final sentence that finalizes the article is a good idea. The last thing to do is proofread for grammar and flow. After completing that, your well-written how-to article is complete.