How to Write an Article: A Proven Step-by-Step Guide

Tom Winter

Are you dreaming of becoming a notable writer or looking to enhance your content writing skills? Whatever your reasons for stepping into the writing world, crafting compelling articles can open numerous opportunities. Writing, when viewed as a skill rather than an innate talent, is something anyone can master with persistence, practice, and the proper guidance.

That’s precisely why I’ve created this comprehensive guide on ‘how to write an article.’ Whether you’re pursuing writing as a hobby or eyeing it as a potential career path, understanding the basics will lead you to higher levels of expertise. This step-by-step guide has been painstakingly designed based on my content creation experience. Let’s embark on this captivating journey toward becoming an accomplished article writer!

What is an Article?

what is an article

An article is more than words stitched together cohesively; it’s a carefully crafted medium expressing thoughts, presenting facts, sharing knowledge, or narrating stories. Essentially encapsulating any topic under the sun (or beyond!), an article is a versatile format meant to inform, entertain, or persuade readers.

Articles are ubiquitous; they grace your morning newspaper (or digital equivalents), illuminate blogs across various platforms, inhabit scholarly journals, and embellish magazines. Irrespective of their varying lengths and formats, which range from news reports and features to opinion pieces and how-to guides, all articles share some common objectives. Learning how to write this type of content involves mastering the ability to meet these underlying goals effectively.

Objectives of Article Writing

Objectives of Article Writing

The primary goal behind learning how to write an article is not merely putting words on paper. Instead, you’re trying to communicate ideas effectively. Each piece of writing carries unique objectives intricately tailored according to the creator’s intent and the target audience’s interests. Generally speaking, when you immerse yourself in writing an article, you should aim to achieve several fundamental goals.

First, deliver value to your readers. An engaging and informative article provides insightful information or tackles a problem your audience faces. You’re not merely filling up pages; you must offer solutions, present new perspectives, or provide educational material.

Next comes advancing knowledge within a specific field or subject matter. Especially relevant for academic or industry-focused writings, articles are often used to spread original research findings and innovative concepts that strengthen our collective understanding and drive progress.

Another vital objective for those mastering how to write an article is persuasion. This can come in various forms: convincing people about a particular viewpoint or motivating them to make a specific choice. Articles don’t always have to be neutral; they can be powerful tools for shifting public opinion.

Finally, let’s not forget entertainment – because who said only fictional work can entertain? Articles can stir our emotions or pique our interest with captivating storytelling techniques. It bridges the gap between reader and writer using shared experiences or universal truths.

Remember that high-quality content remains common across all boundaries despite these distinct objectives. No matter what type of writer you aspire to become—informative, persuasive, educational, or entertaining—strive for clarity, accuracy, and stimulation in every sentence you craft.

What is the Format of an Article?

What is the Format of an Article?

When considering how to write an article, understanding its foundation – in this case, the format – should be at the top of your list. A proper structure is like a blueprint, providing a direction for your creative construction.

First and foremost, let’s clarify one essential point: articles aren’t just homogenous chunks of text. A well-crafted article embodies different elements that merge to form an engaging, informative body of work. Here are those elements in order:

  • The Intriguing Title

At the top sits the title or heading; it’s your first chance to engage with a reader. This element requires serious consideration since it can determine whether someone will continue reading your material.

  • Engaging Introduction

Next comes the introduction, where you set expectations and hint at what’s to come. An artfully written introduction generates intrigue and gives readers a compelling reason to stick around.

  • Informative Body

The main body entails a detailed exploration of your topic, often broken down into subtopics or points for more manageable consumption and better flow of information.

  • Impactful Conclusion

Lastly, you have the conclusion, where you tie everything neatly together by revisiting key points and offering final thoughts.

While these components might appear straightforward on paper, mastering them requires practice, experimentation with writing styles, and a good understanding of your target audience. 

By putting in the work to familiarize yourself with how to create articles and how they’re structured, you’ll soon discover new ways to develop engaging content each time you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!). Translating complex concepts into digestible content doesn’t need to feel daunting anymore! Now that we’ve tackled the format, our focus can shift to what should be included in an article.

What Should Be in an Article?

What Should Be in an Article?

Understanding that specific items should be featured in your writing is crucial. A well-crafted article resembles a neatly packed suitcase – everything has its place and purpose.

Key Information

First and foremost, you need essential information. Start by presenting the topic plainly so readers can grasp its relevance immediately. This sets the tone of why you are writing the article. The degree of depth at this point will depend on your audience; be mindful not to overwhelm beginners with too much jargon or over-simplify things for experts.

Introduction

Secondly, every article must have an engaging introduction—this acts as the hook that reels your audience. Think of it as a movie trailer—it offers a taste of what’s to come without giving away all the details.

Third is the body, wherein you get into the crux of your argument or discussion. This is the point at which you present your ideas sequentially, along with supporting evidence or examples. Depending on the nature of your topic and personal style, this may vary from storytelling forms to more analytical breakdowns.

Lastly, you’ll need a fitting conclusion that wraps up all previously discussed points, effectively tying together every loose thread at the end. This helps cement your main ideas within the reader’s mind even after they’ve finished reading.

To summarize:  

  • Critical Information: Provides context for understanding
  • Introduction: Sheds further light on what will follow while piquing interest  
  • Body: Discusses topic intricacies using narratives or case studies
  • Conclusion: Ties up loose ends and reemphasizes important takeaways

In my experience writing articles for beginners and experts alike, I found these elements indispensable when conveying complex topics articulately and professionally. Always keep them at hand when looking to produce written material.

How should you structure an article?

How should you structure an article?

Crafting a well-structured article is akin to assembling a puzzle – every piece has its place and purpose. Let’s look at how to create the perfect skeleton for your content.

The introduction is your article’s welcome mat. It should be inviting and informative, briefly outlining what a reader can expect from your writing. Additionally, it must instantly grab the readers’ attention so they feel compelled to continue reading. To master the art of creating effective introductions, remember these key points:

  • Keep it short and precise.
  • Use compelling hooks like quotes or intriguing facts.
  • State clearly what the article will cover without revealing everything upfront.

Moving on, you encounter the body of your piece. This segment expands on the ideas outlined in the introduction while presenting fresh subtopics related to your core story. If we compare article writing to crossing a bridge, each paragraph represents a step toward the other side (the conclusion). Here are some tips for maintaining orderliness within your body:

  • Stick closely to one idea per paragraph as it enhances readability.
  • Ensure paragraphs flow logically by utilizing transitional words or sentences.
  • Offer evidence or examples supporting your claims and reinforce credibility.

As you approach the far side of our imaginary bridge, we reach an equally essential section of the article known as the conclusion. At this point, you should be looking to wrap your message up neatly while delivering on what was initially promised during the introduction. This section summarizes the main points, providing closure and ensuring readers feel satisfied.

Remember this golden rule when writing the conclusion: follow the  “Describe what you’re going to tell them (Introduction), tell them (Body), and then summarize what you told them (Conclusion).”  It’s a proven formula for delivering informative, engaging, and well-structured articles. 

One final tip before moving on: maintaining an active voice significantly enhances clarity for your readers. It makes them feel like they’re participating actively in the story unfolding within your article. In addition, it helps ensure easy readability, which is vital for keeping your audience engaged.

Tips for Writing a Good Article

Tips for Writing a Good Article

A persuasive, engaging, and insightful article requires careful thought and planning. Half the battle won is by knowing how to start writing and make content captivating. Below are vital tips that can enhance your article writing skills.

Heading or Title

An audience’s first impression hinges on the quality of your title. A good heading should be clear, attention-grabbing, and give an accurate snapshot of what’s contained in the piece’s body. Here are a few guidelines on how to create an impactful title:

  • Make it Compelling: Your title needs to spark interest and motivate readers to delve further into your work.
  • Keep it concise: You want to have a manageable heading. Aim for brevity yet inclusiveness.
  • Optimize with keywords: To boost search engine visibility, sprinkle relevant keywords naturally throughout your title.

By applying these techniques, you can increase reader engagement right from the get-go.

Body of the Article

After winning over potential readers with your catchy title, it’s time to provide substantial content in the form of the body text. Here’s how articles are typically structured:

Introduction:  Begin by providing an appealing overview that hooks your audience and baits them to read more. You can ask poignant questions or share interesting facts about your topic here.

Main Content:  Build on the groundwork set by your introduction. Lay out detailed information in a logical sequence with clear articulation.

Conclusion:  This reemphasizes the critical points discussed in the body while delivering a lasting impression of why those points matter.

Remember that clarity is critical when drafting each part because our objective here is to share information and communicate effectively. Properly understanding this approach ensures that the writing experience becomes creative and productive.

Step By Step Guide for Article Writing

Step By Step Guide for Article Writing

How do you write an article that engages your readers from the first line until the last? That’s what most writers, whether beginners or seasoned pros are trying to achieve. I’ll describe a step-by-step process for crafting such gripping articles in this guide.

Step 1: Find Your Target Audience

First and foremost, identify your target readers. Speaking directly to a specific group improves engagement and helps you craft messages that resonate deeply. To pinpoint your audience:

  • Take note of demographic attributes like age, gender, and profession.
  • Consider their preferences and needs.
  • Look into how much knowledge they are likely to possess concerning your topic.

Knowing this will help you decide what tone, language, and style best suits your readers. Remember, by understanding your audience better, you make it much easier to provide them with engaging content.

Step 2: Select a Topic and an Attractive Heading

Having understood your audience, select a relevant topic based on their interests and questions. Be sure it’s one you can competently discuss. When deciding how to start writing an article, ensure it begins with a captivating title.

A title should hint at what readers will gain from the article without revealing everything. Maintain some element of intrigue or provocation. For example, ‘6 Essentials You Probably Don’t Know About Gardening’ instead of just ‘Gardening Tips’.

Step 3: Research is Key

Good research is crucial to building credibility for beginners and experts alike. It prevents errors that could tarnish your piece immensely.

Thoroughly explore relevant books, scholarly articles, or reputable online resources. Find facts that build authenticity while debunking misconceptions that relate to your topic. Take notes on critical points discovered during this process—it’ll save you time when creating your first draft.

Step 4: Write a Comprehensive Brief

Having done your research, it’s time to write an outline or a brief—a roadmap for your article. This conveys how articles are written systematically without losing track of the main points.

Begin by starting the introduction with a punchy opener that draws readers in and a summary of what they’ll glean from reading. Section out specific points and ideas as separate headings and bullet points under each section to form the body. A conclusion rounds things up by restating key takeaways.

Step 5: Write and Proofread

Now comes the bulk of the work—writing. Respect the brief created earlier to ensure consistency and structure while drafting content. Use short, clear sentences while largely avoiding jargon unless absolutely necessary.

Post-writing, proofread ardently to check for typographical errors, inconsistent tenses, and poor sentence structures—and don’t forget factual correctness! It helps to read aloud, which can reveal awkward phrases that slipped through initial edits.

Step 6: Add Images and Infographics

To break text monotony and increase comprehension, introduce visuals such as images, infographics, or videos into your piece. They provide aesthetic relief while supporting the main ideas, increasing overall engagement.

Remember to source royalty-free images or get permission for copyrighted ones—you don’t want legal battles later!

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Article Writing

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Article Writing

Regarding article writing, a few pitfalls can compromise the quality of your content. Knowing these and how to avoid them will enhance your work’s clarity, depth, and impact.

The first mistake often made is skimping on research. An article without solid underpinnings won’t merely be bland – it might mislead readers. Therefore, prioritize comprehensive investigation before penning down anything. Understanding common misconceptions or misinterpretations about your topic will strengthen your case. 

Next, sidestep unnecessary jargon or excessively complex language. While showcasing an impressive vocabulary might seem appealing, remember that your primary objective is imparting information efficiently and effectively.

Moreover, failing to structure articles effectively represents another standard error. A structured piece aids in delivering complex ideas coherently. Maintaining a logical sequence facilitates reader comprehension, whether explaining a detailed concept or narrating an incident.

A piece lacking aesthetic allure can fail its purpose regardless of the value of its text. That’s where images come into play. Neglecting them is an all-too-common mistake among beginners. Relevant pictures inserted at appropriate junctures serve as visual breaks from texts and stimulate interest among readers.

Lastly, proofreading is vital in determining whether you can deliver a well-written article. Typos and grammatical errors can significantly undermine professional credibility while disrupting a smooth reading experience.

So, when pondering how articles are written, avoiding these mistakes goes a long way toward producing high-quality content that embodies both substance and style. Remember: practice is paramount when learning how to write excellent material!

How to Write an Article with SEOwind AI Writer?

How to Write an Article with SEOwind AI Writer

Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence has been a major step in many industries. One such significant tool is SEOwind AI Writer , which is critical for those curious about how to write an article leveraging AI. In this section, I’ll cover how you can effectively use SEOwind AI writer to create compelling articles.

Step 1: Create a Brief and Outline

The first step in writing an article revolves around understanding your audience’s interests and then articulating them in a comprehensive brief that outlines the content’s framework.

  • Decide on the topic: What ideas will you share via your article?
  • Define your audience: Knowing who will read your text significantly influences your tone, style, and content depth.
  • Establish main points: Highlight the key points or arguments you wish to exhibit in your drafted piece. This helps create a skeleton for your work and maintain a logical flow of information.

With SEOwind:

  • you get all the content and keyword research for top-performing content in one place,
  • you can generate a comprehensive AI outline with one click,
  • users can quickly create a title, description, and keywords that match the topic you’re writing about.

As insightful as it might seem, having a roadmap doubles as a guide throughout the creative process. SEOwind offers a user-friendly interface that allows the easy input of essential elements like keywords, title suggestions, content length, etc. These provide an insightful outline, saving time with an indispensable tool that demonstrates the practicality of article writing.

Step 2: Write an AI Article using SEOwind

Once you have a brief ready, you can write an AI article with a single click. It will consider all the data you provided and much more, such as copywriting and SEO best practices , to deliver content that ranks.

Step 3: Give it a Human Touch

Finally, SEOwind’s intuitive platform delivers impeccably constructed content to dispel any confusion about writing an article. The result is inevitably exceptional, with well-structured sentences and logically sequenced sections that meet your demands.

However, artificial intelligence can sometimes miss the unique personal touch that enhances relatability in communication—making articles more compelling. Let’s master adding individualistic charm to personalize articles so that they resonate with audiences.

Tailoring the AI-generated piece with personal anecdotes or custom inputs helps to break the monotony and bolster engagement rates. Always remember to tweak essential SEO elements like meta descriptions and relevant backlinks.

So, whether it’s enhancing casual language flow or eliminating robotic consistency, the slightest modifications can breathe life into the text and transform your article into a harmonious man-machine effort. Remember – it’s not just about technology making life easy but also how effectively we utilize this emerging trend!

Common Questions on how to write an article

Delving into the writing world, especially regarding articles, can often lead to a swarm of questions. Let’s tackle some common queries that newbies and seasoned writers frequently stumble upon to make your journey more comfortable and rewarding.

What is the easiest way to write an article?

The easiest way to write an article begins with a clear structure. Here are five simple steps you can follow:

  • Identify your audience: The first thing you should consider while planning your article is who will read it? Identifying your target audience helps shape the article’s content, style, and purpose.
  • Decide on a topic and outline: Determining what to write about can sometimes be a formidable task. Try to ensure you cover a topic you can cover effectively or for which you feel great passion. Next, outline the main points you want to present throughout your piece.
  • Do the research: Dig deep into resources for pertinent information regarding your topic and gather as much knowledge as possible. An informed writer paves the way for a knowledgeable reader.
  • Drafting phase: Begin with an engaging introduction followed by systematically fleshing out each point from your outline in body paragraphs before ending with conclusive remarks tying together all the earlier arguments.
  • Fine-tune through editing and proofreading: Errors happen no matter how qualified or experienced a writer may be! So make sure to edit and proofread before publishing.

Keep these keys in mind and remain patient and persistent. There’s no easier alternative for writing an article.

How can I write an article without knowing about the topic?

We sometimes need to write about less familiar subjects – but do not fret! Here’s my approach:

  • First off, start by thoroughly researching subject-centric reliable sources. The more information you have, the better poised you are to write confidently about it.
  • While researching, take notes and highlight the most essential points.
  • Create an outline by organizing these points logically – this essentially becomes your article’s backbone.
  • Start writing based on your research and outlined structure. If certain aspects remain unclear, keep investigating until clarity prevails.

Getting outside your comfort zone can be daunting, but is also a thrilling chance to expand your horizons.

What is your process for writing an article quickly?

In terms of speed versus quality in writing an article – strikingly enough, they aren’t mutually exclusive. To produce a high-quality piece swiftly, adhere to the following steps:

  • Establish purpose and audience: Before cogs start turning on phrase-spinning, be clear on why you’re writing and who will likely read it.
  • Brainstorm broadly, then refine: Cast a wide net initially regarding ideas around your topic. Then, narrow down those areas that amplify your core message or meet objectives.
  • Create a robust outline: A detailed roadmap prevents meandering during actual writing and saves time!
  • Ignore perfection in the first draft: Speed up initial drafting by prioritizing getting your thoughts on paper over perfect grammar or sentence compositions.
  • Be disciplined with edits and revisions: Try adopting a cut, shorten, and replace mantra while trimming fluff without mercy!

Writing quickly requires practice and strategic planning – but rest assured, it’s entirely possible!

Tom Winter

Seasoned SaaS and agency growth expert with deep expertise in AI, content marketing, and SEO. With SEOwind, he crafts AI-powered content that tops Google searches and magnetizes clicks. With a track record of rocketing startups to global reach and coaching teams to smash growth, Tom's all about sharing his rich arsenal of strategies through engaging podcasts and webinars. He's your go-to guy for transforming organic traffic, supercharging content creation, and driving sales through the roof.

Table of Contents

  • 1 What is an Article?
  • 2 Objectives of Article Writing
  • 3 What is the Format of an Article?
  • 4 What Should Be in an Article?
  • 5 How should you structure an article?
  • 6 Tips for Writing a Good Article
  • 7 Step By Step Guide for Article Writing
  • 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Article Writing
  • 9 How to Write an Article with SEOwind AI Writer?
  • 10 Common Questions on how to write an article

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Off-beat Topics to Write About for an Article in 2024

Neil March 6, 2024 Blog Post Idea Generator Leave a Comment

Every other writer struggles with figuring out “What should I write about?” at some point in career. To be frank, coming up every time with unique topics to write about for an article is a challenge in itself. Sometimes it feels like reaching the end of the creative ideas rope😓! 

Graphic of a woman sitting at her desk with a laptop, a thought bubble above her head.

Source: Freepik

That’s the right time when you need a little motivation to ignite your creativity and get you in the mood for writing. And that motivation comes from content ideas. That’s why we emphasize that ideas are the writer’s currency💸, and for good reason! 

But with so many ideas floating around, how do you choose the right ones? Fret not, for inspiration is just around the corner! We’ve pooled together popular writing topics for your next blog post or article. So grab your ✎ or 💻 and get ready to write. 

What Type of Topics Can You Write an Article On?

Gif of a Boy Thinking of Topics to Write About for an Article

Source: Giphy

There can be various things to write an article about. The decision to pick the right topic for writing an article often comes down to your interests and what your audience loves the most. Below, we’ve briefly explained some topics for articles that people generally like to engage with or explore. 

1. What’s Trending

While exploring things to write articles about, trending topics are a great option to share with your audience. Stay on top of the latest trends and buzz-worthy topics on the internet. From viral videos to breaking news, bring your readers the most captivating and relevant stories of the day.

2. News-worthy Industry Insights 

Get insider insights, expert analysis, and updates on the latest advancements in your industry. Keep your readers informed of what’s happening in the industry. Ensure you are among the first to break the news – it’ll be a jewel in the crown!

3. How-to Guides 

How-to guides (and listicles) perform very well in terms of keeping readers engaged and increasing dwell time . It’s because they empower readers to get done with something in an easy-to-follow manner with practical techniques and skills that they want to learn ( and earn from ).

4. Case Studies

Case studies are usually real-life examples and stories of how people and organizations have achieved success by overcoming challenges. They are attention-grabbing due to the lessons shared and best practices that readers can apply while pursuing their ambitions.

5. Debunking Myths

Clear up misconceptions and give your readers a deeper understanding by exposing the truth behind common myths. This idea mostly works wonders and might even bring you your first – or next – viral blogs .

6. Personal Experiences

Sharing your personal experiences in your articles lets you connect on a deeper level with your readers. For instance, you can share your inspirational journey towards achieving a goal or moments that changed your life. These articles may not vibe like typical posts, but they engage readers with a heart-to-heart connection.

How to Find Topics to Write About for an Article?

Now, let’s get to the crux of the matter at hand, i.e. how to find topics to write about. 85% of writers face writer’s block at times. Do you?

Tonton Friends Character is Nodding in Yes

If you’re nodding yes like this, then don’t worry! We’ve got your back. This happens to most of us when we run out of topics for writing articles. The solution? Set aside dedicated time to brainstorm ideas. Take a break, and return to work with a refreshed mindset and new perspectives. 

There are also some robust online tools that provide you with a lot of creative ideas instantly. Have you tried our Blog Post Idea Generator ? Once you experiment with it, you’ll say, “ Aha! That’s what I needed .” The answer to  the“why” you’re just thinking about lies in the following reasons:

  • 100% free of cost
  • Unlimited content
  • Completely customizable
  • User-friendly platform
  • Creativity level adjustment 
  • Multiple language options 

What are you waiting for? Give it a shot now to get a plethora of good topics for articles.

Trending Article Topics to Write About for Every Niche

When Auston Kleon (best-selling author) said “ Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by. ” he knew what he was talking about. That’s why we’re providing you with 50+ trending topics to write an article about in every niche.

Graphic of a Girl Pointing Towards Article Topics to Write About for Every Niche

Health & Fitness

Let’s find catchy article topic ideas related to health and fitness that you can write about below.

  • Weight loss
  • Mental health
  • Women health
  • Sleep and rest
  • Healthy aging

Selected the topic? It’s time to explore these fitness blog name ideas to choose from for your blog!

Science & Technology

Advancements in science and technology are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Here are some potential article topics to write about to infotain your readers.

  • Renewable energy 
  • Cryptocurrency 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Gadget reviews 
  • Cloud computing 
  • Virtual reality (VR)
  • Augmented reality (AR)

Check out these awe-inspiring technology blog ideas to get you started.

Fashion & Lifestyle

Explore these catchy fashion & lifestyle topics to write an article on that people fall in love with easily.

  • Seasonal outfits
  • Sustainable trends
  • Minimalism in lifestyle
  • Upcycling clothes
  • Gender-neutral fashion
  • Shopping on budget
  • Bag collection
  • Morning routine
  • DIY skincare

To get some inspo for starting a personal blog, browse through these best lifestyle blogs.

Business & Finance

There were 300M+ companies globally in 2021 that run their businesses and manage finances. From following startups to successful ventures, everyone is interested in getting updates from businesses across the world. Do you have a knack for business writing? The following topics to write articles can help you there.

  • E-commerce trends
  • AI role in finance
  • Side hustles
  • Remote work
  • Stock market
  • The gig economy
  • Outsourcing

When you’re writing a business blog, consider checking our invaluable business blogging tips.

Travel & Adventure

If you’re a traveler (or an adventurer) and want to share your journey tales with your audience, these travel topics to write articles about are for you.

  • Solo travel
  • Thrilling Adventure
  • Urban Exploration
  • Traveling on a budget
  • Backpacking essentials
  • Heritage tourism
  • Food tourism

Test out these best travel blog names to see which one fits the criteria of your blog requirements!

Personal Development

We curated these personal development topics to write articles on after researching what people love the most in this niche.

  • Mindfulness
  • Time management 
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Goal setting
  • Career development
  • Stress management

Before starting your blog, don’t miss out on these personal development blog ideas, specially crafted for passionate bloggers like you!

Final Thoughts

Whether blogger, marketer, or, writer, this article is for you. It saves you from the grind of finding topics to write about for an article. We helped you overcome this challenge by providing versatile topic ideas under the sun. Equipped with this knowledge, go forth and go viral!

what to write an article about

I am a full-time online marketer, for over a decade now. Helped over 100,000+ people & generated well over $12M in online sales.

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Posted on Dec 03, 2021

Please Steal These Ideas! 30 Things to Write About

Don't just wait for an Amazing Idea™ to strike before you start writing. Sure, some writers can pluck spontaneous epiphanies out of thin air — but for the rest of us mortals, the process starts with writing about  anything  and building on that idea along the way.

To get you started (because starting is the most important thing) here are some ideas of things to write about! And if you want to steal them — go ahead! You have our permission.

Things to write about for fiction

For writers of fiction looking to move the hearts and minds of readers, here are 30 things to write about:

1. A popular story with an updated setting

Still from the movie Clueless

Between myth and folklore, Shakespearean tragedies, and vintage classics, the stories that stand the test of time all have one thing in common: a message that has resonated with generations of readers. Refreshing the characters and setting of a beloved story is a great way to make a timeless theme or perennial plot your own, reviving it for a new generation. For some guidance, take a look at this list of novels inspired by Shakespeare — or just rewatch Clueless .

2. Your greatest fantasy, come true

Though it may seem like we all dream the same dreams — get rich, find love — human beings can be wildly creative with their fantasies. So, whether you dream of marrying a pop star, or hope they’ll hear you busking and join you in a duet that goes viral, why not delve a little deeper into yours?

3. Speculation about an event in your future

Much like a novel, the future is a wide expanse of possibility where anything could happen. But there are certain things you might expect (depending on where you are in life): you’ll get a job, you’ll retire, someone you love will be born, someone you gave birth to will fall in love. Charging your stories with real emotions and real people, by speculating about an event in your future, is sure to help your writing sing. 

4. Something from a creative writing prompt 

The internet is full of ideas for writers who don’t know what to write about. Some sources are better than others, and we think our resources are a great place to start — of course, we’re only a little biased. As well as a lovingly curated list of over 200 short story ideas , we also have a weekly prompts contest , where we provide five writing prompts based on a new theme each time. You can always join in with this week’s prompts, or explore the prompts of contests past!

what to write an article about

5. A conversation, rewritten the way you wish it went

We’ve all been there: You have something to say, you’ve planned it out in your head, but you’re tongue-tied when the time comes. For days afterward, you think about how it might have gone, all the witty things you could have said. It’s torture, and a complete waste of time — unless you put it down on the page. Using real-life examples is a great way to practice writing dialogue — and you never know where that conversation might lead.

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6. Something you feared would happen actually came true

The worriers among us are constantly (if inadvertently) coming up with things to write about — especially ideas for thrillers, suspense novels, and that part in a romance where everything goes wrong. Usually, these ideas come and go as soon as the thing you were worrying about turns out fine. But why not make those anxieties a (fictional) reality, and use them for the “ rising action /all is lost” part of your story?

7. Opening lines inspired by each of the things around you

A cozy living room with houseplants, earthy-colored decor, and a comfy sofa.

Those who wholly embrace the “ pantsing ” method often go as far as to write line-by-line. For this kind of writer inspiration might be as simple as “a storm” or “a rocking chair”. Curious? Try writing an opening line inspired by something in the room. If you like it, try the next line — it should feel necessitated by the first. And if that doesn’t work, move on to something more inspiring. Maybe a coffee cup holds the key to your next novel!

8. The plot of a song, embellished or re-invented

Many of the best songwriters are also incredible storytellers. But even the most narrative songs can be explored further. Has a song ever had you picturing its world and its people? Great! Listen to it again and dig into the lyrics: Who are the characters behind them? And what challenges are they facing? While you’re not trying to rewrite the song in prose — you want to get to know its people, circumstances, and setting so you can stretch them even further. 

Need an example? We once set this as a prompt for our weekly writing contest, and the winning story was ‘Suzanne’ by Rachel Dzengelewski — an utterly enchanting story that inhabits the world of Leonard Cohen’s song of the same name.

9. A memory, but from the perspectives of others involved 

One of the challenges faced by memoirists is that memory is mostly (and inevitably) unreliable. This isn’t a problem in and of itself — certainly not for fiction writers — but it can make it easy to fall into the trap of making yourself the all-conquering hero or all-suffering victim of the story. To dodge this trap, and have some fun with structure, try writing about the same memory from the perspective of each person involved. Changing points of view can be a very fun exercise!

10. An imaginary interview with a stranger who draws your attention

A woman smiles in an armchair in front of a bookcase. In front of her can be seen microphones, an overhead light, and a camera used for filming an interview.

Character questionnaires are a great tool for character development . If you’re in need of a starting point, you can't go wrong with an intriguing stranger. Imagining a character’s answers to a series of questions helps flesh them out, and can even provide a great idea for a story. But if you want to get really creative, why not experiment and write a narrative that takes the form of an interview, interrogation, or therapy session?

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11. A story about someone who has your childhood dream job, but they hate it

Want to feel better about your current job? It’s time to unpack the profession of your childhood dreams. Astronaut, popstar, lab scientist, or lollipop lady, trials and tribulations are faced by all — yes, even authors. That your character is in the job from hell is a given, but whether or not things are about to get better is entirely up to you. 

12. A piece that starts with a sentence from the middle of a book

Grab a book off your bookshelf, flick to a random page, then point anywhere on that page and you’ve got your opening line. If it’s a complete dead-end, you’re permitted to try again, but try not to go hunting for something specific — this writing idea is all about randomness. You won’t be able to publish it if you’re plagiarizing that first line, so if you hope to publish the results, consider the random sentence to be a prompt, not an opening line.

13. Your life, if you had taken a different path

Whether or not you believe in fate, life is full of choices that dictate the paths we follow. Think back to a time when you made a decision that could be considered a turning point. Then, make a different choice. Where would you be now if you’d decided not to go to college? How might your life be different if you’d spent a year traveling? Feel free to take some creative liberties — this isn’t real life anymore.

14. Your favorite recipe, interspersed with whatever thoughts or narratives it brings to mind

A woman smiles as she adds condiments to a pot.

There’s something about food that makes it a brilliant vehicle for reminiscence — whether it’s the smell of fish and chips transporting you to the seaside or the act of baking a cake unlocking childhood memories. So if you want to write something a little nostalgic or contemplative, try using a recipe or a simple narrative about cooking as an anchor for all your thoughts and (fictional or nonfictional) anecdotes. If you love the process, who knows? You could be publishing a creative cookbook soon. 

15. A randomly generated plot to use as a story within your story

Writers love to write about writers, but it’s not very often you find the plot of a novel within a novel — and we think that should change! Instead of using our plot generator the bog-standard way, why not use it to generate the material for a character’s work-in-progress. Start with their weird and wonderful concept for a plot, then let it influence their life — directly, indirectly, or in a surreal, metatextual way!

16. A character who does all the things you’re not brave enough to do

Despite their active imaginations, writers tend to be indoor people who are often more likely to read about wild adventures than actually want to go on them. So, one way to write a story as entertaining as those you read is to make your character do all the wild and adventurous things you wish you had the spontaneity to do — and see where it takes them. (If you’re so inclined, you could do all the adventurous things yourself, of course, and then you’d have the material for a memoir .)

17. The 'untold stories' of old photographs

Two hands hold an aged photo album open. Inside can be seen 4 black and white photos of people walking, riding horses, and smiling to the camera.

Whether you scroll on your phone, pull the family albums down from the loft, or search through boxes at a flea market, looking at old photographs is a great way to stumble across the setting, characters, events, or emotions of your next great piece of writing. 

18. Wrong answers to Google’s most-asked questions 

Sure, kids say the darndest things. But it turns out adults Google the darndest things. So if you want to respond to today’s most pressing concerns, or just write a quirky story, turn to mankind’s Google searches for questions like, Why were cornflakes invented? , Can we go to heaven with tattoos? Can dogs eat bananas? Strawberries? Apples? To see how it’s done, check out Tara Campbell’s Angels and Blueberries .

19. A piece inspired by an offbeat news headline

You know what they say: sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. And after looking up offbeat headlines , it certainly seems that’s the case. While some are only good for a laugh, hidden among the world’s weird news stories are some real nuggets of gold — perfect for a humorous piece of flash fiction or a bizarre inciting incident!

20. Your daily journal, but with an unusual twist 

Writing in a daily journal is not only cathartic (just ask all those angsty teenagers), it’s also a great way to build your writing habit and nurture your creativity. But if documenting your life isn’t your style, you’ll need to think outside the box. You could try writing in the style of a journal from the perspective of a fictional character (in the spirit of Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin ), or writing out of chronological order — anything that gets your creative cogs whirring and puts you on the path to a great idea!

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Things to write about for nonfiction and blog posts

Need inspiration on nonfiction topics? Don't worry — just take one of these 10 ideas for things to write about:

21. Today’s headlines, told by the devil's advocate

Folded newspapers, where no headlines can be discerned.

The strongest content is highly topical, and the best of the best will also make readers question what they know. So when you run out of things to write about, scour recent headlines for one that interests you. Make sure you’re clued up on the topic, then generate debate by questioning the standpoint of the article. You don’t need to disagree, just probe the argument for weaknesses — there’s always at least one.

22. The last time someone changed your opinion

Getting someone to question what they know is one thing, but changing their opinion for good is an entirely different ball game. So when someone succeeds with you , it can be quite a momentous occasion. Think back to the last time you had your mind changed. What was it that swayed you? What was your existing opinion? And how do you feel about the subject now? Maybe you can change someone else’s mind too.

23. An in-depth visitor’s guide to your hometown

Visitor’s guides: whether it’s the dull tweedy books that collect dust in the spare room or the online listicles — neither option is quite cutting it. Give the people what they want and create an honest insider’s guide to your hometown. You could make top 10 lists, annotate a guided walk, or write a “week about town” handbook — get creative, and don’t be afraid to add a personal touch. (And, if you’re feeling particularly witty, don’t be afraid of satire!)

24. A new hobby, documented

Two hands spin a potter's wheel, in black and white.

If you’ve taken up a new hobby, no matter how obscure, chances are there are a bunch of people out there thinking about doing the same — and they want to know what they’re in for. So become that person — the one who can provide them with everything they need to know every step of the way: the beginner’s kit, the best place to start, the mistakes you wish you’d known before starting, and the thoughts and feelings of someone who’s been there, done that.

25. An honest letter to your younger self 

The internet is full of advice on how to write a letter to your younger self — but authenticity may be the best way to approach such a deeply personal task. This exercise can be a really therapeutic way to heal old wounds, but it can also be a great way to poke fun at the clothes you wore in the past. Let your voice lead the direction of your letter. You’ll probably find that people relate to your writing without you giving them a second thought. 

26. Room 101: your picks explained

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Ever wish you could get rid of that thing that grinds your gears? Or curls your toes? Or makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end? Room 101 is a hypothetical place where things can be sent in order to be eliminated from existence. Whether it’s magicians, moths, or taramasalata, have your rant and create engagement by asking your readers whether they share the same pet peeves and worst nightmares as you. 

27. An ode to your addictions

Maybe you’ll find yourself writing a humorous love letter to sugar, maybe you’ll write about your favorite TV show, maybe you’ll reflect on a more concerning kind of addiction. Whatever it is, think about what draws you back to this thing or behavior, the feeling of giving in or refusing to give in to your addiction, and how your life is different because of it. Then you can think about the broader implications of people having this addiction, how it changes society, or how it’s perceived by other people. From there, you may glimpse the potential for a longer writing project.

28. A famous quote, unpacked

From intriguing observations like Tolstoy’s “each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” to George Eliot’s “the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” there is no shortage of thought-provoking statements that can spark a reaction, whether you look for them in literature or in the daily news cycle. Find a line that speaks to you, and allow your thoughts and feelings to pour out. The result could be confessional, argumentative, or matter-of-fact in tone, but the idea is that you’ll come across an interesting thought of your own in the process, and then pursue that .

29. A blend of your own experience with research on a related topic

Is there an issue that you feel affects your life significantly? From gardening to loneliness among elderly people and animal rights, if there’s something you feel strongly about, research it online. Read a few newspaper or magazine articles (preferably written by well-established or unbiased publications) relating to this issue, or if it’s particularly complex and you have the energy for it, look at academic studies related to it. Start writing your reflections as a response to this information — does your experience confirm what you’ve read? How does it deviate from examples mentioned? Is there a particular aspect of this issue you haven’t read about, that you think is key? Start by answering these questions. 

30. The act of writing itself

A hand holding a pen writes in a notebook

Time to go meta — a fun thing to write about is writing itself! Use these quotes about writing as a jumping-off point if you like, or simply reflect on your own experiences with putting pen to paper. Think about when you’re most productive, what the process feels like, what you struggle with or what you find most satisfying about writing. Ask yourself why you write, and answer as honestly (and extensively) as you possibly can. A little soul-searching can be fun!

We hope these ideas have been helpful in your journey to find things you can write about — even if you don’t see an idea that immediately jumps at you as fascinating, try having a go anyway. Inspiration sometimes takes a few minutes to arrive!

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How to start writing an article: step-by-step guide

Dive into the steps for writing an article efficiently with ParagraphAI's guide, highlighting the importance of choosing a topic, knowing your audience, conducting research, structuring your thoughts, and utilizing AI to enhance productivity and creativity in article writing.

what to write an article about

Want to write an article but are unsure ofow to adequately convey a message to your intended audience? Getting started can be challenging, especially if you're still organizing your thoughts or deciding on an appropriate tone. If you find yourself struggling with how to start writing an article, following a few simple steps can streamline the process. With the right strategies on your side, you'll be creating well-written articles in no time.

Using an established strategy makes the business of article writing a smooth journey rather than a daunting task. However, if you want to make the steps for how to write a good article a breeze, then it’s time to leverage AI. Exploring the endless opportunity that lies within a free AI writing tool like ParagraphAI can streamline the techniques behind what makes a good article, giving your readers the  information they need.

What is an Article?

What is article writing ? Article writing is a form of written communication aimed at engaging a wide audience through various media outlets. In the context of article writing, these media outlets encompass publishing entities such as newspapers, magazines, journals, and more.

Articles are written works intended for a wide audience to view, and traditionally are published in magazines, newspapers, or journals. Therefore they are typically shorter than other forms of writing, such as books or essays.

If you’re contemplating how to write a great article, a key point to remember is that it can be about any topic, from current events to personal experiences. They are intended to inform, educate, or entertain the reader. As you gain proficiency in organizing your thoughts, understanding your audience, and building a coherent structure, you will inevitably learn how to write articles fast, a skill that improves over time.

What Should Be in an Article?

As with any medium designed to deliver any type of information, there should be coherent follow. Regarding articles, it can begin with how to start writing an article and then transition into a logical structure that introduces, explores, and delivers the main point of the article. You can achieve this by creating the following sections:

  • Title: Something that will make the reader want to learn more about the topic.
  • Introduction: Where you present the topic and summarize the main points of the article.
  • Body: The main argument, made up of supporting paragraphs.
  • Conclusion: Summarization of the argument and call to action.

By following this structure and these article writing tips, your articles will effectively communicate their arguments in a clear and concise manner to your audience.

How to Write an Article

Here is a quick list to get started on articles:

  • Find a topic.
  • Find your target audience.
  • Perform research on your story to create trust.
  • Write an outline.
  • Get a rough draft together.
  • Create the subject matter.
  • Read and or share with friends for any errors.

Before proceeding, one should first consider the topic of the article and what its objective is. Is the article meant to be informative or entertaining? Perhaps you are making an argument to convince the reader of something. This would be a good starting point if you’re wondering how to start writing an article.

With your topic in mind, also consider your audience. What might draw them in? If you were someone with less knowledge on this topic, what questions would you want this article to answer? This is where tips for writing an article can be really useful. Think about your writing from the perspective of potential readers. This process will help you communicate your ideas are clearly and make your content a good read.

Research will be a necessary step for most articles intending to inform or argue a certain topic, as supporting evidence allows you to write with more credibility. Drawing from your experience can also provide unique insights, as people might find value in your anecdotes. Seeking out statistics, quotes from interviews, and references from academic publications is an important step in creating a well-informed argument.

An example outline.

(Source: Wings )

You will also have to come up with a title for your article, which should be eye-catching while accurately reflecting the content of your writing. It can be helpful to brainstorm a few ideas and consider which one fits the main idea while being the most engaging to a potential reader looking to learn more about the topic.

When writing an introduction, you will want an interesting hook that draws the reader in and a brief overview of your article. This is where you can set the tone for your article and deliver the thesis statement that the following paragraphs will support.

The body is then made up of paragraphs that each will support the main point that was laid out in the introduction. This is where you will dig deeper into your arguments and answer any questions that you anticipate readers may have going into the article. The paragraphs should ideally be short and concise to retain the reader's interest.

For your conclusion, you should summarize the main point as a means of tying up all of the points made by the article. With an effective call to action to close out your argument, you will leave the audience reflecting on your writing.

How to Write an Article in ParagraphAI in Two Easy Steps

While developing techniques for how to write an article more efficiently, learning to make use of a free writing tool such as ParagraphAI is a worthwhile way to increase your productivity. If you're curious about how to write an article using AI, this is the perfect place to start. If you're looking to brainstorm ideas, structure your thoughts, or come up with words and phrases to use in your articles, ParagraphAI has you covered. This tool can provide help in a variety of ways. Here's how you can get started.

Step 1: Enter Your Topic

ParagraphAI's output for an article on Macbeth.

By supplying ParagraphAI with the topic of your article, it generates an introduction paragraph and two body paragraphs. This gives you a strong starting point with which you can work off of to write the rest of your article. However, the article produced is unquestionably incomplete as it lacks a conclusion—and in the case of this Macbeth article, body paragraphs exploring the other two themes mentioned in the introduction need to be addressed. This is a good thing to remember and understand to utilize the tool effectively. Luckily, this can be remedied.

Step 2: Prompt Using Specifics

Creating a conclusion paragraph.

For any paragraphs left that you may need to complete your article, you can enter the topic of that paragraph specifically and plug that result into your article to fill in the gaps.

In the case of a body paragraph, you would enter one of the supporting ideas that help to make up your overall point, while with a conclusion paragraph, you would enter the thesis from the introduction in order to summarize the whole article. With everything assembled, you have a complete article to revise as needed!

With the right understanding of how to write an article and the importance of one's structure, ParagraphAI can help you create articles more efficiently than ever before.

Once you've decided on your topic, you can start your article off strong with a click of a button and similarly create the rest of your paragraphs as you go along.

So if you've got an article to write, consider getting some assistance from ParagraphAI's free AI writing tool. You may be surprised at how quickly you'll be able to organize and present your thoughts.

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what to write an article about

How to Write an Amazing Article In 10 Simple Steps

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Writing articles is like waving a magic wand to create ripples in a vast ocean. With each stroke of your pen, you conjure waves of inspiration that reach shores far and wide, touching the hearts and minds of people worldwide. Whether you’re just starting out or enhancing your writing skills, mastering the art of article writing can open doors to endless possibilities. 

Make your mark on the web. Create on WordPress.com

In this guide, we’ll cover the essential steps and techniques to help beginner bloggers, journalists, and freelance writers craft compelling articles. You’ll learn:

  • The basics of article writing
  • Structuring your content effectively
  • Refining your writing style
  • Polishing your work through editing and proofreading

With these tips and templates in your toolset, you’ll be ready to showcase your work to a vast audience, connect with like-minded individuals and establish a professional online presence. We’ll show you how WordPress.com’s user-friendly platform makes the process seamless.

Ready to get started?

In this article:

Informative Articles

Opinion pieces, how-to guides, feature articles, news articles, interview articles, 1. how to identify your target audience , 2. how to choose a topic, 3. how to write a headline, 4. how to conduct quantitative and qualitative research, 5. how to craft an angle , 6. how to write an outline, 7. how to write an intro, 8. how to write the body section , 9. how to write a conclusion , 10. how to edit the article , web writing best practices , best tools for writing articles, 1. the problem-solution template, 2. the listicle template, 3. the step-by-step guide template, 4. the comparative analysis template, write amazing articles and publish them on wordpress.com, types of articles .

Articles can be of different types that serve different purposes and cater to various reader interests. Let’s look at some of the most common types of articles: 

These aim to provide readers with valuable information, facts, or explanations on a particular topic. They focus on educating the audience and are typically well-researched.

Example: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: What’s the Difference?

what to write an article about

These express the writer’s personal viewpoint or perspective on a specific subject. These articles allow writers to share their thoughts, insights, and arguments while encouraging readers to think critically and engage in discussions.

Example: define: Brand

what to write an article about

These provide step-by-step instructions to help readers accomplish a specific task or learn a new skill. They break down complex processes into easy-to-follow steps, enabling readers to achieve their goals.

Example: How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website

what to write an article about

These are presented in a list format, featuring a series of items or points related to a specific theme. They offer readers a convenient and organized way to consume information. Listicles are often used to highlight top items, tips, or recommendations.

Example: Best Small Website Builder: The Top Options Compared (2020)

what to write an article about

These are in-depth and extensively researched pieces that explore a topic or profile of a person or event. They go beyond basic facts and delve into the nuances and details, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding.

Example: Meals for One

what to write an article about

These report on recent events, developments, or noteworthy stories. They aim to provide readers with factual information objectively and concisely. News articles typically adhere to journalistic principles.

Example: ‘Breakthrough’ geothermal tech produces 3.5 megawatts of carbon-free power

what to write an article about

These feature conversations or discussions with individuals of interest or expertise in a particular field. These articles often include quotes or insights from the interviewee, providing readers with unique perspectives and valuable insights.

Example: Automattic Women: Selena Jackson

what to write an article about

Depending on your goals, target audience, and subject matter – you can choose the appropriate type of article to communicate your message and engage readers effectively.

How to write an article in 10 steps 

The basic structure of an article contains 4 parts:

  • Opening paragraphs (introduction)
  • The main discussion (body section)
  • Closing paragraphs (conclusion) 

what to write an article about

However, there are more than just 4 steps to writing an amazing article. Doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a pro; following a structured approach can help you create better articles faster. You can follow this proven 10-step process for that. 

  • Identify target audience
  • Choose a topic 
  • Write a headline 
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research
  • Craft an angle 
  • Write an outline
  • Write an introduction
  • Write body section
  • Write conclusion 
  • Finish editing 

Let’s discuss each step briefly. 

what to write an article about

Target audience refers to the person or group you are writing for. If you’re writing for everyone, you’re writing for no one. You need to identify who you are writing for to ensure you effectively communicate your message to the audience. 

Understanding your target audience is crucial for creating content that resonates with them. Consider their demographics, interests, and needs. Research their preferences, pain points, and what they expect from your article. This knowledge will help you tailor your writing style, tone, and content to appeal directly to your intended readers.

Once you’ve researched the audience, create a user persona with common traits and then write for that one person.  Creating a user persona is not just a list of data points. It’s like an imaginary person with a name and specific characteristics that help you understand their needs.     

By focusing on your target audience, your content will speak directly to them, which will help you increase engagement and build a loyal readership base.

Before you embark on the exciting journey of article writing, you must first conquer the challenge of finding the perfect topic. The topic you choose sets the foundation for your entire piece, influencing its success and impact.

First, select a topic that interests you and aligns with your goal of writing. You don’t want to write about everything and anything. Start by considering something that aligns with your knowledge and expertise. Writing about something you’re passionate about or have expertise in makes the process more enjoyable and lets you provide valuable insights to your readers. 

Or you can also focus on solving specific or common problems in your niche. Identifying common challenges or problems and providing practical tips, step-by-step guides, or sharing personal experiences can make your content highly valuable and relevant to readers.

Researching trending topics is another easy way to find a suitable topic. Stay updated with the latest trends and discussions in your industry or niche. Explore popular blogs, news sites, and social media platforms to identify topics currently gaining traction. This ensures your article addresses timely issues and captures readers’ attention.

Lastly, take a data-driven approach through keyword research. Use keyword research tools like keyword planner or SEMrush to look for keywords with decent search volume and low competition. It ensures organic traffic.

what to write an article about

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” David Ogilvy, copywriting legend

The headline is the first component someone reads. One single word can attract or repel them.

The first step in crafting a great headline is to analyze every word. Is every word necessary? If you remove a word, will the headline still make sense? No removable word in the headline is considered a tight headline, with nothing extra to distract from the meaning. So, keep a headline direct and persuasive so the reader is engaged.

Next, aim to craft headlines that are:

  • Ultra-specific

Including all these elements in one headline might not be possible, so aim for at least one or two. Doing so will strengthen the headline and encourage readers to read on.

Here are a few more insights on keeping your readers engaged:

  • Use proven headline formulas to upgrade your headline to a better level
  • Keep the main idea and the keywords of the headlines relevant
  • Focus on benefits. Benefit-driven headlines get more clicks
  • Inject power words to command attention
  • Trim unnecessary words

Solid research strengthens the credibility of your article. When you use the right data, it makes your article stronger and more convincing. 

What is quantitative data?

Quantitative data is objective data that can be measured and assigned a numerical value.

What is qualitative data?

Qualitative data cannot be measured or assigned a numerical value. Instead, it is information that is referenced not by numbers but by concepts, feelings, characteristics, and emotions. Qualitative data is subjective.

For quantitative research, you can use Google to dig out data, statistics, and surveys to support your claims and add credibility.

For qualitative research, you can conduct interviews, gather anecdotes, or explore case studies to provide valuable insights and real-life examples.

To stand out against multiple articles on a similar topic, find a unique angle that sets your piece apart. Consider what makes your article different or special. It could be a fresh perspective, a unique approach, or new insights. Determine your article’s unique selling point and emphasize it throughout your writing. Maybe it’s an expert opinion, an authentic recipe, a top-secret method, or a completely new discovery. 

For example, instead of writing a generic article on “how to deal with depression,” – write:

what to write an article about

By offering something distinct, you’ll capture readers’ attention and give them a reason to choose your article over others.

An article outline is a structure that guides your writing process and ensures your article stays focused and well-structured. Once you start using outlines, you’ll find writing articles become much easier.

Start by listing the main points or sections you want to cover based on your research and angle. Then, under each section, jot down the sub-points or supporting details. Don’t hesitate to revise and refine your outline as you progress. Whenever you find something new, add it in its respective position. 

Google Docs is great for creating an outline for your article. Or you can also use Workflowy to organize your ideas into sections and subsections. 

Here’s an example outline I made for my article on ‘how to write an amazing article.’

what to write an article about

Click for more tips and templates for creating outlines .

The introduction sets the tone for the entire article by grabbing the reader’s attention. The introduction is your opportunity to hook the readers and provide them with a clear understanding of what your article is about. 

Begin with a compelling opening sentence that grabs attention and sparks curiosity. Then, give a bit of background information and context to set the stage for your topic. Finally, conclude the introduction by stating your article’s main objective or thesis, giving readers a preview of what they can expect.

Example: “Did you know that humans can actually hold their breath for more than 20 minutes underwater? By following some techniques and enough practice, you, too, can extend your underwater breathing time. This article will equip you with seven expert tips to enhance your underwater breathing and unlock the wonders beneath.”

When structuring your article, it’s important to divide it into well-organized sections or paragraphs that delve deeper into the key points you want to convey. By using subheadings, you can break up the text and provide readers with a clear roadmap, making it easier for them to navigate and understand the content.

Each section should begin with a concise topic sentence that introduces the main idea or focus of that particular section. This is a signpost for readers, helping them anticipate what they will learn or explore next. 

For instance, if you’re writing an article about the benefits of exercise, one section could be titled “Improved Mental Health,” with a topic sentence like: “Engaging in regular exercise has been shown to have profound effects on our mental well-being.”

Support your statements with evidence, examples, and relevant data to ensure credibility and engagement. This adds depth and persuasion to your article. For instance, if you claim that exercise reduces stress levels, cite scientific studies or share personal anecdotes that illustrate how exercise has helped individuals manage their stress effectively.

To maintain a seamless flow of ideas, use smooth transitions between paragraphs. This allows readers to easily follow your train of thought as you progress from one point to another. Transitions can be achieved through the use of transitional words or phrases, such as “in addition,” “furthermore,” or “on the other hand.” These help establish connections and guide readers through the logical progression of your article.

This is where you end your article. A good conclusion can leave a lasting impression on the readers. Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion and summarize the key points discussed in the body of your article, emphasizing their significance and relevance. Avoid naming their conclusion “Conclusion.” 

Avoid generic headings for your conclusion heading. Be specific like:

  • Learn more about [topic]
  • Why is [topic] important?
  • Does [topic] make sense for your business?

If you must be generic in the conclusion’s heading, then go for:

  • Closing Thoughts
  • Final Words
  • To Sum It Up
  • To Wrap It Up

Recapping the whole article helps the reader remember the list of tips. After the recap, tell them what to do next. If someone reads your whole piece, chances are, they’re invested and will take action on your Call to Action ( CTA ). Don’t let that power and impact go to waste. Guiding them to bookmark the page or follow a link to another relevant article is 100x better than stopping at the recap.

The conclusion should be short and should give the reader a clear sense of finality. Ensure you don’t leave the reader confused about the information presented or your stance on a particular topic. 

Once the draft is finished, you’re well on your way, but there’s still a bit more to do – editing. It’s a vital part of good writing. It shapes a piece of raw coal into a glittering diamond.

No matter how good you are, the first draft is always full of mistakes, and there is usually room for improvement.  

When you have the draft, take a break from writing so you can start editing with fresh eyes again. You’ll see a lot of things that you missed earlier. Review your article for clarity, coherence, grammar, and spelling errors. Ensure your writing flows smoothly and effectively communicates your ideas. To make things easier, use some tools to help you edit; I’ll discuss those in a later section.

Next, remove anything unnecessary from your article. Anything that doesn’t add any value to your article shouldn’t be there. Then, check to see if you’ve missed any necessary information. Add statistics and relevant information to solidify your writing. 

If you have the option, have a friend read the draft. A new perspective can usually detect problems. Make necessary revisions and proofread multiple times until you are confident in the quality of your final piece.

By following these ten steps, you can create a well-crafted and engaging article that captivates your audience from start to finish. 

  • Stay true to your unique perspective:   As a writer, your unique perspective and voice are your most valuable assets. Embrace your individuality and bring your authentic self into your writing. Avoid replicating existing content or mimicking other writers. Instead, focus on expressing your thoughts, opinions, and experiences. Your distinctive viewpoint will set your article apart from others and create a personal connection with your readers. Be confident in your voice and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.
  • Offer valuable insights: To engage your audience and leave a lasting impression, your article must provide genuine value. Research your topic thoroughly to unearth valuable insights, fresh data, or unique angles that haven’t been extensively covered before. Share your expertise, research findings, or personal experiences to enrich the reader’s understanding. Offering something new and valuable establishes you as a reliable source of information and keeps readers coming back for more of your content.
  • Strive for clarity and coherence in your writing: Clear and coherent writing is the hallmark of an effective article. Ensure your ideas flow logically and smoothly from one paragraph to another. Use clear and concise language to convey your message without ambiguity. Avoid using jargon or overly complex terms that might confuse your readers. Utilize transition words and phrases to create seamless connections between sentences and paragraphs. When your writing is clear and coherent, readers can easily follow your train of thought, making the reading experience enjoyable and memorable. 
  • Keep it short and simple: Use simple and easily understandable words to communicate your ideas effectively. Break down complex concepts into smaller, digestible chunks. Short sentences are easier to read and comprehend, allowing readers to grasp your message quickly. Also, don’t stretch your paragraphs too much. A paragraph should contain 3 to 4 lines maximum. Longer paragraphs create a wall of text that discourage readers from continuing.
  • Do not copy/plagiarize: Originality is key when creating web content. Plagiarism is unethical and can have severe consequences. Always credit and properly cite any sources or references you use in your article. Provide your unique insights and perspectives to add value to the reader’s experience. Plagiarism damages your credibility and hinders your growth as a writer.
  • Use subheadings and make it scannable: Web readers often skim through articles rather than reading them word by word. Help them navigate and grasp your content easily by using informative subheadings. Subheadings break up the text, making it scannable and allowing readers to find the information they are interested in quickly. Use clear and descriptive subheadings that accurately represent the content of each section.
  • Use pictures and tables: Visual elements such as pictures, infographics, and tables can enhance the overall reader experience. Images can help illustrate your points, make your article visually appealing, and provide a welcome break from the text. Tables are useful for presenting data or comparisons in a structured and organized manner. Ensure that your visuals are relevant, high-quality, and appropriately sourced.

There are many tools out there to help your writing journey. Let’s introduce you to some of the most useful tools you can get for free to take your article writing to the next level. 

what to write an article about

  • ChatGPT:   ChatGPT is an AI-powered writing tool that helps writers generate ideas, write sections, conduct research, and fix grammar. AI stands for Artificial Intelligence, a technology that allows machines like ChatGPT to understand human language and respond with natural-sounding text. While AI is powerful, it’s essential to fact-check its outputs since it can sometimes make mistakes in providing accurate information. Use ChatGPT wisely, and it can be your helpful writing companion!
  • Grammarly: It’s a popular writing tool that helps writers improve their grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It works as an automated proofreader and editor, checking your text for errors and offering suggestions for improvements. The pro version also has a built-in plagiarism checker. 
  • Wordtune: It’s an AI-powered writing tool that assists in rephrasing and improving your sentences. It offers alternative wordings and suggestions for stronger vocabulary and can even rewrite entire sentences to improve readability and style. Wordtune can be especially useful when you want to convey your message more engagingly and concisely. 

These tools can greatly support your writing and editing process, making it easier to produce high-quality articles. However, it’s important to note that while AI tools like ChatGPT, Grammarly, and Wordtune offer valuable assistance, they are not substitutes for human creativity and critical thinking. Reviewing and revising your work personally is essential to ensure that it aligns with your unique voice and meets your intended goals for the article.

Article templates 

Templates can serve as a helpful starting point to structure your content effectively. Here are four commonly used article templates:

This template is ideal for addressing a specific problem or challenge and providing a solution to your readers. It consists of the following sections:

  • Introduction: Present the problem or challenge, and explain its significance or impact.
  • Problem Analysis: Dive deeper into the issue, providing relevant facts, statistics, or examples to support your claims.
  • Solution Presentation: Introduce your proposed solution(s), explaining how they can address the problem effectively.
  • Implementation and Benefits: Discuss how readers can implement the solution and the potential benefits they can expect to achieve.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the problem, restate the solution, and leave readers with a call to action or a final thought.

Listicles are popular for their easy-to-read and scannable format. This template organizes content into a numbered or bulleted list, providing concise information or tips. It typically includes the following sections:

  • Introduction: Present the topic and explain its relevance or importance.
  • List Items: Present each point on the list, with a brief description or explanation for each.
  • Elaboration: Provide further details, examples, or insights for each list item.
  • Conclusion: Recap the main points covered in the list and offer a closing thought or a call to action.

This template is useful for providing a detailed process or instructions on how to accomplish a specific task. It follows a sequential structure and includes the following sections:

  • Introduction: Introduce the task or process and explain its significance or benefits.
  • Step 1: Describe the first step of the process, including any necessary background information.
  • Step 2: Detail the second step, and continue with subsequent steps until the process is complete.
  • Tips and Considerations: Offer additional tips, tricks, or important considerations to enhance the reader’s understanding or success in following the steps.
  • Conclusion: Recap the steps covered, emphasize key takeaways, and provide a closing remark or call to action.

This template is suitable when comparing and contrasting two or more subjects, products, or ideas. It follows a structured approach and consists of the following sections:

  • Introduction: Present the subjects being compared and explain the purpose or context of the analysis.
  • Comparison Criteria: Identify the specific criteria or factors used to evaluate and compare the subjects.
  • Comparison Sections: Dedicate separate sections to each criterion, providing a detailed analysis and comparison of the subjects based on that criterion.
  • Overall Assessment: Summarize the main findings and provide an overall assessment or conclusion based on the comparisons made.
  • Conclusion: Reinforce the main points, highlight any recommendations or conclusions, and encourage readers to share their thoughts or experiences.

Other than these short templates, you can find millions of examples online. Simply search for a similar article you want to write, and click on the first few links to see the structure they’ve used. 

Congratulations! You’ve now gained a comprehensive understanding of how to write amazing articles. By following the steps and techniques in this guide, you are well-equipped to embark on your writing journey and captivate your target audience.

Remember, writing articles is not only about conveying information; it is also about connecting with readers on a deeper level, inspiring them, and sparking meaningful conversations. 

The next step is to find a good place to publish your amazing articles now that you have the tools to get started. You can easily get started with a website from WordPress.com. It’s quite simple to get started once you follow some super simple guidelines from WordPress.com support.    

So, what are you waiting for? Start creating your WordPress.com account today, unleash your writing prowess, and let the world discover your remarkable talent!

Happy writing!

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About the author, mehedi hasan shoab.

Mehedi is a freelance writer for SaaS, marketing and finance businesses. He's the founder of PowerhouseBlogger.com. Mehedi is growing businesses with sizzling writing, one piece at a time.

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what to write an article about

How to Write an Article (the Complete Guide)

  • Sarah Neidler, PhD
  • February 9, 2021

Did you just launch your new website and want to fill it with content? Or would you like to work as an article writer  and you’re asking yourself, how do I write an article that actually gets results? 

In both cases, you want to know how to write an article. 

This is a step-by-step guide that shows you how to come up with article ideas, get started with writing, and edit after writing. The guide is intended for online articles, but most points also apply to offline, print articles. Also, note that the difference between an article and a blog post is marginal, so most recommendations also apply to blog posts. 

Because it’s crucial that your article ranks in Google, we also cover some basics about search engine optimization (SEO). For more detailed information, I recommend you reading our 25 Point Blog Post Checklist for SEO .

1. Come up with a topic and a focus keyword

Before you start writing, you have to decide what you want to write about. That should be obvious. But what makes a good idea for an article?

Writing an article takes a lot of time and effort. Your articles should help you to generate traffic to your website. One of the most important factors that decide how much traffic you get is Google ranking.

Ideally, you want your article to rank for a high volume keyword. If 10.000 people per month type a specific keyword into Google and your article is the first to come up, many people will click on it and thereby land on your website.

When it comes to ranking, you should not only consider the search volume but also how difficult it is to rank for this keyword. A huge search volume is useless when your article appears on page number 256 of the search results.

It’s best to use a keyword research tool to find out the keyword difficulty (KD). We recommend Ahrefs because it provides you with accurate keyword data and many other functions that help you rank in Google.

what to write an article about

There are two main ways to come up with article ideas:

  • You have some ideas in mind; then you use a keyword research tool to find out if there are good keywords for these topics.
  • You do a keyword search, come up with a list of suitable keywords and then decide which ones to cover in an article.

The focus keyword reflects the topic of your article. It can consist of one or two words or multiple words. As an example, the focus keyword of this article is “how to write an article.”

If you struggle to find good ideas, I recommend you read my article about how to find blog topics .

2. Find the search intent behind the keyword

When typing keywords into Google, you have a problem that you want to solve. You might want to learn more about a particular topic, you have a specific question, or you are looking for products to buy. The content of your article has to match the user’s search intent behind the keyword.

“How to” keywords make it easy: They phrase a question, and your article should answer this question. When someone searches for “best Italian restaurant in town,” the person doesn’t want to know what an Italian restaurant is, but how to find the best one.

Google knows this and will display local Italian restaurants with the best reviews. Also, rating websites like Tripadvisor make it to the top search results because they deliver the information the user is looking for: A short review about the best Italian restaurants, explaining why they are the best ones.

Because Google has, in most cases, a good idea about the search intent behind keywords, googling the keyword you want to rank for is always a good idea.

what to write an article about

3. Find out how long your article needs to be

How long your article should be, depends on the topic and the competition. Some topics can be covered comprehensively in a short article. There is always the possibility to write more, but more is not always better. Again, keep the search intent in mind.

If the keywords indicate that the user looks for a simple, short answer, it’s better to keep it short. A long, detailed article would instead repel those readers. Take as an example: “How many strings does a guitar have.” This is a very basic question, and the person typing this into Google expects a short, simple answer. He or she doesn’t want to read a 1000-word article to find out.

But many topics are worth covering in detail. Someone who searches for “How to find the best electric bass guitar” would be thankful for a long, comprehensive article that answers all his questions. For these kinds of topics, you need to find out how long your article should at least be to have a realistic chance to rank for it. Googling your focus keyword is the easiest way to find out. Just check how long the top-ranking articles are and write one that is at least that long.

When you notice that your article is getting much longer than planned, decide if the added points are that important. If they truly add value, keep them. Check if they are highly related to the topic. If not, you can always cover them in a separate article.

4. Read competing articles

Take a close look at the articles that rank for your focus keyword. See if you can find good ideas in there and take some notes. This is not about copying your competition. It’s about getting inspired to make your article better.

5. Research the topic

Do deep research about the topic you want to write about. And simply googling your focus keyword and reading the top-ranking articles does not count as research. Ideally, you should already be knowledgeable about the topic.

The less you know, the more research you have to do. But even if you already know the subject in and out, check if there is new information available. For instance, when you write about CBD oil for anxiety, you may already know that CBD oil can help with anxiety and why. But there may still be a new study that you don’t know about. Covering the latest research that your competition hasn’t written about gives you a leading edge.

6. Brainstorm information to include

Once you know what you want to write about and gathered all the important information, you should do some brainstorming about what you want to cover in the article. There may be many points, likely, you won’t keep all of them. But writing them all down helps you to make sure that you don’t forget any vital information.

what to write an article about

7. Come up with unique ideas

When you’re done with brainstorming, make sure that you have ideas with unique content that you cannot find anywhere else. If your article summarizes the top 5 ranking articles, you’re not providing value to your readers.

There are many ways to make a text unique, and it depends on the kind of article. If you’re an expert on the topic, you can give an expert opinion with unique insights. When it’s an informational article, try to find information you cannot find anywhere else.

And even if there’s no additional information, you can still provide value. For instance, by explaining a complex problem better than anyone else does. Or by illustrating a point with a story. There are many ways, be creative!

8. Write an outline

Before you start writing, write an outline to give the article some structure. It is not set in stone, and you can change it while writing. But it makes the writing process much more manageable.

No matter what kind of article you write, it should always have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

Further, each article should answer three questions in the following order:

  • What (is it about)?
  • Why (is it important)?
  • How (to implement it)?

Answering these three questions gives your article a logical flow.

First, you have to let your readers know what the article is about. When you write about something that not everybody is familiar with, you’ll also have to explain what it is and give background information. For instance, when you write an article about magnesium, you should first mention that it is an essential mineral and review its role in the body.

The next step is then to explain why it’s important and why people should care. You would mention how common a magnesium deficiency is and what symptoms it causes. 

In the last step, you would address the how and tell your readers how they can prevent a magnesium deficiency.

In how much detail you answer each of these questions is very individual and depends on the kind of article you write. When you write a “How to …” article, like the one you are currently reading, answering the “How” is the main part. Readers looking for “How to do something” already know what it is and why it’s important. So you can briefly answer the first two questions in the introduction and then spend the rest of the article answering the “How.”

But you can also have articles focusing on the “Why.” After briefly answering the “What,” you explain in detail why it is important. The “How” can then be a simple call to action, leading the reader to an article addressing the “How” or to a product that is solving the problem.

If you wrote about the detrimental health consequences of eating too much sugar, this would answer the question, “Why too much sugar is bad for you.” After your readers are convinced that too much sugar is very unhealthy, you can end the article with a call to action to your article about how to eat less sugar.

The What, Why and How questions can serve as a template that you can apply to any article.

9. Follow the rule of one

Following the rule of one is probably the most important advice when writing an article, and most writers don’t follow it. Yet, articles that fulfill this rule are the most successful ones. So when you apply it, you write better articles than most others.

The rule sounds simple but is not easy to follow. It means that you should dedicate the content to one single topic and don’t deviate from it. For instance, in the article you are currently reading, I stick to advice about how to write an article. I don’t tell you how to write an ebook .

You might think that many people who write articles also write ebooks, and this information might be of interest to them. This might be true. But it’s also true that people who don’t know how to get started with an article are probably not ready to write an ebook yet. That’s why I don’t include any advice about ebook writing and instead would link to an article about how to write an ebook.

You have to put yourself into the shoes of your readers. Keep the search intent of your focus keyword in mind. Someone who types these words into Google is looking for specific information. By deviating from it, you risk boring your readers and losing them.

That’s the last thing you want. And the good thing when writing online articles is that linking to other articles is very easy. So if you are not 100% sure if the information is of interest to all article readers, leave it out and simply link to the content with further information.

10. Avoid the curse of knowledge

It’s good to write about something you’re knowledgeable about. In the end, you have something to tell and to teach.

But when you write about a topic that you are very familiar with, you quickly fall into the trap of the curse of knowledge.

This can have two negative consequences, and you should avoid both like the plague.

  • You tell your readers everything you know about the topic, or even worth, everything that is even loosely related to it

This is related to the rule of one. Many writers throw too much information at their readers, mostly because they want to demonstrate how much they know about a certain topic. They think that this signals credibility. What it really does is deviating from the subject and boring your readers.

  • You don’t write in a way that your audience easily understands

The second danger is that you are using words your audience isn’t familiar with and assume your readers know something they don’t. Simply because you know so much about a certain topic, you cannot imagine how it is not knowing it. As an author, this problem can be very hard to spot. This is why editing is so important (see point 20)

But you’re losing people that way. Your readers might think that you’re smart, but they will nevertheless stop reading your content because they either find it not interesting or because they don’t understand it.

11. Include references from reliable sources

You should try to provide sources for the information you include. This makes you look credible and also gives your readers the chance to find out more. How many references you have to provide largely depends on the kind of article and the topic.

When you write about a personal experience, you won’t have to provide many sources, and even not mentioning any might be fine. When you write about how CBD oil can help with anxiety, you certainly want to link to some scientific studies proving your point.

what to write an article about

12. Link to further information

No matter how long your article is, there is always more information about this topic. An easy way to provide value to your reader is to link to useful information. This can be to another article on your website or an external source.

Linking internally to other articles is also a valuable tool to stick to the point. When you catch yourself covering something that is not directly related to the topic, write a separate article about it and link to it.

Here’s an example of a link from one article to another.

what to write an article about

13. Make it “snackable”

People who read online are often looking for quick information. They don’t sit down for three hours to read about a specific topic as they might do with a book. When they click on a Google search result, they skim through the article to see if it provides the information they are looking for. And even if they decide that the article is worth reading, they don’t want to read large text blocks.

For these reasons, you should

  • Write short paragraphs
  • Use many subheadings (as a rule of thumb, you should have at least one subheading every 300 words)
  • Use bullet points where it makes sense
  • Bold important information
  • Use supporting infographics and pictures
  • Summarize the most important points after a paragraph covering a lot of information

what to write an article about

14. Make it an easy read

This point is related to the advice to make the content “snackable.” Furthermore, you should use uncomplicated language. Try to keep your sentences short and simple. Write in an active voice.

And avoid technical terms unless you’re 100% sure that your audience is familiar with them.

How “easy” the content is, depends, of course, on your audience’s background knowledge. To be precise, it should be an easy read for your audience, not necessarily for everyone.

15. Use the language of your audience

When you write an article for medical doctors, your tone and language differ from when you write for laypeople. Always keep your audience in mind and try to adopt their language. This way, your content relates to them, and it is easier to connect to them and build trust.

16. Write a compelling introduction

The introduction should explain why the article is relevant and how it solves the reader’s problems. You should keep it short and come straight to the point. The intro helps readers decide whether the article answers their question and it’s worth reading or whether they should look further.

For this reason, your introduction should raise the reader’s interest, but it should also reflect the content of the article. If you make false promises in your intro, you’ll disappoint your readers, and you risk that they won’t read your content in the future.

Mentioning a statistic, a quote, or an interesting, relevant fact is also an excellent way to start an article.

I personally prefer to write the introduction after writing the body of the article. I may write some notes before writing the article and then write it out later. Once the article is written, you have a clearer picture of the article’s content and how to lead into it.

17. End with a strong conclusion

It is a good idea to write the conclusion last. But when writing the article, you should already know what the conclusion is so that you can build up to it. As for the introduction, you can write down the points you want to mention and write them out later.

There are many different ways to write the conclusion. In many cases, it’s a good idea to summarize the article and emphasize the main takeaway. A call to action is also an excellent way to end an article.

I n the end, your article has a purpose, and you want your readers to do something after reading it.

You can guide them to further content, your products or ask them to sign-up for your newsletter, enquire about a product, service, or read an article. These are just a few examples; there are many more!

Here’s an example of a clear call to action for ketogenic meal plans.

what to write an article about

18. Remove non-important and redundant information

Some people say that they try to shorten their text by one third once they are done writing. How much you have to shorten your text depends on your writing style. If you tend to write very wordy, include non-relevant information, and even repeat information, you’ll have to shorten a lot. When you already write concisely, removing a little bit here and there will be enough. But in general, shortening your text during the editing process will make your article a better read.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot write long articles. But they should be packed with information. That means that to fill a long article, you need a lot of information. Take this article as an example. It’s 3,500 words +, but it provides 21 useful tips, and every single one is valuable. So, your article should have substance. The worst thing is reading an article that says nothing. It’s a waste of time for your readers (and also a waste of time writing it).

19. Edit, edit, edit

Once you’re done writing, the editing starts. Editing can take as long as the writing itself or even longer. You often find the advice not to edit while writing because writing and editing are two separate processes. I don’t think this applies to everyone and largely depends on your writing style.

When you try to get everything perfect in the first draft, writing takes much longer, but you save time editing. When you write everything down as fast as possible, you’re done writing in no time, but editing will probably take longer than writing.

20. Ask someone for feedback

Having someone to edit your article and to provide feedback will always improve your article. This person will likely notice a few language flaws, even if you are a native speaker and your grammar and writing is very good.

The person can also tell you if the article’s structure makes sense and if the transitions are easy to follow. Most importantly, the editor can tell you whether everything is easy to understand. For this reason, it can be an advantage to have a non-expert. This is especially important when writing for lay people.

21. Make a final grammar check

Once the article went through some rounds of editing, you should do a final grammar check. Grammarly is a popular choice that detects most grammar flaws, suggests synonyms, and also checks punctuation. This is especially important when you’re not a native English speaker. But even if you’re native, a grammar checking program can make the text better.

what to write an article about

The bottom line

Writing an article may seem simple, but it involves many steps. It’s not only about the writing; it’s also about finding ideas, doing research, and editing the article. Altogether, they can take more time and effort than the writing itself. 

Outsourcing articles can save you a lot of time and lets you focus on other parts of your business. Writing Studio has expert writers who can take care of all these steps. They know how to write articles that rank in Google and drive high-value traffic to your website.

Don’t forget to share this article!

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How to Write an Interesting Article

Last Updated: March 11, 2024 Approved

This article was co-authored by Michelle Golden, PhD . Michelle Golden is an English teacher in Athens, Georgia. She received her MA in Language Arts Teacher Education in 2008 and received her PhD in English from Georgia State University in 2015. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 87% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 57,598 times.

Writing an interesting article is an art. You need to think about answering the right questions, using the correct writing techniques, and formatting your article in the best way. This may all seem a bit intimidating if you're new to article writing, but it's actually a lot easier than it sounds. If you know how to choose the right topic, write in a way that engages your readers, and use tricks to keep them hooked, you will be writing fantastic articles before you know it.

Planning Your Topic

Step 1 Do your research.

  • The right kind of research for you will depend upon the kind of article you are writing, For example, if you are writing a news article, you will probably want to get out there and interview people who are related to the story. If you are writing about fitness trends, however, you may be able to do all of your research online.
  • When doing research, be sure to consult reliable sources. Look for academic articles, published books, and websites that are maintained by reputable organizations. Avoid personal blogs, forums, and promotional material whenever possible. [1] X Research source
  • Research and writing will both be much easier if you stay up to date about the topics that you write about, Even when you aren't planning to write an article, read up on industry trends and news. This knowledge will make you more intuitive to the needs and wants of your reader when it's time to choose your next topic.

Step 2 Always keep your audience in mind.

  • Think about how much your audience already knows about the topic. If it's geared towards novices, you will need to walk them through the material step by step and provide lots of background information. If it's geared towards people who are knowledgeable about the field, you will need to provide a more in-depth analysis and maybe utilize some industry jargon.
  • If you know exactly who your audience is, you can make your writing serve a purpose. Always aim to solve a specific problem that your audience is experiencing with each article.

Step 3 Ask interesting questions.

  • Take a moment to brainstorm questions that you have about your topic. For example, if your topic is thunderstorms, you may be wondering what locations have the most thunderstorms, why some places have more thunderstorms than other places, and what kind of damage a thunderstorm can cause. These are all great places to start for your article.
  • Make sure the questions you're asking are interesting to other people, not just you. Try typing your keywords into major search engines to find out what people are asking about your topic on social media or forums. If people want to know about something, they will find your article interesting.

Step 4 Provide new information.

  • Even if you know everything there is to know about your topic, it's still important to do research so that you know what else has been published on your topic. If you write an article that repeats information that is available in another article (even if this was not your intention) it will not be as interesting.
  • If you can't come up with a completely new topic, try digging a little deeper into topics that have already been covered by others. Look for questions that the other articles failed to answer or angles that they didn't cover and make these the focus of your article.

Writing Compelling Content

Step 1 Use a personable voice.

  • If you are writing for a company, they probably have a manual that outlines what kind of voice they want you to use in your articles. If you ever have any questions about what is appropriate for your article, be sure to ask your editor or supervisor.
  • While this isn't appropriate for every kind of article, using the first person pronouns "I," "me," and "my" can help your writing sound much more personable. Avoid using the first person plural pronouns "we," "our," and "us," even if you're trying to write on behalf of an entire company. This does not sound nearly as personal.
  • If it's appropriate for your article, express emotions and opinions. Readers will appreciate the sincerity that this brings to your writing.
  • If it is appropriate for your industry, consider telling a joke or making a reference to a current event. This will help your reader connect with you.

Step 2 Answer all the questions.

  • You may find it helpful to write an outline to help you keep track of the answers to these various questions. Whether you do this or not, it is a good idea to confirm that you have thoroughly answered each question during the editing process.
  • Keep in mind that some of the questions will require more elaboration than others, depending on your topic. For example, if you are writing an article about cooking, you will probably devote the most space to discussing how to prepare the meal and what ingredients are needed.

Step 3 Show, don't tell.

  • For example, if you are writing an article about your favorite travel destination, consider describing the white sand, the sparkling blue water, and the warm sun instead of just saying that the beach is beautiful.
  • This technique works better for some topics than for others, so don't feel that you can never tell. For example, technical articles probably require more telling than showing.

Step 4 Tell the reader a story.

  • Foreshadowing can add interest to your story. Consider giving your readers hints about what is to come in the title or opening sentences of your article. For example, if you are writing an article about a new business that opened in your town, you might foreshadow information about a major setback that occurred along the way by saying something like, "The owner never anticipated that she would face as many obstacles as she did."
  • Readers will get hooked faster if you start your article in the middle of the action, rather than by providing background information right away. Try to use suspense to keep them guessing about what will happen next whenever you can.
  • Most great stories have some kind of conflict, so make sure this comes through in your writing. For example, if you are writing about a new apartment complex that is being built, it's much more interesting to include opinions from people who are both for and against the project than to simply state that the project is moving forward. [6] X Research source

Step 5 Incorporate statistics and examples.

  • For example, if you are writing an article about the prevalence of a disease, it would be helpful to include specific figures regarding how many people have been infected, the mortality rate, and how these numbers have changed over time.
  • Even if your article does not lend itself to statistics, you can engage readers by providing specific examples of the impact of a certain situation. For example, if you are writing an article about dog training, you might include specific information about unwanted behaviors that are common in dogs who have not been trained.

Making Your Article Reader-Friendly

Step 1 Write a compelling title.

  • Make sure it matches the article content. Readers will not appreciate it if they start reading your article because they thought it would be about one topic, only to find out that it's about something else entirely.
  • Make sure it is easily understandable and unambiguous. Avoid using words that have multiple meanings or could be misunderstood. Keep in mind that readers will not spend much time trying to decipher your title.
  • Make it as specific as possible. Instead of writing "How to Decorate a Room," consider something like "How to Decorate Your Living Room Like a Professional for $200."

Step 2 Avoid intimidating readers with too much text.

  • Readers typically find numbered or bullet pointed lists very easy to read. If you can't make a list, consider breaking up your article into different sections using subtitles.
  • Make sure readers can find the answers they are looking for quickly. This may mean bolding the most important information or making sure your subtitles are very specific. [9] X Research source

Step 3 Choose the right length.

  • Make sure you have completely addressed your topic. If there are questions that have been left unanswered, your article is too short.
  • Make sure you are not repeating yourself or writing sentences that don't add any important information to your article. If you are, you need to cut back.

Step 4 Keep it clear and simple.

  • Be as specific as possible. When you talk in general terms, you run the risk of losing clarity. It helps to offer examples and descriptions whenever possible. For example, instead of writing, "There are a lot of different birds in this area," consider writing something like, "Birdwatchers come to this area to admire the many different species that live here, including robins, blue jays, cardinals, and doves."
  • When editing your work, be on the lookout for words that are not adding any additional information and get rid of them. For example, if you wrote, "People love this city for the simple reason that it has so much to offer," you can change it to "People love this city because it has so much to offer" without losing any of the meaning of the sentence.
  • Don't feel like you need to use long or fancy words to sound interesting. This kind of language can make your writing more difficult to understand, so stick with the simpler word when in doubt.
  • It's a good idea to think about your reader when determining how complex your language should be. If you are writing for a general audience, try to write at or near a 9th grade reading level. If you are writing for a more specialized audience, adjust the complexity of your writing accordingly. If you're not sure what reading level your article is, you can try running it through one of many free online reading level calculators. [12] X Research source

Step 5 Consider adding other media.

  • Add photos that will help your reader understand what you are talking about in your article.
  • If you are talking about numbers, consider adding a chart or graph to illustrate the data. This will make it much easier for readers to absorb.
  • People also find videos very helpful, so incorporate one into your article if you think it is relevant.

Step 6 Edit and revise your work.

  • Some people find it helpful to just write without worrying about spelling or grammar for their first draft. This is fine, as long as you are very thorough in your editing process and correct any errors you may have made.
  • Read through your article very slowly so you will be more likely to catch typos and misused words.
  • Be on the lookout for any sentence that seems too long or clunky. If it sounds a little confusing to you, chances are it will sound very confusing to your audience.
  • If possible, have someone else read over your work and give you feedback. It's much easier for someone who did not write the article to pick up on potentially confusing verbiage.
  • Once you have self-edited your work or had someone else edit it for you, write your final draft, making sure to copy edit it for errors one last time before submitting.

How Do You Come Up With an Interesting Angle For an Article?

Sample Articles

what to write an article about

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Never skew information or quote somebody out of context to make your article more interesting. It's always best to be honest and truthful, even if this makes your article less exciting. [14] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Always cite all of your sources. Failing to do can amount to plagiarism. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

You Might Also Like

Write an Article Review

  • ↑ https://www.easybib.com/guides/writing-guides/paper-types/how-to-write-a-research-paper/
  • ↑ https://www.copyblogger.com/boring-topic-content-marketing/
  • ↑ https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article-writing-how-make-your-creative-interesting-tom-crowe
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/735/05/
  • ↑ https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-write-interesting-content
  • ↑ https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/headline-writing-tips
  • ↑ https://blog.kissmetrics.com/ingredients-of-great-content/
  • ↑ https://www.dailywritingtips.com/whats-the-reading-level-of-your-writing/
  • ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/grammar-rules-and-tips/tips-for-writing-feature-articles.html

About This Article

Michelle Golden, PhD

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How to Write an Article

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 THE CRAFT OF ARTICLE WRITING

Writing is a complex skill. A very complex skill.

Not only do we put students under pressure to master the inconsistent spelling patterns and complex grammar of the English language, but we require them to know how to write for a variety of purposes in both fiction and nonfiction genres.

On top of this, writing is just one aspect of one subject among many.

The best way to help our students to overcome the challenge of writing in any genre is to help them to break things down into their component parts and give them a basic formula to follow.

In this article, we will break article writing down into its components and present a formulaic approach that will provide a basic structure for our students to follow.

Once this structure is mastered, students can, of course, begin to play with things.

But, until then, there is plenty of room within the discipline of the basic structure for students to express themselves in the article form.

Visual Writing Prompts

A COMPLETE UNIT ON TEACHING NEWS REPORTING

how to write an article, article writing | journalism writing prompts | How to Write an Article | literacyideas.com

With over  FORTY GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS in this  ENGAGING   UNIT, you can complete a  WEEKLY  journalistic / Newspaper reporting task  ALL YEAR LONG   as classwork or homework.

These templates take students through a  PROVEN  four-step article writing process on some  AMAZING  images. Students will learn how to.

WHAT IS AN ARTICLE?

how to write an article, article writing | different articles 1 | How to Write an Article | literacyideas.com

The Cambridge Dictionary defines an article as, “a piece of writing on a particular subject in a newspaper or magazine, or on the internet.”

An article’s shape and structure will vary depending on whether it’s intended for publication in a newspaper, magazine, or online.

Each of these media has its own requirements. For example, a magazine feature article may go into great depth on a topic, allowing for long, evocative paragraphs of exposition, while an online blog article may be full of lots of short paragraphs that get to the point without too much fanfare.

Each of these forms makes different demands on the writer, and it’s for this reason that most newspapers, magazines, and big websites provide writers with specific submission guidelines.

So, with such diverse demands placed on article writers, how do we go about teaching the diverse skill required to our students?

Luckily, we can break most types of articles down into some common key features.

Below we’ll take a look at the most important of these, along with an activity to get your students practicing each aspect right away.

Finally, we’ll take a look at a few general tips on article writing.

KEY WRITTEN FEATURES OF AN ARTICLE

The headline.

The purpose of the headline is to capture the reader’s attention and let them know what the article is about. All of this in usually no more than 4 or 5 words!

There is an art to good headline writing and all sorts of literary devices (e.g alliteration and metaphor) can be used to create an eye-catching and intriguing headline.

The best way for students to learn how headlines work is to view some historical samples.

Newspaper headlines especially are known for being short and pithy. Here are just a few examples to whet the appetite:

  • Hitler Is Dead
  • Lincoln Shot
  • Men Walk On The Moon
  • Berlin Wall Crumbles

You could encourage students to find some pithy examples of their own. It’s amazing how much information can be condensed into so few words – this is the essence of good headline writing.

Headlines Practice Activity:

Give students opportunities to practice headline writing in isolation from article writing itself. For example, take sample stories from newspapers and magazines and challenge students to write new headlines for them. Set a word limit appropriate to the skills and age of the students. For example, younger, more inexperienced students might write 9-word headlines, while older, more skilled students might thrive with the challenge of a 4-word limit.

THE SUBHEADING

Subheadings give the reader more information on what the article is about. For this reason, they’re often a little longer than headlines and use a smaller font, though still larger (or in bold) than the font used in the body of the text.

Subheadings provide a little more of the necessary detail to inform readers what’s going on. If a headline is a jab, the subheading is the cross.

In magazines and online articles especially, there are often subheadings throughout the article. In this context, they let the reader know what each paragraph/section is about.

Subheadings also help the reader’s eye to scan the article and quickly get a sense of the story, for the writer they help immensely to organize the structure of the story.

Practice Activity:

One way to help organize paragraphs in an article is to use parallel structure.

Parallel structure is when we use similar words, phrases, and grammar structures. We might see this being used in a series of subheadings in a ‘How to’ article where the subheadings all start with an imperative such as choose , attach , cut , etc.

Have you noticed how all the sections in this ‘Key Features’ part of this article start simply with the word ‘The’? This is another example of a parallel structure.

Yet another example of parallel structure is when all the subheadings appear in the form of a question.

Whichever type of parallel structure students use, they need to be sure that they all in some way relate to the original title of the article.

To give students a chance to practice writing subheadings using parallel structure, instruct them to write subheadings for a piece of text that doesn’t already have them.

THE BODY PARAGRAPHS

Writing good, solid paragraphs is an art in itself. Luckily, you’ll find comprehensive guidance on this aspect of writing articles elsewhere on this site.

But, for now, let’s take a look at some general considerations for students when writing articles.

The length of the paragraphs will depend on the medium. For example, for online articles paragraphs are generally brief and to the point. Usually no more than a sentence or two and rarely more than five.

This style is often replicated in newspapers and magazines of a more tabloid nature.

Short paragraphs allow for more white space on the page or screen. This is much less daunting for the reader and makes it easier for them to focus their attention on what’s being said – a crucial advantage in these attention-hungry times.

Lots of white space makes articles much more readable on devices with smaller screens such as phones and tablets. Chunking information into brief paragraphs enables online readers to scan articles more quickly too, which is how much of the information on the internet is consumed – I do hope you’re not scanning this!

Conversely, articles that are written more formally, for example, academic articles, can benefit from longer paragraphs which allow for more space to provide supporting evidence for the topic sentence.

Deciding on the length of paragraphs in an article can be done by first thinking about the intended audience, the purpose of the article, as well as the nature of the information to be communicated.

A fun activity to practice paragraphing is to organize your students into groups and provide them with a copy of an article with the original paragraph breaks removed. In their groups, students read the article and decide on where they think the paragraphs should go.

To do this successfully, they’ll need to consider the type of publication they think the article is intended for, the purpose of the article, the language level, and the nature of the information.

When the groups have finished adding in their paragraph breaks they can share and compare their decisions with the other groups before you finally reveal where the breaks were in the original article.

Article Photos and Captions

how to write an article, article writing | article images | How to Write an Article | literacyideas.com

Photos and captions aren’t always necessary in articles, but when they are, our students must understand how to make the most of them.

Just like the previous key features on our list, there are specific things students need to know to make the most of this specific aspect of article writing.

  The internet has given us the gift of access to innumerable copyright-free images to accompany our articles, but what criteria should students use when choosing an image?

To choose the perfect accompanying image/s for their article, students need to identify images that match the tone of their article.

Quirky or risque images won’t match the more serious tone of an academic article well, but they might work perfectly for that feature of tattoo artists.

Photos are meant to bring value to an article – they speak a thousand words after all. It’s important then that the image is of a high enough resolution that the detail of those ‘thousand words’ is clearly visible to the reader.

Just as the tone of the photo should match the tone of the article, the tone of the caption should match the tone of the photo.

Captions should be informative and engaging. Often, the first thing a reader will look at in an article is the photos and then the caption. Frequently, they’ll use the information therein to decide whether or not they’ll continue to read.

When writing captions, students must avoid redundancy. They need to add information to that which is already available to the reader by looking at the image.

There’s no point merely describing in words what the reader can clearly see with their own two eyes. Students should describe things that are not immediately obvious, such as date, location, or the name of the event.

One last point, captions should be written in the present tense. By definition, the photo will show something that has happened already. Despite this, students should write as if the action in the image is happening right now.

Remind students that their captions should be brief; they must be careful not to waste words with such a tight format.

For this fun activity, you’ll need some old magazines and newspapers. Cut some of the photos out minus their captions. All the accompanying captions should be cut out and jumbled up. It’s the students’ job to match each image with the correct accompanying caption.

Students can present their decisions and explanations when they’ve finished.

A good extension exercise would be to challenge the students to write a superior caption for each of the images they’ve worked on.

TOP 5 TIPS FOR ARTICLE WRITING

Now your students have the key features of article writing sewn up tightly, let’s take a look at a few quick and easy tips to help them polish up their general article writing skills.

1. Read Widely – Reading widely, all manner of articles, is the best way students can internalize some of the habits of good article writing. Luckily, with the internet, it’s easy to find articles on any topic of interest at the click of a mouse.

2. Choose Interesting Topics – It’s hard to engage the reader when the writer is not themselves engaged. Be sure students choose article topics that pique their own interest (as far as possible!).

3. Research and Outline – Regardless of the type of article the student is writing, some research will be required. The research will help an article take shape in the form of an outline. Without these two crucial stages, articles run the danger of wandering aimlessly and, worse still, of containing inaccurate information and details.

4. Keep Things Simple – All articles are about communicating information in one form or another. The most effective way of doing this is to keep things easily understood by the reader. This is especially true when the topic is complex.

5. Edit and Proofread – This can be said of any type of writing, but it still bears repeating. Students need to ensure they comprehensively proofread and edit their work when they’ve ‘finished’. The importance of this part of the writing process can’t be overstated.

And to Conclude…

how to write an article, article writing | article writing guide | How to Write an Article | literacyideas.com

With time and plenty of practice, students will soon internalize the formula as outlined above.

This will enable students to efficiently research, outline, and structure their ideas before writing.

This ability, along with the general tips mentioned, will soon enable your students to produce well-written articles on a wide range of topics to meet the needs of a diverse range of audiences.

HUGE WRITING CHECKLIST & RUBRIC BUNDLE

writing checklists

TUTORIAL VIDEO ON HOW TO WRITE AN ARTICLE

how to write an article, article writing | YOUTUBE 1280 x 720 10 | How to Write an Article | literacyideas.com

Writing an article

Topic outline.

The purpose of an article is often to inform and persuade the reader. 

Articles give the reader information about a certain topic, bringing together and discussing different perspectives to provide a balanced argument which lets the reader make up their own mind about the topic. 

Articles can also be used to persuade the reader that a certain viewpoint is correct. For example, articles in newspapers or magazines might express a particular viewpoint or perspective; this may be positive or negative depending on the topic. 

The ways you use language and organise your ideas when writing an article will depend on the audience and the purpose you are writing for.

  • think about the audience that the article is for – w hen writing an article, you do not usually know your readers personally and so you will need to think about their likely interests and experience before you write
  • how you expect, or want, your audience to react – re member that the tone of most articles should be semi-formal, so before deciding on your tone imagine your article being read out loud and how that might sound to your reader. For example, an article reviewing a film may be humorous, even sarcastic, but that would not work well for more serious readers or topics
  • the purpose for the article – is th e purpose, or reason, for writing your article to persuade your readers to agree with you or to invite your readers to think about different points of view and decide for themselves? For example, do you need to sound reliable and well informed, or choose words that strongly convey a particular emotion?
  • how to keep your readers interest – ima gine how boring it would be for your reader if you used the same kind of sentences and simple repetitive vocabulary all the way through your article. Try to include a range of grammatical structures and relevant vocabulary to make sure that your reader wants to keep reading.
  • Plan a route through your article before you start writing it – th e structure of an article is usually in three parts. For example:
  • An introduction – engage your reader’s interest and introduce your argument or the main points of the topic to be discussed.
  • A middle – develop relevant and interesting points about the topic to interest and/or convince your readers to think about a particular perspective.
  • An end – d raw your points together and leave your reader with a clear impression of the argument you want them to believe or the viewpoints you would like them to consider.
  • Organise your ideas into paragraphs as appropriate – this will help you to develop and support your points convincingly, to build your argument and/or offer a full explanation of a particular point of view.
  • Show your reader at a glance what your article is about – articles usually have a suitable headline to attract their readers’ attention and you can choose to use subheadings (a bit like mini headlines) to help break your article up and move your reader on. Do not overdo these, but well-chosen subheadings can help to catch and keep your reader’s attention, as well as sum up the main points you are making.
  • Show the connections between ideas in sentences and paragraphs – for example, where a new point or idea follows on from what you have already said you might use linking words or phrases such as, 'in addition’, ‘likewise’ or ‘similarly’.
  • Example of an article

what to write an article about

  • Article Writing

Article Writing Format: Explore How To Write, Example Topics and Tips

Have some great ideas, opinions and suggestions you wish you could share so that it could reach readers all around the world? One of the best ways to get your thoughts across the globe is by writing an article. There are techniques you can use to write the different types of articles. This piece on article writing will give you all the tips and tricks you need to master before you start writing your article.

Table of Contents

The art of writing an article, how do i write a good article – tips and techniques, article writing samples, faqs on article writing.

An article is a piece of writing which explicates ideas, thoughts, facts, suggestions and/or recommendations based on a particular topic. There are different kinds of articles, namely:

  • Expository article – The most common type of article which allows the writer to put out information on any particular topic without the influence of their opinions.
  • Argumentative article – An article in which an author poses a problem or an issue, renders a solution to the proposed problem and provides arguments to justify why their suggestions/solutions are good.
  • Narrative article – An article in which the author has to narrate mostly in the form of a story.
  • Descriptive article – An article written with the aim of providing a vivid description that would allow the readers to visualise whatever is being described. Using the right adjectives / adjective phrases is what will help you write a descriptive article.
  • Persuasive article – An article aimed at persuading or convincing the readers to accept an idea or a point of view.

Writing an article takes a lot of effort on the side of the writer. Content writers/creators, bloggers, freelance writers and copywriters are people who have mastered the art of article writing, without which they would not be able to make their mark as a writer of any kind.

In order to be able to write an article that makes sense in the first place, you have to keep a few things in mind.

  • The first and foremost thing that you have to take care of when you are sitting down to write your article is to check if you are well aware of the topic you are going to write on.
  • The second thing that you have to ask yourself is why you are writing the article.
  • The next thing that you have to focus on is the kind of audience you are writing the article for because unless you know your audience, you will not be able to write it in a way that makes them want to read it.
  • The language you use is very important because, without the right spelling, correct grammar , punctuation and sensible sentence structure , the article would not be able to sell itself.
  • Use keywords so that you get a good number of reading audiences.
  • Maintain coherence within and between paragraphs.
  • Double-check the data and information you provide, irrespective of the type of article.
  • Keep the title and description as short and catchy as possible.
  • Edit and proofread before it is published.

To help you understand better and practise the art of article writing, read through the articles given below:

Can I write a good article?

If you know all the information about the topic you are going to write about, a good hand over the language, a knack to keep it simple and interesting throughout, you can write a good article.

What is the format of an article?

The article should have a title/heading and a description that states what the article is about. The body of the article can be split into 3 to 5 paragraphs according to the volume of content with respect to the topic you are discussing. You can have subheadings and use bullet points wherever possible. Make sure your introduction makes people want to read the whole article and your conclusion leaves them satisfied.

How many paragraphs should there be in an article?

An article should have a minimum of 3 to 4 paragraphs. The writer is, however, given the choice to present the content in more than four paragraphs, if it would be better for the article.

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How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples

Published on November 23, 2020 by Shona McCombes . Revised on May 31, 2023.

Summarizing , or writing a summary, means giving a concise overview of a text’s main points in your own words. A summary is always much shorter than the original text.

There are five key steps that can help you to write a summary:

  • Read the text
  • Break it down into sections
  • Identify the key points in each section
  • Write the summary
  • Check the summary against the article

Writing a summary does not involve critiquing or evaluating the source . You should simply provide an accurate account of the most important information and ideas (without copying any text from the original).

Table of contents

When to write a summary, step 1: read the text, step 2: break the text down into sections, step 3: identify the key points in each section, step 4: write the summary, step 5: check the summary against the article, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about summarizing.

There are many situations in which you might have to summarize an article or other source:

  • As a stand-alone assignment to show you’ve understood the material
  • To keep notes that will help you remember what you’ve read
  • To give an overview of other researchers’ work in a literature review

When you’re writing an academic text like an essay , research paper , or dissertation , you’ll integrate sources in a variety of ways. You might use a brief quote to support your point, or paraphrase a few sentences or paragraphs.

But it’s often appropriate to summarize a whole article or chapter if it is especially relevant to your own research, or to provide an overview of a source before you analyze or critique it.

In any case, the goal of summarizing is to give your reader a clear understanding of the original source. Follow the five steps outlined below to write a good summary.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

You should read the article more than once to make sure you’ve thoroughly understood it. It’s often effective to read in three stages:

  • Scan the article quickly to get a sense of its topic and overall shape.
  • Read the article carefully, highlighting important points and taking notes as you read.
  • Skim the article again to confirm you’ve understood the key points, and reread any particularly important or difficult passages.

There are some tricks you can use to identify the key points as you read:

  • Start by reading the abstract . This already contains the author’s own summary of their work, and it tells you what to expect from the article.
  • Pay attention to headings and subheadings . These should give you a good sense of what each part is about.
  • Read the introduction and the conclusion together and compare them: What did the author set out to do, and what was the outcome?

To make the text more manageable and understand its sub-points, break it down into smaller sections.

If the text is a scientific paper that follows a standard empirical structure, it is probably already organized into clearly marked sections, usually including an introduction , methods , results , and discussion .

Other types of articles may not be explicitly divided into sections. But most articles and essays will be structured around a series of sub-points or themes.

Now it’s time go through each section and pick out its most important points. What does your reader need to know to understand the overall argument or conclusion of the article?

Keep in mind that a summary does not involve paraphrasing every single paragraph of the article. Your goal is to extract the essential points, leaving out anything that can be considered background information or supplementary detail.

In a scientific article, there are some easy questions you can ask to identify the key points in each part.

If the article takes a different form, you might have to think more carefully about what points are most important for the reader to understand its argument.

In that case, pay particular attention to the thesis statement —the central claim that the author wants us to accept, which usually appears in the introduction—and the topic sentences that signal the main idea of each paragraph.

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Now that you know the key points that the article aims to communicate, you need to put them in your own words.

To avoid plagiarism and show you’ve understood the article, it’s essential to properly paraphrase the author’s ideas. Do not copy and paste parts of the article, not even just a sentence or two.

The best way to do this is to put the article aside and write out your own understanding of the author’s key points.

Examples of article summaries

Let’s take a look at an example. Below, we summarize this article , which scientifically investigates the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Davis et al. (2015) set out to empirically test the popular saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are often used to represent a healthy lifestyle, and research has shown their nutritional properties could be beneficial for various aspects of health. The authors’ unique approach is to take the saying literally and ask: do people who eat apples use healthcare services less frequently? If there is indeed such a relationship, they suggest, promoting apple consumption could help reduce healthcare costs.

The study used publicly available cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants were categorized as either apple eaters or non-apple eaters based on their self-reported apple consumption in an average 24-hour period. They were also categorized as either avoiding or not avoiding the use of healthcare services in the past year. The data was statistically analyzed to test whether there was an association between apple consumption and several dependent variables: physician visits, hospital stays, use of mental health services, and use of prescription medication.

Although apple eaters were slightly more likely to have avoided physician visits, this relationship was not statistically significant after adjusting for various relevant factors. No association was found between apple consumption and hospital stays or mental health service use. However, apple eaters were found to be slightly more likely to have avoided using prescription medication. Based on these results, the authors conclude that an apple a day does not keep the doctor away, but it may keep the pharmacist away. They suggest that this finding could have implications for reducing healthcare costs, considering the high annual costs of prescription medication and the inexpensiveness of apples.

However, the authors also note several limitations of the study: most importantly, that apple eaters are likely to differ from non-apple eaters in ways that may have confounded the results (for example, apple eaters may be more likely to be health-conscious). To establish any causal relationship between apple consumption and avoidance of medication, they recommend experimental research.

An article summary like the above would be appropriate for a stand-alone summary assignment. However, you’ll often want to give an even more concise summary of an article.

For example, in a literature review or meta analysis you may want to briefly summarize this study as part of a wider discussion of various sources. In this case, we can boil our summary down even further to include only the most relevant information.

Using national survey data, Davis et al. (2015) tested the assertion that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and did not find statistically significant evidence to support this hypothesis. While people who consumed apples were slightly less likely to use prescription medications, the study was unable to demonstrate a causal relationship between these variables.

Citing the source you’re summarizing

When including a summary as part of a larger text, it’s essential to properly cite the source you’re summarizing. The exact format depends on your citation style , but it usually includes an in-text citation and a full reference at the end of your paper.

You can easily create your citations and references in APA or MLA using our free citation generators.

APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator

Finally, read through the article once more to ensure that:

  • You’ve accurately represented the author’s work
  • You haven’t missed any essential information
  • The phrasing is not too similar to any sentences in the original.

If you’re summarizing many articles as part of your own work, it may be a good idea to use a plagiarism checker to double-check that your text is completely original and properly cited. Just be sure to use one that’s safe and reliable.

If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • ChatGPT vs human editor
  • ChatGPT citations
  • Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
  • Using ChatGPT for your studies
  • What is ChatGPT?
  • Chicago style
  • Paraphrasing

 Plagiarism

  • Types of plagiarism
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Academic integrity
  • Consequences of plagiarism
  • Common knowledge

A summary is a short overview of the main points of an article or other source, written entirely in your own words. Want to make your life super easy? Try our free text summarizer today!

A summary is always much shorter than the original text. The length of a summary can range from just a few sentences to several paragraphs; it depends on the length of the article you’re summarizing, and on the purpose of the summary.

You might have to write a summary of a source:

  • As a stand-alone assignment to prove you understand the material
  • For your own use, to keep notes on your reading
  • To provide an overview of other researchers’ work in a literature review
  • In a paper , to summarize or introduce a relevant study

To avoid plagiarism when summarizing an article or other source, follow these two rules:

  • Write the summary entirely in your own words by paraphrasing the author’s ideas.
  • Cite the source with an in-text citation and a full reference so your reader can easily find the original text.

An abstract concisely explains all the key points of an academic text such as a thesis , dissertation or journal article. It should summarize the whole text, not just introduce it.

An abstract is a type of summary , but summaries are also written elsewhere in academic writing . For example, you might summarize a source in a paper , in a literature review , or as a standalone assignment.

All can be done within seconds with our free text summarizer .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

McCombes, S. (2023, May 31). How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved April 16, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/working-with-sources/how-to-summarize/

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what to write an article about

How to write an article? | B2 First (FCE)

what to write an article about

In the B2 First Writing Paper you could be asked to write an article about a variety of topics. However, it’s often something you’ve recently learned to do or know a lot about. For example, the question might be about a concert you’ve been to recently, you favourite hobby or your hometown.

The idea is to write in a way that grabs the reader’s attention and keeps them interested until the very end.

Differences between articles and essays

  • In an article, you need to constantly be telling the reader what  you think .
  • The  article is informal,  the essay is formal and neutral.
  • The essay has a clear organisation, whereas the article  might not .

B2 First (FCE) Article: Structure

Fce, cae, cpe, practice, write & improve, b2 first (fce) article: writing guide.

Articles usually have a title. The title should be informative (give the reader an idea of the subject) and attractive ( make the reader want to read the article ).

  • No need for a complete sentence

Title A: The Internet: A Great Invention

Title B: Keep It Healthy!

Introduction

The start of the article should be linked to the title, introduce the topic and engage the reader. Often, an article starts with a question that introduces the topic which will be discussed in the article.

  • General statement about the topic.
  • Start with a question, problem or quotation.

Introduction A: The Internet has changed the way we live. It started as something that we could access only through a computer, but nowadays it is everywhere, and I love it!

Introduction B:  Are you a busy college student? Do you struggle to keep fit and eat healthily? Don’t worry! I am going to tell you exactly what you should do. Keep on reading, you will thank me later!

Paragraphs 1-2

Each should be clearly defined, not too long and clearly linked.

  • Describe issues in detail and use one paragraph per issue.
  • Use linkers, sequencing and sophisticated vocabulary.

Paragraph A1: One of the cool things about the world wide web is that you can ….. Paragraph A2: However, the greatest thing about the Internet is how you can learn tons of things… Paragraph 1B: First of all, you must start moving your body. You could go to the gym if ….. Paragraph B2: Secondly, your diet is just as important. I suppose you live on a low budget

An ending can state an opinion, give the reader something to think about, summarise the article or even end with a quotation.

Conclusion A: If you follow all these tips, I’m sure you will keep fit easily! And if you already tried that, let me know how you feel now

Conclusion B: In conclusion, the Internet has a lot of great things. For me, the best are finding information and learning online. What about you? What are your favourite things about it?

  Let’s summarize! – How to write an Article?

what to write an article about

  • Try and engage the reader’s attention and interest. Ask questions at the beginning.
  • There should be a link between the opening sentence and the title.
  • Personalise the article using true stories or anecdotes.
  • If you decide to take a light-hearted approach or a more serious one, maintain the same style throughout the article.
  • Check your work for accuracy, punctuation and spelling.

Article could be light or serious (but should be consistent), depending on who the target reader is. May use some rhetorical questions e.g. Can you imagine a school where every student enjoys themselves?

More than Practice Tests

B2 first (fce) article: model answers, fce article example 1.

A local magazine has asked readers to write an article about their favourite things about the Internet. Write the article talking about the things you do with the Internet and recommend a website to other readers.

Write your article.

Student’s FCE Article Answer:

The Internet: A Great Invention

The Internet has changed the way we live. It started as something that we could access only through a computer, but nowadays it is everywhere, and I love it!

One of the cool things about the world wide web is that you can look up anything you want and nd out the answer straight away. Isn’t that fantastic? For example, imagine you are arguing with your friends about how to do something. Easy solution! Go online and find the answer.

However, the greatest thing about the Internet is how you can learn tons of things very cheaply or even for free! In fact, my favourite website is www.udemy.com,where people register to teach and learn about different things: music, website design, making apps, history, etc. So I totally recommend it to everyone!

In conclusion, the Internet has a lot of great things. For me, the best are finding information and learning online. What about you? What are your favourite things about it?

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Get Your (FCE) Article Checked!

Fce article example 2.

Fitness bloggers wanted!

Our fitness magazine is looking for influencers to write an article on how to stay fit when you are a college student. So if you have any cool ideas, send us an article in which you:

• Explain the type of exercise you recommend • Recommend a healthy but cheap diet • Give other ideas you like

Write your article .

Keep It Healthy!

Are you a busy college student? Do you struggle to keep fit and eat healthily? Don’t worry! I am going to tell you exactly what you should do. Keep on reading, you will thank me later!

First of all, you must start moving your body. You could go to the gym if you have the time. But if you’re busy – you’re a student, you should be busy! – don’t sign up for a gym. Instead, start cycling to college and give up using elevators. You’ll see how your fitness improves quickly!

Secondly, your diet is just as important. I suppose you live on a low budget, so I suggest you don’t eat out much. Eating out can be unhealthy and expensive. Sogo to your local supermarket and buy healthy, inexpensive vegetables and fruit.

Finally, pay attention to how you sit when you are studying. Posture is super important to feel well, especially if you are a student or an office worker.

If you follow all these tips, I’m sure you will keep fit easily! And if you already tried that, let me know how you feel now

B2 First (FCE) Article: Example topics

Fce sample article topic 1.

You see this announcement in the Leisure and Entertainment  magazine.

Could you live without internet for a month? Write and tell us what difference this would make to your life. We will publish the best article.

FCE Sample Article Topic 2

You see this announcement in a magazine.

We invite you to write an article on ‘The City of the Future’. In what ways will Cities be different in the future? In what ways will they be the same? The writer of the best article will receive a prize.

FCE Sample Article Topic 3

You have seen this notice in an international magazine.

Inventions have affected all our lives! Write us an article about one invention, explaining why you think it is important and saying how it has affected your own life.

The best article will be published in the magazine.

B2 First (FCE) Article: Writing Checklist

what to write an article about

After writing your text, you can check it yourself using the writing checklist below.

How to do that? Simply check your text/email by answering the questions one by one:

  • Have I covered all the key information required by the task?
  • Have I written only information which is relevant to the task?
  • Have I developed the basic points in the task with my own ideas?

Communicative Achievement

  • Have I achieved the main purpose(s) of the text (for example, explaining, persuading, suggesting, apologising, comparing, etc.)?
  • Have I communicated a balance of straightforward and more complex ideas?
  • Have I used a suitable style and register (formal or informal) for the task?

Organisation

  • Have I used paragraphs appropriately to organise my ideas?
  • Have I used other organisational features appropriately for the genre of the text (for example, titles, headings, openings, closings, etc.)?
  • Is the connection between my ideas clear and easy for the reader to follow? (For example, have I used appropriate linking words, pronouns, etc. to refer to different things within the text?)
  • Are the ideas balanced appropriately, with suitable attention and space given to each one?
  • Have I used a wide range of vocabulary?
  • Have I avoided repeating the same words and phrases?
  • Have I used a range of simple and more complex grammatical structures?
  • Have I correctly used any common phrases which are relevant to the specific task or topic?
  • Is my use of grammar accurate?
  • Is my spelling accurate?

B2 First (FCE) Article: Tips

what to write an article about

  • PLAN your article.
  • Give your article a title.
  • Ask rhetorical questions to get your readers’ attention. Eg. What would the world be like without oil? What will life be like in 20 years time?
  • Speak directly to your readers. Eg. Let’s just imagine some of the possibilities.
  • Give examples where appropriate.
  • Use humour where appropriate
  • Give a conclusion and summary in the last paragraph.
  • Finally, give your opinion where appropriate.
  • REVISE your article to correct mistakes

Would you pass B2 First (FCE)?

B2 first (fce) article: useful phrases & expressions.

We will finish it with some useful vocabulary mostly used to organize information. Although it is taking a shortcut, if you learn several expressions for each paragraph in each type of text that could be on your exam, you will certainly be able to create a very consistent and well-organized text.

La farmacia viagra online ti dà i migliori prezzi per i farmaci generici. Breve tempo di elaborazione! Oltre mezzo milione di clienti! Pillole bonus gratuite per tutti gli ordini!

Rhetorical phrases:

Have you ever ……..?  What do you think about ……..?  Are you one of those people who thinks that ……? Are you one of those people who …….? What would life be like if ……? Will the future bring us ….. ?

Introducing your first point:

Firstly In the first place First of all   The first thing to consider is  One thing to consider is  To begin with

Introducing more points:

Secondly   Another consideration  Yet another consideration  Another thing to consider is Added to that  Apart from that  In addition to this

Introducing your final points:

In conclusion  To conclude  To sum up  So

Introducing your opinion:

I think   In my opinion  Personally, I believe that   In my view  If you ask me  To my mind  My personal opinion is

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How to summarize an article

Pragati Gupta

Table of contents

Have you ever had to write a summary of an article for a school assignment, a business report, or a personal project?

Summarizing an article is an important skill that can help you to extract the most relevant information from a text, present it in a concise and clear way, and avoid plagiarism.

But how to summarize an article effectively? What are the steps involved? How long should a summary be? And how can you use an AI writer like Writesonic to simplify and speed up the process?

This blog post will answer these questions and give you some tips to summarize an article like a pro. So, let’s get started.

Table Of Contents

What is a summary.

A summary is a brief statement of the main points and ideas of an article in your own words.

A summary does not include your opinions, interpretations, or analysis of the article. It only focuses on what the author has said and how they have said it.

In a nutshell, a summary is a short, concise explanation of a text. A summary should include the most important points of the text and should be accurate, objective, and coherent. A good summary should be able to stand on its own and should not require the reader to go back and read the original text in order to understand it.

How to summarize an article - step by step

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for summarizing an article, but here are some general steps that you can follow:

Read the entire piece

The first step is to read the article carefully and thoroughly without skipping or skimming any parts. Reading the entire piece will help you get a full understanding of the author's argument and allow you to summarize the main points of the article. Also learn how to write an article first in order to come up with a summary.

So, as you read, pay attention to the title, the introduction, the headings, the conclusion, and any keywords, phrases, or examples that the author uses to support their arguments.

Try to understand the main purpose, audience, and tone of the article because that’s what you need to convey in your summary.

Finally, keep in mind that a summary should be shorter than the original text, so try to include all the points in a very crisp and clear way.

List out the important points

After reading the article, make a list of the important points that the author has made. These are the points that you will include in your summary.

To make sure you don’t miss out on any important pointers, prepare a list. Use bullet points, numbers, or keywords to organize your list. You can also highlight, underline, or take notes on the article as you read, to help you remember the important points.

Remember, the goal is to provide a clear and concise overview of the information that is already known.

Understand the main idea of the article

In order to write a summary of an article, it is important to first understand the main idea of the piece. To do this, one must read the article and take note of the key points. Once the main idea is understood, it becomes easier to identify the most important information to include in the summary. When writing the summary, you can use the paraphrasing tool as it would help you maintain the same tone as the original article.

Next, try to identify the main idea of the piece or article. You can take help from a blog idea generator to help with topics. This is the central message or argument that the author wants to convey to the readers. It is usually stated in the introduction or the conclusion of the article or implied throughout the text.

To do this, one must read the article and take note of the key points. Once the main idea is understood, it becomes easier to identify the most important information to include in the summary.

Also, keep in mind when writing the summary, it is also important to maintain the same tone as the original article. Learn how to rewrite a sentence to maintain the originality.

Write the summary

After reading, understanding, and listing out the main points, comes the most important part - writing the actual summary!

So, start with a sentence that introduces the title, the author, and the main idea of the article. Then, write one or two paragraphs summarizing the important points you have listed, using your own words and paraphrasing the author's expressions.

Avoid adding any new information, opinions, or details that are not mentioned in the article. You can use transitional words and phrases to connect your sentences and make your summary flow. Finally, end with a sentence that wraps up the summary and restates the main idea of the article.

Review for clarity

Finally, review your summary for clarity, accuracy, and completeness.

Check if you have included all the essential points and ideas of the article and if you have expressed them clearly and objectively. Make sure there are no grammatical errors, and the summary is plagiarism-free.

Check if your summary is coherent, logical, and concise. You can also ask someone else to read your summary and give you feedback.

Once you have the summary ready and you want to distrute it on different platforms, you can use a paragraph rewriter to generate a different version of the summary keeping the meaning intact.

How to use Writesonic to summarize an article

Looking to save time and effort and still produce a high-quality summary of an article? Use an AI writing tool like Writesonic. From blog posts and landing pages to ad copy and social media posts, it can help with various types of content.

Writesonic’s text summarizer is a powerful and easy-to-use tool that can generate summaries of articles. Here is how you can use Writesonic to summarize an article:

  • Go to writesonic.com and sign up for a free account or log in if you already have one.
  • Click on the "Article Summarizer" option on the dashboard.
  • Paste the URL or the text of the article that you want to summarize in the input box.
  • Choose the language and quality type (Premium, good, average, or economy - it is recommended to select Premium for better results).
  • Click on the "Generate" button and wait for a few seconds. And ta-da! Here’s your summary, generated by Writesonic.
  • You can edit, copy, or download the summary as you wish. You can also generate more summaries by clicking on the "Generate more" button and comparing them to choose the best one.

Here’s a glimpse:

How long a good summary needs to be?

There is no definitive answer to how long a summary needs to be, as it depends on the purpose, the audience, and the length of the original article.

However, a general rule of thumb is that a summary should be about 10% of the length of the article. For example, if the article is 1000 words, the summary should be around 100 words.

Of course, this is not a strict rule, and you can adjust the length of your summary according to your needs and preferences.

Tips for summarizing an article

Here are some tips to help you summarize an article more effectively:

  • Read the article more than once, if necessary, to fully understand it.
  • Use the inverted pyramid style, which means starting with the most important information and ending with the least important.
  • Use direct quotations sparingly and only when they are essential or powerful.
  • Use reporting verbs, like states, argues, claims, explains, etc., to introduce the author's points and ideas.
  • Compare your summary with the original article, and make sure you have not missed or distorted anything.
  • Proofread your summary for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
  • To make your summary more appealing, add an image. Try using Photosonic to generate unique and catchy images.

Summarizing…

Summarizing an article is a useful skill that can help you to understand, remember, and communicate the key information and ideas of a text.

To summarize an article, you need to read the entire piece, list out the important points, understand the main idea, write the summary, and review for clarity. You can follow the above-listed tips, such as using your own words, using the inverted pyramid style, and using reporting verbs. Or you can quickly generate a summary with the help of Writesonic .

It can help you to create summaries that are accurate, concise, and coherent and that suit your purpose and tone. Try Writesonic today and see how it can boost your writing productivity and creativity.

Pragati Gupta

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Why the World Still Needs Immanuel Kant

Unlike in Europe, few in the United States will be celebrating the philosopher’s 300th birthday. But Kant’s writing shows that a free, just and moral life is possible — and that’s relevant everywhere.

Credit... Illustration by Daniel Barreto

Supported by

By Susan Neiman

The philosopher Susan Neiman is the director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany.

  • April 17, 2024 Updated 12:27 p.m. ET

When I arrived in Berlin in 1982, I was writing a dissertation on Kant’s conception of reason. It was thrilling to learn that the apartment I’d sublet turned out to be located near Kantstrasse, though at the time I wondered in frustration: Why was there no James Street — Henry or William — in the Cambridge, Mass., I’d left behind; no streets honoring Emerson or Eliot? Were Americans as indifferent to culture as snooty Europeans supposed? It didn’t take long before I, too, could walk down Kantstrasse and turn right on Leibniz without a thought.

It’s harder to ignore the way Germany, like other European nations, sets aside entire years to honor its cultural heroes. This century has already seen an Einstein Year , a Beethoven Year , a Luther Year and a Marx Year , each commemorating some round-numbered anniversary of the hero in question. Federal and local governments provide considerable sums for events that celebrate the thinkers in question and debate their contemporary relevance.

Years before Immanuel Kant’s 300th birthday on April 22, 2024, the Academy of Science in Berlin, to which he once belonged, organized a conference to begin preparations for his tercentennial. A second conference published a report of the proceedings, but when I urged colleagues to use the occasion to create programs for a wider audience, I was met with puzzled silence. Reaching a wider audience is not a talent philosophy professors normally cultivate, but conversations with other cultural institutions showed this case to be especially thorny.

It wasn’t just uneasiness about celebrating “another dead white man,” as one museum director put it. The problems became deeper as the zeitgeist changed. “ Immanuel Kant: A European Thinker ” was a good title for that conference report in 2019, when Brexit seemed to threaten the ideal of European unification Germans supported. Just a few years later, “European” has become a slur. At a time when the Enlightenment is regularly derided as a Eurocentric movement designed to support colonialism, who feels comfortable throwing a yearlong birthday party for its greatest thinker?

Nonetheless, this year’s ceremonies will officially commence on April 22 with a speech by Chancellor Scholz and a memorial lunch that has taken place on the philosopher’s birthday every year since 1805. Two days earlier, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany will open an exhibit at the presidential palace devoted to Kant’s writing on peace.

The start of the year saw special Kant editions of four prominent German magazines. A Kant movie made for television premiered on March 1, and another is in production. Four exhibits on Kant and the Enlightenment will open in Bonn, Lüneburg, Potsdam and Berlin. The conferences will be numerous, including one organized by the Divan, Berlin’s house for Arab culture.

But why celebrate the Kant year at all?

The philosopher’s occasional autobiographical remarks provide a clue to the answer. As the son of a saddle maker, Kant would have led a workman’s life himself, had a pastor not suggested the bright lad deserved some higher education. He came to love his studies and to “despise the common people who knew nothing,” until “Rousseau set me right,” he wrote. Kant rejected his earlier elitism and declared his philosophy would restore the rights of humanity — otherwise they would be more useless than the work of a common laborer.

Chutzpah indeed. The claim becomes even more astonishing if you read a random page of his texts. How on earth, you may ask, are human rights connected with proving our need to think in categories like “cause” or “substance?” The question is seldom raised, and the autobiographical remarks usually ignored, for traditional readings of Kant focus on his epistemology, or theory of knowledge.

Before Kant, it’s said, philosophers were divided between Rationalists and Empiricists, who were concerned about the sources of knowledge. Does it come from our senses, or our reason? Can we ever know if anything is real? By showing that knowledge requires sensory experience as well as reason, we’re told, Kant refuted the skeptics’ worry that we never know if anything exists at all.

All this is true, but it hardly explains why the poet Heinrich Heine found Kant more ruthlessly revolutionary than Robespierre. Nor does it explain why Kant himself said only pedants care about that kind of skepticism. Ordinary people do not fret over the reality of tables or chairs or billiard balls. They do, however, wonder if ideas like freedom and justice are merely fantasies. Kant’s main goal was to show they are not.

The point is often missed, because Kant was as bad a writer as he was a great philosopher. By the time he finishes proving the existence of the objects of ordinary experience and is ready to show how they differ from ideas of reason, the semester is nearly over. Long-windedness is not, however, the only reason his work is often misinterpreted. Consider the effects of a bad review.

Had Kant died before his 57th birthday, he’d be remembered by a few scholars for some short, early texts. He withdrew from writing them in 1770 to conceive and compose his great “Critique of Pure Reason .” After what scholars call his “silent decade,” Kant pulled the text together in six months and finally published in 1781. For a year and a half, Kant waited for responses. When one finally appeared, it was a hatchet job accusing him of being a Berkeleyan solipsist: someone who denies the existence of ordinary objects.

Any author can imagine Kant’s dismay, and most likely his rage. In haste to refute the distortion of his life’s work, Kant wrote a second edition of the “Critique of Pure Reason,” and more fatefully, the “Prolegomena .” Since the latter is much shorter than the main book, it’s read far more often, and this has skewed the interpretation of Kant’s work as a whole. If the major problem of philosophy were proving the world’s existence, then Kant surely solved it. (Richard Rorty argued that he did, and that philosophy has little more to offer.)

In fact Kant was driven by a question that still plagues us: Are ideas like freedom and justice utopian daydreams, or are they more substantial? Their reality can’t be proven like that of material objects, for those ideas make entirely different claims on us — and some people are completely impervious to their claims. Could philosophy show that acting morally, if not particularly common, is at least possible?

A stunning thought experiment answers that question in his next book, the “Critique of Practical Reason .” Kant asks us to imagine a man who says temptation overwhelms him whenever he passes “a certain house.” (The 18th century was discrete.) But if a gallows were constructed to insure the fellow would be hanged upon exiting the brothel, he’d discover he can resist temptation very well. All mortal temptations fade in the face of threats to life itself.

Yet the same man would hesitate if asked to condemn an innocent man to death, even if a tyrant threatened to execute him instead. Kant always emphasized the limits of our knowledge, and none of us know if we would crumble when faced with death or torture. Most of us probably would. But all of us know what we should do in such a case, and we know that we could .

This experiment shows we are radically free. Not pleasure but justice can move human beings to deeds that overcome the deepest of animal desires, the love of life. We want to determine the world, not only to be determined by it. We are born and we die as part of nature, but we feel most alive when we go beyond it: To be human is to refuse to accept the world we are given.

At the heart of Kant’s metaphysics stands the difference between the way the world is and the way the world ought to be. His thought experiment is an answer to those who argue that we are helpless in the face of pleasure and can be satisfied with bread and circuses — or artisanal chocolate and the latest iPhone. If that were true, benevolent despotism would be the best form of government.

But if we long, in our best moments, for the dignity of freedom and justice, Kant’s example has political consequences. It’s no surprise he thought the French Revolution confirmed our hopes for moral progress — unlike the followers of his predecessor David Hume, who thought it was dangerous to stray from tradition and habit.

This provides an answer to contemporary critics whose reading of Kant’s work focuses on the ways in which it violates our understanding of racism and sexism. Some of his remarks are undeniably offensive to 21st-century ears. But it’s fatal to forget that his work gave us the tools to fight racism and sexism, by providing the metaphysical basis of every claim to human rights.

Kant argued that each human being must be treated as an end and not as a means — which is why he called colonialism “evil” and congratulated the Chinese and Japanese for denying entry to European invaders. Contemporary dismissals of Enlightenment thinkers forget that those thinkers invented the concept of Eurocentrism, and urged their readers to consider the world from non-European perspectives. Montesquieu put his criticisms of French society in the mouths of fictitious Persians; Lahontan attacked European politics through dialogues with a Native American.

At a time when the advice to “be realistic” is best translated as the advice to decrease your expectations, Kant’s work asks deep questions about what reality is. He insisted that when we think morally, we should abstract from the cultural differences that divide us and recognize the potential human dignity in every human being. This requires the use of our reason. Contrary to trendy views that see reason as an instrument of domination, Kant saw reason’s potential as a tool for liberation.

He also argued that political and social relations must aim toward justice rather than power, however often those may be confused in practice. We’ve come to better understand how racism and sexism can preclude genuine universalism. Should we discard Kant’s commitment to universalism because he did not fully realize it himself — or rather celebrate the fact that we can make moral progress, an idea which Kant would wholeheartedly applaud?

In Germany, it’s now common to hear that the Enlightenment was at very best ambivalent. While it may have been an age of reason, it was also an age of slavery and colonialism: This argument ignores the fact that, like progressive intellectuals everywhere, Enlightenment thinkers did not win all their battles. It also neglects the fact that they fought for them anyway, despite the risks of censorship, exile and even death.

Significantly, many contemporary intellectuals from formerly colonized countries reject those arguments. Thinkers like the Ghanaian Ato Sekyi-Otu, the Nigerian Olufemi Taiwo, the Chilean Carlos Peña, the Brazilian Francisco Bosco or the Indian Benjamin Zachariah are hardly inclined to renounce Enlightenment ideas as Eurocentric.

The problem with ideas like universal human rights is not that they come from Europe, but that they were not realized outside of it. Perhaps we should take a lesson from the Enlightenment and listen to non-Western standpoints?

Arts and Culture Across Europe

A reimagining of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard,” starring Nicole Scherzinger as Norma Desmond, the long forgotten silent movie star who descends into madness, was the big winner at this year’s Olivier Awards .

New productions of “Macbeth” and “Hamlet” in Paris follow a French tradition of adapting familiar works . The results are innovative, and sometimes cryptic.

The internet latched on to 16-year-old Felicia Dawkins’ performance as The Unknown at a shambolic Willy Wonka-inspired event . Now she’s heading to a bigger and scarier stage in London.

When activists urged Tate Britain in London to take an offensive artwork off its walls, the institution commissioned Keith Piper  to create a response instead. The result recently went on display.

The new National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam has been in the works for almost 20 years. It is the first institution to tell the full story  of the persecution of Dutch Jews during World War II.

At a retrospective of John Singer Sargent’s portraits in London, where the American expatriate fled after creating a scandal in Paris, clothes offer both armor and self-expression .

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U.S. details Pentagon’s role in defending Israel from Iranian attack

As Iran launched its much-anticipated attack on Israel on Saturday , the night sky was filled with deadly threats. More than 100 ballistic missiles were fired, senior U.S. officials said, complemented by about 30 cruise missiles and more than 150 explosive drones.

Israel’s vaunted missile defense systems ramped up to engage the munitions as they were launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. But they were flanked by U.S. and British fighter jets, a Patriot missile defense system manned by U.S. troops in Iraq and U.S. destroyers off the coast of Israel, each ready to assist.

The result, a senior Biden administration official said Sunday, was a “spectacular defeat” of Iran’s attack, even though it was larger than U.S. officials had anticipated.

“You can imagine those tense moments,” the official said, speaking to reporters Sunday on the condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the White House.

Among the U.S. forces that participated were the 494th Fighter Squadron, with headquarters in Britain; and the 335th Fighter Squadron, of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. Combined, the two squadrons used their F-15E Strike Eagles to take down about 70 attack drones heading to Israel, and received a phone call after from President Biden . The jets are designed for both air-to-air combat and deep interdiction, the Air Force says.

A senior military official, speaking on the same call, said that the USS Carney and USS Arleigh Burke, destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, shot down between four and six ballistic missiles in the attack. U.S. troops manning the Patriot missile defense system in Irbil, Iraq, took down another missile that had violated Iraqi airspace on its vector to Israel, the official said.

All told, Israeli and U.S. officials said that 99 percent of the incoming munitions were intercepted, suggesting just a few may have struck their intended targets in the Jewish state. At least one ballistic missile readied by Houthis in Yemen was destroyed on the launch pad, officials said, pointing to the coalition presence that has surveilled militant activity in the region in the last few months.

“There’s virtually no infrastructure damage to Israel at all,” the senior administration official said. That, he said, was despite Iran’s intent to cause “significant damage and deaths in Israel.”

Middle East conflict

what to write an article about

Iranian drones similar to those used in the attack have been deployed by Russian forces to target Ukrainian infrastructure, and a key strategy there is to exhaust Kyiv’s costly air defense with cheaper and plentiful weapons to make future attacks easier, said Samuel Bendett, a member of the Russia studies program at the Center for Naval Analyses, a policy institute based in Arlington, Va. Tehran has almost certainly taken note, Bendett said.

It was notable that some of the drones used are slower and less sophisticated than jet-powered drones they also have in their inventory, he said, and it was likely Iran knew those drones would be destroyed relatively easily.

But the attack still imposed new challenges on Israel, Bendett suggested. To achieve a 99 percent interception rate required defenses that are probably “much costlier than the total number of threats arrayed against Israel,” he said.

“In this case, the mission was accomplished,” he said. “Israel had to get its aircraft in the air.”

Iran’s success overall was hit-and-miss, said Tom Karako, director of the missile defense project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. There was no strategic surprise, and the overall defeat of the threat demonstrated the value of diverse air defense systems that handle numerous types of weapons, he said.

Yet the size of the operation itself prompts questions about the stocks now available for air defense systems, Karako said, which are finite and expensive.

“The concern here is that Israel shot a lot of stuff. And so that speaks to their capacity issues,” Karako said. “You don’t take out 100 ballistic missiles of any type without dipping into capacity. So that’s going to be an issue here for the next steps.”

Retired Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, who oversaw U.S. forces in the Middle East before retiring in 2022, said on Sunday that Iran, too, expended a lot of resources in the attack that will affect its ability to carry out anything similar soon. Speaking on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” McKenzie said that Iran has more than 3,000 missiles of various types scattered across the country, with a little more than 100 in western Iran, where they can target Israel.

“Based on what the Israelis are saying, I believe they fired most of those weapons at Israel,” McKenzie said. “The Israelis, obviously, were able to intercept most of them. Iran could not replicate last night’s attack tonight, if they had to.”

McKenzie called the attack a “maximum effort,” and said there was “nothing moderate” about it. Iran used its “most important capability,” ballistic missiles, in the assault, and it still failed, he assessed.

“So I think Israel this morning is now much stronger than they were yesterday,” McKenzie said. “And Iran is relatively weaker than it was yesterday.”

Israel-Gaza war

The Israel-Gaza war has gone on for six months, and tensions have spilled into the surrounding region .

The war: On Oct. 7, Hamas militants launched an unprecedented cross-border attack on Israel that included the taking of civilian hostages at a music festival . (See photos and videos of how the deadly assault unfolded ). Israel declared war on Hamas in response, launching a ground invasion that fueled the biggest displacement in the region since Israel’s creation in 1948 .

Gaza crisis: In the Gaza Strip, Israel has waged one of this century’s most destructive wars , killing tens of thousands and plunging at least half of the population into “ famine-like conditions. ” For months, Israel has resisted pressure from Western allies to allow more humanitarian aid into the enclave .

U.S. involvement: Despite tensions between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some U.S. politicians , including President Biden, the United States supports Israel with weapons , funds aid packages , and has vetoed or abstained from the United Nations’ cease-fire resolutions.

History: The roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and mistrust are deep and complex, predating the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 . Read more on the history of the Gaza Strip .

  • Israel’s military chief warns Iran will ‘face consequences’ for attack Earlier today Israel’s military chief warns Iran will ‘face consequences’ for attack Earlier today
  • What to know about Shahed-136 drones, which Iran used to attack Israel April 16, 2024 What to know about Shahed-136 drones, which Iran used to attack Israel April 16, 2024
  • Why did Iran attack Israel? What to know about the strikes, U.S. response. April 15, 2024 Why did Iran attack Israel? What to know about the strikes, U.S. response. April 15, 2024

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