Solid Articles Start With a Solid Foundation

Lay a little groundwork before you start building your next article set.

The first step in constructing a strong building is to lay a strong foundation beneath it. There are many strategies to consider when choosing just how to lay that foundation, and the choices that are made will directly impact the quality and stability of the building.

The same is true for your next article. Without a solid foundation, in this case a good writing plan, your article is in danger of becoming a heap of rubble lying in ruins on the Internet.

In previous Blog entries, we’ve presented some steps you can take to start the writing process off right when there is a shortage of ideas. For example:

But having your topic, title and motivation may not be enough to build that solid article foundation. Some articles require you to lay a little more groundwork before you start building the article itself. In those cases, you may need to generate a thesis statement, create an outline or do some research to further solidify your ideas.

3 Tips to Building a Solid Article Foundation:

  1. Decide on a thesis statement – Anyone who has written an essay remembers that the thesis statement is the main focus of your article. It’s the central idea that everything else needs to relate back to. Coming up with a thesis statement makes it easier to determine what to include in your article and what to save for a future one.
     
  2. Create an outline – With your thesis statement in mind, come up with 3-5 ideas that support or relate to your thesis statement. Think of it like categories and sub-categories on our website – each sub-category relates to the main one, but offers specific and unique information. Visual brainstorming is a good way to help this process if you get stuck – keep your thesis in the center and branch out to your supporting ideas. Creating an outline is a great way to collect your thoughts in an organized and useful manner.
     
  3. Do some research – Did your outline show you a couple of areas where you could use a little more information? Do you feel like some facts might help support the points you’re trying to make? Research is a great way to supplement the information you already know. Don’t limit yourself to online sources. Your local university, library, and government offices are great places to find the information you need.

By following these tips, you’ll assemble all the pieces you need for a sturdy article. The thesis statement makes an excellent summary, and support statements in the outline can each be turned into a paragraph (with help from the research you did, of course)! Create an introduction and conclusion and you’ll have an article with good, solid content!

Do some simple planning ahead, either in your head or on paper, before you just start writing. In the process, you’ll avoid writing an article with a flimsy structure and instead create a well-grounded plan with firm footing. Remember to implement these tips the next time you are sitting down to write your next set of original articles.

Leave us a comment to share how you blueprint your ideas into great articles.

11 Comments »


1

Thank you for the tips. They will surely help in my future articles!

Comment provided July 8, 2010 at 12:09 PM

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2
Edward Weiss writes:

I don’t use a blueprint. Instead, I search for keywords and phrases my target market is searching for. Once I find these, I use them in a compelling headline and then use that headline to write the article extemporaenously.

With this method, I can knock out a 300-400 word article in under 15 minutes!

Comment provided July 8, 2010 at 12:12 PM

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I hope you know how envious thousands of Expert Authors are of that ability, Ed!

Feel free to do a little additional in-depth teaching of your methodology right here on the Blog if you’d like. I’m sure other members would love to learn more about how you do it.

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sreekumar writes:

more business minded and practical. but to write on an article which you are unfamiliar what is the methodology?

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3
MJ Schrader writes:

My blueprint depends on the article.

If the article is instructional, my typical routine is to answer the 5 Ws. What is this. Who uses it. Why you should use it. When is it needed. Where do you get it, and How to use it.
Another blueprint I use is common problem with various solutions in each paragraph. Or a big problem with paragraphs alternating between possible reasons why the problem exists and solutions there of.

Thank you so much for the writing opportunities.
~ MJ Schrader

Comment provided July 8, 2010 at 1:07 PM

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Thank YOU for the great tips and template/blueprint ideas. :-)

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4
Eamon Greville writes:

Great advice Marc

Sometimes we are in such a rush to produce that we neglect the planning stage.

As the old advice states ” First sharpen saw”!

Comment provided July 10, 2010 at 6:11 AM

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5
MarVeena writes:

I am just getting started writing articles. My favorite method is the list, like 7 tips for a successful ghost hunt.
I get a lot of inspiration from this blog and some of the other readers.
Thank you!
MarVeena

Comment provided July 12, 2010 at 9:11 PM

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You may also want to look at some of our article templates for article formatting ideas.

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6

I start with an idea, and let it metastasize as I write. Often, I come to a fork in the road: Which way to carry on? That other way may become another article someday, but today, it’s THIS way. Alliteration naturally occurs, and it too influences the direction of the article.

Often, the article is not at all what I started out to write. The muse has had its way. I have another try to write the one I did intend.

Nope. You don’t pound out cookie-cutter commercial lookalikes this way. I’m damn proud of that!

Comment provided August 13, 2010 at 3:02 PM

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7
jon bone writes:

A good foundation is always important and then what you want to embody , than fill in the blanks.
Thats my theory

Comment provided October 20, 2010 at 5:19 AM

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