What If? Article Template

Jumpstart your writing by questioning the way things are and the way they ought to be with this article template.

We’re all products of our own life experiences. Based on choices we make, we lead only one life and experience it in a certain way. Those choices have led us to today. But what if we could accurately predict how events or choices will shape our future? We’d be able to see the answers to personal questions like: “What if you went back to college to get that degree you promised yourself you’d finish?” We’d also be able to think about events that impact all of humanity like: “What if the leaders of every country came together and agreed to world peace?”

Well, we can’t predict the answers to these questions with complete certainty, but we can think about the possible consequences of these imagined events. This article template is one way to embrace the “What If” thought experiments in life and turn them into articles.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Great “What If?” Article

  • Create an Imagined Event – Think of an event that would have an impact on the future. This could be a personal life event or an event that has a broad impact on society. The type of event will be different based on your niche. Here’s where you need to get creative. The more imaginative, the better.
     
  • Write a Revealing Title – Identify the event, but leave it open to interpretation. This will pull readers in have them looking for answers. Include the entire “What If” in the title if it can be communicated concisely.
     
  • Add a Compelling Introduction – Tell the story of how the scenario happens. Present the conditions of the event and anything leading up to it.
     
  • List Ways Life Would Change – List ways life would be different because of the event. This includes the event itself and things that happen in the future. This might be the most challenging part of the thought experiment, but if the idea comes from a natural vision, it’ll be really valuable.
     
  • Say Why it Matters – Outline the meaning of the event. Discuss whether the event is probable and how close it is to reality.
     
  • Encourage Readers to Ask Their Own “What Ifs” – Recap the scenario. Encourage more discussion by asking readers for their own “What Ifs.”

So are you ready to think about the future? Test your mind and the next time you think “What if X happened right now?” write that thought down and add it to your next high-quality article set. Also, leave a comment to share your train of thought.

24 Comments »


1
Adrienne writes:

Excellent report! So simple, but something any of us can implement right now! Thanks for the newsletter. I’ve learned so much from you!

Comment provided August 27, 2010 at 10:23 AM

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jon bone writes:

Me too in one day my eyes are wide open !

Jon Bone

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2
Ken writes:

I really hadn’t thought of writing a “What If” article about travel or global medical insurance, but I think I will try it.

I think that people tend to put themselves into the story and it might be effective.

Thanks.

Comment provided August 27, 2010 at 10:36 AM

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3
Lance Winslow writes:

I have used many variations of the “What if” template motif. And I believe as the article writer plays around with this, they will fall into a personally inspiring perference. And I’d add that customers also ask lots of “what if” questions, and just take those and make that question into a title, and answer it. In fact, I bet if you go through your emails from clients you will find these questions that you’ve already answered, and basically there is an article right there. All you need to do is tweak it into article material, and you will be amazed how well received these articles will be.

Indeed, you can use these articles next time your client asks that same question again, just email them the link here at EzineArticles, I do it all the time. And you can also take these articles, chop them down slightly and post them on hour Q and A section on your website too. Please be thinking here as this is terrific advice, it’s spot on. Chris it right here, listen to what he’s saying.

Comment provided August 27, 2010 at 10:40 AM

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4
Mirna writes:

Thank you for all the EzineArticles Trainings and writing tips you provide. They are very useful and most of all inspiring. Gave me a great idea about the next article topic and title.

Comment provided August 27, 2010 at 11:40 AM

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5
randy vaughan writes:

I hate myself for always (literal, not hyperbole) being negative about, okay, everything. This article suggests going through life conscious, aware, alert, looking for cause and effect. I thought that’s what we were all supposed to do. I was wrong. Few people do this to any meanginful degree whatsoever.
And this article alludes to the number one piece of advice given to writers: Write what you know. Again, nothing but agreement from me.
Conclusion? A good writer effectively removes all “what if’s” from his personal life and can indeed rather accurately predict “bigger picture” life as well.
Bad news? No one cares.
Okay, tone it down, Randy. “Not enough” people care for this to ever be the substance of a “career” in writing. It’s as this point, you see, you must struggle with an inherent contradiction. On one hand, writing is about telling people what they want to hear. “How do I…save money, make more money, lose weight, get a better job blah blah blah?” “Top ten reasons you need a new laptop computer blah blah blah.”
In essence, you, me, writers, are to tell them “what” to think.
Do as this advice suggests–the only way I know how and what to write–and you’ve entered the unwelcomed, and certainly unrewarding world, of telling people “why” to think for themselves. And people, again, most people, have no desire in placing their personal lives under such scrutiny.
Put this way: Socrates might have said “The unexamined life isn’t worth living,” but he never once suggested it was HIS life he’d examined, now did he?
The writing suggested here requires honesty of character and integrity above the desire for “success” as a writer. It requires passion for life. There’s little market for it these days.

Comment provided August 27, 2010 at 12:19 PM

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6
Michael writes:

Great article and very timely! After writing only a handful of articles and then getting bogged down in my day job several weeks ago, I decided last night to ‘get back at it’ this weekend! Perfect timing! Thanks!

Comment provided August 27, 2010 at 1:23 PM

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7
Reuben Clark writes:

Excellent idea! If you ask the right questions, some people are curious enough to reply with their answer.

‘What if I found a cure for my diabetes.’
‘What if I got a good nights sleep tonight’
‘what if I learned how to control my weight’

Now, my mind is getting in high gear.
Thanks,
Reuben

Comment provided August 27, 2010 at 3:06 PM

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8
Lloyd Buchinski writes:

I enjoyed that email enough that I was thinking of replying to mention it, then saw the option to leave a comment.

Hadn’t even thought of doing this but like the idea.

thank you

Comment provided August 27, 2010 at 5:35 PM

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9
Fiona writes:

What a fantastic idea! Immediately I thought of my recent blog post. I’d been thinking for a while that most people have something they want to do, but for some reason they just don’t do it – or get around to it.

I found a solution using my own life as an example, which is what I write about in the blog post.

The ‘What If’ template idea from your article had me realize how I could tell people about it and have them interact about it, brilliant! I’ll definitely be writing my ‘what if’ article!

Comment provided August 27, 2010 at 6:33 PM

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Lance Winslow writes:

What if Fiona Becomes a Devastating Hurricane?

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10
Jake Logan writes:

I’d learned the what if method years ago in a creative writing class. I never thought of using it as a non-fiction article starter. Thanks for reminding me.

Comment provided August 27, 2010 at 7:21 PM

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11
Rich writes:

Wow, this is a very good way of writing an article (never thought of doing it this way).
I think I am going to try using this technic the next article I write on my blog.
thanks,
Beage

Comment provided August 27, 2010 at 10:44 PM

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12
Eric writes:

A useful template and one I shall use this weekend, thank you

Comment provided August 28, 2010 at 3:20 AM

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13
Michelle Ofiana writes:

I think I am going to start a what if article regarding news and social events in our country…

Comment provided August 28, 2010 at 3:50 AM

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14
Vijay Agrawal writes:

It is really a great idea. I have not yet applied this format in my writing but will sure try out in future articles.

I recently wrote few articles that have semblance of this template but the idea never crystallized clearly in mind until I read this.

thanks for making my mind clear.

Comment provided August 28, 2010 at 4:18 AM

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15
Jose Lasa writes:

I think this “what if” will open new ways to find things to write about. This helps to find better introductions to new articles. I will definetly use it, thanks a lot.
As always, Blessings and keep the good job

Jose Joe Lasa

Comment provided August 28, 2010 at 3:55 PM

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16

Love this idea and will implement this week when writing my articles. Thanks for the info!!

Comment provided August 28, 2010 at 6:45 PM

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17

I like one sentence that your article refered:
What if the leaders of every country came together and agreed to world peace?
May be you just make it a example, however, i think this question need the countries’ leaders think it seriously
Of cource, the step how to write a good article is good. Tks.

Comment provided August 30, 2010 at 2:31 AM

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18
Wrinkle Reducer writes:

Hi Chris..Thaks for the great article. They are very useful and most of all inspiring. Gave me a great idea about the next article topic and title.. will be back next time

Comment provided August 30, 2010 at 7:02 PM

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19
Michael writes:

Thanks for this, I always appreciate good ideas… just a relative newb when it comes to article marketing but I am still very fussy about content in my articles.

Comment provided September 27, 2010 at 2:33 PM

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20
Mayo Best writes:

Thank you for out of the box thinking. I can’t help but wonder would have happened if Mabarak had not been willing to leave Egypt. What would have been the US position and what would be the fallout in this country as a result?

Mayo

Comment provided February 11, 2011 at 9:31 PM

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Lance Winslow writes:

Right! Excellent.

And I wonder “What If” the same sorts of protests occure in Venezuela or Iran – which I’d wager to say is likely indeed.

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21
Lance Winslow writes:

Oh, and also Bolivia, it seems “inflation” and less-than-stellar leadership, along with the Internet Smart Mobs are converging – and the world is changing – What if – this continues?

Comment provided February 11, 2011 at 10:13 PM

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