So, you want to write articles

I’m not sure I am adequate to tell anyone how to write an article, but I’ll take a stab at it anyway. Writing articles is for every writer. Even if you’re an established author, writing articles is a good way to supplement your income in between royalty checks. As fulfilling as writing may be, we still have to pay the bills (right?!).

When I started out writing articles nearly three years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. Really. But, I started to improve by reading other people’s work, studying the proper formats, compiling more ideas to write about, and, of course, practicing, revising, and practicing some more.

My high school government teacher had an acronym he made up that I still remember and use in my writing : UBTIC WEAE SYT. It’s weird and it doesn’t really mean anything until you know the words:

Use Buzz Terms In Context With Evidence And Examples Supporting Your Thesis.

Knowing this formula seems to make it all easier. This can be applied to more than just articles, but for this post, we’ll look at how to put this acronym to work for short-article writing.

1. Come up with a thesis. 

Find something you already know about or something you would like to know more about. This will be your main topic of discussion. For instance, “Writers are the coolest people ever.” (This example is lame and awesome at the same time, right?) Start thinking about possible reasons this is true and research supporting information.

2. Find your key discussion points. 

Why are writers the coolest people ever? These points will be proving your thesis true. We need 2-5 points (or more depending on the audience) with evidence and examples that support your idea. Some of the many (we can be biased in our hypothetical example, right?) reasons we could explore are:

  1. Writers create worlds in their minds and bring them to life in books. 
  2. Writers create life through their characters. 
  3. Using words that inspire empathy, writers build bridges between different races, religions, and genders. 
  4. Writers are healers who whisper peace to aching souls and mend broken hearts. 

Then, you’ll need to find the buzz terms, evidence, and examples to support these points.

3. Buzz terms. 

“Buzz terms” is another way of saying vocabulary words. In a non-school setting, these will be important key words that apply to your subject matter. For the cool writers thesis, this may include something like books, plot, characters, best-seller, writing retreats, writer’s conference, reviews, pens/pencils, paper, laptop, or names of popular writer software. Some terms may need to be defined or further explained depending on the subject.

4. Supporting evidence and examples. 

For this, you’ll want to find historical or scientific evidence to support your points. Find books, quotes, articles, or scholarly journals with this evidence and include it in your article with the proper citation. Examples are similarly found, but can also include specific instances or stories that go along with what you are saying. For instance, you may find stories about famous cool authors or instances of books changing lives in the coolest ways. Quotes from authors or examples of authors’ work would be great sources for our hypothetical article. This one would fit: “The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” –Anais Nin

The other part of writing articles is getting published. I’m not an expert on knowing reputable platforms for articles, but I recommend looking into online magazines, journals, newspapers, or other similar formats that fit your targeted audience/what you want to write about. If you write on motherhood and children, find a family-oriented site. If you love investigative reporting, you’ll want to seek out a newspaper. Look into the sites that you find yourself reading articles from over and over and see if you could be a match to work with them.

Wendy Jessen is the author of more than 300 articles—book reviews as well as family-oriented articles on . She somehow manages to do that with 6 spirited children ranging in age from 4 to 13 under toe. In the throes of writing her first book, she finds ways to procrastinate which usually involves scrolling through social media. Wendy often stays up way past her bedtime reading YA or other fiction. She loves kid-free date night with her husband, family vacations, and kids’ bedtime, aka, the human version of whack-a-mole.