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Writing_The_Article

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					Title:
Writing The Article

Word Count:
703

Summary:
Just as a builder would hesitate to
 erect a house without a carefully
worked-out plan, so a writer should
 be loath to begin an article befor
e he has outlined it fully. In plan
ning a building, an architect consi
ders how large a house his client d
esires, how many rooms he must prov
ide, how the space available may be
st be apportioned among the rooms,
and what relation the rooms are to
bear to one another. In outlining a
n article, likewise, a writer needs
 to determine how long it...


Keywords:
writing, articles, features, write


Article Body:
Just as a builder would hesitate to
 erect a house without a carefully
worked-out plan, so a writer should
 be loath to begin an article befor
e he has outlined it fully. In plan
ning a building, an architect consi
ders how large a house his client d
esires, how many rooms he must prov
ide, how the space available may be
st be apportioned among the rooms,
and what relation the rooms are to
bear to one another. In outlining a
n article, likewise, a writer needs
 to determine how long it must be,
what material it should include, ho
w much space should be devoted to e
ach part, and how the parts should
be arranged. Time spent in thus pla
nning an article is time well spent.

Outlining the subject fully involve
s thinking out the article from beg
inning to end. The value of each it
em of the material gathered must be
 carefully weighed; its relation to
 the whole subject and to every par
t must be considered. The arrangeme
nt of the parts is of even greater
importance, because much of the eff
ectiveness of the presentation will
 depend upon a logical development
of the thought. In the last analysi
s, good writing means clear thinkin
g, and at no stage in the preparati
on of an article is clear thinking
more necessary than in the planning
 of it.

Amateurs sometimes insist that it i
s easier to write without an outlin
e than with one. It undoubtedly doe
s take less time to dash off a spec
ial feature story than it does to t
hink out all of the details and the
n write it. In nine cases out of te
n, however, when a writer attempts
to work out an article as he goes a
long, trusting that his ideas will
arrange themselves, the result is f
ar from a clear, logical, well-orga
nized presentation of his subject.
The common disinclination to make a
n outline is usually based on the d
ifficulty that most persons experie
nce in deliberately thinking about
a subject in all its various aspect
s, and in getting down in logical o
rder the results of such thought. U
nwillingness to outline a subject g
enerally means unwillingness to think.

The length of an article is determi
ned by two considerations: the scop
e of the subject, and the policy of
 the publication for which it is in
tended. A large subject cannot be a
dequately treated in a brief space,
 nor can an important theme be disp
osed of satisfactorily in a few hun
dred words. The length of an articl
e, in general, should be proportion
ate to the size and the importance
of the subject.

The deciding factor, however, in fi
xing the length of an article is th
e policy of the periodical for whic
h it is designed. One popular publi
cation may print articles from 4000
 to 6000 words, while another fixes
 the limit at 1000 words. It would
be quite as bad judgment to prepare
 a 1000-word article for the former
, as it would be to send one of 500
0 words to the latter. Periodicals
also fix certain limits for article
s to be printed in particular depar
tments. One monthly magazine, for i
nstance, has a department of person
ality sketches which range from 800
 to 1200 words in length, while the
 other articles in this periodical
contain from 2000 to 4000 words.

The practice of printing a column o
r two of reading matter on most of
the advertising pages influences th
e length of articles in many magazi
nes. To obtain an attractive make-u
p, the editors allow only a page or
 two of each special article, short
 story, or serial to appear in the
first part of the magazine, relegat
ing the remainder to the advertisin
g pages. Articles must, therefore,
be long enough to fill a page or tw
o in the first part of the periodic
al and several columns on the pages
 of advertising. Some magazines use
 short articles, or "fillers," to f
urnish the necessary reading matter
 on these advertising pages.

Newspapers of the usual size, with
from 1000 to 1200 words in a column
, have greater flexibility than mag
azines in the matter of make-up, an
d can, therefore, use special featu
re stories of various lengths. The
arrangement of advertisements, even
 in the magazine sections, does not
 affect the length of articles. The
 only way to determine exactly the
requirements of different newspaper
s and magazines is to count the wor
ds in typical articles in various d
epartments.

				
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posted:12/5/2010
language:English
pages:6