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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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