Writing works of different profiles requires the ability to distinguish between types of tasks and utilize different techniques of research, evaluation, and presentation for the relevant material. In order to produce a high-quality and informative paper, it is essential to take into account a number of criteria; in particular, the topic, the target audience, and the available sources for citation. Article writing is one of the most common types of assignments since this work is aimed at influencing large groups of people and, as a rule, addresses relevant themes. To avoid mistakes when writing articles it is crucial to follow correct principles of organization.
Since there are many types of academic works, it is important to separate individual tasks and be aware of the differences among the variety of texts. Articles are a common form of literary paper. However, in comparison with other documents, for instance, research proposals or book reports, the text in question is intended for a specific purpose. Moreover, it is important to take into account the characteristic features of the format of any document. Therefore, several categories of recommendations should be considered to understand how articles and other academic papers differ.
Goals of Writing Articles
The following list presents possible areas and topics for article writing:
- Publicist reviews and research in various fields, including both the scientific field and other areas covering, for instance, business, marketing, or sociological issues. According to Staples et al., narrow profile works written for a specific audience are distinguished by the complexity of perception for ordinary readers (151). Nonetheless, the style of writing itself has no strict limitations in terms of its academic nature. The main purpose of such texts is to exert a wide influence since articles, as a rule, are written for a large audience and consider relevant topics.
- Presenting new discoveries in scientific, economic, or other areas with the purpose of analyzing developments in certain sectors, assessing achievements, and making conclusions about the relevance of innovations. The articles of this type are similar to journalistic ones, but their main purpose is the detailed description of specific phenomena or ideas in order to obtain a comprehensive picture. Recent discoveries, hypothesis analyses, or activity reports are examples of such documents.
- Advocacy appeals and promotions. Articles can be aimed at attracting as many people as possible to shopping, selling, or other activities. These works are normally published in magazines and contain both advertising information and detailed descriptions of specific products or events.
- Reasoning on current issues and challenges, including political debates. News reviews are related to the description of individuals’ positions and the involvement of competent and expert opinions. This type of article is usually published as free access, for instance, on the Internet or in newspapers.
Correct Article Format
Despite the absence of rigid design rules that are typical, for instance, for annotated bibliographies or abstracts, articles are usually designed in accordance with certain principles. Regardless of the topic or purpose, the structure is simple and clear. The following recommendations are offered to explore the optimal format of articles:
- An introduction is an important element of any article, regardless of its theme and specificity. Here, readers can get acquainted with the key theses and preliminary authors’ assessment. An introduction usually takes a small part of the document and provides a brief description of general facts.
- The body of the article contains information that serves as the background of the entire text and presents key findings to readers. Typically, this part begins with a heading, and can include several subheadings as well. It is possible to utilize references and visual aids – tables, charts, graphs, figures, and other supporting materials. The classic version of the body of an article provides for three paragraphs. However, in cases where more information is being described, there are no formal requirements prohibiting the use of more structural parts.
- A conclusion is the final part of the article where the key results are summarized and the thesis formulated in the introduction is repeated. Neither here nor in the introduction are references applied. This is because no new data appears in these sections. A conclusion outlines all the findings, sums up the results, and makes recommendations regarding further research, surveys, and other potential and valuable work.
Mistakes to Avoid
Mistakes made during the writing process may fall into different categories. It is essential to pay special attention not just too grammatical and lexical errors but also to other nuances associated directly with this type of work. In particular, the problems of formatting and reflection of facts may arise among students, as well as experienced specialists. Consideration of the following list will help authors avoid common mistakes:
- An excessive number of citations and background information. Too many references can imply that the author has put less effort into writing their paper.
- A lack of reference information. A lack of references is also an error, in particular, when articles have a scientific theme and citing accurate data is necessary to confirm the validity of the proposed hypotheses.
- Unreasonably large introductions and conclusions. Both these parts are intended to provide supporting information, but all the relevant facts should be presented in the body of the article.
- Stylistic mismatch. Article writing does not involve the use of research principles from many other papers. For instance, literature reviews, critical assessment, or executive summaries should not be included in the type of documents under consideration. Therefore, it is important to adhere to specific stylistic features and not to confuse the categories of assignments.
The considered list of recommendations may improve an individual’s writing style and help them understand the specific features of an article as opposed to other types of academic works. This category of documents is distinguished by particular goals and the target audience, and the generally accepted format should be adhered to. The list of common mistakes provided may help authors avoid problems and write better quality, informative articles. This guideline can be useful both to students and specialists.
Staples, Shelley, et al. “Academic Writing Development at the University Level: Phrasal and Clausal Complexity Across Level of Study, Discipline, and Genre.” Written Communication, vol. 33, no. 2, 2016, pp. 149-183.