Writing Online Articles

Writing online articles is relatively effective and interesting when written in the appropriate manner. Apart from gathering information, writing content, and uploading them online for the whole wide world to read it. It is certainly more effectual to follow some basic rules and techniques in order to produce a remarkable piece of content.

The present article on “Writing Online Articles” provides some basic tips that will help you to improve the quality and effectiveness of your online articles.

Tips for Writing Online Articles

  • The first paragraph of the online article must clarify what the article is about. Who? What? When? Where? And so on. The first paragraph must emphasise the concerned issue or subject. It should also give details about how you are going to deal with it.
  • Ensure that your article is well organised. Prior writing online articles, decide on the points you are going to report on and in which sort.
  • Even though you have a list of more than thirty points written on your notepad. Ensure to select only the most relevant ones. Deviation can cause misunderstanding, thus avoid the ones that can be easily ignored.
  • Ensure to use simple words and sentences. The article should be easy to read and easier to understand. Not everyone who reads your online article is familiar with the terminology used. Thus, try to define and simplify any kind of terms that may seem unfamiliar to the readers.
  • Ensure to employ short paragraphs. Short paragraphs are easier to comprehend. They keep the readers focused as well. Try to limit your paragraphs to around two to five sentences.
  • If necessary, provide some valid examples and/or personal experiences to support your points. Explain how you solved the problems, or use theoretical arguments to build a point.
  • Ensure to highlight your product or service. Show its potencies and benefits. Simultaneously, try to be truthful about it as any kind of wrong or false point can pose a great threat to the service you are promoting.
  • Online articles can be a powerful and valuable resource if used properly. Provide information resources to your target traffic. Give links that endorse your claims. So that the target audience can easily source the information they are seeking.
  • While writing online articles, it is really helpful to get some opinions from others. Try to get your finished, but unpublished, article be proofread by someone dependable. Let them give you their own point of view about the content of your article. Regarding the limitations, and based on their suggestions, you can definitely improve the content of your article before publishing it.
  • Ensure to keep the most relevant matter at the beginning and additional information throughout. Avoid scattering it all over your article. Write in such a way that your target readers get to know straightaway what they are looking at. Or else, they might search for the information elsewhere.
  • Ensure to summarise your article. Show in your summary that you have covered the points you started out to cover in your first paragraph.

Writing online articles is not as tricky as it would seem in the beginning. By following and adhering to the above given tips, you will soon realise that writing online articles can be a reasonably trouble-free process. However, it will just take some initial practice to perfect it.

English Language in its 21st-Century Avatar

Last week, author and grammar columnist June Casagrande wrote on the use, misuse, or overuse of the semicolon in the English language, the “strange little squiggles” as she calls it (A Word Please, July 17). This follows her earlier blasé dismissal of the rules for periods with initials.

So how much of a stickler can a writer or an editor be for punctuation?  Or, for that matter, for the grammar rules of the purist?

The Panda Who Ate, Shot, and Left

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons. “Why?” asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.”Well, I’m a panda,” he says. “Look it up.” The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. “Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”          

From Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots and Leaves (2003)

 

When former BBC Radio host Lynne Truss—sometimes nicknamed “the comma queen”—penned her humorous and yet instructive Eats, Shoots and Leaves (2003), it set off a debate in America and the British Isles on the usage of punctuation in English writing. In this war of words, dramatic phrases like “grammar bullies” and “grammar fascists” were thrown at the so-called linguistic purism of Truss’s work. There were even accusations that Eats… is too rigid a prescription for the English language in its 21st century avatar. Truss’s own one-time colleague and language expert David Crystal openly mocked Truss in his book, The Fight for English: How Language Pundits Ate, Shot, and Left.

Few years ago, when I read Truss’s rather diminutive book for the first time, its humor and instructive content were both bang on. But that was when the new millennium was yet to break free from the shackles of the purists of the English language and grammar rules. The language of technology (texting, chat, and ‘big-brother’ email) was just a budding cult, and the world of communication still traversed in straight-jacketed stipulations of English writing.

English Language of the 21st Century: Style vs. Correctness  

But a decade down the technology ride, mobile and web telephony has fashioned an entirely new technology language, which is challenging and thinning the line between informal and formal writing. It’s not unusual to find graphone “sentences” floating between cellular towers and among the tech-savvy GEN Y and Z. This posits the danger of some elements of this casual communication style creeping into formal writing.

That’s where the editor comes in, pruning and mowing the language, style, and grammar “correctness” to make writing fit for its target reader.

But does that imply going back to the grammar books of the last century? Apparently not. The English language has changed from the Shakespearean age and through the centuries, and continues to evolve even now. Strange (or “un-English”) words are creeping into the dictionary through usage, and some words are being pushed into writing even before you can find them in any English dictionary. In fact, for the editor, for many of his or her decisions, it’s no longer a question of RIGHT or WRONG; it’s finally coming down to STYLE. Do I insert the Oxford comma here? Do I insert periods for initials? Is a hyphen really necessary here, or an en dash? Is a semicolon better, or a comma, or just a plain simple period?

Writers, including seasoned writers, often defy grammar rules to confirm to their writing style (the “Don’t mess with my style” attitude) and are averse to an over-enthusiastic editor’s pen. In such tricky scenarios, it’s really up to the editor to emerge unscathed by shedding some of the century-old grammar baggage of the purists and being more modern. In many ways, therefore, the editor can no longer afford to nit-pick for prescribed rules of grammar; being a grammar guru is fine, but keeping an astute eye on how the English language is evolving with changes in society, technology, and means of communication is an equally strong trait of a good editor or writer.

So where does all this leave us with the panda who eats, shoots and leaves? Truss’s work was a bestseller for a good reason; it succeeded in using humor to bring to the fore major fallacies that could be avoided with correct use of the punctuation in written English. However, the problem was in the book’s subtitle: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. With the English language now well into its 21st century avatar, “zero tolerance” is no longer valid. Even in formal writing, the world is much more amenable to conversational, as against turgid or terse, writing. Each day, the written word hits readers from various mediums, and choice of attention is made almost instantaneously based on two factors: correct language skills and good writing style. One without the other would be like a boat without the oar; you might not sink, but you’ll not move either!

Adverbs Without -LY.

Many adverbs do not end in -ly. Examples include always, soon, today, ever, yet, away, here, so, too.
One unusual adverb is hard, as in They fought hard. It contrasts with the semi-negative adverb hardly, meaning scarcely. Other cases where the adverb has the same form as the adjective include fast (He drives fast) and straight (It flew straight at me). There are no such words as X. fastly and X. straightly, despite the existence of slowly, quickly, crookedly, and the like. Notice the adverbial use of fast, sound, and wide before certain adjectives:
I was fast/sound asleep. (Contrast: I was sleeping soundly.) The baby’s wide awake.

Some -ing words are used similarly: spanking new, hopping mad, raving mad, and boiling hot. You cannot speak of a X. spankingly new car.
Adverbs follow rather different rules. Some short ones take -er -sooner, soonest  including many that are identical with adjectives: earlier, earliest; faster, fastest; and later, latest.

Most adverbs, however, even those of two syllables, take more and most: more fully, most wisely.
Remember that when only two things are under consideration, the adjective should take the comparative (-er, more) form rather than the superlative (-est, most): X. Of her two novels, the second is surely best. A few idioms do allow this oddity  May the best man win  but avoid it elsewhere.

For Scientific english editing and Medical Writing Services visitwww.manuscriptedit.com