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Effective Article Writing - Do the Research First!

Part 1 Copyright Herman Drost If you are going to spend your precious time writing articles to gain traffic to your web site they must appeal to both the search engines and your potential readers.Therefore this article will discuss the research you must do even before writing the article, then provide an outline on how to actually write it. What to do before writing your article: 1. Choose a topic Your goal is to write on a topic where you solve someone's (or your own) problem i.e. -7 reasons to use articles to market your web site -How to write an effective article -How to market your articles to boost your web traffic Sometimes it's difficult to come up with a topic that you feel inspired to write about. I usually write about some problem I've come across while working with my web design business. It could be a design problem or something related to it such as marketing or hosting. Then after having solved this problem I feel comfortable writing about it. I also feel good that this article will then help others that may have struggled with the same problem. If I still don't have a subject I feel passionate about, I will visit forums, read online newsletters or magazines related to my field of interest. I may also talk to friends in the same business. They often share some of the problems that they have encountered. 2. Keyword research Another goal of article writing is to make your article search engine friendly. This means including searchable keywords that search engines will spider. Therefore researching appropriate keywords before weaving them into your article is crucial. Use the keyword suggestion tool at http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestion/ to find which words or phrases are searched on most often. It will display the top results for both overture and wordtracker. The numbers differ because overtures data is based on more searches whereas wordtracker differentiates between single and plural forms of the word or phrase. Include your researched keywords into your article being careful not to repeat them so often that it won't read smoothly. You want to your article to appeal to your readers also. 3. Article length - begin with just writing out your article without worrying too much about the length. It's more important to let all your ideas flow out of your mind first. If you think it's getting too long split it up into two or more articles. It's often easier to write a short article of 500 words than one of 1000 words. Most article publishers prefer articles between 500 to 800 words and will not accept articles any longer than that. Others prefer longer articles over 800 words so check with the publisher before you submit your article for publication. You can easily check how long your article is by placing it in MS Word. Then go to "tools" "word count" to get a read out of the length. Effective Article Writing - How to Write an Article Part 2 Copyright Herman Drost In Part 1 we discussed the research you must do first before writing your article. Part 2 will provide the outline on how to write the actual article. 1. Create an outline for your article Your article should include a headline, introduction, body, conclusion and resource box. Headline - make this as catchy as possible because your reader will read this first then decide if he or she will continue reading the rest of the article. i.e. "7 Highly Effective Ways to Gain Instant Traffic to Your Web Site". Introduction - introduce the problem you will be discussing in your article or write a short story of your experience with the problem. Body - discuss all the solutions to the problem you outlined in the introduction. Break up each point into separate paragraphs and keep them to about 5 lines. You may want to create a sub-heading for each point. This makes it easier to read as most people will scan your article when reading it online. Conclusion - this should include a brief summary of your article and a call for the reader to take action. i.e. "Be sure to include article marketing as one of the top strategies for promoting your web site. It's a self generating marketing machine that produces a constant flow of visitors". Resources - I sometimes include this section if I haven't included it already within the body of the article. I want the reader to quickly access the resources without having to re-read the article.

Resource box - this is the place you can safely include a little about yourself and your business plus provide a link to your web site or newsletter (see my resource box below). This provides an opportunity for readers to visit your web site, learn more about your product or services and/or subscribe to your newsletter. The box should be a maximum of 6 lines. Write with style - write in an informal style, like you would explain your topic to a friend. Don't worry too much about correcting mistakes or how it sounds. This may interrupt the flow of thoughts you want to write about. You can always correct them later. 3. Take a break After you have written the article, come back to it after several hours, a day or several days. This will enable you to take a fresh look at it, find new mistakes or even want to rewrite a paragraph or two to make it flow better. 4. Check your article After writing your article, run it through a spell checker first, then read it through a few times to check for spelling mistakes the spell checker may have missed and to correct the grammar and punctuation. Make sure it flows well by clearly identifying the problem, providing a solution and concluding with an action step or steps. Get someone else to read it over. Often they will find the mistakes that you missed. 5. Format your article You will need to format your sentence length at 60-65 words per line before submitting it for publication. This will enable people to read it in their email software. If the sentence length is longer than this the article may break up making it impossible to read. I use Ezy Ezine Ad Formatter (http://www.netpreneurnow.com/easy/ ) to effortlessly format my articles before submitting it to online publishers. If it's not the correct length it will be rejected. Conclusion If you consistently write an article every week or 2 weeks and submit it for publication you will soon generate a steady stream of traffic to your web site for years to come.

How to Write a Term Paper

C's may get degrees, but only an A+ essay earns a place on your grandmother's fridge. Have you been busting your little collegiate butt just to get mediocre results? Well, tell Granny to get the magnets ready: follow these steps, and take your term papers to the head of the class. 1. 1 Choose your topic. Try to make it as creative as possible; if you're given the opportunity to choose your own, take advantage of this. Choose something you're particularly interested in because this will make it easier to write; in particular, try to select the topic as a result of pressing questions you already know you want to search for answers to. Once you've decided on a topic, be sure to hone down it to a do-able topic; often a topic is initially too broad in its coverage, which will make it impossible to complete within the time and space constraints given. Narrow down your topic to something that can really be worked within the boundaries of the paper. If the topic is already chosen for you, start exploring unique angles that can set your content and information apart from the more obvious approaches many others will probably take. Finally, whatever angle your topic takes, it should be both original in approach and insightful, something the reader will be drawn into and fascinated by. www.Grammarly.com/Edit_Essays o Take great care not to choose a topic and be so set on how you see the outcome of your paper that you're closed to new ideas and avenues of thinking as you work through the paper. This is known in academia as "premature

o 2. 2 Do your research . It's pointless to launch into writing before you've done the research. You need to understand the background to the topic and the current thinking, as well as finding out what future research is considered necessary in the area. While it may be tempting to rehash information you already know really well, avoid doing this or you learn nothing from the research and writing process. Go into research with a sense of adventure and an openness to learning things you've yet to grasp, as well as being ready to discover new ways of looking at old problems. When researching, use both primary (original text, document, legal case, interviews, experiment, etc.) and secondary (other people's interpretations and explanations of the primary source) sources. There is also a place for discussing with like-minded students and even finding online discussions about the topic if you feel comfortable doing this but these discussions are for idea-sharing and helping you to gel your ideas and are not usually quotable sources. For more information, here are some helpful resources to check out: o How to research a paper. o How to take notes, How to take better notes, How to take notes from a textbook, How to take notes on a book and How to take Cornell notes. 3. 3 Refine your thesis statement . After you've done the research, reflect back over the chosen topic. At this point, it's essential to pinpoint the single, strong idea you'll be discussing, your assertion that you believe you can defend throughout the paper and that makes it clear to a reader what they're about to learn about and be given a sound conclusion on. Your thesis statement is the spine of your essay, the idea that you'll go on to defend in the paragraphs that follow. Serve it up half-baked and the remainder of the paper is bound to be flavorless. Construct a thesis that your research has proven is interesting to you that way, backing it up won't be such a bore. Once you're satisfied that your topic is sound and clarified, proceed to writing your first draft. o Remember that the research doesn't stop here. And nor does the thesis statement, necessarily. Allow room for flexibility as you continue working through both the research and the writing, as you may wish to make changes that align with the ideas forming in your mind and the discoveries you continue to unearth. On the other hand, do be careful not to be a continuous seeker who never alights upon a single idea for fear of confinement. At some point you are going to have to say: "Enough is enough to make my point here!" If you're so taken with a topic, there is always the possibility of postgraduate study some day but remember that the term paper has a finite word length and due date! 4. 4 Develop an outline for the paper. Some people can work on a term paper skipping this step; they're a rare and often timepressed breed. It is far better to have an outline sketched out so that you know where you're headed, just as a road map helps you to know where you're going from A to B. Like the entire paper, the outline is not set in stone but subject to changes. However, it does give you a sense of structure and a framework to fall back on when you lose your way mid paper and it also serves as the skeleton of your paper, and the rest is just filling in the details. There are different approaches to developing an outline and you may even have your own personal, preferred method. As a general guidance, some of the basic elements of an outline should include: o Introduction, discussion paragraphs/sections and conclusion or summary. o Descriptive or explanatory paragraphs following the introduction, setting the background or theme. o Analysis and argument paragraphs/sections. Using your research, write out the main idea for each body paragraph. o Any outstanding questions or points you're not yet sure about. o See How to write an outline for more details. 5. 5 Make your point in the introduction . The introductory paragraph is challenging but avoid turning it into a hurdle. Of all the paper, this is the part often most likely to be rewritten as you continue working through the paper and experience changes of direction, flow and outcome. As such, see it as simply a means of getting started and remind yourself that it's always revisable. This approach allows you the freedom to mess it up but rectify it as needed. Also use this as an opportunity to help yourself come to grips with the general organization of the term paper by explaining the breakdown, something the reader will also need to be aware of from the start. Try using HIT as the means for getting your introduction underway: o Hook the reader using a question or a quote. Or perhaps relate a curious anecdote that will eventually make absolute sense to the reader in the context of the thesis. o Introduce your topic. Be succinct, clear and straightforward. o Thesis statement. This should have been clarified already in the previous step.

cognitive commitment". It can mar an otherwise good paper because an outcome that is pre-determined in your head, regardless of the research findings along the way, will be molded to fit the outcome, rather than the outcome reflecting a genuine analysis of the discoveries made. Instead, ask continuous questions about the topic at each stage of your research and writing and see the topic in terms of a "hypothesis" rather than as a conclusion. In this way, you'll be prepared to be challenged and to even have your opinion changed as you work through the paper. Reading other people's comments, opinions and entries on a topic can often help you to refine your own, especially where they comment that "further research" is required or where they posit challenging questions but leave them unanswered. For some more help, see How to establish a research topic.

Don't forget to define the words contained in the question! Words like "globalization" have many differing meanings and it's important to state which ones you'll be using as part of your introductory section.

6. 6 Convince the reader with your body paragraphs . Make sure each paragraph supports your argument in a new way. Not sure your body's up to task? Try isolating the first sentence of each paragraph; together, they should read like a list of evidence that proves your thesis. o Try to relate the actual subject of the essay (say, Plato's Symposium) to a tangentially related issue you happen to know something about (say, the growing trend of free-wheeling hookups in frat parties). Slowly bring the paragraph around to your actual subject, and make a few generalizations about why this aspect of the book/subject is so fascinating and worthy of study (such as, how different the expectations for physical intimacy were then compared with now). 7. 7 Conclude with strength . Try using the ROCC method: o Restate your thesis statement. o One important detail which is usually found in your last paragraph. o Conclude wrap it up. o Clincher where you give the reader something left to think about. 8. 8 Show some style . Using outside sources? Find out which citation style your instructor prefers, MLA or APA (or other style if you're not in the USA). Each has a precise notation system, so if you're unsure of the rules, check the manual (online versions are available at owl.English.Purdue.EU). Peppering quotes throughout your text is certainly a good way to help make your point, but don't overdo it and take care not to use so many quotes as the embodiment of your points that you're basically allowing other authors to make the point and write the paper for you. o Avoid cutting and pasting from other people's arguments. By all means use eminent thinkers in the field's thoughts to back up your own thinking but avoid saying nothing other than "A says... B says...". The reader wants to know what you say ultimately. o It's helpful to sort out your bibliography from the beginning, to avoid having a last minute scramble: How to write a bibliography, How to write an APA style bibliography and How to write a bibliography in MLA format. 9. 9 Burn flab, build muscle . Space is at a premium in any graded paper, so finding ways to cull words is always a sensible approach. Are your sentences in good shape? Examine each one and decide whether you've used the fewest words possible while still retaining meaning. o Trade in weak "to-be" verbs for stronger "action" verbs. For example: "I was writing my term paper" becomes "I wrote my term paper." 10. 10 Don't be a such a slob. Running your spelling-checker is only the first step in proofreadingyour paper! A spell-check won't catch errors like "how" instead of "show", nor will it pick up on doubled words ("the the") or grammar problems (unless you use MS Word, which can be configured to check grammar, and already catches double words). Little goofs like these aren't likely to impress the instructor if you're too careless to proofread, after all, there's a good chance you didn't put much effort into your paper. Address the mess: ask a friend to read through your essay, marking any mistakes. o Decent grammar should be a given. You need a teacher to give you the benefit of the doubt, not correct your apostrophe use. A few too many errors and the message is soon lost beneath the irritation of the errors involved. 11. 11 Think of a good title to catch the reader's attention . For some essayists, a great title appears at the beginning of writing while for others, it only becomes apparent after slogging through the paper in its entirety. If you're still stuck, brainstorm with a friend or family member; you might be surprised how a fresh mind unacquainted with the topic can come up with a pithy title at a moment's notice! Tips Give yourself enough time to complete the term paper. Obviously, the sooner you start the better, but if you start any later than the suggested times needed, you won't have much of a shot. It is suggested that the minimum time requirements are as follows: o At least 2 hours for 3-5 pages. o At least 4 hours for 8-10 pages. o At least 6 hours for 12-15 pages. o Double those hours if you haven't done any homework and you haven't attended class. o For papers primarily research-based, add about two hours to those times (although you'll need to know how to research quickly and effectively, beyond the purview of this brief guide). The best essays are like grass court tennis the argument should flow in a "rally" style, building persuasively to the conclusion.

If you get stuck, consider giving the prof a visit. Whether you're still struggling for a thesis or you want to go over your conclusion, most instructors are delighted to help and they'll remember your initiative when grading time rolls around. Your printer suddenly breaks, the library closes early. It's like procrastinator's karma: when you wait until the last minute, something always seems to go wrong. Fight your instinct; avoid unforeseen disasters and unnecessary late deductions by starting major assignments ahead of time! Anticipate what the teacher will want you to say. You need to get a feel for his or her personality, the kinds of observations they find interesting, and (very important) the kind of leeway they give with student interpretations. Think of it as gauging their BS meter the easiest teachers are the ones who will accept any blather (you'll recognize it) as insight. These classes will be a breeze. If the teacher seems unusually intelligent, your paper won't be able to contain as much BS. Warnings Remember that term paper writing is an important part of your academic career. Be sure to include title page, table of contents, body of the paper and reference page. Do not forget to check the final draft for mistakes and omissions. These irk markers to the point of reducing your overall marks if there are enough errors. If you use outside sources and do not credit those sources, you have cheated (plagiarized). You will fail and possibly get kicked out of school. Do not cheat; it's not worth it from the point of view of losing your chances to continue studying and it's hardly useful for helping you retain the knowledge and develop the analytical and in-depth understanding you'll need to apply for the rest of your career path. Put the effort in now, so that the rest of your knowledge gaining grows easier later. Never hand in a paper written for one subject to another subject. The only time this is permissible is where you've asked for permission and have the all-clear to do so. Remember that your professors or lecturers do talk among one another and they've seen everything before.