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Better Article Writing: 2 Approaches To Writing Better Articles

By Jeff Santoro

So, you’re cooking up a swank little article for Wikipedia. Or, you’re compelled beyond measure to post your latest insights with respect to the squid and peanut butter sandwich (a delicacy among some gastronomes). Likelier still, you’re creating a search marketing article to pump up the PageRank for your website and make search engines like Google and Yahoo! call you Daddy. Whatever you’re doing, if you’re going to write 500 words, write 500 words worth reading. Badly written, Web 2.0 self-absorbed brain babble isn’t helping anyone. Take a few extra minutes, write something coherent-the Universe will thank you.

Here are two steps toward writing articles that are better, clearer and more engaging.

1. Your article must have a killer lede (lead).

Use lede or lead. It’s your choice. Lede is often used as an alternative to lead as it reduces ambiguity, e.g., My article’s lead read “red lead paint licking may lead to lead poisoning.” Your lede is the first line in the body of your article. Bad ledes are synonymous with home movies and persistent flatulence in that they send people running from the room.

The article’s lede should function as a literary squirt in the eyeballs. “Now just a minute,” we should say upon reading the lede, “this is making me hungry for more.” Your lede should not only demand our attention, it should crackle with the allure of delights yet to come.

This is a bad lede: “The suggestion, by persons in some places, that the sum total of the enrichment experience potential of going online to check out the Internet in this day and age is in fact in steep decline on account of the plethora of badly written articles, is worth noting.”

Leding the article this way would be an improvement: “Here lies the Net, killed by bad writing.”

2. A good transition helps render a readable article.

You nailed the lede and followed it up with two, maybe three expertly crafted supporting sentences. You’re swooning beneath your own panache. Edward R. Morrow’s got nothing on you, baby. Nah, he probably does. The truth is, no matter how good the lede is, your article is still going to smell like a dead hamster until you deploy a few good transitions.

For example: Let’s say in your lede you write, “Filet mignon beats the hell out of tripe.” We like bovine products, so we say, “Aha, tell us more.” You write that tripe is cow stomach and rather chewy, while filet is cow tenderloin and, if cooked properly, melts like butter in your mouth. You go on to say that scientific studies show that there is significantly more protein in filet than in tripe. Now what? It’s time to take your article’s argument to the next level-but don’t go too far afield.

But then, for example, in paragraph 2, you do this: “Take heed, sweet article writing isn’t for everyone, including my cousin Darla who looks like a supermodel only with a great many fewer teeth.”

Conversely: “Take heed, sweet article writing isn’t for everyone; some of you will go on writing lousy articles and surviving on tripe because that is the way of the universe.”

Follow these 2 article writing approaches and help make the world a better place.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Santoro, Jeff "Better Article Writing: 2 Approaches To Writing Better Articles." Better Article Writing: 2 Approaches To Writing Better Articles. 21 Aug. 2010. 3 Apr 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Santoro, J (2010, August 21). Better Article Writing: 2 Approaches To Writing Better Articles. Retrieved April 3, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Santoro, Jeff "Better Article Writing: 2 Approaches To Writing Better Articles"

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