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Writing an Article

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Tim Warre

on 3 October 2013

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Transcript of Writing an Article

Writing an Article
What is an article?
An article is usually written for an English-language magazine. You should assume that the reader has similar interests to you.

To keep it interesting, your article should express a personal opinion or comment which will engage the reader.

Follow these steps.
Every part of your article is a chance to show your knowledge, don't throw away points with a crap title. Crap titles include:

Living in another country Article.
Article about living in another country.

Instead try using a proverb or expression. We will be studying some English proverbs in class, make a list of them. Here are some to start you off:

Home is where the heart is.
When in Rome (do as the Romans do.)
A home away from home.
There's no place like home.
A leap into the unknown.
Your introduction needs to be engaging and grab the readers attention. It should be short and it should ask a question that the article will answer.

What is wrong with young people today? It is a question to which there is no easy answer....

Everyone always goes on about how video games are ruining our health and intellectual development. But is there actually any evidence to support this?
Register and tone depend on the target reader, but will generally be informal / neutral. This means:

Informal linkers: But / however / so / then / because.

DO NOT USE: Nevertheless, therefore, firstly, secondly, finally, on the one hand, on the other hand etc.
Register 2
An article should be friendly, it should contain your opinions and talk directly to the reader:

"I, like many young people, enjoy playing video games."

"I'm not saying that all video games are good."

"Video games allow YOU to stretch YOUR imagination and exist for a while in a fantasy world."
As you can't use all your lovely formal linkers you have to impress the examiners with your vocabulary. Try to use some of the following:

Phrasal verbs:
When planning your Article, try and think of 2-3 phrasal verbs related to the topic. If you can't think of any find a dictionary, verbs like give and take have loads of phrasal verbs.

We will cover expressions for a range of topics in class, keep a list of them and use them in your compositions.
No boring vocabulary!
The following words are banned:
a lot of
Instead why not use:
nice: pleasant, delightful, lovely

interesting: fascinating, thought-provoking

important: vital, paramount

really: absolutely (ext adj), tremendously, truly

a lot of: plenty of, heaps of, a wealth of

amazing: splendid, marvelous, superb

good: pleasing, ace (informal),

bad: awful, dreadful

nervous: to have butterflies in one's stomach, to be on edge
Fancy grammar
When planning think of the ways to use your most advanced grammar.

Boring: People rarely tell the truth in surveys.
Fancy: Rarely / seldom do people tell the truth in surveys.

Boring: She's good at maths and history.
Fancy: Not only is she good at maths, she also excels at history.

Don't worry if you haven't studied this yet. Here is a frame:

Not only did I have to _________, I also had to_________
Cleft Sentences:
Boring: I really like climbing because it's dangerous.
Fancy: What I really like about climbing is the danger

Boring: I enjoyed the trip to the aquarium the most.
Fancy: What I enjoyed most was the trip to the aquarium.

Cleft sentences add emphasis. Here are some frames:

What surprised me most about life in _______ was _______.

What I found most difficult to adjust to was ______________.

Plan, plan, plan
Before you start make a plan. Don't just vomit words out onto the page.

A typical article should have 4 paragraphs. One idea, one paragraph.

Make lists of phrasal verbs, expressions, and advanced grammar.

Remember IT'S NOT AN ESSAY, you don't need a conclusion which says everything again. Just leave the reader with a thought-provoking comment.

Make your plan now.
Phrasal verbs / expressions
Here you go, I'll give you some phrasal verbs and expressions to get you started.

Phrasal verbs:
take off - when a plane leaves the ground
touch down - when the plane lands
take up (a challenge) - accept a challenge
make out (what sb is saying - understand

make ends meet
find fame and fortune
turn over a new leaf
make a fresh start
start from scratch
wipe the slate clean
back to the drawing board
make it
make the best of
have butterflies in your stomach
to be on edge
Analyze the question.
A typical writing task will contain 2-3 content points that you need to include. Read the question carefully and underline them.

Try this one:

Exotic Pets
A recent survey has shown us that exotic pets such as snakes, lizards and spiders are very popular with some people. We are interested to know why. We would like you, the readers, to submit articles explaining why you think these animals are so popular and describing the exotic animal that you think makes the best pet.
We will publish the best articles.
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