How to Write an Article

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Choose your topic. It should be something you’re interested in, something you have a question about. Research your topic. As you go, make sure you have a solid understanding of your topic. If you don’t understand your topic, you are likely to confuse or put off your audience.

Take notes, mark up your book, look up other sources, mark them up. This step is important. You’ll thank yourself later if you do this.

As you consume, ask questions of the work:

  • Am I a cockroach[1]? Does the author’s comparison work?
  • Is radio really irrelevant[2]? Does music really make commercials better?
  • Where are video games headed[3]?
  • Why do people go to Disney World[4]?

These questions will become the "prompt" for your essay. The great thing about it is that you can change your question if the answer seems obvious or the answer would take too long to come up with. Avoid "What is the meaning of life," for example. (Unless your answer is "42." Wait, that's too short.)

After you find your question, begin thinking about a possible answer. Read through your notes, look for other sources, and talk with friends that know something about your topic, and some that don’t. The first group can help clarify and help with ideas, while the second can ask questions and check your understanding.

Begin writing your article. [5]


  1. Haddow, Douglas. "Cockroach Herding." Adbusters. 25 Mar. 2007. Web. 26 Mar. 2007.[1]
  2. Rubenstein, Ben. "TV Commercials: the New, Nonstop Playlist." PopMatters. 25 Mar. 2008. Web. 26 Mar. 2008.[2]
  3. Jeffries, L.B. "Review: Patapon." Popmatters. 26 Feb. 2008. Web. 26 Mar. 2008.[3]
  4. Stevenson, Seth. "The Mecca of the Mouse." Slate. 28 Mar. 2008. Web. 28 Mar. 2008.[4]
  5. "To Write an Article... The Winsome Scholar. 26 Mar. 2008. [5]