Planning your article

Now that the article has been taken apart (deconstructed), you can use some of this information to construct your own by creating a checklist and a plan.

Checklist

  • Write in a lively but formal style, using Standard English.
  • Use an impersonal style, avoiding the pronouns 'I', 'you' and 'we'.
  • Start with a headline that is catchy but tells the topic and main idea.
  • Include information that is split into paragraphs.
  • Use quotations from important interested individuals, organisations and experts.
  • Use quotations that give important people’s opinions that support the overall idea.
  • Include interesting and useful facts and figures.
  • Consider language techniques such as alliteration.
  • Use some technical vocabulary or jargon that relates to the subject but keep in mind that the audience must understand it.
  • Use a variety of sentence lengths and styles, including informative complex sentences.
  • Keep paragraphs lively, to the point and short (but use a single sentence paragraph perhaps once only for emphasis and effect).
  • Offer lots of specific, interesting and useful details about the topic.
  • End in a satisfying way avoiding an essay-like summary of the article.

Creating a plan

Thinking through this is a good start. You now have to work out what you are going to write about. This is where planning is important.

The key thing about writing to inform is that you stick to the main subject and give just the right quantity and kind of information that your reader will be interested in. It helps to 'put on your reader’s cap' occasionally while planning and writing. Information needs to sound authoritative and to seem balanced, avoiding emotional expressions and descriptions.

Informative writing has an impersonal viewpoint and, even though the writer gives other people’s opinions, they never give their own. Instead, when you inform, you offer facts and opinions that are easy to understand and follow and which seem balanced. The reader can then come to their own conclusion, rather than be led by the persuasive and emotional language used in arguments and persuasive articles.