Today I was looking through a voluminous newspaper, and I realized how difficult it was to find an article to read it to the end. Only one article, from the whole paper, that had at least 16 pages, was worthy to be read till the end. I think the reader of this article knows this situation as well. If you are a journalist or blogger, I want to share with you some advice how to write articles that will be read entirely by people.
1. In introduction present the subject, the purpose, and the content of the article
For many times authors try to write such kind of introductions that would bring people into a mystery, make them be curious, so that they will want to find the answer of this mystery reading the article. It is not a rule, but for many times such kind of introductions make the article or the working not to be read till the end and to be abandoned before the reader understands the subject that had to be touched. Be as clear as possible in introduction and don’t begin to explain details, only present a general viewof the things that have to follow on to the reader. Here is how the evangelist Luke made the introduction of the Gospel of Luke:
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, ost excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. (The Gospel of Luke 1:1–4)(NASB)
2. From the beginning show to the reader how he is going to benefit by the reading of the article
Even when people want to read something, so that the time may pass quicklier, they try to read something interesting and somethiing they can derive profit from. That’s why, it is good to present these benefits in the beginning of the article and further on. In the Gospel of John, the Apostle writes in a certain moment so:
Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (The Gospel of John 20:30–31)(NASB)
3. Don’t write something unnecessary
Sometimes, when you read some articles or some books, it seems that the main purpose of the author is the volume, and not the content, or the esence of the writing. That’s why, don’t ever write more than it is needed to present the subject. And if there are more illustrations, or arguments, or proofs, choose those that are most convincing. This will give power to the article or to the writing and will make the reader read with the same interest till the end. Apostle John ends up the Gospel of John in such a way:
And there are also Many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written. (The Gospel of John 21:25)(NASB)
4. Use understandable words
When you want to communicate an idea, a truth and you want to be understood by all or by most people, you will use words that are intelligible by all or by most people. If you think that some words are not understandable, you will use synonyms, or explain the meaning of those words. Don’t be deceived by your own arrogance to use words that only some journalists can understand and then you say that you “write for learned people”. When people don’t understand the words you use, or when you write neologisms or foreign words in abundance, you have few chances to have your articles read till the end.
5. Explain the cited references
In the same paper I was reading I found an article with a historical subject, where the author was giving very many references to sources, or to other writings, but he never explained what those writings were, what was the connection between his articles and those sources, etc. I thought, if it was difficult for me to read that article (I studied the History Faculty of the University of Moldova), how much will other readers read and understand, that are not so familiar with all those references. If you want your article to be read till the end, limit yourself regarding the references you use and every time give the necessary explanations concerning these references. Don’t ever assume that the reader already knows the things and it is not necessary to explain them once again.
6. Don’t be mocking
Last week I had a very productive meeting with the reporters of Ziarul Liber, where we discussed how to obtain an efficient reportage. One of the reporters metioned the name of a lady that works at a TV channel from our country, and every time she invites someone in the studio, she talks with that person as if she has called to mock her. She puts questions in such a sarcastic and mocking way, so that the invited person is placed in an unpleasant situation and for many times she even doesn’t allow people to get to the end with their answer. This is a very offensive attitude and it may be seen in the printing press for many times, too. It hasn’t done any good to anyone and it is not good. When I feel such of mocking attitude in one’s articles, I don’t read them till the end, because I don’t like to see how someone is abased, and the journalist abuses the position he has got. Don’t ever act in such a way. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, who said:
In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (The Gospel of Matthew 7:12)(NASB)
None of us wants to be mocked and even on the pages of a newspaper, or on the screens of TVs. That’s why, an upright journalist will never act in such a way, but will keep respect for every man, no matter what his political, religious, or any other kind of convinctions are.
7. Appreciate the merits of the person you write about
It happens so, that when a generation comes, it blames another one, when a political party comes to lead the country, blames all those who have been in the leading position until them, and they don’t admit any good thing that has been done to that point. Or, maybe sometimes you had experiences with someone you had done good to and it happened once that you didn’t manage to do something what was expected from you, and after that you were blamed and disconsidered of all good that you had done. In some articles I have seen how journalists bring out good things in a bad light, and in this way they bring mocking from readers upon the people they write about. It is not good to act in this way. Upright people don’t like to read articles written in such a way and they will not read them to the end.
I hope that these advice are useful and if you want to add some of your thoughts to them, you can do this commenting below. God bless you!
Translated by Djugostran Felicia