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7 Powerful Tips For Article Writing You Must Know

7 Powerful Tips For Article Writing You Must Know

Article writing is the order of the day. Almost all aspects of our lives require writing and reading, and the demand for article writing skills is very high. There’s no doubt that all sectors of the modern economy can use article writing services. Website owners write articles, and newspapers, magazines, marketers, businessmen, financial analysts and many others need articles to be written on a daily basis. Many social marketers see articles as the key to their success. Bloggers would never deny the important of article writing skills, because their success depends on it.

Writing articles may seem easy, but it is a difficult task requiring significant skill if one is to deliver engaging articles to readers. Many bloggers lose readers as a result of poorly written articles they’ve presented to their audience.

We all know students can never be successful without developing their writing ability. As a student, you need to write on a daily basis. You constantly get bombarded with homework and project assignments that require you to write.

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Many freelancers, copy writers and content writers are currently trying to meet the demand for article writing services. These groups of people are experts at article writing. In addition, there are great websites online where you can pay to get your article written within a specified period. They can provide you with unique and original content based on your chosen topic. If course, these services are not free.

Despite the huge numbers of freelancers who do paid article writing, many would-be bloggers or social marketers see writing blog posts as intimidating. Well, you need not be intimidated. I will briefly highlight some points that will have you writing articles like a professional. No matter their status, everyone from students to social marketers can improve their article writing skills by following these tips.

Write Down Your Topic

The first and most important thing to do before doing any writing is to choose a focused topic. If you have no direction, you will have no destination.

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Draft Your Ideas

After choosing a topic for your article, it is very important to draft an outline of your ideas. Doing this makes you sharpen your ideas before writing the article. It gives you a clear direction and also insights into what you want to communicate to your readers. This step is especially important for students who are writing for a project or assignment.

Do Some Research To Find Sources

This is very important for students, because it can be very hard to search for academic works or papers. Doing some research on the topic chosen is very vital. It makes your content richer and shows the reader that your facts are reliable when you include high-quality sources in your article.

Assume Your Readers Have Zero Knowledge 

It is also very important to assume zero knowledge for your readers. Whenever you are writing an article, never believe that your audience has the prior knowledge of the topic that you have. If you do, you may jump to conclusions and miss some key points. Considering who your audience is, use simple enough words to construct any sentence. In the end, if you don’t follow this advice, you might lose your readers or audience.

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Never Deviate From Your Topic

One of the mistakes many writers make is deviating from their topic. It is very important to keep your topic in mind because it prevents you from losing focus and direction. Sticking to one topic forces you to support each of your ideas and fully communicate your point.

Cut Unnecessary Words In Your Sentences

When I read some articles online, I feel dissatisfied because of unnecessary lines and words. Make sure you cut away all unnecessary words. Long sentences with too many words can be frustrating for readers.

Avoid Distractions While Writing

You may have a nice topic coupled with great content, but if you allow yourself to become distracted while writing, you can lose your focus quickly. It is important to avoid any form of distractions. For students, it is advisable to keep off of the internet and social media and to turn off the TV while writing. Distractions can divert your attention and make you a worse writer.

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Change Your Location

For you to focus completely on the article you are writing, you may need to get out of the house and travel to a nearby library. If there is no nearby library, then find another space where no friends, family members, or other tasks will disturb you. A change of scenery will boost your motivation level.

Conclusion

If you follow these tips, your articles will look professional. There are many other tips you should read and add to these above-listed points. Purchasing your articles online is another good option for many people.

Featured photo credit: Google via google.com

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Saminu Abass

Content Writer and Blogger

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Published on November 18, 2019

How to Think Critically: 5 Powerful Techniques

How to Think Critically: 5 Powerful Techniques

Critical thinking is the art of filtering through information to reach an unbiased, logical decision that guides better thought and action. It can be learned through powerful techniques listed in this article.

Before you read further, it is important for you to know that critical thinking is a state of mind, not a tool or strategy.

If you are bogged down in the trivial day to day matters of your professional and personal life, learning skills to develop your ability to think critically can help you rise above these issues and focus your energies where they are needed – to solve problems and accomplish objectives.

It stands to reason that the better the learning techniques, the better critical thinking and reasoning will be. My experience in helping people grow means I know exactly what is needed to teach critical thinking (hint: it’s not just pondering over the problem).

There are 5 powerful techniques that form the base of critical thinking:

  1. Analytical thinking
  2. Communication
  3. Creativity
  4. Open-mindedness
  5. Problem-solving

Once you learn the techniques listed and start employing them in your daily life, you’ll quickly start to notice a change in the way you approach problems and consequently, how you resolve them too.

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1. Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking is the gathering and breaking down of information into small bites that help make sense of it.

To use it for critical thinking:

  • Be very clear on why you need the information. This is to recognize your limitations and employ foresight to overcome them.
  • Gather information from as many sources as you can: peers and experts, podcasts, relevant literature and any other place you can think of.
  • Rephrase questions multiple times to get different perspectives on data available and possibly arrive at different solutions.
  • Break down the data into factual subsets and relate each to the issue at hand.
  • Think on paper to make new connections. Write, doodle, make mind-maps or use spreadsheets. Data presented visually can help you make new connections make sense of emerging patterns.
  • Tidy up the workplace. Once data has been gathered, your workspace and your brain will both be cluttered with excess information. Neaten the physical space and clear your mind with meditation. The change in focus will help you view the information in a new light, potentially helping you reach newer, better conclusions.

Want more information and tips on adopting this powerful technique? What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success has all the information you need.

2. Communication

Communication is a key technique for critical thinking as it gives you access to the thoughts of people around you.

Data can be communicated through audio and visual means and in many cases, through careful observation of body language:

  • Ask for different points of view and seek justification for the same thing. When you invest in the matter, you will be able to explore all options to reach the best solution.
  • Listening without interrupting and only asking questions or voicing concerns once the speaker is done helps you make better connections.
  • Be 100% focused on a verbal or written discussion, you can better hear/read the opinions of the people involved.
  • Paraphrase the speaker/writer’s point of view and ask for affirmation. This enables you to pay full attention and use the input to think critically.
  • In a meeting, subtle communication cues are given by the body language of fellow attendees. An imperceptible frown, a small nod, pencil tapping etc. will all give you clues to what they are really thinking, just in case their actions are not in sync with their words!
  • Active observation, where you are watching and listening intently helps you know what to make of the information that is being passed around. It gives you clues to the general opinion about the topic under discussion and opens up new possibilities.

The information you gather through such communication will be invaluable in thinking critically to arrive at a decision that is holistic and unbiased.

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3. Creativity

Critical thinking is an art, and like any art form, its lifeblood is creativity. To really learn critical thinking, you need to include elements of creativity in the process!

  • Brainstorm with your team in an all-new location or work-shadow an industry expert to step out of your comfort zone. You could be surprised by the ideas that flow at a picnic or a game of billiards!
  • Gather data and tabulate it in the form of colorful, eye-catching charts, graphs and mind maps. The simple exercise makes your mind bring data together in different ways and presents them so multiple unique conclusions can be reached, giving you the flexibility to choose the best one.
  • Play brain games such as Sudoku or chess to appreciate how different factors can be manipulated to reach a preferred outcome. These games help make connections between previously disconnected nerves, giving your brain the power to find multiple pathways to answering problems.
  • In a similar vein, you can forge new neural connections by learning a new skill, a new language or even a new recipe!

I break down creativity in my other article What is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It. If you want to be good at critical thinking, you need to adopt creativity!

4. Open-Mindedness

It’s easy to say you’re open minded but is your mind really open?

To get an idea,

  • Be brutally honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and how these will impact the matter at hand.
  • Hear an opinion that conflicts with your own without forming a response before the opinion is fully voiced.
  • Acknowledge that there may be more than one approach to solving a problem and that they may all be right in some way.
  • Consider your true feelings when you will implement any required changes.
  • Disregard your long-held beliefs and assumptions and let go of habits.
  • Imagine the decision-making factors placed on weighing scales. Are they balanced?

Open-mindedness is a powerful technique for critical thinking. New possibilities can be uncovered, helping you resolve personal and professional matters in a manner that doesn’t frustrate you or alienate the other party.

5. Problem-Solving

Critical thinking is heavily dependent on problem-solving. An effective critical thinker will be a problem solver with the foresight to anticipate roadblocks and negative outcomes, and the experience and presence of mind to resolve them quickly and move on.

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One of the most effective problem-solving methodologies is the 5 Whys Analysis. Invented by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Motors in the 1950s, it has been used successfully by the automobile giant to get to the root cause of problems.

The idea behind this is simple: start with the end problem and keep asking why until you get to the root cause of it.

The general idea is that asking why 5 times from the effect is enough to get to the cause, hence the name. However, the methodology does not limit the questions to 5, and why can be asked as many times as need to peel away the layers until a satisfactory answer is reached.

To use the 5 Whys Analysis, start off by listing the problem and writing why in front of it. The next point in the list should be answer to the first why with another why in front of it. Continue answering the question asked above followed by a why until you’ve asked the question 5 times and answered it six times. 99% of the time, the last answer will be the root cause of the problem stated in the first point.

For example, consider the a commonly given scenario where a vehicle does not start.

  1. Vehicle will not start. Why?
  2. Battery is dead. Why?
  3. The alternator is not functioning. Why?
  4. The alternator belt has broken. Why?
  5. It was old and worn out. Why?
  6. The car is not maintained according to manufacturer’s recommendation.

By this example, it is clearly demonstrated that 5 whys were asked to reach the root cause of the problem.

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The 5 techniques discussed here are important for effective critical thinking. When employed regularly they will become a habit and will definitely improve your critical thinking skills so you can get better at predicting and resolving issues that concern you and your environment.

Over the years, the 5 Whys Analysis has been adopted by millions to reach the root cause of their personal and professional problems. Industry giant Six Sigma has also incorporated the 5x Why Analysis in the Analyze phase of their DMAIC methodology.[1]

Final Thoughts

Is critical thinking a new-fangled notion? Not at all. Its history can be traced back to Socrates who questioned commonly held beliefs. This practice was carried forward by leading scholars and thinkers from different times such as Aristotle and Plato, Colet and Moore, Descartes, Galileo and Newton.[2]

Today’s world is dependent on critical thinking to resolve all sorts of issues. It is now indispensable for issues ranging from personal relationships to professional jobs and those involving the global community.

The 5 techniques discussed here are important for effective critical thinking. When employed regularly, they will become a habit and will definitely improve your critical thinking skills so you can get better at predicting and resolving issues that concern you and your environment.

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Featured photo credit: Mariya Pampova via unsplash.com

Reference

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