I am writing an article which deals with some of the problems of the city. Since I have a word limit, is it necessary that I have to include the solutions of the problems too? Is it advisable? Or can I just tell the problems and leave it there?

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    Who is the audience? Is it for university, a magazine, a newspaper? – S. Mitchell Oct 22 '15 at 16:41

It depends on a lot on what you're trying to say; what structure and focus you give your article.

Basically, if your article prompts the question "why isn't anybody fixing this?" or "can't anything be done," then by omitting solutions you'll be giving an incomplete picture - possibly an actually misleading one, if e.g. the city is actively working on solutions, but your article gives the impression that nothing is being done.

But if your article is more on a different focus, e.g. "What is life like in a city with problem X?" or "What challenging issues is the city facing?", then detailed solutions aren't required - to a certain extent, they're beside the point.

Basically, you should be able to give a nutshell-summary of your article - just a couple of sentences. Look at that summary. Is detailing solutions crucial to fleshing that summary out? Or would that be moving away from your core focus? That's your answer.

If you're having trouble deciding, I'd suggest you try to write a single quick line saying what the status of solutions are. "The city is working hard to solve these problems, but it will take time to have an effect." Or "Solutions exist in theory, but nobody is implementing them." You can be very vague and general. See where you can fit that line into your article. See what effect it has. That'll let you judge whether, in context, it's a line that needs to be expanded on, or one that can be omitted entirely.

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It depends on what your purpose for writing the article is or the intended outcome. (If you don't have one yet, then consider creating one, so your article is more powerful.)

Are you:

  1. trying to highlight problems so that people rally around creating solutions,
  2. or are you trying to make someone look bad (e.g. a mud slinging campaign against a politician),
  3. or are you trying to get people to take specific actions,
  4. or pressure people in charge to take specific actions (i.e. adopt the solutions),
  5. or is this part of a series of articles where you cover different aspects of the issue?

If you are focusing on evoking emotion (rallying people or drawing attention to a scapegoat), then you don't really need to give a solution, since the whole point is to get people upset or concerned.

On the other hand, if you want people to take specific actions (items 3 & 4 above), then outlining a solution would be most effective, especially if you tie it to what people can do (or what leaders must do) to solve the issue.

If this is part of a series, you may want to mention that you will cover possible solutions in future articles. (If you have a word limit, suggest to your editor that you create a series of articles.)

Whether you include a solution or not in your article really hinges on whether people feel complete when finishing your article, or whether they start looking for the rest of the column on another page.

I personally like mentioning possible solutions in articles I write, but I typically concentrate on problem-solving. But there are many example of articles that simply report what the issues are without proposing a solution. The choice usually comes down to the intended outcome of the article.

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It would be a good idea to use a structure in your writing.

-Topic sentence


-Your opinion


When writing a newspaper article you should keep things formal and precise. In newspaper's journalists often exaggerate so it doesn't matter if you exaggerate things too much.

Furthermore, stories in a newspaper are placed in order of importance. Most important stories at the front and less important stories at the back.Details are given in order of importance, with the least important details at the end of the article, this allows readers to skim over the start of the article to gain the essential facts before deciding to read on. At the end of the article you should summarise the facts and opinions of the events.

When writing a newspaper use quotes.

When writing a headline consider using the following.

Stereotypes/Archetypes Incomplete Sentences Figurative langauge Exaggeration.

The language features of a newspaper article often use clear and concise writing are in 3rd person. You should definitely provide your own opinion on the solution of your cities problems, and maybe get some quotes from other people about their thoughts.

I hope this helps.

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