I am a teenager and would like to know more about article writing. I was to write some articles someday. Should I be casual or formal? What POV should I use? How should I arrange the paragraphs? Please cite some other tips. Anything that may be helpful.
There are two important aspects of article writing that you need to be aware of when you start to write.
- Who is your audience; and
- What level of detail are you pitching?
I'll go through these in a little more detail below.
Who is your audience?
This is the single most critical factor of writing of any type, really. If you are planning to write academic journal articles, then there is a formal, well-researched structure you will need to follow. You will need to supply references to back up any claims you make. Failing to meet the expectation here will see your article at best ignored, at worst used as an exemplar of how not to write.
Technical writing has the same bases but you need to consider if your audience is other technical folk or other people who may understand the basics but not grasp more specific detail. Focusing on who will read your work will give you the cues as to how to set your technical level.
Less formal audiences, such as a product or film review, or just random thoughts from your head each have a different writing style. The rule of thumb is, the more professional your target audience, the less informal you can be.
What level of detail are you pitching?
This is related to the first item, but has its own considerations. An academic journal article may be brief, but it still needs to be formal and well researched. You're trying to give an overview of something that your audience may well be at least as much of an expert as you are.
If you wish to wax lyrical about a book or a film that you liked, then you have to consider the attention span of your audience. How long would you spend reading something like that? Whatever that maximum is, write within that range.
One of the best ways to know how to lay out your article with things like paragraphs, formatting and so on is to actually look at articles of the type you are trying to write. Reading is always a useful tool for writing, so rather than make it up, see how it's already done in the domain you are aiming for.
Worthy of a special mention is that if you plan to write a blog, then you need to consider the frequency of your publishing. Remember, the longer your articles, the more effort it will require, so you will need to give yourself sufficient time to actually write, review, edit and so on.
Also writing to a schedule is useful for blogging in particular, as your audience will then know when to expect your next exciting article rather than checking on your blog randomly :)