Do you know how to bake a cake without an oven? Kill two birds with one stone? Make money by working from home?
If you’ve ever written down a recipe or shared do-it-yourself instructions with a friend, you already understand the basic structure of how-to writing. How-to articles inform the reader and can often be submitted to an editor with a simple cover letter.
A how-to is written as a sequence—first you do this, and then you do that. The essential question the writer asks himself/herself when writing a how-to article is, “What happens next?” If you are about to embark on a how-to, start at what you consider the beginning, and just keep answering that question over and over again. Before you know it, you will have sketched out a draft of a how-to article.
STEP 1: PICK YOUR TOPIC.
Pick a topic that interests you enough to focus on it for at least a week or two. Picking a topic that you are not interested in may lead into loosing the motivation the finish the article. In the event that your point is expansive, narrow it. Instead of writing about how to decorate your home, try covering how to decorate your home in country style on a shoestring budget. That is more particular and, accordingly, simpler to handle. Then write a rough, rough draft, including everything you can think of. Remain free, abstain from getting investigative, and enjoy the process of sharing what you know. When you’re done, you’ll have the bare bones of an article that no one but you could compose. Then put it aside for a while.
STEP 2: ADDRESS YOUR AUDIENCE’S NEEDS.
Now, come back to your piece. Put yourself in the reader of this article’s shoe. Pick three words to describe the audience you want to address (e.g., experts, single men). As this reader, what questions would you like answered? You won’t not know the appropriate responses yet, but list the questions anyway; you’ll find answers in the next step.
STEP 3: RESEARCH.
Research will ground your article in fact. Great points of interest to incorporate with your how-to article are:
· Quotes by famous people
· Anecdotes (short, illustrative stories about yourself or someone else)
· Quotes and examples from people like the reader or from popular books on the subject
· References to other media (film, TV, radio)
· Helpful tools, assets or items (if many, consider making a sidebar)
· References to local venues or events (if for a regional/local publication).
Gather all that you have accumulated and placed it in an organizer, an electronic archive, a note pad or whatever you like. Bear in mind to monitor sources on the off chance that you are laterrequested that by an editor confirm them. You may want to filter through your research at a separate sitting from gathering it. Or just go ahead and sprinkle your research in right when you find it. It’s just like cooking—play around until you feel you have it “just right.”
STEP 4: TIGHTEN YOUR DRAFT.
Keeping your audience in mind, compose a more tightly draft fusing the new supporting data you’ve gathered. Sometimes what you’ve learned in Steps 2 and 3 may compel you to start over with a completely fresh draft. Or, on the other hand you may simply need to change what you have as you continue, retaining a nice conversational tone by directly addressing your audience.
This time when you read your draft, ask yourself: Is it working? Is it excessively broad, excessively lightweight, uninteresting, vague or uneven? Assuming this is the case, look over some of your most loved distributions for how-to articles. What strategies are those journalists utilizing that you may utilize?
STEP 5: MAKE IT SPECIFIC.
Double-check to see that you’ve included every pertinent step in the process. The most effective method to articles must be intensive. You want your reader to walk away knowing precisely how to bake a cake without an oven? Kill two birds with one stone? Make money by working from home?
On the off chance that your story continues forever, or off in an excessive number of bearings, separate it into key focuses showed with subheads (as in this article).. Synthesizing complicated information and breaking it down into steps is especially crucial for online writing, and is also a trend in print.
STEP 6: READ, REVISE, REPEAT.
Read the draft of your how-to article so anyone can hear to a strong companion. At that point, solicit his/her an arrangement from questions: Does he/she now comprehend the procedure? Are there any means missing? Is there something else he/she might want to think about the subject? Would he/she be able to do the assignment himself/herself? In light of your companion’s proposals, utilize your best judgment in choosing what changes, assuming any, should be made.
Here’s a quick list to help you catch errors or omissions:
· Did you adequately describe the ingredients/supplies needed in order for the reader to complete the task?
· Did you include all the important steps?
· Is the order logical?
· Did you use words that indicate sequence: first, next, then?
· Did you warn readers of possible pitfalls?
Revise, read so anyone might hear, change, read out loud, revamp, discover an editor and, just when you’re fulfilled you’ve composed a successful how-to article, present your piece to a fitting distribution with a short introductory letter.