Edited by Alan Cohen, Imperatrix, Axiom, Brigitta M. and 96 others
Select a topic. Exactly what are you going to write about? When writing for 'wikiHow', you may even wish to refer to requested topics for ideas.
- Brainstorm for ideas if you have to. Take a few minutes to write down every idea that comes to mind, without evaluating whether the idea is good. When you're finished, read back over your list and pick out the best topic.
- Your topic should be interesting to you. It's a lot easier to write an article about something you'd want to learn about.
- When writing you must remain focused and concentrate on your work. Plagiarism is not accepted.
Know your audience. Are you writing for a beginner, an intermediate, or an advanced audience? For example, if you are writing an article about "Creating PowerPoint Slides," are your readers new to PowerPoint, or business people looking for advanced tips? Having a good grasp on who will be reading your article can help you orient the information and the tone so that it's as useful as possible.
Do your research. How well do you know the topic? Is it something you can write easily about with little or no preparation, or do you need more information from experts in the field? Visit your local library for sources, or search online. (Be careful about sourcing information from websites, though - if possible, make sure that your source is reputable and accurate.)
Decide on the length of the article. Teachers, magazines, and newspapers will often give you a limit. wikiHow articles, on the other hand, are often "as long as they need to be and no longer." Keeping a length in mind can help you decide what needs to be included in your article and what can be left out.
Write an outline (optional). Not everyone writes an outline, but it can be helpful for organizing your thoughts. Start with an introduction that leads to the main point, at least 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Write the rough draft of the article as follows:
- Tell your readers what you are going to tell them. This is your introduction. For example: This article explains how to create a PowerPoint slide presentation. It covers the following information: choosing a theme, creating a title slide, and creating topic slides. The information in this article is written for a beginner. The author assumes that you have never used PowerPoint.
- Tell your readers what you promised to tell them. In this section you tell them how to choose a theme, create a title slide, and how to create topic slides.
- Recap for your readers what you just told them. For example: This article taught you how to create a PowerPoint slide presentation. You learned how to choose a template, how to create a title slide, and how to create topic slides.
Proofread your article. Read over your article aloud to make sure what you've written makes sense. Keep an eye out for misspellings or poor grammar, and double-check your facts.
Proofread your article again. This time, delete any unnecessary or contradictory information. The only time you should have information that doesn't support your topic is if you're doing a "point-counterpoint" piece. Eliminate anything that is just taking up space. Don't fill your work with fluff.
Rewrite the article as often as it takes. Once you've rewritten it, ask a trusted friend or family member to read the piece and offer you constructive feedback. Rewrite again.
Add a picture (optional). If it's appropriate for your format, add a picture. It will stand out from other articles without pictures and give the reader more information on the topic.
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