Communication is immensely important nowadays - and ranges from short text snippets to longer specialist articles. We will show you what you have to be aware of.


Why write an article? Oh, I don't need that!

Hand straight to the heart: You probably belong to the large number of People, which when writing longer texts plain Anxiety receive. Simply because such a written text weighs much heavier than the spoken word and you freeze from the sheer weight of the words. And so far you've actually always managed to get around writing longer articles quite well. Yes, maybe you are even lucky and it never happens to you in your professional life that you have to write an article or book contribution. Then you don't need to read any further here. Actually.

Because perhaps you will be confronted with the task of writing a longer article for the employee newspaper, for a specialist magazine or for an anthology, completely unprepared draw up to have to. Or of course for a blog. And what happens then? Do you then panic? No, because you have read the following tips and then you know step by step what to do.

Step 1: Clarify the policy questions

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Be it books, journals, magazines or blogs - in everyday life it can happen every now and then that you have to publish an article on a certain topic somewhere. Here are a few more tips.

Before you think about content, you should be aware of some key frameworks, namely:

Step 2: Formulate the headline

It is often recommended that (journalist) schools only formulate the headline once the text has been completed. I am of a different opinion: who thinks right from the beginning of a succinct headline, is forced to think about the purpose of his contribution.

Of course, you can change the heading at any time. the Set can be of various types. You can comment on something or something apply or merchandise. They can provide factual information or motivate others. You can make your own Expertise demonstrate or try to persuade others.

When formulating the headline, note the following:

Step 3: Work out your core messages

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Also normal Employees, who actually have nothing to do with communication, have to write more and more often today - e.g. in the corporate blog of the Company. For example in the Daimler blog:

Why messages are important

Who Blog manager Uwe Knaus in an interview Best of HR –® reports, the employees here tell of their work. This conveys an authentic representation of the company. But how do you build up such a blog post and work out the core message as accurately as possible? Here are three important tips.

  1. Try to summarize in a few sentences what you want to communicate.
  2. Remember to present the facts not (only) from your point of view, but above all from the perspective of the reader.
  3. So, do not write what you know, but tell them what is best for your readers.

Keep an eye on problems and solutions

To put it figuratively, you want to describe the look of a cake, but readers are usually only interested in the recipe. That means: (not only) name facts, but above all open up Problems and your solution suggestions and methods.

How many core notifications - one can also speak of points of division - should you transport about your contribution? It has proven effective to bring no more than five core messages.

Step 4: Formulate your core messages

The most difficult part for many people is to draft the main part. After all, you don't have to start with the proverbial “white sheet of paper” because you already have your core messages. Incidentally, these do not necessarily have to be arranged chronologically - more importantly, they follow a comprehensible logic and are structured in an exciting way.

5 Tips for Good Formulation

Given the nearly infinite variety of topics that can be written about, it is naturally difficult to give general recommendations for this step. Nevertheless, here are some tips:

  1. Explain what you have done or think about a specific topic.
  2. Always justify your statements.
  3. Remember, the more concrete you write and the more illustrative examples you give, the better your contribution will be.
  4. However, do not get lost in details and prevent content from “going under” in the flood of information.
  5. Draw conclusions from your theses.

Graphic and examples

From my hands-on experience, I would like to add two more tips: Try placing a graphical element (figure, table, enumeration) on each page. Keep in mind, however, that illustrations that you have created in PowerPoint, for example, are not printed in books or magazines in a color or in a greatly reduced format.

Im Internet of course you have more options. And for both: also realize that articles, studies and books have a long “lifespan”, but the examples mentioned in them often fast obsolescence. So choose your samples wisely.

Step 5: Formulate the introduction

You may have wondered that you should begin immediately with the main body. This has the simple reason that you are usually much easier to write the introduction, if you know what comes after it.

With the introduction, you lead to the topic, establish the “tonality” (thus determine the tone in which you formulate from now on) and make yourself comfortable with the reader. However, this only applies to longer contributions. The rule of thumb applies: the shorter an article, the sooner you should "get down to business".

Step 6: Formulate the conclusion

You probably remember from your school days: An essay does not end abruptly, but has an end, no matter how short it is. What options do you have to end an article? Draw a (short) conclusion and summarize your key messages.

  1. Explain what consequences the reader should draw from your article.
  2. Make a reference to the introduction.
  3. Give tips and hints on how the reader can benefit from your comments.
  4. Encourage your readers to take a specific action or make a comparison.
  5. Ask the reader to fill in a questionnaire on the internet or request further information material.

Again, what has already been said: The shorter the article, the tighter the final should be.

Step 7: Prepare a summary of the actual text

You will know this from newspaper articles: There the summary at the beginning of the text is called “Lead” and it has the task of making the reader curious and informing him about the most important content.

It is similar with most professional articles and sometimes also with book contributions. Answer the six most important "W-Ask”, namely: “Who does what when where how and why?”

Step 8: Complete the author information

For most (trade) magazines, it is customary that some information be given to the author or to the authors at the end. Always state your full name with academic titles, employer and position.

Occasionally there is also more space available - then you can call important stations of the CV as well as previous publications.

Step 9: Correct your contribution

Finally, check your text for correctness of content, compliance with the format requirements, correct indication of the sources and literature used, spelling, punctuation and Style.

Complete the number of characters

Then add the number of characters - this is quite easy in Word and other word processing programs with the function "Extras - Count Words".

6 final tips

Finally, some additional hints to help you write articles and book contributions:

  1. Use technical terms as sparingly as possible unless you write to specialists only.
  2. Do not use abbreviations. Exception: If you use longer terms more often (such as “Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology”), first write out the term and then name the abbreviation (BMWi).
  3. Avoid an advertising style, that is, no superlatives, exaggerations, and embellishments.
  4. For longer texts, use subheadings to visually divide your contribution.
  5. Avoid highlighting (fonts in the text, italics, right-justified or centered lines of text).
  6. Do not send preliminary or dissimilar versions of texts to editors - always the final ones.

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