Some tips for new writers:
Use some facts– info from the news reported in other places, for example. This is a strong way to get your article headlined and to get yourself noticed as a more serious, more professional writer. And embed a link to the source.
Sources and links, when you are making claims, are essential. Use a relevant quotation. Let your feelings show. Use an anecdote or two from your life
Edit before you send it in. That means, after you’ve finished writing the first draft, read it out loud. Then chop out 10-25 percent and tighten up the writing. Make sure it reads well out loud and don’t trust your spell checker. It won’t pick up wrong words.
Here are some tips I sent to one writer that are worth including on this page.
Understand that there are several stages in writing. The first is to get the stuff out (of your brain, heart, soul.) You do that well– you’re a river of thoughts typed out.
But that’s just part one. Next, you have to dig through the stuff that has poured out of your subconscious and pick the best stuff, the most important messages, ideas, etc.
Then, you edit. Take the cream you’ve skimmed off and start over with it. This time, think through what the message is that your Op-Ed is trying to get across.
Try outlining or at least listing what you want to include in your article.
Once you get started with OpEdNews, keep in mind, this is not a passive, one way media site, like a magazine or newspaper. We’re a community, and when people comment on your article, you’re expected to respond to their comments. This is fun!! Even better, you’ll learn more and make new friends all over the world.
Once you’ve posted your article and it goes live, you’ll want to make sure that as many people as possible read the article. There are social networking icons on your article that make it easy for you to submit to reddit.com, stumbleupon.com and other sites that help get the word out. At the least, please submit your article to reddit.com and hopefully stumbleupon.com. We’ve seen articles reach an extra 50,000 people this way.
American Financial Journal - Article Submission
In general, authors should pay careful attention to the following factors both when writing their work, and when editing it.
- Clarity; is the article written clearly and concisely?
- Quality: are the arguments logical and well reasoned?
- Content; does the subject matter have value? Is it well referenced?
- Style; does the writing style fit the content?
- Presentation; is the article laid out well and carefully edited?
- Value; does the article make an important point that has not been overdone?
- Fluency; does the writing flow smoothly?
In addition to the above points authors should be keenly aware of the length of their articles. People have limited time to read articles, and the longer the articles are, the more likely it is people will never get through the entire article. Try not to repeat yourself excessively and strive to use as few words as possible to clearly make your points. Don’t beat a dead horse.
Before even beginning to write an article, authors should use the search function and check the directory and tags at OEN to determine if similar articles have already been posted.
Other questions you should ask yourself as an author include, am I making an important new point, or offering an important new perspective? Have I laid out a logical argument that is easy to follow? Did I stick to the point or the issue, or am I wandering off track? Am I offering readers suggestions for actions or remedies, rather than just pointing out a problem without offering any potential solutions? Can I make this article more interesting by putting it into a wider perspective?
If your article is rejected for editing it means that the editor likes your article but feels that it needs additional work. Please follow the editor’s suggestions carefully before resubmitting your work. Editors are here to help writers polish their work so that it will be more effective. Publishing good writing is a collaborative effort.