What It Takes To Write a Good Article
Telling a story through writing is a practiced tactic as old as time. Each individual has a certain trait or skill that is brought to their writing, and it is due to this that a multitude of styles, or ways to write, have evolved over the years. It is also because of this that one may distinguish between a strongly written piece, and one that is poorly written. When thinking of a favorite book, or movie even, we remember those that show the most personality. Is it relatable? Understandable? The author has a way of grabbing the reader’s attention, almost as if they’ve escaped from their lives and fallen into the story that is being told. Now, though it is not often one reads an article to “escape” or lose themself in it, these factors are still necessary in creating a great piece of writing. A strong and memorable article, which gains the respect and appreciation of its reader, provides interesting detail, favorable use of vocabulary, and omits any irrelevancy.
Article number one, written by Hollie McKay of Fox News, dives right into the topic at hand. While the reader can appreciate her concise approach, she leaves out important details explaining any background information pertaining to the interview. This is scarcely recognizable after reading the second article, by Cavan Sieczkowski of the Huffington Post. Sieczkowski starts with a brief statement from Samuel L. Jackson, of who they interviewed for the article. She then explained how and why the interview took place, the content of which it began discussing, and where it ended. In doing so, there is a sense of understanding established in the readers mind. The reader may then begin to paint a picture of what exactly is happening. As the articles progress, Sieczkowski’s crucial sense of detail is further depicted when she adds in a comment about how Jackson’s use of a particular swear word is not out of anger, but to correct the actor’s stuttering tendency. This information was left out in the article written by McKay. Without knowing that small, but very relevant detail, the reader might think that Jackson has some animosity built towards Mr. Obama. Lack of detail often leaves the reader lost and confused, a feeling that an author does not want when trying to portray an idea.
While it is important not to overwhelm the reader with an extreme use of advanced vocabulary, no one thinks back on a piece of writing and says “That guy wrote like a 3rd grader, great work!” Readers respect writers who can craft a well- written sentence and sound knowledgeable. It is difficult to see McKay’s writing skills, as she masks them with an article that consists mostly of quotes from the interviewee. The complexity of Sieczkowski’s sentence structure alone strikes the reader. She makes a statement about her skill right away as she opens with the sentence “Samuel L. Jackson did not mince words when he said President Obama needs to "stop trying to 'relate'" (Sieczkowski 1). This sentence is strong, and the phrase “mince words” demonstrates the writer’s craft from the get go. Her use of words such as “candid” “linguistics” and “anecdote” (to name a few) are not too complicated for the average readers understanding, and establish that she has a firm grasp on higher-level writing. Also, while McKay uses Jackson’s direct quotes as whole paragraphs in her article, Sieczkowski uses them as guidelines to further her point.
The most crucial concept in maintaining a reader’s focus and understanding throughout a piece of writing is relevancy. An article is telling the reader some important piece of information, and should start and end with ideas that pertain only to that specific piece of information. The topic of these articles is Samuel Jackson’s feelings that the President should speak in a more professional manner; after all, he is the President of the United States. Both articles use Jackson’s quote “’ Look, I grew...
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