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3 Rules for Writing Articles
Writing articles is nothing more than common sense coupled with a spell-checker program and a little imagination plus the 3 Rules I am about to share with you. First, though, let me tell you about how a high school dropout learned how to write by copying former CBS News Anchor, Walter Cronkite and by using his local newspaper. All he did was apply the "3 Rules for Writing Articles".
I know you want to know the rules right now, right? Let me say, these are not my rules. These are rules known by all good writers. I did not invent them. They were taught to me and I simply use them every day.
Here they are:
Rule #1 - "Tell them what you are going to tell them". This, of course, is your headline, like my headline - "3 Rules for Writing Articles".
Rule #2 - "Tell them". I am already doing that, right? I started with the first sentence at the beginning of this article and I am telling you right now!
Rule #3 - "Tell them what you told them". This is the summary, a sentence or sentences that bring the whole point of the article into focus to give you something to remember. This Rule is applied at the end.
Back to our high school dropout.
He simply took a cheap tape recorder, recorded Mr. Cronkite's newscast every evening, played it back and typed exactly what Mr. Cronkite said. He studied it to see how the three rules applied. He did this over and over and over until he could write his own version of the story. When he felt confident, he showed his work to his wife and best friends for critique. He even recorded himself saying the stories into that little recorder, over and over and over. His dream was to be a radio newsman.
Our high school dropout also took the daily newspaper and re-wrote lots and lots of stories, reorganizing the facts, creating his own catchy headlines. Most important? He applied the "3 Rules" to every article. When he had articles he had some confidence in, he showed them to his wife and best friends for critique. He followed the 3 Rules for several months, working on his writing after getting home from his regular factory job in the evenings. He did this for hours and hours and hours. Practice, practice, practice!
So, where did all this hard work get him? You will be amazed!
Our high school dropout landed a part time job on Sunday mornings as an on-air newsman at a local radio station! His writing and passable radio voice got him that job. His fellow factory workers laughed at him. Made jokes. "You? Come on, get real!". But, did he quit there? No! He kept working on his writing and voice delivery. Hours and hours and hours!
Within 3 months he was full time on the graveyard shift. He quit the factory job and sold cars during the day to make up the difference in income between the factory and Radio.
About 3 months later he was on days, Monday through Friday, in prime afternoon drive-time! He quit selling cars because he was earning more than the factory job. Within 2 years he was a local TV News Anchorman! Two years later he was Anchorman and News Director!
Now, I must point out another key factor in his success. Many professional broadcasters and writers helped him grow along the way. He was never afraid to ask for help with how to improve his writing and delivery on-air. Pride never got in his way. The pro's were more than willing to offer advice and valuable tips! It was better than a college education.
Now, you may be thinking, "Jim, you made this guy up. This story is unbelievable".
Well, friend, that high school dropout is me!
My broadcast news career spanned more than 15 years. I won several national, state, and local reporting awards. I was a paid stringer for Associated Press and United Press International.
Need proof? On my main blog (see Author Box), you will find a photo of me posing with Walter Cronkite in a promotional session for my news program. Imagine that! I actually got to meet and have dinner with my idol who was then my peer!
I also have promotional photos with Mike Wallace, Dan Rather, Diane Sawyer and photos with many other famous people. I have interviewed every type of news maker from Presidents of the United States to killers. I have rubbed elbows with movie stars, the rich and famous, and with folks at the Soup Kitchen. It has been a great life!
Am I bragging? Maybe. But, the point is, the "3 Rules for Writing Articles" plus determination and practice helped me to become a successful writer and news reporter. They will help you, too! I have given you the starting point. You can find other writing guides on my main blog that will help you become an accomplished writer as well. And, in case you have not guessed, I have just completed the "Tell them what you told them" rule!
Yours for success!
P.S. - Please forward this article to someone who may benefit from it.
About the Author: Jim DeSantis is a veteran Journalist providing trusted writing resources. This link will take you to Jim's Self Help Resources where you will find a wealth of information from writing articles fast to writing your novel or ebook.