Writing Tips – Article Format 101


Some people struggle to organize their articles and do not know where to begin because they fear they do not know the technique. I find it helpful to remember the essays we had to write in school. These had three parts: introduction, body and conclusion. And then the body often had three points. If you can break your subject into three points, you are halfway to writing a five paragraph article of the form: introduction, point 1, point 2, point 3, conclusion.

Introduction – Your first paragraph introduces the subject and summarizes the information you plan to present. You want to create interest in the reader, but you do not want to misrepresent what you will share or you will lose credibility at the end of the piece. Simply explain why the reader should care about the subject you have chosen and then lay out the process you will follow to explain it to them.

Body – The three point essay format is very convenient and feels most natural. You might write about three places to visit in your hometown, three sports you watch on television, or three reasons customers should buy from your company. Whatever subject you choose, settle on three different points you want to make or divide the subject into three parts, as I have done here with introduction, body, conclusion. You may need more than one paragraph per topic, but if you find you have three paragraphs for each point, you should consider whether you actually have three separate articles you could publish.

Conclusion – Finally, you will wrap up your article for the reader. A brief recap of the information you promised to share and the three points you made will give the reader a sense of closure and reassurance that you are trustworthy. I know it sounds like overdoing it, but if you said you would share something with the reader and then you did, reminding them of this one last time helps seal the compact and cement your credibility.

The process of sitting down to write an article can seem daunting. Taking a moment to consider your article’s three parts, and the three points you plan to make in the body, will help you arrange your article format and keep it manageable for you and the reader. The simple essay format we learned in school supports many of the articles and blog posts published online and will serve you well in your article writing.