How to Write Structured Articles

How many times have you been irritated by an article because it is difficult to parse what the author is really trying to say?

Bloggers usually put their thoughts in a random fashion. They write as and when they get new thoughts in their mind.

As mind cannot divide all thoughts into individual categories, therefore, the major problem with this approach is that the article is in a haphazard form and sometimes, it does not make any sense. The Result: Confused and irritated readers.

To resolve this problem we have to try a structured approach towards writing. This approach makes it easier for the reader to read the article. Also, it should make it easier to skim and scan through the article so that the reader is able to make an informed decision to read the article or not.

There can be many design approaches which can help you make your content appear in a more readable form. But, other than that, each blogger should keep certain points in his mind while he or she is writing an article. These are just slight modifications in writing that will make the content standout and it will also make it reader friendly.

The modifications are as follows:

Hierarchical Model

Hierarchical Model for Headlines used in Structured Articles

Using a hierarchical model for writing is the first step towards creating a structured blog article. The article should have headlines having different weights i.e the article headlines should have different types of headlines i.e headlines, sub-headlines and sub sub-headlines (basically a hierarchy of headlines). Headlines and sub headlines should have different fonts sizes (Headlines having a higher font size and sub-headlines having a smaller font size). A Hierarchical structure of headlines defines a certain importance to each headline. It helps in highlighting the most vital points and thus, it helps readers by decreasing the scan time to 1 minutes which helps the reader to get a brief idea about the article.

Paragraphs

Every blogger use paragraphs for  his/her writing, but a few are able to use paragraphs effectively. Length of a paragraph is an important parameter for a readable blog. It should not be too long. It will bore the readers and some readers may go off-track and may lose the continuity. It should not be as short as a single line (at least not all paragraphs should not be too short. There can be a few exceptions) as it will lead to many breaks in reading which will eventually lead to slow reading speed.

A medium sized paragraph is recommended for faster and a more comfortable reading. Your job, as a blogger, is to divide your articles into meaningful medium sized articles for better viewing.

Accentuating Key Words

Highlighting key points discussed in the article is a really good method and it assists scanning techniques used by readers. The key points are usually words connected to the idea being discussed in the article. The key words can emphasized in the following ways:

Coloured and Highlighted Text

The keywords can be highlighted by using bold, “quotations” or italics. Also, you can use a different color than the one in your color scheme in order to make the key words stand out from the content. The option of using any of these techniques to emphasize keywords is the author’s choice.

Summary

Instead of highlighting each and every keyword, we can provide a list of key words at the end or provide a summary of the article for those who are in a hurry. This requires a little more investment of time in writing a summary but it is worth the time spent on it.

In-linking

Most people think that in-linking has only benefit that is of seo, but in-linking process can be used to give the readers more information about a subject. For example, I’m talking about search engine optimization in an article and a newbie reads my article. He doesn’t know anything about seo and hence, he doesn’t understand my article fully.

In order to resolve this issue, I link seo to a useful article for newbies which explains seo in detail. Thus, In linking can do much more than just seo and traffic, it can bring continuity to your articles.

  • Hi Gautam,

    Great points you mention there.

    I wrote some articles for ezine, but a friend of mine recommended to have a structure in your article.

    I did not quite understand it, but now I get it.

    I also agree that little things like formatting (italics, bold, colors) can make a big difference. They just look nice to the eye and make the article interesting rather than boring.

    Nabeel

    • Your friend was right!. And now you’ve got your answer. You should try and write structured articles in the future 🙂

  • The picture you have used clearly explains everything. Structured posts definitely improves readability. We put lot of time to make post and finally at the end we leave out with structuring it properly. All those who read this article will start making well structured posts hereafter. You have taken a good topic. Well Done!
    .-= Mukundan Srinivasan´s last blog ..Selective Tweets: Updates Facebook Status and Fan Page =-.

    • I hope it will work for your blog. The point is that it has worked for me, so it will work for you too!

  • I have a habit of not getting an idea and then three of four come at once, bit like buses 😆 I then usually draft them, tweak them and then schedule them over a period of days.

    Structuring for me comes when I tweak my posts for the final publish.
    .-= Karen @ Blazing Minds´s last blog ..Saturday Six – Holiday Destinations =-.

    • I think you have great ideas, the actual point is to frame them in a manner that stands out. The presentation is the key aspect in writing content in these days

  • I find that breaking down your post much like a book with chapters, sub headings and other structural elements really help when you’re writing because you can break it down into manageable pieces. Pick up a magazine and see how they do it, print has been around for a very long time; you can bet they know how to effectively structure articles 🙂
    .-= Murlu´s last blog ..Candy, RPGs and Pokemon: What I Learned About Business =-.

    • Yes, you are right about this subject breaking is a popular technique in news ad media, but it has not been used a lot in blogging.

      This entry was to educate people who didn’t know about this technique

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  • rndtechnologies786

    Good thought.