Article writing: style and structure tips

While some people seem to think article writing is simple, those who actually do it for a living know that this isn’t the case. A great article writer has their own methods, styles, and ideas that help them to write great articles. Most importantly, they’re aware of the types of articles that audiences want to read and the styles that publications, whether printed or digital, wish to present.

Article Writing Rules

Novice article writers often seek out hard and fast rules in order to write articles that they hope will be perceived as high quality. However, there really aren’t any hard and fast rules for article writers, which is a difficult lesson to learn. While many an editor, client, and representative may insist that there is only one correct way to write an article, the experienced writer soon learns that this one “right way” varies enormously from client to client. The best thing a new writer can do is to review articles which the client prefers or has already published and take note of some basic qualities.

Point of View

Point of view is often a hotly contested issue in article writing. Formal articles quite often require a third-person, impersonal point of view. That is, the author should avoid using “I” or addressing the reader either specifically or in general in a direct manner. However, many other publications, editors, and clients prefer a less formal style. In fact, they may find the formal style to be too cold, inaccessible, or uninteresting. As a result, it’s best not to assume one way or the other.


Another issue which many clients and publications can be specific about is that of tense. Some prefer most, if not all, of the article to be written in a more technically correct past tense. Others, however, prefer the immediacy of the present tense. In either case, it’s best to be consistent in your use of tense. This may not mean using the same tense over the course of the entire article, but it does mean using the tense consistently when dealing with the same type of information.


Finally, many editors have a strong preference for using active voice. This is the one situation in which writers can usually assume that active voice is preferred. If the client has no preference, and the writer knows this, they can revert to passive voice when necessary to improve flow.