A killer article has a few key components: developed, compelling lede, thought provoking closing, thorough research and smooth transitions.
Writers will spend hours, if not days, combing over their research. They will take a hard look at their lede and closing to make sure each gives the desired impact. Many will check over the article for proper word usage and spelling, then send it in to the editor.
Wait. You missed a spot! Transitions cannot be ignored. They give an article flow, acting as speed bumps, yellow lights and stop signs throughout the piece. Have you ever read an article that starts and stops like freeway traffic during rush hour? As you read, you feel yourself hopping from one subject to another without so much as a “however,” or “Others seek…”
Transitions let the reader know, “Okay we’re finished with this subject – now please adjust your seatbelts as we move on to another related topic.” Transition words and phrases are key and Study Guides and Strategies has a great tool to help you find the right ones.
There are times when there isn’t an easy way to transition from one subject to another. This is where you insert a full stop known as a heading. Headings break the article into smaller, easy traveled sections. They tell the reader immediately where they are going. Time to change lanes!
Another great transition technique to use is quotes. A quote uses a person to move your piece into another area. It gives a human voice to the transition and brings color to a piece.
Ensuring smooth transitions within a piece is tricky, but so important to crafting a well written article. Before you send that article in, read it out loud. Are there any spots where you stumble over words or feel an abrupt stop in ‘the flow?’ You may a transition problem. Tune it up and turn in a killer article.