Have you ever started reading something and then dropped it because you couldn’t follow? This doesn’t necessarily mean your intellect is questionable. What you read could’ve had a somewhat questionable structure, making it confusing, and sound like drivel.
On page structure, syntax and sense are the foundation for any quality piece of writing whether it be an essay on the complex principles of physics or a paragraph on the colour of tomato juice. So, how do you avoid turning a decent story into total rubbish? By constructing a framework on which to build a meaty composition that blows minds.
At school we are taught the simple fool-proof method of starting with an introduction, expanding on that introduction in the body copy, and then providing a conclusion that ties the first two together.
Some written pieces require more organisation than others, but they all require structure because it shows a logical progression of thought, making it easy to follow. Here are a few best practise tips to help you get started and prevent your writing from appearing erratic and nonsensical.
This is your hook. It’s the bait and crux of your story. It focuses on the core insight, which is also your main story point around which you’re going to build your article. Without a good introduction, people won’t read the rest of what you have to offer.
Leading on from your introduction, paragraphs are an expansion of ideas. They need to be logical and effective, and deal with one thought per paragraph. There are many different ways to present good writing, however, when you’re dealing with online readers who wish to get their information fast, you want to ensure that your paragraphs explain your thoughts succinctly and clearly.
Each paragraph may deal with one thought, but these paragraphs of thoughts need to lead into each other, ensuring flow and showing the connection of your content. Reading the last sentence of your last paragraph and first sentence of your next one gives you a good idea on whether or not your story transitions well, and whether or not your thoughts (paragraphs) are related.
By this stage, you want your readers to be satisfied with the content, and now they’re looking for a firm conclusion. If your writing has been unstructured, by this stage readers – well, the one who has stayed in the hopes of an answer – will have a lot of questions. The last thing you want is to lose a reader because your conclusion is loose and limp. Present a strong ending that is firm, but still ties into your introduction.
Your introduction baited the reader, your conclusion is there to affirm their choice to read your content in the first place. You don’t want consumers reading your online content and never coming back because they know they’re going to leave disappointed, and more confused than before.