Firstly, research is vital.
Explore websites and articles related to your piece, and extract statistics/quotes to back up your point, remembering to reference. Facts and figures are not always necessary, sometimes questioning your fellow students or contacting an expert on the topic is more fruitful. Research can take a while, so if you want longer, let us know, we will be happy to oblige! Too little research and articles stray into opinion.
Secondly be analytical. You should spend about half the total time you spend on the article doing research. After compiling all your findings, evaluate them fairly. Work out the trends, ideas or arguments of your chosen topic and then create a plan. Again, take your time with this, coming up with a good plan and solid angle is important. It is vital to be as unbiased as possible and to not let your opinion dominate the piece, however if you cannot be neutral towards your topic, at least be explicit in exploring both sides of the argument. Finally, come to an effective conclusion, but leave your opinion out of it
Lastly, be careful about the language you use. It must be relatively formal and you also need to avoid generalisations, cliches and false facts – again, do your research! Sometimes all that is needed is slightly more tentative language, saying ‘many’ instead of ‘all’. Even when discussing your own experiences, try to avoid using the first person as much as possible.
The word count ranges from 650 to 1,150 words and the deadline is Friday 12 noon. Any article ideas you think are relevant, send our way! Good luck.
Image: Fredrik Rubensson