18 April 2009
Ever thought about getting something off your chest, or telling everyone about something good or bad you have experienced?
Perhaps it is time you wrote it all down and submitted it as an article for our branch magazine. It does not matter how well you write, how good you are at typing or even if you can spell properly. Just get all the facts down on paper (a "Word" document or an email) and we will do the rest!
If you have something to write about, here are some ideas to help you write a good article.
The subject of the article will suggest a title that may be cryptic, or descriptive.
You might write an article to make people aware of an important issue concerning their jobs and working environment, or you might want to make a personal comment to encourage discussion.
Your article will be read by people who do not necessarily understand the topic you are writing about, so avoid technical jargon and abbreviations. You might need to add additional background material to explain the issue.
An article for the magazine needs to be shorter than a report; a report has to convey every detail about the event covered, an article does not usually go in to such depth. A "short" item is typically about 200 words (about a quarter of a page in the magazine) a full page article would be about 1000 words, allowing space for photographs.
Items intended primarily for publication on the web site can include links to more detailed analysis that the reader can follow if they need or want more information.
The first paragraph should be a précis of the key point of the story to let the reader know what the item is about, it should not contain any specific detail.
The story should make explicit reference to the dates, times, places etc. Humour can make stories more readable, but it is not always appropriate or acceptable. Putting humorous references in an article does not make it funny and will detract from the message of the article. You made need to quote comments from suitable figures. If you quote from another source; book, newspaper, web site or person, always include the name of the publication (the issue and date for periodicals), web address, author or the person quoted.
Depending on the type of story there will often some form of conclusion at the end, perhaps a suggestion of how the subject could be dealt with or how is has already been resolved.
Make sure all articles and include the name, telephone number and e-mail address of the author (even if the name of the author is not going to be published) in case any clarification or additional material is required.
Avoid abbreviations, with the exception of generally accepted abbreviations like "a.m." and "BBC".
Appropriate photographs, diagrams, graphs or other illustrations can be used to illustrate some items.
If your article includes photographs and diagrams please do not insert them in your "Word" document, but send or attach them to your email as separate files.