All your writing should include these elements, (this pattern is often how each paragraph might be structured).
Describe what it is you are going to write about. Describe what happened? What is the subject of your article?
Analyse what the subject of article is about. Who has also written about the subject? involve other peoples ideas on the subject
Narrative: Tell a story; make it exciting, have a beginning middle and end, but not necessarily in that order.
Contextualise the subject matter of your article. Where does it fit in to other historical/political/social contexts? What other ideas are associated with the subject you are writing about?
Evaluate what you have written about in your article. What have you learnt from writing this article? What are the main issues it has raised for you?
Writing an Introduction and Conclusion
The introduction and the conclusion will give the reader a point of entry to and a point of exit from your writing.
Introduction: The introduction should be designed to attract the reader’s attention and give them an idea of the article’s focus.
Begin with an attention grabber – The attention grabber you use is up to you, but here are some ideas: Startling information – This information must be true and verifiable, and it doesn’t need to be totally new to your readers. It could simply be a pertinent fact that explicitly illustrates the point you wish to make. If you use a piece of startling information, follow it with a sentence or two of elaboration.
Anecdote – An anecdote is a story that illustrates a point. Be sure your anecdote is short, to the point, and relevant to your topic. This can be a very effective opener for your article, but use it carefully. Dialogue – An appropriate dialogue does not have to identify the speakers, but the reader must understand the point you are trying to convey. Use only two or three exchanges between speakers to make your point. Follow dialogue with a sentence or two of elaboration.
Summary Information – A few sentences explaining your topic in general terms can lead the reader gently to your thesis. Each sentence should become gradually more specific, until you reach your thesis. If the attention grabber was only a sentence or two, add one or two more sentences that will lead the reader from your opening to your thesis statement.
Conclusion: The conclusion brings closure to the reader, summing up your points or providing a final perspective on your topic. All the conclusion needs is three or four strong sentences, which do not need to follow any set formula. Simply review the main points (being careful not to restate them exactly) or briefly describe your feelings about the topic. Even an anecdote can end your article in a useful way.
Mark Ingham | January 2012