By definition a pillar article is that kind that is written in tutorial style and aims at teaching or explaining to audiences something into details. When someone is writing such an article they could possibly come up with a good one if they consider the following phases;
Preliminary phase: in this phase you need to come up with your own questions, you need to ask yourself with some questions that will help in guiding you in the rest of the processes.
Questions like, what is the purpose of the piece of writing?
- To answer a specific essay.
- To convince others of your perspective.
- To communicate your knowledge or understanding to others.
In this phase another thing you should not forget is to know who your audience is.
- A professor.
- The general public.
- An employer.
- Fellow colleagues.
Knowing your audience will help you to choose the level of formality required for such piece of writing. It also helps you to know the amount of research you need to take as well as the kinds of examples and supporting evidences you will need to avail.
In this phase, consider three things; exploration, researching, arrangement.
- Usually in exploration there are many ways to go about, one of them happens to be this way, you can brainstorm for ideas in any way that fits you. This can be possible by either mind mapping, listing of interesting concepts facts or even questions.
- In researching you can gather information from sources like books journals the media interviews, questioners and from scientific studies as well.
Note: when you read sources, take detailed notes and keep accurate record of each source.
- After performing out your research, you can draft a thesis. By thesis I mean your argument, statement, or idea. Here it now depends on what you were writing. This helps in guiding you. Then make a detailed outline of the logical plan of your article to support your thesis giving structure to your writing before you begin to write.
- A pillar article usually has a lot of words, averagely 5000 words would make a pillar article, but then to come with a perfect one you need to decide how many words you will give to each part of your essay.
- Prepare any visual aids or proves such as charts or pictures that you might need.
This happens to be the third phase. You will need to draft and revise several times until you have what you consider a final draft.
- Drafting needs to be done in formal sentences and paragraphs, as you are doing this; remain focused on your drafted thesis or main idea. If you do change this, then you get back and adapt your original plan to ensure that your article continues to support the new thesis.
- Follow your outline and you may modify it if necessary.
- While you are doing this, because it is an early draft, concentrate on structure rather that spelling and punctuation.
Besides drafting, consider reviewing your work. In other words edit your work with a critical eye. In the early draft question yourself if you’ve done the following 10 things;
- Have I introduced my subject, developed it logically and come to a conclusion?
- Is my supporting evidence appropriate and complete? Or should I out line more examples?
- Have I used headings to help the reader, if appropriate?
- Are the relationships between ideas clear and clearly signaled to the reader?
- Is each part the right length?
And in later draft ask yourself the following questions;
- Have I used paragraph breaks well?
- Is the level of formality appropriate for my readers?
- Have I chosen my words carefully, using the correct collocation?
- Have I avoided repeating the same words or phrases too often (except technical terms)?
- Have I met any word count requirements?
After all those questions, ask someone to read your text. And then on finishing each review, return to the drafting step, revising and editing your work as necessary.
Presentation phase: this happens to be the last phase and in this phase you need to consider two things which are;
- Proof read: you will need to read you final draft one more time to find and correct surface errors. Try to leave sometime between your final draft and proof reading as you will find it easier to see your mistakes like spellings, punctuations and grammatical mistakes.
- Format: check with someone who has the skill or experience or knowledge on how you should present your work in terms of; font size, margins, line spacing and paper size.
All the phases in this document may be applicable anywhere with the exception of exams due to time factor but your pillar article will be successful if you brain storm ideas, organize and plan, re-read, check and edit.