One morning your boss walks
into your office. She has a big smile on her face, so you know something
good is about to happen to you.
“I want you to write article for our company
newsletter,” she says. “I’m asking you to do it because I know what a
good writer you are.”
You feel complimented and empowered
that you would be selected for such an important assignment.
“By the way,” she adds. “We’re on
a tight deadline, so I need your copy by 5 o’clock tomorrow. Thanks.”
With this new information, you feel
not only complimented and empowered but challenged.
You are pleased with this
opportunity to prove your worth. And as luck would have it, just this morning
you read something in the paper about how to write newsletter articles. It
was a checklist of helpful reminders by your favorite columnist.
You retrieve the paper from your
briefcase and skim the items on the checklist. It is organized into five
1. Supporting components
(title, opening story summary, and accompanying photographs or illustrations):
relevant and helpful to the reader’s understanding of the topic or theme of
convey the topic or theme of the story.
the reader by arousing curiosity or interest in the topic.
or introduces the topic of the article.
the reader by arousing interest or curiosity in the topic.
material from the reader’s point of view (by recognizing or appealing to the
reader’s interests, values or biases).
Indicates or suggests the scope of the article.
relevant background and history to make the topic understandable to the
significance and broader implications of the topic or recommendation.
main points or themes with specific examples and sufficient data.
transitions to connect the article’s main points or major components.
the significance of the topic to the reader.
the most important point.
the reader to think more deeply about the topic.
the information (or incentive) necessary for the reader to respond or to take
the desired action.
and tone are appropriate for the audience and the purpose.
choice is clear, specific, accurate, unassuming, and free of misused jargon
are free of wordiness, ambiguity, and unnecessarily involved constructions.
are brief and sharply focused (but adequately developed).
or testimonials illustrate and reinforce the main points.
is carefully edited and free of distracting errors in spelling, grammar, and
is sufficient, relevant, and accurate, including all facts, dates, statistics,
spellings of names, etc.
necessary permissions, approvals, and authorizations have been secured.
– whether to inform, entertain, or persuade the reader, or to induce the
reader to take action, or to elicit information from the reader – is clearly
No problem. You’ll write your
article this afternoon, let it rest overnight, go over it one more time in the
morning, and give it to your boss before lunch.
She’ll be so pleased. Maybe she’ll
call on you again the next time she needs something on short notice. You hope