STEP 1: SELECT YOUR TOPIC: Choose a topic that interests you enough to focus on it for at least a week or two. If your topic is broad, narrow it. Then write a rough draft, including everything you can think of.
STEP 2: ADDRESS YOUR AUDIENCE'S NEEDS: Switch gears and imagine you're the reader of this article.. As this reader, what questions would you like answered?
STEP 3: RESEARCH: Good details to include with your how-to are:
- Quotes by well-known people
- Anecdotes (short, illustrative stories about yourself or someone else)
- Quotes and examples from popular books on the subject
- References to other media (film, television, radio)
- Helpful tools, resources or products
- References to local venues or events (if for a regional/local publication)
STEP 4: TIGHTEN YOUR DRAFT: Keeping your audience in mind, write a tighter draft incorporating the new supporting information you've collected.
STEP 5: MAKE IT SPECIFIC: Double-check to see that you've included every pertinent step in the process.
STEP 6: READ, REVISE, REPEAT: Here's a quick list to help you catch errors or omissions:
- Did you adequately describe the ingredients/supplies needed in order for the reader to complete the task?
- Did you include all the important steps?
- Is the order logical?
- Did you use words that indicate sequence: first, next, then?
- Did you warn readers of possible pitfalls?