APCUG Web Site
Index for this issue
Default font size|
Large font size
In English classes, we were all taught to write as though we were writing the great American novel, so we were to start anywhere and go wherever the story led. However, that is not how successful novels are written today. Good novels grab the reader on the first page and donít let go until the last page has been turned.
In journalism class, we were taught to cover who, what, when, where, why and how in the first paragraph. That is no longer the journalistic standard; instead the most critical elements are covered in the first paragraph. Other details are fleshed out in succeeding paragraphs.
Good business writing now follows these journalistic standards, compared to how we were taught in English classes.
In terms of articles, the first paragraph should be a summary paragraph, which tells the reader what this article is going to be about. If the article is going to cover multiple subjects, then those topics should be included in the summary paragraph. If there are multiple subjects, then have sub-headings to begin each subject.