Non-Fiction Articles: Brainstorming, Writing, and Publishing

NonfictionYou more than likely read non-fiction articles on a daily basis – in fact, you’re reading one right now! Non-fiction articles are pieces of content that describe real events, philosophies, opinions, and ideas. At their most basic, non-fiction articles can be simple reports of events that have occurred, such as basic news stories or reports. However, they can also be pretty complex.

There are many different types of nonfiction articles, which can make it difficult to understand exactly where to begin the process of learning about this type of writing. For the most part, the best place to start is with a course such as Udemy’s Quality Paragraph and Essay Writing, which will teach you the basics of crafting well-written essays – a skill that easily translates into writing nonfiction pieces of various different types.

Types of Nonfiction Articles

Nonfiction articles are also sometimes referred to as creative nonfiction. While it may not seem that a factual article requires that much creativity, this is not the case at all. While you may not be crafting new characters or new worlds, as you would while writing a fictional piece, it’s important to think about the way that you will present the information you have to the reader.

There are many different types of written pieces that fall into this category of writing:

  • The Memoir: Detailing certain events that have occurred in your life, a memoir piece can be as short as a news article or blog post or as long as a novel. You can learn more about writing memoirs on Udemy.
  • News Articles: As a straight reporting of facts as they have occurred, news articles tend not to be as creative as other types of nonfiction articles. They are often written quickly for print or publication online, and as such may contain primarily hard facts.
  • Literary Journalism: As opposed to news articles, literary journalism pieces report on people, the way that they live, or may contain an accounting of a historical event. They are often crafted in a similar manner to memoirs or fictional pieces, with an emphasis on artistry in language to make a point.
  • How-To Articles: Nonfiction articles may relay information that can help others accomplish a task – this particular article is an example of just that! Information on cooking, arts and crafts, and other tasks may fall in this category.
  • Informative Articles: These types of articles inform the reader about a certain topic and are generally focused on a single subject, such as a type of literature or a certain geographic area. Travel articles, scholarly articles, and other similar articles all fall in this category.
  • Persuasive Essays: If you are trying to convince others of something that you have an opinion on through a written piece, you are writing a persuasive essay. It’s important to use sound logic and reasoning, and to appeal strongly to the emotions, to get your point across.
  • Personal Essays: A personal essay is similar to a memoir in many ways in that it often incorporates moments from their life into a discussion of some topic, such as life, death, or love. However, a personal essay will also largely dive into an individual’s thoughts as part of that discussion.
  • Lyric Essays: These essays discuss a topic with creative language, and are the closest to poetry and prose of all the types of non-fiction articles. While they discuss real issues, they may deal with them using literary devices (such as metaphors) and with poetic, lyrical language.
  • Reviews: Finally, reviews of various things can fall under the category of non-fiction article if they are carefully crafted and written. Reviews can discuss everything from music to television shows, movies, and books.

Brainstorming Non-Fiction Articles

The process of brainstorming for the article or articles that you want to write begins with knowing the type of non-fiction article that best suits your needs. If you already have a specific topic to write about, then this should be easy. However, if you are starting from scratch, this can be a lot more challenging.

There are many creative thinking techniques that you can use to begin coming up with ideas for crafting your article. Start by looking at topics that you have a strong interest in, whether it is a hobby of yours, a type of art or literature that you enjoy, or something that you are highly skilled at and could easily write about with authority.

Once you have a topic in mind, it is then time to begin the process of doing research on your idea. Remember that no matter how much you know about a subject, even if it is something that you have a lot of experience with, it is always important to check your facts. One erroneous fact can throw the credibility of your entire article into question, which can be especially problematic if you are seeking publication.

Writing Non-Fiction Articles

The process of writing a non-fiction article is not difficult. It requires the same understanding of story and structure as writing any type of piece. Some types of non-fiction have very strict requirements when it comes to their structure, scholarly essays being one example. However, for the majority of non-fiction articles this is not the case, and you will have a little more freedom to experiment and be creative.

That being said, there are some elements of structure that any aspiring non-fiction writer would be wise to remember.

The Introduction

It can be tempting to fall into the trap of explaining exactly what you’re going to be talking about in your essay. This is the type of essay structure that most people learn in school. However, there are other ways to get this information across in your non-fiction article. Some writers may describe a certain scenario that illustrates what they’ll be talking about, while others may choose to talk about their topic in general terms before getting to the specifics. There are plenty of great ways to go.

The Body of the Article

You shouldn’t present your article as fact after fact after fact. There should be a natural flow or progression from idea to idea. It is a good idea to outline this part of your article in order to see at a glance whether your article will flow naturally. Remember that you can always reorder things in the article to make it flow better.

The Conclusion

There are many different ways to conclude your essay. Remember that in some way, you should make it a point to reiterate the main idea of your article, whether you’re trying to emphasize why a certain country can be a great place to visit or why somebody should consider taking up a certain hobby. Once you’ve reached the conclusion of your article, be sure that you have wrapped up all of your main points.

For many people, all that will be left at this point is to turn in their non-fiction article. However, some may be writing in an attempt to get their article published. While a very worthwhile endeavor, writing for publication can be very challenging. Be sure to check out Udemy’s Writing for Publication course for more information on what you need to do to research places to publish your article, to edit and revise your article, and to get it submitted. For more information on freelance writing in general, you can also consider taking Udemy’s freelance writing course. With any luck, you could find your non-fiction article in print in your favorite newspaper or magazine in no time at all!