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Writing Articles
Illustration by Neil Webb

Taking on an assignment


From:

Writing Articles

with Tom Geller

Video: Taking on an assignment

This video is where you gather details on how the article will be produced. Give this process the attention it deserves. A little time invested now will help you write the article confidently, and it's more likely that the results will satisfy your client. While every assignment is different, I put together a list of questions that are common to most articles; it's in this video's exercise file. We'll fill it out now for the fictional assignments I'll work on throughout the rest of this course. Here's the scenario. Roux Academy is a 150-year-old degree- granting art school in New York City.

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Writing Articles
53m 44s Appropriate for all May 24, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Have you ever wanted to write professionally? Perhaps you'd like to make some extra money writing articles for publication in your industry or taking on additional assignments to write for your company.

In this course, author Tom Geller explores the process of writing articles and publications for businesses large and small. The course begins with a look at the preparation you'll need to do, best ways to find assignments, and smart strategies for determining your article approach. Next, the course dives into techniques you can use to brainstorm angles, research, interview experts, finish a piece, and build your portfolio.

Topics include:
  • Adopting technical tools
  • Gathering reference materials
  • Defining an article
  • Finding assignments
  • Determining your approach
  • Conducting interviews
  • Managing revisions
  • Following up
Subjects:
Business Business Skills Career Development Communication
Author:
Tom Geller

Taking on an assignment

This video is where you gather details on how the article will be produced. Give this process the attention it deserves. A little time invested now will help you write the article confidently, and it's more likely that the results will satisfy your client. While every assignment is different, I put together a list of questions that are common to most articles; it's in this video's exercise file. We'll fill it out now for the fictional assignments I'll work on throughout the rest of this course. Here's the scenario. Roux Academy is a 150-year-old degree- granting art school in New York City.

One way it reaches prospective students is through the high schools, for example with posters in high school music and arts departments. Research by the Academy's public relations staff found that many high school students will choose an art school based on their teacher's recommendations, so now they're trying to get the academy's name in front of those teachers even more. The magazine Arts Teacher International accepted their proposal for an article on the benefits of a music education. The article can mention Roux Academy by name, but you can't sell the Academy in any really direct way.

The article will carry your byline, and it'll include quotes from Marion Swart, the Academy's Education Director. So that gives us plenty of information. Now, let's go down the list. First is the basic stuff. You already know where it'll be published, in the magazine Arts Teacher International. Your main contact is Ali, the women in the Academy's PR department who hired you. She's put you in touch with Marion your interview subject, but otherwise, you're on your own.

The deadline for your first thousand-word draft is in one week. The procedure after you turn in your draft is this. Ali will review it, and you'll have time to implement her revisions before the magazine's deadline, which is a week later. Ali will then submit it to the magazine itself. The goal is to encourage readers of Arts Teacher International to remember the name Roux Academy in a positive way when they talk with their students. The next step is to dive deeper into the publication, because a contributed article like this one really has two masters: there's your client, which in this case is Roux Academy, and the publication itself.

Your article should fit in with what they already publish, and you'll only find that out through an examination of past issues. So the next step is to take a good hard look at the magazine itself.

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