After you’ve written your article – after you’ve edited and revised it – before sending it along to an editor – or posting it on the Web – run it through these checklists:
1. Does your lead promise the reader a specific benefit?
2. Does your lead offer a clear, specific focus?
3. Is your slant fresh and imaginative?
4. Does the body of your article flow smoothly from point to point?
5. Have you led your reader from point to point smoothly?
6. Have you supplied the right amount of information?
7. Have you supported every general statement?
8. Have you shown rather than told?
9. Have you provided a strong conclusion?
Very Important Questions
1. Have you written in active voice?
2. Have you built each sentence around a specific, active verb?
3. Have you provided each verb with a specific, tangible noun?
4. Have you used a minimum of modifiers?
5. Have you chosen the short, simple word over the long, obscure one?
6. Have you kept your sentences and paragraphs relatively short?
7. Have you cut out every unnecessary word, sentence and paragraph?