A how-to guide to writing articles
October 04, 2010
Before I go through with this, I want everyone to know that this is my actual final article. With all of the years on this site that I've made posts, talked with the community in the forums, and made salutations with new members on the site, I have been moving on to bigger and better things to move my life forward. Today, I give out my own guide to new members of RetroJunk on how to write articles in the form of how they are meant to be done on this site.

1. Getting started

As obvious as it sounds, brainstorming an idea for your article is your first objective. A good way to start is by observing what articles are on the homepage. You'll often see different subjects, such as retrospectives, top ten lists, memorabilia, and childhood experiences.

2. Drafting

It's recommended by pro article writers to make drafts on their article before typing it all up in the Writer's Corner. My software of choice is Microsoft Word.

3. Building your article

Start off your article with something clean and fresh. Usually some members will start with a greeting saying something such as "hey [member name here] with another movie retrospective!"

4. Paragraphs are your friend

One of the most important aspects of writing an article is making sure it's not just a big block of text throughout. Paragraphs make your article easier to read, and take appeal to the readers. It's recommended that three to four sentences are in each paragraph, leading to...

5. Don't forget pictures!

Putting images throughout your article also adds a level of appeal to the viewer, but remember, the images that you add must be on the subject with your article. Few use them for throwing in a joke, which is fine, but you should refrain from doing that often.

6. Keep your pictures a good distance from one another

Going back to paragraphs, the pictures you slap on your article shouldn't be cluttered next to each other. Pictures are best put every one to two paragraphs so they don't end up making your article look like a big muddy mess.

7. Spell Check

This is what the draft part is all about. You want to check every nook and cranny of your words to check your spelling. If you have a misspelled word, it will most definitely be underlined in red. Highlight the word, then right click and the word you have typed should be correctly spelled from the list shown on the right-click menu, so click on it and it should fix itself.

8. Keep your grammar in good fashion!

As all sentences start, the first word is capitalized, and names of people are capitalized as they should be as well as names of merchandise and company names.

9. Be precise and make good points in your article

The meat of your article relies on how good your vocabulary is and how you describe what it is you're talking about. Just be yourself and don't be afraid to dig deep into a certain thing that you want to talk about.

10. Keep your article in good length

This is another good observation at looking at the articles on the homepage. Your articles should be a good few pages long to keep your readers entertained at a casual pace.

11. Use your vocabulary wisely

As some have gotten away with, internet memes and online slang is definitely something that you'll want to stay away from when making your article. It's unoriginal and leaves the reader unappreciated.

12. Remember that anything retro counts!

And 'anything retro' meaning something from the 70's to the 90's decades. The point of this site is to talk about retro-themed stuff that you remember.

13. Save your article when necessary

It's always best to take a five minute break from writing your article as you'll have to put much effort into it. Not only that, but it's also an option if you run into the problem of getting signed out of your account after visiting a few pages.

14. Putting the finishing touches on your article

Even with the drafting part done, it's best to proofread your article and click on the "preview article" button to see how it will look once it's submitted. Remember, once you choose to submit your article, it can't be undone.

15. The aftermath

Once you submit your article, it will take a week or two to appear on the homepage. Give it time, and in the meantime read some of the homepage articles.

16. Critiquing

Once your article is released and ready for the public to see, it's a matter of time before other members will give out their thoughts on what you've written and how your article has come out. You'll want to watch out for...

17. Grouchy critiquing

Not all people will be cheering for you from the sidelines if your article doesn't seem to stand out as you expected. Members such as RetroJerk are an example. The message they send won't be a critique at all, but rather like getting sand kicked in your face. Ignore their posts like the plague.

18. Don't give up hope!

As the saying goes, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. If your article happens to get so many thumbs downs as to appear on the back page, don't worry if it happens one or two times. You have plenty of time to work on any mistakes that other members have caught in your article that needs fixing so you know how to write your next articles.

In closing, I hope that I taught you new members a good lesson in taking care of your articles and I hope you had more fun reading this than I did writing it! Goodnight everybody!
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