Once you can clearly answer the “5 W’s”, jot down a list of all the pertinent facts and information that needs to be included in the article. Organize your facts into three groups:
1) those that need to be included in the article. 2) those that are interesting but not vital. 3) those that are related but not important to the purpose of the article.
This fact list will help prevent you from leaving out any relevant information about the topic or story, and will also help you write a clean, succinct article. Be as specific as possible when writing down all of these facts. You can always trim down unnecessary information later, but it’s easier to cut down than it is to have to beef up an article. It’s okay at this point to have holes in your information – if you don’t have a pertinent fact, write down the question and highlight it so you won’t forget to find it out Now that you have your facts, if your editor has not already assigned the type of article, decide what kind of article you’re writing. Ask yourself whether this is an opinion article, an unbiased and straightforward relaying of information, or something in between.