In the era of the information society and digitalisation, any scientist is expected to publish own works not only in print media, but also in online resources. The publication in print media such as academic journals increase your influence and authority in scientific and academic circles, but online publications have a wider coverage, and therefore, open up additional opportunities.
The published works demonstrate your competence as a specialist. Among other things, the articles also increase the visibility and influence of the individual. If a major media outlet is ready to publish you, you are worth it. When you publish in print or online, you remind the audience of who you are and your research interests. Online resources such as CABAR.asia help expand your target audience, which will begin recognising you and then, following you. It helps to build your personal brand: the more times people see you, the more likely they will remember you. Any positive mention provides tremendous benefits and builds trust.
One of the goals of publishing articles in the media is to systematically and convincingly demonstrate that you are truly an expert in your sphere. The most suitable online media is the resource preferred by your target audience.
There are several goals of an analytical article: to reveal certain arguments to the reader, to change the public opinion on any political issue, to show possible development options and ways of solving a particular problem.
Several Recommendations to Perfect Your Analytical Article
For an analytical article writing (in addition to the structural points and the content), we can provide some additional recommendations on how to improve it.
- Understand and consider the audience of your future article.
Even if the article is aimed at a specific audience, you must keep in mind that not all readers may have the same knowledge level. Most likely, everyone would benefit from the material written understandably, where everything is clear and concise. Therefore, it is important that authors consider their audience during the writing and checking the material.
The authors should ask themselves several questions:
- Who will read this article and why?
- What kind of information does the reader need?
- What information is already commonly known or available to the wide audience?
The authors should always think what the reader wants to know, what the reader needs to learn, what arguments should be justified and what the reader should be convinced of.
- The methodology is always important. Try to apply several methods and tools for analysis.
A set of research methods and factual data are your tools. Methods of analysis usually need to be relevant to the material format; the use of multiple analysis methods should be a prerequisite for a good analytical article.
Often, the authors conduct their analysis with a single set of data (for example, data on the GDP dynamics, or the dynamics of the number of crimes, or an expert survey) and allow it to determine the course of their analysis and the outcome of the study.
In the poorly researched materials, there is a tendency of structuring the analysis based on the question, “What can I say about topic X from the Y dataset?”, while it is necessary to question, “Which tools (YYYY) are best to describe an X topic?”. As a result, without considering the context, we can get a one-dimensional result with weak forecasts in the article. We should remember that when we use a range of analysis methods and data in the article, they should make sense and be interpreted correctly.
- Do not forget about balance in analytical articles.
Of course, you have your own opinion, and you want to prove it. Any article usually contains a clear opinion of the author. However, it is necessary to demonstrate your commitment to the balance, for which the authors usually prove their thesis with strong arguments. At the same time, even when proving your own opinion, you cannot simply neglect the opposite arguments. When you work on your topic, it is important to prove that all sides of the problem were studied, and the author understands the opposite arguments.
If, for example, you are writing an article about the benefits of concluding certain agreements and want to prove their importance for the society, you should also pay attention to their possible consequences and costs. Do not neglect studies predicting warning results; just try to explain why your arguments are stronger than those of the opponents.
Regarding the content, try to control the use of the value-judging adjectives (fantastic, brilliant, absurd, beautiful, good, etc.) to stay objective and neutral.
It is also recommended to avoid clichés: “hot topic”, “the other side of the coin”; avoid exaggeration, for example, be careful with the following words: extremely, very, always, never, many, more, the least.
If you write, for example, about international relations, you need to read the literature and the interpretations of certain events from the position of at least two countries. This will make your analysis much deeper.
The more information sources you use, the wider and deeper arguments you can present. Therefore, it is recommended to use foreign literature and to diversify sources, to track the publications of your colleagues on this topic, to read about your problem from the perspective of related sciences.
For example, if you selected a political science topic, it would be useful to see how the same problem is analysed in sociology, economics, or even anthropology. The authors can and should compare their results with those of other countries, other studies.
The balance also includes the issue of using charts, graphs and tables. The text should not be overloaded, for example with diagrams, including those without explanations.
When we speak about the balance, it is also necessary to consider the sensitive topics, as well as gender aspects of certain issues.
- The practical focus of the article matters.
Pay special attention to your conclusions and recommendations, which should be practical and possible to implement in the existing conditions and at the present time. To generate effective recommendations, in addition to the research activity itself, it would be useful to attend all kinds of events on the topic of your research interests: online and offline conferences, round tables, discussions, etc. Your activity in such events will also help shaping and expanding the network.
When writing recommendations, try to make them more targeted; when writing forecasts, indicate their periods, for example, divide them into short-term, medium-term and long-term forecasts.
In addition, a good analytical article may raise a number of further questions that may set the tone for future research. You can indicate future opportunities for research, or reveal perspectives while continuing to explore new aspects of a particular problem.
- Use the time efficiently before submitting an article to an online media; outside review is necessary.
In this regard, you can, if possible, send the article to a colleague or a specialist in your sphere for comments and a third-party review. Treat criticism as the best way to improve your article and the way for your further professional growth. During the time while your colleague/friend/specialist studies your article, put the article away, which may lead you to additional ideas or arguments.
- Be sure to carry out the final proofreading and answer the verification questions.
Before submitting an article, the editor needs to not only check the text for grammar and spelling mistakes, narrative style, recheck the factual and statistic data, but also to answer several questions:
- Is the topic of the article relevant?
- Is there an argument?
- Is the author’s opinion clear?
- Is the article written logically? Is there a logical sequence?
- Are there any argumentation errors?
- Is the tone of the article consistent?
- Is the sentence structure correct?
- Does the article conclusion end with a strong closing phrase?
- Are all sources of information cited?
- Is the punctuation correct?
Final advice on the criteria for evaluating analytical material.
- There must be an assessment of the situation (not a description of the problem);
- Brevity – the ability to outline the main point and present information;
- Simple, clear narration is appreciated – absence of bureaucratic clichés, passive voice, overcomplications (he who thinks clearly, speaks clearly);
- the depth, diversification, factual support of each idea;
- applicable nature: it is necessary to provide recommendations for solving a particular problem;
- M.S.Ashimbayev, Analytical Methods in the Public Administration, 2002
- Bill Franks. The Analytics Revolution: How to Improve Your Business by Making Analytics Operational in The Big Data Era, 2017
- Guidelines on writing analytical articles // http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/stats/documents/media/style_manuals/4.e.pdf