Sunday, 6 May 2012

9 Easy Steps to Writing an Article on a Common Title or Theme

Can't get any writing inspiration? Try this trick - choose a title from any article on the internet or find a catchy headline in today's newspaper or a magazine, and have a go of writing your own article on the same title. Avoid reading the article first but instead, try the following steps to create original, captivating material!

  1. Choose a title, for example in a recent post I chose 'Fragile Life - Diseases in the world today', which is a very general topic area.
  2. Gather your thoughts and ideas to work out what you already know about the topic - use a range of brain-storming techniques such as the ones found on Persistence Unlimited 
  3. Research - use Google to find some relevant and up-to-date information on your topic. Be sure to write down your source and include as a reference in your article.
  4. Divide into sub-headings. From the information you have gathered, choose 4 - 6 sub-headings. For my article on deady diseases I was able to divide a very general subject into a number of distinct areas which then guided the direction of the piece.
  5. Write your paragraphs. Keep them short, around five-six lines is a good average measure.
  6. Add an introduction to capture the attention of your audience, and finish off with a couple of lines which leave the reader thinking. Asking a question can be a good way to invite some reader comments.
  7. Illustrate - choose one or two photos or illustrations which you think will highlight the information in your article. You can use your own gallery of photos, take new ones or use a photo-site from the Internet such as istockphoto where you can purchase photos for around $1.00.
  8. Proof-read and edit your article! Grab a friend to read through, use spell-check and make sure your article is formatted in a simple, readable style.
  9. Share your article - on your own blog, on someone elses blog (try  for example), or offer to a publisher! There's a world out there of readers looking for new material, so get it out there!
If you have used these steps and written an article, I'd love to hear about it, so please leave your comment on the blog. Happy Writing!

Sue Oaks, Copyright 2012

Fragile Life - Disease in the world today

Human life is precious and most people would agree that we should value each and every human life. Sadly, human life can also be fragile and our world is full of diseases which threaten our health and sometimes our very existence. So what are our most deadly diseases, and can we do anything to treat and prevent them?

Definition of a Deadly Disease

The Oxford Dictionary defines disease as ‘a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury and deadly as ‘causing or able to cause death’. What this means, in simple terms, is that a deadly disease is the worst type of disease you can get – one you aren’t likely to survive.

Developed vs. Developing or Less-developed Countries

Identifying the most deadly diseases in the world is difficult, because despite the growth of globalism and the wonders of modern technology, the world is not an equal place. The prevalence of disease differs depending on where you live. If you live in a developed country such as Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Germany, Japan, the UK and the United States, the diseases which are likely to be most deadly to you are going to differ from the diseases you may face in a developing, or less developed, country.

Deadliest Diseases in Developed Countries

Among the main causes of death in developed countries that fit the definition of disease, there are some which have proven to be the most deadly. These include Ischemic heart disease; Cerebrovascular disease (disease of the brain); Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (disease of the lungs); Lower respiratory infections (e.g. bronchitis, pneumonia, lung abscess); Lung Cancer; Stomach Cancer; Hypertensive heart disease (heart problems caused by high blood pressure) and Tuberculosis (a contagious bacterial infection involving the lungs but which may spread other organs).

The Most Deadly Disease in Developing or Less-developed Countries – HIV-AIDS

Not surprisingly the most deadly disease of the less-developed countries is listed as HIV-AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), which is by far most common in African countries. In these countries, there are around 24.5 million people affected, which makes up more than 60% of people infected with the deadly disease world-wide. Of these countries, South Africa is the worst affected, followed by Nigeria and then India coming in as the third most highly impacted.

Other Deadly Diseases in Developing Countries

Apart from AIDS, diseases most prominent in less developed (or developing countries) begin with similarities to the developed countries and include lower respiratory infections and Ischemic heart disease as the next two most deadly. Following these comes Diarrhea, then Cerebrovasular disease (once again similar to the developed countries list), then Malaria; Tuberculosis; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Measles.

Preventing Deadly Diseases

Thinking about the grim realities of diseases can be disheartening but it can also be a wake-up call to reality. That’s when people start to think about how to address these problems and think of ways to prevent the occurrence of the diseases to start with. This involves thinking about disease in both a small, localised way and a larger, globalised way. AIDS-HIV, for example, has raised many challenges for professionals around the globe as they strive to find ways of preventing the spread of the disease and face difficulties in educating people in culturally sensitive ways. Heart Disease, on the other hand, is the most common cause of death in most Western countries and can be more simply prevented with a healthy diet and readily available medication for diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Disease in the future

The human organism seems fragile when we look at the prevalence of disease. Consideration of how to stay healthy raises a number of ethical questions. Who should be prioritised when it comes to health care? Is it fair that developed countries have millions of dollars poured into their health system to treat diseases which are quite easily preventable? Whatever questions may be aroused and whatever ethical dilemmas the problem raises, the reality is evident – that disease is part of human existence and if we want to live healthy, productive lives, there will always be room to improve the way we deal with it.

Copyright Sue Oaks 2012