August ECA Best Article Winner
September 8, 2014
Congratulations to Marcus W. for winning the August Editors’ Choice Award for Best Article! Here is the article and the analysis of why it received 5 stars.
- Keyword: taxi
- Country: United States
- Vertical: Travel & Tourism
It’s clear from the author’s tone and the amount of detail he provides that he’s an expert on this topic. He doesn’t make generalizations or speculations. He paints a clear picture of the three “taxi-less” people and provides specific strategies to avoid becoming one of these people, demonstrating his “in-depth knowledge” of the subject.
The author is aware that, although he is providing specific tips, the tone can be comical. The plight of the taxi-less folk is amusing. So the author keeps the tone light and fun by using phrases like “perpetual passengers-in-waiting” and “’27 Yankees of cab-catching.” The tone matches the theme of the piece without trying too hard to be funny.
Though the article does not contain lists to break up the text (because there really is no need for them here), the paragraphs vary in length and they are all fairly short. The reader does not feel like he’s wading through information.
The introduction is longer than some, but it grabs the reader’s attention, so he doesn’t mind reading a little more before getting to the controlling idea. And the introduction has a purpose. The author is not just providing information for information’s sake; he is drawing the reader in to the mindset of taxi-less people. He is, in effect, setting the scene for the rest of the article.
The combination of questions and short and long sentences help engage the reader. Sentences flow well from one to another. The first two paragraphs under “How to Fix the Taxi-Less Person in the Mirror” are a good example of this. Notice how the sentences in the second paragraph are especially smooth. Each one is connected to the idea in the one before it and adds new information.
This piece is organized a little differently than most, but it works tremendously well. The author starts by talking in third person. We generally discourage this because third person distances the reader from the text. However, here the reader wants to be distanced from what he is reading. He definitely does not want to identify with the taxi-less. But as he reads he wonders, “Am I one of these people?” So, after the explanation of taxi-less people is complete, the author addresses the reader directly, giving him specific advice on not being a taxi-less person. The author’s skillful and purposeful switch from third person to second person adds value to this piece.
This article certainly transcends the readers’ expectations. It’s one thing to give tips on how to hail a cab. It is quite another to succinctly and cleverly narrow down three types of people who cannot get a cab, explain why, and explain to the reader how to avoid being one of these people. The author took a very narrow angle on the keyword and provided very useful information for his target audience (anyone trying to hail a cab). The article is entertaining and actionable, so the reader not only finds the information he needs, but is compelled to share the article with others.