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How to Write a Feature Article
Transcript of How to Write a Feature Article
To entertain, inform and persuade
Feature articles have a more general focus than hard news articles, and do not go out of date after one day.
Feature Article or News?
Lady Gaga in Meat Dress
Cyclone Sandy: 'Frankenstorm'
Short paragraphs (1 or 2 sentences)
Emotive and descriptive language
Personality, flavour and style
Precise and colourful words
Present tense works best
Forgotten what active voice is? Here's a quick refresher:
Active Voice and Passive Voice: 'The Battle Rages On'
Write a feature article about a person who, while not famous, would be of interest to a teenage audience. Position the reader to feel a certain way about the person.
You cannot do a feature article on someone famous...sorry Psy :(
gives insight into a person's life and describes what makes that person 'unique'.
You can write a feature article about yourself or a friend
The article can be based on truth or imagination
The article must be formatted into 2 columns
You MUST stick to the feature article formula
Your article must be 400 - 500 words
Due Week 4
What!?! But I've got gangnam style.
A successful feature article has:
1. A Catchy Headline
Grabs the audience's attention and persuades them to read on
Highlights the main ideas of the article
Expands on the title
Tells us who wrote the article
3. Lead (a.k.a introduction)
This is the most important part of the feature article.
There are many different types of leads:
poses a question to the reader. They must read on if they want to find the answer e.g. 'How many of you would have the courage to enter an inferno? Would you change your mind if your child was inside?'
'"This could have been a disaster," said Fire Chief John Doe. "I don't advocate going into burning buildings, but if she hadn't gone into the inferno, we'd be lining up body bags right now."'
uses a short account of a humorous experience e.g. 'Sweat dripped off my face. My new shirt was torn. I was breathing hard. At age 10, I had just won my first fight.'
focuses on what it feels like to be at an event by highlighting sights, smells, etc that evoke clear images.
Expand the body with:
facts and statistics
opinions from authorities and experts
quotes and interviews
anecdotes and stories
Your body must include a tear away (a part of the article that is repeated in a larger font)
A transition is when one paragraph moves smoothly to the next one
Things good transitions do:
repeat a word, phrase or idea that has been used in the paragraph immediately before
use cohesive devices:
undoubtedly, similarly, in spite of this, conversely, alternatively, consequently, meanwhile
Don't forget the
6. Kicker (a.k.a conclusion)
In the kicker you will:
Summarise your ideas
Link back to the headline
You could finish on a quote that emotionally encapsulates the story, a rhetorical question, or something humorous. The kicker should be memorable!
Don't be so impatient - edit and proof-read your work. This can make a big difference to your mark
The Finished Product
Picture with caption
Ends with a quote and a clever question
So what are you waiting for?
The faster you hand in this last assignment...
The faster you can start doing a happy dance!
Carlton's Happy Dance
Quick bursts lead:
a series of short, direct statements
an opening with opposites or differences
an open-ended beginning
an opening with opposites or differences
etc etc etc
4. Tic Toc Paragraph
Can you give an example starting sentence for these lead paragraphs?
Which lead will you use?
It seems innocent. Kids chat, make plans, communicate. They share photos with friends. They have a lot of friends. They also have a lot of 'new' friends wanting to have a chat. These 'new' friends ask a lot of personal questions
Sally is 14 years old. She lives in suburban Brisbane and goes to a wealthy private girls' school. Sally's father is a doctor and her mother is a lawyer with one of Queensland's major firms. Last year Sally met a man in a local park and was brutally raped. She met the man on the internet.
It's late. The parents have gone to bed. In the front room the computer screen glows and a 13 year old girl is on MSN. She is talking to a stranger.
Yesterday childhood was an innocent adventure. Kids were brought up in the caring and protected environments of their homes and communities. Today however, under the noses of parents, children invite predators, deviants and the sick of mind straight into their bedrooms.
This takes the audience back in time (or perspective), showing them the bigger issue you intend to discuss
You need to provide the background to the story
Use time references e.g. ''It wasn't so long ago that...", "Before the age of the computer...", "When he was a young soldier...","Before this issue became a problem", "Several years ago" etc