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How to Write a Feature Article

Year 10
by

Gunilla Hanson

on 7 October 2016

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Transcript of How to Write a Feature Article

Purpose of 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Feature articles have a more general focus than hard news articles, and do not go out of date after one day.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
Australian Graffiti
Cyclone Sandy: 'Frankenstorm'
Features:
Active voice
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'
YOUR TASK:
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 :(
A
personality profile
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
2. Byline
Expands on the title
Tells us who wrote the article
Continued...
3. Lead (a.k.a introduction)
This is the most important part of the feature article.
There are many different types of leads:
Question lead:

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?'
Quotation lead:

'"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."'
Anecdote lead:
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.'
Continued...
5. Body
Descriptive lead:
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
personal viewpoints
sub-headings (optional)
opinions from authorities and experts
quotes and interviews
anecdotes and stories
specific names/places/dates
photos/diagrams etc
Your body must include a tear away (a part of the article that is repeated in a larger font)
Transitions:
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
PEEL
paragraph structure:
P
oint,
E
xplain,
E
vidence,
L
ink.
Almost there...
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
Headline
Byline
Lead
(uses quotations)
Tear away
Picture with caption
Kicker:
Ends with a quote and a clever question
Two columns
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
Feature Articles
Anything missing?
Continued...
More leads
Quick bursts lead:
a series of short, direct statements
Surprise lead:
an opening with opposites or differences
Suspense lead:
an open-ended beginning
Contrast lead:
an opening with opposites or differences
etc etc etc
4. Tic Toc Paragraph
Continued...
Can you give an example starting sentence for these lead paragraphs?
Which lead will you use?
Examples
Quick burst:
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
Surprise lead:
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.
Suspense lead:
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.
Contrast lead:
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
Full transcript