Friday, 6 March 2015

How to Write a Feature Newspaper Article

Feature articles are windows into the human experience, giving more detail and description than a hard news story, which typically relies on the "inverted pyramid" style of writing.  Features focus on an event or an individual, giving the reader a chance to more fully understand some interesting dimension of the world.  (

The purpose of a feature article is to inform, entertain and persuade the reader.  Feature articles are composed of five different components.  They are:


Compose a catchy, to the point headline which attracts the reader's attention.  Remember, if the headline is boring, chances are the reader won't want to read any further.  For more information about catchy headlines, read


Insert the writer's name here.


This is the preview of the story.  It helps the reader decide whether or not to read the article.  Try to insert a hook here to draw the reader in.  The lede sets the writer's tone and establishes a relationship between the writer and the reader.


This is where the writer includes relevant facts from his or her research.  Quotes from interviews and experts should be inserted here.  Anecdotes and stories are also valuable, helping to maintain the reader's interest.  Names, dates and places should be identified here.  Any supporting information should follow including photos, tables, diagrams and graphs.


The purpose of the conclusion is to leave a lasting impression.  Remind the reader of the main idea. Suggest a course of action.  Encourage a change of opinion.  Bring the article full circle by referring back to the introduction.  


Here are some suggested tips to follow when preparing, researching and writing your feature.

1.  use tight writing; features can be as short as 500 words, but some are as long as 1500 or 2000 

2.  show, don't tell

3.  use strong verbs and nouns; use adjectives sparingly

4.  use identifiable, reliable sources; if sources are weak, it's better not to use them

5.  write about a well defined topic

6.  avoid the passive voice; use the active voice whenever possible

7.  vary sentence length

8.  use an informal tone or the first person to make it more personal

9.  facts validate the writer's view

10.  exaggeration helps a humorous article

11.  use rhetorical questions to draw the reader in

12.  sprinkle the article with imagery to engage the reader's imagination

13.  include direct quotes to personalize the topic

14.  don't forget to proofread; consult The Elements of Style by Strunk & White at

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