How to Write a PERFECT Feature Article – Every Time
What is a Feature Article?
Feature articles are a form of written media that are most often showcased in magazines and newspapers. They are generally less formal and require less statistics than say, an analytical essay. Instead, they are typically more casual and emotive. The purpose of a feature article is to provide information around human interest. This could be on events, people, places, or issues.
Topic and Target Audience
Having a clear and concise topic of discussion in mind before creating your feature article is important. This gives you the ability to develop and brainstorm the information you wish to display in your writing. Covering too many topics at a time, however, will cause it to become convoluted and confusing. The underlying message may become meaningless or difficult to understand if there are too many subjects being covered.
When writing your feature article, you should try to have a clear target audience in mind. Having a set target audience allows the author to cater to their writing style and emotive language in accordance with the kind of people they are writing for.
How do I write a Feature Article?
Feature articles tend to be versatile and can be written in, first, second and third person or a mix of the three when applicable.
- First person is from the perspective of the writer and as such, the author can insert their personal thoughts and opinions this way and can use personal pronouns. (E.g. I, me, we, us)
- Second person is written from the perspective of the audience in which the author describes a scenario using the words ‘you’ and ‘you’re.’ (E.g. ‘You’re walking through the woods…’)
- Third person refers to the point of view of an outsider looking in and describes a situation or person as such. (E.g. They, them, she, he)
LANGUAGE AND WRITING STYLE
- Depending on the target audience and topic of the article, the use of informal, colloquial language or ‘slang’ can be used to add a more personal and conversational tone to the writing.
- Contractions are allowed in feature articles. (e.g. can’t, didn’t, it’s)
- Facts and direct quotes are useful in validating the author’s message.
- Rhetorical questions help to draw in and involve the reader.
- Hyperbolic and emotive language adds personality and flair into the article.
- Effective literacy devices such as imagery, personification, alliteration, metaphors, etc, can help to immerse the reader into the writing
FORMATTING AND WRITING STRUCTURE
When creating a feature article, be sure to include:
|Masthead||The logo or identifying emblem located at the top of the page of the company you are writing the article for.|
|Headline||The title of the article itself. It should be punctual and compelling as to grab the reader’s attention.|
|Subheading||The subheading is under the headline and is smaller in size as compared to the headline. It is typically a short word, phrase or sentence that gives a brief introduction or ‘sneak peek’ into your article.|
|By-line||The by-line identifies the author of the article.|
|Hook||The hook is the first sentence of your introduction and should entice the reader to want to learn more about the topic being discussed.|
|Images||Photos are effective in quickly conveying a message to your target audience. They must be relevant to your article and should have short captions under them to provide context behind their use. Though they are useful, you should not overshadow your article with images.|
Below is an example of a feature article layout that has also been appropriately labelled
WHAT TO WRITE
Feature articles tend to vary in length and are generally laid out into columns. Due to this kind of layout style, typically the writing is broken up into multiple mini paragraphs to create a sense of depth. With this in mind, one could write their article in a standard writing format with an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion and then proceed to break it up into columns once completed.
- Use a strong hook to draw the reader in.
- The general message and subject of your article should be established here.
- The introduction should also set the tone of the article.
- The introduction shouldn’t be too long or too detailed.
Paragraph 2, 3, 4 and onwards
- Lead off your introduction and begin explaining your main points one at a time in detail.
- Establish what you are trying to convey with each point and provide an explanation as to why it is important or relevant.
- Include quotes, anecdotes, and general information surrounding your points to create meaning for the audience.
- Include images that can aid in any messages being conveyed or as a means to provide context to an explanation.
- Provide evidence to the reader as to why they should be invested in what you are saying and give them something to ponder.
- Link each point back to the main message or theme you are enforcing.
- The conclusion should leave a lasting impression on the reader and should sufficiently summarise and wrap up the rest of the article.
- Remember not to introduce new information in the article here.
- The conclusion should encourage the reader to be inspired, make a change, or take action.