Feature Article – How to Write
A feature article, or long-form journalism, can seem like an intimidating piece of writing at first glance, but it’s just an extended form of a common news story. With the right strategy and techniques, you can learn how to write a feature article that your readers will love.
Feature writing is an in-depth, often narrative-driven piece of journalism. Feature articles are usually characterized by light reporting and use the first person. A feature story can be thought of as similar to soft news since it doesn’t have much rigid structure. Feature articles tend to go deeper than other types of pieces that news organizations produce, allowing writers a greater degree of creativity and freedom. The most important thing about feature articles is that they are engaging and offer readers new information or take them on a journey through their topic. Keeping these things in mind while creating your features will help you create powerful content readers can’t ignore.
12 Steps For Writing A Complete Feature Article
1. Choose your angle.
After identifying a topic or event, you can select an angle: It could be celebrity news, investigative reporting, tips on healthy living, or even cultural commentary. This will assist you in restricting your stress and may lead you down some paths that may not have been available otherwise. If you’re reporting on a celebrity but don’t care what they had for dinner last night, there’s probably another writer out there who would love to write it!
2. Do your research.
When writing feature articles examples for students, one thing I’ve learned from writing is that preparation is crucial. If you want readers to trust your perspective and opinion, ensure your sources are trustworthy.
3. Create a solid outline of Feature Article.
Before you start writing, create an outline of your feature story example. You’ll find it easier to organize your thoughts if you do so before putting your fingers on the keyboard.
4. Write with emotion.
Remember why people read feature stories: They want to be entertained, informed, and moved by what they read, not bored. So use emotional language when describing people, places, things, etc., to evoke emotion in your reader.
5. Be brief while being clear and to the point.
While feature articles aren’t exactly known for their brevity (think long-form), shorter sentences work better than longer ones when trying to get ideas across quickly without losing meaning in translation or confusing readers.
6. Use quotes sparingly.
Quotes should only be used if they add value to your piece; however, writers often include them simply because they think it makes their feature story example sound more authoritative. Instead of adding quotes just for filler, consider incorporating them into your narrative instead.
7. Use vivid descriptions.
To keep readers engaged, paint a picture in their mind using words like glistening, murky, frothy, and shimmering.
8. Keep paragraphs short and sweet.
Paragraphs should be no longer than three lines long (no more than five sentences at most) because anything longer tends to bore readers and detracts from your message instead of adding value to it.
9. Don’t forget the inverted pyramid.
In journalism, the inverted pyramid is a common format for organizing information. The top line contains the most important information, and subsequent lines contain less important details until you reach the bottom, where all the least important details are found (for instance, this article has seven subheads under the main title).
Proofreading isn’t about looking for mistakes; it’s about making sure your feature article example flows well and reads smoothly.
11. Revise your Feature Article thoroughly before sending it to the editor.
Make sure every sentence adds something new to your feature story example rather than just repeating something said earlier in the piece.
12. Take a break before sending it to the editor.
Even though you’ve edited and revised, it’s easy to miss errors when you look over your feature story example for the umpteenth time.
Take a break for at least 24 hours before submitting your article. If possible, give it to someone else to read first, as they may see problems you missed or offer suggestions on improving the piece.
A feature story is an in-depth piece focusing on one person or a small part of a larger event. The author’s voice is allowed to shine through in a feature piece because of the focus on the author. These articles might be the highlight of a magazine.
Instead of focusing on the subject matter, the definition of a feature story emphasizes the author’s writing style. Although feature articles can be published on a wide range of subjects, they all contain certain traits.
- Lead: The lead is the first paragraph of the main story in a hard news report and often gives the reader the who, what, when, where, and why of the situation. In contrast, the first several paragraphs of a feature story may employ anecdotes or descriptions to introduce the topic at hand. The author employs several time-honoured storytelling techniques to put the reader in the tale, including setting the scene, describing the characters, using relevant quotes, and providing context.
- The pace of the story: Because a feature article’s writer aims to tell a story rather than report the facts, the tempo of the piece is often slower than that of a hard news piece.
- Length: A feature article could be lengthier than a hard news item since the writer puts more effort into conveying a compelling tale.
- Focus on the human element: An important aspect of a feature narrative is the emphasis on the human factor. In contrast to hard news stories, which focus on the event itself, people’s stories tend to centre on the individuals involved. Hard news articles may identify certain participants to provide context for the reader, but they often focus more on the event than on the persons involved. A newspaper, for instance, may report a fire at a local building so that the people are mindful of the situation. The renters might get a passing mention, but the blaze would be the main attraction. On the other hand, a news piece would be a narrative on one particular family in the building and how they managed to survive the fire.
Variety of Feature Articles
While the news feature story covers current events, it is more commonly referred to as a people story since it concentrates on the lives of individuals who have made headlines. Due to their emphasis on the individuals behind the news events, these articles are called behind-the-news tales.
- For example, a politician, celebrity, athlete, or CEO is the subject of a profile feature piece. It points to the person’s surroundings and how they arrived at their current situation.
- An in-depth account of a specific location and its inhabitants is known as a “live-in feature story.” It may also involve a business or corporation and its employees. Because of the extensive time commitment required to fully capture their experiences, this type of writing is sometimes called “live-in.” Because it often follows one person as they go about their typical day at home or work in the highlighted location, this type of narrative is sometimes referred to as a “day in the life” or “week in the life” account. Stories like these may span several days, weeks, or even months. These narratives are sometimes referred to as the “ultimate feature story” since the author spends days or weeks immersed in the subject’s life to fully understand them and recount their experience.
- The backstory of a sports figure is the subject of a feature piece. Who the athlete is and how they came to where they are now are more important than how well they are doing in the sport. These tales put a more human face on the concept of competition. If the athlete sets a record, the author may utilize data and quotes from the athlete to convey the story.
- Full-text feature stories are defined by David Randall, author of The Universal Journalist, as articles that include lengthy quotes from books, tales, or interviews. He adds that a “how-to feature story” is one in which the author conducts research to create an article that guides the reader in the form of solutions to problems or suggestions on how to handle certain scenarios. Randall uses the term “colour piece feature story” to describe an article that provides background information on a certain subject.
Examples of Feature Articles
Sky Sports featured a piece that looked back at the last 25 years of the Women’s National Basketball Association. This piece is an excellent illustration of a sports feature story since it provides insight into the team’s history.
Illustration of a narrative with a permanent resident: A Guardian piece summed up the best American feature articles of 2017. An example of a live-in feature story may be seen in the article “My month with chemtrails conspiracy believers.” The author wanted to learn more about the farm’s management’s belief that the government spreads chemtrails, so he applied to work there part-time.
For an example of a how-to feature story, consider “America’s midlife crisis: lessons from a survivalist summit,” a live-in feature story featured in the Guardian above piece. The author went to the Ohio Preppers and Survivalists Summit to get an inside look at the activities of survivalists.
Feature articles differ from news stories in one major way: They’re written like personal narratives or stories. This allows readers to connect with writers and empathize with them. To write feature articles that captivate your readers, find a single narrative arc in your idea that has five parts: conflict, rising action, climax/culmination, falling action, and denouement/resolution. Not only will telling one story in five parts improve readability you’ll be able to use it as an outline when you start writing!
What exactly does a feature Article consist of?
To begin, let’s define a “feature article.” Articles that go beyond the basic information and include a fascinating narrative are called feature articles. An in-depth examination of a topic, event, or location sets a feature piece apart from a straightforward news report.
Can you provide me with an illustration of a feature article?
A feature story may describe how a group of kids came together to assist their town recover from a natural disaster by holding a fundraiser. The news may report on the storm’s destruction, but a more interesting story would focus on the kids who pitched in to help.
To what end do most feature articles serve?
One type of writing that might come in handy is a feature piece. Compared to standard news articles, features delve into greater detail and cover more ground. These narratives provide readers with a comprehensive picture of a certain topic, location, person, concept, or institution.
When written, how long should a feature piece be?
Typically, they range from 300 to 500 typical words in length. Feature articles tend to be longer and more imaginatively organized. The maximum word count for a feature article is 2000 words at the beginning and finish.