how to write news feature article

How To Write a Feature Article: A Step-by-Step Guide

Have you dreamt of becoming a famous feature article writer do you acquire your muse from writers like maya angelou, ketaki desai , rishab raj, shivani vig, and other popular feature writers have you ever felt writing as a tool for reflection then, this article will teach you the fundamentals of what makes a good feature article and how to write one.  it is better to learn more about feature articles before learning the strategies on how to write a feature article. so, here we go.

How To Write a Feature Article A Step-by-step Guide

What is a Feature Article?

A feature article, according to Dictionary.com, is a daily or fortnightly article or report about a person, event, frontage of a major event, or the like. This writing adds a personal touch, and quite often, it is written in a discrete style. It can be a news story, the main or most prominent story in a magazine.   A feature article is no doubt an article inscribed to give a piece of in-depth knowledge to events, people issues, or news. A proficient person or a journalist can write a feature article. Their writings will provide background information on a significant or a noteworthy topic, and the article will include the writer’s angle or his/her experience. 

Difference between News Article and Feature Article

It is not a news item or advertisement. It is a common fact that people get confused with news articles and feature articles. We get confused with news and features and always think of the dos and don’ts of writing a feature article. All are aware of feature articles in Sunday newspapers, but where does the difference lie?

News  is always instant information, and this needs to reach the mass as breaking news without wasting time. A news article should be concise and clear and finally, the writer should stick to the point directly. A news story offers information about an event, idea, or situation. 

The article should cover all the “W” (who, what, when, why, where) and “H” questions, which any reader would like to know. News items generally do not add much spice or any additional information to entice the reader. Readers are spared with extra material or statistics, and as far as possible a writer will use adjectives sparingly. In a nutshell, the introduction will summarise the story for the benefit of the reader.

The source and slant of the writer can include slight variations but should not cover more than one approach. The news writer or a journalist can use an inverted pyramid structure. The writer prefers to present the most important information as an introduction or they can be considered as a conclusion as well. This will help a writer exemplify how the news can be prioritized and structured.

how to write news feature article

A feature writer adds depth, wisdom, and color to the story and may entertain or instruct. In short, writing a feature article can be like adding jaggery to gulp bitter gourd. It can be like a stimulant or a catalyst. A feature article is a longer article compared to the news. It is all about lettering a human-interest story to match the target audience. A feature article is written after an event. So, naturally, they try to provide more and more information about the event, or else they give a different perception or a changed viewpoint. 

The main aim of a feature writer will be to analyze, broaden the understanding, and give different approaches to a reader. Remember to note that a feature article is a non-fiction piece of writing. 

Where do we find feature articles? 

A feature article is published in newspapers, magazines, and online blogs , and they add an emotional touch. They are more personal. As a writer, when you write a feature article, it is good to make it more narrative and more appealing for the readers.

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Different Types of Feature Articles:

Before starting to write a feature article, different articles and their characteristics will give you the insight to decide, which type to choose before you pen your thoughts to words. Every article should be the voice of a writer and the other characters or places or incidents. Now start thinking of writing a feature article and understand the different types before you shake your thoughts into words.

Types of feature stories : Each article has a divergent focus, and the motive also changes.

⮚      Human interest stories:  In this kind of feature article, the emphasis is given to a person or a set of people. Such an article emphasizes a dramatic incident. Normally, the focal point will be emotion first and later on the information.

⮚      Colour Stories : Describe a location using life and blood, so that the reader can visualize the same in this kind of feature article. A news story can be written in this form to transport the feel.

⮚      News Feature: This is the m ost popular kind of feature article in the newspapers. It conveys news, motives and implications, and consequences.

⮚      Informative Feature:  For this article, the writer conducts an interview, research, data compilation for data, and of course, relies on personal observation. The writer tries to add human stories and give information and education. It offers interesting information and guides the reader.

⮚      Historical Feature:  This type of feature article is for those, who are good at dates, chronology, turning points in history. The main motive of this feature article is to rekindle memory to invoke interest. 

⮚      Lifestyle Feature:   The most widespread feature articles people look for. How to live healthily? How to grow vegetables?

⮚      Scientific Feature : As the name suggests, this feature article voices on science policy and topics related to current topics.

⮚      Interpretative Features:  Political, social, and economic problems could be touched upon, while writing this feature article. Interpretative feature articles provide details, direct, and shed light on the context of specific issues.

⮚      Review:  Review of books, film, and music, etc. This article should highlight why a particular genre is good or extremely good and the specific reason for this extraordinary or ordinary nature.

⮚      Behind the scenes:  This article gives a reader a revelation about the backdrop scenes, or the reader can pry into the behind scenes.

Now you are familiar with different types of feature articles and the next step is to progress a set of skills required to write, organize and edit a feature article before writing a feature article and get set to write a feature article.

Why do you write a feature article ? It is either to instruct, persuade or entertain the readers. Do not miss the fact that feature articles are longer pieces of writing that range from opinions, issues, experiences, and ideas. 

How to Choose and Tempt the Audience When You Write a Feature Article?

It is a common fact that there are thousands of newspapers, magazines, and print media in the market flooding articles with online material. It can be considered as an uphill task to pitch the right audience and to get noticed in this market.  

How to break this discord and attract the audience is to offer the target audience a noteworthy article that is of interest which speaks a lot. Once the target audience is decided, think of their age, status, attitude, culture, and lifestyle. As a writer, you have to know their thought process, language, and vocabulary. 

As a next step, you have to analyze the topics of interest for that selected audience. Technology, travel, health, home travel are striking topics for features since they can be used in specific sections of newspapers or weekend magazines. Feature stories are frequently published in trade publications, usually as special supplements.

Steps to writing a feature article to keep the reader on tenterhooks

● The first point is to  choose the right topic  and the word limit of the feature article. Is the topic relevant and of interest or can this topic hold the breath of the audience until the last word? Do not exceed the word limit (minimum 1500 and maximum 4000 words). 

Briefly, discover a topic of existing importance. Further to that, think of a topic that sells and start forming great ideas that are exclusive.  The brainstorming  technique will help you bring out the best, and this technique will ensure you have a free flow of ideas. Understand the purpose of writing that can take you to the next step of writing.

●        Research the topic  and it all depends on your research. Find out what strikes and how well you can produce it. Read, read, research all aspects and perspectives of the topic, and give an edifying stance. 

Mind mapping techniques will allow you to channelize your ideas and thoughts. How do you do that? After your research and free flow of your ideas or overflow of ideas, create a central theme that will allow you to write. Of course, you can branch your central idea with different color codes and keywords, and colorful images to start with a bang and get inspired. 

More and more branches will make you more confident and with an organized flow of thoughts. Establish your principle and remember that is the meat of your article.

●        Narrow down your plan : Think of the target audience and what type of attitude do they like and what is your attitude towards that topic? Start thinking of all the  Ws and H  (who, why, what, when) and find out the answers for these common elements. Your battle is half won if the major reason for writing this article or the drive to write this feature article can answer all these questions.

●        Structure your astute ideas : Sequence them logically and according to the level of significance.

Now you are ready to start painless writing. Your writing process is also complete, and now time to start writing a feature article of your choice, your passion, and your ideas at your fingertips. Before you put words into life, it is better to know the language used to write a feature article.

Linguistic or language usage in feature articles:

● Use semi-formal language (not formal and not informal) with a human touch 

● Sprinkle sentiments, emotions, and feelings

● Use second person singular when you address the audience

● Adjectives and adverbs can be used sparingly but use action verbs

● Do not forget to use statistics, facts

● Quotes give a better edge or slight superiority to your writing

● Write in active voice

● Use literary techniques to create a special effect for a deeper meaning. This divulges the authors’ motivation.

● Rhetorical questions can invoke interest and allow the reader to think and increase certain insight.

● Anecdotes, imagery, and certain jargon are other language techniques that you can try.

Now you are ready to start writing with  more tips  to chisel and delve deep into writing.

How will you structure and organize a feature article?

  • Headline:  A good introduction is the root of your writing. The publicity of your article lies in those first lines. Grab the attention of your reader with a catchy introduction or try to hook the reader’s interest. In the introductory lines, the main point is emphasized or highlighted.
  • Subheading : Expresses a perspective or point of view of the author and it is also called a  deck . This is the second attempt of the author to tempt the reader. The gist of the article inscribed will allow a reader to be hooked on your article. 
  • By-line : You can express your identity using a by-line and introduce the persons who helped you for an interview or a survey.
  • Hook -: An intriguing initial sentence that will hook readers’ attention and keep them reading. It could be done by using an example, a metaphor, a rhetorical question exactly like how Barak Obama grabs the attention with his rhetorical questions. This paragraph develops on the hook and sets the tone of your article.
  • Introductory paragraph 

This paragraph develops the hook and sets the tone for the rest of the article and defines the tone and focus of the article. The opening paragraph opens with a scheming, plot, or intrigue. You can win the heart of the reader and make them hold their attention with this paragraph. Do not forget to set the section and bring life into those words.

●        Paragraph two of the body: the first main topic . A description of how this person or problem has benefited society. In the author’s own words, this should be an interpretation of events or how to stick to the genre you have selected. Show and try not to speak.

●        From paragraph three onwards , more major points are offered to clarify to inform about vital events or accomplishments about the person/issue. The reader is more clear with more details using facts, evidence, and quotations. 

These pose difficult questions to the reader and include their responses. Paragraphs, photographs, tables, diagrams, and graphs are frequently used to present information in feature articles to present facts or proof to back up the content or support the author’s interpretation and explanation of the text person/issue/events.

●        Summary:   Now you are ready to summarise the article. The final paragraph should create a lasting impression by reminding the reader, the article’s core point and suggesting a suitable course of action, and promoting a shift in standpoint or attitude. 

This should prompt the reader to take a feat or encourage taking a deed. The reader should be able to confirm that the article is ready for a conclusion. Now, you have gulped the capsule to set and write a feature article.

●        Reread and Edit:  This is the most important step of the writing process before you write a feature article.                                                  

Revision and editing are important processes of writing. Editing suggests the chance to see a clear picture, evidence, specifics, fix the language glitches, and polish the article. 

Editing will help you to find out grammatical errors, typos, repetitions, and even dull writing the bugs in writing. This is sure to guide and bucket the thoughts to give a long-lasting impression of the feature article. Final editing and polishing will help you to find out whether you have put in your ideas succinctly and impactfully and whether you were able to connect the dots.

Learn about editing and proofreading here.

4 Personalities of Writing to Reduce Writer’s Block .

Madman, architect, carpenter, and madman. .

A madman creates ideas exactly like a madman. The architect gives the writing structure by moving paragraphs around and looking at the plot. The sentences, phrases, and word choices are being crafted by the carpenter. The judge removes elements of the document that aren’t required. This article will remove the block and help you to write a feature article.

Here are additional tips to become an ace before you write a feature article: 

▪ Be relaxed and conversational

▪ Keep it simple

▪ Short sentences and vary sentence length

▪ Paint a picture

▪ Spice up your writing

▪ Voice your opinion

▪ Smooth your writing by using transitions

▪ Don’t judge the first draft

▪ Always rely on peer editing

▪ Don’t write in the same tone

▪ Don’t put all the interesting facts at one go

▪ Harness the power of comma and punctuation

▪ Don’t dump information

Now you have the style, grace, and power of expressing your thoughts clearly and enlivening your writing with vivid images. It is an inborn talent that requires a knack and relevant guidelines to convert your thoughts into words that become a reader’s delight. This article is to reinstate the writing process and try to refresh your memory and change your writing blocks and procrastination habits to write a feature article.

Now you are ready to start your dream job or have a go. Good luck and best wishes!

Scope of Feature Article Writing:

Newspapers, magazines, and social media are employing freelancers and regular columnists. Print and online media depend on freelancers for making their publications interesting and noteworthy. 

The work from home concept is gaining momentum. Hence, it is beneficial for a featured columnist to be in their comfort zone and earn at leisure. Any individual with a flair for writing and a good grasp of language and creativity can make a decent living. 

A feature article writer can choose any genre of your choice and if you are consistent and stick to the timeline with utter sincerity, then nothing can pull you behind. Freelancers are in demand and make use of your painless writing techniques.                                                                                             

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is a feature article different from a blog?

Yes, it is different. While feature articles are published digitally and in print, blogs are published only online. 

2. Is feature writing well as a career?

Yes. With the present changes in the world, it has got ample scope. If your writing style is exclusive, then you have more possibility to be popular. 

3. What are the basic steps for new writers?

✔ Include all the fundamentals of writing (who, what, where why, when, and how)

✔ Plan and organize your writing

✔ Include your viewpoint

It is a fact that writing entails basic principles. It is good to master the rules. This will help you make your foundation before you venture into different kinds of writing. As stated before, writing a feature article is more than facts and includes interesting facts, and recall the points stated in this article before you write a feature article. 

It is of paramount importance to add a dimension of human touch and make it more pleasing. This article has guided you through the steps to write a feature article and touch the chords of the readers. 

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how to write news feature article

  • January 21, 2024

How to Write a Feature Article: Crafting Captivating Stories

Julia mccoy.

Creator and Co-founder

Ever tried your hand at how to write a feature article ? It’s not just about the facts; it’s an art. You’re crafting a window into another world, painting pictures with words that draw readers in and make them care. If you’ve been spinning your wheels, don’t sweat it.

This piece will guide you on how to write a feature article that weaves human experiences into life stories that resonate. From choosing the right angle to hitting hard with an impactful narrative structure, we’ll show how lifestyle features, travel narratives, or profile pieces can turn into compelling reads.

You’ll learn tips for punchy openings and satisfying endings that leave readers thinking long after they’ve finished reading.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

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Table Of Contents:

What are feature articles, 1. human interest stories, 2. news features, 3. lifestyle features, 4. seasonal features, 5. interview pieces, 6. color stories, 7. profile features, 8. behind the scenes, 9. travel features, 10. instructional features, step 1: evaluate your story ideas, step 2: do your research, step 3: choose a feature type, step 4: select an appropriate writing style, step 5: craft a compelling headline, step 6: open with interest, step 7: be creative with storytelling, step 8: end with a bang, build a solid narrative, structure for impact, edit like a pro, get feedback, start writing feature articles like a pro.

A feature story is not your run-of-the-mill news piece.

It paints pictures with words, captures emotions, and weaves facts into narratives that hit home.

This genre offers readers an escape from the blunt edges of hard news by infusing human experience into storytelling.

The ever-evolving world of journalism reveals just how potent these stories can be when they bridge connections between the subject and the audience.

In stark contrast to straight news, feature stories give you more than who, what, where, and when; they delve into the why and how.

You get richly textured pieces like lifestyle features or travel adventures rather than bullet-pointed briefs on world headlines. They’re akin to a stroll through intriguing alleys rather than a brisk walk down Main Street.

With each paragraph designed to evoke feelings rather than simply relay events, it’s no surprise that people are drawn to such compelling reads.

And remember: at their core, feature stories aim for emotional impact, connecting on levels beyond mere information exchange. To create this effect, writers often employ descriptive language and narrative techniques that have been proven effective over time.

Your role model might be Pulitzer Prize winners or leather-jacket-clad journalists typing away in coffee shops. But whatever form inspiration takes, keep one thing clear: good writing starts with solid research grounded in real-world perspectives.

10 Different Types of Feature Articles

The world of content marketing is diverse and dynamic, offering a wide range of possibilities for entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses. One powerful tool in your arsenal should be the feature article.

Feature articles come in various forms, each with its unique approach and purpose. Here’s a brief overview of 10 different types of feature stories you can write for your audience.

A human interest story centers on individuals or groups, focusing on personal achievements, dramatic events, or everyday life struggles. The goal here is to evoke emotion from readers and create an engaging narrative around people’s experiences.

News features, arguably the most common type of feature articles, delve into current events providing detailed explanations behind these happenings while examining potential implications. These stories are not just about reporting facts but also providing context and analysis.

Focusing on how life can be improved or enjoyed more fully, lifestyle features offer tips and advice ranging from fitness routines to meditation techniques. They aim to enhance your readers’ lives by offering practical solutions for common problems or introducing them to new ideas that might enrich their day-to-day lives.

These articles focus on events, activities, or topics that are relevant to a particular season, such as holidays, festivals, or seasonal trends.

Whether you’re a journalist or content creator, you probably have a scheduled calendar that designates deadlines for various types of feature articles. One notable advantage of these features is the ability to plan and structure them, a luxury not often afforded with conventional news stories.

In this type of feature, the writer conducts interviews with individuals to gather insights, opinions, and personal stories. The article often presents a narrative based on these interviews.

Color stories go beyond the facts and atmosphere of hard news, often serving as companions to news articles.

Skillful feature writing in this context enables readers to vividly envision the experience of being at a particular event, fostering a deeper understanding of the issues and implications embedded in a story.

Profile features center around a specific person, providing an in-depth look into their life, achievements, challenges, and personality. These articles are like mini-biographies that seek to humanize and bring the subject to life.

Behind-the-scenes features take readers into places or processes not typically visible to the public. This type of article provides insights into how something is made, accomplished, or organized.

Travel features explore destinations, cultures, and experiences. They often include personal anecdotes, recommendations, and practical information for readers interested in exploring the featured location.

Instructional features provide readers with step-by-step guidance, advice, or information on how to do something. These articles aim to educate and empower the audience with practical knowledge.

‘How-to’ features have gained increased popularity, especially in the era of internet ‘life hacks.’ There is now a subcategory of these features where writers experiment with instructional content and share their insights on its practicality.

You don’t need to look too far to find an instructional feature article – you are currently reading one.

These types of feature articles offer diverse ways to present information, capture readers’ attention, and tell compelling stories. Depending on the subject matter and the target audience, writers can choose the most suitable format to convey their message effectively.

How to Write a Feature Article: A Step-by-Step Guide

A feature article is an excellent tool to provide in-depth information about a topic, person, or event. Here’s how you can write one effectively:

The first step in how to write a feature article is to flesh out your ideas. These are the seeds from which your story will grow.

But what if you’re staring at a blank page, bereft of inspiration? This is where renowned publications like The New York Times ‘Trending’ section or The Guardian’s Features can serve as fertile ground for ideas.

However, remember that these sources should be used purely for educational purposes and inspiration – never copy or plagiarize content. The goal here is not to replicate but rather to stimulate your creative juices by reading about diverse topics and unique storytelling methods.

You can also use an AI tool like Content at Scale to generate ideas or topics that are relevant to your niche.

To effectively evaluate potential story ideas:

  • Analyze Trends: What are people talking about? What issues are making headlines? You could use tools like Google Trends or Buzzsumo to identify trending topics relevant to your industry.
  • Understand Your Audience: Know who you’re writing for — their interests, concerns, and questions. Use this understanding as a compass guiding the direction of your stories.
  • Evaluate Relevance and Value: Your story should ideally offer something new — fresh insights, unexplored angles on familiar themes, or practical solutions. Ask yourself how it adds value to the reader’s life before choosing a story.

Feature stories need more than straight facts and sensory details — they need evidence. This can come in the form of quotes, anecdotes, or interviews.

The significance of these elements cannot be overstated as they lend credibility to your narrative while making it more engaging for readers. Hearing viewpoints from various sources helps make your story feel three-dimensional and thus allows you to craft a vivid tale that resonates with your audience.

  • Quotes: These provide direct insights into people’s thoughts and opinions on the subject matter. They give your piece authenticity and add personal touch points which can evoke empathy among readers.
  • Anecdotes: Anecdotal information serves as illustrative examples that breathe life into statistics or hard data points. They help create emotional connections between readers and subjects.
  • Interviews: Conducting interviews gives you access to first-hand accounts, expert perspectives, or unique angles about your topic that could otherwise remain uncovered.

After doing your research, ask yourself what type of feature article you want to write.

Sometimes, this initial decision can shift as you delve deeper into your research. Perhaps you started out intending to write a lifestyle piece about a local sports team’s fitness regimen but ended up focusing on an inspiring interview with an athlete who transformed their health.

This is not uncommon. It’s part and parcel of content writing where story ideas often evolve based on ongoing reporting and discovery. Embrace these changes as they occur – they might lead you down more interesting paths than you initially envisioned.

Selecting an appropriate writing style is a critical step in crafting your feature article. Your choice of language and tone will significantly impact how your audience perceives the information you present.

To help get you started, here are a few tips:

  • Embrace Your Unique Style: Your unique voice is what sets you apart from other writers. Don’t be afraid to let it shine through in your articles! For example, if humor comes naturally to you, consider incorporating it into your piece — provided it fits with the topic and overall tone of course.
  • Use Emotive Language: The power of emotive language should not be underestimated when engaging readers on a deeper level. By using words that evoke emotions or sensory experiences, we can create stronger connections with our audience.
  • Mind Your Adjectives & Adverbs: While adjectives and adverbs can add color to our writing, overuse may make the text seem overly embellished or insincere. Be selective about their usage for maximum effect.
  • Speak Directly To The Reader: In most cases, referring directly to the reader as ‘you’ makes them feel more involved in what they’re reading – like they’re part of a conversation rather than being lectured at.

The power of your feature article lies not only in its content but also in the strength of its headline. A compelling, catchy title can make all the difference between an overlooked piece and one that attracts readership.

In most cases, you won’t have a dedicated subeditor to help craft this crucial element — it falls on you as the writer or marketer to devise an eye-catching headline that summarizes your story while enticing potential readers.

Creating a captivating header requires time and consideration. It isn’t something to be rushed; rather, it should be seen as an integral part of your writing process.

Tips for creating catchy headlines:

  • Create intrigue: Your goal is to pique curiosity without giving away too much about the story’s content. Think mystery novels – they don’t reveal whodunit on their covers!
  • Use powerful words: Words like ‘Secret’, ‘Free’, and ‘Proven’ are known power words, which trigger emotional responses from readers making them more likely to click through.
  • Pose a question: By asking questions related to your topic, you encourage readers to seek answers within your feature article.

Beyond these tips, another effective strategy involves using intriguing quotes from within the story itself as headers. This technique provides context while generating interest in what else might lie within the body text.

The opening paragraph of your feature article is crucial to drawing in your readers and piquing their interest. It’s the hook that can either reel them in or let them off the line, so it needs to be compelling enough to make them want more.

One method you could use is building tension right from the start. This could involve setting up a conflict or problem that will be resolved later on in the article. The anticipation created by this technique can keep readers engaged as they’re eager to find out what happens next.

You might also consider posing a rhetorical question at the outset — something thought-provoking that encourages readers to think about an issue before diving into your story.

Another way to hook your audience is to make an outlandish statement -– one that may seem absurd initially but gets substantiated as you progress through your content. Outrageous claims are one way to grab attention instantly. Just ensure there’s substance behind such statements, or else your credibility will take a hit!

Lastly, try opening with a significant event familiar to most people and then work backward from there. Explain its relevance and context to your overall theme or argument.

No matter which strategy you employ for crafting compelling introductions, remember: Your primary goal should always be capturing reader interest and making them curious enough to continue reading further into your feature article.

Creativity can be a game-changer when it comes to writing feature articles. Unlike traditional news stories that stick to a rigid structure and tone, feature articles offer you ample room for innovation and creativity.

A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but not necessarily in that order. This is particularly applicable to feature articles where there’s flexibility in terms of narrative flow.

In crafting your article, consider playing around with the sequence of information or incorporating elements such as anecdotes or personal experiences that may resonate with your readers on an emotional level.

You could also experiment with different styles — perhaps injecting humor into serious topics or adopting an unconventional perspective on common issues.

While you’re free to explore creative avenues, remember not to lose sight of the core purpose of your feature story: to share valuable information with your audience. The secret is finding the right balance between engaging storytelling and delivering insightful content.

Content Hacker provides more insights into this aspect.

  • Risk-taking: Push boundaries by experimenting with unique ideas or formats that deviate from conventional norms.
  • Audience-centricity: Tailor your creative approach based on what resonates best with your audience – their preferences matter!
  • Balanced approach: Creativity shouldn’t compromise clarity; ensure all key points are effectively communicated within the creative framework.

The best feature writers always leave a little something for the reader at the end of their article. This could be a powerful conclusion or an element that ties everything together, but it’s crucial to provide some sort of closure.

This gives your audience a sense of satisfaction upon finishing your piece and makes them anticipate future articles from you.

The order in which you follow these steps isn’t set in stone, especially if you’re new to this type of writing. However, they should serve as a solid starting point when creating feature articles.

In time, you’ll develop your own style and voice that suits both you and your content perfectly.

Finding success with long-form content like feature articles can do wonders for growing sustainable businesses online — a strategy we wholeheartedly advocate at Content Hacker!

Tips on How to Write a Great Feature Article

Writing a great feature article requires a combination of creativity, research, and effective storytelling. Here are some tips to help you craft a compelling feature story:

Your feature article isn’t just sharing information; it’s telling a tale. With every line, you’re guiding readers on a journey that has them hanging onto every word until the very end.

A solid narrative arc is like a map through uncharted territory. It starts by setting up expectations in the beginning, building interest in the middle, and tying everything together at the end — a perfect circle of storytelling mastery.

We all know a good story grabs you from the start and sticks with you long after it’s done. The same goes for feature articles. When writing an engaging opening paragraph, think of it as your chance to invite readers into a conversation they’ll want to stick around for.

An outline shouldn’t be rigid but rather serve as guardrails keeping your thoughts aligned so that each section smoothly transitions into another without losing focus.

The structure of a feature article should feel natural — like listening to an old friend recounting an adventure.

Editing is where good writing becomes great, and a sharp editor’s eye can transform your feature article into a polished gem.

Crafting an article isn’t just about putting words on paper; it’s also about refining those words until they sing. The editing process demands that you scrutinize each sentence for grammar and spelling errors to present the most professional version of your work. Remember, even Pulitzer Prize winners revise their drafts — so should you.

A key stat to keep in mind: clear and coherent articles are more likely to hold the reader’s interest from start to finish. When revising, read aloud to catch any awkward phrasing or inconsistencies that could disrupt the flow.

While spellcheck helps, there’s no substitute for thorough proofreading. Typos can undermine credibility faster than factual inaccuracies. Take the time you need — every error you catch now is one less hurdle for your readers later on.

You’ve crafted sentences like a pro, but another set of eyes can offer new perspectives. Seeking feedback before finalizing your work allows you to see how others perceive what you’ve written.

Remember that the writing process doesn’t end when you put down the pen; it continues through editing and fine-tuning based on constructive criticism.

Mastering how to write a feature article means diving deep into human stories. It’s about painting vivid pictures and touching hearts. You’ve learned the craft of choosing angles that resonate, structuring narratives for impact, and bringing out your unique voice.

You start with curiosity, build on solid research, and weave in compelling interviews.

Then you edit with precision — every word matters.

Your story breathes life when it reflects real people’s experiences. And now you have the blueprint to make sure every piece keeps readers hooked till the last word.

If writing features was daunting before, let this be your turning point.

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how to write news feature article

How to Write a Feature Article: A Step-by-Step Guide

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If you have a story to tell, or an idea that you think the world needs to hear, then writing a feature article is a great way to get your message across. Despite the fact that the world of journalism has changed dramatically over the years, feature articles continue to be popular among readers. Those who write feature articles have the opportunity to showcase their writing skills, to engage their audience, and to make a difference in the world.

Understanding Feature Articles

What is a feature article.

At its core, a feature article is a type of news article that focuses on a particular subject in a more in-depth way than a standard news story. Feature articles are usually longer, more detailed, and more personal than regular news articles.

Types of Feature Articles

There are many different types of feature articles that you can write, such as:

  • Profiles of interesting people
  • Travel articles
  • Investigative pieces
  • Cultural explorations

Each type of article requires a different approach, as well as a different set of skills. Some feature articles require a lot of research while others require more creativity. Regardless of the type of article you choose to write, you need to be passionate about the subject and committed to telling the story in the most engaging way possible.

The Importance of Feature Articles in Journalism

Feature articles play an important role in journalism. They provide readers with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the world around them. They also serve as a platform for writers to express their opinions and to highlight issues that may not receive attention in the mainstream media.

Choosing Your Topic and Angle

Brainstorming ideas.

The first step in writing a feature article is to come up with an idea. Think about what interests you and what you are passionate about. It is always helpful to brainstorm a list of potential topics that you can explore further. This can be done by reading the news, talking to friends and colleagues, or simply going for a walk and observing the world around you.

Researching Your Subject

Once you have a general idea of what you want to write about, you need to start researching the subject in more depth. This can involve reading books and articles, watching documentaries, or conducting interviews with experts in the field. The more information you have, the better equipped you will be to write a compelling feature article.

Finding a Unique Angle

With so much information available, it can be challenging to find a unique angle for your article. One approach is to focus on a specific aspect of the subject that hasn't been explored in-depth before. This could be a personal story, a quirky detail, or an overlooked fact that sheds new light on the topic.

Conducting Interviews and Gathering Information

Identifying key sources.

When conducting interviews and gathering information, it is important to identify key sources who can provide you with insight and expertise on the subject. This may involve contacting experts in the field, talking to people who have first-hand experience with the topic, or using social media to connect with people who are passionate about the subject.

Preparing for Interviews

Before conducting interviews, you need to prepare yourself by doing your research and developing a list of questions that will help you to dig deeper into the subject. It is also important to establish a rapport with your interviewees, to put them at ease, and to show genuine interest in their experiences.

Conducting Effective Interviews

During the interview, it is essential to actively listen to your interviewee and to ask follow-up questions that encourage them to elaborate on their answers. It is also important to be respectful and to avoid making assumptions or asking leading questions.

Organizing Your Research

As you conduct research and gather information, it is important to stay organized. This can involve creating a spreadsheet, using note-taking apps, or simply keeping a physical folder with all of your research material in one place. This makes it easier to refer back to your sources and to stay on track as you write your article.

Writing the Feature Article

Crafting a compelling introduction.

The introduction of your feature article is the most important part of your piece. It should grab the reader's attention, set the tone for the article, and provide a brief overview of what the reader can expect. This can be achieved by using descriptive language, telling a story, or posing a thought-provoking question.

Developing the Body of the Article

The body of your feature article should be organized into sections that flow logically from one to the next. Each section should be focused on a particular aspect of the topic and should include quotes, anecdotes, and examples that support your argument. Use descriptive language to create vivid scenes that bring the subject to life for your readers.

Writing Descriptive and Engaging Scenes

Scenes are an essential component of feature articles. Scenes help to break up the text, provide visual interest, and create a more immersive reading experience for your audience. A scene can be anything from a dialogue between characters to a vivid description of a particular location.

Incorporating Quotes and Anecdotes

Quotes and anecdotes are effective tools for bringing your feature article to life. They allow you to give voice to your sources and to convey their perspectives, opinions, and experiences. Be careful not to overuse quotes or anecdotes, however, as this can detract from your writing and make it seem less authentic.

Concluding Your Feature Article

The conclusion of your feature article should provide closure for the reader and bring the article to a satisfying end. This can be achieved by summarizing the main points of the article, offering a call to action, or highlighting the significance of the subject for the reader.

Final Thoughts

Writing a feature article can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. It requires dedication, research, and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can develop the skills and techniques needed to write engaging and thought-provoking feature articles that will capture the attention of your audience and make a difference in the world.

ChatGPT Prompt for Writing a Feature Article

Use the following prompt in an AI chatbot . Below each prompt, be sure to provide additional details about your situation. These could be scratch notes, what you'd like to say or anything else that guides the AI model to write a certain way.

Compose a detailed and well-crafted article that showcases a particular subject or topic, providing in-depth analysis and insights that captivate and inform the reader.

[ADD ADDITIONAL CONTEXT. CAN USE BULLET POINTS.]

You Might Also Like...

How to write a journalism article: a step-by-step guide, how to write a knowledge base article: a step-by-step guide.

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How to Write a Feature Article: A Step-by-Step Guide

Feature stories are one of the most crucial forms of writing these days, we can find feature articles and examples in many news websites, blog websites, etc.  While writing a feature article a lot of things should be kept in mind as well. Feature stories are a powerful form of journalism, allowing writers to delve deeper into subjects and explore the human element behind the headlines. Whether you’re a budding journalist or an aspiring storyteller, mastering the art of feature story writing is essential for engaging your readers and conveying meaningful narratives. In this blog, you’ll find the process of writing a feature article, feature article writing tips, feature article elements, etc. The process of writing a compelling feature story, offering valuable tips, real-world examples, and a solid structure to help you craft stories that captivate and resonate with your audience.

Read Also: Top 5 Strategies for Long-Term Success in Journalism Careers

Table of Contents

Understanding the Essence of a Feature Story

Before we dive into the practical aspects, let’s clarify what a feature story is and what sets it apart from news reporting. While news articles focus on delivering facts and information concisely, feature stories are all about storytelling. They go beyond the “who, what, when, where, and why” to explore the “how” and “why” in depth. Feature stories aim to engage readers emotionally, making them care about the subject, and often, they offer a unique perspective or angle on a topic.

Tips and tricks for writing a Feature article

 In the beginning, many people can find difficulty in writing a feature, but here we have especially discussed some special tips and tricks for writing a feature article. So here are some Feature article writing tips and tricks: –

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1. Choose an Interesting Angle:

The first step in feature story writing is selecting a unique and compelling angle or theme for your story. Look for an aspect of the topic that hasn’t been explored widely, or find a fresh perspective that can pique readers’ curiosity.

2. Conduct Thorough Research:

Solid research is the foundation of any feature story. Dive deep into your subject matter, interview relevant sources, and gather as much information as possible. Understand your subject inside out to present a comprehensive and accurate portrayal.

3. Humanize Your Story:

Feature stories often revolve around people, their experiences, and their emotions. Humanize your narrative by introducing relatable characters and sharing their stories, struggles, and triumphs.

4. Create a Strong Lead:

Your opening paragraph, or lead, should be attention-grabbing and set the tone for the entire story. Engage your readers from the start with an anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a vivid description.

5. Structure Your Story:

Feature stories typically follow a narrative structure with a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning introduces the topic and engages the reader, the middle explores the depth of the subject, and the end provides closure or leaves readers with something to ponder.

6. Use Descriptive Language:

Paint a vivid picture with your words. Utilize descriptive language and sensory details to transport your readers into the world you’re depicting.

7. Incorporate Quotes and Anecdotes:

Quotes from interviews and anecdotes from your research can breathe life into your story. They add authenticity and provide insights from real people.

8. Engage Emotionally:

Feature stories should evoke emotions. Whether it’s empathy, curiosity, joy, or sadness, aim to connect with your readers on a personal level.

Read Also: The Ever-Evolving World Of Journalism: Unveiling Truths and Shaping Perspectives

Examples of Feature Stories

Here we are describing some of the feature articles examples which are as follows:-

“Finding Beauty Amidst Chaos: The Life of a Street Artist”

This feature story delves into the world of a street artist who uses urban decay as his canvas, turning neglected spaces into works of art. It explores his journey, motivations, and the impact of his art on the community.

“The Healing Power of Music: A Veteran’s Journey to Recovery”

This story follows a military veteran battling post-traumatic stress disorder and how his passion for music became a lifeline for healing. It intertwines personal anecdotes, interviews, and the therapeutic role of music.

“Wildlife Conservation Heroes: Rescuing Endangered Species, One Baby Animal at a Time”

In this feature story, readers are introduced to a group of dedicated individuals working tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate endangered baby animals. It showcases their passion, challenges, and heartwarming success stories.

What should be the feature a Feature article structure?

Read Also: What is The Difference Between A Journalist and A Reporter?

Structure of a Feature Story

A well-structured feature story typically follows this format:

Headline: A catchy and concise title that captures the essence of the story. This is always written at the top of the story.

Lead: A captivating opening paragraph that hooks the reader. The first 3 sentences of any story that explains 5sW & 1H are known as lead.

Introduction : Provides context and introduces the subject. Lead is also a part of the introduction itself.

Body : The main narrative section that explores the topic in depth, including interviews, anecdotes, and background information.

Conclusion: Wraps up the story, offers insights, or leaves the reader with something to ponder.

Additional Information: This may include additional resources, author information, or references.

Read Also: Benefits and Jobs After a MAJMC Degree

Writing a feature article is a blend of journalistic skills and storytelling artistry. By choosing a compelling angle, conducting thorough research, and structuring your story effectively, you can create feature stories that captivate and resonate with your readers. AAFT also provides many courses related to journalism and mass communication which grooms a person to write new articles, and news and learn new skills as well. Remember that practice is key to honing your feature story writing skills, so don’t be discouraged if it takes time to perfect your craft. With dedication and creativity, you’ll be able to craft feature stories that leave a lasting impact on your audience.

What are the characteristics of a good feature article?

A good feature article is well-written, engaging, and informative. It should tell a story that is interesting to the reader and that sheds light on an important issue.

Why is it important to write feature articles?

Feature articles can inform and entertain readers. They can also help to shed light on important issues and to promote understanding and empathy.

What are the challenges of writing a feature article?

The challenges of writing a feature article can vary depending on the topic and the audience. However, some common challenges include finding a good angle for the story, gathering accurate information, and writing in a clear and concise style.

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Aaditya Kanchan is a skilled Content Writer and Digital Marketer with experience of 5+ years and a focus on diverse subjects and content like Journalism, Digital Marketing, Law and sports etc. He also has a special interest in photography, videography, and retention marketing. Aaditya writes in simple language where complex information can be delivered to the audience in a creative way.

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  • How to Write a Feature Article
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how to write news feature article

Become a Writer Today

How to Write a Feature Story: Step-By-Step

This article gives a step-by-step process that can be used when writing feature articles. Read more and learn how to write a feature story effectively.

Feature stories are long-form non-fiction news articles that go into detail on a given topic. The most common type of feature stories are human interest stories, interviews and news features.

All of the best feature writers know that their articles live and die on the information that is detailed within the story. However, it requires more than just quality research to create a strong feature article.

You also need to understand how to get the reader’s attention from the first paragraph, as well as how to format the body of the article, and how to write a strong conclusion. It also helps if you have a flair for creative writing, as the style involved isn’t as rigid as traditional news stories.

If all this sounds complex, then don’t fret. There is a step-by-step process that can be used when writing feature articles.

Before we share that template, let us first take a quick look at a few of the different genres of this type of story format.

1. Human Interest

2. news features, 3. lifestyle features, 4. seasonal features, 5. interview pieces, 6. color stories, 7. profile features, 8. behind the scenes, 9. travel features, 10. instructional features, something completely different, steps for writing a feature writing, 1. evaluate your story ideas, 2. do your research, 3. decide the type of feature you want to write, 4. select an appropriate writing style, 5. craft a compelling headline, 6. open with interest, 7. don’t be afraid to be creative, writing a feature story: the last word, 10 different types of feature articles.

As the title suggests, when writing human interest stories, the focus is on people. There is usually a strong emphasis on emotion within these stories.

These feature stories can involve a personal goal, achievement, or a dramatic event within someone’s (or a group of people’s) life.

It can also just be a general story about the trials and tribulations of everyday life.

Examples: ‘The leather jacket I bought in my 20s represents a different woman. I just can’t let it go’, ‘I wish I had Rami Malek as a role model growing up – I was stuck with the Mummy’.

News features are probably the most common type of feature article. Within these, there is a strong emphasis on a current event, with the story explaining the reasons behind these events.

They may also go on to examine the implications behind the news stories.

Examples: ‘Eastern Europe’s business schools rise to meet western counterparts’, MBA by numbers: Mobility of UK graduates’.

How to Write a Feature Story: Lifestyle Features

Lifestyle features usually centre around life and how it can be lived better. For instance, an example of a lifestyle feature would be ‘Six Workouts You Have to Try This Summer’, or ‘Why You Need To Try Meditation’.

Lifestyle features are common within magazines.

Example: Six ways with Asian greens: ‘They’re almost like a cross between spinach and broccoli’ .

These feature articles are specific to certain times of year.

If you work within a newsroom, it is likely that they will have a calendar that schedules the times when certain types of features are due to be written.

One of of the advantages of these types of features is that you can plan them in a way you can’t with typical news stories.

Examples: ‘ 5 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays With The New York Times ’, The Start of Summer .

Interview features have commonalities with other types of features, but are set apart as they are centred around a single interview.

A good way to strengthen this type of article is to share background information within the it. This information can be either on the interviewee, or the subject that is being discussed.

Examples: Mark Rylance on ‘Jerusalem’ and the Golf Comedy ‘Phantom of the Open’ , ‘I Deserve to Be Here’: Riding His First Professional Gig to Broadway

This is a feature that breaks down the feel and atmosphere of a hard news story.

They often accompany news writing.

Good feature writing here will help the reader imagine what it was like to be a at a certain event, or help them gain further understanding of the issues and implications involved of a story.

Examples: ‘ Why the Central African Republic adopted Bitcoin ’, ‘Admissions teams innovate to find ideal candidates’ .

A profile feature is like a mini-biography.

It tries to paint a picture of a person by revealing not only facts relating to their life, but also elements of their personality.

It can be framed around a certain time, or event within a person’s life, It can also simply be a profile detailing a person’s journey through life.

Examples: Why Ray Liotta was so much more than Goodfellas , Sabotage and pistols – was Ellen Willmott gardening’s ‘bad girl’?

These are features that give readers the inside track on what is happening.

They are particularly popular with entertainment journalists, but are used by feature writers within every sphere.

Examples: ‘‘You Just Have to Accept That Wes Is Right’: The French Dispatch crew explains how it pulled off the movie’s quietly impossible long shot ’. ‘The Diamond Desk, Surveillance Shots, and 7 Other Stories About Making Severance’.

How to Write a Feature Story: Travel Features

As you probably guessed, a travel feature often features a narrator who is writing about a place that the reader has an interest in.

It is the job of the writer to inform their audience of the experiences, sights and sounds that they can also experience if they ever visit this destination.

Examples: ‘ Palau’s world-first ‘good traveller’ incentive ’, ‘An icy mystery deep in Arctic Canada’.

‘How to’ features will always have their place and have become even more popular with the advent of the internet phenomenon known as ‘life hacks’. There is now a subsection of these features, where writers try out ‘how to’ instructional content and let the reader know how useful it actually is.

Interestingly, you don’t have to go far to find an instructional feature article. You are actually reading one at the moment.

Example: The article you are reading right now.

Of course, the above is just an overview of some of the types of features that exist. You shouldn’t get bogged down by the idea that some feature types interlope with others.

Feature writing is a dynamic area that is constantly evolving and so are the topics and styles associated with this type of writing.

If you have an idea for something completely different, don’t be afraid to try it.

Now we covered some of the main types, let’s take a look at the steps you should take when planning to write a feature article.

It sounds obvious, but the first step on the path to a good feature article is to have a strong idea. If you are struggling for inspiration, then it may be worth your while checking out popular feature sections within newspapers or websites.

For instance, the New York Times is renowned for its wonderful ‘Trending’ section , as is The Guardian , for its features. Of course, these sites should be used only for education and inspiration.

In an instructional feature article, online learning platform MasterClass gives a good overview of the type of research that needs to be done for this type of article.

It states: “Feature stories need more than straight facts and sensory details—they need evidence. Quotes, anecdotes, and interviews are all useful when gathering information for (a) feature story.”

The article also gives an overview of why research is important. It reads: “Hearing the viewpoints or recollections of witnesses, family members, or anyone else… can help (the article) feel more three-dimensional, allowing you to craft a more vivid and interesting story.”

Feature articles may involve creative writing, but they are still based on facts. That is why research should be a tenet of any article you produce in this area.

Shortly after starting your research, you will be posed the question of ‘what type of feature do I want to write?’.

The answer to this question may even change from when you had your initial idea.

For example, you may have decided that you want to do a lifestyle feature on the physical fitness plan of your local sports team. However, during research, you realized that there is a far more interesting interview piece on one of the athletes who turned their physical health around by joining the team.

Of course, that is a fictional scenario, but anyone who has ever worked within a newsroom knows how story ideas can evolve and change based on the reporting that’s done for them.

The next step is to consider the language you will be using while writing the article. As you become more experienced, this will be second nature to you. However, for now, below are a few tips.

When writing a feature, you should do so with your own unique style. Unlike straight news stories, you can insert your personality and use emotive language.

However, you should avoid too many adjectives and adverbs and other overused words . You should generally refer to the audience as ‘you’ too.

To learn more, check out our article about the best style guides .

As you can tell from the examples listed above, a good feature usually has a good headline/ header. If you are lucky enough to work in a newsroom with a good subeditor, then they will work with you to decide an eye-catching headline.

However, most of you will have to pick your features’ header on your own. Thus, it’s worth giving some time to consider this stage of the process.

It is handy to take a look at Matrix Education’s tips for creating a catchy headline.

They are as follows:

  • Use emotive language.
  • Keep it short and snappy.
  • Directly address the reader.
  • Use adjectives / adverbs.
  • Tell readers what your content is about.
  • Ask a question.
  • Give an imperative.

These are, of course, only options and they all shouldn’t be utilized at once.

Another suggestion that can be added to the list is grabbing an intriguing quote from the story and using that within the header.

Your opening paragraph should draw the reader in. It is important that you can hook them here; if you can grab them at the start, they are far more likely to go deeper into the article.

Methods of doing this include the building of tension, the posing of a rhetorical question, making an outlandish statement that is proven true later in the article, or working your way back from a monumental event that the reader is already familiar with.

Whichever you use, the primary goal should be to catch the reader’s interest and to make them want to read on.

If you need help, start with writing a five-paragraph essay .

Jean-Luc Godard said that “a story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order”.

That statement can be somewhat applied to feature articles. However, don’t be afraid to take risks with your writing. Of course, it is important to share the information you need to share, but a feature article does offer far more room for creativity than the writing of a traditional news story.

8. Leave With A Bang

All the best feature writer leave a little something for the reader who reaches the end of the article. Whether that is a storming conclusion, or something that ties it all together, it is important that there is some sort of conclusion.

It gives your audience a feeling of satisfaction upon reading the article and will make this is the element that will make them look out for the articles that you will write in the future.

The above steps don’t necessarily need to be followed in the order they are written. However, if you are new to this type of writing, they should give you a good starting point as when creating feature articles.

When writing feature articles, you will find a style and a voice that suits you. This is a type of journalistic writing where you can embrace that creative side and run with it.

  • What is a feature story example?

Jennifer Senior won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for an article entitled ‘What Bobby McIlVaine Left Behind’, an article about the human aftermath of grief after 9/11. It is an excellent example of a quality feature article.

  • What is the difference between a feature story and a news story?

There are several differences between a feature article and a news story.

Firstly, news articles are time-sensitive, whereas there is more flexibility when a feature can be published as it will still be of interest to the public.

Secondly, feature stories are usually more long-form than news stories, with differences in style employed in both. For instance, news writing often employs the inverted pyramid, where the most important information is at the start. Whereas, feature writing has a tendency to tease out the information throughout the article.

Lastly, the ending of a news story usually happens when all the relevant and available details are shared. On the other hand, a feature story usually ends with the writer tying up the loose-ends that exist with an overall conclusion.

how to write news feature article

Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.

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How To Write An Amazing Feature Article In 5 Steps

Need to write a feature article for class? Don't worry, in this article, we show you how to write an amazing feature article in 5 steps!

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Unsure of the difference between a feature article and a newspaper report? Well, it’s time to find out! We will show you the different characteristics of an amazing feature article and how to write one!

To show you how to write an amazing feature article, we’ll discuss:

Characteristics of a feature article.

  • Different types of feature articles

Language used in feature articles

  • Research / Planning
  • Header / Title
  • Introduction

What is a feature article?

A feature article is a non-fiction piece of writing that focuses on a particular topic. You will find them in newspapers and news sites, online blogs, or magazines.

However, they are not the same as news reports! Whereas news reports are more factual…

Feature articles are more subjective and emotive.

They commonly present information in a more narratorial manner to make them more engaging.

Now that we have a general understanding of what a feature article is, let’s take a detailed look at their characteristics.

A feature article should,

  • Explore a topic or issue of current importance
  • Follows  narratorial conventions (i.e. There is a plot, complication, and conclusion)
  • Written in short paragraphs
  • Combine facts and opinions
  • Provide a perspective or angle about the topic or issue
  • Includes catchy features (eg. Catchy title, images etc.).

Different types of feature articles:

There are many different types of feature articles. Each one has a different focus and purpose.

So, let’s see a few examples of feature articles!

  • eg.  ‘ Charlie Kaufman’s debut novel, ‘Antkind’, is just as loopy and clever as his movies ‘
  • eg. ‘ A Former High School Football Player Dove and Caught a Child Dropped From the Balcony of a Burning Building’
  • eg. ‘ How to Tie Dye ‘
  • eg. ‘ My 2019 UCAT Experience ‘
  • eg. ‘ Why Australia Day is really held on 26 January and the push to change the date ‘ or ‘ Thanksgiving 2020 – Date, history behind the holiday and what time is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ?’
  • eg. ‘ Craziness behind the scenes at the White House ‘ and ‘ Two Former McDonald Employees Spill Insider Secrets About Working at the Fast Food Chain ‘

Note : There are many more different types of feature articles. You’ll want to research the genre specific for the task you’ve been set.

Before we go into the nitty-gritty details for writing feature articles, you need to know what skills and techniques you need to acquire in order to write a feature article!

  • Share your opinions
  • Show your personality (eg. humourous, serious…)
  • Use semi-formal language (i.e. some colloquialism)
  • Use emotive language
  • Refer to the audience in second person language (eg. “you”)
  • Use literary and rhetorical techniques to engage the reader (eg. rhetorical questions, anecdotes, imagery…)
  • Don’t overuse adjectives or adverbs . Use strong verbs and nouns to describe, instead of adjectives and adverbs.
  • Use facts, quotes and jargon  to add authenticity
  • Make sure you write in the  active voice

blog-english-how-to-write-a-killer-feature-article-opinions

How to write an amazing feature article in 5 steps

Now that we know what a feature article is, let’s see what you need to do in when writing an amazing feature article:

Step 1: Research and Planning

Remember, feature articles are still based on factual information. So, it is vital that you research your topic very well and that you carefully plan out what you want to write.

We will need to research, plan and research again!

Once you’ve thought about the topic you’ve begin, or decided which issue you would like to discuss, you’re ready to get stuck into researching.

a. Research the general topic

This step is all about reading different perspectives and information about your chosen topic.

Doing this will help you take an informative stance on your topic.

See which perspective interests you most, or which one you agree with most. Also, take into account of the amount of strong evidence you can find for your feature article.

b. Narrow your focus and plan

Now, it is time to take a stance and start planning your feature article!

Here are some points you need to consider when you are planning:

  • What type of feature article do you want to write?
  • What is your stance on the topic?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is your article about?
  • Why are you writing about this topic? (i.e. purpose)
  • Chronologically?
  • Level of importance?
  • Like a narrative?

Note : The purpose of your feature article can be to convince, evoke sympathy or anger, praise or even to educate. It is up to you to figure out what you want to say about the topic.

c. Research evidence

Now, it is time to research some more and gather some evidence to support your feature article.

Feature articles are supposed to help readers really understand and feel your story.

So, to do this, you must ensure that you spend this time to really flesh out your story and get a good grasp of what you are writing about.

Here are some examples you should look for:

  • eg. “ According to Cancer.org , 1960 Australians died from skin cancer in 2016 “
  • eg. “ Brendan Thomas will not be deported to New Zealand because he is an Indigenous Australian and is protected by the new law “
  • eg. “ Professor Gabriel Leung, Expert on COVID-19 Epidemic from Hong Kong University , says that COVID-19 could ‘infect 60% of global population if unchecked'”  
  • “ From the live interview with Holocaust survivor.. “

blog-english-how-to-write-a-killer-feature-article-hero-quotes

Step 2: Header / Title

Feature articles are known for their eye-catching headers!

Let’s take a look at 2 headers. Which title would you click on first?

“ Rising film director, Sherrice, just released a provocative stop-motion piece that will change your view about fast food! ”

“ Film director, Sherrice, just released a stop-motion piece about fast food ”

The first line is more catchy because it uses emotive language and it directly addresses the readers.

So, how do you write catchy headlines?

  • Keep it short and snappy
  • Directly address the reader
  • Use adjectives / adverbs
  • Tell readers what your content is about
  • Ask a question
  • Give an imperative

Step 3: Introduction

Like your title, your introduction also needs to ‘hook’ in the readers.

They set the scene and draw interest from the audience.

Think about a narrative’s 3 Act Structure:

  • The opening act sets the scene and captivate the audience’s attention
  • Act 2 is where the action and the major complication occurs
  • The 3rd act is the conclusion. It ‘solves’ the problem.

Feature articles function in the same way.

However, unlike a narrative, feature articles’ introductions are very brief and short. They should never be longer than 15% of your whole article.

So, how do you write effective introductions to feature articles:

  • Make an interesting and provocative opening statement to draw reader’s attention
  • Briefly introduce the topic and purpose
  • Establish a relationship with your reader through your language (eg. second person language, rhetorical questions…)
  • Create intrigue and interest by foreshadowing your points or challenging your audience
  • Provide background information about your topic

Take a read of ABC journalist, Stan Grant’s introduction from  ‘Anger has the hour’: How long must Indigenous Australia Wait for Change? 

“How long must Aboriginal people wait? How many “turning points” must there be, before we stop believing?

Time is something Indigenous people do not have, not when we die 10 years younger than the rest of the population. Every year lost is counted in graveyard crosses.

Yet the Federal Government says there will likely be no referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition this term of Parliament. Three years since the Uluru Statement from the Heart laid out a vision for Australia — Voice, Treaty, Truth — and we are told still to wait.

That is three years lost; a wasted opportunity to finish our unfinished business. First Nations people asked Australians to walk with us for a better future, yet we cannot get beyond those first steps.”

You see, Grant draws the audience’s interest by asking provocative rhetorical questions that hints at his stance about the topic.

He then provides background information about his topic to inform his audience about the issue. However, notice how he does this in an interesting and engaging way.

Grant uses literary techniques like tricolon (eg. “Voice, Treaty, Truth”), metaphors (eg. “year lost is counted in graveyard crosses” and “First Nations people asked Australians to walk wth us for a better future, yet we cannot get beyond those first steps”) and the motif of steps (eg. “walk with us” and “first steps”).

blog-english-how-to-write-a-killer-feature-article-relationship

Step 4: Body

Now, let’s move onto the main part of your feature article.

The body of your feature article is where you write all of your juicy information.

This is where the story unfolds and you share your opinions.

So, let’s get started and see what you need to do in your feature article body paragraphs.

a. Show don’t tell

‘Show, don’t tell’ is a commonly taught writing technique. It requires students to describe and ‘show’ what is happening, instead of simply recounting (‘telling’).

Let’s take a look at an example:

  • Tell : Johnny was tired after he ran up the hill.
  • Show : Johnny’s legs were aching as he forced himself up the hill. He was struggling to catch his breath and his cheeks were red and puffed up.

Notice the difference? The second line is much more engaging and descriptive, and we feel more connected to the character.

As such, you need to ‘show’ your information to make your article more engaging and interesting to read.

Remember, a feature article is much more colourful than a newspaper report.

So, let’s learn how to ‘show, not tell’:

  • Write vivid descriptions and imagery
  • Rely on the different senses to describe (i.e. sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste)
  • Use literary techniques
  • Don’t state emotions (eg. ‘He is happy’,  ‘She was excited’ or ‘That was scary’)
  • Use strong verbs and nouns, instead of adverbs and adjectives (eg. ‘sprinted’ instead of ‘ran fast’)

b. Be creative

In other terms, use rhetorical and literary techniques! Using these techniques will help you achieve your purpose and simultaneously engage the audience.

For example, if you want to evoke sympathy from the audience, you can use emotive language and hyperbole:

“Big, brute boys brutally beat small neighbourhood boy until he was unrecognisable” 

Or, if you want to convince the audience, you can use high modality words and an imperative voice:

“The time to take action is now! Get your phones and fill out the survey now”

So, what are some techniques that are commonly used in feature articles:

If you want to find more techniques, or learn more about the listed techniques, take a read of our English Literary Techniques Toolkit .

c. Support your opinions

Remember, a feature article isn’t just a story… it is also an article! This means that you will need a set of strong evidence to support what you are saying.

We already went through the various types of evidence you need for a feature article:

  • Case studies
  • Quotes from critics or experts

So, ensure you use a variety of different evidence and use it across your whole feature article.

blog-english-how-to-write-a-killer-feature-article-evidence

Step 5: Conclusion

We are at the final stage of your feature article!

Too often, students neglect the conclusion because they think it’s unimportant in a feature article.

However, it is quite the opposite.

Conclusions are especially important in feature article because they summarise your ideas and stance, and ultimately inspire your readers to take action.

So, take your time to quickly summarise your article and add a call to action (i.e. tell your audience to do something, either explicitly or implicitly).

Let’s take a look at News.com journalist, Emma Reynold’s conclusion: “ Craziness Behind the Scenes at the White House ”

“ Three levels of the imposing White House are visible above ground, with the rest beneath. The basements include workrooms, bombs shelters and a bowling alley.

I’m told to look out for the famous red-tailed hawks that live in the rafters of the building. While squirrels are a common sight outside the gates, not many survive within.

Back on Pennsylvania Avenue, I note the absence of sewer grates or rubbish bins, a precaution against bombs.

Clearly, there is a strong consciousness of danger here. But it’s covered with a Disney smile. “

Here, Reynold summarises her experience at the White House and comes to a final conclusion.

She also uses rhetorical and literary techniques to engage her audience and make her conclusion more memorable.

For example, we see a metaphor with “while squirrels are a common sight outside the gates, not many survive within [the White House]”, drawing links between squirrels and common people.

She also uses framing (her introduction refers a ‘Disney star’), allusion and metaphor in her final line: “But it’s covered with a Disney smile”.

Furthermore, Reynolds also implicitly warns us to be aware and critical of what is truly happening in the White House. This is her call to action.

This is what you need to do with your conclusions too!

Written by Matrix English Team

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Feature Writing: Tips, Types & Importance in Writing

Chukwudumebi Amadi

  • April 12, 2024
  • Freelancing Tips

Table of Contents Hide

What is feature writing, importance of feature articles in writing, 1. human interest stories, 2. news features, 3. lifestyle features, 4. seasonal features, 5. interview pieces, 6. color stories, 7. profile features, 8. behind the scenes, 9. trend feature writing, 10. instructional features, 1. build a solid narrative, 2. structure for impact, 3. proofread and edit, 4. get feedback, 1. headline, 3. introduction, 5. conclusion, faqs on feature writing, we also recommend.

Feature writing is a powerful tool that can help you do just that. Whether you’re a beginner writer or a seasoned pro, understanding the tips, types, and importance of feature writing can take your writing to the next level.

This unique form of journalism goes beyond just reporting the facts. It delves deep into the human experience, emotions, and storytelling to engage and connect with readers on a personal level. Whether you’re writing for a newspaper, magazine, or blog, mastering the art of feature writing can help you stand out in a sea of content.

In this article, we will explore the tips, types, and importance of feature writing. From how to craft a compelling narrative to the different styles of feature writing, we will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to elevate your writing and captivate your audience. Whether you’re a budding journalist or a seasoned writer, feature writing is a skill that every writer should have in their toolbox.

A feature article is the main news-related article in a magazine or newspaper that highlights a particular person, place, or event in great detail. This type of article gives more in-depth information on a matter rather than regular articles and news stories.

Feature articles paint pictures with words, capture emotions, and weave facts into narratives that hit home. In this type of writing, the readers get a full view of the news through the infusion of relatable information and storytelling.

Keep reading to find out some tips on how to write a good feature article.

Features are more in-depth than traditional news stories and go beyond providing the most important facts. The main aim of feature articles is to provide a detailed description of a place, person, idea, or organization.

The main purpose of feature writing is to connect with the emotions of its readers as much as possible. A feature article written for a newspaper is a more useful news feature than an editorial, according to Reuters.

Unlike news stories that adopt the inverted pyramid style while presenting information, features adopt storytelling techniques that help the readers connect with the subject of discussion and the overall narrative being shared.

One of the remarkable importance of feature writing is its informativeness. Every feature story is full of details and explanations. Each line is described robustly to inform the readers and also arouse the interest of the readers to read it till the end.

READ ALSO: How to Write the Perfect Marketing Contract | Perfect Tips

Types of Feature Writing

The world of writing is diverse and dynamic, offering a wide range of writing styles tailored for different moments and audiences. There are different types of feature writing, each with a unique approach and purpose. Let’s take a look at the 10 distinct types of feature writing.

A human interest story focuses on individuals or groups. It borders more on personal achievements, dramatic events, or everyday life struggles. The aim of this writing is to evoke emotion from readers and create an engaging narrative around people’s experiences.

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Undoubtedly the most prevalent kind of feature articles, news features explore current events and offer in-depth justifications for their occurrences, all the while exploring possible ramifications. These stories offer background and insight in addition to factual reporting.

Lifestyle feature stories talk more about how life can be improved or enjoyed more fully. This type of feature writing offers tips and advice ranging from fitness routines to meditation techniques. They aim to enhance your readers’ lives by offering practical solutions for common problems or introducing them to new ideas that might enrich their day-to-day lives.

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These articles highlight issues, events, or activities that are exclusive to a given season; examples include festivals, holidays, and seasonal fashions.

If you’re a writer or content developer, you most likely have a calendar with deadlines for different kinds of feature stories marked. Planning and structuring them is a noteworthy benefit of these features, which is a luxury that is not always possible with traditional news items.

In this type of feature, the writer interviews individuals to find out more information, opinions, and personal stories relating to the subject of the article. The article often presents a narrative based on these interviews.

Color stories go beyond the facts and atmosphere of hard news, they lend an extra layer of information and slant to every news story.

This writing enables readers to vividly feel the experience of being at a particular event, fostering a deeper understanding of the issues and implications embedded in a story.

Profile features writing simply talks about the life and times of a particular person, providing an in-depth look into their life, achievements, challenges, and personality. These articles are like mini-biographies that seek to humanize and bring the subject to life.

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Just like the name implies, behind-the-scenes features take readers into places or processes not typically seen by the public. This type of article provides insights into how something is made, accomplished, or organized.

A trend feature draws the readers’ attention to something fresh and intriguing in contemporary society. This kind of feature might appear in the entertainment, fashion, or lifestyle sections, according to your editor. It will go into detail on when this new trend first appeared, why people are adopting it, and where people may expect to see it.

Instructional features provide step-by-step guidance, advice, or information on how to do something. These articles aim to educate and empower the audience with practical knowledge.

‘This type of feature writing has gained increased popularity, especially in the era of internet ‘life hacks.’ There is now a subcategory of these features where writers experiment with instructional content and share their insights on its practicality.

Tips On How To Write A Feature Writing

Writing a great feature article requires a combination of creativity, research, and effective storytelling. Here are some tips to help you craft a compelling feature story:

Your feature writing isn’t just sharing information; it’s telling a story. With every word, you’re taking the readers on a journey with them hanging onto every word until the end.

A solid narrative arc is like a map through uncharted territory. It starts by setting up expectations initially, building interest in the middle, and tying everything together at the end — a perfect circle of storytelling mastery.

A good feature story grabs the attention of the reader right from the start till the end of the article. When writing a feature article, your opening paragraph is your best chance to invite the readers to a banquet they’ll want to enjoy till the end.

To have a better hand on it, your outline shouldn’t be rigid but rather serve as a guide that keeps your thoughts together and enables smooth transitions into ideas.

The structure of a feature article should feel natural — like listening to an old friend recounting an adventure.

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Proofreading and editing are what makes good writing great, and a sharp editor’s eye can transform your feature article into a polished gem.

Writing an article requires more than simply putting words on paper—it also requires editing those words until they are in the best shape. Editing requires you to proofread your work carefully for language and spelling mistakes so that it looks as professional as possible. Rewrite your manuscripts, just as Pulitzer Prize winners have done.

While going through your feature writing always bear in mind that the use of the right words in the feature story is what grips the reader from the beginning till the end.

Typos can undermine credibility faster than factual inaccuracies. Take the time you need — every error you catch now is one less hurdle for your readers later on. You can use writing tools like Grammarly to check for spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure.

Finally, after editing and proofreading, ensure you have a second eye that will look at it and offer corrections. Seeking feedback from another professional or a potential reader before publishing your feature writing allows you to see how others perceive what you’ve written.

Remember that the writing process doesn’t end when you put down the pen; it continues through editing and fine-tuning based on constructive criticism.

Structure of A Feature Story

A well-structured feature story typically follows this format:

The headline must be a catchy and concise title that captures the essence of the story. It is always written at the top of the story.

The lead of the writing is a captivating opening paragraph that hooks the reader. The first 3 sentences of any story that explains 5sW & 1H are known as lead.

The introduction should tell the reader why this story is important or worth their time, but in a sort of oblique way. This is your last chance to “hook” a reader before they flip the page or click away.

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The body of a feature story explores the topic in depth, including interviews, anecdotes, and background information.

This is where you summarize the story, offer insights, or leave the reader with something to ponder.

Every good conclusion should leave a lasting impression on the reader and provoke some sort of reaction. It should prompt action on the part of the reader, encourage a change of opinion, or encourage the reader to make a decision.

A feature article is the main news-related article in a magazine or newspaper that highlights a particular person, place, or event in great detail

The main purpose of feature writing is to connect with the emotions of its readers as much as possible.

To write an outstanding feature writing, you need to do the following; come up with captivating leads, conduct thorough research, and use descriptive language to engage readers.

Before choosing the right type of feature writing to adopt, consider your interests and expertise. Always choose a type that resonates with you, as your passion will shine through in your writing.

Feature stories are a joy to write because, again, you can reach a much wider audience. A fantastic article can touch the lives of people from every race, religion, and political affiliation. When writing a feature article, carefully paint a vivid scene, relay all the facts, and dabble in an expressive opinion or two.

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How to structure a feature article

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Read our easy guide on putting together a feature article

Writers – good writers – all have storytelling skills, and feature writers are nothing without them, so feel free to use any tool in your writer’s arsenal to serve the story as best you can. There are, though, a few technical points to bear in mind.

Always remember you will be writing your feature within a word count

Typical word counts are 350-500 words (column), 800 (one page), 1,200-1,500 (DPS), 2,000 (3-page feature). Your editor will give you a word count and if you are writing for money you will stick to it unless you don’t want another commission.  

Your feature, whatever its length, will have a basic structure of:

• Introduction.  Set the scene. Bring it to life. You might start with a question, a narrative or a description, but however you do it, you need to seduce readers into your story via the first paragraph. A quick tip here is that it’s often a good idea to write the opening paragraph last of all, once you’ve written everything else. Or write it and then go back to it when you’ve finished the rest of the feature. A lot of the time, the first paragraph that we write will turn out to be drivel, and either we’ll look at it in horror and cut it ourselves, or the editor will do it for us. 

Your first or in most cases, second, paragraph will ideally explain the feature in a nutshell, so that the reader knows what they are reading about and why they are reading it.

• Body text.  Having got your readers hooked at the start, keep them reading. This is where your writer’s skill in creating a logically progressed narrative comes into play. Each paragraph will move your story along, and add to the reader’s information. Embed facts into scenes, so that something new is revealed with each paragraph.

If you have interviewed people, let them reveal their parts of the story via direct quotes – you are telling a story with characters in it so let them speak. Their voices will bring your feature story to life.

Don’t info-dump. Space out your information so that everything necessary is included without disrupting your narrative flow. 

If you haven’t enough space to get in all the facts, cut your prose rather than sacrifice information that will add to a reader’s knowledge.

• Conclusion.  Create a satisfactory ending so that the reader understands that the story has reached a conclusion. Don’t spoil a good feature by letting it tail off, or make it bottom-heavy by cramming in information that should have been woven in higher up. Be careful too not to sound pat or – heaven forbid – press-releasey. Feature writing is about real life stories, and real life is complex, and does not always wrap up into a neat conclusion. One-liners can be a nice way to end a piece, or if you have it, a good quote that underlines everything that you’ve been saying throughout the feature.

Intrigued to learn more? Try our online course; Article Writing and Freelance Journalism  and receive expert guidance from a professional tutor. 

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Get Your Story Straight: News vs Feature Article

In your role as a public affairs writer, you'll be asked to write in a variety of formats. News articles and features are the most common. Before you start, it's important to know how they are similar and how they differ. Review the key differences between a news article and a feature article.

Because the two purposes are distinctly different, you'll need to be clear on what type of article you're writing before you jump in. Don't mix the structure and flow of one with the other.

Writing a News Article

Think of your news story as an inverted pyramid or a martini glass. Regardless of which outline you follow, your news article always will begin with a direct lead.

Graphic depicting news article structure as a martini glass with a cone containing the lead, the bridge and a quote, the stem with additional story details and another quote and a boilerplate statement. "The News Article Martini offers the reader the opportunity to take in what's important and keep reading or move on."

A direct lead contains the news peg -- what changed or the reason you wrote this article today -- and usually provides the who, what, when and where of the event. The why and the how can be addressed in the lead, the bridge or the body of the article.

  • Who did it? To whom did it happen? Who else was involved?
  • What happened, or what event is scheduled to occur?
  • When did it happen, or when is it scheduled to occur?
  • Where did it happen? Which other places felt the impacts?

The lead tells readers what the story is going to be about and allows them to decide whether to read further. It should start with your most important "W." When writing your lead:

  • Figure out the lead emphasis, the most important part of the story.
  • Decide where your story is going.
  • Set the right tone.
  • Make sure the news peg is in the lead, not later in the story.
  • Remove cliches or cheesiness from your lead.

Example of a Direct Lead : NORFOLK, Va, -- Four sailors stationed aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise here sustained third-degree burns May 2 when an FA-18 fighter jet engine caught fire.

With the primary facts established, there may be an opportunity for secondary, or "bridge" facts that address the "why." Why did it happen? Why will your reader care? You can use " WAITS " as a helpful acronym to build out this bridge. The bridge should contain at least one of the WAITS elements.

  • W: Any of the interrogatives -- probably the why or the how -- not provided or not fully explained in the lead.
  • A: Attribution. Give attribution (a source) to any information in the lead, or provide a quote from a prominent person involved in the story.
  • I: Identification of the Who in your story. If the impersonal "who" was used in the lead, they need to be identified in the bridge.
  • T: Tie-back to a previous, related article.
  • S: Secondary facts.

Before you move on to the details of the story, you should include a command message. Quotes are especially valuable in doing this. Use additional space to fill in the details of the story and finish with another command message if available. When it happens, the second quote often comes from a participant rather than a planner, or leader, of an event. News articles (as opposed to features) don't need wrap-ups, so a quote – depending on whether one is available – or a boilerplate statement, e.g., " The mission of Unit X is y, " might or might not be used. Boilerplate refers to phrasing that, once negotiated and agreed upon, does not change.

The third paragraph (or fourth, if it takes that long) and the last paragraph are known as "power positions" because the readers are still tuned in at the top and tune back in at the bottom. Quotes placed in middles of articles (and worse, at bottoms of paragraphs) are easily overlooked, i.e., wasted.

The martini glass outline offers chronological order as a way to present facts in the stem. This format is easy to replicate and understand, whereas "order of importance" drives some writers and readers crazy. The martini glass is particularly well-suited to public affairs writing because public affairs professionals are taught to deliver command messages (generally quotes), and the martini glass tells us not only where to put them but where to look for them.

Writing a Feature Article

Imagine you are writing a feature article, and in the middle of your interview, something newsworthy suddenly happens to the people you are writing about. You can immediately pivot and respond to the event by writing a timely news article. The reverse is not true. You cannot take a news article and turn it into a feature by adding some details and calling it a day. Unlike the news article, the purpose of a feature article, or narrative, is to engage the reader’s imagination and emotions, leading them to accept the truth of the focus statement.

Feature articles follow a looping pattern that looks like a roller coaster.

A narrative rollercoaster shown in four sections. "Write a narrative that leads the reader to accept the truth of the focus statement."

Unlike the news article, which has a direct lead, a feature article has a delayed lead that prepares the reader for the focus statement (aka nutgraph). The body of the story moves the reader along a timeline. It has its own characteristics, including conflict and resolution, and generous use of anecdotes (demonstrating growth or progress) and description.

  • Delayed Lead - The delayed lead is frequently an anecdote pulled from the middle of the timeline. It introduces the reader to the person or people who are the subject of the story. It provides the context that readers need to understand the focus statement and the emotional connection to make them want to continue reading the story, which usually starts at the beginning, on the other side of the focus statement.
  • Focus Statement aka Nutgraph - The focus statement is a single sentence that encapsulates the values demonstrated by our subject that the commander would endorse. The focus statement is a declaration of the meaning that the writer hopes the reader will extract from the narrative. Don't skimp on the time you allow yourself to write your focus statement. It's critical.
  • Complications - Challenges that force the main character or characters to reassess goals and approaches.
  • Decision - A pivot point where the main character of the story chooses a new path.
  • Struggle - The main character faces inevitable struggles on this new path.
  • Achievements - Resolution of the struggle and an outcome that often but not always involves success.

Example of a Delayed Lead ​:  The last thing Piper remembered was the bullet whizzing toward her, the cracking sound of her own bones and the sickening thud of her body hitting the ground. Even as a child, Piper McClean had dreamed of serving her country. She would pick up a long stick, throw it over her shoulder and march. Her first full sentence was a cadence call. The army was her destiny, a family tradition. As she lay in the hospital bed contemplating her future, it appeared as though her dreams were as shattered as her leg.

Vive Le Difference!

A news article may contain storylines worth exploring, but it cannot be turned readily into a feature. The writer must start from scratch with a premise worthy of a feature, recognizing the differences in purpose and structure. Once you appreciate and respect the difference, you'll be better equipped to write each one for maximum effect.

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Catchy headlines for feature articles

Coin a word, go graphic and more.

Stuck for a catchy title that will make people read the article?

Catchy headlines for feature articles

Next time you’re writing catchy headlines for blog posts, email marketing, social media, online business communications or other pieces of content, try these types of headlines:

Alliteration

Here’s a catchy headline template: Use alliteration.

Alliteration occurs when you repeat initial sounds in nearby words: “Sweet smell of success,” for instance. It “makes your language lyrical,” says Sam Horn, author of P OP! Stand Out in Any Crowd .

That’s the approach Eastman Chemical communicators used when they wrote this headline, summarizing some of the things the company’s R&D department had worked on recently:

Satellites, Soap and Succotash

And The New York Times used alliteration for this headline package:

Tutus and testosterone

Men behaving balletically.

This approach can make a good headline.

Learn more about alliteration .

Graphic wordplay

When the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a photo of a sign from which the “R’s” were missing, copy editors wrote this headline:

Thief st ikes again

One approach for a catchy headline: Use type to twist a phrase.

Graphic wordplay can be as simple as a headline that says:

Make Fewer Mitsakes

The Minneapolis copy editors used graphic wordplay for this headline and deck:

He (subject) teaches (verb) grammar (object)

Mike greiner is old-school about teaching students how sentences are built, despite what one student wrote: ‘you’re torturing us’.

Copyeditors at the Omaha World-Herald earned an ACES award for a portfolio including this headline:

Space rock to get thisclose to Earth

Scientists say an asteroid hurtling our way will miss us by a mere 200,000 miles..

Scott Beckett, a copy editor at Scripps central desk in Corpus Christi, Texas, submitted this ACES award winner:

Education = More chances 2

Grant gives san pat students opportunities in math, science.

(Note: Search engines don’t love these headlines. So use them for email, not listing posts.)

Half-and-half words

When Dixie Land (yes!) needed a headline for a piece about punishing workouts, the copyeditor for The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote:

Intimidating or spine-chilling physical psyche-outs possess a fitness center client

Can’t find the perfect term for your headline? Make it up! For this technique, you create a new word by gluing two old words together.

Indeed, several ACES winners coined words for their winning headlines:

Penitence goes mobile with new confession app

Software makes it easy to say, ‘forgive me father, isinned’, — copyeditors at the detroit news, short and tweet, twitterature: the new art of adding stories to your posts, — marianne tamburro, copyeditor for the star-ledger, bon app-étit, as ipads become a kitchen staple, digital cookbooks enhance the experience of following a recipe, — copyeditors at the oregonian, dinosaurigami, more pop-ups from the ‘prehistorica’ team of sabuda and reinhart,  — gregory cowles of the new york times, one-word headlines.

Here’s a headline formula that’s easy to implement: “See if there is ONE word that captures the essence of your subject,” suggests Horn. “A one word title is more likely to JUMP! off the page.”

Her own book title is a good example of this approach:

Stand Out in Any Crowd

Make your title jump off the page in a single word.

Onomatopoeia

Buzz, crash, whirrr, splash . Onomatopoeia — Greek for name-making — is a word that imitates the sound it represents.

Headline writers at The Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader used that approach for this ACES winner:

Squeeeak … Slam! Sniffff … Ahhhh!

Screen doors let in fresh air and nostalgia.

Too often we think of feature headlines as clever heads for cute stories. The New York Times copy editors remind us that feature heads work well for emotional — even agonizing — pieces, as well.

Several ACES winners have used this approach for their award-winning heads. Copy editors for the Los Angeles Times , for instance, came up with this headline and deck:

Surrounded by her son

The mother of nfl player chris henry wanted to meet the people who received his organs. from one death, four lives were reborn.

Don’t think of feature headlines as purely clever heads for cute stories. Expand your repertoire by writing poignant heads for touching stories, too.

“Declarations sit on the page,” Horn says. “Questions engage.”

Indeed, well-crafted question headlines can draw your reader in. To write a good question head:

Peggy Boss Barney, copy editor for the Salt Lake Tribune , posed a provocative question in this ACES award-winning headline:

What Do You Get When You Cross a Human With a Mouse?

A narrowing of laws on manipulating life, patent applicants hope.

Question leads can help you avoid giving away the ending. Roy Peter Clark, editorial guru at the Poynter Institute, suggests that instead of:

Heroic measures save heroic dog

Brutis kept a deadly snake from his master and her grandchildren, but needed some quick help in turn to keep from dying from the bite.

You consider:

Would heroic measures save heroic dog?

Brutis kept a deadly snake from his master and her grandchildren. would the antivenin arrive in time to save the dog from dying from the bite.

Try it. As Paula LaRocque, author of Championship Writing , writes: “A headline with a question mark is inherently more open and engaging than a statement headline.”

Single-syllable words

Short words are powerful words.

They clip along at a brisk rate, can look great graphically and say a lot in a little space. Plus — sometimes most important if you’re writing to a strict space limitation — they fit.

To pack a punch in your next headline, try limiting yourself to only one-syllable words. Here are some examples to get you started.

For an article about taking private jets instead of commercial airlines in Northern Trust’s Northern Update marketing magazine, Loring Leifer wrote this pithy head:

Mary Forgione, copy editor for the Los Angeles Times , earned an ACES  award for this string of super-short words:

Life After Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz

In her book, an advertising lion reflects on making it in a man’s world.

Jennifer Balderama, copy editor for the Washington Post , used only one-syllable words for this ACES award-winner:

Ears wide shut

Researchers get punished for telemarketers’ crimes.

David Breen, copy editor for the Orlando Sentinel , slipped a two-syllable word into this headline, another ACES winner. But the clip of short words following it are certainly worth emulating:

Divorce: Log on, click in, break up

But critics say an online divorce is not hassle-free; others fear it’s too easy.

Still, the real queen of the one-syllable-word head is Debbie Sprong, copy editor for the Elkhart Truth . She earned an ACES award for these heads:

Cap and gone

(for an infographic on graduation), new numbers in second district race show strong lead for chocola, for many workers, lunch hour is more than a chance to eat, officials hope test plot proves merits of biosolid compost.

Gregory Cowles of The New York Times earned an ACES award for a portfolio of heads including these:

A collection of picture books teaches children about jazz and its heroes

The way of no flesh, a cultural history of vegetarianism in the west.

And Scott Beckett, copy editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times , called out his short words in this ACES award-winning headline:

Nature’s 4-letter words: Wind, hail, rain

Violent storm destroys home, topples big rigs.

For a preview of fall TV shows, Pat Myers of The Washington Post wrote:

Ewws and Ahhs

Too many shows will give viewers the creeps this season, but a few noble souls save the day.

Steve Byers of the Huntsville (Ala.) Times limited himself to one-syllable words for this headline:

The spies who love me

Scared parents of teens spending on surveillance.

Jeff Verbus of The Repository (Canton, Ohio) had two winning heads using only super-short words:

Knock down, drag out blight

Mounting expenses won’t deter canton from ridding city of eyesore properties, bill to squeeze pop has juice, senator proposes a limit or ban on sale of soda in public schools.

Try writing headlines using only one-syllable words. The result may well pack more of a punch than headlines using longer words.

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Behind the Headlines

Feature and opinion writing resources.

Research widely - facts, statistics, different sides of the story and quotes.

Spend time planning your feature article and organise your ideas.

Don’t reveal everything at the beginning. Features have a narrative structure and draw in the reader gradually.

The key paragraph is the nutgraph, usually the second or third paragraph, where the feature is put in context and its significance is explained.

Reveal a key piece of information, quote or statistic in each paragraph and use quotes from a range of people to give a rounded view.

Think about the ending of the feature. It should not be a summary. A good final paragraph might include a powerful quote, a call to action or leave the reader in a different place from where you started.

Be passionate and opinionated - choose a subject you feel strongly about, and then work on communicating that passion to your readers.

Start with what you know - you will probably write a stronger piece if you have some awareness in, or experience of, your subject. What is the point of your article? You should be able to sum it up in a couple of sentences.

Do your research - a strong argument is important, so too is a grasp of the facts. Your task is to persuade others, so you need to make the strongest possible case for your opinion – strong enough to persuade your opponents.

Construct a clear argument - reflect your opinion on your chosen subject. Remember to persuade your reader by including evidence, addressing other perspectives directly, presenting a conclusion and structuring your writing in a way that is easy to follow.

Stay in touch

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5 Essential Tips for Producing Great News Features

Learn how to write a news feature story

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A news feature is a kind of story that focuses on a hard news topic. It combines a feature writing style with hard news reporting. Here are a few tips to help you learn how to write a news feature story.

Find a Topic That's Doable

News features typically try to shed light on problems in our society, but many people doing news features for the first time try to tackle topics that are just too large. They want to write about crime or poverty or injustice, but entire books—indeed, hundreds of books—can and have been written about subjects so broad.

What you need to do is find a narrow, focused topic that can be covered reasonably well in the space of a 1,000–1,500-word news feature.

If you want to write about crime, focus on one particular neighborhood or even a specific housing complex, and narrow it down to one type of crime. Poverty ? Pick a particular kind, whether it's homelessness or single mothers who can't feed their kids. And again, narrow your scope to your community or a neighborhood.

Find Real People

News features tackle important topics, but they're still like any other kind of feature—they're people stories. That means you have to have real people in your stories who will bring the topic to life.

So if you're going to write about homeless people, you'll need to interview as many as you can. If you're writing about a drug epidemic in your community, you'll need to interview addicts, cops, and counselors.

In other words, find people who are on the front lines of the issue you're writing about and let them tell their stories.

Get Plenty of Facts and Stats

News features need people, but they also need to be rooted in facts. For example, if your story claims there is a methamphetamine epidemic in your community, you need to support that with arrest statistics from police, treatment numbers from drug counselors, and so on.

Likewise, if you think homelessness is on the rise, you'll need numbers to back that up. Some evidence can be anecdotal; a cop saying he's seeing more homeless people on the streets is a good quote. But in the end, there's no substitute for hard data.

Get the Expert View

At some point, every news feature needs an expert's point of view. So if you're writing about crime, don't just talk to a patrol cop —interview a criminologist. And if you're writing about a drug epidemic, interview someone who's studied the drugs involved and their spread. Experts lend news features authority and credibility.

Get the Big Picture

It's crucial to have a local focus for a news feature, but it's also good to give a broader perspective as well. Incorporate large-scale stats that are relevant to your topic, like how the issue exists on a national level. What is the homeless crisis like across the country? Have there been similar drug epidemics in other communities? This "big picture" kind of reporting validates your story and shows that it is a piece of a larger puzzle.

The federal government keeps track of tons of data, so look to the websites for various agencies to find the statistics you need.

  • Types of Feature Stories for Journalists
  • How to Write Feature Stories
  • Five Great Feature Ideas for Writers
  • Learn What a Feature Story Is
  • Tips for Producing Great Trend Stories
  • 10 Important Steps for Producing a Quality News Story
  • 15 News Writing Rules for Beginning Journalism Students
  • 7 Tips for Writing Personality Profiles That People Will Want to Read
  • How Feature Writers Use Delayed Ledes
  • What Is a Story Angle?
  • How to Write Great Ledes for Feature Stories
  • Writing a Lead or Lede to an Article
  • Avoid the Common Mistakes That Beginning Reporters Make
  • 5 Key Ingredients for Great Feature Stories
  • Finding and Developing Ideas for News Stories and Articles
  • Use Verbs and Adjectives to Brighten up Your News Stories
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How to Write a News Article

Last Updated: April 28, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Gerald Posner . Gerald Posner is an Author & Journalist based in Miami, Florida. With over 35 years of experience, he specializes in investigative journalism, nonfiction books, and editorials. He holds a law degree from UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley. He’s the author of thirteen books, including several New York Times bestsellers, the winner of the Florida Book Award for General Nonfiction, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. He was also shortlisted for the Best Business Book of 2020 by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,401,492 times.

Writing a news article is different from writing other articles or informative pieces because news articles present information in a specific way. It's important to be able to convey all the relevant information in a limited word count and give the facts to your target audience concisely. Knowing how to write a news article can help a career in journalism , develop your writing skills and help you convey information clearly and concisely.

Things You Should Know

  • Outline your article with all the facts and interview quotes you’ve gathered. Decide what your point of view on the topic is before you start writing.
  • Your first sentence is the most important one—craft an attention-getter that clearly states the most important information.
  • Proofread for accurate information, consistent style and tone, and proper formatting.

Sample Articles

how to write news feature article

Planning Your Article

Step 1 Research your topic.

  • If you’ve ever written a research paper you understand the work that goes into learning about your topic. The first phase of writing a news article or editorial is pretty similar.
  • Who - who was involved?
  • What - what happened?
  • Where - where did it happen?
  • Why - why did it happen?
  • When - when did it happen?
  • How - how did it happen?

Step 2 Compile all your facts.

  • 1) those that need to be included in the article.
  • 2) those that are interesting but not vital.
  • 3) those that are related but not important to the purpose of the article.
  • This fact list will help prevent you from leaving out any relevant information about the topic or story, and will also help you write a clean, succinct article.
  • Be as specific as possible when writing down all of these facts. You can always trim down unnecessary information later, but it’s easier to cut down than it is to have to beef up an article.
  • It’s okay at this point to have holes in your information – if you don’t have a pertinent fact, write down the question and highlight it so you won’t forget to find it out
  • Now that you have your facts, if your editor has not already assigned the type of article, decide what kind of article you’re writing. Ask yourself whether this is an opinion article, an unbiased and straightforward relaying of information, or something in between. [2] X Research source

Step 3 Create an article outline.

  • If you’ve ever heard the term “burying the lead”, that is in reference to the structure of your article. [4] X Research source The “lead” is the first sentence of the article – the one you “lead” with. Not "burying the lead" simply means that you should not make your readers read several paragraphs before they get to the point of your article.
  • Whatever forum you’re writing for, be it print or for the web, a lot of readers don’t make it to the end of the article. When writing a news article, you should focus on giving your readers what they want as soon as possible.
  • Write above the fold. The fold comes from newspapers where there’s a crease because the page gets folded in half. If you look at a newspaper all the top stories are placed above the fold. The same goes for writing online. The virtual fold is the bottom of your screen before you have to scroll down. Put the best information at the top to engage your readers and encourage them to keep reading.

Step 4 Know your audience.

  • Ask yourself the “5 W's” again, but this time in relation to your audience.
  • Questions like what is the average age you are writing for, where is this audience, local or national, why is this audience reading your article, and what does your audience want out of your article will inform you on how to write.
  • Once you know who you are writing for you can format an outline that will get the best information to the right audience as quickly as possible.

Step 5 Find an angle.

  • Even if you are covering a popular story or topic that others are writing about, look for an angle that will make this one yours.
  • Do you have a personal experience that relates to your topic? Maybe you know someone who is an expert that you can interview .

Step 6 Interview people.

  • People usually like to talk about personal experiences, especially if it will be featured somewhere, like your news article. Reach out through a phone call, email, or even social media and ask someone if you can interview them.
  • When you do interview people you need to follow a few rules: identify yourself as a reporter. Keep an open mind . Stay objective. While you are encouraged to ask questions and listen to anecdotes, you are not there to judge.
  • Record and write down important information from the interview, and be transparent with what you are doing and why you are doing this interview.

Writing Your News Article

Step 1 Start with the lead.

  • Your lead should be one sentence and should simply, but completely, state the topic of the article.
  • Remember when you had to write essays for school? Your lead is like your thesis statement.
  • Let your readers know what your news article is about, why it’s important, and what the rest of the article will contain.

Step 2 Give all the important details.

  • These details are important, because they are the focal point of the article that fully informs the reader.
  • If you are writing an opinion piece , this is where you will state what your opinion is as well.

Step 3 Follow up main facts with additional information.

  • This additional information helps round out the article and can help you transition to new points as you move along.
  • If you have an opinion, this is where you will identify the opposing views and the people who hold them.
  • A good news article will outline facts and information. A great news article will allow readers to engage on an emotional level.
  • To engage your readers, you should provide enough information that anyone reading your news article can make an informed opinion, even if it contrasts with yours.
  • This also applies to a news article where you the author don’t state your opinion but present it as an unbiased piece of information. Your readers should still be able to learn enough about your topic to form an opinion.

Step 4 Conclude your article.

  • Make sure your news article is complete and finished by giving it a good concluding sentence. This is often a restatement of the leading statement (thesis) or a statement indicating potential future developments relating to the article topic.
  • Read other news articles for ideas on how to best accomplish this. Or, watch news stations or shows. See how a news anchor will wrap up a story and sign off, then try to emulate that.

Proofing Your Article

Step 1 Check facts before publishing.

  • Be sure to double check all the facts in your news article before you submit it, including names, dates, and contact information or addresses. Writing accurately is one of the best ways to establish yourself as a competent news article writer.

Step 2 Ensure you have followed your outline and have been consistent with style.

  • If your news article is meant to convey direct facts, not the opinions of its writer, ensure you’ve kept your writing unbiased and objective. Avoid any language that is overly positive or negative or statements that could be construed as support or criticism.
  • If your article is meant to be more in the style of interpretive journalism then check to make sure that you have given deep enough explanations of the larger story and offered multiple viewpoints throughout.

Step 3 Follow the AP Style for formatting and citing sources.

  • When quoting someone, write down exactly what was said inside quotations and immediately cite the reference with the person’s proper title. Formal titles should be capitalized and appear before a person’s name. Ex: “Mayor John Smith”.
  • Always write out numbers one through nine, but use numerals for numbers 10 and up.
  • When writing a news article, be sure to only include one space after a period, not two. [12] X Research source

Step 4 Have your editor read your article.

  • You shouldn’t submit any news article for publication without first letting someone take a look at it. An extra pair of eyes can double check your facts and the information to ensure that what you have written is accurate.
  • If you are writing a news article for school or your own personal website, then have a friend take a look at it and give you notes. Sometimes you may get notes that you want to defend or don’t agree with it. But these should be listened to. Remember, with so many news articles getting published every minute you need to ensure that your widest possible audience can easily digest the information you have provided.

Expert Q&A

Gerald Posner

  • Start with research and ask the “5. Asking these questions will help you create an outline and a narrative to your article. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Interview people, and remember to be polite and honest about what you are writing. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Put the most important information at the beginning of your article. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0

how to write news feature article

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Expert Interview

how to write news feature article

Thanks for reading our article! If you'd like to learn more about writing an article, check out our in-depth interview with Gerald Posner .

  • ↑ https://libguides.mit.edu/select-topic
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.gmu.edu/writing-resources/different-genres/news-writing-fundamentals
  • ↑ https://libguides.southernct.edu/journalism/howtowrite
  • ↑ https://spcollege.libguides.com/c.php?g=254319&p=1695313
  • ↑ https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/cm360
  • ↑ https://mediahelpingmedia.org/basics/how-to-find-and-develop-important-news-angles/
  • ↑ https://www.northwestern.edu/brand/editorial-guidelines/newswriting-guidelines/
  • ↑ https://tacomacc.libguides.com/c.php?g=599051&p=4147190
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/journalism_and_journalistic_writing/ap_style.html
  • ↑ https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/punctuation/space-after-period
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/

About This Article

Gerald Posner

To write a news article, open with a strong leading sentence that states what the article is about and why it’s important. Try to answer the questions who, what, where, when, and why as early in the article as possible. Once you’ve given the reader the most important facts, you can include any additional information to help round out the article, such as opposing views or contact information. Finish with a strong concluding sentence, such as an invitation to learn more or a statement indicating future developments. For tips on researching your article, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to write a feature article

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  • Rebecca Ghani , freelance journalist, London
  • bexghani{at}live.co.uk

Interested in writing for a medical journal? Rebecca Ghani finds out from the experts where you can start

You have an excellent idea for a feature article that you would like to publish: you know that the topic is relevant; you’re sure the audience would be interested; you can access the facts and statistics; and you know that you could source a great interview or two.

So where do you go from here?

Know the publication

Read the latest copies of the publication or journal to get a feel for the style and tone. Think about the different sections and where your idea would best fit.

Scan the online archives for similar subjects: it’s unlikely that your piece will be commissioned if the topic has already been covered recently.

Edward Davies, editor of BMJ Careers, says, “The first thing that I would say is absolutely crucial for anyone submitting a pitch is to make sure we haven’t done it before. Google is your friend on this; Google the idea you’re thinking of—and search within the BMJ , BMJ Careers, and Student BMJ websites to see if there’s anything that’s been done on this before.”

Know your audience

If you’re writing for the Student BMJ , and you’re a medical student, you’ll have a good idea of what your peers will be interested in reading about. Sound it out with your colleagues and get input about your idea. Remember that the Student BMJ has an international readership and that your piece should be accessible and relevant to a worldwide audience.

Other medical journals have an even wider reach: the BMJ has a circulation of over 100 000 and a mixed audience of hospital doctors, GPs, retired doctors, and almost 5000 international doctors. 1

Even though most of your readers will be medics, don’t assume knowledge: there is always a lay audience, and keep in mind that the mainstream media often pick up on stories published in medical journals. Don’t dumb it down, but ensure it is accessible to a layperson.

In particular, spell out acronyms, explain colloquialisms, and use straightforward language. It shouldn’t be written as a research piece, so steer clear of academic jargon.

Udani Samarasekera, senior editor at the Lancet , makes the point that features are different from academic work: “Features are actually very different from essays: they’re a lot more colourful and journalistic and much more engaging. My advice would be not to think too much along the lines of an essay, which can be some students’ downfall,” she says.

Samarasekera also advises researching what makes a good feature: “There is a certain structure: they have an intro, background, new development, and then some debate. And often if it’s a journalistic piece it will describe the scene or have a character that draws you into the beginning of the story as well. So, very different from essays.”

When is a feature not a feature?

It’s important to understand what a feature is. Such articles showcase a topic or subject and weave in quotes, facts, and statistics to frame a topic and give it context and flavour. Although there is a place for opinion writing, this is a distinct type of writing and should be approached differently. A straight feature should not include your opinions: it will be your writing style that adds personality to the piece, not your viewpoint.

Davies outlines why it’s important to avoid airing your views if you’re pitching a standard feature: “We get a lot of things pitched as features that are actually opinion—so, people who’ve done a little survey or found a topic that bugs them. And actually what they’re writing about is their feelings on it, what they think of it. And you’ve got to be quite careful with that.”

Features will generally take straightforward news items or topical stories and examine them in more depth, bringing in original quotes from experts and often adding a human interest angle.

Profile articles focus on one person and should include a first hand interview and contextual information about the subject. The BMJ , BMJ Careers, and Student BMJ all publish profiles of eminent doctors or healthcare professionals, as do most general medical journals: the Lancet publishes a profile in its perspectives section.

This section of a publication can include editorials and first hand experience pieces; in Student BMJ and BMJ there’s the personal view section, and in BMJ Careers there is an opinion slot each week. Here, your voice and your opinions shape the piece and give readers an understanding of your experience and viewpoint. You should still support your opinions with facts and evidence, where appropriate.

Most features will have a peg or a hook on which the rest of the item will hang. This helps to shape the piece and give it a focus. Think about what will draw in your reader: something funny, controversial, or shocking; a new angle on an old subject; or something that generates conflicting viewpoints.

Human interest stories usually work well and can liven up an otherwise dry feature. Generally, features published in medical journals have a topical peg. One example is “The case of M,” 2 which took a recent court ruling about a patient’s right to die and then looked more closely at the current debate and research about ethics and the law surrounding this issue.

Samarasekera of the Lancet emphasises the importance of this: “Topicality is a big thing,” she says. “A feature needs to have something that’s interesting—maybe a recent controversy with an issue, but also a recent development to expand the feature—and to tell your readers why you’re covering it now.” She goes on to say the peg can be “a new piece of research, a report, a pending court case, or something like the first world hepatitis day or some big global health news.”

Once you have a firm idea of your subject, the publication, the audience, and the appropriate section, you are ready to make a pitch to the editor.

Be targeted —Once you’ve selected the journal, think about which section to target within the journal, and make this clear.

Be concise —Your pitch should be one or two paragraphs in the main body of an email. Do not send attachments, as editors may not have time to open them. Ensure that the subject line of the email is descriptive and introduces the pitch in a few words.

Engage —Say why your idea is relevant, why the audience will be interested, and what it adds to existing published work.

Follow up —If you don’t hear back within two weeks, follow up with a phone call to talk your idea through.

Davies says: “Put it down in writing—send an email pitch. And then if you haven’t heard within two weeks, get the phone number and pester them.

“And while the editor might not like it, giving them a quick nag on the phone is no bad thing, as your pitch comes back to the top of their pile and they reconsider it,” he advises.

Liaise with your editor

If your pitch is successful, your editor might allow you to run with it in your own style or could be more prescriptive and will brief you with some guidelines on tone, style, and what to include or avoid.

Make sure you and your editor are thinking along the same tracks. Should the piece be informal, chatty, or serious? Is there anyone specific you should be interviewing? Do you need to reference any other research or articles—particularly if the BMJ itself has published a relevant piece.

Agree a word count and deadline and stick to them.

Be organised

Although the final product will be one article, you will use many sources of information to inform your piece, which can easily get lost or mixed up.

Approach writing a feature like a mini-project. Keep your electronic files in a properly labelled folder and use descriptive file names—labelling a file “interview” probably won’t be that useful. Use dates and names to help you keep track of your research and interviews.

Log all requested interviews with latest notes, press office details, contact details, and any other notes that could be useful. Note whether a potential interviewee is in your own time zone or abroad and calculate time differences to make sure that you don’t call them in the middle of the night.

Keep links to any online research. You might find the perfect statistic or fact to back up your article, but it will be of no use if you can’t reference it properly.

Interviews can be face to face or on the phone. Although face to face is best, Skype is a great way to conduct international interviews.

Keep interviews to the point. Although it’s tempting to veer off to other topics, this can waste time and means that you have more audio to wade through.

Record or take shorthand notes. If you’re quoting someone directly, this needs to be an accurate representation of what they have said. Request permission if recording, and check equipment beforehand.

Don’t allow copy approval. It’s sometimes acceptable to show interviewees their words before publication, but for viewing—not for approval.

Interviewees

Features should contain original quotes from experts in the subject area. This will give your piece a fresh angle on a subject and first hand quotes will help to bring the story to life.

Allow interviews to shine through and don’t stifle with too much “framing”—often direct quotes don’t need much explanation and add to the authority of the piece.

Try not to use “quote sluts” 3 —overused media friendly sources who can churn out the same old line to each interviewer they speak to. Think about who might give a different, fresh, and possibly more controversial viewpoint.

Approach more interviewees than required. People may not respond, may be too busy, or just might not be interested. The risk here is that you end up with too much material, but that is better than not enough.

Your piece needs to be accurate, and any statements should be backed up by well sourced references. Try to verify statistics and facts from at least two sources, at first hand from the original source if possible. Don’t just repeat a fact you’ve read elsewhere. Libel laws apply each time a defamatory comment is repeated. If you’re using a non-primary quote or text, reference it properly so that the reader can see it in its original context.

Unlike news stories, which are written with the least important information at the end, the final paragraphs of a feature often tie up the loose ends. This could be an answer to the original question; a quote that sums up the gist of the piece; or a weighing up of the arguments within.

Competing interests: None declared.

From the Student BMJ .

  • ↵ BMJ Group Journals Division. Media Pack 2012 http://group.bmj.com/group/advertising/BMJ%20Group%20Journals%20Division%20Media%20Pack%202012.pdf .
  • ↵ Jacobs B. The case of M. Student BMJ 2012 ; 20 : e236 . OpenUrl
  • ↵ Matalin M, Carville J. All’s fair. Random House, 1994.

how to write news feature article

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Resources to enhance and strengthen editorial operations

Edith Chapin

In a note to Content division staff, acting Chief Content Officer, SVP and Editor in Chief, Edith Chapin announced the following update:

I'm writing today to share that I have requested and received support from Katherine, the Board, and external funders for a plan that will further enhance and strengthen our editorial operations as a unified Content division.

NPR creates great journalism, and a lot of it, across more platforms than ever before. With all of our editorial staff now together under one division, we're also a larger team than ever. We need new structures that enable us to see across the entirety of our journalism and think about our overall coverage strategically. We encourage audiences to evaluate our coverage based on the full depth and breadth of our content — particularly our approach to covering complex and ongoing stories — and we need to ensure that we too are looking at our coverage as a whole.

Some of our next steps will be straightforward enhancements of existing processes, while others will introduce new workflows to better match best practices for a journalism operation of our size and reach.

We'll hold a series of Content staff meetings this week where I and other members of the Content leadership team will be able to walk through our plan for editorial enhancements and take questions. In the meantime, I want to share the key elements of this plan:

  • Standards & Practices: We will increase the size of this team to expand coverage across shifts, ensure more oversight and guidance is issued, and create more bandwidth and availability for training sessions and discussion both for NPR and Member stations.
  • We will be hiring two standards editors who will work with Tony Cavin, Managing Editor Standards and Practices. Tony will continue to report to me in my capacity as SVP and Editor in Chief.
  • Ethics Handbook: NPR's Ethics Handbook sets a gold standard. We'll take additional steps to ensure these standards are baked into our processes. A newly expanded Standards & Practices team will conduct conversations that delve into specific applications of the ethics handbook, creating more space to cover and discuss scenarios that directly relate to different teams and areas of work. To ensure awareness, understanding, and compliance with the handbook, we will also introduce an annual process for all Content division staff to review and confirm review of the NPR Ethics Handbook.
  • Editorial Planning: We will create new processes and technical solutions (particularly in Nexus, our division-wide planning tool) that improve visibility across NPR's daily, weekly, and long-term offerings. Our aim is to get the entire division fully aligned in one central planning tool to increase transparency, help avoid duplicative efforts, and ensure a well-curated coverage mix across shows, desks, and platforms. The aim is to make as many decisions on duplicative efforts and about our overall mix as early in the process as possible, freeing up time and energy.
  • The "Backstop": We will institute a process to ensure that all journalism across NPR platforms gets a final editorial review before air/publication. This will be a new group of senior-level editors who are not involved in the inception or development of a particular piece of work, working 24/7 to ensure that all coverage receives final editorial review.
  • We will be hiring 6 senior editorial positions — a Managing Editor, 2 Deputy Managing Editors, and 3 Senior Editors to staff this team across shifts. The Managing Editor overseeing the team will report to me in my capacity as SVP and Editor in Chief, with a dotted line to Collin Campbell, SVP Podcast Strategy and Franchise Development. The Backstop team will work in collaboration with the Managing Editors and DMEs who run the day.
  • Content Analysis: We will create a content strategy analysis function within the Content division to provide data and analysis of our content mix in a timely manner for editors, showrunners, and Content leadership to review and make more informed decisions. This analysis will also inform other new processes, like the monthly internal Content Review sessions and the Quarterly NPR Network Editorial Review sessions. We're going to regularly look at our content in the aggregate instead of the anecdotal.
  • We will be hiring two content strategy analysts who will report to VP of Content Business Strategy and Operations, Meg Brennan, who will provide the analyses to editorial leadership. They will partner closely with the RAD team and cross functional teams across NPR to help us make strategic decisions as directed by the CCO and leadership team.
  • Editorial Briefings: We will hold frequent (roughly six times a year) off-the-record editorial briefings with newsmakers and leaders in their fields to get insights on topics presented to the Content team leadership. NPR already holds these types of sessions on an ad-hoc basis. Formalizing this series will help make sure they continue to happen with regularity and purpose, across the content division, and across a wide range of perspectives.

We will also add one additional Training role to increase support across all aspects of this plan. We'll start by posting 8 of these positions and look to fill all 11 in the near term given the 24/7 schedule of our operations.

These roles and initiatives are interconnected and work as a package. They support all members of the Content division, regardless of what platform they work on or where a story is published. They are effective, cost-effective, and doable. Our ambitious independent journalism requires them.

Some will ask if this is a reaction to recent media discourse about NPR. Clearly we have a lot of eyes on our house right now. I am proud of our journalism and I will continue to defend our work with full force. Defending our work includes being ever-willing to take a hard look at our structures and content mix with an eye toward what we might do to further strengthen them. I swung for the fences and asked for resources I've long wished we had, and I'm pleased with the support we've received.

This will not only benefit NPR, but also our Network. Adding a content strategy analysis function will directly support our new Quarterly Network Editorial Meetings with resourced data that can be built over time to better serve Network needs. With a larger Standards & Practices team, we will increase our coverage across shifts and provide needed bandwidth to also more regularly appear on station webinars and create public-facing materials that make our Ethics Handbook and editorial guidance more accessible and engaging for our audiences. "The Backstop" process will enhance editorial support for station content produced for NPR. All of these measures will enhance the content that Member stations pay us for and support their ability to answer audience questions about how we evaluate and curate our overall coverage mix.

As we execute on our strategic vision for the years ahead — to deeply understand the audiences we have and those we do not yet reach so that we can attract, inform, and engage a rapidly changing America — we need processes that support acting on what we learn from audience research. We need to adapt the way we work to ensure that the journalism we create in any one part of the organization is seen in the context of all the content we create. We need to ensure that all our work meets the highest standards, and that we are thoughtful about the body of work we make together, including incorporating the audience research we have available.

I look forward to discussing this plan with you in greater detail in the days and weeks ahead. We have three Content all-hands meetings scheduled this week to accommodate different schedules and those meetings will be entirely focused on this plan. You can also always reach me or any other members of my leadership team directly.

As always, thank you all for the work that you do.

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how to write news feature article

Apple unveils stunning new iPad Pro with the world’s most advanced display, M4 chip, and Apple Pencil Pro

The new iPad Pro.

Thinnest Apple Product Ever

A side profile of iPad Pro showing its thinness.

World’s Most Advanced Display

The Ultra Retina XDY display showcasing beautiful landscape scenery on the new iPad Pro.

Only Possible with M4

The Octane app disabled on iPad Pro.

Outrageously Powerful Device for AI

Pro Cameras

A close up look at the pro camera system on the new iPad Pro.

Pro Connectivity

Apple Pencil Pro

The Apple Pencil Pro attached to the new iPad Pro.

All-New Magic Keyboard and Smart Folio

Powerful iPadOS Features

Reference Mode on iPad Pro.

Logic Pro for iPad 2

Session Players in Logic Pro for iPad 2 displayed on iPad Pro.

Final Cut Pro for iPad 2

Live Multicam in Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 displayed on iPad Pro.

iPad Pro and the Environment

  • Customers can order the new iPad Pro with M4 starting today, May 7, at apple.com/store , and in the Apple Store app in 29 countries and regions, including the U.S., with availability in stores beginning Wednesday, May 15.
  • The new 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pro will be available in silver and space black finishes in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations.
  • The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at  $999  (U.S.) for the Wi-Fi model, and  $1,199  (U.S.) for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. The 13-inch iPad Pro starts at  $1,299  (U.S.) for the Wi-Fi model, and  $1,499  (U.S.) for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Additional technical specifications, including nano-texture glass options, are available at apple.com/store .
  • For education, the new 11-inch iPad Pro is available for  $899  (U.S.) and the 13-inch iPad Pro is $1,199 (U.S.). Education pricing is available to current and newly accepted college students and their parents, as well as faculty, staff, and home-school teachers of all grade levels. For more information, visit  apple.com/us-hed/shop .
  • The new Apple Pencil Pro is compatible with the new iPad Pro. It is available for $129 (U.S.). For education, Apple Pencil Pro is available for $119 (U.S.).
  • Apple Pencil (USB-C) is compatible with the new iPad Pro. It is available for $79 (U.S.) and $69 (U.S.) for education.
  • The new Magic Keyboard is compatible with the new iPad Pro. It is available in black and white finishes. The new 11-inch Magic Keyboard is available for $299 (U.S.) and the new 13-inch Magic Keyboard is available for $349 (U.S.), with layouts for over 30 languages. For education, the 11-inch Magic Keyboard is available for $279 (U.S.) and the 13-inch Magic Keyboard is available for $329 (U.S.).
  • The new Smart Folio is available for $79 (U.S.) in black, white, and denim finishes for the new 11-inch iPad Pro and $99 (U.S.) for the new 13-inch iPad Pro.
  • Logic Pro for iPad 2 is available on May 13 as a free update for existing users, and for new users, it is available on the App Store for $4.99 (U.S.) per month, or $49 (U.S.) per year, with a one-month free trial. Logic Pro for iPad 2 requires iPadOS 17.4 or later. For more information, visit apple.com/logic-pro-for-ipad .
  • Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 will be available later this spring on the App Store for $4.99 (U.S.) per month, or $49 (U.S.) per year, with a one-month free trial.
  • Apple offers great ways to save on the latest iPad. Customers can trade in their current iPad and get credit toward a new one by visiting the Apple Store online , the Apple Store app, or an Apple Store location. To see what their device is worth, and for terms and conditions, customers can visit apple.com/shop/trade-in .
  • Customers in the U.S. who shop at Apple using Apple Card can pay monthly at 0 percent APR when they choose to check out with Apple Card Monthly Installments, and they’ll get 3 percent Daily Cash back — all upfront.

Text of this article

May 7, 2024

PRESS RELEASE

Featuring a new thin and light design, breakthrough Ultra Retina XDR display, and outrageously fast M4 performance with powerful AI capabilities, the new iPad Pro takes a huge leap forward

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today unveiled the groundbreaking new iPad Pro in a stunningly thin and light design, taking portability and performance to the next level. Available in silver and space black finishes, the new iPad Pro comes in two sizes: an expansive 13-inch model and a super-portable 11-inch model. Both sizes feature the world’s most advanced display — a new breakthrough Ultra Retina XDR display with state-of-the-art tandem OLED technology — providing a remarkable visual experience. The new iPad Pro is made possible with the new M4 chip, the next generation of Apple silicon, which delivers a huge leap in performance and capabilities. M4 features an entirely new display engine to enable the precision, color, and brightness of the Ultra Retina XDR display. With a new CPU, a next-generation GPU that builds upon the GPU architecture debuted on M3, and the most powerful Neural Engine yet, the new iPad Pro is an outrageously powerful device for artificial intelligence. The versatility and advanced capabilities of iPad Pro are also enhanced with all-new accessories. Apple Pencil Pro brings powerful new interactions that take the pencil experience even further, and a new thinner, lighter Magic Keyboard is packed with incredible features. The new iPad Pro, Apple Pencil Pro, and Magic Keyboard are available to order starting today, with availability in stores beginning Wednesday, May 15.

“iPad Pro empowers a broad set of pros and is perfect for anyone who wants the ultimate iPad experience — with its combination of the world’s best displays, extraordinary performance of our latest M-series chips, and advanced accessories — all in a portable design. Today, we’re taking it even further with the new, stunningly thin and light iPad Pro, our biggest update ever to iPad Pro,” said John Ternus, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering. “With the breakthrough Ultra Retina XDR display, the next-level performance of M4, incredible AI capabilities, and support for the all-new Apple Pencil Pro and Magic Keyboard, there’s no device like the new iPad Pro.”

The new iPad Pro — the thinnest Apple product ever — features a stunningly thin and light design, taking portability to a whole new level. The 11-inch model is just 5.3 mm thin, and the 13-inch model is even thinner at a striking 5.1 mm, while both models are just as strong as the previous design. The 11-inch model weighs less than a pound, and the 13-inch model is nearly a quarter pound lighter than its predecessor — allowing pro users to extend their workflows in new ways and in more places. The new iPad Pro is available in two gorgeous finishes — silver and space black — both with 100 percent recycled aluminum enclosures.

The new iPad Pro debuts the Ultra Retina XDR, the world’s most advanced display, to provide an even more remarkable visual experience. The Ultra Retina XDR display features state-of-the-art tandem OLED technology that uses two OLED panels and combines the light from both to provide phenomenal full-screen brightness. The new iPad Pro supports an incredible 1000 nits of full-screen brightness for SDR and HDR content, and 1600 nits peak for HDR. No other device of its kind delivers this level of extreme dynamic range. Tandem OLED technology enables sub-millisecond control over the color and luminance of each pixel, taking XDR precision further than ever. Specular highlights in photos and video appear even brighter, and there’s more detail in shadows and low light than ever before on iPad — all while delivering even more responsiveness to content in motion. For pro users working in high-end, color-managed workflows or challenging lighting conditions, a new nano-texture glass option comes to iPad Pro for the first time. 1 Nano-texture glass is precisely etched at a nanometer scale, maintaining image quality and contrast while scattering ambient light for reduced glare. With its breakthrough tandem OLED technology, extreme brightness, incredibly precise contrast, brilliant colors, and nano-texture glass option, the new Ultra Retina XDR display is the world’s most advanced display, giving iPad Pro customers an unparalleled viewing experience.

The incredibly thin and light design and game-changing display of the new iPad Pro is only possible with M4, the next generation of Apple silicon that delivers a huge leap in performance. M4 is built on second-generation 3-nanometer technology that’s even more power efficient, which is perfect for the design of the new iPad Pro. With an entirely new display engine, M4 introduces pioneering technology for the stunning precision, color, and brightness of the Ultra Retina XDR display. The new CPU offers up to four performance cores and now six efficiency cores, 2 with next-generation machine learning (ML) accelerators, to deliver up to 1.5x faster CPU performance over M2 in the previous-generation iPad Pro. 3 M4 builds on the GPU architecture of M3 — the 10-core GPU includes powerful features like Dynamic Caching, and hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray tracing, which come to iPad for the first time. Coupled with higher unified memory bandwidth, pro rendering apps like Octane will see up to 4x faster performance than M2. 3 M4 also delivers tremendous gains and industry-leading performance per watt. Compared to M2, M4 can deliver the same performance using just half the power, and compared to the latest PC chip in a thin and light laptop, M4 can deliver the same performance using just a quarter of the power. 4 A new advanced Media Engine includes support for AV1 decode, providing more power-efficient playback of high-resolution video experiences from streaming services.

The new iPad Pro with M4 features Apple’s most powerful Neural Engine ever, capable of 38 trillion operations per second, which is 60x faster than Apple’s first Neural Engine in the A11 Bionic chip. Combined with next-generation ML accelerators in the CPU, a high-performance GPU, more memory bandwidth, and intelligent features and powerful developer frameworks in iPadOS, the Neural Engine makes the new iPad Pro an outrageously powerful device for AI. With iPad Pro with M4, users can perform AI-enabled tasks even faster, like easily isolate a subject from its background in 4K video with just a tap with Scene Removal Mask in Final Cut Pro. With this advanced level of performance, the Neural Engine in M4 is more powerful than any neural processing unit in any AI PC today.

iPadOS also has advanced frameworks like Core ML that make it easy for developers to tap into the Neural Engine to deliver phenomenal AI features locally, including running powerful diffusion and generative AI models, with great performance on device. iPad Pro also supports cloud-based solutions, enabling users to run powerful productivity and creative apps that tap into the power of AI, such as Copilot for Microsoft 365 and Adobe Firefly.

The updated camera system on the new iPad Pro delivers even more versatility, and with its rich audio from four studio-quality mics, users can shoot, edit, and share all on one device. The 12MP back camera captures vibrant Smart HDR images and video with even better color, improved textures, and detail in low light. It also now features a new adaptive True Tone flash that makes document scanning on the new iPad Pro better than ever. Using AI, the new iPad Pro automatically identifies documents right in the Camera app, and if a shadow is in the way, it instantly takes multiple photos with the new adaptive flash, stitching the scan together for a dramatically better scan.

On the front, the TrueDepth camera system moves to the landscape location on the new iPad Pro. The Ultra Wide 12MP camera with Center Stage makes the experience of video conferencing in landscape orientation even better, especially when iPad is attached to a Magic Keyboard or Smart Folio.

iPad Pro includes a high-performance USB-C connector with support for Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4, delivering fast wired connectivity — up to 40Gb/s. Thunderbolt supports an extensive ecosystem of high-performance accessories, including external displays like the Pro Display XDR at its full 6K resolution, and external storage, all connected using high-performance cables and docks. iPad Pro supports Wi-Fi 6E for super-fast Wi-Fi connections for pro workflows on the go. Wi-Fi + Cellular models with 5G allow users to access their files, communicate with colleagues, and back up their data in a snap while on the go. Cellular models of the new iPad Pro are activated with eSIM, a more secure alternative to a physical SIM card, allowing users to quickly connect and transfer their existing plans digitally, and store multiple cellular plans on a single device. Customers can easily get connected to wireless data plans on the new iPad Pro in over 190 countries and regions around the world without needing to get a physical SIM card from a local carrier.

Apple Pencil Pro features even more magical capabilities and powerful new interactions that take the Apple Pencil experience even further. A new sensor in the barrel can sense a user’s squeeze, bringing up a tool palette to quickly switch tools, line weights, and colors, all without interrupting the creative process. A custom haptic engine delivers a light tap that provides confirmation when users squeeze, use double-tap, or snap to a Smart Shape for a remarkably intuitive experience. A gyroscope allows users to roll Apple Pencil Pro for precise control of the tool they’re using. Rotating the barrel changes the orientation of shaped pen and brush tools, just like pen and paper. And with Apple Pencil hover, users can visualize the exact orientation of a tool before making a mark.

With these advanced features, Apple Pencil Pro allows users to bring their ideas to life in entirely new ways, and developers can also create their own custom interactions. Apple Pencil Pro brings support for Find My for the first time to Apple Pencil, helping users locate Apple Pencil Pro if misplaced. It pairs, charges, and is stored on the side of iPad Pro through a new magnetic interface. iPad Pro also supports Apple Pencil (USB-C), ideal for note taking, sketching, annotating, journaling, and more, at an incredible value.

Designed for the new iPad Pro, an all-new thinner and lighter Magic Keyboard makes it more portable and versatile than ever. The new Magic Keyboard opens to the magical floating design that customers love, and now includes a function row for access to features like screen brightness and volume controls. It also has a gorgeous aluminum palm rest and larger trackpad that’s even more responsive with haptic feedback, so the entire experience feels just like using a MacBook. The new Magic Keyboard attaches magnetically, and the Smart Connector immediately connects power and data without the need for Bluetooth. The machined aluminum hinge also includes a USB-C connector for charging. The new Magic Keyboard comes in two colors that perfectly complement the new iPad Pro: black with a space black aluminum palm rest, and white with a silver aluminum palm rest.

The new Smart Folio for iPad Pro attaches magnetically and now supports multiple viewing angles for greater flexibility. Available in black, white, and denim, it complements the colors of the new iPad Pro.

iPadOS is packed with features that push the boundaries of what’s possible on iPad. With Reference Mode, iPadOS can precisely match color requirements of the Ultra Retina XDR display for tasks in which accurate colors and consistent image quality are critical — including review and approve, color grading, and compositing. Stage Manager enables users to work with multiple overlapping windows in a single view, resize windows, tap to switch between apps, and more. With full external display support of up to 6K, iPad Pro users can also extend their workflow, as well as use the built-in camera on an external display for enhanced video conferencing. Users can take advantage of the powerful AI capabilities in iPad Pro and intelligent features in iPadOS, including Visual Look Up, Subject Lift, Live Text, or Live Captions and Personal Voice for accessibility.

With iPadOS 17 , users can customize the Lock Screen to make it more personal — taking advantage of the larger display on iPad — and interactive widgets take glanceable information further with the ability to get tasks done right in the moment with just a tap. The Notes app gives users new ways to organize, read, annotate, and collaborate on PDFs, and working with PDFs is also easier with AutoFill, which intelligently identifies and fills fields in forms.

Logic Pro for iPad 2 , available starting Monday, May 13, introduces incredible studio assistant features that augment the music-making process and provide artists help right when they need it — all while ensuring they maintain full creative control. These features include Session Players, which expand on popular Drummer capabilities in Logic to include a new Bass Player and Keyboard Player; ChromaGlow, to instantly add warmth to tracks; and Stem Splitter, to extract and work with individual parts of a single audio recording.

Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 , available later this spring, introduces Live Multicam, a new feature that transforms iPad into a mobile production studio, allowing users to view and control up to four connected iPhone and iPad devices wirelessly. 5 To support Live Multicam, an all-new capture app also comes to iPad and iPhone, Final Cut Camera, 6 giving users control over options like white balance, ISO, and shutter speed, along with monitoring tools like overexposure indicators and focus peaking. Final Cut Camera works as a standalone capture app or with Live Multicam. Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 also allows users to create or open projects from external storage, giving editors even more flexibility, and offers new content options. 7

The new iPad Pro is designed with the environment in mind, including 100 percent recycled aluminum in the enclosure, 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in all magnets, and 100 percent recycled gold plating and tin soldering in multiple printed circuit boards. The new iPad Pro meets Apple’s high standards for energy efficiency, and is free of mercury, brominated flame retardants, and PVC. The packaging is 100 percent fiber-based, bringing Apple closer to its goal to remove plastic from all packaging by 2025.

Today, Apple is carbon neutral for global corporate operations, and by 2030, plans to be carbon neutral across the entire manufacturing supply chain and life cycle of every product.

Pricing and Availability

  • Nano-texture glass is an option on the 1TB and 2TB configurations of the 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pro models.
  • iPad Pro models with 256GB or 512GB storage feature the Apple M4 chip with a 9‑core CPU. iPad Pro models with 1TB or 2TB storage feature the Apple M4 chip with a 10‑core CPU.
  • Testing was conducted by Apple in March and April 2024. See apple.com/ipad-pro for more information.
  • Testing was conducted by Apple in March and April 2024 using preproduction 13-inch iPad Pro (M4) units with a 10-core CPU and 16GB of RAM. Performance was measured using select industry‑standard benchmarks. PC laptop chip performance data is from testing ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3405MA) with Core Ultra 7 155H and 32GB of RAM. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of iPad Pro.
  • Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 is compatible with iPad models with the M1 chip or later, and Logic Pro for iPad 2 will be available on iPad models with the A12 Bionic chip or later.
  • Final Cut Camera is compatible with iPhone X S and later with iOS 17.4 or later, and iPad models compatible with iPadOS 17.4 or later.
  • External project support requires iPadOS 17.5 or later.

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Garden tours, plants sales and more ways to spend time among flowers

Visit Maine's botanical gardens or get a sneak peek of what your neighbors are growing in their back yards.

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One of the loveliest ways to ease yourself fully out of the post-winter blahs and into springtime is to quit being a wallflower and instead surround yourself with living, blooming plants.

From botanical gardens to plant sales and garden tours, it’s time to make like the Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz” and while away the hours, conferring with flowers.

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The waterfall at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. Photo by Tory Paxson, Courtesy of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

TOTALLY BOTANICAL

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay is open for the season, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Maine Days are May 31 to June 2, when anyone with a Maine driver’s license or state ID gets in for free. Ditto for dads/father figures on Father’s Day (June 16). Advance registration is required. With more than 300 acres of gardens and natural spaces, including a waterfall, there will be plenty to see, smell and bask in the scenery.

Here are more things to do in Boothbay

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A tour group walks on the boardwalk at Viles Arboretum in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Viles Arboretum is a botanical garden in Augusta with 6 miles of trails and more than 20 botanical collections. It’s open daily from sunrise to sunset, and admission is free. There are 224 acres with all sorts of flora and fauna to discover. Leashed dogs are welcome, and the visitor center is open from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Viles Arboretum offers medicinal plant walks, and although the May 18 session is full, you can still register for the June 15 and Sept. 14 events, lead by herbalist, homeopath and flower essence practitioner Debra Bluth. Tickets are $25. Advertisement

The Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve has four areas to explore on its property in Northeast Harbor: the Asticou Azelea Garden (dawn to dusk daily), the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden (noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday from July 9 to Sept. 8, reservations required), Thuya Garden (dawn to dusk daily, June 15 to Oct. 14) and Little Long Pond Natural Lands (hiking trails and carriage roads open dawn to dusk daily). On June 26, at the Wildflowers of Little Long Pond event, participants can wander around the garden’s fields and forest, spotting wildflowers along the way while practicing how to identify them.

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Joyce Saltman, right, and Beth Anisbeck embrace a tree for 60 seconds during a tree hugging event sponsored by Portland Parks and Recreation, at Deering Oaks Park last year. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

TOURS AND MORE

2nd Annual Tree Hugging 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Deering Oaks Park, Portland. portlandmaine.gov The tree hugging is a family-friendly community gathering to celebrate Portland’s many trees. Park ranger Liz Collado will lead a sensory awakening and forest bathing session. Along with tree hugging, there will be a storytime, and you can touch a forestry truck and meet naturalist Noah Querido and Portland city arborist Mark Reiland. Just down the road, you’ll find Fessenden Park, on the corner of Brighton and Deering Avenues. The tulips have arrived, and it’s worth a visit to see them.

McLaughlin Garden Lilac Festival 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 24. McLaughlin Garden and Homestead, 97 Main St., South Paris, $5. mclaughlingardens.org You’ll find more than 125 varieties of lilacs at the McLaughlin Garden Lilac Festival. Explore on your own or take a guided tour led by a horticulturist. There will also be family-friendly activities, and you can shop for native and unusual plants.

4th annual Woodfords Community Garden Tour 1-4 p.m. June 8. Woodfords Corner Community in Back Cove, Deering Highlands, Oakdale and Deering Center, $20 suggested donation. woodfordscorner.org Presented by Friends of Woodfords Corner, this self-guided tour features at least 10 gardens. As you make your way down the list, you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised by all of the hidden havens bursting with flowers, plants and impressive yardscaping elements.

Peony Society of Maine 23rd annual Garden Tour 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 8 and 15. Both tours start at 1348 Ohio St., Bangor, $5 donation. peonysocietyofmaine.net You’ll visit multiple gardens in Bangor, Winterport, Ripley and St. Albans, and your senses will be filled with countless peonies. A peony plant will be raffled off at the end of each tour. Advertisement

Hidden Gardens of Historic Bath 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 22. Sagadahoc Preservation Inc., 880 Washington St., Bath, $40. sagadahocpreservation.org The Hidden Gardens of Historic Bath house and garden tour features several homes in North Bath. Every stop on the tour will be a treat for your senses and may motivate you to make some of your own magic when you get back home.

Garden Conservancy Open Garden Days 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 29. Beckett Castle Rose Garden, Singles Road, Cape Elizabeth, $10. gardenconservancy.org You’ll see plenty of roses as well as ocean views at Beckett Castle, which sits right on the water, with views of five lighthouses. The castle was built in 1871, and its rose garden features more than 70 varieties of heirloom roses. A 50-foot stone tower doubles as the rose arbor entrance to the castle.

PICK A PLANT SALE

Tate House Museum’s Annual Plant and Herb Sale 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 18. Tate House Museum, 1267 Westbrook St., Portland, 207-774-6177.  tatehouse.org The wide selection includes perennials divided from the museum’s 18th century reproduction garden. Visitors can also make their own “seed bombs” and get a sneak peak at a new installation by artist Ashley Page from 10 a.m. to noon.

Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland Spring Plant S ale 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. May 18, Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, 217 Landing Road, Westbrook, 207-854-9771.  arlgp.org   Perennials, house plants and more will be on sale, and plants that don’t have specific pricing are “name your own fee.” Anyone interested in donating plants or pots to the sale should send a message to [email protected] .

Taking Root Plant Sale 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 1, Tom Settlemire Community Garden, Maurice Drive, Brunswick, 207-729-7694.  btlt.org This annual sale is organized by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. Proceeds benefit the Common Good Garden, which provides food and gardening education for the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. Master gardeners will be on hand to help shoppers choose their best options.

Scarborough Land Trust Native Plant Sale and Spring Festival 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 1, Broadturn Farm, 388 Broadturn Road, Scarborough, 207-289-1199.  scarboroughlandtrust.org Visitors will find native plants, food vendors, local artisans, guided nature walks and activities for kids. To preorder plants, visit the Scarborough Land Trust website.

Maine Audubon Society Native Plants Sale and Festival 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., June 8, Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, 20 Gilsland Farm Road, Falmouth, 207-781-2330.  maineaudubon.org More than 75 species of native wildflowers, shrubs and tree seedlings will be available, along with workshops, info tables and experts.

Staff writer Megan Gray contributed to this report.

Related Headlines

Headed to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens? Here’s what else to check out in Boothbay

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Why RAG won’t solve generative AI’s hallucination problem

documents, title, startup, venture capital

Hallucinations — the lies generative AI models tell, basically — are a big problem for businesses looking to integrate the technology into their operations.

Because models have no real intelligence and are simply predicting words, images, speech, music and other data according to a private schema , they sometimes get it wrong. Very wrong. In a recent piece in The Wall Street Journal, a source recounts an instance where Microsoft’s generative AI invented meeting attendees and implied that conference calls were about subjects that weren’t actually discussed on the call.

As I wrote a while ago, hallucinations may be an unsolvable problem with today’s transformer-based model architectures. But a number of generative AI vendors suggest that they can be done away with, more or less, through a technical approach called retrieval augmented generation, or RAG.

Here’s how one vendor, Squirro, pitches it :

At the core of the offering is the concept of Retrieval Augmented LLMs or Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) embedded in the solution … [our generative AI] is unique in its promise of zero hallucinations. Every piece of information it generates is traceable to a source, ensuring credibility.

Here’s a similar pitch from SiftHub:

Using RAG technology and fine-tuned large language models with industry-specific knowledge training, SiftHub allows companies to generate personalized responses with zero hallucinations. This guarantees increased transparency and reduced risk and inspires absolute trust to use AI for all their needs.

RAG was pioneered by data scientist Patrick Lewis, researcher at Meta and University College London, and lead author of the 2020 paper that coined the term. Applied to a model, RAG retrieves documents possibly relevant to a question — for example, a Wikipedia page about the Super Bowl — using what’s essentially a keyword search and then asks the model to generate answers given this additional context.

“When you’re interacting with a generative AI model like ChatGPT or Llama and you ask a question, the default is for the model to answer from its ‘parametric memory’ — i.e., from the knowledge that’s stored in its parameters as a result of training on massive data from the web,” David Wadden, a research scientist at AI2, the AI-focused research division of the nonprofit Allen Institute, explained. “But, just like you’re likely to give more accurate answers if you have a reference [like a book or a file] in front of you, the same is true in some cases for models.”

RAG is undeniably useful — it allows one to attribute things a model generates to retrieved documents to verify their factuality (and, as an added benefit, avoid potentially copyright-infringing regurgitation ). RAG also lets enterprises that don’t want their documents used to train a model — say, companies in highly regulated industries like healthcare and law — to allow models to draw on those documents in a more secure and temporary way.

But RAG certainly  can’t stop a model from hallucinating. And it has limitations that many vendors gloss over.

Wadden says that RAG is most effective in “knowledge-intensive” scenarios where a user wants to use a model to address an “information need” — for example, to find out who won the Super Bowl last year. In these scenarios, the document that answers the question is likely to contain many of the same keywords as the question (e.g., “Super Bowl,” “last year”), making it relatively easy to find via keyword search.

Things get trickier with “reasoning-intensive” tasks such as coding and math, where it’s harder to specify in a keyword-based search query the concepts needed to answer a request — much less identify which documents might be relevant.

Even with basic questions, models can get “distracted” by irrelevant content in documents, particularly in long documents where the answer isn’t obvious. Or they can — for reasons as yet unknown — simply ignore the contents of retrieved documents, opting instead to rely on their parametric memory.

RAG is also expensive in terms of the hardware needed to apply it at scale.

That’s because retrieved documents, whether from the web, an internal database or somewhere else, have to be stored in memory — at least temporarily — so that the model can refer back to them. Another expenditure is compute for the increased context a model has to process before generating its response. For a technology already notorious for the amount of compute and electricity it requires even for basic operations, this amounts to a serious consideration.

That’s not to suggest RAG can’t be improved. Wadden noted many ongoing efforts to train models to make better use of RAG-retrieved documents.

Some of these efforts involve models that can “decide” when to make use of the documents, or models that can choose not to perform retrieval in the first place if they deem it unnecessary. Others focus on ways to more efficiently index massive datasets of documents, and on improving search through better representations of documents — representations that go beyond keywords.

“We’re pretty good at retrieving documents based on keywords, but not so good at retrieving documents based on more abstract concepts, like a proof technique needed to solve a math problem,” Wadden said. “Research is needed to build document representations and search techniques that can identify relevant documents for more abstract generation tasks. I think this is mostly an open question at this point.”

So RAG can help reduce a model’s hallucinations — but it’s not the answer to all of AI’s hallucinatory problems. Beware of any vendor that tries to claim otherwise.

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how to write news feature article

iOS 18 could feature built-in audio transcription and AI summarization

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If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

iOS 18 is expected to be full of AI features , as Apple plans a mix of on-device and cloud-based tools. In AppleInsider ‘s latest report, the publication says Apple wants to unveil even more changes to some of its core apps, such as Voice Memos and Notes.

According to the publication, the new Voice Memos app will transcript audio recordings in a similar way to how Live Voicemail works. The transcription button will be a speech bubble icon that will be available in both Voice Memos and Notes apps.

In addition, this function will be deeply integrated with AI summarization, so users can get a summarized version of that recording in text. Apple aims to provide these features to students, journalists, and professionals who attend several video calls, all with on-device AI tools.

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With the in-app recording feature, users will be able to “record, save, and play audio recordings directly from the Notes app.”

Below, you can get all the latest iOS 18 AI features we know in our full roundup.

This article talks about:

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José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

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‘Queen Of Hearts’ director May el-Toukhy sets post-Second World War feature ‘Woman, Unknown’ for Nordisk Film Production (exclusive)

By Ben Dalton 2024-05-17T05:00:00+01:00

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Woman, Unknown photo The Danish National Museum

Source: The Danish National Museum

A concept image for ‘Woman, Unknown’

Queen Of Hearts director May el-Toukhy has set her next feature, post-Second World War drama Woman, Unknown (working title).

The film revolves around Marie, a former housekeeper preparing a lavish dinner party to celebrate her engagement to the patriarch of the house, when the truth of her secret past starts to emerge.

el-Toukhy is writing the script with her Queen Of Hearts co-writer Maren Louise Kaehne. The film will be produced by Mikael Christian Rieks for Nordisk Film Production, with filming expected to begin in the first half of 2025.

Backers on the film include the Danish Film Institute.

“With Woman, Unkown I want to explore the idea of the female body as a public domain, a public matter for society to pass judgement on regardless of time and place. I am preoccupied with what it does to a person to carry the burden of a concealed secret for too long, the stigma, the shame – internalized and collective,” said el-Toukhy.

“With Queen Of Hearts , May el-Toukhy and Maren Louise Käehne proved that they are among the most powerful storytellers of their generation. At Nordisk Film Production, we strive to produce relevant and compelling films of high artistic quality for a wide audience, and Woman, Unknown ticks all the boxes,” said Rieks.

Queen Of Hearts debuted at Sundance in 2019, winning the audience award in the World Cinema – Dramatic Competition, and going on to sell over 400,000 tickets in Denmark.

It was a second feature for Danish filmmaker el-Toukhy, who has also directed episodes of Netflix hit The Crown .

Catherine Breillat’s French Queen Of Hearts  remake Last Summer played in Competition at Cannes last year.

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