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How to Write a News Story
Newspaper article outline, how to write a news story in 15 steps.
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The Purdue Owl : Journalism and Journalistic Writing: Introduction
From Scholastic: Writing a newspaper article
I. Lead sentence
Grab and hook your reader right away.
Which facts and figures will ground your story? You have to tell your readers where and when this story is happening.
III. Opening quotation
What will give the reader a sense of the people involved and what they are thinking?
IV. Main body
What is at the heart of your story?
V. Closing quotation
Find something that sums the article up in a few words.
VI. Conclusion (optional—the closing quote may do the job)
The following is an excerpt from The Elements of News Writing by James W. Kershner (Pearson, 2009). This book is available for checkout at Buley Library (Call number PN 4775 .K37 2009, on the 3rd floor)
1. Select a newsworthy story. Your goal is to give a timely account of a recent, interesting, and significant event or development.
2. Think about your goals and objectives in writing the story. What will the readers want and need to know about the subject? How can you best tell the story?
3. Find out who can provide the most accurate information about the subject and how to contact that person. Find out what other sources you can use to obtain relevant information.
4. Do your homework. Do research so that you have a basic understanding of the situation before interviewing anyone about it. Check clips of stories already written on the subject.
5. Prepare a list of questions to ask about the story.
6. Arrange to get the needed information. This may mean scheduling an interview or locating the appropriate people to interview.
7. Interview the source and take notes. Ask your prepared questions, plus other questions that come up in the course of the conversation. Ask the source to suggest other sources. Ask if you may call the source back for further questions later.
8. Interview second and third sources, ask follow-up questions, and do further research until you have a understanding of the story.
9. Ask yourself, “What’s the story?” and “What’s the point?” Be sure you have a clear focus in your mind before you start writing. Rough out a lead in your head.
10. Make a written outline or plan of your story.
11. Write your first draft following your plan, but changing it as necessary.
12. Read through your first draft looking for content problems, holes, or weak spots, and revise it as necessary. Delete extra words, sentences, and paragraphs. Make every word count.
13. Read your second draft aloud, listening for problems in logic or syntax.
14. Copyedit your story, checking carefully for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and style problems.
15. Deliver your finished story to the editor before deadline.
Kershner, J.W. (2009). The Elements of News Writing. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
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How to Write a News Article
Last Updated: October 31, 2023 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 2,293,285 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.
Planning Your Article
- 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?
- 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.  X Research source
- If you’ve ever heard the term “burying the lead”, that is in reference to the structure of your article.  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.
- 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.
- 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 .
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.  X Research source
- 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.
- 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 1 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
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
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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Newspaper Article Outline: How to Write an Effective Newspaper Article
Table of Contents
If you’re a journalist, writer, or aspire to be one, it’s important to know how to properly outline a newspaper article. Although the structure of an article may vary depending on the publication you’re writing for, understanding the basic outline will help you get your point across in a clear and concise manner.
When it comes to creating a school newspaper, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to gather a team of people involved who are passionate about writing and reporting the news. Next, you’ll need to determine what kind of information is most relevant to your audience. And finally, you’ll need to put together a plan for how often you’ll publish your newspaper. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can create a school newspaper that everyone will enjoy reading.
Newspaper articles are a type of investigative reporting. In order to write successful newspaper articles, it is important to have a newsworthy story. A written outline can help to ensure that the story is told in an interesting and effective manner.
When begin writing a newspaper articles, it is important to consider the people involved who will be involved in the story. Other articles may be able to provide relevant information that can help to make the story more interesting. In addition, it is important to consider the near future and how the story may develop over time.
How To Write A Newspaper Article Outline
PROMPT in TTW:
Write a newspaper article outline about smoking CBD flowers
When writing a newspaper article, it is important to have an outline to help organize your thoughts and information. An outline can also help you determine the best way to present your information in an interesting and concise manner.
Here are a few tips on how to write a newspaper article outline:
1. Start with the basics. Begin by writing down the who, what, when, where, and why of your story. This will help you to focus your thoughts and ensure that you include all of the important details.
2. Organize your information. Once you have the basics down, it is time to start organizing your relevant information into a more logical order. One way to do this is to create a list of main points that you want to include in your news articles.
3. Expand on your main points . Once you have your main points down, it is time to start providing more details. Begin by writing a few sentences about each main point. This will help to flesh out your news articles and make it more interesting to read.
4. Add your concluding thoughts. Finally, wrap up your news articles with a strong conclusion. Summarize your main points and leave your readers with something to think about.
By following these tips, you can easily create a well-organized and interesting newspaper article. Just remember to keep your audience in mind while you write newspaper articles and to focus on providing concise and accurate information.
The Benefits Of Writing A Newspaper Article Outline
When it comes to writing a newspaper article, there are a number of benefits to creating an outline first. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it can help to save time in the long run. This is because once you have an outline in place, you will have a clearer idea of what needs to be included in the article and in what order. This can help to prevent any last minute scrambling or having to make major changes to the article once it has been written.
In addition to saving time, an outline can also help to improve the overall quality of your article. This is because it forces you to think about the main points that you want to include and to organise your thoughts in a logical manner. As a result, your article is likely to be more well-rounded and easier to follow. Additionally, an outline can help to keep you on track when writing an article, ensuring that you do not stray from the main points or get sidetracked.
Finally, creating an outline before writing an article can also be beneficial from a practical perspective. This is because it can help you to ensure that you have all of the necessary information to hand before you start writing. For example, if you need to include quotes or statistics in your article, having an outline can remind you to seek these out before you start writing. This can save you a lot of time and hassle later on.
The Key Elements Of A Successful Newspaper Article Outline
An effective newspaper article outline should include the following key elements:
1. A catchy headline: This is perhaps the most important element of a successful article, as it will determine whether or not readers will actually bother to read the rest of the piece. A headline should be interesting, attention-grabbing and, ideally, informative lead paragraph.
2. A clear structure: A well-structured article is easier to read and follow, and thus more likely to hold readers’ attention. A good article outline should therefore include a clear introduction, followed by a series of paragraphs each dealing with a different aspect of the overall topic.
3. Concise writing: In order to keep readers engaged, a newspaper article should be relatively concise, avoiding unnecessary padding and long-winded prose. Every word should serve a purpose and contribute to the overall message of the piece.
4. compelling argument: A successful article should make a convincing case for its point of view, whether that be through the use of facts and figures, reasoned argument or storytelling. If an article fails to persuade its readers, then it is unlikely to be successful.
5. Good sources: In order to make a convincing case, an article must be based on reliable and reputable sources. These could include official data, expert testimony or eyewitness accounts.
6. An interesting angle: There are often many different ways to approach a news story, and the most successful articles are usually those that take an interesting or unexpected angle. This could involve focusing on a particular aspect of the story that has been overlooked, or providing a different interpretation of events.
7. Readability: A good article should be easy to read and understand, even for those who are not experts on the subject matter. This means using clear and concise language, and avoiding unnecessarily jargon.
8. A strong conclusion: A successful article should end with a strong conclusion that leaves readers convinced of the validity of the argument put forward. This could involve a call to action, a summary of the key points made, or a look to the future.
How To Make Your Newspaper Article Outline Stand Out
In order to make your newspaper article outline stand out, you will need to make sure that it is well organized and concise. Start by brainstorming a list of potential topics that you could write about. Once you have a list of ideas, narrow it down to the one that you think would be the most interesting to your readers.
Next, you will need to gather information about your chosen topic. This can be done through research, interviews, or personal experience. Once you have gathered all of the necessary information, it is time to start putting together your outline.
Your outline should include a brief introduction, a main body, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you will want to grab the attention of your readers and give them an overview of what the article will be about. The main body of the article should contain all of the information that you gathered during your research. Finally, the conclusion should summarize the main points of the article and leave your readers with something to think about.
If you follow these tips, your newspaper article outline will stand out from the rest and you will be on your way to writing a great article!
The Dos And Don’ts Of Creating A Newspaper Article Outline
When creating an outline for a newspaper article, there are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
- Do keep your audience in mind. Who will be reading your article? Write your outline with them in mind.
- Do make sure your outline is clear and concise. An outline is supposed to be a helpful tool, not a confusing mess.
- Do feel free to be flexible. As you’re writing your article, your outline may change. That’s okay! Just go with the flow and make the changes you need to make.
- Don’t get too detailed. An outline is not the same thing as the actual article. You don’t need to include every little detail in your outline.
- Don’t make your outline too long. Again, an outline is supposed to be a helpful tool. If it’s too long, it won’t be helpful at all.
- Don’t forget to proofread your written outline. Just because it’s not the actual article doesn’t mean you can skip the proofreading step.
The purpose of a newspaper article outline is to help organize the most important information that will be included in the article. It is important to remember that the outline is not the article itself, but only a guide to help the writer create the article. The outline should be created before the article is written, and it should be followed as closely as possible. If the outline is followed correctly, it will help to ensure that the article is well-organized and informative.
ai-writer , Story Ideas
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Grab your reader’s attention with something interesting.
Let them know what happened. You don’t give all the details but give the main information. What’s the setting of the event (time and place)?
Quote someone involved in the event.
IV. Main body
Tell the story. Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Make sure these questions are answered.
V. Closing quote
Is there a summary quote or an alternative opinion?
If the end quote didn’t sum up, then you need to. Wrap it up. Do you have a point to make? Will there be more information coming?
How to Write a News Article
News articles report on current events that are relevant to the readership of a publication. These current events might take place locally, nationally, or internationally.
News writing is a skill that’s used worldwide, but this writing format—with its unique rules and structure—differs from other forms of writing . Understanding how to write a news story correctly can ensure you’re performing your journalistic duty to your audience.
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What is a news article?
A news article is a writing format that provides concise and factual information to a reader. News stories typically report on current affairs that are noteworthy—including legislation, announcements, education, discoveries or research, election results, public health, sports, and the arts.
Unlike blog and opinion posts, a strong news article doesn’t include personal opinion, speculation, or bias. Additionally, the diction and syntax should be accessible to any reader, even if they’re not deeply familiar with the topic. News stories, therefore, don’t contain jargon that you might find in a research paper or essay.
What are the rules for writing a news article?
Whether you’re learning how to write a short news story for a school assignment or want to showcase a variety of clips in your writing portfolio , the rules of news writing hold true.
There are three types of news articles:
- Local: reports on current events of a specific area or community. For example, “College Football Team Welcomes Legendary NFL Coach” or “School District Announces New Grading Policy.”
- National: reports on current affairs within a particular country. For example, “NASA’s James Webb Telescope Captures Surreal Images of the Cosmos.”
- International: reports on social issues or current affairs of one or more countries abroad. For example, “UK’s Record Heat Wave Expected to Continue Next Week.”
Regardless of the type of news article you’re writing, it should always include the facts of the story, a catchy but informative headline, a summary of events in paragraph form, and interview quotes from expert sources or of public sentiment about the event. News stories are typically written from a third-person point of view while avoiding opinion, speculation, or an informal tone.
How is a news article structured?
While many news stories are concise and straightforward, long-form or deeply investigated pieces may comprise thousands of words. On the shorter side, news articles can be about 500 words.
When it comes to how to structure a news article, use an inverted pyramid. Organizing your content this way allows you to thoughtfully structure paragraphs :
- Begin with the most important and timely information
- Follow those facts with supporting details
- Conclude with some less important—but relevant—details, interview quotes, and a summary
The first paragraph of a news article should begin with a topic sentence that concisely describes the main point of the story. Placing this sentence at the beginning of a news article hooks the reader immediately so the lede isn’t buried.
At a traditional newspaper, this practice is described as “writing above the fold,” which alludes to the biggest, most pressing news being visible at the top of a folded newspaper.
How to write a news article
There are a handful of steps to practice when writing a news story. Here’s how to approach it.
1 Gathering information
Source the five Ws about your news topic: who, what, where, when, and why. Lock down a keen understanding of the timeline of events so you can correctly summarize the incident or news to your reader. The key is to position yourself as a credible and reliable source of information by doing your due diligence as a fact gatherer.
2 Interviewing subjects
Consider who you want to interview for the new article. For example, you might choose to interview primary sources , such as a person who is directly involved in the story.
Alternatively, secondary sources might offer your readers insight from people close to or affected by the topic who have unique perspectives. This might be an expert who can offer technical commentary or analysis, or an everyday person who can share an anecdote about how the topic affected them.
When interviewing sources, always disclose that you’re a reporter and the topic that you’re writing on.
Draft an outline for your news article, keeping the inverted-pyramid structure in mind. Consider your potential readership and publication to ensure that your writing meets the audience’s expectations in terms of complexity.
For example, if this news article is for a general news publication, your readership might include a wider audience compared to a news article for a specialized publication or community.
Brainstorm a snappy headline that concisely informs readers of the news topic while seizing their interest. Gather the most important points from your research and pool them into their respective pyramid “buckets.” These buckets should be based on their order of importance.
Get to writing! The paragraphs in a news article should be short, to the point, and written in a formal tone. Make sure that any statements or opinions are attributed to a credible source that you’ve vetted.
Reread your first draft aloud. In addition to looking for obvious typos or grammar mistakes , listen for awkward transitions and jarring tense or perspective shifts. Also, consider whether your first draft successfully conveys the purpose of your news story.
Rework your writing as needed and repeat this step. Don’t forget to proofread your work.
Strong news stories are built on facts. If any statement or information is shaky or unsupported, the entire work is compromised. Before publishing a news article, double-check that all the information you’ve gathered from the beginning is accurate, and validate the information that your interview sources provided, too.
How to write a news article FAQs
What is a news article .
A news article informs readers within a community of current events that are relevant to them. It typically revolves around a topic of interest within a publication’s readership, whether the information is about local, national, or international events.
News articles are structured like an inverted pyramid. The most important or crucial information is always presented to the reader up front, followed by additional story details. A news article concludes with less important supporting information or a summation of the reporting.
The general rules for writing a news article involve accuracy and integrity. Report on the details of a story in a factual, unbiased, and straightforward way. When writing a news article, do not editorialize or sensationalize the information, and keep your content free of your opinion.
How to Write an Article for a Newspaper: A Step-by-Step Guide
By: Author Paul Jenkins
Posted on June 15, 2023
Newspaper articles are essential to journalism, providing readers with the latest news and information on various topics. Writing a newspaper article is not like writing any other informative article. It requires a specific format, style, and tone of voice.
If you are interested in writing a newspaper article, this article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to write an article for a newspaper.
Understanding Newspaper Articles:
Before you start writing a newspaper article, it is essential to understand the basic structure of a newspaper article. A newspaper article has a headline, byline, lead paragraph, body, and conclusion. Each section of a newspaper article serves a specific purpose, and knowing how to write each section effectively is essential. In addition, it is essential to understand the difference between a news article and an opinion piece, as they require different writing styles.
Preparing to Write:
Once you understand the structure and purpose of a newspaper article, it is time to prepare to write. This involves researching the topic, gathering information, and interviewing sources. It is essential to have at least two to three primary sources for your article and to contact them as far in advance as possible. This will make arranging interviews with them easier.
- Understanding the basic structure of a newspaper article is essential before writing one.
- Preparation is key when writing a newspaper article, including researching the topic and gathering information.
- Writing a newspaper article requires a specific format, style, and tone of voice; knowing the difference between a news article and an opinion piece is essential.
Understanding Newspaper Articles
Definition of newspaper articles.
Newspaper articles are written pieces of information reporting current events or issues. They are published in newspapers and are meant to inform readers about what is happening in the world around them.
The purpose of a newspaper article is to provide factual information in an objective and unbiased manner.
Newspaper articles are typically organized in a specific format, with a headline, a lead paragraph, and the body of the article. The headline is a short, attention-grabbing statement summarizing the article’s main point.
The lead paragraph, or lede, is the article’s opening paragraph, which provides the most important information and sets the tone for the rest of the article.
Types of Newspaper Articles
There are several newspaper articles, each with its purpose and style. Some common types of newspaper articles include:
- News articles: These articles report on current events and are meant to inform readers about what is happening around them. News articles are typically written in a straightforward, objective style.
- Feature articles: These articles are longer and more in-depth than news articles. They focus on a specific topic or issue and provide more background information and analysis. Feature articles are often written in a more narrative style and may include quotes from experts or people involved in the story.
- Opinion articles express the author’s opinion on a specific topic or issue. Columnists or editorial writers often write opinion articles to provide a perspective on the news.
- Reviews: These articles critically evaluate a book, movie, or other cultural product. Reviews are often written by critics and are meant to inform readers about the quality of the product.
In conclusion, understanding the different types of newspaper articles and their purpose is essential for writing a good article. By following a newspaper article’s basic structure and style, writers can effectively inform and engage readers with their stories.
Preparing to Write
Before starting to write a news article, one needs to prepare themselves. This section will cover the three essential sub-sections of preparing to write: researching the topic, identifying the target audience, and outlining the article.
Researching the Topic
The first step in preparing to write a news article is researching the topic. Journalists must gather information from primary and secondary sources to write a credible, well-structured article.
Primary sources are documents or objects created during the event or by someone with direct knowledge, such as interviews, letters, or audio recordings. Secondary sources analyze, interpret, or comment on primary sources, such as books, articles, and reviews.
When researching the topic, it is essential to identify the main points and background information. Journalists must present facts and avoid expressing personal opinions. They should also cite their sources and verify the accuracy of the information.
Identifying the Target Audience
The next step is identifying the target audience. Journalists need to know who their readers are to write an article that is relevant and interesting to them. They should consider the reader’s age, gender, education level, and interests.
For example, if the target audience is teenagers, the article should use simple words, short sentences, and examples that are relevant to their lives. If the target audience is professionals, the article should use technical terms and provide relevant details to their field.
Outlining the Article
The final step is outlining the article. The outline should include a headline, a lead paragraph, and subheadings. The headline should be catchy and summarize the article’s main point. The lead paragraph should provide background information and answer the story’s 5Ws and 1H (who, what, when, where, why, and how).
Subheadings should be used to break up the article into sections and make it easier to read. Each section should have a topic sentence that summarizes the section’s main point. Journalists should use complete sentences and avoid using jargon or technical terms that the reader may not understand.
In conclusion, preparing a news article is essential to writing a well-structured and credible article. Journalists should research the topic, identify the target audience, and outline the article to make it relevant and interesting to their readers.
Writing the Article
Crafting a news article for a newspaper requires a structured approach that ensures the article is informative, engaging, and easy to read. Writing involves crafting a lead paragraph, developing the body, and writing the conclusion.
Crafting the Lead Paragraph
The lead paragraph is the most critical part of a news story. It should grab the reader’s attention and summarize the article’s main points. A good lead paragraph should be concise, engaging, and informative. It should answer the questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Journalists should start with a topic sentence summarizing the article’s main point to craft a good lead paragraph. They should then provide background information, using secondary sources to support their claims. The lead paragraph should be written in short, complete sentences that are easy to understand.
Developing the Body
The body of a news article should provide details, examples, and personal opinions that support the article’s main point. Journalists should use English effectively, choosing strong verbs and avoiding passive voice. They should also use citations to support their claims and avoid plagiarism.
To develop the body of a news article, journalists should start with a clear topic sentence that introduces the paragraph’s main point. They should then provide details and examples that support the topic sentence. Journalists should use short sentences and avoid using complex words that may confuse the reader.
Writing the Conclusion
The conclusion of a news article should summarize the article’s main points and provide a personal opinion or call to action. Journalists should use the conclusion to tie together the article’s main points and give the reader a clear understanding of the topic.
Journalists should start with a topic sentence summarizing the article’s main points to write a good conclusion. They should then provide a personal opinion or call to action that encourages the reader to take action or further research the topic. The conclusion should be written in short, complete sentences that are easy to understand.
In conclusion, writing a news article for a newspaper requires a structured approach that ensures the article is informative, engaging, and easy to read. Journalists can create articles that inform and engage readers by crafting a lead paragraph, developing the body, and writing the conclusion.
Polishing the Article
Editing and revising.
After completing the article’s first draft, editing and revising it to make it more polished is essential. Editing involves checking the article for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. The writer should also ensure that the article flows smoothly and that the sentences are clear and concise.
On the other hand, revising involves changing the article’s content. The writer should evaluate the article’s structure and organization and ensure it is easy to read and understand. They should also remove any repetitive or irrelevant information and focus on the essential points.
Fact-Checking and Citations
Fact-checking is an essential part of writing an article for a newspaper. The writer should ensure that all the information in the article is accurate and factual. They should also verify the sources of information to ensure that they are reliable and trustworthy.
Citations are also crucial in article writing. The writer should give credit to their sources of information by citing them appropriately. This adds credibility to the article and helps readers find the sources to read more about the topic.
When citing sources, the writer should follow the guidelines provided by the newspaper or publication. They should also use the correct citation style, such as APA or MLA.
In conclusion, polishing an article involves editing, revising, fact-checking, and citing sources. By following these steps, the writer can ensure that their article is well-written, accurate, and credible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you grab the reader’s attention in the first paragraph of a newspaper article.
The first paragraph of a news article is crucial because it sets the tone for the entire piece and determines whether the reader will continue reading.
To grab the reader’s attention, start with a strong lead summarizing the most important information engagingly. Use vivid language and descriptive details to create a sense of urgency and intrigue.
What are the essential elements of a news story?
A news story should include the five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why. It should also answer the H question: how. In addition, a news story should be objective, accurate, and timely. It should provide context and background information to help readers understand the significance of the events being reported.
How do you write a compelling headline for a newspaper article?
A good headline should be concise, informative, and attention-grabbing. It should accurately reflect the article’s content and entice the reader to want to learn more. Use active verbs and strong language to create a sense of urgency and importance. Avoid using puns or wordplay that might confuse or distract the reader.
What are some tips for conducting effective research for a newspaper article?
To conduct effective research for a news article, start by identifying reliable sources of information. These might include government websites, academic journals, and interviews with experts or eyewitnesses.
Be sure to fact-check all information and verify the credibility of your sources. Organize your notes and keep track of your sources to make it easier to write the article later.
How do you structure the body of a newspaper article?
The body of a newspaper article should be organized in a logical and easy-to-follow way. Start with the most important information and work down to the details.
Use short paragraphs and subheadings to break up the text and make it easier to read. Include quotes from sources to provide additional perspectives and insights.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing a newspaper article?
Some common mistakes to avoid when writing a news article include using biased language, making assumptions, and including irrelevant or inaccurate information. It’s important to remain objective and stick to the facts.
Avoid sensationalizing the story or injecting your opinions or biases into the article. Finally, proofread your work carefully for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
How to write a school news article.
News articles are designed to relate the news. The article is written to inform readers. It is factual, meant to present information in a quick, digestible form. The following elements of writing a newspaper article are important, so heed them well.
Research and Fact Gathering
Perhaps the #1 rule of writing a newspaper article is that you are factual. You do not want to make assumptions or fabricate information. Before you can write your article, you must have as many of the facts as you can gather. Here are some facts that you will need to find out:
- What? The specific event that took place.
- Who? The people involved.
- Where? Places.
- When? Date and time.
- Why? Reasons for the event taking place.
- How? Connecting the facts.
You will also need to gather as much detail as you can. This will involve:
- Interviewing people connected to the story.
- Gathering quotes from people (be exact…never paraphrase what they said). Cite names, unless they specifically request to remain anonymous.
- Resolving conflicting facts from individuals.
- Researching public information (always cite your sources, so write them down).
Once you have all your facts, you can begin to write your article.
The Headline or Title
For a news article, this is where you have most of your creativity. The headline must grab the attention of the reader. It needs to be catchy, emotion evoking, or creates curiosity. Be creative with it. In many instances, you will spend more time trying to come up with the perfect headline than you will in the actual writing.
The Article Body
The main news article itself is written from bottom down. In other words, the most important information comes first and each paragraph gives less and less details. Whereas a novel, for example, starts you out with little information and you must read to the end to get all of it.
In news article writing, however, you want to provide the key information right up front. You start with the 6 questions you should have already answered in your research:
Your first two paragraphs need to answer all these questions. For example:
The Varsity football team beat Smith High School last Saturday, 21 to 7, in a rematch that vindicated Coach John’s prediction of a win during Friday’s pep-rally. Our first home win this season at our very own Jane Doe Field was a morale booster to the entire student body. Quarterback, Joe Baker completed 18 out of 24 passes to cement the win.
This was only a simple example, but almost all the questions are actually answered in the first two sentences. From here you can add more inconsequential details, such as receiving yards, rushing yards, and so forth. You will at some point include quotes from people such as the coach, the quarterback, a receiver, a fan in the stands, and perhaps the principal. Although for quotes, you don’t want to include too many, but having two or three is important. By the time you get to the end of the article, you are simply expanding upon what the reader already knows from the first two paragraphs you wrote.
Don’t make your paragraphs long—two to three sentences each. Your word count will need to stay around the 500 word count or less, generally speaking.
SEE WHAT OTHER SCHOOLS ARE DOING
Below are just a few examples of what other schools are doing with their newspapers. Take a look and become inspired and find ideas.
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How to Write a Newspaper Article
If you want to make a mark in the newspaper world, it is vital to understand what people want to read. Here are some tips and useful steps that will help create great content along the way.
Steps for Writing a Top Newspaper Article
Step 1: research your topic.
In the news business, it is essential to have your topic researched well. This is the way to make sure that the article seems credible. It is important to answer the “5 Ws.” These include who is involved, what is happening, where it is happening, why it is happening, when it is happening, and how it is happening. By addressing these issues, a writer will cover all aspects of a newspaper article.
Step 2: Compile the Facts
While planning what you will write in your article, you will need to sort through all of the facts. You will need to select the items that are valuable to your story. Some of your facts may be interesting but may not add value to your article. Finally, some facts are not important to what you are trying to say.
Step 3: Create an Outline
Before you begin your actual writing, it is advised to create a structured outline so that you know what to say and how to say it. This will provide a guide so that you know where everything will fit into your story. It will make your job easier and will make things flow nicely. The first sentence of your article should always create your lead topic and draw an audience. Never “bury your lead” by placing it at the end of your story. Stating your topic early explains to readers what is in the article and hooks them so that they keep reading.
Step 4: Find a Unique Angle
Keep your audience in mind as you compile your information. Your audience should direct the tone of your piece. Finding an angle is important as well. This expresses your true voice. If you are writing about a popular subject, try to uncover a different angle than other writers. This will intrigue the crowd. If you have personal expertise that adds to your story, it will give you an edge with readers.
Step 5: Interview Subjects
News depends on the experiences of others. Interviewing people will give you a source for your topic. While conducting an interview, you should reach out by phone or email and should identify yourself as a reporter. Always keep your mind open and remain objective. You must record essential details and listen to everything that your subject is discussing.
How to Blend Analysis and Narrative Within Your Article
An experienced journalist understands the best ways to tell a story in a pleasing manner but with total facts and knowledge. It is not always easy to remain objective, but it is necessary when creating an article for a newspaper. Here is a formula list that should be followed.
- Awareness. Before writing any story, a reporter must comprehend what is involved. Many times, the story that you intend to tell may require extra research. Also, the topic may be complex. As the author, you may have a unique perspective or opinion that should be explained or proven to your audience.
- Map Your Thoughts. Be aware that there are two sides to every story. Although you may have a certain bias towards one side, it is essential to keep your readers in mind and to present the story in its entirety so that the audience can form personal opinions. Instead of speaking with an expert who agrees solely with your point of view, make sure to balance this with another expert who is on the other side of the issue.
- Evaluate Your Information. Never take another person’s word as total truth. As a writer or a news reporter, it is essential to check all facts and present your story in a style that allows the reader to form his or her own conclusions. In this manner, your article will not be based on opinion or hearsay.
- Be Transparent. Since newspaper articles do not include footnotes or bibliographies, it is essential to provide readers with the sources of your data. This will give a better insight into how you formed your conclusions. Instead of relying on anonymous sources, try to site trusted platforms and recognized organizations as your main sources of information.
How Journalists Choose Interesting Article Topics
There are many stories that a reporter can choose to include in a newspaper.
However, there are ways that a successful writer comes up with interesting topics. Here are some ways to create content that draws an audience.
- Always Ask Questions. Brainstorm various topics. Ask other people how they feel about these ideas. If your questions seem interesting to the masses, it may be a sign that you will draw attention with your article.
- Keep Track of Major Events. Holidays are always a time to create a special article about various topics. If you write about a particular industry, consider writing about large conferences or meetings that have a bearing on others. Finally, if there is an upcoming product launch that is a part of your niche, make sure to cover the event in your publication. The same can be said about an upcoming visit from an important person or a similar event that is relevant to your community.
- Assemble Great Contacts. A journalist is nothing without his or her list of contacts. If you need content in a pinch, it may be wise to reach out to someone on your list and to uncover the latest news in a particular industry. Also, if you are brainstorming thoughts, peruse your contacts for the perfect individual who can offer a good perspective and insight into your topic.
- Use All of Your Senses. It is essential to use your eyes and ears to think of a new story. You should be listening to podcasts, watching videos, perusing various social media platforms, and reading a variety of articles. By widening your perspective on different topics, you will get a true sense of other people’s points-of-view. Instead of writing from one standpoint, you will be able to discuss a topic intelligently and to debate important subjects in a fair manner.
10 Tips that Every Newspaper Writer Should Follow
- Use a Catchy Headline. The first thing that a reader sees is an article’s title or headline. If it is boring or unappealing, it gives the reader very little reason to continue with the article. Use exciting words. Ask a question that a person thinks is worth reading to find an answer as well.
- Important Information Goes at the Top. Many newspaper writers adhere to the “Inverted Pyramid” model. This places the most important information in the first paragraph. Sometimes, parts of stories get cut out of the newspaper to save space. Following this model, the most essential information is presented in the beginning, so key points are not deleted.
- Use Quotes. To add depth to your article, using someone else’s words to convey vital ideas is smart. However, it is essential to use a person’s exact words. Also, make sure to credit your source, to spell the person’s name correctly, and to keep his or her words in context.
- Be Succinct. A newspaper writer must get to the point from the start. It is vital to grab the audience’s attention immediately. There is no time for verbage. Most people do not read more than 250 words before they begin to skim the rest. Get your information out in the open quickly.
- Add Images. A picture helps a reader connect to the topic. It conveys a place, a person, or an item and supplements your article. It can say much more than any word on the page of the newspaper.
- Provide Answers. When a person reads an article in the newspaper, he or she is usually looking for a fast answer to a problem or quick information. Through solid reporting, a reader should feel as though he or she has a better grasp of the subject matter after finishing the article.
- Be Engaging and Thought Provoking. When your audience is engaged, your reader will hang on your every word. To engage people, you should provoke thoughts by asking questions. Anecdotes work as well. Stories help to clarify important points.
- Provide Actionable Content. Writing a newspaper article should display facts and deliver new content. However, inspiring your audience and offering actionable tips or advice is always welcome and will keep your readers returning for more.
- Be Accurate. There is no room for bending facts, especially in the newspaper world. When you report a story, always use accurate information. As previously stated, you must give credit to your sources as well.
- Proofread Before Submission. Proofreading is more than just looking for grammar or spelling errors. As you proofread your article, you should make sure that you followed your original outline and maintained a consistent style.
The above advice is meant to give you some ideas on how to create interesting and original content for a newspaper. Professional journalists practice many of the tips on a regular basis so that they offer valuable and unique information to readers. If you wish to write for a newspaper, following the provided steps will help to bring success.
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