- By John Cunningham
- Published 07/28/2009
- Article Writing
Have you ever wanted to write for your local paper? Seeing your byline, or name, in an article is definitely something to be proud of. Though many people might be intimidated with writing a newspaper article, it is actually fairly simple, as long as you follow some general rules in writing. What are the things included in a newspaper article? There are certain things that a writer must be aware of, in order to write the article well; effectively reaching out to the readers. Keep in mind that a newspaper article should be entertaining and yet must also be able to educate the readers. The first part of the article should already capture the readers right away. You must be able to present the main details of the story-including the five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why, as well as how. This should immediately convey to the readers what the whole article will be about. This part is called the “lead.” You should be able to give enough background information to your readers; try to know who your audience will be, and what they know about the news you are presenting. A writer should never assume that the audience already has some knowledge about what he or she will be talking about. A brief background of the topic will usually suffice.
Because newspaper articles present facts, it should be done in a straightforward manner, free from biases. A writer must always have a critical as well as an objective eye. A writer’s sources for the facts
should be clearly stated in the article and properly documented. Your writing should also be direct to the point, without frills and avoiding flowery words. The article should be able to present things clearly and directly, though not in a dry manner. After presenting the main information about the article, the writer must follow the pyramid format, where information is presented from the most important down to the least, so that the readers will get the most vital part of the news right away. This, then, should draw the reader into reading the rest of the article. Sometimes, using direct quotes may help the writer convey his message to the audience better. When interviewing people, a writer may want to incorporate a line or two into his or her article. This can be a great help to the writer, as this will give the story more depth and feel. Sometimes, what an interviewee says also encapsulates the main gist of the news item, so quoting him or her will greatly aid in writing. However, using quotations too often will have the opposite effect-it will result in an article which seems as if the writer did not research or think thoroughly about; simply putting in others’ thoughts and opinions. Learn how to use them well, but do not use them liberally.
After writing a newspaper article, you should check it for some errors. Make sure that everything is grammatically correct, and that there are no misspelled words. No one wants to read an article that is filled with errors, be it technical or factual. So make sure that you always edit your work before submitting or publishing it.