Writing a Feature Story

Journalists—Try to present information to a reader that isn’t based on their own opinion but can sometimes have a "slant" -- For example, Bark magazine is about dogs and for dog owners--so their slant is always positive about dogs.
Journalists report news and explore topics. They try to answer:Who?What?When?Where?Why?

A feature story explores a specific part of a topic by giving examples of what is happening now, why it is happening, and what might happen in the future. Feature stories have a lot of purposes.

~ They might just be informative—like exploring the options for a dress code at school.
~ They can tell stories—like exploring the history of the Stephens Lee Community center.
~ They can raise awareness—like exploring what happens to animal habitat when a new highway goes in. That’s what our class will do.

· The introduction—hook your reader with a dramatic scene, emotion, a quote, a question, a description about what the situation is right now.

~ Ex. Scene: Jesse Smith saw the dog every day—on a chain, shivering in the cold, or just lying in the mud. One day, she decided something needed to be done and she called the Humane Society.

~ Ex. Quote: “We don’t need a War Department. We need a peace department,” says Miranda Blake. She’s the president of a local students for peace group.

~ Ex. Question: Is it cruel to keep animals in zoos? Some people think so.

~ Ex. Description: The horse was skinny and it limped. He kept his head down like he was afraid.

· The body of your feature ( the main paragraphs) needs to answer the questions your reader may have after reading the introduction--

~ Ex. Why was the horse neglected?

~ Ex. Who treated the horse badly?

~ Ex. What are some of the organizations that might help this horse?

~ Ex. What do people think about this?

~ Ex. Why is it cruel to have zoos? Who does/ doesn’t think its cruel?

· The ending should be written to help the reader remember the story—it’s a place for last thoughts, a summary of the story, a last line that will linger in the mind of the reader.


Do some research:

Ø Interview at least two people who know about the issue you are exploring—be sure they have different viewpoints. You are looking for a quote or a mini-story that might give more information to your reader.

Ø Visit the place you are writing about, if you can. Or, if you writing about something big, like climate change, go to a place that would be affected and take notes about what you see and what you feel when you are there.

Ø Get some facts from at least two sources about the issue.

One source should be local/state and the other should be national if at possible. These can come from websites, books, newspaper, magazines etc.

Ø Keep an accurate list of your sources with all contact information, publisher information or website information. (I’ll give a sheet to record your sources in the right format).

Write your feature story with at least four paragraphs:

~ 1-Introduction-what is the current situation

~ 2-Paragraph—what are the causes

~ 3-Paragraph – what are some solutions?

~ 4-Conclusion—summarize