How to Write a Good Newspaper Article
Journalists need their newspaper articles to be clear and well written. Others may have occasion to write a newspaper article as well, perhaps for submission to a publication about an upcoming event. No matter the author, a well-written article is more likely to be published. Use these tips to write a solid newspaper article.
Write a strong lead. The first paragraph of the article is also called the lead. This paragraph, often one sentence but perhaps two sentences, in most cases will summarize the main purpose of the article, which addresses the basic questions of "who, what, when, where, how and why." Other types of introductions are sometimes used, such as leads that ask questions or leads that give an example of a situation to be explored in the article.
Write the newspaper article in the inverted pyramid format. This means the most important, most vital facts should be mentioned first, with the less important facts mentioned later in the article. The first few paragraphs must be more important than the next few, which in turn will be more important than the section beneath them, etc.
Where necessary, support all claims and arguments that need attribution. If you're making an assertion in the article about someone's actions or guilt in a criminal context, for example, this must be attributed to someone. If information in an article cannot be attributed to a reliable, appropriate source, it's not suitable for publication.
Go back and give your article a thorough re-read. Work that must be done quickly, such as on deadline, can lead to typographical errors that can be as embarrassing as they are simple, such as the difference one letter can make between the words "public" and "pubic." Errors also can occur if you have moved parts of the article around.
- A Word Processor Program on a Computer -OR- an Old School Typewriter
- A Dictionary
- Someone to Proof Read
- A Method to Submit the Article (by e-mail, snail mail or hand-delivery)
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