Writing Feature articles

Writing for National Geographic definitely has its benefits and demands. Given an opportunity to travel to the Amazon forest and discovering an uncontacted tribe. Learning to live in their world, stops time for a moment and allows you to relish life’s simplicity. Now that is what I call an adventure. But the pressure to attract readers with this story is not as simple. In this day’s age, writing a good article that appeals is a challenge. My tasks at hand are to define the various appeals of writing to an article (Friedlander, 1996). Timeliness We all know news loses value over time, especially in news stories.

When it comes to feature stories, it plays a small role, leaning more to anniversary events. A good example would be our latest event, happening this very moment. It’s an exhibition on “New Age of Exploration. ” We are celebrating 125 years of vibrant stories through pictures, short movies and live stories from explorers. It’s something not to be missed. Conflict This covers more on disagreements or repercussions. We lead a routine life, doing the same thing everyday. Any story out of the norm would be of interest, especially war stories. Let’s take the Syrian Civil War as an example.

The unrest began in 2011 and is ongoing till now. Ever wondered what their source of income is to fund for their weapons? They have been smuggling artifacts from archaeological sites. So much for preservation! Human Interest This is clearly tough to outline. The stories can range between health concerns, children, technology advancement or animals. Animal extinction naturally garners a deeper impact. Can Polar 1 1 Bears survive on land? With their natural home melting away in view of climate change. The argument on whether they can survive on land is yet to be resolved by scientists.

Importance The more people affected usually results in more importance. What would be the latest epidemic happening? It’s the Ebola virus; a virus triggered from fruit bats and has existed since 1976. It is now spreading like wildfire. The World Health Organizations have urged for drastic measures to be taken to contain the outbreak. Prominence Stories relating to celebrities and politicians cause much excitement. Just like when Obama revealed his proposals to build the world’s biggest marine haven. It was in a bid to abolish illegal fishing, which is currently an ongoing battle.

Proximity Stories that is close to the heart and home. We have all read about the death of the wild dolphins flown in for Singapore’s S. E. A Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa. Wildlife animals in captive are unhappy creatures. Reason being, they’re taken away from their natural habitat and placed in an enclosed area. This causes stress to them and the consequences may lead to death. It’s a shame though, that after four deaths and no one has considered releasing the dolphins back into the ocean. Unusualness The name itself is self-explanatory.

People in general are intrigued by weird stories. It’s not everyday that you hear people going on an 2 2 expedition into a fiery gas crater. That was exactly what one explorer did. And whom do you think sponsored partial funding? National Geographic! What Next? Having considered all of the above, we move on to structure your article. Feature stories are often not written using the inverted pyramid style. However, there’s a thread that binds the story together. These are the steps you can take to organize your feature article (Jacobi, 1997). Headline and Lead Writing good headlines can be fun and challenging. Reason being, you are limiting yourself with the number of words you can use.

The pressure to keep it simple yet easy to understand will be evident. Once that’s done, you move on to invite your reader to your story by writing a good lead. Good leads should attract the reader instantly. It is written no longer then a sentence and it should set the mood for your readers to stay on. When writing feature articles, the narrative lead style is used. It prepares and guides the reader to see things on their own. Elaboration and Background Once you have captured your reader’s interest, you move on to write an impressive introduction.

Followed by your body, which elaborates on information relating to the story. Make sure the 5Ws and 1H – Who, What, When, Where, Why and How questions are answered. This will give your story a good flow preventing deviation. Providing background information is vital. This component gives your readers a smooth transition to the story keeping them updated. Readers need to understand the message you are bringing across. Even quoting past incidents and short anecdotes helps connects your reader to the story. Also remember, the plot of your story 3 3 cannot be boring.

It has to be interesting and have a tinge of human interest to keep your audience. Impact & Reaction Creating an impact to your story is an important factor. Ask yourself, how will your reader’s benefit and the type of concerns or reactions it stirs in them. Conclusion, Fairness & Accuracy, Attribution Now this has to end with a positive bang. Give an overall summary, followed by useful quotes and wrap up with a powerful message to your readers. Once you have completed your feature article. The next step is to ensure fairness and accuracy in your story.

Evaluate it from a neutral point and obtain a second opinion from a friend to provide you with constructive feedback. Attributing your sources is also important or else your story holds no credibility. Lastly, what is an article without a good writer and research? Being a good writer is key. Good writers love to read. They also have to act ethical yet neutral to bring a story across with no biasness (Rawls, 1971). They are thorough with their research and neither skimp nor over-do it. As it may then confuse readers on the message they are trying to drive to them.

Having all of the above ingredients in place, you’re all set to have a hit feature story with your readers! 4 4 References Friedlander, E. J. , & Lee, J. (1996). Feature writing for newspapers and magazines: the pursuit of excellence.

HarperCollinsCollegePublishers. Wallace, S. (2011,June 22). Uncontacted Tribe Discovered in Brazilian Amazon. Retrieved from http://newswatch. nationalgeographic. com/2011/06/22/uncontacted-t ribe-discovered-in-brazilian-amazon/ Exhibition. (2013-2014). New Age of Exploration. Retrieved from http://events. nationalgeographic. com/events/exhibits/2013/06/13/new-age-exploration/ 5 5 Pringle, H. (2014,June 26). ISIS Cashing in on Looted Antiquities to Fuel Iraq Insurgency.

Retrieved from http://news. nationalgeographic. com/news/2014/06/140626-isi s-insurgents-syria-iraq-looting-antiquities-archaeology/ Marris, E. (2014,July 17). As Sea Ice Shrinks, Can Polar Bears Survive on Land? Retrieved from http://news. nationalgeographic. com/news/2014/07/140717-pol ar-bears-goose-eggs-global-warming-arctic-environment/ Weintraub, K. (2014,June 27). Q&A: What’s Behind Worst-Ever Ebola Outbreak in West Africa?

Retrieved from http://news. nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/06/140627-ebola-ou tbreak-west-africa-public-health-world-medicine/ Lovgren, S. (2005,November 30). Fruit Bats Likely Hosts of Deadly Ebola Virus. Retrieved from http://news. nationalgeographic. com/news/2005/11/1130_0511 30_ebolabathost. html Howard, B. (2014,June 17). Obama Announces Plan to Create World’s Largest Ocean Reserve. Retrieved from http://news. nationalgeographic. com/news/2014/06/140617-ob ama-ocean-protection-marine-reserves-seafood-environment/ Aripin, N. (2014,May 13).

Fourth Resorts World Sentosa dolphin dies. Retrieved from https://sg. news. yahoo.com/fourth-resorts-world-sentosa-dolphi n-dies-025122212. html Nunez, C. (2014,July 16). Q&A: The First-Ever Expedition to Turkmenistan’s “Door to Hell”.

Retrieved from http://news. nationalgeographic. com/news/energy/2014/07/140716-d oor-to-hell-darvaza-crater-george-kourounis-expedition/ Ahmed, R. (2006, February 21). 10 Tips for Writing a Good Article. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles. com/? 10-Tips-for-Writing-a-Good-Article&id=149736 Jacobi, P. (1997). The Magazine Article: How to think it, plan it, write it. Indiana University Press. Rawls, J. (1971). Theory of Justice. USA: Harvard University Press.

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