Writing and Public Speaking
Most of us read feature articles every day in the newspaper or in popular magazines. Feature articles are not front-page, time-sensitive news stories, though they can contain news and statistics. Sometimes also referred to as human interest stories, feature articles can be about any subject that inspires you. Usually an author will write a feature about a topic that he knows well and that interests him on a personal level.
Choose a topic about which you would like to write. The decision may be difficult because feature articles can be written about almost anything that is informative or entertaining. Think about subjects that are familiar to you or brainstorm for ideas with family and friends.
Narrow down the topic of your feature article. Most topics are very broad and you do not have time or space to write about every aspect. Decide what angle you will take or what questions you will answer about the subject.
Research your subject once you have chosen the angle for your feature. Features must be factually accurate, like other types of articles. Visit your local library for books or search online for reputable websites relating to your topic.
Outline the main sections of your feature before you write the body of the text. Having a written outline in front of you can help you break the writing down into manageable chunks.
Begin your article with a good lead that draws the reader in and makes him want to read the rest of your story. Use humor, emotion or an element of suspense to pique the reader's interest.
Consider the different kinds of visuals you want to include in your article. Many writers use photographs, charts or graphs to help illustrate the events they are writing about.
Pick a writing style guide to follow when you write, such as the MLA or APA format. If you do not know which format the publication you are writing for uses, choose one and use it consistently. Style guides are available at Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) (see Resources below).
Proofread your completed article for spelling and grammatical errors. It may be helpful to have another person proofread your feature as well to catch mistakes you do not see.
Though feature articles are based in fact, try not to weigh them down with too many statistics or unfamiliar language. The average person reading a feature article is not likely to be a scholar in the subject you are writing about and may not understand subject-specific jargon.