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Research, find and attend a homecoming event, that′s newsworthy. Write a newspaper article about the event and take pictures to include in your assignment. Make sure you include an interview with someone attending the event in your assignment. Include a headline that will attract attention, write a good lead, and pay attention to your page layout. Your article should be at least four paragraphs.
Heading/Lead 10 Interview 10
Article 20 Picture(s) 5
Page Layout 5
Plan Your Lead
If you look at feature articles in newspapers and magazines–particularly the print kind–you will notice they all have something in common. They all begin with a sentence that is called the ′lead.′ This is a special sentence designed to hook a reader and grab his attention. Think of it like the carrot (or the chocolate cookie) that is dangled in front of the reader to entice him into reading your whole article.
Readers often scan through pages before settling on something they want to read in full. This is where a hot heading is so important. Think carefully about the feature article you are creating and then plan some eye-catching words you could use as part of your heading. Go for short, punchy words that suggest action, interest and appeal for your reader.
Often the heading and lead can work together – perhaps by asking a question in the heading and then beginning to answer it in the lead, or by using some high interest words like ′Free,′ ′Hot,′ ′Sizzling,′ or ′Bare Facts.′
Another top tip for writing feature articles is to plan your page layout. This works according to some simple rules about how people read the printed page. Readers tend to be drawn to features on the page such as:
• photos and images – particularly photos of people′s faces
• captions underneath photos
They also tend to read a single page from the top left-hand corner down to the bottom right-hand corner, so often information that you really want someone to read can be placed in the top left so their eyes are drawn to it straight away.
Short and Sharp Writing Style
Pay close attention to your writing style. Unlike conventional essay writing, you need a short, sharp and punchy writing style. Shorten up your sentences and eliminate any unnecessary adjectives that put your reader to sleep. After all, that′s the last thing you want to do to your Mass Comm. and English teachers just as they are reading your hot feature article!
This story should be at least one page and include at least one picture and a quote from someone you interviewed. This assignment will be graded based on everything we’ve discussed in class so far including, but not limited to, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, proper grammar and sentence arrangement. Do not make sloppy errors—spell check and use the “review” feature of Microsoft Word to find most of your errors. When you’ve finished writing, read it out loud or let a friend read it to help see if anything is awkward or wrong. Plan ahead and have fun!