This is not just a five paragraph research paper. Your feature article will dig deeper into a subject, exploring the why and the how of an incident/person/event.
Brainstorm topics: Think about a topic or a person that interests you and fits into your SDL main idea. Then dig deeper and look farther. Don’t just stick with the first, obvious idea you come up with. Use your first ideas as generative ideas and expand your thinking to discover topics you don’t know much about or ideas that interest other people. Your goal is to educate yourself and your readers. You can write a human interest story; explain a short, important event in history; write a biography of an important (perhaps unknown) person…
Research and record your information on Flee Maps. Utilize trusted internet sources, individuals you can interview, and previously published material you find in the library. You MUST document where you get all your information from on a works cited page. You need at least three different sources and they can NOT all be from the internet.
The length of your feature article will vary but should be a minimum of five paragraphs (or headings and subheadings):
· The first paragraph should introduce the subject while capturing the reader’s interest.
· The middle of your article provides the information in an interesting, logical manner. Each separate idea or section is separated by paragraphing. This is where you often put your quotes.
· The last section of your article is your conclusion, and your reader sees how you pull it all together. In some pieces, this might be a “call for action”.
After you have planned and researched your information, write a rough draft in your writing spiral or on the computer. Make sure your style and vocabulary match the intent and tone of your piece. Write with a variety of sentence structure, punctuation, and sentence length. Support your ideas with specific details. If you use headings and subheadings, make sure the formatting is consistent. You want to consider adding some supporting graphics to your final draft.
Don’t forget to add relevant details to keep your feature article interesting. Feel free to add appropriate stories, descriptive writing, figures of speech, and comparison vs. contract to keep a reader reading.
After you have written your first rough draft, work with a peer to go through the feature article line by line. Revise for style and information. Edit for mechanics. Make your corrections and present your article to another individual to edit and revise. Do this multiple times. I’m planning on having this paper looked over by a minimum of three people (Thanks Kristi, Melyssa, and Paula!).
Final notes: Headings, subheadings, and captions do not have to be the same size as the rest of your text. Keep your fonts a reasonable size and very readable.