The purpose of a feature article is to explore or discuss a particular topic of interest. It is subjective and demonstrates either the opinion of the composer or the various opinions of community groups. Unlike newspaper reports and letters to the editor they are not topical - that is, they are not related to current topics of news. Quite often the purpose of a feature article is to entertain rather than to inform.
The tone will vary from feature article to feature article, depending upon the topic of the article as well as the composer. Quite often, feature articles are quite humorous and informal. This is so that they appeal to the responder and are easy to read.
Elements of a feature article
- A catchy headline is essential. The use of puns is a particularly popular technique used for feature articles.
- Feature articles are often combined with an image or photograph. This photograph needs to catch the responder's attention. This can be humorous, shocking or intriguing.
- Feature articles can be written in formal or informal language. Many articles that you will come across will be informal and amusing with entertainment as the main purpose.
Hints for writing an effective feature article
- When composing a feature article be sure to choose a topic that you know a lot about.
- Remember that feature articles are subjective, it is your opinion that is required.
- How you present your feature article is up to you - will it be humorous or serious? If you have the choice, decide upon the tone before you start. Consider the topic that you have chosen first. If your topic is about how difficult it is to get out of bed, you may choose to write a humorous article. If your topic is to do with the health risks associated with obsessive gaming, then you may choose to write a serious article.
The structure of a feature article is really decided by the composer. Do not forget, however, that there are a few simple rules that will keep your composition clear and logical.
- You should always begin with an introduction that informs the responder as to the subject of the article. This can be done formally or through an anecdote.
- The body of your article should discuss different opinions or explain your own. Be sure to give examples, and remember that if the tone of your feature article is serious, then use real, empirical evidence rather than anecdotal evidence.
- You should conclude your feature article with your most startling fact or humorous anecdote.
- Your final sentence should offer either advice or a warning based on the opinions of your feature article.