Journalism, English and Writing Skills | Homepage
What is Feature Writing?

What is Feature Writing?

13 Comments 🕔30.Jul 2009

writing1228511911

Excerpts from a lecture by Dr. Lourdes D. Servito

What is this thing called FEATURE?
Why is it known as the jewel of the newspaper?
What happens to a newspaper without the features?

FEATURE spells:
F – factual not fictitious
E – Entertaining
A – appealing to the emotions
T – timely or not timely
U – unusual
R – reader-oriented
E – explanation, extrapolation – extending or projecting known info

The jewel or gem (precious stone) of the newspaper  -  something treasured for “time and eternity”

Where can we find these “jewels”?
1.    newspapers’ entertainment sections
2.    magazine stories – Reader’s Digest, Time Magazine
3.    agency publications – Mabuhay (PAL)

writing450

What do features do? (Functions of Features)
Profile people who make news
Analyze what’s happening in the world, nation, or community
Suggest better ways to live
Teach an audience how to do something
Examine trends
Explain events that move or shape the news
Entertain

What are the “makes” of these “jewels”? (Kinds of features)
1.    newsfeature – based on a news event
2.    travelogue – travels, places
3.    profile or personality sketch – leaders, achievers, celebrities, or the man on the street
4.    how to’s or how-to-do-it features – practical guidance articles
5.    informative features – ex. All about roses; All about fart
6.    human interest features – dramatic, touchy
7.    string of pearls – opinion poll, collection of featurettes on similar topics
8.    oddities – bizarre, unusual, odd, extraordinary
9.    personal experience feature
10.    Trend stories – people, things, or organizations having an impact on society. Ex. Latest fads
11.    In-depth stories – based on extensive research & interviews
12.    Backgrounders – add meaning to current issues by explaining them further

writing

HOW TO WRITE THE FEATURE
Structure or parts:
1.    Title – “come-on” head
2.    Lead (feature lead) – 1st sentence or paragraph of the story
3.    Body – development of the story
4.    Conclusion or ending

Kinds of Feature Leads
1.    short sentence lead
2.    striking statement
3.    one word or two words or staccato lead – series of one-word or two-word sentences
4.    parody lead – taken from lines of a song, poem, movies or literary pieces
5.    quotation lead – direct or indirect
6.    question lead
7.    descriptive lead
8.   contrast lead

Feature Devices:
1.    Figures of Speech – simile, metaphor, hyperbole, etc.
2.    Adjectives & Adverbs
3.    Descriptive words and phrases – “hyphenated” words – ex: a you-will-look-again beauty
4.    Beautiful language and style – interest arousing

ORGANIZATION OF IDEAS
Following the laws of Progressive Reader Involvement:
1.    Tease me.
2.    Tell me what you are up to.
3.    Prove it.
4.    Help me remember it.

Sources of Feature Article Ideas (Seeds of Writing)
1.    Topic File – collection of topics
2.    File of Ideas – compilation, album
3.    Interviews
4.    Observation – have the nose for news and nose for features
5.    Personal Experience
6.    Printed Materials – books, newspapers, magazines (Reading good models… reading a lot!)
7.    Rich media or multi-media
Suggested Activities for Feature Writing
1.    Visit a botanical garden.  Write a feature story about the trip, or about the garden or some interesting plants.
2.    Invite a resource person in the class.  Interview the resource person and ask for a CV or some basic info & interesting aspects of his life.  Write a profile.
3.    Think of an unusual person, place or thing or idea encountered – something that is bizarre or extraordinary.  Write an oddity.
4. Think about an interesting hobby or collection then feature its beauty, significance or value.
5.    Recall an unforgettable trip, travel or experience.  Feature it in such a way as to entertain your readers.
6.    Conduct extensive research and interviews to write an in-depth story about a significant issue or concern.  Ex. Global warning & Climate Change, Its Impact to Modern Society.
7. Compile ideas on a happy or funny topic then write a feature that is entertaining and make laughter the best medicine.  Ex. Flatulence, what babies do, kinds of nose.
8.    Compile, clip & paste samples of feature stories that struck you.  Write your own version or parallel stories.
9.  Read magazine stories, novels, feature books.  Enrich your vocabulary by reading & compiling interesting words & phrases.  Write down your feature story using some of your compiled/ new vocabulary.
10. Participate in a simple seminar like baking or making ice cream or malunggay delight then write a how-to-story or practical guidance feature.

13 Comments

  1. 🕔 17:04, 31.Jul 2009

    hungrynez

    i used to be one of the feature editors during my high school days. but my forte faded as i stopped writing since then… i needed to be refreshed with all these again.. thanks!

    reply comment
  2. 🕔 11:57, 03.Aug 2009

    lourdes

    Features can be written by anyone with or without knowledge in journalism. Those who have the innate talent in writing could definitely write with flair. Yet writing talent can be developed only through, of course, writing… and reading. Keep on updating…

    reply comment
  3. 🕔 15:10, 07.Aug 2009

    nel

    It’s not hard to be a writer as long as you have passion on it. Lourdes is right reading and writing makes you a good writer.

    reply comment
  4. 🕔 11:49, 19.Nov 2009

    Apple

    I was an EIC during my HS years. Now, I am taking up AB Mass Communication at New Era University. I used to write straight news before, but when i joined the university paper, the EIC assigned me in Sports section. I find its really hard to deal with becoz its not my forte esp dealing with jargons, but she (editor) cheers me always saying “you can do it apple”. So now, i write straight news and sport news.

    teach me how to write a good and appealing Feature article, Mam! thank you!

    reply comment
    • 🕔 21:56, 05.Sep 2012

      klein

      yes it is nice to write a fature but teach me how to write it

      reply comment
  5. 🕔 20:48, 27.Nov 2009

    lourdes

    Hi Apple,

    If you can write news and sports stories, too, there’s no reason why you cannot write features.
    Just take note of the Feature Writing tips that we have made available here at servitoksswebsite and I’m sure you can easily develop your own style in feature writing.

    reply comment
  6. 🕔 0:02, 23.May 2010

    Sugy

    Hi Lourdes,

    Your details on feature writing are excellent. Has come very handy while I am preparing for my exams in journalism and mass communication.

    Thank you for keeping it all open, without asking for a fee. Would like to know more about illustrations, freelancing, reviewing and writing for magazines. Are there any articles on these here?

    Regards,
    Sugy

    reply comment
  7. 🕔 4:14, 11.Jul 2010

    Azucena Greenbaum

    I don’t agree with everything in this post, but you do make some very good points. Im very interested in this topic and I myself do alot of research as well. Either way it was a well thoughtout and nice read so I figured I would leave you a comment. Feel free to check out my website sometime and let me know what you think.

    reply comment
  8. 🕔 6:37, 07.Nov 2011

    demure

    how to be a feature journalist?
    is it hard?

    reply comment
  9. 🕔 1:03, 08.Nov 2011

    journaliz

    Hi Demure! For me to be a journalist is a passion. It will be hard if you don’t like what you’re doing. So you need to enjoy it and put your heart into writing!

    reply comment
  10. 🕔 22:00, 04.Dec 2011

    uzma

    i like these informative reply but plz define in proper way

    reply comment
  11. 🕔 21:59, 05.Sep 2012

    klein

    smart as you can and teach me how to get it

    reply comment

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *