7 examples of engaging feature stories
Kimberlee Meier — Contributing Writer
There are two dominant trends in content on the web today.
The first is that content is getting shorter. With the rise of TikTok and the ongoing importance of other social media platforms, brands need to be adept at producing shortform content.
But the second dominant trend — forgive the contradiction — is that content outside of social media is actually getting longer. As we explain in our guide to longform content , media and marketing teams are increasingly investing in longer, professionally produced content to capture and keep their reader's attention.
The main type of longform content they are investing in is the feature story. Following the lead of major news publications, these teams are creating truly engaging and immersive multimedia content.
Take, for example, Los fogones de la Kitchen . This illustrated news story from El Periódico covers an illegal operation to spy on a Spanish politician. With animations triggered by the scroll of the reader, it is an interactive and powerful example of modern feature storytelling.
What do the BBC, Salesforce Ventures, and Penguin have in common? They publish stunning, interactive web content with Shorthand. And so can you, for free. No code, no credit card, and no commitment required. Start publishing.
In this guide, we're going to run through 7 examples of feature stories to inspire your own content strategy. These examples are informative, entertaining, and visually appealing—just what a brand needs to keep people’s attention.
We'll also cover what goes into creating a great feature story, and how to learn from those who are doing them well.
Ready to learn how to create captivating feature stories of your own? Let's get started.
What is a feature story?
A feature story is a piece of longform non-fiction content that covers a single topic in detail. Examples of feature stories include news features, in-depth profiles, human interest stories, science communication , data storytelling , and more.
Feature stories are a common type of content for news organisations, particularly those who invest in longform journalism .
Increasingly, brands are also investing in producing their own high-quality feature stories. One example comes from analytics company RELX, who published a powerful overview of the purpose behind their Eyewitness to Atrocities app.
How are feature stories changing?
A decade ago, most feature stories on the web were visually uninteresting. Usually, they would be digital versions of print articles, with the same images and copy.
With recent improvements in internet speed and browsers — coupled with the rise of more advanced content creation platforms — we're seeing a dramatic increase in visually immersive multimedia feature articles.
These stories use a combination of high-resolution, full-bleed images, video, illustrations, and scrollytelling to sustain the attention of digital readers. Often, these stories are created with digital storytelling platforms , which are empowering feature writers to create stunning interactive content without writing a line of code.
Now, let's dive into our examples👇
7 examples of stunning feature stories
1 Arab News
When Arab News decided to showcase Saudi Arabia's UNESCO's World Heritage sites, a standard longform article wasn’t going to cut it.
So, the news agency decided to tell it as a feature story powered by digital elements like maps, video, historical pictures, and illustrations.
Each of the five UNESCO sites located in Saudi Arabia is given its own section. This room allowed Arab News the room to explain, in detail, the history of each site and what it looks like today.
Although the piece is long, it does give the UNESCO sites the space and in-depth reporting to turn this into a stunning example of a feature story.
Publish three free stories with Shorthand. Build stunning, interactive web content for free. No code, no credit card, and no commitment required. Get started.
In the 1930s, America's Federal Government enacted redlining policies that segregated Black and white citizens with homeownership.
Despite the Supreme Court ruling in 1948 that racial bias in deed restrictions was illegal, Detroit remains one of the most segregated cities in the country. To tell this important story, NBC News created an immersive and interactive feature story out of images and video to showcase the issue of segregation in modern Detroit.
The mix of data, visuals, video, and interviews with citizens who grew up in segregated neighborhoods make this feature story a compelling read.
3 Pioneers Post
In the race to combat climate change, the citizens of Gambia—one of Africa's smallest countries—realised that the clock is ticking.
So, the locals and family farmers living on the north bank of the Gambia river took matters into their own hands and created plans to reforest an 8,000km stretch of land.
Not only does this Pioneers Post feature story do a fantastic job at highlighting the plight of the villagers and their project to revive the environment, but it also explains the impact of global warming on their area with maps and visuals.
4 Hoover Institute
As a society, we are fascinated by each other's cultures. And more often than not, governments are involved in telling stories about what those cultures look like.
Women in Chinese Propaganda by the Hoover Institute takes a deeper look at how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) depicted women in the early days of its regime. Using a mix of illustrations, history, and interactive features, the reader is plunged into the story the regime told the world about how its women lived in the 1950s.
The feature story also talks about the ties the propaganda has to cultural products, like plays and operas, as well as how marriage was depicted in the early days of the CCP.
Join the BBC, Unicef, and Penguin. Publish stunning, interactive web content for free with Shorthand. No code, no credit card, and no commitment required. Get started.
When an apartment building in La Villeneuve, France, caught fire in 2020, two children were trapped in the inferno.
As villagers watched on, the scene grew desperate—until a group of local citizens came up with a solution: the children would jump, and the citizens would catch them.
The BBC detailed the events of that day and accounts of the hero citizens who saved the children's lives in their interactive feature story, The Catch .
Using a mix of illustrations, photographs, and interviews from people involved in the life-saving rescue, the feature story succeeds in putting the reader inside the events that unfolded.
The story paints an uncomfortable truth: just ten days after the French President called for some foreign-born residents to be stripped of their citizenship—immigrants were rescuing children.
Another feature story focusing on climate change, WaterAid tells the story of people facing harsh environmental conditions in Malawi, Africa.
The story digs deep—using full-screen photographs, statistics, and quotes from climate change scientists about the changing environment for the people living there. WaterAid is using this piece to encourage people to fight climate change. So, it's fitting that the piece ends with a simple ask: Join #OurClimateFight .
7 Sky News
The final feature story on our list is Sky News' celebration of WNBA's 25th season.
The story, From ‘We Got Next’ to ‘Next Steps' , has a tonne of embedded items to keep the reader interested. Sky News uses a mix of embedded Tweets, photographs, and videos to showcase WNBA's history from those who have been part of it.
And like the Water Aid feature story, Sky News wraps its piece up by adding a call-to-action, encouraging readers to follow the WNBA's progress on its YouTube and cable television channels.
Ready to start creating your own amazing feature stories?
Content creators and news agencies have stepped up their storytelling game and are going above and beyond to capture (and keep) their audience's attention.
Slapping a 3000-word story into WordPress isn't enough to keep your reader engaged anymore (no matter how interesting the topic is.) Thanks to the rise of social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, users now expect feature stories to be more engaging and capture their imagination.
The good news is that creating these stories no longer means you have to learn how to code or hire an (expensive) developer. Content creators can build exciting, in-depth feature stories that embed elements like images, data illustrations, videos, and social media feeds using a tool like Shorthand.
So, what are you waiting for—are you ready to start creating stories that will take your readers on a journey?
Kimberlee Meier is a B2B/SaaS Content Writer who also helps start-ups fuel their growth through quality, evergreen content.
Publish three free stories with Shorthand
Create and share beautiful web content for free. No code, no credit card, and no commitment required.
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How To Write An Amazing Feature Article In 5 Steps
- How To Write An Amazing Feature Article In 5 Steps1111
Need to write a feature article for class? Don't worry, in this article, we show you how to write an amazing feature article in 5 steps!
Unsure of the difference between a feature article and a newspaper report? Well, it’s time to find out! We will show you the different characteristics of an amazing feature article and how to write one!
To show you how to write an amazing feature article, we’ll discuss:
Characteristics of a feature article.
- Different types of feature articles
Language used in feature articles
- Research / Planning
- Header / Title
What is a feature article?
A feature article is a non-fiction piece of writing that focuses on a particular topic. You will find them in newspapers and news sites, online blogs, or magazines.
However, they are not the same as news reports! Whereas news reports are more factual…
Feature articles are more subjective and emotive.
They commonly present information in a more narratorial manner to make them more engaging.
Now that we have a general understanding of what a feature article is, let’s take a detailed look at their characteristics.
A feature article should,
- Explore a topic or issue of current importance
- Follows narratorial conventions (i.e. There is a plot, complication, and conclusion)
- Written in short paragraphs
- Combine facts and opinions
- Provide a perspective or angle about the topic or issue
- Includes catchy features (eg. Catchy title, images etc.).
Different types of feature articles:
There are many different types of feature articles. Each one has a different focus and purpose.
So, let’s see a few examples of feature articles!
- eg. ‘ Charlie Kaufman’s debut novel, ‘Antkind’, is just as loopy and clever as his movies ‘
- eg. ‘ A Former High School Football Player Dove and Caught a Child Dropped From the Balcony of a Burning Building’
- eg. ‘ How to Tie Dye ‘
- eg. ‘ My 2019 UCAT Experience ‘
- eg. ‘ Why Australia Day is really held on 26 January and the push to change the date ‘ or ‘ Thanksgiving 2020 – Date, history behind the holiday and what time is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ?’
- eg. ‘ Craziness behind the scenes at the White House ‘ and ‘ Two Former McDonald Employees Spill Insider Secrets About Working at the Fast Food Chain ‘
Note : There are many more different types of feature articles. You’ll want to research the genre specific for the task you’ve been set.
Before we go into the nitty-gritty details for writing feature articles, you need to know what skills and techniques you need to acquire in order to write a feature article!
- Share your opinions
- Show your personality (eg. humourous, serious…)
- Use semi-formal language (i.e. some colloquialism)
- Use emotive language
- Refer to the audience in second person language (eg. “you”)
- Use literary and rhetorical techniques to engage the reader (eg. rhetorical questions, anecdotes, imagery…)
- Don’t overuse adjectives or adverbs . Use strong verbs and nouns to describe, instead of adjectives and adverbs.
- Use facts, quotes and jargon to add authenticity
- Make sure you write in the active voice
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How to write an amazing feature article in 5 steps
Now that we know what a feature article is, let’s see what you need to do in when writing an amazing feature article:
Step 1: Research and Planning
Remember, feature articles are still based on factual information. So, it is vital that you research your topic very well and that you carefully plan out what you want to write.
We will need to research, plan and research again!
Once you’ve thought about the topic you’ve begin, or decided which issue you would like to discuss, you’re ready to get stuck into researching.
a. Research the general topic
This step is all about reading different perspectives and information about your chosen topic.
Doing this will help you take an informative stance on your topic.
See which perspective interests you most, or which one you agree with most. Also, take into account of the amount of strong evidence you can find for your feature article.
b. Narrow your focus and plan
Now, it is time to take a stance and start planning your feature article!
Here are some points you need to consider when you are planning:
- What type of feature article do you want to write?
- What is your stance on the topic?
- Who is your target audience?
- What is your article about?
- Why are you writing about this topic? (i.e. purpose)
- Level of importance?
- Like a narrative?
Note : The purpose of your feature article can be to convince, evoke sympathy or anger, praise or even to educate. It is up to you to figure out what you want to say about the topic.
c. Research evidence
Now, it is time to research some more and gather some evidence to support your feature article.
Feature articles are supposed to help readers really understand and feel your story.
So, to do this, you must ensure that you spend this time to really flesh out your story and get a good grasp of what you are writing about.
Here are some examples you should look for:
- eg. “ According to Cancer.org , 1960 Australians died from skin cancer in 2016 “
- eg. “ Brendan Thomas will not be deported to New Zealand because he is an Indigenous Australian and is protected by the new law “
- eg. “ Professor Gabriel Leung, Expert on COVID-19 Epidemic from Hong Kong University , says that COVID-19 could ‘infect 60% of global population if unchecked'”
- “ From the live interview with Holocaust survivor.. “
Step 2: Header / Title
Feature articles are known for their eye-catching headers!
Let’s take a look at 2 headers. Which title would you click on first?
“ Rising film director, Sherrice, just released a provocative stop-motion piece that will change your view about fast food! ”
“ Film director, Sherrice, just released a stop-motion piece about fast food ”
The first line is more catchy because it uses emotive language and it directly addresses the readers.
So, how do you write catchy headlines?
- Keep it short and snappy
- Directly address the reader
- Use adjectives / adverbs
- Tell readers what your content is about
- Ask a question
- Give an imperative
Step 3: Introduction
Like your title, your introduction also needs to ‘hook’ in the readers.
They set the scene and draw interest from the audience.
Think about a narrative’s 3 Act Structure:
- The opening act sets the scene and captivate the audience’s attention
- Act 2 is where the action and the major complication occurs
- The 3rd act is the conclusion. It ‘solves’ the problem.
Feature articles function in the same way.
However, unlike a narrative, feature articles’ introductions are very brief and short. They should never be longer than 15% of your whole article.
So, how do you write effective introductions to feature articles:
- Make an interesting and provocative opening statement to draw reader’s attention
- Briefly introduce the topic and purpose
- Establish a relationship with your reader through your language (eg. second person language, rhetorical questions…)
- Create intrigue and interest by foreshadowing your points or challenging your audience
- Provide background information about your topic
Take a read of ABC journalist, Stan Grant’s introduction from ‘Anger has the hour’: How long must Indigenous Australia Wait for Change?
“How long must Aboriginal people wait? How many “turning points” must there be, before we stop believing?
Time is something Indigenous people do not have, not when we die 10 years younger than the rest of the population. Every year lost is counted in graveyard crosses.
Yet the Federal Government says there will likely be no referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition this term of Parliament. Three years since the Uluru Statement from the Heart laid out a vision for Australia — Voice, Treaty, Truth — and we are told still to wait.
That is three years lost; a wasted opportunity to finish our unfinished business. First Nations people asked Australians to walk with us for a better future, yet we cannot get beyond those first steps.”
You see, Grant draws the audience’s interest by asking provocative rhetorical questions that hints at his stance about the topic.
He then provides background information about his topic to inform his audience about the issue. However, notice how he does this in an interesting and engaging way.
Grant uses literary techniques like tricolon (eg. “Voice, Treaty, Truth”), metaphors (eg. “year lost is counted in graveyard crosses” and “First Nations people asked Australians to walk wth us for a better future, yet we cannot get beyond those first steps”) and the motif of steps (eg. “walk with us” and “first steps”).
Step 4: Body
Now, let’s move onto the main part of your feature article.
The body of your feature article is where you write all of your juicy information.
This is where the story unfolds and you share your opinions.
So, let’s get started and see what you need to do in your feature article body paragraphs.
a. Show don’t tell
‘Show, don’t tell’ is a commonly taught writing technique. It requires students to describe and ‘show’ what is happening, instead of simply recounting (‘telling’).
Let’s take a look at an example:
- Tell : Johnny was tired after he ran up the hill.
- Show : Johnny’s legs were aching as he forced himself up the hill. He was struggling to catch his breath and his cheeks were red and puffed up.
Notice the difference? The second line is much more engaging and descriptive, and we feel more connected to the character.
As such, you need to ‘show’ your information to make your article more engaging and interesting to read.
Remember, a feature article is much more colourful than a newspaper report.
So, let’s learn how to ‘show, not tell’:
- Write vivid descriptions and imagery
- Rely on the different senses to describe (i.e. sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste)
- Use literary techniques
- Don’t state emotions (eg. ‘He is happy’, ‘She was excited’ or ‘That was scary’)
- Use strong verbs and nouns, instead of adverbs and adjectives (eg. ‘sprinted’ instead of ‘ran fast’)
b. Be creative
In other terms, use rhetorical and literary techniques! Using these techniques will help you achieve your purpose and simultaneously engage the audience.
For example, if you want to evoke sympathy from the audience, you can use emotive language and hyperbole:
“Big, brute boys brutally beat small neighbourhood boy until he was unrecognisable”
Or, if you want to convince the audience, you can use high modality words and an imperative voice:
“The time to take action is now! Get your phones and fill out the survey now”
So, what are some techniques that are commonly used in feature articles:
If you want to find more techniques, or learn more about the listed techniques, take a read of our English Literary Techniques Toolkit .
c. Support your opinions
Remember, a feature article isn’t just a story… it is also an article! This means that you will need a set of strong evidence to support what you are saying.
We already went through the various types of evidence you need for a feature article:
- Case studies
- Quotes from critics or experts
So, ensure you use a variety of different evidence and use it across your whole feature article.
Step 5: Conclusion
We are at the final stage of your feature article!
Too often, students neglect the conclusion because they think it’s unimportant in a feature article.
However, it is quite the opposite.
Conclusions are especially important in feature article because they summarise your ideas and stance, and ultimately inspire your readers to take action.
So, take your time to quickly summarise your article and add a call to action (i.e. tell your audience to do something, either explicitly or implicitly).
Let’s take a look at News.com journalist, Emma Reynold’s conclusion: “ Craziness Behind the Scenes at the White House ”
“ Three levels of the imposing White House are visible above ground, with the rest beneath. The basements include workrooms, bombs shelters and a bowling alley.
I’m told to look out for the famous red-tailed hawks that live in the rafters of the building. While squirrels are a common sight outside the gates, not many survive within.
Back on Pennsylvania Avenue, I note the absence of sewer grates or rubbish bins, a precaution against bombs.
Clearly, there is a strong consciousness of danger here. But it’s covered with a Disney smile. “
Here, Reynold summarises her experience at the White House and comes to a final conclusion.
She also uses rhetorical and literary techniques to engage her audience and make her conclusion more memorable.
For example, we see a metaphor with “while squirrels are a common sight outside the gates, not many survive within [the White House]”, drawing links between squirrels and common people.
She also uses framing (her introduction refers a ‘Disney star’), allusion and metaphor in her final line: “But it’s covered with a Disney smile”.
Furthermore, Reynolds also implicitly warns us to be aware and critical of what is truly happening in the White House. This is her call to action.
This is what you need to do with your conclusions too!
Written by Tammy Dang
© Matrix Education and www.matrix.edu.au, 2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matrix Education and www.matrix.edu.au with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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How to Write a Feature Story: Step-By-Step
This article gives a step-by-step process that can be used when writing feature articles. Read more and learn how to write a feature story effectively.
Feature stories are long-form non-fiction news articles that go into detail on a given topic. The most common type of feature stories are human interest stories, interviews and news features.
All of the best feature writers know that their articles live and die on the information that is detailed within the story. However, it requires more than just quality research to create a strong feature article.
You also need to understand how to get the reader’s attention from the first paragraph, as well as how to format the body of the article, and how to write a strong conclusion. It also helps if you have a flair for creative writing, as the style involved isn’t as rigid as traditional news stories.
If all this sounds complex, then don’t fret. There is a step-by-step process that can be used when writing feature articles.
Before we share that template, let us first take a quick look at a few of the different genres of this type of story format.
10 Different Types of Feature Articles
Steps for writing a feature writing, 1. evaluate your story ideas, 2. do your research, 3. decide the type of feature you want to write, 4. select an appropriate writing style, 5. craft a compelling headline, 6. open with interest, 7. don’t be afraid to be creative, 8. leave with a bang, 1. human interest.
As the title suggests, when writing human interest stories, the focus is on people. There is usually a strong emphasis on emotion within these stories.
These feature stories can involve a personal goal, achievement, or a dramatic event within someone’s (or a group of people’s) life.
It can also just be a general story about the trials and tribulations of everyday life.
Examples: ‘The leather jacket I bought in my 20s represents a different woman. I just can’t let it go’, ‘I wish I had Rami Malek as a role model growing up – I was stuck with the Mummy’.
2. News Features
News features are probably the most common type of feature article. Within these, there is a strong emphasis on a current event, with the story explaining the reasons behind these events.
They may also go on to examine the implications behind the news stories.
Examples: ‘Eastern Europe’s business schools rise to meet western counterparts’, MBA by numbers: Mobility of UK graduates’.
3. Lifestyle Features
Lifestyle features usually centre around life and how it can be lived better. For instance, an example of a lifestyle feature would be ‘Six Workouts You Have to Try This Summer’, or ‘Why You Need To Try Meditation’.
Lifestyle features are common within magazines.
Example: Six ways with Asian greens: ‘They’re almost like a cross between spinach and broccoli’ .
4. Seasonal Features
These feature articles are specific to certain times of year.
If you work within a newsroom, it is likely that they will have a calendar that schedules the times when certain types of features are due to be written.
One of of the advantages of these types of features is that you can plan them in a way you can’t with typical news stories.
Examples: ‘ 5 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays With The New York Times ’, The Start of Summer .
5. Interview Pieces
Interview features have commonalities with other types of features, but are set apart as they are centred around a single interview.
A good way to strengthen this type of article is to share background information within the it. This information can be either on the interviewee, or the subject that is being discussed.
Examples: Mark Rylance on ‘Jerusalem’ and the Golf Comedy ‘Phantom of the Open’ , ‘I Deserve to Be Here’: Riding His First Professional Gig to Broadway
6. Color Stories
This is a feature that breaks down the feel and atmosphere of a hard news story.
They often accompany news writing.
Good feature writing here will help the reader imagine what it was like to be a at a certain event, or help them gain further understanding of the issues and implications involved of a story.
Examples: ‘ Why the Central African Republic adopted Bitcoin ’, ‘Admissions teams innovate to find ideal candidates’ .
7. Profile Features
A profile feature is like a mini-biography.
It tries to paint a picture of a person by revealing not only facts relating to their life, but also elements of their personality.
It can be framed around a certain time, or event within a person’s life, It can also simply be a profile detailing a person’s journey through life.
Examples: Why Ray Liotta was so much more than Goodfellas , Sabotage and pistols – was Ellen Willmott gardening’s ‘bad girl’?
8. Behind The Scenes
These are features that give readers the inside track on what is happening.
They are particularly popular with entertainment journalists, but are used by feature writers within every sphere.
Examples: ‘‘You Just Have to Accept That Wes Is Right’: The French Dispatch crew explains how it pulled off the movie’s quietly impossible long shot ’. ‘The Diamond Desk, Surveillance Shots, and 7 Other Stories About Making Severance’.
9. Travel Features
As you probably guessed, a travel feature often features a narrator who is writing about a place that the reader has an interest in.
It is the job of the writer to inform their audience of the experiences, sights and sounds that they can also experience if they ever visit this destination.
Examples: ‘ Palau’s world-first ‘good traveller’ incentive ’, ‘An icy mystery deep in Arctic Canada’.
10. Instructional Features
‘How to’ features will always have their place and have become even more popular with the advent of the internet phenomenon known as ‘life hacks’. There is now a subsection of these features, where writers try out ‘how to’ instructional content and let the reader know how useful it actually is.
Interestingly, you don’t have to go far to find an instructional feature article. You are actually reading one at the moment.
Example: The article you are reading right now.
Something Completely Different
Of course, the above is just an overview of some of the types of features that exist. You shouldn’t get bogged down by the idea that some feature types interlope with others.
Feature writing is a dynamic area that is constantly evolving and so are the topics and styles associated with this type of writing.
If you have an idea for something completely different, don’t be afraid to try it.
Now we covered some of the main types, let’s take a look at the steps you should take when planning to write a feature article.
It sounds obvious, but the first step on the path to a good feature article is to have a strong idea. If you are struggling for inspiration, then it may be worth your while checking out popular feature sections within newspapers or websites.
For instance, the New York Times is renowned for its wonderful ‘Trending’ section , as is The Guardian , for its features. Of course, these sites should be used only for education and inspiration.
In an instructional feature article, online learning platform MasterClass gives a good overview of the type of research that needs to be done for this type of article.
It states: “Feature stories need more than straight facts and sensory details—they need evidence. Quotes, anecdotes, and interviews are all useful when gathering information for (a) feature story.”
The article also gives an overview of why research is important. It reads: “Hearing the viewpoints or recollections of witnesses, family members, or anyone else… can help (the article) feel more three-dimensional, allowing you to craft a more vivid and interesting story.”
Feature articles may involve creative writing, but they are still based on facts. That is why research should be a tenet of any article you produce in this area.
Shortly after starting your research, you will be posed the question of ‘what type of feature do I want to write?’.
The answer to this question may even change from when you had your initial idea.
For example, you may have decided that you want to do a lifestyle feature on the physical fitness plan of your local sports team. However, during research, you realized that there is a far more interesting interview piece on one of the athletes who turned their physical health around by joining the team.
Of course, that is a fictional scenario, but anyone who has ever worked within a newsroom knows how story ideas can evolve and change based on the reporting that’s done for them.
The next step is to consider the language you will be using while writing the article. As you become more experienced, this will be second nature to you. However, for now, below are a few tips.
When writing a feature, you should do so with your own unique style. Unlike straight news stories, you can insert your personality and use emotive language.
However, you should avoid too many adjectives and adverbs and other overused words . You should generally refer to the audience as ‘you’ too.
To learn more, check out our article about the best style guides .
As you can tell from the examples listed above, a good feature usually has a good headline/ header. If you are lucky enough to work in a newsroom with a good subeditor, then they will work with you to decide an eye-catching headline.
However, most of you will have to pick your features’ header on your own. Thus, it’s worth giving some time to consider this stage of the process.
It is handy to take a look at Matrix Education’s tips for creating a catchy headline.
They are as follows:
- Use emotive language.
- Keep it short and snappy.
- Directly address the reader.
- Use adjectives / adverbs.
- Tell readers what your content is about.
- Ask a question.
- Give an imperative.
These are, of course, only options and they all shouldn’t be utilized at once.
Another suggestion that can be added to the list is grabbing an intriguing quote from the story and using that within the header.
Your opening paragraph should draw the reader in. It is important that you can hook them here; if you can grab them at the start, they are far more likely to go deeper into the article.
Methods of doing this include the building of tension, the posing of a rhetorical question, making an outlandish statement that is proven true later in the article, or working your way back from a monumental event that the reader is already familiar with.
Whichever you use, the primary goal should be to catch the reader’s interest and to make them want to read on.
If you need help, start with writing a five-paragraph essay .
Jean-Luc Godard said that “a story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order”.
That statement can be somewhat applied to feature articles. However, don’t be afraid to take risks with your writing. Of course, it is important to share the information you need to share, but a feature article does offer far more room for creativity than the writing of a traditional news story.
All the best feature writer leave a little something for the reader who reaches the end of the article. Whether that is a storming conclusion, or something that ties it all together, it is important that there is some sort of conclusion.
It gives your audience a feeling of satisfaction upon reading the article and will make this is the element that will make them look out for the articles that you will write in the future.
Writing a Feature Story: The Last Word
The above steps don’t necessarily need to be followed in the order they are written. However, if you are new to this type of writing, they should give you a good starting point as when creating feature articles.
When writing feature articles, you will find a style and a voice that suits you. This is a type of journalistic writing where you can embrace that creative side and run with it.
- What is a feature story example?
Jennifer Senior won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for an article entitled ‘What Bobby McIlVaine Left Behind’, an article about the human aftermath of grief after 9/11. It is an excellent example of a quality feature article.
- What is the difference between a feature story and a news story?
There are several differences between a feature article and a news story.
Firstly, news articles are time-sensitive, whereas there is more flexibility when a feature can be published as it will still be of interest to the public.
Secondly, feature stories are usually more long-form than news stories, with differences in style employed in both. For instance, news writing often employs the inverted pyramid, where the most important information is at the start. Whereas, feature writing has a tendency to tease out the information throughout the article.
Lastly, the ending of a news story usually happens when all the relevant and available details are shared. On the other hand, a feature story usually ends with the writer tying up the loose-ends that exist with an overall conclusion.
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Tips on Writing a Good Feature Article
- DESCRIPTION Woman reading an article feature
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A feature article is the main news-related article in a magazine that highlights a particular person, place, or event in great detail. Typically, these nonfiction articles dive deeper into a story than regular articles. If you’re in need of some tips on writing a good feature article, get ready to have some fun. You’re going to be developing a human interest story that will appeal to a wide variety of readers.
Steps to Writing Feature Articles
Like most articles, a feature story follows a specific format and outline. There will always be a title/headline, deck, introduction, body, and conclusion. A good feature article contextualizes the story so it’s relatable and immediately relevant to the reader. Why should they care? What’s the angle? What direction are you taking?
In a way, a notable feature article will resemble a short story. You want tension and plot, a sense of progression, with some sort of payoff toward the conclusion. Who are the “characters” in your story? What is the central conflict? For more on that, check out Get Creative: How to Write a Short Story .
1. The Headline
The headline or title of the article should grab the readers’ attention quickly so they’ll keep reading. It needs to highlight the general topic of the story. If you’re featuring a person, don’t just use their name as the headline. Include a unique detail that will be uncovered as they read on. For example:
David Young: The Man Who Restored Faith to the Darkest Village in Nepal
2. The Deck
The deck , also known as a subhead or standfirst, is your second chance to entire readers. While the title of the article will pop with a unique angle, the deck consists of one or two short sentences that’ll leave no question in the readers’ minds; they must read this article. It should capture the gist of the story. For example:
For years, the people of Nepal lived under a dark cloud of oppression. That is, until David Young instigated a faith movement that would completely reshape their lives.
3. The Introduction
Your ability to “hook” readers into the story continues in the introductory, or first, paragraph. The introduction should tell the reader why this story is important or worth their time, but in a sort of oblique way. This is your last chance to “hook” a reader before they flip the page or click away.
Be sure to keep your sentences short. Use this as an opportunity to say something attention-grabbing or something that’ll spark the reader’s interest. Always remember - the WHY is important. You establish the tone of your article in the introduction.
4. The Body
The body of the feature should be broken into sections with several headings for easy organization.
This section contains most of the details of the story. It includes names, places, times, and quotes related to the person, event, or organization. The opinions of the writer, those at the location of the story, and experts are presented in the body of the article. This is also the place to include any pictures that illustrate the story, as well as diagrams, charts, and other visual elements.
5. The Conclusion
The conclusion should leave a lasting impression on the reader and provoke some sort of reaction. It should prompt action on the part of the reader, encourage a change of opinion, or encourage the reader to make a decision.
Useful Feature-Writing Tips
The leeway an author is given in the style of a feature article is much greater than in other types of news writing. Human interest is key. You want to lure readers into a particular setting and allow them to partake in an experience.
Here are some tips to help you achieve that goal.
A feature article should always be very professional and buttoned-up. However, since this is a human interest story and you want to draw readers into an experience, you don’t have to be overly formal or stiff. Consider things like colloquialisms , first-person narratives, and an authoritative yet conversational tone.
Don’t Be Afraid of Opinions
Instead of presenting hard-hitting facts as you might in a typical news story, you’re able to take on a bit of a persuasive bent and pose a few rhetorical questions in features. Avail yourself of the added freedom to write a feature that you would want to read if you were on the other side of the print.
Remember You’re Still a Reporter
Don’t forget to include all the facts and comment on the location of the story. Facts and statistics will add authority and context to your story. Extensive research is critical! You can also sprinkle in relevant jargon to add authenticity to the facts as well as the opinions of those interviewed. The use of quotes from people involved makes your story more personal and real, eliciting an emotional response in the reader.
Paint a Picture
To enhance the relationship with your audience, make use of creative descriptions that will draw on the reader's imagination. Really paint the scene and work to contextualize what you’re trying to say.
If you’re interviewing a person, describe the setting . If you’re describing a major event, relay small details like the wispy pink sky and the smell of cotton candy in the air. The imagery that you create will captivate the reader and hold them with you until the end.
Types of Feature Articles
Since these articles can highlight a person, place, or event, there are a few different styles of feature articles.
Any time you browse your favorite news outlet, you’re bombarded with news stories. So, how is a news report different from a news feature? News features tend to root out in-depth details, such as the background and history of the people impacted by the story. They may also discuss the potential implications of the event.
For example, when Notre Dame caught on fire in April 2019, every news outlet was littered with stories on the tragedy. But, in the wake of the fire, several news features also appeared. They focused on the artwork and relics inside the cathedral, the repercussions of the fire, and the response from the people in Paris and around the globe.
News features will highlight specific details that are otherwise glossed over in a shorter inverted pyramid article that places tremendous focus on the most important details.
Then, we have the profile . This is where you present an in-depth story about a person, organization, or event. There should be a history section, including their background and upbringing, education, challenges, and life experiences. You’ll also want to offer tantalizing behind-the-scenes details that people can’t get through a cursory Google search.
A trend feature will highlight something new and exciting in modern culture. Your editor might feature this type of feature in the lifestyle, fashion, or entertainment section. It’ll detail things like when this new trend popped up, why people are embracing it, and where they will start to see it.
Live-in features are “day in the life” stories. They detail what it’s like to be someone for a day, or what it’s like to be somewhere for a day. You can cover anything from a county jail, to a posh mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, to a corporate office environment, and more. The topics are endless.
What you’ll do is spend a day interviewing, exploring, and shadowing someone else’s typical day. This is where your short story skills will come into play. You’ll take readers on a journey to some setting they may never personally experience and, in doing so, you’ll expand their horizons.
Feature the Finest
Feature stories are a joy to write because, again, you can reach a much wider audience. A fantastic article on a modern-day hero or heroine can touch the lives of people from every race, religion, and political affiliation. Take care to paint a vivid scene, relay all the facts, and dabble in an expressive opinion or two.
Another outlet that can impact people from all walks of life is creative writing . Interested in trying your hand in a short story? If so, check out Plot of a Story Examples . It’ll help you shape your tale and allow your internal meanderings to reach out and touch somebody today.
How to write a Feature Article: Home
How to write a feature article.
Need to write a Feature Article for a magazine or newspaper but not sure where to start?
This guide includes links to tools and resources that can help you.
What is a Feature Article?
A feature article is an article written to dive deeper into a story than a regular article and give more depth to topical events, people or issues.
Feature articles are written by an expert or a journalist. They provide background information on a newsworthy topic as well as the writer's personal slant or experience.
You will find feature articles in newspapers, magazines and online.
Structure of a Feature Article
A well-written feature article follows a specific format and will include the following:
Other elements you may wish to include in your Feature Article:
- Images / Photos / Illustrations
- Columns - split text into two or three columns
- Break-out boxes - boxes which separate text from the main part of the story
F eature Article Example
A Pocketful of Pennies. Teen Breathe , Issue 13, 10-13.
Tools to create a Feature Article
Use the following tools and resources to help you format your Feature article.
Templates for magazine articles by Canva
This video shows you how to use Google Docs to format a magazine-style article.
Run Time: 5:17 mins
This video includes tips and a guide to writing and "designing" a great feature article
Run Time: 4:00 mins
More tips for writing a newspaper or feature article
Johnson, L. (2017, February 3). How to Format Google Document as Magazine Style Article [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfCB2zAPh4Q&t=8s
mskrieger . (n.d.). Smart tips for writing a great feature article [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec0IsulAcXw
A Pocketful of Pennies. Teen Breathe , Issue 13, 10-13.
Scholastic. (n.d.). Writing a Newspaper Article. https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/writing-newspaper-article/
Cover image credits
Angelova, N. (2019, April 4). [Photograph of a magazine on a bed] [Photograph]. Unsplash. https://unsplash.com/photos/417kabtPFEU
Kenion, C. (2018, January 17). [Photograph of a magazine display][Photograph]. Unsplash. https://unsplash.com/photos/cJkVMAKDYl0
Robertson, E. (2017, February 15). [Photograph of a magazine and glasses] [Photograph]. Unsplash. https://unsplash.com/photos/4hH8MJBQYYE
Thought Catalog. (2018, March 2). Fashion magazine [Phoograph]. Unsplash. https://unsplash.com/photos/p-th9JVqrkY
- Last Updated: Oct 27, 2022 7:05 PM
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Human interest feature article from The Business News (NE Wisconsin edition)
Community role fits ‘Mr. Optimism’ Allan Jamir serves numerous organizations — with a smile
Volunteer extraordinaire Allan Jamir
By Mike Dauplaise It’s a good thing Allan Jamir was blessed with a big, bright smile, because the man people call “Mr. Optimism” is seldom without one.
Jamir spreads sunshine wherever he goes, based in an unflappable attitude rooted in his beloved Optimist organization’s positive creed. “Jammer,” as he’s known from the mispronunciation of his last name (correctly hah-MEER), is involved with no less than nine different organizations.
His commitment to the community, especially its youth, is so much a part of his identity that Rick Chernick, CEO of Camera Corner/Connecting Point, recently changed Jamir’s title from vice president of corporate sales to a more appropriate vice president of marketing and community relations.
“Al is one of the most sincere, happy, energetic human beings you’re ever going to meet,” Chernick says. “He’s almost a perfect person. He represents Green Bay, our company and himself very professionally in everything he does.”
Born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in Burlington, Wis., Jamir’s smile jumps out from his dark complexion as he races from seemingly one commitment to the next. As district governor for the Optimist organization in 2000-2001, Jamir traveled throughout the Northern half of Wisconsin to promote its “Friend of Youth” philosophy.
“Everything I do, someway, somehow, positively touches the lives of kids,” Jamir says. “When you see me, you might not know what group I’m representing. I like to think I represent all. I’ve gotten a reputation as a community resource.”
Among the many boards Jamir sits on are the United Way, Scholarships Inc., Heritage Hill Foundation, Horizons Community Credit Union (chair), Big Brothers/Big Sisters (past board member), Brian LaViolette Foundation, and an ambassador for the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. That’s in addition to the time he donates to projects with the Greater Green Bay Optimist Club.
Jamir and his wife Penny are role models in the lives of many young people. While they have no children of their own, the couple has nine godchildren, Penny teaches second grade at Langlade School, and Al reads to the kids every week.
“One of the reasons I went to work for Rick (Chernick) is because Rick’s philosophy is very much in sync with mine,” Jamir notes. “We both love our customers, and we’re both so involved in the community. It’s like a match made in heaven.”
Jamir actually called on Chernick as a territory rep for Hewlett-Packard prior to joining the Camera Corner/Connecting Point team in 1991.
“Business is not all about making money, and there are only so many boards I can be on,” Chernick states. “Al still sells for me, but I need a guy that can help me in the community. He’s the guy.”
Jamir’s love of dealing with kids blossomed when H-P moved him to Green Bay in 1988. He served as an assistant coach for a youth baseball team (ages 9-11) coached by his neighbor that year, and was struck by how the kids responded to instruction.
Despite often feeling as though his words were falling on deaf ears, the infielders turned a picture-perfect double play in the league championship game that made it all worthwhile.
“That’s where the spark started. I learned that I absolutely loved helping the kids and serving the kids,” he says, crediting his high school science and band teachers for priming that part of his persona. “I thought, ‘You know what? I’ve got a lot of things I can teach kids and share with them.’
“If I can do something that makes people move forward positively, then I feel I’ve done my job.”
Feature articles look at news stories in-depth rather than delivering breaking news. One example is a human interest story that discusses someone’s experiences. Other feature article examples include:
To write an example essay, follow the guidelines pertaining to regular essay writing. Decide on a general topic for the example essay, and proceed to researching, formulating a draft and writing in detail. Ensure thorough proofreading and f...
Article 48 was an amendment to the Weimar Constitution that allowed the president of the Weimar Republic in Germany to work around Parliament to carry out duties that protected the people in times of crisis.
Page 1. EXAMPLES OF FEATURE ARTICLES. Personal Profile or Q&A Article → “Who Is the Merchant of Death?”.
A feature story is a piece of longform non-fiction content that covers a single topic in detail. Examples of feature stories include news features, in-depth
Language used in feature articles · Develop a personal tone. Share your opinions · Refer to the audience in second person language (eg. · Use literary and
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If you're interviewing a person, describe the setting. If you're describing a major event, relay small details like the wispy pink sky and the smell of cotton
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There are various types of feature article writing. Whether your focus is news articles, investigative features, or human interest stories, all
the first paragraph or two should 'hook' the reader and draw them in to the story - this could be a description, a question, a striking or shocking statement, a
An example of a feature story is an article about a group of children coming together to raise money to help the community after a storm. The
“If I can do something that makes people move forward positively, then I feel I've done my job.” Home · Writing Services · Creative Obituaries · Client