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How to Write a Great Newspaper Article

Updated on November 12, 2015

This page will teach you how to write a newspaper article (and make it great). Learn how to format a newspaper article correctly, through examples, and learn how to cite or reference a newspaper article for a school assignment.

Newspaper articles provide information on current events and issues, along with interpretation and analysis. They also provide entertainment, and are a reference for television listings, sports results, movie listings, community events and weather reports.

Newspapers use pictures and captivating headlines to draw in readers and hold their attention. Writing a great article can require informative and persuasive language, including emotive words, imagery, and rhetorical questions.

The following hints, tips and ideas will help you write a newspaper article for your local newspaper, a school assignment or just for fun.

Newspaper articles provide information on current events and issues.

The Purpose of a Newspaper Article

A newspaper article provides information on newsworthy topics: that is, any event or issue of importance to the majority of readers. It provides the reader with all the facts about this issue or event, including who, what, where, when, why and how. It includes statements, comments and opinions from experts or other people involved.

Types of Newspaper Articles

Newsworthy topics will vary according to the newspaper's audience. A national newspaper will report on national issues like finance, war and politics. On the other hand, a local community newspaper reports on actions and events in the area. Local newspapers tend to lean towards emotional stories; people are more interested in a minor local event then a distant disaster.

A major news report is put on the front page with a big headline and a large picture. These major stories will often have smaller related background stories, which will sometimes run for several pages. Lesser stories are placed in the newspaper based on their importance (more important news at the front) or placed based on category (world news, sports, finance).

Newspaper articles should be objective, factual, accurate and balanced.

Format and Structure

The structure of a newspaper article is often compared to an inverted triangle: the most important details are at the top of the article, and the least important information placed at the end of the article. It is important to keep each paragraph as independent as possible, to allow paragraphs to be cut out in order to fit in pictures and advertisements.

The article is not written in chronological order. A newspaper article includes the following (in order):

  • Headline and by-line (reporter's name and picture).
  • An opening paragraph (introduction) of about 25-40 words. It provides the most important and interesting news first, while answering who, what, where, when (how and why are often reserved for later).
  • Further short paragraphs of about 30-40 words apiece. Each one has a main idea and a different fact. They may also include quotes from people involved or experts.
  • Details are given in order of importance, with the least important details at the end of the article. This allows readers to skim over the start of the article to gain the essential facts before deciding to read on.
  • At the end of the article the facts and opinions may be summarised, detailing the issue or event.

Example of a Newspaper Article

Language Features: The Headline

Headlines convey information and attract attention using the following:

  • Short phrases and incomplete sentences
  • Figurative language
  • Stereotypes
  • Exaggeration

Writing A Newspaper Headline

Language Features: The Body of the Article

The language in the body of the article uses the following features to inform, entertain and persuade.

  • Clear and concise
  • In the third person
  • Can use active or passive voice, depending on the focus and which is more engaging for the reader.
  • Factual and accurate.
  • Includes quotes, comments, opinions, statements and observations, from people involved or experts on the topic.
  • Gives people labels so that the reader knows who they are straight away, for example: "the Minister, Mr. Dash."
  • Avoids racist, sexist or religious slurs.
  • Accurate and balanced (providing facts supporting both sides of the issue).

Using Language in a News Story

Using Visuals

Headlines use size, bold, capitals, different font styles, underlining and sometimes colour to attract reader's attention to the newspaper article that follows. The importance of the article is generally related the size of the headline, with more important articles having bigger and bolder headlines.

Photographs, illustrations, graphs, graphics and maps are used alongside newspaper articles to help present complex information as well as add interest and colour.

How To Write A Newspaper Article

The Associated Press Guide to News Writing: A Great Resource

The Associated Press Guide to News Writing
The Associated Press Guide to News Writing

This book is a great reference for journalists (or aspiring journalists) and is a book that you will read, read again and then continue to read. Even for the non-journalist, this book will greatly increase your writing skills and give you insight into just how much research goes into the big headline newspaper articles.

Improve your general writing skills while also learning how to effectively edit your work.

 

Steps to Writing a Newspaper Article

-Brainstorm ideas.

-What's the focus?

-Research extensively.

-Provide important facts.

-Use pictures.

-Persuade readers.

How To Cite and Reference A Newspaper Article

When you use a newspaper article as a source for an assignment or project, you need to describe it so that readers themselves can find it. Below you will find several of the most common ways to reference and cite a newspaper article. If there is one I have missed that you think needs to be included, please let me know in the comment section!

If you are unsure which referencing method you are required to use, then ask your teacher or check the relevant course information.

  • MLA:

    Newspaper Author. "Article Name." Name of Newspaper [City] Publication Date, Newspaper Section (Sports, Weather, Editorial): Page Number of Article.

  • APA:

    Author (Name, Initial, Initial). (Year/Month/Day). Article Name. Name of Newspaper, Page Number(s) of Article

  • Harvard Referencing:

    Name, Initial Year, 'Article Name', Newspaper Name, Day and Month, Page(s) of Article.

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    • profile image

      suzi 8 months ago

      yes! its really nice

    • profile image

      elphus ntsako 20 months ago

      This site helped me a lot.. I now have a clue on how to prepare viewers about what dey a going see in my article

    • profile image

      shakir 22 months ago

      really helpful for new writers

    • profile image

      neelraj 23 months ago

      very nice, thankyou sir.

    • profile image

      Eke J Onyekwere 2 years ago

      Thanks it's helpful

    • profile image

      anonymous 2 years ago

      very informative thnkx really helped a lot with my homework

    • JennyDelToro profile image

      DinoMommy 2 years ago

      Great article, thanks for the info!

    • profile image

      kat 2 years ago

      this is awesome! thank you so much for posting it. wish my teacher would have given us something like this to work from ...

    • RestlessKnights profile image

      RestlessKnights 3 years ago

      I've written magazine articles, but not so much for the newspapers.

    • evawrites1 profile image

      evawrites1 3 years ago

      Thanks, this is very informative.

    • Evelina Sa profile image

      Evelina 3 years ago from London / Frankfurt / Vilnius

      I find it difficult in general to write anything :) no matter if it's a tweet, facebook post, blog post, article or anything :)

    • poemsthatdance profile image

      Maria Grujicic 3 years ago from Darwin, Australia

      Very informative- Thank you. :)

    • profile image

      my-home-corner 3 years ago

      A helpful guide. Thank you for the tips. :)

    • profile image

      kepezzo 3 years ago

      will put it in my favourites. thnx .

    • seodress profile image

      seodress 3 years ago

      Great videos.

    • profile image

      OILDALE1 4 years ago

      nice lense. very informative

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      very helpful I will definitely get top marks in my homework

    • profile image

      DavidTucker 4 years ago

      Awesome practical hints. I'm certain that most of these tips will work for not only newspaper articles, but for blog posts as well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      So helpful now i will get through my exam no problems

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      indeed, this site exposed me to more information i had needed to back up my assignments in school! Great work... Austine from PLASU, NIGERIA

    • RaidaMoon profile image

      RaidaMoon 4 years ago

      This is a great lens with some very helpful and relevant information. Great job and thank you so much for sharing!

    • Jo-Jackson profile image

      Jo-Jackson 4 years ago

      Very informative.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This information has proved very useful... I thank whoever created this lens!!!

      HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      Seems like newspapers are soon to be a thing of the past. But for now a helpful lens.

    • James1978 profile image

      James1978 4 years ago

      I've submitted lots of articles to various article directories online, but I've never considered submitting an article to a newspaper, so this information is very useful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      u guys are great

    • profile image

      xtianfriborg13 4 years ago

      Great tips! Great lens!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      This is a good refresher, my journalism skills are dusty, but I'll polish them now.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Deeann56: not all articles are short

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      yes

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      great website. a bundle of thanks to whoever made this fantastic piece of work

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      love it thx this website i shall post it on my web.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i want the best article for my madam!yay!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great article, very well written. It was very helpful. Thank you so much, as I am writing a newspaper for my school. Ill be sure to be bacK!

      @squidoo

      #over and out

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great article, very well written. It was very helpful. Thank you so much, as I am writing a newspaper for my school. Ill be sure to be bacK!

      @squidoo

      #over and out

    • AssignmentWriti profile image

      AssignmentWriti 4 years ago

      Loved both the videos. Crisp, concise and clear!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      this has been great help for studying for my exam i especially like the idea of putting video fotage to help understand

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      kk

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      kk

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for useful tips!.

    • Deeann56 profile image

      Deeann56 4 years ago

      I enjoy short story writing so an article is the way to go

    • profile image

      oakstreet 4 years ago

      Writing news articles?...Mmm,I think I want to try it. It is a good idea and thanks for this great len.God bless you.

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      No, but I'd like to as I love writing.

    • profile image

      yogendrachavda 4 years ago

      nice tips.. thanks for sharing

    • XxSadieLadyxX profile image

      XxSadieLadyxX 4 years ago

      Great information

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thanks for the tips i think now i can write articles in newspapers

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for useful guidelines.

    • sunlightseer profile image

      sunlightseer 4 years ago

      I don't write newspaper articles, but that's one reason why I joined Squidoo, to get experience for newspaper submissions. Thanks for the education.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      I love to read Newspaper Articles and sometimes they are really good ones, thanks for the information too.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Very thorough and complete. It is important to realize that newspapers are not dead, and that there will always be a place for them. This lens was packed full of resources and well organized. Blessed........

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very Interesting and helpful.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Very interesting guidelines.

    • maryLuu profile image

      maryLuu 4 years ago

      very useful tips!

    • poorwendy lm profile image

      poorwendy lm 5 years ago

      Very helpful resource. I bookmarked it so I can refer back later when I need.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      this is a skill enhancing object, i wish, an example attached to it.

    • Mami Design profile image

      Mami Design 5 years ago

      Detailed written! I enjoyed reading it!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Its very good efforts on combine good information on the subject of news articles writing, i liked it.

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      Very helpful lens. Lots of useful information here about writing newspaper articles.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: ya totally

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      this page is super helpful!!! Thanks!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Sanja94 5 years ago

      Thank you very much. Your lens helped me a lot.

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 5 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      Thank you for the lens very helpful info here; I wish there was a summary of all the main notes on here to print out to keep for reference/Checklist in a writing book/binder.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Changed my life bro :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      There is lot to learn about writing newspaper articles, you made this clear in your lens.

    • Kumar P S profile image

      Kumar P S 5 years ago

      Nice article. Useful tips.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Thanks for publishing these helpful tips and resources. ~~Blessed~~

    • profile image

      thecopyhouse 5 years ago

      Very interesting!

      A poorly written newspaper article does not attract the readers which obviously it should. You have suggested some great tips! Thank you for sharing!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Tips that are easy to follow. Thanks.

    • andreaberrios lm profile image

      andreaberrios lm 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens, thanks for sharing!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @ReviewsfromSandy: You got right

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great information and really helpful

    • AnnaAdam LM profile image

      AnnaAdam LM 5 years ago

      I must say you have good knowledge about writing articles. good tips to write an excellent news paper article.

    • ReviewsfromSandy profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      TQ for the info! Cheers!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      wowwwwwwwwwww

      it is really awsome

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      Great lens. Knowing how to write a great newspaper article is important not just for the writers of the articles but for the readers as well so they can spot a poorly written article from a mile away and not waste their time.

    • profile image

      Adrijan 5 years ago

      great lens

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Great advice. Being someone who used to write for newspapers, I have to bless this lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      enjoyed your write up on this topic

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      enjoyed your write up on this topic tonight, well done.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I liked it and love Ezine also

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 5 years ago

      How To Write A Great Newspaper Article is really interesting and useful. Good job.

    • profile image

      redleafloans 5 years ago

      Great lens. Very informative.

    • profile image

      NAnand 5 years ago

      well thought and presented.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      nice and helpful tips u got there

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      it is an excellent, helpful lesson...gr8 work

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      nice lenses!!!

      it helps me a lot! <3

      thanks for making this site informative!

    • Christophe101 profile image

      Christophe101 7 years ago

      Informative Lens you have there!

      I'm going to bookmark this one.

      If you have time, rate my lens 5 stars please, thanks!

      Soccer Betting Tips

      Greetz

    • profile image

      California_Dreamin 7 years ago

      Nice lens with lots of good article writing advice, for newspapers of new media.

    • SimilarSam profile image
      Author

      Sam 7 years ago from Australia

      @mysticmama lm: The newspaper is definetly dying. People just dont realise that article writing on the web is so similar to that of newspaper article writing. I also have a feature article lens that is even better suited for those looking to touch up on their article writing skills.

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 7 years ago

      Great journalism advice, though I'm afraid newspapers are a dying breed & will soon go the way of VHS & cassettes lol...This advice is still very helpful for internet article writing!