News Articles

Mentor Texts:

  • What Really Matters by Irene, Eighth Grader (Feature Article) – This news feature article reports on a teenager named Margaret and the challenges she faces in living life with a disability. Pay attention to the details the author uses to paint a picture of Margaret’s life, as well as characterize her.
  • Student Entrepreneur Reaches for Dreams of the Sky by Julie, Tenth Grader(Feature Article) – “Tenth-grade writer Julie develops her report with plenty of information and quotations from her subject, T. McDowell. Readers get a clear picture of McDowell’s determined business sense as well as his dreams for the future.”
  • Internet Plagiarism by Dan, High-School Student (Feature Article) – “Dan writes a problem-solution essay that focuses on one of the great temptations of the digital age: stealing intellectual property via the Internet. The essay begins by explaining the problem in detail and then shifts to recommending a set of solutions.” (Side Note: The last line of this is a great example of a powerful takeaway to leave your reader with!)

Other Resources:

  • Brainstorming Your Piece:
    • Journalism from lifeLook no further than your neighborhood, school, or sports team for good ideas. Write about what you know best. Investigate stories in your own backyard!
    • Journalism from the newsSurf the net and read papers, magazines, and other periodicals to find the latest scoop!
    • Opinion-based journalismPick a controversial topic. Pick a side. Now it’s your chance to be heard!
    • Fast Food Nation – Read Eric Schlosser’s investigative piece on American eating habits, then write your own investigative story about eating habits in your community.
  • Drafting Your Piece:
    • Research resourcesIt’s important to find out as much as you can about your subject before drafting an article. Being a reporter is like being a detective. Leave no rock unturned!
    • Asking good questionsEvery journalist worth his or her salt knows how to conduct a successful interview. Here are some tips to help you interview like a pro!
    • Everyone’s a criticFollow these prompts and write movie, music, and book reviews that will stand up to the harshest of criticism!
    • P. Diddy – Read this celebrity profile of the rapper P. Diddy, then write your own profile of a celebrity whom you admire!
  • Getting Your Piece Peer Reviewed:
  • Revising Your Piece
    • 10 ways to revise an articleThere are many ways to revise a piece of journalism. Here’s a list of ten!
    • Back to the drawing boardStuck for where to go? Find the one good idea you’ve had and go back to where you started!
    • Be your own worst critic!Before publishing your article, make sure your research is thorough and well-documented. Scrutinize your words from every possible angle!
    • So you want to be a reporter?Read this interview with Pultizer Prize-winning reporter, Nigel Jaquiss, and learn how to document your subject’s paper trail. Follow the prompts and write an investigative story about your school!
  • Editing Your Piece

Places to Publish:

  • Scholastic Write It! Literary MagazineWrite It! accepts journalistic essays that are 500-3,000 words in length. All writing must be school-appropriate. As always, read all submission guidelines before submitting your piece!
  • Most local newspapers have a place for online submission! As always, check the rules and guidelines for submission. Be sure to let them know you’re a student at a local school!