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Writing the Feature Story

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1 Writing the Feature Story
Hometown Focus

2 February 27 Reading time Test tomorrow on book/Journal completed and submitted Vocabology Test on Wednesday No vocabology or new books until March 12 Feature Story due March 5 Presentations Feature Story – Step One

3 Purpose: Demonstrate student ability to write a human interest feature story about a person, event, place, issue or trend particular to Buchanan. The article should be creative and place emphasis on the people involved rather than on strictly the facts of the news. Research must include an interview. However, other sources may be used to support the story.

4 Goal: Write a word polished version of a feature story presenting some aspect of life in Buchanan.

5 Process: Interview a community member of your choice about a person, event, place, issue or trend particular to Buchanan. Do additional research or follow up to glean all the information needed to present the information.

6 Types of Feature Stories
Human Interest Feature Personality Feature Most common feature article Typically reports on someone’s success in spite of odds May recall a tough predicament - with positive outcome Share struggle supported by community Famous or not so famous – has done something interesting Shows how a person gained recognition in the community Personality feature similar to a character sketch

7 Types of Feature Stories
News Feature How-to Feature Brings human-interest focus to news Adds personal involvement to what may seem to be otherwise distant or unimportant Explains how to do something-often complex process most people do not know how to do Tells the reader why it is important or beneficial for him or her to know how to do this Article includes list of materials to complete the process

8 Types of Feature Stories
Past Events Feature Informational Feature Focus on historical event or historical celebration Article typically includes research but NOT encyclopedia reporting. Puts a human face on history. Let’s the reader know something about the people who were part of history Shows insightful coverage of a topic Gives detailed information focused on one aspect of a given topic Makes a personal connection to the subject and the writer

9 Steps in the Process-use form
Use the step one planning sheet. List of possible topics Select best idea Tell why List what audience knows Predict what audience needs to know State the purpose of the article

10 Hand in at the beginning of the hour – next class session.
Step One Due Hand in at the beginning of the hour – next class session.

11 Step Two Organizing the feature story

Page 3 in Packet Please

13 Look over the planning document
Clearly state the purpose of your article Doing this keeps you focused on your writing It also forces you to articulate your audience Why is that important?

14 Step Two Think about ways you could tell the story
Ideas Sources Think about ways you could tell the story Who, what, where, when, why and how – very helpful Interviewee Personal observation Historical facts

15 Step Two Vocabulary? Are there any terms/places/even ts that my be unfamiliar to the audience? Anticipate confusion

16 Step Three Planning the feature story

17 Purpose of my feature article:
Step Three Purpose of my feature article: Why do we keep doing this as we plan?????

18 Planning Think about HOW you want to share ideas and information with your reader. Revisit who, what, when, where, why and how to plan interesting ways you can get information to your audience.

19 Consider using any of the following:
Anecdote Vignette Quotations Facts Foreshadowing Pictures Flashback Juxtaposition Reasons/examples Tables/charts/graphs

20 Documentation:
Now is a good time to document your sources. Cite any internet, yearbooks or news sources. Cite the interviewee

21 You will have 15 minutes to complete pages 3 and 4.
Step three due You will have 15 minutes to complete pages 3 and 4.

22 Great Beginnings – the lead
The feature story

23 Leads take the reader into the story
It takes time to read a story. Readers do not want to invest time in a story that seems uninteresting You must grab and hook the reader with the first paragraph.

24 Engaging Lead It is important to use an engaging lead to capture the attention of the reader

25 Engage the reader There are a number of different strategies you can try to grab the reader’s attention.

26 Strategies Dialogue Scene with a character engaged in the activity “I didn’t see it coming. All I could do was grit my teeth and pray!” Hunched forward, on tip- toes, attentive, Ellen waited for a pitch that could make or break the state championship.

27 Strategies Juxtaposition (contrast) Startling Argument When the sleepy town of Buchanan sleeps, a ghost wakes at the little Morris chapel. When the sleepy town of Buchanan sleeps, a ghost wakes at the little Morris chapel.

28 Strategies Generalization Intriguing detail “Despite warmer and rainy weather, the City of Buchanan said it will have some fun in the snow this weekend! ” Crews trucked in snow in from all over the city and dumped it on the city’s busiest street. Front Street in Buchanan underwent a complete transformation.

29 Strategies Anecdote Quotation City of Niles firefighter Judy Schlutt did not expect to spend Valentine’s Day evening riding blindfolded around Niles. Her boyfriend, Niles Township firefighter Andy Hartman, took her out for dinner. She wore a dress and tights for the occasion. Schlutt, however, had no way of knowing she would end the night standing in 34-degree weather, in the bucket of a ladder truck, unable to see. “Because of the new cut scores they may be seeing drops in our overall test scores, but that is state wide,” Buchanan Supt. Andrea van der Laan said. “That is not just a Buchanan issue.”

30 Strategies “face” More to Kate Upton than modeling. She competed nationally in the American Paint Horse Association. She won three APHA Reserve World Championships in the 13 and Under Western Riding, as well as 13 and Under Horsemanship and Western Riding.

31 Strategies What might have been In 2008, Kate Upton took part in an open casting call in Miami for Elite Model Management, where she was signed the very same day. Had she not decided to attend, who knows where she would be today.

32 Strategies Effect of cause Rhetorical question Michigan raised the cut scores for this year’s MEAP and MME tests, meaning far fewer students are scoring at what is considered a proficient level than in years past. "The means are at hand to fulfill the age-old dream: poverty can be abolished. How long shall we ignore this under-developed nation in our midst? How long shall we look the other way while our fellow human beings suffer? How long" (Michael Harrington, The Other America: Poverty in the United States, 1962)

33 Assignment Look at page 6 on your Feature Story Hand out
Complete at least three different leads for your story. Be sure to check to avoid all forms of the verb BE (be, being, been, am, is are, was, were)

34 Great Beginnings – Three Leads due
You will have about 10 minutes to complete - feel free to get help from a parnter

35 Sloppy Copy Activity Writing the Feature Story

36 Sloppy Copy – Feature Assignment
Use your planning notes, research, and interview notes to write your rough draft. Begin with your most powerful interview. Add details in order of importance: most important to least important. (Use 5 W’s and H notes to determine order of importance.) Edit as much as you can as you go, but do not obsess. We will be editing later. Do not exceed 400 words.

37 Feature Article Reflection
After you have finished your sloppy copy, complete the feature article reflection. Bring in the sloppy copy attached to the Feature Story Packet for class tomorrow (you will be given credit for having completed all phases when you come to class on Friday.)

38 Analyzing a feature article-Friday March 2
Peer analysis activity

39 Feature Story Analysis
Take out homework packet and sloppy copy Meet with a partner who has finished his/her sloppy copy. Exchange papers with assigned partner and complete analysis sheet (page 8) You will have about 15 minutes to complete this activity.

40 Pesky Be’s Now comb the paper and circle any form of the verb be that you find. IS ARE AM WAS WERE BE BEING BEEN

41 Use this analysis when revising
Look at the questions and answers Check any comment that you might want to think about as you work on your revision. Rework any sentences that include a form of the verb BE.

42 Check email for scoring guide
Use the scoring guide to complete the polished version of your feature story. We will be reading in class on Monday.

43 Look over assignment specifications
Work on the polished version and submit in clear plastic sleeve on MONDAY

44 Bring polished version to class on Monday, March 5
Feature Story Bring polished version to class on Monday, March 5

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