It was a great year for the Greater Good Science Center’s Education program. Hundreds of teachers attended our annual Summer Institute for Educators, and we reached hundreds of thousands more through workshops, talks, partnerships, and, of course, articles in Greater Good magazine. Here’s our list of the twelve best, based on a composite ranking of pageviews and editors’ picks.
How to Help Diverse Students Find Common Ground, by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu: What are the principles that promote a truly inclusive university? Here are eight.
The Trouble with Trigger Warnings, by Mariah Flynn: Can educators warn students about troubling content without discouraging class participation? Here are some tips.
Four Ways Teachers Can Reduce Implicit Bias, by Jill Suttie: We’re all subject to bias. Here are tips to help teachers treat all of their students with dignity and care.
How to Bring SEL to Students with Disabilities, by David Lichtenstein: Social-emotional learning programs have not traditionally targeted students with psychiatric or developmental disabilities. Here’s why they should.
Why We Should Teach Empathy to Preschoolers, by Shuka Kalantari: One Berkeley preschool is baking empathy into its curriculum—and for good reason.
How Teachers Can Help Students Who Fail in Class to Succeed at Life, by Mark Katz: There are people who got bad grades but grew up to be successful adults, says Mark Katz. What’s their secret—and how can schools help?
Why Don’t Students Take Social-Emotional Learning Home?, by Vicki Zakrzewski: New research suggests we need to take account of how diverse groups of students view and apply SEL skills.
What if Schools Taught Kindness? by Laura Pinger and Lisa Flook: Lessons from creating a “kindness curriculum” for young students.
How to Stop the Culture of Complaining at Schools, by Owen Griffith: Fourth-grade teacher Owen Griffith offers practical ways to turn schools and classrooms into no-complaint zones.
Five Ways to Help Misbehaving Kids, by Stuart Shanker: Bad behavior is often a sign that children are stressed—and punishment isn’t the best solution.
How Humility Will Make You the Greatest Person Ever, by Vicki Zakrzewski: It’s so hard to be humble. Here are three tips for taming your ego. This should be read with a companion piece targeted at education leaders, How to Cultivate Humble Leadership.
Seven Ways to Help High Schoolers Find Purpose, by Patrick Cook-Deegan: Many students go through high school bored and unengaged. Patrick Cook-Deegan explains what a purpose-driven curriculum would look like.
Greater Good wants to know: Do you think this article will influence your opinions or behavior?
The process of writing a feature article for a magazine is not much different from writing an article for a newspaper or newsletter. One of the main differences however, is that a feature article is designed to be written in a way that the information is not time-based, but is timeless. The key to writing a good feature article is to select the proper venue for your article and then to write the article directed at that audience.
A feature article typically delves deeper into a story than a regular article. More than mere facts are presented and the creative writer finds other points of interest and information about the story. Feature articles sometimes even allow the writer to express personal thoughts and opinions on the topic.
Organization of the Story
A feature article takes a specific format and outline. There will always be a title, introduction, body of the story and a conclusion. This format is different from a general article. The title of the article should grab the reader’s attention quickly to keep them reading. It should highlight the general topic of the story.
The introduction of the story is contained in the first few paragraphs of the article. It should provide any background information relevant to the story and should create a relationship between the writer and the reader. The tone of the article will be set in the introduction.
The body of the feature should be broken into pieces with subheadings for easy organization. This section has most of the details of the story. It includes names, places, times and quotes from those interviewed. The opinions of the writer, those at the location of the story and from experts involved in the topic are presented in the body of the article. Any pictures that illustrate the story and diagrams or charts would also be included at this point.
The conclusion should leave a lasting impression on the reader and provoke some sort of reaction. The conclusion should prompt action on the part of the reader and encourage a change of opinion on the part of the reader or encourage the reader to make a decision.
How to Write a Good Feature
The leeway an author is given in the style of a feature article is much greater than in other types of writing.
- You have the ability to use colloquialisms, first person narrative and a conversational tone in your article.
- You are free to throw in a few rhetorical questions if it emphasizes your point.
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 to include all the facts and to comment on the location of the story. It is always preferable to bring in such facts to support your viewpoint. These extra facts will add force to your story. Sprinkle in relevant jargon to add authenticity to the information that you are sharing and to the opinions of those interviewed.
To enhance the relationship with your audience, make use of creative descriptions that will draw on the reader’s imagination.
- The imagery that you create in the telling of the story captivates the reader and keeps them with you until the end.
- The use of quotes from people involved makes your story more personal and generates emotion in the reader.
While these are not the only tips on writing a good feature for magazines, they will carry your writing a long way towards landing a feature article.