A school newspaper is one of the most important sources of information for students. It is a platform which the school administration and faculty members also use to reach the entire school community. As a student, you have an opportunity to contribute an article on this important communication medium which not only helps hone your writing skills but also gives you a sense of pride. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards identifies school newspaper as a crucial tool for developing students’ talents.
If you have always dreamt of joining the media industry, a school newspaper offers the perfect springboard to test the waters. To get your article on the school newspaper, you have to learn the ropes and do a lot of research. Luckily, advancement in technology has made access to information easier whether you want to paper writer or find insightful material for your article.
In this article, you will learn the basics of a school newspaper and tips to help you write a high-quality article worth publishing in the next issue. Read on.
Discover Different Types of School Newspaper Writing
Before you rush to write an article for your school newspaper, you need to understand what type of content the editor needs. Just like in any other paper, the editor of your school newspaper will expect two main article types namely:
- News article: This is a type of material which covers the basics of current events in and out of the school environment. These articles answer the questions; who, what, where, how, and when? If you have a burning interest in happenings around you, it is easy to come up with a news article covering essential and relevant news for the school community.
- Feature article: This is a longer article with a more in-depth look at issues affecting the school community. In such an article, the writer tackles a major issue from multiple angles to satisfy the reader’s yearning for knowledge. With feature articles, you have more creative leeway to captivate the interest of your readers.
Understand the Structure of a Newspaper Article
It is important to learn more about the acceptable structure of newspaper articles the editor expects. Now that you have plans to join the media industry, the skills you learn at this point will help you later in your journalism career. Some of the most crucial aspects to note about a newspaper article structure include:
- The Inverted Triangle of Newspaper Writing
A school newspaper article takes the visual form of an inverted triangle with the crucial information coming on top and the least important coming towards the end. This is important to remember because newspaper readers will only look at the important ideas at the top and look at the closing before turning the pages. If you want to captivate readers with your first newspaper article, make sure you add the crucial information at the top paragraph and the least important towards the bottom.
- The Basic Story Outline
Before you write a newspaper article, take time to understand the structure or outline expected by the editor. All newspaper articles will always have the following major sections:
- Headline: Also called the “Head,” this is a short, attention-grabbing, powerful, incisive and insightful statement which summarizes your article. It appears at the top of your article and it has to be pithy and relevant to attract readers to your article.
- Deck: This is a blurb containing one or two sentences and summarizes what an article entails. It falls below the headline of your article.
- Byline: This is a caption of the writer’s name.
- Lead sentence (lede/lead): This is the first sentence meant to grab and captivate your readers.
- Lead paragraph: In the inverted triangle form, the section at the beginning is wider because it carries a lot of important information. This is the lead paragraph and it gives the most critical information about the story. In a news article, the lead paragraph answers the questions who, what, when, where, and why as quickly as possible.
- Body paragraphs: These paragraphs contain more details about the topic.
- Conclusion: You should find a memorable way to close your article and leave a lasting impression on your readers. You can add a quote to sum things up.
Look for Samples From Your School Newspaper
It is important to look at what other writers have done for your school newspaper before submitting your work. This will not only guide you on the quality of work required but also the structure, tone used among other things. Look for regularly featured writers and note how they formulate their ideas. It is also important to find out about the school newspaper publishing guidelines to guarantee your article ends in one of the pages.
Brainstorm for Article Ideas
Use writing prompts, talk to your family and friends and look at current news events to get ideas for your story. Remember that your account must captivate and interest the reader and you should thus look for the best article ideas. You can look for current news events and relate them to the school environment. The idea is not to re-invent the wheel but rather to use what is available for you to create an exciting story.
Some of the best story ideas you can find will come from:
- Events on campus: Whether there is a new professor or changes in administration, you can always come up with a story about events on campus.
- Interviews and profiles: Students have a lot of interest in public figures and if you can get an interview with one of these at school or outside, you have a potential story.
- Editorial and Opinions Columns: If you have something you would like to get off your chest, it is possible to send an article to the school newspaper editor.
- Club or organizations’ news: Anything happening within school clubs and organizations deserves attention from reporters.
- National news: If there are heated campaigns nationally or in your state, the school community will have more than a passing interest.
- Sporting events: Sports always feature in newspapers and if you love sports, you will always have good content for your school newspaper.
vii. Reviews of the latest movies, plays, video games or books: Whether you are a book lover, movie buff or a video game enthusiast, you can convert your hobby into interesting newspaper content. Your readers will always look forward to your next article.
viii. Trending fashion styles, music and other things that can interest your audience.
In the case of interviews, make sure you identify your subject early enough, request for an interview prepare interview questions early and find necessary interview tools.
Pitch Your Article Idea
You must convince the school newspaper editor about the relevance of your article. With so many students clamoring to write for the newspaper, the editor has to select the best articles carefully. Your pitch letter must be as engaging as your article. Break down your article and show its relevance instead of hyping it. You have to show that your article is worthwhile and should appear in the school newspaper.
Before submitting your pitch letter and the article, have someone look at the two texts. You can hire an editor from thesisrush.com to ensure your work meets the highest standards.