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How To Write Special Feature Articles A Handbook for Reporters, Correspondents and Free-Lance Writers Who Desire to Contribute to Popular Magazines and Magazine Sections of Newspapers   By:

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HOW TO WRITE SPECIAL FEATURE ARTICLES

A HANDBOOK FOR REPORTERS, CORRESPONDENTS AND FREE LANCE WRITERS WHO DESIRE TO CONTRIBUTE TO POPULAR MAGAZINES AND MAGAZINE SECTIONS OF NEWSPAPERS

BY

WILLARD GROSVENOR BLEYER, PH.D.

Author of "Newspaper Writing and Editing," and "Types of News Writing"; Director of the Course in Journalism in the University of Wisconsin

BOSTON, NEW YORK, CHICAGO, SAN FRANCISCO

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

The Riverside Press Cambridge

The Riverside Press CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

PREFACE

This book is the result of twelve years' experience in teaching university students to write special feature articles for newspapers and popular magazines. By applying the methods outlined in the following pages, young men and women have been able to prepare articles that have been accepted by many newspaper and magazine editors. The success that these students have achieved leads the author to believe that others who desire to write special articles may be aided by the suggestions given in this book.

Although innumerable books on short story writing have been published, no attempt has hitherto been made to discuss in detail the writing of special feature articles. In the absence of any generally accepted method of approach to the subject, it has been necessary to work out a systematic classification of the various types of articles and of the different kinds of titles, beginnings, and similar details, as well as to supply names by which to identify them.

A careful analysis of current practice in the writing of special feature stories and popular magazine articles is the basis of the methods presented. In this analysis an effort has been made to show the application of the principles of composition to the writing of articles. Examples taken from representative newspapers and magazines are freely used to illustrate the methods discussed. To encourage students to analyze typical articles, the second part of the book is devoted to a collection of newspaper and magazine articles of various types, with an outline for the analysis of them.

Particular emphasis is placed on methods of popularizing such knowledge as is not available to the general reader. This has been done in the belief that it is important for the average person to know of the progress that is being made in every field of human endeavor, in order that he may, if possible, apply the results to his own affairs. The problem, therefore, is to show aspiring writers how to present discoveries, inventions, new methods, and every significant advance in knowledge, in an accurate and attractive form.

To train students to write articles for newspapers and popular magazines may, perhaps, be regarded by some college instructors in composition as an undertaking scarcely worth their while. They would doubtless prefer to encourage their students to write what is commonly called "literature." The fact remains, nevertheless, that the average undergraduate cannot write anything that approximates literature, whereas experience has shown that many students can write acceptable popular articles. Moreover, since the overwhelming majority of Americans read only newspapers and magazines, it is by no means an unimportant task for our universities to train writers to supply the steady demand for well written articles. The late Walter Hines Page, founder of the World's Work and former editor of the Atlantic Monthly , presented the whole situation effectively in an article on "The Writer and the University," when he wrote:

The journeymen writers write almost all that almost all Americans read. This is a fact that we love to fool ourselves about. We talk about "literature" and we talk about "hack writers," implying that the reading that we do is of literature. The truth all the while is, we read little else than the writing of the hacks living hacks, that is, men and women who write for pay. We may hug the notion that our life and thought are not really affected by current literature, that we read the living writers only for utilitarian reasons, and that our real intellectual life is fed by the great dead writers... Continue reading book >>




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