How To Write A Magazine Article

Purpose of Magazine Articles

The purpose of a magazine article is to inform, educate and entertain. In recent years, students have been tested on this type of writing. Sometimes, students are expected to give views/opinions/putting forward arguments for and against something. They have to deal with problems and solutions and give advice or make suggestions. Students can also be asked to write an account of an experience.

An Example of How Magazine Article Writing Could be Tested in Examinations:

Imagine that you are Anil, the guide in Passage A. You have been asked to write an article for a local magazine to give an account of your working life.
Write your magazine article:
In your magazine article you should:
-Describe a typical day in your working life.
-Give your impressions of the tourists and visitors to the Bandhavgarh National Park.
– Explain what you find rewarding about working with animals in the park.
Begin your magazine article: ‘Every day in Bandhavgarh National Park brings a new experience…’.
Write about 200 to 300 words.
Up to 10 marks are available for the content of your answer and up to 5 marks for the quality of your writing.
(extracted from Cambridge IGCSE 2019 English Paper)

Writing a magazine article is not a daunting task. Just follow the basic structure.

1. Headline:

The headline or title of the article should pique your audience’s interest right away. Confusing, boring, vague, and dull headlines tell readers that the rest of your content will be just as plain. It needs to highlight the general topic of the story. There are many ways to write an interesting headline:

  • Start with a promise of something good to come/promise of an advise – From homeless to Harvard/How to get into the elite universities without the massive price tag?/To anyone who thinks they’re falling behind in life.
  • Use dynamic verbs, active voice
    Master English language in record time. (active voice)
    English language can be mastered in record time. (passive voice)
  • Ask a question or make a comparison. Drive up curiosity by leaving the answer open-ended – ‘Women versus men. Who is more petty?’
  • Alternatively, state a controversial opinion – Looks do not matter.
  • Hit a pain point. Knowing your audience is key – How to get your degrees without debt or ramen?
  • Play with language. Sometimes a play on words, for instance, can clarify a headline rather than render it too vague – Scooby Doom. Dog blows up house with can of deodorant.

2. Byline

Usually, the author’s name is written under the headline of the article, which is also known as the byline. (For GCSE/IGCSE examinations, you may omit this.)

3. Introduction

Your ability to “hook” readers into the article continues in the introductory, or first paragraph. The introduction should tell the reader why this article is worth reading.

4. Main Body (supporting points)

A good body paragraph contains three main sections: a topic sentence (or key sentence), relevant supporting sentences, and a closing (or transition) sentence.

5. Conclusion

Restate the thesis and give the readers a take-home message.

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