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How to write an article for media, newspaper, and magazine
What is an article in the newspaper?
Some would say that it is a dying art. With the availability of the Internet, millions of people can get the news at their fingertips, so why do we need the papers delivered to our doorstep now? Well, it is certainly true that the Internet has become a game-changer, but people are always required to be informed, and the newspaper has long served the need.
The written news may be changing, but it will always be important in our society. The rest of this lesson discusses how to write an article in the style of a physical newspaper.
Well, a news article discusses the current recent news of common interest (ie daily newspaper) or a specific topic (ie political or business news magazines, club newspapers, or technology news websites). A news article may include eyewitness accounts of the incident.
How do you write a newspaper article?
The best way to structure a newspaper article is to first write an outline. Review your research and notes. Then jot down the ideas for the following six sections. Remember, this is just a foundation on which you can build your story.
How do you write a news article headline?
Headline: This is a brief, noticeable statement about the incident. The title of your article should be attractive and up to the point. You should puncture your title using Associated Press style guidelines, which specify, for example, that the first word is capitalized, but, unlike other heading styles, the words after the first word (except for proper nouns) are usually But do not occur. Numbers are not spelt. Other members of the publishing staff often write headlines, but this will help focus your thoughts and perhaps save those other employees for some time.
What is the newspaper byline?
Byline: Byline is the author’s name in this case – your name. It tells who wrote the story.
What is a newspaper byline?
Lead: It is also called Lead paragraph that has all the who, what, when, where, why and how. The author needs to find answers to these questions and write to them, the opening sentence of the article. The lead is usually the first paragraph and is written to provide a preview of the entire story. It contains a summary of the story and contains many basic facts. The lead will help readers decide if they want to read the rest of the story, or if they are satisfied knowing these details.
What is the newspaper storyline?
Storyline: Once you set the stage with a good lead, follow a well-written story that includes facts from your research and quotes from people you interviewed. Have done The article should not have your opinion. Detail any events in chronological order. Use active voice – not passive voice – when possible and write in clear, short, direct sentences.
In a news article, you usually place the most important information in the opening paragraph and follow up with supporting information, enough to ensure that the reader sees the important details first and that you hope, to continue until the end Is ready from.
Source: Keep your sources with information and citations that they do not provide, at the bottom of each page or the end of the story, as you would for an academic paper.
Your conclusion can be your final information, summary or carefully chosen quote to leave the reader with a strong sense of your information.
What are the 5 parts of a newspaper article?
Who – Who was involved?
What – What happened?
Where – Where did it happen?
Why – Why it happened?
When – When did it happen?
How – How it happened?
How do I find newspaper articles?
Now how will you know where to submit the article? Talk to the editor yourself and write and submit the article as per your need.
what are the requirement for submission of article in newspaper.
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How to Write a News Article
News articles report on current events that are relevant to the readership of a publication. These current events might take place locally, nationally, or internationally.
News writing is a skill that’s used worldwide, but this writing format—with its unique rules and structure—differs from other forms of writing . Understanding how to write a news story correctly can ensure you’re performing your journalistic duty to your audience.
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What is a news article?
A news article is a writing format that provides concise and factual information to a reader. News stories typically report on current affairs that are noteworthy—including legislation, announcements, education, discoveries or research, election results, public health, sports, and the arts.
Unlike blog and opinion posts, a strong news article doesn’t include personal opinion, speculation, or bias. Additionally, the diction and syntax should be accessible to any reader, even if they’re not deeply familiar with the topic. News stories, therefore, don’t contain jargon that you might find in a research paper or essay.
What are the rules for writing a news article?
Whether you’re learning how to write a short news story for a school assignment or want to showcase a variety of clips in your writing portfolio , the rules of news writing hold true.
There are three types of news articles:
- Local: reports on current events of a specific area or community. For example, “College Football Team Welcomes Legendary NFL Coach” or “School District Announces New Grading Policy.”
- National: reports on current affairs within a particular country. For example, “NASA’s James Webb Telescope Captures Surreal Images of the Cosmos.”
- International: reports on social issues or current affairs of one or more countries abroad. For example, “UK’s Record Heat Wave Expected to Continue Next Week.”
Regardless of the type of news article you’re writing, it should always include the facts of the story, a catchy but informative headline, a summary of events in paragraph form, and interview quotes from expert sources or of public sentiment about the event. News stories are typically written from a third-person point of view while avoiding opinion, speculation, or an informal tone.
How is a news article structured?
While many news stories are concise and straightforward, long-form or deeply investigated pieces may comprise thousands of words. On the shorter side, news articles can be about 500 words.
When it comes to how to structure a news article, use an inverted pyramid. Organizing your content this way allows you to thoughtfully structure paragraphs :
- Begin with the most important and timely information
- Follow those facts with supporting details
- Conclude with some less important—but relevant—details, interview quotes, and a summary
The first paragraph of a news article should begin with a topic sentence that concisely describes the main point of the story. Placing this sentence at the beginning of a news article hooks the reader immediately so the lede isn’t buried.
At a traditional newspaper, this practice is described as “writing above the fold,” which alludes to the biggest, most pressing news being visible at the top of a folded newspaper.
How to write a news article
There are a handful of steps to practice when writing a news story. Here’s how to approach it.
1 Gathering information
Source the five Ws about your news topic: who, what, where, when, and why. Lock down a keen understanding of the timeline of events so you can correctly summarize the incident or news to your reader. The key is to position yourself as a credible and reliable source of information by doing your due diligence as a fact gatherer.
2 Interviewing subjects
Consider who you want to interview for the new article. For example, you might choose to interview primary sources , such as a person who is directly involved in the story.
Alternatively, secondary sources might offer your readers insight from people close to or affected by the topic who have unique perspectives. This might be an expert who can offer technical commentary or analysis, or an everyday person who can share an anecdote about how the topic affected them.
When interviewing sources, always disclose that you’re a reporter and the topic that you’re writing on.
Draft an outline for your news article, keeping the inverted-pyramid structure in mind. Consider your potential readership and publication to ensure that your writing meets the audience’s expectations in terms of complexity.
For example, if this news article is for a general news publication, your readership might include a wider audience compared to a news article for a specialized publication or community.
Brainstorm a snappy headline that concisely informs readers of the news topic while seizing their interest. Gather the most important points from your research and pool them into their respective pyramid “buckets.” These buckets should be based on their order of importance.
Get to writing! The paragraphs in a news article should be short, to the point, and written in a formal tone. Make sure that any statements or opinions are attributed to a credible source that you’ve vetted.
Reread your first draft aloud. In addition to looking for obvious typos or grammar mistakes , listen for awkward transitions and jarring tense or perspective shifts. Also, consider whether your first draft successfully conveys the purpose of your news story.
Rework your writing as needed and repeat this step. Don’t forget to proofread your work.
Strong news stories are built on facts. If any statement or information is shaky or unsupported, the entire work is compromised. Before publishing a news article, double-check that all the information you’ve gathered from the beginning is accurate, and validate the information that your interview sources provided, too.
How to write a news article FAQs
What is a news article .
A news article informs readers within a community of current events that are relevant to them. It typically revolves around a topic of interest within a publication’s readership, whether the information is about local, national, or international events.
News articles are structured like an inverted pyramid. The most important or crucial information is always presented to the reader up front, followed by additional story details. A news article concludes with less important supporting information or a summation of the reporting.
The general rules for writing a news article involve accuracy and integrity. Report on the details of a story in a factual, unbiased, and straightforward way. When writing a news article, do not editorialize or sensationalize the information, and keep your content free of your opinion.
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How to Write Articles for Newspaper: A Step-By-Step Guide
Do you want to learn how to write for newspaper? There are many people who are looking to make a career out of writing articles for newspapers, but many people are under the misconception that it is difficult or time consuming. The truth is, writing articles for newspaper is not only a viable career option, but it is also something that can be done with confidence and ease. If you are someone who is looking to make a career out of writing articles for newspapers, this article is for you. This article is going to give you a few tips that will make your article more interesting and captivating.
What is a newspaper?
A newspaper is a hand-written, printed or digital publication that is read by large numbers of people. These newspapers are found in some public areas such as post offices, libraries, etc. If you are looking to be a professional writer and write for newspapers, you will have to learn how to read a newspaper. If you are not familiar with how to read a newspaper, you can always go for a professional tutorial or training. What are the rules of writing articles for newspapers? A lot of people are under the impression that it is difficult or time-consuming to write for a newspaper. The truth is, the rules of writing for newspapers are easy to learn. Even if you are not a professional writer, there are still a few tricks that you can learn to be able to produce great stories and articles.
What are some key points to remember when writing for newspaper?
Have in mind the topic that you want to write about. Don’t think too much, just write down what comes to your mind. Use proper English and make sure that you avoid any mistake that is likely to hurt the feelings of the newspaper staff. If you are an expert on the topic, remember to explain it in simple terms for the readers. Do not plagiarize or get creative with your writing. Avoid any word play that is likely to turn your article against you. If you make an error, you should admit your mistake instead of trying to cover up. Remember to use proper punctuation. Do not use any swear words in your writing.
Decide which part of the paper you want to work for.
This is one of the most important tips that you will learn in this article. Most people don’t realize this, but if you want to make a career out of writing articles for newspapers, you should first decide which part of the newspaper that you want to write for. The first thing that you should do is find out which part of the newspaper is most active at that time. It could be a sports section, an entertainment section, a business section or anything that is prominent in that particular newspaper. Once you know which part of the newspaper is most active, you should then get in touch with them and explain what your skills are, and why you would be the best person to write for that particular section. If the newspaper wants you, they will make you an offer.
Research the paper you’re interested.
When it comes to writing articles for newspaper, you should know the kind of paper you’re writing for, for starters. Make sure you find the newspaper or the publication you’re interested in writing for. Get in touch with its editor and request to submit an article. You can contact them over the phone or via email. What is the kind of article that you’re submitting? For example, if you are writing for a business publication, your article should be about the services or products they offer. When it comes to writing for a lifestyle magazine, your article should be about an area of interest for that particular magazine. For example, if you’re writing for a parenting magazine, your article would be about parenting issues and how to deal with them, or choosing the best car for your family.
Read the paper every day, if possible.
A great way to increase your audience is to read your local newspapers on a daily basis. Apart from reading the editorials in the newspaper, it is best to read the columns too, in the hope that one or two of them might spark your interest. Make it your goal to get published in one column in every issue. Just reading the newspaper on a daily basis and leaving it at that will not do you any good. You have to look at the paper every single day and pick out that column that interests you the most. If you find that column, there is nothing stopping you from submitting a few lines to them every day. Learn how to write a great opening paragraph.
Section 6. Find out the Summary of news.
A. How to find the news in newspaper: A step-by-step guide To make sure that you choose news that is going to be of value to your readers, you have to spend some time on research. There are different things that go into choosing a story to write for the newspaper. You need to ensure that the information that you provide is well-informed, as well as, interesting. It is quite possible for you to see interesting news stories, but they could be boring to read.
Section 7. Point out with a cover letter that includes a writing sample.
For the majority of freelancers, writing a good article is not enough, as they still need to submit the article to newspapers, following which they need to go through the traditional and tedious process of getting an assignment. This is a cumbersome process that has to be done from time to time. The solution to this problem is quite simple; if you wish to be published in a newspaper or if you are in a position to get an assignment from a newspaper, all you need to do is to submit an article to them and include a cover letter that includes a sample article, and then you will be sure that you will get published in newspapers. This article will also show you how you can write articles that will have a more cohesive flow. This is a concept that is often ignored by many writers.
How to Improve Articles for Newspaper?
If you are interested in writing for newspaper, there are certain things that you can do to make your articles more captivating. Here are a few suggestions. 1. Take out of the article as many unnecessary words All of us do not always have the time to spend reading the entire article that we are about to write. Therefore, we tend to cut out unnecessary words from our articles. In doing so, we usually end up making the article easier to read and understand for others. 2. Improve the organization of the article Many articles that you write for newspapers are going to be used as filler in place of serious content. In other words, they are not meant to be used as content for longer content.
Make it catchy.
No matter what article you write, it should be clear, catchy, and easy to understand. You have to make the reader understand your message in a concise way and then get them to read on. The following simple steps will help you achieve this: Decide on a topic Consider the audience you want to reach Begin with a question Present your answer Here are some examples of how this works in practice. The headline asks: Who’s Your Slave? The question to be asked is “Who’s your slave?” The answer is the soldier, and you are interested in finding out why. So, your question is “Why is the soldier being called a slave?”, and you also want to know what to do about it. The article is titled: What is the Problem with Our Soldiers? The answer is clear and concise. Get the readers to think.
This article has served its purpose. You now know some very basic ways in which you can write articles for newspaper. You know that it is not impossible for you to make a career out of writing articles for newspaper and you have a clear idea of how you can go about it. If you liked this article, then please share it on your social media platform of choice. If you have any comments or feedback, then please do let us know by leaving a comment below.
The Ultimate Guide to Writing an Article for a Magazine
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1 thought on “how to write articles for newspaper: a step-by-step guide”.
I think your article surely help to news writers. I haven’t seen this type of article yet.
I have take some article from here “Tenwriter” and really all article was great powerful. Thanks all
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How to Write and Sell Your Articles to a Newspaper or Magazine
If you're a writer with a passion for journalism or creative non-fiction, you may dream of seeing your work published in a newspaper or magazine. Perhaps you have just started a hobby and discovered a passion. Or you are struggling with a family conflict you know others will relate to. Maybe you came across a great tip or have insight into a topic many people might find helpful, or you are a seasoned freelance writer looking to expand your horizons.
Whatever the reason for grabbing the pen (or, most likely, reaching out for the keyboard), newspapers and magazines are always looking for the next great story to publish. In this article, we'll show you how to take those initial steps to get your work published.
A Unique Point of View
If there is one thing most freelance writers will tell you when you get started, it's this: You will probably spend much more time editing than writing. However, if you want to get an article published in a newspaper or magazine, nice words are not enough. You need a unique angle or a unique tone.
Coming up with a good notion can actually be easier than you might think. It doesn't have to be extraordinary; it just needs a personal or original point of view. It could, for example, be a first-hand experience that caught you up unexpectedly. Or a life-changing adventure. Or, why not? You can write about all the things you learned while working for a specific industry that you know readers will appreciate.
There are many reasons why writers choose to publish their articles in local publications. You might write articles to get more visibility as a writer, to generate an income, or to create high-quality backlinks to your own blog or website (keep in mind, though, that most newspapers will have little to no impact on your site's search engine results page position).
But Where Can I Sell My Story?
You have an idea. You have an outline that can introduce it to an audience. And, if things have gone right, you have an article ready to be shared. So what's next?
An important aspect of selling articles is learning where you can submit your stories. There are many places that could be interested in buying your article. And, if you are a new freelance writer, you might be surprised to hear there are more possibilities out there than applying directly to newspapers. Let's see what the main ways to get your articles online are.
If you want to cast a wider net, press and content agencies are a great starting point. Instead of going to one particular newspaper or magazine with your ideas, agencies can help you understand which publications will be more interested in your article - and pitch it for you. If what you've written is quite unique, these different publications might even bid on your story like an auction! Agencies are the ideal places to share big feature stories.
Some stories can also be sold to multiple newspapers and TV stations so that you can get a fee instead of one payment. However, it's better to pick one agency as they will want to sell exclusivity to their clients.
Many magazines will be happy to pay for your story. A lot of them will let you fill in a form online and get back to you if they find your article interesting. It's always worth keeping an eye on their Twitter feeds - as they might be looking for specific topics. If you're a more experienced or niche writer, you might not consider this a viable business, but you can definitely make money sharing your life experiences with real-life magazine readers.
You can contact newspapers directly and offer your story to them. Almost all of them have forms on their websites, but you can also call, email, or even send them a Whatsapp.
Selling articles or stories to the newspaper is not effortless, but it's also not difficult if you follow the proper steps and are willing to put in some extra effort on top of the actual writing. For example, you might have to send many query letters and create different versions of your articles , such as short summaries and bullet points lists (we will go through this in more detail in the next section).
Creating a Good First Impression
As a writer, you might be thinking: My words should speak for themselves. But editors receive many articles a week and might not have the time to read every single line of them. Sometimes, the most important aspect of selling articles is knowing how to communicate with editors.
You definitely don't want to tell an editor how great you are (or how rejections haven't shaken your enthusiasm for writing). Instead, it's better if you focus on:
- What you are submitting or proposing (an idea, an outline, a short fiction story, a blog post style article, etc.)
- What other newspapers, magazines, or new publications have featured your work before. (make sure you include a link to your portfolio)
- Your skills and relevant experience.
- Why you think your article is good for publication.
These communications will be more diverse once you have established a relationship with different editors. Still, most of them will be happy to receive a one-page pitch letter rather than an entire manuscript. Once you've earned your reputation, you can bypass the query letter process.
Is freelance work getting too complicated?
Use Indy to make freelancing simple. The useful set of tools will make your freelance admin easier by connecting your work from proposals to payment.
Writing Articles for Money
If you are new to the world of writing (or freelancing), you'll be happy to hear that you don't need to be an expert to publish your first magazine article and/or start making money writing. You don't need to do it full-time either; you can start with freelance gigs or small contracts.
There are a few different types of content that can make you money as a writer. These include (but are not limited to):
- Selling your articles to newspapers and magazines
- Writing blog posts (for others)
- Self-publishing your work as an e-book
- Writing scripts for video producers
- Making show notes for podcasts
- Writing content for marketing campaigns
- Writing copy for websites
Your experience will of course determine which publications or customers will take your work.
How Much Money Can You Make Selling Your Articles?
If your story is in demand or exclusive, you can expect higher payments from newspapers and magazines. It should be noted that, as a profession, freelance writing is relatively unstable. If you pick this career, you should think of yourself more as a self-employed entrepreneur than a flighty artist.
Pay rates for freelance writers working for newspapers and magazines vary depending on the publication. The amounts also change depending on your experience and whether you have published other important pieces. In addition, your geographic location (or at least your market) will also determine your payment range. Some writers charge by the hour and others by the number of words. For an article feature (and considering all the factors we mentioned), you can expect to get $30-$120 an hour.
Free Places to Get Your Articles Published
If you're new to the world of freelance writing, you should consider uploading your articles to a free platform that can act as a portfolio of your work. One of the main advantages of using these sites is that they offer practically unlimited storage for your content. Plus, you can create shareable links, and Google will find your articles and index them in searches.
Some popular free sites to write articles and get them easily distributed to a broader audience include:
- Medium : This popular publishing site has an easy interface, a network of users looking for things to read, and ranks quite high in google searches. Medium articles also look particularly good, as the site has chosen font combinations and layout options that improve legibility, readability, and aesthetics.
- LinkedIn : You can publish your articles on LinkedIn and get a lot of attention, not just from your network but from people searching for that topic. LinkedIn is better for pieces in which you have subject matter expertise.
- Scriggler: This content platform is focused mostly on helping authors maximize their outreach. Many freelance writers choose Scriggler to discover and comment on each other's work.
- Ezine Articles : You can submit original articles here to get more exposure and traffic back to your site. This platform is better suited for freelancers trying to promote their own businesses.
- Tumblr : Most people think of Tumblr as an image database. But you can also host articles there. In fact, Tumblr has a popular hashtag for them: #Articles.
- Vocal : Sites like Vocal not only allow you to share your stories, but you can also earn money from reads, tips, and challenges. For example, you can make around $3.80 for 1000 reads ($6 if you have a Vocal+ membership)
Selling Your Article to Multiple Publications
When you are very knowledgeable about a topic, you can also get more mileage out of the articles you write. All you need to do is provide each piece with a new or different perspective.
Retelling or 'rewiring' your stories is both an excellent creative exercise and a way to improve your finances. The first thing you should do if you're considering expanding on a particular topic is to find the emergent patterns. Perhaps your first article mentioned something in passing. Why not expand on it, and turn it into a completely new angle? Or revisit something you might have wanted to flesh out... or even go over something you discarded before. You can dig in and see what more value there is in a topic, and that passion will always come through in your work if you are genuinely interested in something.
There's nothing wrong with remixing material to make more money writing articles. But, of course, this doesn't mean just spinning some words and sending the same article to different publications. Rephrasing can also take your writing in a new direction, turning it into a completely new story. Don't plagiarize yourself; start fresh and shower your subjects and topics in a new light.
Using Indy as a Freelance Writer
The road to getting your article published is never easy. There isn't a clear roadmap or specific steps to follow that will guarantee a positive outcome. But there is a lot you can do to turn your passion and endurance into a solid business.
Indy is a one-stop platform that can help you boost your freelance writer career with powerful tools and an easy-to-use dashboard. These are some ways in which Indy can help you keep your work organized and your clients happy.
Schedule meetings and keep track of all your article submissions with day, week, and month views. Indy's calendars can also sync with Google Calendar and integrate directly with the platform's time tracker. See what articles are due and keep track of invoices, contracts, and proposals. With Indy's friendly and colorful calendars, you won't miss your next writing deadline or all your hard work payments!
Manage all your freelance writing contracts in one place. You can start with a template (or write your own article writing contract from scratch), edit the different fields, and sign and send in minutes. Indy offers legally-vetted freelance contracts for a variety of jobs and situations. They are flexible, support electronic signatures, and integrate with your clients and calendars. Define payment terms, deliverables, and project details, or create NDAs in seconds. Plus, Indy helps you protect your work and your client's information and keeps everything centralized, so it's always easy to track and follow.
Who likes paper trails more than a writer? With Indy, you can store all of your articles, track changes and revisions, and get feedback and approval, all within one easy interface. You can manage your published articles, query letters to editors, and even ask for feedback without your client having to create an account. When you upload a new version of a document, Indy automatically adds version control so you can see all changes. Plus, all your files are securely stored in the cloud so that you can access them from any device (or provide someone with access).
Generate and send invoices in seconds - and get paid for your writing work faster than ever. Indy's invoices make selling articles really straightforward. They look beautiful (you can include your own logo and use your brand colors) and are easy to send and pay. You can also set up recurring invoices to help you keep track of all cash flow without needing to create each document manually and set the tax rate and taxable items. Indy works with various payment methods such as credit cards, direct deposits, checks, wire transfers, etc.
Organize all of your article writing submissions in one place. With Indy's proposals, you can create engaging, professional-looking, and impactful estimates and proposals to impress your clients. These documents offer a balanced combination of powerful features and functionalities and also allow you to keep track of their status. You can start with a template or from scratch (the platform uses drag-and-drop text, image, embed, timeline, estimate, and signature blocks). The system can, for example, tag them as Draft, Sent, Read, and Approved.
Indy has an integrated to-do list app that is ideal for managing your daily tasks. For example, you can get a clear picture of the articles you have to write. This feature can be especially useful for freelance writers who want to divide their writing into smaller chunks—such as research, interviews, drafts, and editing. Your tasks are also automatically connected to your calendar, so you can easily keep tabs on everything.
You can record, report, and get paid for your time all from one place using Indy. If you're a writer, you might charge by the number of words or by the hour. If it's the latter, you can use the time tracker to know exactly how long it took to write a specific article. This feature has two more advantages: It can help you stay more focused on your tasks and not on the clock, and it can give your client more clarity about what you wrote, when, and for how long. Because Indy integrates all of its tools, you can also add your sessions and entries to your invoices automatically (don't worry if you prefer to measure your time differently, you can also do a manual input).
People and Projects
In addition to the tools we just covered, Indy has two more essential features that can help you boost your writing career: People and Projects. With people, you can keep tabs on all your contacts. Each client, for example, gets a contact page that automatically collects all invoices, files, and other documents you have shared with them. And with projects, you can easily divide your writing jobs and manage their status, tasks, messages, and documents from the same dashboard.
In this guide, we showed you the importance of having a unique point of view, a list of places you can sell your stories to, and some tips for how you can make a great first impression on editors. We hope you put these tips into action and feel empowered to take the next steps in your freelance writing career.
Life - and writing- are complex, but Indy makes them simpler. You can start our Free plan today and take full control of your independent business from start to finish and, when you're ready, upgrade to Pro for just $12 a month.
How to Write a News Article That's Effective
It's similar to writing academic papers, but with vital differences
- Writing Research Papers
- Writing Essays
- English Grammar
- M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
- B.A., History, Armstrong State University
Techniques for writing a news article differ from those needed for academic papers. Whether you're interested in writing for a school newspaper, fulfilling a requirement for a class, or seeking a writing job in journalism, you'll need to know the difference. To write like a real reporter, consider this guide for how to write a news article.
Choose Your Topic
First, you must decide what to write about. Sometimes an editor or instructor will give you assignments, but you’ll often have to find your own topics to cover.
If you get to choose your topic, you might be able to pick a subject related to your personal experience or family history, which would give you a strong framework and a dose of perspective. However, this route means you must work to avoid bias—you may have strong opinions that could affect your conclusions. You also could pick a topic that revolves around a personal interest, such as your favorite sport.
Research for Your News Article
Even if you end up with a topic close to your heart, you should begin with research, using books and articles that will give you a full understanding of the subject. Go to the library and find background information about people, organizations, and events you intend to cover.
Next, interview a few people to collect more information and quotes that give perspective on the topic. Don't be intimidated by the idea of interviewing important or newsworthy people—an interview can be as formal or informal as you want to make it, so relax and have fun with it. Find people with backgrounds in the topic and strong opinions, and carefully write down or record their responses for accuracy. Let the interviewees know that you will be quoting them.
Parts of a News Article
Before you write your first draft, you should be aware of the parts that make up a news story:
Headline or title
The headline of your article should be catchy and to the point. You should punctuate your title using Associated Press style guidelines unless your publication specifies something else. Other members of the publication staff frequently write the headlines, but this will help focus your thoughts and maybe save those other staffers some time.
- "Lost dog finds his way home"
- "Debate tonight in Jasper Hall"
- "Panel chooses 3 essay winners"
The byline is the name of the writer—your name, in this case.
Lead (sometimes written "lede")
The lead is the first sentence or paragraph, written to provide a preview of the entire article. It summarizes the story and includes many of the basic facts. The lead will help readers decide if they want to read the rest of the news article or if they are satisfied knowing these details.
Once you’ve set the stage with a good lead, follow up with a well-written story that contains facts from your research and quotes from people you’ve interviewed. The article should not contain your opinions. Detail any events in chronological order. Use the active voice —not passive voice —when possible, and write in clear, short, direct sentences.
In a news article, you should use the inverted pyramid format—putting the most critical information in the early paragraphs and following with supporting information. This ensures that the reader sees the important details first. Hopefully they'll be intrigued enough to continue to the end.
Include your sources in the body with the information and quotes they provide. This is different from academic papers, where you would add these at the end of the piece.
Your conclusion can be your last bit of information, a summary, or a carefully chosen quote to leave the reader with a strong sense of your story.
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How to Write a Newspaper Article?
Writing a newspaper article is unlike writing other informative articles because a news article delivers content in a particular way. It’s essential to present information within a limited word count and to do so in a way that answers the five “W’s”: Who, What, Where, When, and Why.
Table of Contents
Six parts of a newspaper article, how to write a newspaper article for school, how to write a newspaper article about an event, how to make a newspaper article in a short timeline, how to write a news article overnight, how to get a newspaper to write an article about you.
This article will show you how to write a newspaper article for any school level. Learning this important skill may pave the way for a career in journalism, so we’re going to address several questions we get from students who are looking to learn how to write a good newspaper article that presents information clearly and concisely.
Before we jump into how to write a newspaper article it’s important to identify the 6 parts that make up the article. Following this newspaper article format ensures that you incorporate all of the necessary components that make for a great article:
- Headline – This succinctly tells the reader exactly what the news story is about in a single phrase or sentence (e.g., Cavs Expected to Land #1 Pick ).
- Sub-Title – This supports the headline by expanding on the subject in one or two sentences (e.g., The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to trade up with Golden State Warriors to pick #1 in next year’s draft ).
- Byline – This line tells the reader who wrote the story and may provide some background information (e.g., John Smith – 20+ Years of Covering Cleveland Sports ).
- Lead – The opening paragraph should tell all of the most important facts, addressing the who, what, where, when, and why).
- Body – This constitutes the majority of the article, containing more information on a piece of news.
- Quotes – These important because they provide direct sources for information from eyewitness, experts, and other people relevant to the news story.
Students of all levels want that need to learn how do you write a newspaper article find this simple 3-step process to be the most helpful. You can apply this to any type of article with just a few adjustments. Read this process carefully before starting on your assignment to ensure you understand it. This will prevent you from making mistakes and having to start over.
- Research your topic as much as possible before you get started. For your persuasive article to be viewed as credible, you must know your topic inside and out. Start by answering the 5 W’s we mentioned earlier. It’s advised you have a dedicated notebook or note cards to gather all of the related facts about the story.
- Next, you need to organize your facts . A great way of doing so is to break up your facts into three categories: 1) facts that must be included, 2) facts that are interesting but not essential, and 3) facts that are related but are not important to the main purpose. You want to be as detailed as possible when listing your facts. You can always cut out excess information when you start writing, reviewing, and editing the article.
- Create an outline to guide your writing. Many students want to learn how to write a newspaper article example so that they have a template they can keep referring to as they write more pieces. This is a great idea but it is much easier to find a few stories of similar style and length and then to build a good outline following the professionals.
- There are six parts to any news article which we have already mentioned. Leave the header, sub-header, and byline until the end. Start with the lead . This is the opening paragraph that provides all of the important details the reader must know to understand the rest of the article.
- After listing all of the most important factual information in the opening paragraph, follow up with additional content in the article’s body. There is no set amount of sentences or the number of paragraphs for the article. This will be determined by the specified word count which will vary from assignment to assignment. Try to keep your paragraphs short for improved readability.
- Finally, conclude your article with a strong sticking point that rewards the reader for sticking with you to the end. You can close by restating the opening statement or by giving some idea about anticipated future developments. You can also give the reader information for a call to action (e.g., a phone number or an address) he or she may be interested in knowing about.
- The reviewing, editing, and proofreading exercises for a newspaper article are the same as for any other writing assignment. Try doing each of these exercises separately, giving yourself plenty of time in between to ensure that you always approach the writing with renewed vigor and a fresh perspective. If you use a newspaper article generator, make sure you double-check grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Even the most sophisticated electronic programs can make some costly mistakes that could keep your piece from being published.
Many students get started learning how to write a newspaper article based on an event. This could be something planned for the school or the community. Students can report on the event before it occurs or can report on the event after it takes place. In both cases, the above 3-step process can be used to cover all the important details that a reader would like to know about. Time-management is very important since the event in question will occur at a specific date and time, so students must be fully prepared.
What we mean by a short timeline is having to write a news story within a couple of days. This is the situation most journalists find themselves in. They are often given a story to research and report on and are required to submit a polished article to be published online or in print while the story is still fresh. You can follow the same 3-step process discussed above which should come naturally with plenty of dedicated practice.
If you need to learn how to write an article for a newspaper overnight (which is common situation journalists face when there is breaking news), you follow the same steps we’ve covered above but cut some corners to get the article to the publisher early in the morning. Generally, you can combine the reviewing, editing, and proofreading exercises or you can minimize the time you spend in between each of these to just a few minutes.
The fastest and easiest way to get a newspaper to write a story about you is to be involved in an important event or a situation that generates plenty of interest locally or nationally. Several local newspapers do human interest stories as well. You simply need to have a good story to tell. Perhaps you can discuss your involvement with the community or you can explain a unique story that inspires others. Most of the time newspapers will come to you, but you can also submit your ideas for an interview.
If you need more assistance on writing a persuasive news article or any other type of writing, our academic experts are ready to help. We can show you how to write a newspaper article template or an outline. We can review, edit, and write an article on any piece of news you have. Just email, call or chat with one of our friendly customer support staff members and he or she will connect you with a writing expert.
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Freelance Writing Jobs
Writing contests, make money writing, hottest topics, how to write news articles for your local newspaper: 4 things freelancers must know.
Knowing how to write a news article is one thing. How to benefit financially from that knowledge is another.
For editors, a freelance journalist can be an irritant and a savior all at once. They can be bothersome when repeatedly proposing story ideas at busy deadline times but they can also rescue a news desk that may be short of staff on any particular day.
The key to freelance journalism is to keep plugging away with quality work so that the editor will always have time for you. To get a foot in the door of your local newspaper, a freelancer should know four things – the news, the editors, the newsmakers and the follow-ups.
Spend some time thinking about these four important facets and how you may write your articles before you even start to submit work to any publication.
1. Know the news
It may sound obvious, but you’d be amazed at the number of freelancers who have no knowledge of local issues but believe the quality of their writing gives them first right to premium column space. It doesn’t matter how well you write, if your article is irrelevant to the publication’s agenda, it has little chance of getting used. Take time to read the paper. Go through the issues and gain an understanding of its editorial stance and what it cares about, not what you think is important.
2. The editors
These people are the gatekeepers of your articles and they could drop your stories at a whim. You should know them, their names, positions in the company, demeanor and how they feel about certain issues, which can give you an idea on how to slant your articles for a better chance of getting published.
3. The newsmakers
It is crucial that you know who makes the news and who doesn’t. Go through newspapers in your area and identify which people are the ones who are quoted and to what issues they are often sought out for. Once you know that, go through the phone directory and get their contact numbers. Your ultimate aim is to get to know these people voice-to-voice, face-to-face on a professional, and even personal, level.
4. The follow-ups
This is probably the most important knowledge you can have because this is what will brand you as a journalist. And, significantly, this is not something you can read up on but it is what you generate from your own head. If an issue crops up, arm yourself with the knowledge required from the first three points and then work on a possible follow-up story. Remember, the in-house reporters will probably be doing the same thing, so you should try to think of a different angle. This will prevent you from stepping on toes and also raise your standing in the eyes of editors.
Once you have all this in your head, call or email the editor and tell him or her your story idea. If it is topical, fresh and relevant to what the paper had in its latest issue, and it takes the story further, there is a good chance it will be used.
If so, you have your foot in the door. This does not only apply to newspapers. There are magazines and online news outlets that can also be targeted. Follow these four rules and kick-start your freelance journalism career.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nazvi Careem is an experienced journalist, writer and writing coach who has written for newspapers, magazines and global news agencies such as Reuters, Associated Press and Agence France-Presse. To download a free extract from his book on the secrets to writing news, check out his website dedicated to news writing .
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How to Submit Articles to Publications
Last Updated: September 27, 2023 Approved
This article was co-authored by Janet Peischel . Janet Peischel is a Writer and Digital Media Expert and the Owner of Top of Mind Marketing. With more than 15 years of consulting experience, she develops content strategies and builds online brands for her clients. Prior to consulting, Janet spent over 15 years in the marketing industry, in positions such as the Vice President of Marketing Communications for the Bank of America. Janet holds a BA and MA from the University of Washington. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 166,618 times.
You've finally wrapped up the article you've been working so hard on and now it's ready for publication. But first, you have to submit it. Submitting your first article is an exciting process. There are different procedures depending on whether you are writing an academic article or a personal essay. Regardless of what type of work you produce, there are several steps you can take to make the process a little easier.
Choosing the Right Publication
- Start by doing your research. Use the internet to search for literary journals.
- Look at the website for each journal. Browse some of the past issues. This will give you a good idea of what types of articles that particular journal publishes.
- Head to the library. Ask the reference librarian to help you find a complete list of literary journals. Make sure that the journal you are interested in accepts unsolicited submissions.
- Make sure that your research fits the scope of the journal. For example, if you are a scholar of European history, do not submit your article to a journal that focuses solely on East Asian history.
- Verify that the publication is peer-reviewed. This means that other scholars will review your work.
- Be aware that it may take a while to receive an answer from the editor. The review process for academic journals can often take several months.
- There are several different types of publications that publish personal essays. Make sure to choose one who's readers might be interested in your story.
- Many newspapers publish personal essays in the magazine section of the paper. Major papers such as The Boston Globe and The New York Times publish these types of pieces.
- You might also consider submitting your essay to an online magazine. Popular publications such as Slate and Salon offer their readers essays on a wide variety of topics.
- Op-ed pieces are typically fairly brief. A common op-ed is usually between 400-1200 words.
- Most newspapers accept op-ed pieces on a variety of topics. You can find specific guidelines on the newspaper's website.
- Make your piece topical. If your op-ed is timely, it will have a better chance of being published. For example, a piece about veterans services might be appropriate to submit around Memorial Day.
- Try to avoid predatory publications. These are journals who charge exorbitant author fees and will publish almost anything.
- Academics often feel pressure to publish regularly. It's important not to be lured by promises of publication in exchange for high fees. These publications typically do not have rigorous standards.
- Fiction writers can also find magazines that will publish in exchange for money. These publications are typically not highly regarded. If you are asked for money before your article appears, consider whether this is the right venue for your work.
- Some publications that charge author fees are reputable. If you feel a fee is appropriate, make sure that you pay it using the specified method.
Preparing Your Article
- Make it clear why your article is original. For example, if you are writing an academic article, you can emphasize the new sources you've utilized.
- In your introduction, highlight the unique aspects of your research. For example, you might say, "Based on newly declassified sources,..."
- If you are submitting a personal essay, explain your point of view. Make it clear to the editor and the readers why your take on the topic is interesting. You could say, "My experience as a first time mother was different than most because..."
- After you produce a first draft, go back and edit for content. Make sure that the points you are trying to make are clear.
- Pay attention to organization. Do you make it clear at the beginning what the point of your article is? Is your conclusion thorough? Would reorganization help?
- Edit for grammatical/stylistic errors. Make sure that your spell check is set to check style as well as just grammar. Spend time carefully reading each sentence to make sure your piece is error free.
- Ask a friend to read your work. Try saying, "Do you have some time this week to read an article that I'm working on?"
- Accept constructive criticism. Don't take it personally if your friend offers you some tips for improvement.
- Choose a friend whose opinion you respect. This will make it easier to accept and utilize their feedback.
- Pay close attention to the guidelines. They are not merely suggestions. Many publications will not read your work if it does not fit the parameters of the guidelines.
- Adhere to the length requirements. Most journals will give you a word count for minimum and maximum length.
- Format your citations as specified. Some publications prefer endnotes, some require footnotes. Make sure you use whichever system the journal uses.
Submitting Your Article
- If your pitch is accepted, the editor will often request the article within a specific time frame. Make sure that you submit your article on time.
- If you are an academic, your first submission may receive what is called a "revise and resubmit". This means that your article shows promise, but needs some revisions.
- Submit your revised article in a timely manner. Ask the editor for a clear timeline, and then deliver the article by that deadline.
- Write down where you send which article. If you are working on multiple pieces at once, it is helpful to keep track of where you have sent various pieces.
- Make note of the date you send each submission. That way, you can have an idea of when you can expect to receive a response.
- Maintain records of any communication with the publication. For example, if the editor e-mails you with suggestions for future pieces, you will want to retain that organization.
- Do not take it personally. Understand that editors receive more submissions than can be published. Just because your article was not the best fit for that journal does not mean that your work is not good.
- Move on. Be ready to send the article on to the next publication on your list. And you should definitely have a list of publications that you would like to submit your work to.
- Do not respond. There is no need to follow up on a rejection note. While it might be tempting to express your frustrations, it is better to accept it gracefully and move on.
- Provide the editor with any information that is requested. You may be asked for contact info., for example.
- If your article is being considered at another publication, you should immediately withdraw it from consideration. Send a notification explaining that your article will be published elsewhere.
- Celebrate. Having a piece of writing accepted for publication is a great accomplishment. Congratulate yourself and share your good news with friends and family.
- Sharpen your expertise. You're not selling yourself as a writer--everyone who writes for a publication is theoretically a good writer. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- You're trying to convince an editor that your article is about something interesting and timely that will interest the reader, and that you're someone who knows how to communicate that topic. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Keep trying. It takes most people quite a lot of time to get their first article published. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/
- ↑ http://thewritelife.com/19-websites-magazines-want-publish-personal-essays/
- ↑ Janet Peischel. Digital Media Expert. Expert Interview. 30 March 2021.
- ↑ https://help.nytimes.com/hc/en-us/articles/115014809107-How-to-submit-an-Op-Ed-article
- ↑ http://www.scidev.net/global/publishing/practical-guide/target-journal-right-research-communicate-publish.html
- ↑ http://www.studentpulse.com/blog/posts/51/5-tips-for-publishing-your-first-academic-article/
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/reading-aloud/
- ↑ http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/AuthorInformation
- ↑ http://www.writerswrite.com/journal/jun03/eight-tips-for-getting-published-in-magazines-6036
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How to Submit a Newspaper Article
Newspapers are always looking for good, engaging content. Though most stories are written by staff writers, an editor will often consider a well-presented story idea from a new freelancer. For the best chance of seeing your words in print, use AP style, polish your pitch until it is flawless and target the right person.
Choose Your News
Editors want stories that engage readers and give them information they can use. If you know about an interesting new business, an event being planned in the community or something unusual going on, do some preliminary research and find out the basic facts: who, what, where, when and why it is happening. Decide which key players you need to interview. Think about your story from an editor's point of view; figure out how the information will add value to a reader's day and what aspects of it are most surprising and entertaining.
Aim Your Pitch
Make sure you target your pitch to the right editor. Many newspapers have assistant editors who are responsible for certain topic areas: community events, health stories, lifestyle stories. By offering this person a good story, you are helping them do a better job; if they like your idea, you have made an ally who will present it to the managing editor or editor-in-chief in a favorable light. You can find these names on the masthead, usually on page 2 of a print publication or the "Contact Us" page of a website.
Format Your Pitch
Use proper business-letter format if you're submitting your pitch on paper: Type your return address (without your name); skip a line and type the editor's name, professional title and address; skip a line and type the date; and then type the salutation, using an appropriate courtesy title (Ms. or Mr.). If you're using email, use "Query" as your subject line, with or without a couple of words about the specific subject, and address the editor using a courtesy title and last name.
Polish Your Pitch
A pitch should be brief, clearly written and to the point. Keep the length to a single page, and avoid flowery language. Your first paragraph should be written as if it is the lead of your story. Include the five W's and pull the reader in. In your second paragraph, briefly explain why you are the right person to write this story and what your approach will be. If you have writing experience, say so; if you have never been published before, emphasize your access to the key people involved in the story and your expertise in the subject matter, and let the quality of your writing speak for itself. End the letter with a confident call to action:
*I look forward to working with you to bring Center City families the story of this important new school program. I can be reached at (include both phone and email contact information.)
Thank you for your time.
Edit meticulously for typos, spelling and grammar. Type your contact information again under your name. If two weeks pass with no response, it's OK to send a brief follow-up email or note to make sure the pitch was received.
Research Your Story
An editor who is interested usually sends an email or calls with a formal assignment, telling you how many words she has room for on the subject, when she needs it completed and possibly suggesting an angle she would like you to take or what information she wants included. Make this assignment letter part of your file of notes on the story. Do background research on the Internet to put the story in larger context:
Does your story have a specific place in history or on the national scene?
Interview key players; research their backgrounds first, and be prepared with good questions to get the conversation rolling.
Write Your Story
Before you write, read a couple of recent stories that editor has published to get a feel for the tone and style she likes. Take a mental step back and look at your file of notes as if you were looking at the pieces of a puzzle. Decide what goes where to make a logical and appealing picture.
Write a strong lead that contains the basic W's and add more information point by point, using the inverted pyramid style: A reader can glean the most important information in a glance but reads on to learn more.
Keep your writing clean and articulate, don't overuse adjectives and adverbs, and remember that most newspaper stories are written at about an eighth-grade reading level. Submit your story the day before the editor's due date, and enjoy the experience of your first byline.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab: Journalism and Journalistic Writing
- Purdue Online Writing Lab: Associated Press Style
- Purdue Online Writing Lab: The Inverted Pyramid
Anne Pyburn Craig has written for a range of regional and local publications ranging from in-depth local investigative journalism to parenting, business, real estate and green building publications. She frequently writes tourism and lifestyle articles for chamber of commerce publications and is a respected book reviewer.
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- How to Cite a Newspaper Article | MLA, APA & Chicago
How to Cite a Newspaper Article | MLA, APA & Chicago
Published on March 26, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 23, 2022.
To cite an article from a newspaper, you need an in-text citation and a reference listing the author, the publication date, the article’s title, the name of the newspaper, and a URL if it was accessed online.
Different citation styles present this information differently. The main styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago style .
You can explore the format for newspaper article citations in APA and MLA style using the the interactive example generator below.
Note that the format is slightly different when citing an interview published in a newspaper.
Table of contents
Citing a newspaper article in mla style, citing a newspaper article in apa style, citing a newspaper article in chicago style, frequently asked questions about citations.
An MLA Works Cited entry for a newspaper article lists the article title in quotation marks and the name of the newspaper in italics. A URL is listed at the end for an article consulted online.
The MLA in-text citation for an online newspaper article consists solely of the author’s last name.
If the article is from a local newspaper that could be confused with other similarly named publications, include a clarification in square brackets in the Works Cited entry.:
You can also use our free MLA Citation Generator to create your newspaper citations.
Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr
Citing a print article.
When the article was consulted in print rather than online, the page number or range of the article is included instead of a URL.
If the article is spread across non-consecutive pages (e.g. begins on p. 1 then continues on p. 5), just write the first number followed by a plus sign (e.g. “pp. 1+”).
In the in-text citation, only specify a page number if the article appears on more than one page; otherwise, it’s unnecessary to do so.
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
In an APA Style newspaper article reference , the article title is in plain text with sentence-style capitalization, the name of the newspaper in italics with headline capitalization. Include a URL if the article was accessed online. The APA in-text citation omits the page number if unavailable.
You can also cite a newspaper article using our free APA Citation Generator . Search by URL to automatically generate an accurate citation.
Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr
If you accessed the article in a print newspaper , the reference entry includes the page number(s) of the article instead of the URL. Newspaper page numbers are sometimes written with a combination of letters and numerals (e.g. D4); the letters should be retained.
Chicago style recommends just citing newspaper articles in footnotes, omitting them from the bibliography in most cases.
However, if you need a bibliography entry for a newspaper article , list the article title in quotation marks and the name of the newspaper in italics. Include a URL at the end for online articles.
No page range is included in Chicago style, because articles are frequently split across non-consecutive pages. You also don’t include a page number in the Chicago footnote.
Chicago also presents guidelines for an alternative author-date citation style . Examples of newspaper citations in this style can be found here .
The elements included in a newspaper article citation across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the author name, the article title, the publication date, the newspaper name, and the URL if the article was accessed online .
In APA and MLA, the page numbers of the article appear in place of the URL if the article was accessed in print. No page numbers are used in Chicago newspaper citations.
In APA , MLA , and Chicago style citations for sources that don’t list a specific author (e.g. many websites ), you can usually list the organization responsible for the source as the author.
If the organization is the same as the website or publisher, you shouldn’t repeat it twice in your reference:
- In APA and Chicago, omit the website or publisher name later in the reference.
- In MLA, omit the author element at the start of the reference, and cite the source title instead.
If there’s no appropriate organization to list as author, you will usually have to begin the citation and reference entry with the title of the source instead.
When you want to cite a specific passage in a source without page numbers (e.g. an e-book or website ), all the main citation styles recommend using an alternate locator in your in-text citation . You might use a heading or chapter number, e.g. (Smith, 2016, ch. 1)
In APA Style , you can count the paragraph numbers in a text to identify a location by paragraph number. MLA and Chicago recommend that you only use paragraph numbers if they’re explicitly marked in the text.
For audiovisual sources (e.g. videos ), all styles recommend using a timestamp to show a specific point in the video when relevant.
Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.
- APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
- MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
- Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
- Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.
Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.
The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.
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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > Understanding the difference between primary and secondary sources
Understanding the difference between primary and secondary sources
When working on research papers or projects, you’ve probably heard of primary and secondary sources. But what exactly do these terms mean, and how can you differentiate between them? Learn the difference between primary and secondary sources below and how they can boost your research paper’s credibility.
What are primary and secondary sources?
Before exploring their differences, let’s define primary and secondary sources:
Primary sources are original materials that provide firsthand information or direct evidence about a particular event, person, or topic. These sources are created at the time of the event or by someone directly involved.
Examples of primary sources can include:
- Personal letters
- Eyewitness accounts
- Government records
- Original research data
- Journal entries
- Newspaper articles
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Conversely, secondary sources are one step removed from primary sources and often include interpretations, summaries, or analyses of primary sources. They’re created after the event described in the primary source and aim to provide a deeper understanding of the subject at hand.
Examples of secondary sources can include:
- History books
- Research papers
The key differences between primary and secondary sources
Proximity to the historical event.
- Primary sources: These sources are closest to the event or period they describe. They offer a firsthand account, often created by witnesses or participants.
- Secondary sources: These sources are removed from the event in terms of time and distance. They sometimes analyze and cross-reference primary sources to make a conclusion about the time period.
- Primary sources: Primary sources are original, unaltered documents or materials that have not been changed by others.
- Secondary sources: Derived from primary sources, secondary sources provide an author’s perspective, analysis, or commentary on the primary source’s material.
- Primary sources: While people from the past may not be around to offer insights into their lives, the primary sources they left behind can be used as raw data for making observations. They answer our questions about what happened in the past and help researchers interpret and analyze an event.
- Secondary sources: As opposed to primary sources, these sources offer context, analysis, or discussion of primary source material. While primary sources describe what happened, secondary sources ask why it happened.
Why use primary sources?
Understanding the difference between primary and secondary sources is important for writers and researchers. Here’s why:
- Accuracy and credibility : Primary sources provide the most accurate and credible information by giving researchers a glimpse into the historical events they’re writing about. On the other hand, secondary sources can introduce bias or errors while interpreting primary sources.
- Academic integrity: When writing a research paper, it’s important to correctly identify and cite your sources . Misrepresenting primary sources as secondary or vice versa can harm your credibility.
- Research strategy: Different types of projects may require the use of primary or secondary sources. Knowing how to access and evaluate these sources can help you choose the right materials for your research.
Recognizing the differences between primary and secondary sources is an important skill for writers and academics. Now that you know how to use both, you’ll be ready to write your next research paper with precision.
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Climate change, fossil fuels hurting people's health, says new global report
Climate-influenced disasters are making people sick. When wildfire smoke from massive fires in Canada blanketed the U.S. in the summer of 2023, emergency rooms saw a spike in admissions for lung problems but also heart attacks and other health issues. David Dee Delgado/Getty Images hide caption
Climate-influenced disasters are making people sick. When wildfire smoke from massive fires in Canada blanketed the U.S. in the summer of 2023, emergency rooms saw a spike in admissions for lung problems but also heart attacks and other health issues.
Burning fossil fuels has driven climate change, and now climate change is costing people their health and increasingly their lives, says a new report from the prestigious medical journal the Lancet. The eighth annual Lancet Countdown , an international analysis that tracks nearly 50 different health-focused issues affected by climate change, calls for an immediate wind-down of fossil fuel use.
"We're currently at 1.14 degree Celsius of global indicator heating, and we're already seeing climate change claiming lives and livelihoods in every part of the world," says Marina Romanello, a scientist at University College, London, and the lead author of the report. "The impacts are happening here and now. However, these impacts that we're seeing today could be just an early symptom of a very dangerous future unless we tackle climate change urgently."
Every country is affected. But those with the least historical responsibility for causing climate change are feeling the worst effects. Pakistan–a country responsible for roughly 0.3% of all climate-change-causing carbon emissions , suffered massive floods in 2022 that displaced more than 30 million people and killed at least 1,700.
But wealthier countries are not immune. In the U.S., wildfire smoke this summer sent people to the emergency room from New York to Georgia. In Europe, a 2022 summer heat wave resulted in over 60,000 deaths.
Heat waves and droughts, actively intensified by climate change, affected food production worldwide in 2021 and pushed 127 million people into food insecurity, according to the report. Supercharged heat waves have driven the number of heat-related deaths amongst people over 65 up by more than 80% compared to the 1980s.
"This year was brutal for many people around the world–and we expect to see that next year, and the year after," Romanello says.
The report puts those heat deaths in stark context: less than half of them would have occurred in a world without climate change.
The ability to link climate events and health outcomes unambiguously is a relatively new scientific development, Romanello says. It's a variation on a relatively new scientific technique called "climate attribution ," where sophisticated climate models compare real-world climate disasters with hypothetical ones in which human-driven climate change hadn't occurred.
Researchers can use this technique to figure out how much more likely climate change made a certain heat wave, for example. They can see how many people were affected by that extra-hot stretch of time.
The Lancet Countdown also details staggering economic costs that stem from climate change. About one fifth of all U.S. residents work outdoors ; the percentages are even higher in many other countries. When it gets too hot, it gets harder and harder to work. Last year, the report says, outdoor workers lost more than 140 hours each–or several weeks of pay–because of excess heat. Scaled up, that cost countries in Africa an average of 4% of their gross domestic product in 2022.
The human and economic costs are forecast to grow with every tenth of a degree hotter the planet gets. Heat-related deaths, for example, could increase by nearly a factor of five by the middle of the century, absent immediate reductions to carbon emissions.
Fossil fuels make people sick
The economic and health impacts are part and parcel, says Renee Salas, a doctor at Harvard's Chan School of Public Health, because they have a common source: fossil fuel burning. It is, she says, "the root cause of the health problems that I'm seeing in my patients and my colleagues are seeing around the world."
The report directly calls for a wind-down of fossil fuel extraction. By limiting further warming the number of health problems and deaths attributable to climate change would dramatically reduce.
"I had a young [patient] who presented with uncontrollable asthma. And she lived right next to a highway and was breathing in toxic exhaust from cars burning gas," says Salas. "So the treatment she needs is electric vehicles and home weatherization and air purification. These are prescriptions I can't write."
The report, she says, presents the primary prescription: phasing out fossil fuel use. The planet has warmed by 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since major fossil fuel extraction began in the 1800s, and it is now expected to warm past 1.5 degrees C.
Though most countries have agreed to try to limit warming to well below 2 degrees C by phasing out fossil fuel use quickly, many nations are still actively expanding fossil fuel extraction efforts. Investment in fossil fuels rose by 10% in 2022, the report points out.
Solutions to climate change can improve global health
Across the globe, nearly 2 million people die each year because of long-term exposure to fine particles produced by burning coal, gas, and other fuels. "The number of people who die from the air pollution produced from fossil fuels every year, it is mind blowing," says Katharine Hayhoe, a climate researcher and lead scientist at the Nature Conservancy who was not involved in the report.
The impacts drop nearly instantaneously when the particles go away . It's an example, Hayhoe says, of a win-win: health harms from pollution drop in tandem with heat-trapping carbon emissions.
Along with a prescription for cutting climate-change-causing carbon emissions, the Lancet Countdown authors call for practical adaptations for health care systems facing climate-caused problems whether they like it or not. That means tools like better tracking for mosquito-borne disease, or developing effective early-warning systems for heat waves .
There will eventually be limits to adaptation, Romanello says. Health systems already struggle to handle the influxes of patients after major climate-influenced disasters like wildfires and hurricanes, and that influx will continue to rise as the planet warms. "The increase in those health hazards, we will definitely not be able to cope with," Romanello says. "So that's why we say mitigation is essential, to ensure a livable future. And it's a public health intervention. It's primary prevention at its heart."
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How Much Can Trees Fight Climate Change? Massively, but Not Alone, Study Finds.
The research, which comes with important caveats, was partly an effort to address the scientific uproar surrounding an earlier paper.
By Catrin Einhorn
Restoring global forests where they occur naturally could potentially capture an additional 226 gigatons of planet-warming carbon, equivalent to about a third of the amount that humans have released since the beginning of the Industrial Era, according to a new study published on Monday in the journal Nature .
The research, with input from more than 200 authors, leveraged vast troves of data collected by satellites and on the ground and was partly an effort to address the controversy surrounding an earlier paper. That study, in 2019, helped to spur the Trillion Trees movement but also caused a scientific uproar.
The new conclusions were similar to those in a separate study published last year . Mainly, the extra storage capacity would come from allowing existing forests to recover to maturity.
But major caveats remain: If we protect all current forests, where will people get timber, rubber and palm oil? Would forests be able to store carbon quickly enough? And how much forest carbon would be lost to fire, drought and pests as climate change intensifies?
The 226 gigatons of storage cannot be achieved without cutting greenhouse gas emissions, said Thomas Crowther, the study’s senior author and a professor of ecology at ETH Zurich, a university in Switzerland. “If we continue emitting carbon, as we’ve done to date, then droughts and fires and other extreme events will continue to threaten the scale of the global forest system, further limiting its potential to contribute.”
Forests are essential to tackling both the climate and biodiversity crises. They offer food, shelter and shade to humans and countless other species. They clean our air and water. And they pull climate-warming carbon out of the atmosphere. As the climate crisis intensifies, that ability has made them controversial: How much can we rely on trees to get us out of this mess?
Dr. Crowther was the senior author of a polarizing study on forest carbon in 2019 that drew scientific backlash but also inspired an effort by the World Economic Forum to grow and conserve one trillion trees.
In 2019, he acknowledged, careless language led to trees being wrongly painted as a silver bullet for climate change. Now, his biggest fear is that countries and companies will keep treating forests that way, using them for carbon offsets to enable the continued use of fossil fuels.
“We are all terrified that this potential of nature gets misused,” Dr. Crowther said. “Nature has such spectacular potential to help us tackle global threats, but it will be devastating if major organizations use nature as an excuse to do more harm to our planet.”
The World Economic Forum’s tree program, 1t.org, was started with funding from Marc Benioff, the chief executive of Salesforce, and endorsed by figures from then-President Donald Trump to Jane Goodall. Dr. Crowther himself, a charismatic and media-savvy scientist , is an adviser to the group.
His new study’s number of 226 gigatons of carbon approximates his previous one of 205, but it gets there very differently. Both papers exclude urban areas, croplands and pastures but include rangelands, where animals may graze at lower densities. In the new research, 61 percent of the additional carbon storage would come from protecting existing forests and the other 39 percent from growing trees in deforested areas with low human footprints.
In the 2019 study, all the carbon came from growing trees where they could occur naturally outside of existing forests. More than 50 scientists published seven critiques in Science that year, disputing both the analysis and its implications. One accusation was that the study endorsed inappropriate tree planting on grasslands and other nonforested ecosystems, destroying native biodiversity. Another was that the estimates of carbon storage were far too high for the amount of land concerned.
Simon Lewis, a professor of global change science at University College London, submitted one such critique in 2019. But the new study, he said, was “reasonable.”
Still, he emphasized that carbon drawdown from forests should be kept in perspective. “There is still only a finite amount of land to dedicate to forests,” he said, “so only a small fraction of the potential carbon uptake has a chance of being realized.”
Another critic from 2019, Joseph Veldman, a professor of ecology and conservation biology at Texas A&M University, praised the enormous amount of data the study brought to bear but said its findings still relied on inappropriate densities of trees in landscapes where they exist naturally but should remain sparse, like savannas and deserts.
Despite global pledges, leaders have struggled to rein in deforestation. Last year, the world lost 10 percent more primary tropical rainforest than in 2021, though Brazil’s current government has made recent progress .
Restoration efforts have also proven problematic. In the name of fighting climate change, countries and companies have often invested in failed mass tree plantings or monocultures of commercial, nonnative species that hurt biodiversity. While the latter might grow quickly, they sequester only half as much carbon over time, Dr. Crowther said.
He emphasized that restoration should be driven by local communities that choose to work in concert with nature to help themselves. A nonprofit he founded, Restor, connects community projects, like an agroforestry farm in Ethiopia, with potential supporters.
“Instead of removing the forests to grow coffee, they instead keep the forests standing,” Dr. Crowther said. “And because the forest captures water and nutrients, those trees grow really well without the need for fertilizers or irrigation, and as a result, nature makes their farm more productive.”
It’s unclear how much such efforts can scale up. Matthew Fagan, a professor of geography and environmental systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who works on global forest monitoring, said he believed the new estimate was too high because it did not account for people and fire.
“The fact that it aligns with other rough estimates of global carbon owes more to the unfortunate reality that they share methods and data sources in common than to the truth,” he said.
He and other scientists also raised concerns about the warming effects that trees can have in colder and drier climates as they absorb heat that would otherwise have been reflected by snow or grass.
But there is one thing they all agree on: To tackle both climate change and biodiversity loss, the world must do far more to cut fossil fuels and end deforestation of old-growth forests.
Catrin Einhorn reports on biodiversity for the Climate and Environment desk. She has also worked on the Investigations desk, where she was part of the Times team that received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its reporting on sexual harassment. More about Catrin Einhorn
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