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Friday, February 28, 2014

The magazine format

Images above: Magazines are all different in terms of purpose and style. Know your audience!

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The TSC Society and Culture Moodle 

Magazines in the form of on-line writings (blogs etc) by journalists and non-journalists are a growing trend where most people get their information today.

Most magazine articles do one of four things. They inform, adding to your knowledge about a subject. They help you to solve a problem. They persuade you about a particular viewpoint. They entertain you. Some articles do more than one of those things at the same time.

Here are some things to consider once your have drafted the basics of your article in Word form.

Think of a headline to attract attention
Put yourself in the position of reading the magazine.  What title would make you read the article?

How to Structure a Magazine Article
When you’re ready to write then you need to think about structure. The attached template is just one way to structure your article. A nice safe way!  Feel free to experiment with your article story if you feel confident enough. 

 Make it look attractive and eye catching
By the way, pictures are OK. Put in any pictures, maps or graphs that help support your writing (not too many though).

Grab the reader's attention with a dynamite opening paragraph. This is called your lead, and it's the most important paragraph of a magazine article. If the first paragraph doesn't convince a reader to keep reading, then you're sunk. Immediately after catching a reader's attention, make certain the point of the article or the theme is evident.

Give your idea an angle.
The angle of an article has to do with the way the topic is approached. For example, New Year's resolutions have been written about many, times, but give the idea a fresh angle - such as using social networking to succeed at keeping resolutions. Don't be afraid to be controversial.

Tell A Story
The key thing to remember is that you’re telling a story to your readers. That means you need a beginning, a middle and an end. It also means you need to think about where you’re taking your reader and create a logical path to that end point.

Beginning Your Magazine Article
The first thing you need to do is get people to read your article, so you need to find a way to grab them. When I interview people, I often start the resulting article with a quote or an anecdote from their life. However, you can also set the scene or use anything that will get attention.

The Middle
With most magazine articles, you talk to a person or people. People like reading about other people, so if your interviewee says something good, use a quote rather than reported speech. This makes your magazine article more interesting.

Ending Your Magazine Article
Finally, end with a bang. This could be an important point, a revelation, or another anecdote or quote. Next to the lead, the conclusion is most important. The ending of a magazine feature should bring the piece to a satisfying resolution for the reader. You might return to your opening paragraph so that you come full circle. Some conclusions summarize the main points or leave readers with an anecdote that illustrates the theme.

To get some ideas have a look at the culture and current affairs Magazines on-line website or just glance through some popular magazines and look at the articles and how they are written. It may give you an idea of how to structure and express the content of your article.

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