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Journalism Feature Story Assignment

Hello, and thank you for purchasing this product. As the journalism advisor
at my school, I oversee the student-run newspaper. Each year I assign my
students a big feature story. Typically, I assign it during the second
semester after I teach some of the more basic news writing principles.
This assignment usually takes the students at least a month, and
sometimes longer. I want them to gather data, interview many subjects,
and really put their heart and soul into their feature story..
In this download, you will find several documents:
A student handout sheet with write in deadline information
A list of possible feature story topics
A feature story proposal
An interview log
A writing planner and organizer
The list of feature topics includes safe topics, as well as some that are a
bit controversial. I remind my students that our administrators read all of
the content before it goes to press.
The feature story proposal sheet is one that I have found to be very
helpful. It provides my students with a good starting point. The
information they need to fill out really requires them to think about what
they want to write, why they want to write it, and why people would want
to read it. This is where many students like to change their topics.
Usually once my reporters turn in this proposal, I like to have a one-onone meeting with each of them. I go over their proposal and make sure
they are on the right track. I make sure that they know what information
they need to get and where to get it.
The interview log is a helpful too for students to use. I encourage them to
fill it our immediately after each interview. This helps them pinpoint key
quotes they want to use for their stories. It also helps them see if their
interview subjects are varied.
Finally, the writing planner is just a guide. I provide it to my students as
an extra resource if they need it. While I encourage all of my students to
start their feature stories with nut grafs, they ultimately have free-range
with their writing. Typically, the students who love to write really love this
assignment.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me on my TpT page.
Also, please leave feedback if you have found this download helpful.

Journalism Feature Story Assignment

A feature story is an in-depth human-interest story that requires


interviewing, researching, and observing. These stories focus on people,
places, or events.
The difference between a news story and a feature story is that a feature
story has the time and the space available to be more in-depth. Feature
stories dig deeper and include more details than a typical news story.
Feature stories do not need to follow the inverted pyramid style of writing
that is typically used for journalistic writing. Feature story writers have
time to develop a theme. While it is good to provide your audience with
information up front, all of the essential details are not needed in the lead.
One of the best ways to gather data for your story is to include a survey.
In order to make your survey as accurate as possible, you will want to poll
a random sample of people.

Feature Story Requirements:


1,000 2,500 words
Include quotes from at least four different and varied sources
Include background, researched information, or expert opinions
Final draft must be free from any factual, grammatical, or spelling errors
Deadlines
Proposal Deadline: ___________________________
Rough Draft Deadline: _________________________
Final Draft Deadline: __________________________
Other important information:
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

Journalism Feature Story Topic Ideas


This is just a list of possible story topics. The possibilities are endless.
Sample Feature Story Ideas
A day in the life of
ADD/ADHD
AP classes (weighted grades, boosting transcript, etc.)
Autism
Behind the scenes looks at band, theatre, choir, athletics, A.V.I.D., ABS,
FFA, etc.
Bullying
Cancer
Class sizes
College application process
Crime stats for the school
Eating disorders
Exploring options after high school
Fake IDs
Flu season, flu shots, staying healthy
Football and head trauma
Futuristic technology
In-depth look at testing (AP, SAT, ACT, etc.)
Notable alumni
Recycling/going green
Rites of passages 15th/16th birthday, first date, first traffic ticket
School rivalries
School start times
School traditions
Siblings on campus
Sports injuries
Students and caffeine consumption
Students and cars
Students and drinking/drugs/smoking
Students and driving
Students and jobs how they affect school work, interesting jobs, best
and worst jobs
Students and sleep
Students and social media
Students and winter/extreme/water sports
Swearing
Tattoos/piercings
Technology at school
Teen pregnancy
Teen suicide
Things to do in the area
Violence/fighting/vandalism at school

Journalism Feature Story Assignment


Proposal

Topic: __________________________________________________________
Story Summary (include why it is relevant and why people will
want to read it):
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
_______
Potential interview subjects:
Name: __________________________________ title:
____________________________
Name: __________________________________ title:
____________________________
Name: __________________________________ title:
____________________________
Sample interview questions: (No yes/no questions)
1. _______________________________________________________________________
2. _______________________________________________________________________
3. _______________________________________________________________________
4. _______________________________________________________________________
5. _______________________________________________________________________

Sample survey questions and answers:


1. _______________________________________________________________________

Journalism Feature Story Assignment


Interview Log
Directions: Use this interview log to keep track of interview dates, the
subjects names and titles, and key quotes from the interview that you
want to include in your feature story. To keep your sources varied,
interview a variety of people: students, teachers, counselors,
administrators, people outside of school (if applicable).
Intervi
ew
date

Subject
Name

Title/grade
level

Key Quotes

Journalism Feature Story Outline


Begin Organizing Your Story

__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
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__________________________________
__________________________________

__________________________________
__________________________________
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__________________________________
__________________________________
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Nut
Graph
In a nutshell,
explain what
the story will
be about.
Tell the
readers why
they should
care about
this topic.
Explain how
the story
could be
timely.

Intriguing
Details
Think about
the most
intriguing or
shocking thing
you
discovered
from your
research. That
information
goes here.
What did you
find out?
Include
quotes

Journalism Feature Story Outline


Continue Organizing Your Story

__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________

__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________

Details
What other
details are
intriguing or
shocking?
Write about it
next.
What did you
find out?
Include
quotes

Details
What other
details are
intriguing or
shocking?
Write about it
next.
What did you
find out?
Include
quotes

Journalism Feature Story Outline


Continue Organizing Your Story

__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________

__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________

Details
What other
details are
intriguing?
Write about it
next.
What did you
find out?
Include
quotes

Expert
Opinion
This section
can be toward
the end or
closer to the
beginning of
the story.
Research your
topic and talk
to an expert.
What do they
have to say?
Include
quotes

Journalism Feature Story Outline


Continue Organizing Your Story

__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________
__________________________________

Conclusio
n
Restate the
main idea and
restate the
key
(interesting/sh
ocking)
information.
Write a
solution or an
open-ended
thought.
Leave your
readers
thinking.