Catching the reader at first sight


Picture source here


So far, I have barely mentioned my “Feature Writing” module. Having learned some interesting ways of writing the introduction to different feature articles, this week will have a journalistic theme.

The introduction is the most important part of the feature. It aims to answer the “who” and the “what”, and sometimes even the “when” and the “where”.

These are the types:

  • Delayed introduction: With this technique, the author consciously withholds the central identification of the person, the place or the group in question.
  • Statement of fact: As the name indicates, facts are stated in the introduction.
  • Descriptive introduction: A vivid picture of the atmosphere is painted at the beginning of the piece, setting the atmosphere.
  • Using a question: This is an efficient way of getting the reader involved because they have to think.
  • First person introduction: The author can involve herself/himself. The technique is rarely accepted in news writing, but it can work in a more “artsy” way in features.
  • Surprise introduction: This comes off as a tease, catching the reader. It is important not to mislead but to deliver what the surprise does promise.
  • The strong quote: A very common way of beginning a feature. Don’t use the very best quote first, though.

To write the first paragraph is an art. Being that journalist, the one who can deliver a strong quote, or an eye-catching fact; controversial statements or surprise us all…takes talent, timing, research. This was an inspiring week because words always fascinated me. Learning about how fewer words can have greater impact, if you are good at it, gives me a new challenge. One that I am ready for in my process of becoming an extraordinary writer.


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