Anglais a0320

Structure of the feature article (Competency 3)

​​​​​​​​​​The following components are necessary to write a feature article for the Ministerial exam.

Headline

​​The headline is like the catchy title of the feature article. It hints at the topic and is found at the top of the feature article. Its purpose is to interest readers and to attract their attention.​​​

Ho​w to writ​e a good he​adline:​

  • Make it catchy and/or intriguing;
  • Include the use of rhetorical devices (ex. alliteration, repetition, metaphors etc.) 

Secondary Headline​

​The secondary headline gives more information about the topic, and should include the angle and controlling idea.

While the headline is there to attract readers, the secondary headline is a bit more serious. Its purpose is to give the audience a more precise idea of what they will read about.

Controlling Idea​

​The controlling idea stems from the angle. It tells the reader what they will read about, the direction the article is going in.

It can be a​ difficult concept to grasp at first, but the controlling idea is quite simple. Think of it as where the feature article will take the reader. It is a further narrowing down of the angle. ​It may act as a kind of guideline for the audience, something for them to keep in mind as they are reading the article. ​

​On the day of the exam, the angle will be given. Brainstorm about everything that comes to mind with regards to the angle. What information should be selected? Probably ideas that seem important to the issue, angle, and are interconnected somehow. The common thread between these ideas is often the controlling idea.

Lead​

​The lead is the opening paragraph of the feature article, and includes the angle and controlling idea. It should hook the readers, interest them enough to make them read the rest of the article.​

How to write a successful lead:

The lead can be written in just about any way possible. The way it turns out depends on the writer. However, the following points must be included for the lead to be successful:

1. The lead must hook the reader. Possible ways to do this: 
  • ​​Humour: jokes and puns are a good way to attract attention, all the while setting a light tone for what is to come.
  • Anecdotes: these help set up the issue, they give the readers something to grasp. Through examples, anecdotes help the reader visualize the issue.
  • Description: a description​ of a situation, event, or feeling conveys lots of emotion.
  • Facts and/or statistics: presented with punch, these can immediately interest a reader into wanting to know more. ​​
2. The lead must include the angle and the controlling idea:​
  • ​​​The angle is prescribed, it is given on the day of the exam. Though the wording doesn't need to be the same, the angle does need to be mentioned in the lead.
  • If the controlling idea is not present​, the readers do not know what they are reading about. They need to be given something to care about or look forward to learning about, otherwise, they will lose interest and disengage.​​​​​​

The lead is NOT the same as the introduction to an essay. It does NOT contain a general context, a thesis and three arguments.

Body

​The body is where you present the issue to the reader. It is the bulk of the article.

The writer is the one who determines the way the article is structured. The information found in the feature can be organized in many ways. Below are some examples: 

  • Cause and effect: information is presented by describing the cause of an issue by providing context (important events and players) and then showing its effect on the involved people, environment, businesses etc..
  • Problem-solution: information is presented by describing a problem within a context, and ending with a possible solution.
  • General to specific: information is presented from a wide context to more specific points of the issue.
  • Chronologically: information is presented through time.
  • Logically: any other form which is logical works, as long as it is clear and coherent for the reader.

Unlike an essay which would have 3 body paragraphs, the development of a feature article should/can be written in many short paragraphs.

Close​

​The close is the last paragraph of the article. It must leave a lasting impression.

Although it is the last paragraph of the article, it is NOT like a conclusion. It must not begin with something like 'In conclusion' or 'Finally'.

One way to leave a lasting impression is to circle back to the lead or the headline. For example, if an anecdote is used in the lead, you may want to mention the anecdote again in the close, now taking the information you have presented into consideration. 

Quotation​

A quotation is taken from source texts,​ and is often from an expert or someone who is knowledgeable ​in a certain area of expertise. It gives weight and seriousness to the article.

A minimum of one quotation must be included in the feature article.

1. A quotation can be direct. To include a direct quote, the person's exact words must be used. A mention must be made of who the person quoted is. This may come before or after the quotation marks ("").​

John Superteacher, a teacher at Alloprof, said in an article about education that, "Alloprof is there to answer any questions pertaining to subjects taught in elementary and high school. Teachers are willing and eager to help students succeed in school, one call at a time!"​ 
2. A quotation can be indirect. To include an indirect quote, the author of the feature article paraphrases the expert's words. An indirect quote must also acknowledge the expert from whom the idea has been taken. It may be mentioned before or after the quotation.​​

John Superteacher, a teacher at Alloprof, explained that Alloprof supports students from kindergarten to their high school graduation. Teachers there offer one-on-one help with homework on any school subject.
Unlike the Ministerial exam in French, there are no footnotes in the feature article.​
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Additional components

​For the Ministerial exam, the feature article will have to include at least 2 additional components. These must enhance or add something to the article. They must be placed strategically.


Possible additional components:


1. Image (with or without a caption): a box is drawn in the text. An explanation of what would be seen is written inside the box.

2. Pull-quote: this is a sentence which is found in the feature article the student has written. It may be words the student has written himself, or a quote from an expert that he has decided to include in his article. It is generally something intriguing, shocking or interesting. A pull-quote is "pulled" from the article. It is written in large letters to attract the reader's attention.

3. Sidebar: this is a box in which information is found. A sidebar is used to lighten up an article. It might give definitions, statistics or extra information which is relevant to the article, but would make it boring, complicated, or too technical to read.
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