Feature Writing

Team English - Examples.com
Created by: Team English - Examples.com, Last Updated: May 8, 2024

Feature Writing

Feature Writing is a creative form of journalism that focuses on engaging storytelling, providing relevant information, and offering a unique perspective to captivate readers. It involves crafting compelling narratives with clarity, coherence, and a strong narrative structure, while tailoring content to the target audience’s interests and preferences.”

What is Feature Writing?

Feature writing is a form of journalistic writing that focuses on specific events, issues, or people, providing more depth and detail than standard news reports. Unlike hard news stories, which primarily deal with the facts of who, what, when, and where, feature articles explore the how and why. They offer readers insight into the context and background of a subject, often emphasizing a narrative style. Feature articles are commonly found in magazines, newspapers, and online platforms, where there’s more space for exploration and stylistic flair.

Characteristics of Feature Writing

Feature articles are distinguished by several key characteristics:

  • In-depth Exploration: Feature articles provide a deeper understanding of the topic, whether it’s a person, place, event, or issue. They go beyond mere facts to include the background, context, and in-depth details that paint a fuller picture.
  • Narrative Style: Features often employ storytelling techniques, such as narratives and scenes, making them more engaging and relatable. They might follow a structured plot with a clear beginning, middle, and end, drawing the reader into the story.
  • Emotional Engagement: These pieces frequently aim to evoke emotions, connecting the audience with the subject matter on a personal level. Whether it’s excitement, sympathy, or curiosity, the emotional pull is a crucial element.
  • Subject Variety: The topics can range widely, from profiles of influential people, in-depth analysis of a social trend, descriptive accounts of events, or explorative pieces on cultural phenomena.
  • Attention to Detail: Feature writers pay close attention to details, often using descriptive language that helps the reader visualize the setting and understand the characters involved in the story.

Different Types of Feature Writing

Types of Feature Writing

Feature writing encompasses various styles and forms, each tailored to deliver content in a unique and engaging manner. Here’s an overview of some common types of feature writing that cater to diverse reader interests and preferences:

1.Profile Features

  • Profile features are intimate portraits of individuals, providing insight into their lives, careers, and personalities. These features often include interviews and observations and aim to reveal the character’s impact, motivations, and personal stories.
  • Examples:
    A day in the life of a renowned chef.
    Profile of an up-and-coming athlete.

2.Human Interest Features

  • Human interest stories focus on the emotional or sentimental side of events or individuals, aiming to connect with the reader on a personal level. These stories often highlight personal achievements, struggles, or unusual experiences.
  • Examples:
    The journey of someone who has overcome a significant challenge, such as a major illness or adversity.
    The impact of a community project on the lives of local residents.

3.News Features

  • News features provide background and context to current news stories, offering deeper insights than standard news reports. They delve into the “how” and “why,” giving readers a broader understanding of the significance and implications of the news.
  • Examples:
    The effects of a new government policy on small businesses.
    Behind-the-scenes look at a major international summit.

4.Instructional Features

  • Instructional features aim to educate and inform by providing step-by-step guidance on various processes or activities. These articles are practical and direct, helping readers understand complex tasks or learn new skills.
  • Examples:
    How to start a vegetable garden in your backyard.
    Tips and tricks for mastering digital photography.

5.Historical Features

  • These features explore significant events from the past, offering insights into their impact on the present. They draw connections between past and current events, providing a historical perspective that enriches understanding.
  • Examples:
    The evolution of civil rights in America.
    A retrospective on the technology boom of the late 20th century.

6.Seasonal Features

  • Seasonal features are timely pieces that relate to events, holidays, or phenomena specific to a particular time of year. They are relevant and engaging due to their immediate connection to the season or occasion.
  • Examples:
  • Best summer festivals in the United States.
    Winter holiday traditions around the world.

7.Behind-the-Scenes Features

  • These articles provide a glimpse into places, processes, or events that the average person might not have access to, offering a backstage view of different worlds.
  • Examples:
    Inside a top Michelin-starred restaurant’s kitchen.
    The preparation and execution of a major fashion show.

What is the Difference Between a News Story and a Feature Story?

AspectNews StoryFeature Story
PurposeTo inform quickly about recent events or developments.To explore topics in depth, often with a focus on human interest, background context, or deeper analysis.
FocusImmediate facts and events; the ‘5 Ws’ (Who, What, When, Where, Why) and sometimes How.Broader implications, personal stories, and thematic exploration.
StructureInverted pyramid format, with the most crucial information first.Narrative format, including elements like setting, characters, and plot, to engage readers throughout the story.
StyleObjective and straightforward; focused on clarity and brevity.More subjective and descriptive; allows for creative expression and emotional connection.
ContentConcise, focusing on essential details pertinent to the news event.Detailed, with rich descriptions and extensive background information.
Tone and LanguageNeutral and factual; avoids subjective language or personal opinions.Varied tones, potentially emotional or persuasive; uses descriptive language to enhance storytelling.
EngagementIntellectual engagement; readers seek quick facts and updates.Emotional and intellectual engagement; aims to connect with readers on a deeper level and leave a lasting impact.
ImpactImmediate, influencing public opinion or decisions shortly after release.Longer-lasting, affecting readers emotionally and prompting deeper consideration or reflection.
ExamplesElection results, breaking news on natural disasters, quick financial updates.Profiles of influential individuals, in-depth analysis of cultural trends, explorative pieces on societal issues.

Feature writing in Journalism

Feature writing in journalism occupies a unique space that combines in-depth reporting with creative storytelling. It serves to illuminate the broader contexts, delve into personal stories, and examine the implications of events and trends. Unlike hard news, which delivers the immediate facts of an event or issue, feature writing explores themes and ideas at a deeper level, engaging the reader with a mix of factual reporting and narrative techniques.

The Role of Feature Writing

Feature writing enhances journalistic endeavors by providing:

  • Depth and Context: Features dig deeper than the basic facts, offering readers a comprehensive view of the topic.
  • Human Element: By focusing on personal stories and experiences, features highlight the human impact of broader events and issues.
  • Engagement and Retention: The narrative style of features draws readers in and keeps them engaged, increasing reader retention and involvement.

Challenges in Feature Writing

While feature writing is rewarding, it presents challenges such as:

  • Time Consumption: Due to the depth of research and writing required, features take longer to produce than standard news stories.
  • Balancing Facts and Style: Writers must ensure that their creative storytelling does not overshadow the factual accuracy of the reporting.
  • Emotional Involvement: Maintaining objectivity can be challenging when dealing with stories that evoke strong emotions.

Feature Writing Examples

  1. Profile of a Local Hero: Exploring the life and impact of a firefighter who saved lives during a recent catastrophic event.
  2. Behind-the-Scenes at a Bakery: A day in the life of a master baker who crafts artisan breads at a popular local bakery.
  3. Reviving the Art of Handwritten Letters: A feature on communities and individuals who are bringing back the tradition of handwritten correspondence.
  4. The Rise of Urban Gardening: How city dwellers are transforming their rooftops and balconies into lush green spaces.
  5. Journey Through Traditional Music: A deep dive into the resurgence of folk music in rural Appalachia.
  6. The Challenge of Remote Education: Chronicling the experiences of teachers and students adapting to online learning during a global pandemic.
  7. The Craft of Artisanal Coffee: Following a bean from its origins in Ethiopia to a cup of coffee in a trendy urban café.
  8. Wildlife Conservation Efforts: Spotlighting a wildlife conservationist working to protect endangered species in Madagascar.
  9. Vintage Fashion Comeback: A feature on how vintage clothing is becoming mainstream and influencing contemporary fashion designers.
  10. Innovations in Renewable Energy: Profiling new technologies that are making solar and wind power more accessible and efficient.

Feature Writing Examples for Students

  1. A Day in the Life of a College President: Explore the responsibilities and daily activities of a college president, including their role in shaping educational policies and student life.
  2. The Science Behind Study Habits: Investigate how different study techniques affect learning outcomes, featuring insights from educational psychologists and students’ personal experiences.
  3. Eco-Friendly Schools: Profile a school that has implemented green initiatives, from recycling programs to solar-powered classrooms, and the impact on the school community.
  4. Student Entrepreneurs: Highlight students who have started their own businesses while managing school responsibilities, focusing on their challenges and successes.
  5. The Evolution of School Lunches: A look at how school cafeterias are transforming meals to be healthier and more appealing to students across various regions.
  6. Technology in the Classroom: Feature the integration of technology in education, showcasing specific tools and apps that enhance learning and student engagement.
  7. Arts in Education: Delve into the importance of arts programs in schools by profiling a successful school band, theater group, or art class and exploring the benefits of artistic expression.
  8. Sports and Teamwork: Follow a school sports team through a season, emphasizing how sports foster skills like teamwork, discipline, and resilience.
  9. Study Abroad Experiences: Share stories from students who have studied abroad, focusing on the cultural and educational impacts of their experiences.
  10. Impact of Mentorship Programs: Examine a mentorship program within a school or community, highlighting the relationships between mentors and mentees and the program’s influence on personal and academic growth.

Tips for Features

  1. Choose an Interesting Topic
    Select a subject that not only interests you but will also captivate your readers. It could be a person, an event, or a trend that offers rich details and a compelling story.
  2. Do Thorough Research
    Gather as much information as possible. This includes background research, interviews with experts or key personalities, and firsthand observations. The more detailed and accurate your information, the more credible your article will be.
  3. Create a Strong Hook
    Start with a compelling introduction that grabs attention. Use an intriguing fact, a powerful quote, or a vivid scene to draw readers into the story.
  4. Develop a Clear Structure
    Organize your content logically. While news stories often use the inverted pyramid structure, feature articles can follow a more narrative style. Plan out your beginning, middle, and end to ensure a smooth flow of information and story.
  5. Use Descriptive Language
    Employ vivid descriptions to bring your scenes to life. Let your readers visualize the settings and understand the emotions of the characters involved. Use sensory details to enhance the storytelling.
  6. Include Direct Quotes
    Incorporate quotes from your interviews to add authenticity and depth. Quotes can provide personal insights and highlight the human aspect of your story.
  7. Show, Don’t Tell
    Instead of merely telling readers about the situation, show it through details, actions, and words. This technique helps in creating a more immersive reading experience.
  8. Keep the Tone Appropriate
    Match the tone of your writing to the subject of your feature. A light-hearted topic can have a playful tone, while more serious subjects might require a formal approach.
  9. Edit and Revise
    Once your first draft is complete, revise it for clarity, accuracy, and engagement. Editing is crucial to ensure that the narrative flows well and is free of grammatical errors.
  10. Seek Feedback
    Before finalizing your article, get feedback from peers or mentors. Fresh eyes can offer valuable insights and suggest improvements that might have been overlooked.

Style and Objective of Feature Writing

Objective of Feature Writing

The primary objectives of feature writing include:

  • Educating and Informing: While a feature article provides in-depth coverage of a topic, it also educates the reader by offering thorough background information, explaining the complexities, and presenting multiple perspectives.
  • Engaging and Entertaining: Through narrative techniques, features aim to hold the reader’s interest with a well-told story, potentially including elements of drama, humor, and emotional appeal.
  • Providing Insight: Features often go beyond the surface of news facts to explore the underlying issues or personal stories, offering readers a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
  • Evoking Empathy: By focusing on human interest elements, features can evoke empathy and a personal connection, helping readers to see issues from the perspectives of others.
  • Inspiring Change: Many features aim to inspire action or change by highlighting stories of personal achievement, innovation, or community development.

Style of Feature Writing

Feature writing allows for a range of stylistic expressions that can vary greatly depending on the topic and the intended audience. Some key stylistic elements include:

  • Narrative Flow: Unlike the inverted pyramid structure of hard news, features often follow a narrative arc that introduces characters, builds up a storyline, and concludes with a resolution or reflection, much like a short story.
  • Descriptive Detail: Features frequently use descriptive language to create vivid imagery and bring stories to life. This involves detailed descriptions of people, places, and events that engage the senses of the reader.
  • Personal Voice: Feature writers may inject their own voice and style into the article, offering personal insights or drawn conclusions, which is less common in traditional news writing.
  • Direct Quotes and Dialogue: Incorporating direct quotes and dialogues enriches the authenticity of the piece, providing personal viewpoints and adding a dynamic layer to the storytelling.
  • Emotional Depth: The use of emotional elements, whether through the exploration of joy, struggle, or triumph, helps to connect deeply with the reader, making the story memorable and impactful.


What is the rule for feature writing?

The rule for feature writing is to engage readers with compelling storytelling, relevant information, and a unique angle, all while maintaining clarity, coherence, and a strong narrative structure.

What skills are essential for feature writing?

Essential skills for feature writing include strong research and interviewing techniques, excellent storytelling abilities, the capability to evoke imagery and emotions through words, and the skill to craft well-structured narratives that keep readers engaged from start to finish.

How important are sources in feature writing?

Sources are incredibly important in feature writing as they lend credibility and depth to the narrative. Interviews with direct stakeholders, experts, and eyewitnesses provide the foundational facts and diverse perspectives that enrich the storytelling and factual basis of the feature.

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