7 Basic Things To Know About The Journalistic Essay Format

If you read newspapers often, you are probably aware that journalists write their stories and essays a bit different. The five paragraph rule that is common in most essays is not used by journalists. Instead, they focus on telling their stories for maximum impact. Read the article below to learn more.

Journalistic essays answer 6 main questions

Basically, these essays seek to answer six main questions in a story; who, why, where, what, when and how. These questions are otherwise known as the 5 W’s and H. Straight from the first paragraph, a writer seeks to answer at least three of these questions and then continues to answer the rest in the body of their essay. For instance, a good story must explain what happened, where it happened, how it happened, who were involved and where it happened.

The most important information is found at the top

Generally, mostly essays begin by stating the least important things and then wait to have a climax towards the end of the essay. The same case may apply in some limited types of journalistic essays called feature stories. However, most essays written by journalists prioritize the most important details of their essay at the top.

Essays must have a lead

The first paragraph in a journalistic essay is called a lead. It briefly summarizes the whole essay, answering at least three of the six questions that a journalistic essay must have.

They are highly descriptive

Journalistic essays don’t tell but show their readers information using words. These essays use a lot of figurative language, active sentences and strong use of statistics and other sources of evidence to create a maximum impact to their readers.

The essays are often objective

Journalistic essays are not told based on the writer’s view of a story. They show facts as they happened and the writer does not express their own views and opinions about the story.

They follow the AP formatting style

When quoting people in these types of essays, writers include words said by a specific person inside the quotation marks and then cite the reference with the person’s name immediately after. In addition, the essays only allow one space after a period.

Written for the general audience

When writing a journalistic essay, keep in mind that your readers could be anybody. As such, use formal and simple language that is easy to understand by all readers.

Learn From Experts

When you want further in-depth knowledge on how to write an essay, you can work with others with more experience. You can choose to get insight from colleagues with good writing skills, your instructor when reviewing guidelines, and even expert academic writers that produce essays from scratch on a regular basis.

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