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The Headline or Title Relay the main idea in the headline.
Quality articles are not clickbait or written in all caps. This is imperative in my class, and as a reader, I avoid articles with carelessly written headlines.
The Sub-headline or Subtitle If the main idea is not clear in the headline, it should be clear in the subheadline.
Once the reader is hooked by the lead, then it is the writer’s job to lay out the idea or message in a convincing manner.
I teach my students that all writing is an argument.
The Body Headings Most online readers have a limited attention span, and the headings help us focus on the important points while reading.
For my students, it forces them to break up their main message or idea into sections. Each heading should clearly indicate what the following section will discuss.These leads tell a story, describe the scene, or shock the reader; respectively.The Purdue Online Writing Lab, the go-to writing site for many English teachers, provides a how-to section for writing leads as well as quality examples.I prefer headings that use title case (like the headline), but there is flexibility on this one.The Photo Articles include interesting photos with captions, and they both must directly connect to the message.Evidence includes data, statistics, quotes from credible authorities, illustrations, and any other factual information to support the idea.The biggest error my students make is throwing in random quotes and statistics without tying the evidence to their purpose or message.Many of my students struggle with exploring their idea through the lens of an anecdote, question, or description.It is essential that the lead invokes the reader’s curiosity, which means the writer must first understand the audience and purpose of the article. Audience, purpose, and message are the first things we teach students when analyzing and writing articles. According to Hannah Block from NPR, There are many types of leads, but I tend to favor anecdotal, scene-setting, and zinger leads.Without further ado, here is what I teach my students when writing online articles.Creating an interesting and compelling lead is no easy task.