News articles across the ANU website are read by hundreds of people every day. It's a great way of exchanging short, sharp information with a very broad audience, both inside and outside the University.
The first line or 'hook 'of a news article is designed to grab the attention of the reader.
It's called the 'inverted pyramid' style of writing. This means that the most important facts come first, and then you fill in the detail in subsequent paragraphs.
Web writing uses this strategy because often people open your article, scan the photo, read the headline and the first two lines, and then click off in another direction.
- One sentence is one paragraph.
- Answer these questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
- Avoid academic jargon, and if you do have to use it, explain it adequately.
- You should write in the present tense: "Clarke says the sky is blue."
- Use active language.
- A news article will never tell the whole story. Only include the most important and interesting things.
- The title should be: five words or less, key words, active, no colons, not cheesy - remember we are an education and research institution.
- Write as ANU first. You can write a sentence at the end of the article acknowledging any institutional affiliations, such as your college or department, that have not been mentioned in the body.
- Always check your facts.
- Imbed links to other ANU webpages.
- Do not express your own opinion unless it is an opinion piece.
Finally, ask yourself this question: would I read this?
If the answer is 'no', re-write.