AN OUTLINE FOR THE ANALYSIS OF SPECIAL FEATURE ARTICLES
I. SOURCES OF MATERIAL
1. What appears to have suggested the subject to the writer?
2. How much of the article was based on his personal experience?
3. How much of it was based on his personal observations?
4. Was any of the material obtained from newspapers or periodicals?
5. What portions of the article were evidently obtained by interviews?
6. What reports, documents, technical periodicals, and books of
reference were used as sources in preparing the article?
7. Does the article suggest to you some sources from which you might
obtain material for your own articles?
II. INTEREST AND APPEAL
1. Is there any evidence that the article was timely when it was
2. Is the article of general or of local interest?
3. Does it seem to be particularly well adapted to the readers of
the publication in which it was printed? Why?
4. What, for the average reader, is the source of interest in the
5. Does it have more than one appeal?
6. Is the subject so presented that the average reader is led to
see its application to himself and to his own affairs?
7. Could an article on the same subject, or on a similar one, be
written for a newspaper in your section of the country?
8. What possible subjects does the article suggest to you?
1. Did the writer aim to entertain, to inform, or to give practical
2. Does the writer seem to have had a definitely formulated
3. How would you state this apparent purpose in one sentence?
4. Is the purpose a worthy one?
5. Did the writer accomplish his purpose?
6. Does the article contain any material that seems unnecessary
to the accomplishment of the purpose?
IV. TYPE OF ARTICLE
1. To which type does this article conform?
2. Is there any other type better adapted to the subject and
3. How far did the character of the subject determine the
methods of treatment?
4. What other methods might have been used to advantage in
presenting this subject?
5. Is the article predominantly narrative, descriptive, or expository?
6. To what extent are narration and description used for expository
7. Are concrete examples and specific instances employed
8. By what means are the narrative passages made interesting?
9. Do the descriptive parts of the article portray the impressions
1. What main topics are taken up in the article?
2. Could any parts of the article be omitted without serious
3. Could the parts be rearranged with gain in clearness, interest,
4. Does the article march on steadily from beginning to end?
5. Is the material so arranged that the average reader will
reach the conclusion that the writer intended to have him reach?
6. Is there variety in the methods of presentation?
7. Is the length of the article proportionate to the subject?
8. What type of beginning is used?
9. Is the type of beginning well adapted to the subject and the
10. Would the beginning attract the attention and hold the interest
of the average reader?
11. Is the beginning an integral part of the article?
12. Is the length of the beginning proportionate to the length of
the whole article?
13. Is the beginning skillfully connected with the body of the article?
1. Is the article easy to read? Why?
2. Is the diction literary or colloquial, specific or general, original
or trite, connotative or denotative?
3. Are figures of speech used effectively?
4. Do the sentences yield their meaning easily when read rapidly?
5. Is there variety in sentence length and structure?
6. Are important ideas placed at the beginning of sentences?
7. Are the paragraphs long or short?
8. Are they well-organized units?
9. Do the paragraphs begin with important ideas?
10. Is there variety in paragraph beginnings?
11. Is the tone well suited to the subject?
12. Do the words, figures of speech, sentences, and paragraphs
in this article suggest to you possible means of improving
your own style?
VII. TITLES AND HEADLINES
1. Is the title attractive, accurate, concise, and concrete?
2. To what type does it conform?
3. What is the character of the sub-title, and what relation
does it bear to the title?