Newspaper Article. Writing Process. Part I: Prewriting. What will my readers want to know?

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1 Newspaper Article A newspaper article gives facts and information about a current event. It tells what happened, when it happened, where it happened, who it happened to, why it happened, and how it happened. Writing Process Part I: Prewriting Ideas Unit 2 tells about European explorers who traveled to Mississippi. People who were living in Europe must have been very excited to hear news about these explorers. Today people often find out about interesting current events by reading newspaper articles. You can write a newspaper article about one of Mississippi s explorers for people who were living during the explorer s time. What do you think your readers would like to know about the travels of an explorer? Brainstorm ideas and write them in a chart. What will my readers want to know?

2 Voice A newspaper article states the facts without giving the opinions of the writer. Your article should give facts without drawing conclusions about those facts. Readers want the information, but they do not want to be told what to think. Organization Now think about what you want to find out about the explorer you choose. Remember that your article will tell who, what, when, where, why, and how about the explorer. You can use a chart like this one to take notes that answer those questions. Explorer Name Who was the explorer? What did the explorer find? When did the explorer travel? Where did the explorer go? Why did the explorer go? How did the explorer travel?

3 Research Start by researching different explorers you may want to write about. You can write about those in your textbook, or others you know about. A good place to find out about explorers is on the Internet. Use a search engine such as to help you find facts to include in your newspaper article. On a computer that is connected to the Internet, enter the Web address: When the search box appears, enter the name of an explorer, such as Hernando de Soto, or Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d Iberville. A number of different resources will be listed. These are links you can follow. The links take you to Web sites that give information about the explorer. Read the description of each link. Click on the ones that sound as if they will have the information you want about the explorer. You may look at several Web sites before deciding which ones to use. Use the information you find on the Web sites to answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions you listed on your chart. Be sure to write down where you found the information so you can find it again if you need to. Include the Web site address.

4 Part II: Drafting Congratulations! You are ready to choose an explorer and begin writing. Like a good newspaper reporter, you learned as many facts as you could about the explorer before starting to write. You know what the explorer found. You know when, where, how, and why the explorer traveled. Now it is time to write a first draft. The purpose of the first draft is to get all of your ideas for the article down on paper. Don t worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar in your first draft. You can fix any mistakes you make when you revise the article. Many newspaper articles begin with a dateline, such as MISSISSIPPI. This tells the reader where the story takes place. The first paragraph of a newspaper article is called the lead because it leads the reader into the article. An article s lead quickly tells who, what, when, where, why, and how. Here is an example of a lead that reports about La Salle s trip down the Mississippi River. Fort Crèvecoeur In January, 1682 [when], René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle [who] set off from Fort Crèvecoeur on the Illinois River [where] to find the Mississippi River [how]. La Salle wanted to travel the length of the Mississippi River [why]. Along the way, he hoped to explore the new lands [what] and build new forts to help the fur trade. In the paragraphs after the lead, you can give more details about the explorer and the expedition. Try to give the most important details first. Do not include details that are not about the expedition you are describing. Be sure you state facts without showing your feelings or giving your opinion. Use the information you found in your research to help readers feel as though they were there on the trip. Use details and descriptive words to help readers see what the explorer found. Finally, write a short, attention-getting headline.

5 Part III: Revising The next step is to revise your newspaper article. Reread your first draft. Are all of the important facts included? Does the article tell the reader who, what, when, where, why, and how about the explorer? Have you included information that your reader does not need to know? Did you express your opinion about the facts? Be sure to delete any opinions. Word Choice Did you use exact words? Can you add more details to help the reader understand what happened and what the explorer found? Without Exact Words traveled down the Mississippi River. Without Details met some American Indian peoples. With Exact Words sailed down the Mississippi River. With Details met the Chickasaw and Natchez peoples. Sentence Fluency Try writing sentences in different ways to make them more interesting. You do not want them all to be similar. Be sure not to change the meaning when you rewrite. All the Same Length La Salle reached the mouth of the Mississippi. He explored the new lands. He claimed the lands for France. Different Lengths La Salle reached the mouth of the Mississippi. He explored the new lands and claimed them for France.

6 Part IV: Proofreading and Publishing Conventions After you revise your article, proofread it. Read each word carefully to make sure it is spelled correctly. Check each sentence to be sure you have used correct punctuation and grammar. Are the words spelled correctly? Did you capitalize all proper nouns? Did you indent the beginning of every paragraph? Did you use commas and other punctuation correctly? Are all of your sentences complete sentences? Did you write a headline? Fix any mistakes you find. Then publish your article by writing a final copy. Read your newspaper article aloud or let others read it. Checklist Writing a Newspaper Article I did great! I could do better. I wrote a strong lead paragraph. My article tells who, what, when, where, why, and how about the explorer. I have not included any unnecessary information. I did not give my opinion. I used exact words. I varied the lengths of my sentences. I made very few mistakes in capitalization, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

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