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Writing Compelling Publication Articles

What are the elements of a great publication editorial? In order to capture the attention of your audience, you must not only provide great publication design and imagery, but you must also provide engaging and meaningful content that your audience can relate to.


Let’s break down some of the key components of well-written publication editorials.

Write a Compelling Lead

Having a great lead for your article is critical. The publication’s lead or “hook” attracts the readers’ attention and increases the desire to continue reading. Factors that affect your lead are:

  1. The type of publication (commercial, non-profit, local, national, etc.)
  2. Subject matter (the subject you are writing about)
  3. Type of article (how-to, investigative, profile, column, etc)
  4. Purpose of the article (inform, entertain, solve a problem, etc.)
  5. The reader (much of what the reader expects from an article is set by the tone and style of the publication they are reading)

Some editors will tell you that you have only 1-2 paragraphs to capture a readers’ attention. Although you may write the perfect lead, what comes after must also be engaging and thought provoking as well, or you could very well lose your reader before they ever reach the meat of your article.

Introduce the Narrative Hook

What is a narrative hook? A narrative hook is the sequence of events that follows your lead with added flare. A narrative hook can be an anecdote, a brief explanation of an incident or event, a short biographical sketch, a provocative quote, or facts and statistics. These types of information are written to continue to draw the reader into the article.

Narrative hooks can also be used in the middle of your article to lighten or provide a boost to a part of the article that may be lagging.

Define the Article’s Topic

Within the first few sentences of your article, the reader should be able to determine what the article is about and what the article is intended to deliver to them. Without a clear understanding of what the article’s intentions are, you may lose the reader despite a well-written lead and narrative hook.


Once you have established the topic you are covering in the article, from what point-of-view (slant) will you be writing it from? You may choose to take a certain perspective depending on the type of the publication the article will be appearing and the type of audience that the publication caters to. The hook and lead should be written with the point-of-view in mind.

Research, Research, Research

The foundation of your article should be on the research you conducted before writing it. Research can be done in many forms including interviews and reading traditional written sources. Personal expertise can also be a form of research in which you can base your article on. Organize your research on your topic and determine your slant, this will help you to set the tone for your hook and narrative hook and also help you to develop an ending.

The End

Just as you wrote your lead and narrative hook, you can use the exact same method to write the end for your article. An example of a common ending technique is called the “circle ending”. This type of ending uses an idea or phrase from the lead in the ending to bring the reader full circle.

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