First News Education -

Journalistic Writing

Top Ten Tips for Writing a Newspaper Report

2nd September 2019

Top Ten Tips for Writing a Newspaper Report

Help your KS2 students perfect their news reports with our top tips from Editor Nicky Cox.

  1. Choose an interesting event or happening to write about

A news report should be about something that is happening now or recently occurred. Current issues, key events and crimes make good subjects for news reports.

  1. Tell the whole story in the first paragraph

The opening paragraph should be concise and explain the full story in as few words as possible. Even if someone reads no further, they should know what has happened.

  1. Put the most important information at the top

Newspaper reports should be split into paragraphs with more detail added in each preceding paragraph with the most important information near the top. If reports end up being too long for the newspaper, they should always be able to be cut from the bottom.

  1. Make sure that the report answers the five Ws

Have they answered WHAT happened? WHEN did it happen? WHY did it happen? WHERE did it happen? WHO did it happen to? HOW did it happen?

  1. Make Use of Quotes

This will make the story more interesting.

  1. Don’t waffle or make the report too long

Sentences should be short and punchy. This is a good opportunity for students to practice changing vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning.

  1. Read back over your report

Reading out loud will help determine that it all makes sense.

  1. Check the facts

A news report is characterised by its use of facts, this is what differentiates it from an opinion piece. The exercise of writing a news report should help pupils in understanding to distinguish between fact and opinion.

  1. Check the spelling and grammar

Make sure to proofread for spelling and punctuation errors using a thesaurus and dictionary to check the spelling and meaning of words. Reports should be written in the third person and past tense; check for consistent and correct use of tense.

  1. Finally think of a good headline for the report

A headline should be short and snappy and grab the attention of readers making them want to read more.

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