Is this an Article? An Essay? Something Else?
Whether you plan to write on the journalism side (reporting) or the marketing side (content), you should know the basics about the various types of pieces you may be asked to produce. Here’s a quick rundown of the more common types of writing produced by freelance writers.
Article: This broad term refers to a piece that offers news and/or information to readers
“As Told To”: These are dramatic stories told by the person or people involved in their own words; the writer’s job is to ‘enhance’ the drama with a compelling storyline that fills in details not covered in the direct quotes
Blog post: A short piece (often under 1,000 words in length) that runs online; may be newsy or not; often written in a more informal, casual voice
Case study: A piece that tells how a company or individual used a certain product or service to solve a particular problem; may run from 1,000 to 2,000 words
Essay: A narrative style piece that tells a story that includes an internal or external struggle and change in the characters; usually includes literary components; may be about the writer or others; no news value
Feature: A piece that focuses on soft news, as opposed to hard news. Example: “Three Businessmen Band Together to Thwart Crime in International District”
Human interest story: A feature story that talks about one or more people in a way that evokes emotion in the reader. Example: “Cancer Kids Use Balloons to Heal Emotional Wounds”
Oped (or OpEd): An opinion piece on a current topic or event; the name “oped” refers to the newspaper page on which these pieces run: the page opposite the editorial page
Profile: An article that literally profiles an individual or small group of people
Roundup: An article that pulls together a collection of information on a single topic, such as “Window Washing Experts Share 101 Ways to Make Your Glass Sparkle”
Service article: Refers specifically to a “how-to” article, such as “TK Creative Ways to Wash Windows”
White paper: A document that provides high-quality, actionable information to the reader; usually tells how to solve a specific problem; may run from 2,000 to 10,000 words
Wishing you well,