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What are possible topics for a feature article?   I am to do an assignment at school which requires me to research a topic that will interest the public and express a specific opinion about that topic (i.e., coming from a certain angle). It should also be a piece of writing that would be suitable for a newspaper or magazine. I was considering topics such as global warming, alternative energy resources and society's dependence on crude oil, or Australian politics (since I am Australian). What are the possible viewpoints and opinions that I can express?

Possible topics for a feature article include alternative energy, technology, relationships, body image, and stress. For this assignment, it will be helpful to consider your audience, your target age demographic, and the issues that are relevant to them.

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Alternative energy is a hot button issue these days. The problem is that we depend too much on oil. This makes us reliant on countries that are unstable in regions of the world that are corrupt. We also damage the environment and waste resources. Yet though this has been discussed and researched for years, the Holy Grail of invention, we still have no viable options.
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Can I be completely honest with you?  How interested are you (really) in global warming?  How interested is anyone, at this point?  It is one of the most overly debated topics in society right now, and in a school newspaper, I simply can't see that being interesting - no matter how well you write it.  :)  Sadly, the same thing is true for alternative energy and politics...

When writing feature articles in newspapers (or magazines, or any other publication really) the first thing a good author thinks about is this: Who is my audience and what do they care about?  Well, who is your audience in a school newspaper?  Students and teachers - and really, more students than teachers.

Write about a social topic kids are currently living out - something that not only pertains directly to them, but perhaps something they don't know about things they do EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Here are some things that come to mind:

  1. Technology: dangers of cell phones, facebook, texting, etc.  (trust me, not only do these exist, but it would be easy to write about and easy to make relevant to your peers).
  2. Relationships: are teens talking to their parents more or less these days?  Why?  Are most teenagers happy/satisfied with their friendships/relationships at school?  Why?
  3. Body image: I know this one is border-line overdone, but the fact is, it is always relevant to teenagers.
  4. Stress: are graduation requirements creating more stress than good?  What makes teenage lives so stressful?  Healthy ways of coping with teenage stress... etc.

Anyway, hope some of these things get your creative juices flowing.  I personally think the best research papers come from a topic that is immediately applicable to your life.  Sure alternative energy and global warming exist, but when you start researching you are going to find that these topics are almost too big to make relevant at this point.  I'd narrow it down to an age demographic (yours) and go from there.


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