The different types of articles in newspapers, magazines, and websites
There are countless different types of articles in today’s journalistic and publishing worlds. Some are designed specifically to inform and educate readers, like editorial articles and newspaper reports. Others are intended for entertainment purposes or to provide an opinion on a particular topic.
Any writer creating pieces for a website, magazine, newspaper, or other publication must clearly understand the different article genres, styles, and formats. After all, each type of article is aligned with its own specific purpose.
The pieces produced for a magazine may differ from those created for a traditional newspaper publication.
Today, we will take a closer look at the various types of articles in production. We’ll be exploring the different use cases for these articles, what makes them unique, and what writers may need to consider when producing their own content.
Different types of articles: Article styles and genres
When defining the different types of articles available today, genre and style are the first components worth looking at. First, modern articles can cover a range of other “genres.” The most common types of article genres include:
Informational articles are generally designed to provide objective insights into a topic. News reports and press releases are common forms of “information-led” articles. They don’t include a lot of opinion or hyperbole and are less focused on entertainment.
This form of article can include some factual information, but the focus is more on keeping the reader entertained and eliciting an emotional response. There’s often more personality in the content and a greater focus on fun and frivolity.
Opinion-style articles provide insight into a topic from a certain person’s perspective. While facts may be referenced here, the purpose of the piece is to convey the writer’s thoughts and feelings or to argue a specific mood.
Educational articles are focused heavily on helping readers to learn something. They may look at various opinions, facts, and sources to enlighten the reader. How-to articles are an excellent example of this.
Regarding article style, most writers consider two separate things. The first is the specific tone of voice used in writing. For instance, an article can be sophisticated and authoritative, often using complex words and phrases or exploring more in-depth ideas.
It’s also possible to explore a more conversational and informal style intended to engage a younger audience.
The second factor influencing article style is the length of the piece. In today’s digital world, articles are often separated into two key segments:
Often several thousand words in length, longer articles are designed to provide deep insight into a specific topic. Longer articles can handle more complex subject matters or break a complicated topic into smaller segments.
These articles are more common in the online landscape, where it’s possible to create digital eBooks and lengthy web pages discussing a concept. Many newspapers and magazines limit how many words they can publish on each page.
As you may expect, shorter articles are intended to be more compact and easier to read.
They provide a simple overview of a topic or share particular information in as few words as possible. These pieces can be up to 700 words long, depending on the nature of the publication. Short articles also generally contain shorter sentences.
Different types of articles in magazines and journals
As mentioned above, the different types of articles you encounter in today’s publishing world will often depend on the type of publication you read. Certain article styles are more common in magazines and journals than they would be on websites and newspapers.
Here are some of the different types of magazine articles you might see.
Book review articles
One of the most common types of magazine articles is a “book review” piece. These articles generally appear in specific magazines intended to attract a literary audience or look at a specific niche. It’s also possible to find book reviews in academic journals.
The purpose of a book review article is to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the content of a recently released book.
Usually, these pieces are relatively short, as the writer aims to generate interest in the other publication rather than giving away all available information. Some companies publish entire sections in their magazines dedicated to miniature reviews of the latest books.
Additionally, books don’t have to be the only media covered. Creator review articles can also look at movies and musical releases in some magazines.
Clinical case studies
More common in journals than typical magazines, clinical case studies are written exclusively for a particular group of subscribers.
For example, doctors and physicians may subscribe to a medical journal to get insights into the case studies of various medical trials and patient reviews. These pieces are both educational and informative.
They’re often written to a very high academic standard and will include a lot of “industry jargon” related to the niche for the case study.
Some case studies can have very high word counts because they outline several factors about the case, the methodology used, and the trial outcomes, all bundled into one.
The most common form of magazine article, a lifestyle article focuses on the issues related to the lifestyle of the particular audience the magazine wants to reach. Think about the pieces you’ll see in publications like Time or Men’s Health.
They can look at things like how entrepreneurs achieved their success or how you can improve your health with certain practices.
Lifestyle articles can also address the concerns of a group in a specific locale or area. A local magazine might provide insight into some of the top schools in the region or what kind of new retail stores are opening.
Lifestyle articles are often more personalized and niche-oriented than other types of articles online and in print.
Because magazines are often more compact than newspapers or website blogs, many of the articles produced are short and snappy in length. These “shorts” can cover various topics, from what’s happening in a celebrity’s life to what’s happening on television.
Some magazines will also use shorts to provide a brief overview of a relevant news topic.
The nature of “shorts” in a magazine will often be dictated by the specific audience the publication wants to reach. For example, these articles will usually cover things like workout routines, nutrition tips, and cosmetic reviews in a health and beauty piece.
While opinion articles can appear in online publications and newspapers, they’re most common in magazines, where the focus is on forming an emotional connection with the reader.
Many magazines focus on specific niches and take a more personalized, colloquial approach to writing. In contrast, newspapers are often more focused on simply conveying the facts.
Opinion articles are often short, straight to the point, and focused on a specific topic. In some cases, they review an event that might be relevant to the reader.
For example, a fashion magazine might produce an opinion article about celebrities’ outfits for an awards event. Opinion articles can reference facts and studies to make their perspective more credible. However, the focus is mostly on sharing a writer’s unique thoughts.
The common types of articles in a newspaper
Depending on the style of the newspaper you choose to read, the articles you see in one of these publications may overlap with magazines.
In the UK and the US, more “tabloid” style newspapers are generally filled with a wider range of reviews, opinion articles, and trend-focused pieces intended to highlight current topics.
However, some types of articles are more common in newspapers than anywhere else. Here are some of the article styles you might see in a newspaper.
The most common type of article among newspapers, the news article highlights the latest happenings in the world or a specific space. News articles are generally written from an objective and informative perspective, with minimal opinion or personal insight.
News stories get straight to the point and relay the facts rather than going in-depth into any background details.
Sometimes, it is possible to extend the length of a news article to make it more like an “editorial” piece. In these situations, the articles become more in-depth and may include additional information, such as an interview with a relevant party.
However, typical news articles are generally relatively short and compact, with exceptionally little fluff.
A column is a dedicated piece within a newspaper or magazine to highlight the author’s personality. Writers with specific background knowledge and experience are often given “columns” to which they contribute content monthly or weekly.
Columnists all have their own unique ways of personalizing their sections. Some respond to questions issued by the public, offering advice and opinions on certain situations.
Other columnists may write about their personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings. This is often common when the writer already has a strong personal brand and presence.
A celebrity might create a column talking about their unique lifestyle and providing insight into their lives for fans and followers.
Common in magazines, newspapers, and online publications, interview-style articles replicate the conversation between two or more people. The content is often presented like a conversation, with a name or tag connected to each section, showing which person said what in the interview.
This article doesn’t add any extra context or explanation to the questions or answers but simply provides a clear view of the conversation.
Question-and-answer style articles are often common among magazines and newspapers because they allow writers to collect behind-the-scenes insights from people relevant to a specific story.
In some cases, interview articles will have “lead paragraphs,” which introduce the reader to the discussed topic, and a conclusion section.
Perhaps one of the most informative and educational articles for most people, an investigative piece requires several skills on behalf of the journalist, such as researching different topics, collecting insights from industry leaders, and more.
An investigative article examines the different perspectives and information surrounding a topic.
Once the writer has collected as much data as possible for their piece, they arrange it into a format designed to give the reader a complete overview of the idea. Investigative articles can often be challenging for writers because they require significant research and data.
Sometimes, the people investigative journalists turn to for assistance and quotes won’t be as reliable as they seem.
Feature writing articles
Another extremely common type of article in both newspapers, and magazines, “feature pieces” offer in-depth coverage on a specific topic. These articles can cover certain events related to the industry covered by the newspaper, trends, and even people.
Feature pieces are often a lot longer than other forms of articles produced by newspapers, as they aim to cover the main idea in depth.
In some feature writing pieces, the content producer will attempt to provide enough detail to ensure the readers and viewers can understand every perspective connected with the story. Feature articles also regularly receive awards from journalism groups, thanks to their unique insights.
Common article styles in the online world
As the way we consume information and entertainment has evolved over the years, the different types of articles available have expanded. The introduction of the online landscape has given content creators and writers a new platform through which they can share ideas.
Here are some common types of articles you’ll be more likely to see when browsing the web than in newspapers or magazines.
In some cases, blog posts are considered their own genre of written content, entirely separate from the “article” concept. However, many readers see articles and blog posts as the same.
A blog post is a rather versatile form of content, as it can cover a huge range of different topics and genres and come in many different styles and sizes.
Some blog posts are short and straight to the point, covering valuable information about a specific topic. Others are intended to be more in-depth, with multiple sub-headings related to a certain idea.
Blog posts are usually intended more for entertainment than educational purposes, and may include a higher degree of opinion than traditional articles.
Original research articles
The original research article got its start in academic journals published by certain groups around the world. However, the rise of the internet has made it much easier for professionals to find information about specific discoveries online.
These articles are extremely detailed and provide all the information users need about a case study or report.
An original research article will often have a range of sections covering the background of the study and the methods used to gather information. They also include any hypotheses the researchers may have and an interpretation of the study results.
Often, these articles require a high level of education to fully understand, as they feature significantly technical jargon.
While many people consider essays to be lengthy and drawn-out pieces of content, this is rarely the case.
An essay is shorter and more straightforward than many other types of articles. They are one of the most opinionated article formats available, as they cover a certain person’s specific thoughts and feelings.
One of the most popular article styles among many online sites today, How-to articles are a specific form of educational content intended to enlighten and inform their audience. These highly specific pieces cover the steps a user needs to complete to achieve a goal.
For example, you may read a how-to article that covers how to set up a new piece of software or build a chair.
How-to pieces are frequently used in the online world to create a sense of “thought leadership” for the publication and demonstrate the knowledge of a writer. These tools can also be useful for creating positive relationships with readers.
Many types of articles produced online fall into three categories: owned, paid, and earned media. Sponsored articles are a form of “paid media,” which means the company or individual referenced by the article pays to have the content displayed on a particular website.
These pieces are also seen as “native content” as they read and look similar to a standard editorial but aim to promote a product or service subtly.
Sponsored articles specifically cover information about a certain topic, product, or service being offered by another company. Usually, the aim is to showcase the offering in the most positive way possible to drive purchases.
A review article can either be earned, owned, or paid media, depending on the structure. Some companies pay for influential figures and publications to review their products and services, to help them reach a wider audience and earn credibility.
Other companies simply benefit from the reviews customers naturally create and share online.
In some cases, a company may even produce reviews of its own products, comparing them to other well-known solutions in a certain market.
These articles combine fact and opinion, including genuine information about the product or service, aligned with a writer’s thoughts and feelings.
Trend articles are some of the most common articles you’ll find online. They take advantage of the hype around a certain event or idea. For example, during Black History Month, a company might produce articles about certain BLM strategies they’ve implemented over the years.
Trend articles can also mix current news with opinions. For example, a writer might discuss the arrival of a new video game on the market or cover information about a relationship in the celebrity world readers are currently interested in.
The many different types of articles
The different types of articles available throughout the online and offline worlds today ensure people have access to a constant flow of information and entertainment.
While some articles are intended to provide factual information, others can expand your horizons by giving you unique opinions and insights.
When writing an article, experts always need to think carefully about the message they want to send, the type of readers they hope to reach, and the outcomes of their content.