How many different kinds of articles are there?

Beginning Writer’s Answer Book, edited by Jane Friedman

Dozens. Articles most commonly published today include interviews and how-to, personal experience, inspirational, humorous, investigative, personal
opinion, travel, technical, and new product articles.

• How-to pieces teach the reader how to do something, such as find a job, build a bookcase, or fix a leaky faucet. They usually focus on step-by-step instruction, and sometimes include photographs or illustrations.

• A personal experience piece relies upon the writer’s personal experience to entertain and inform about a larger issue applicable to everyone (e.g., finding reliable child care).

• An inspirational piece is meant solely to inspire and motivate the reader by telling of a challenge overcome or a lesson learned. Sometimes the word inspirational also refers to pieces of a religious nature.

The other popular article types—interview, humorous, investigative, personal opinion, travel, technical, and new product—are fairly self-explanatory. As with all article types, their focus and slant should closely match the interests and attitudes of the magazine’s readership. For more instruction on different magazine article types and how to write them, read The Writer’s Digest Handbook of Magazine Article Writing, edited by Michelle Ruberg.

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