How to Identify Parts of a Newspaper Article

A newspaper article contains specific parts.

Many people use the newspaper as a daily source of information and current events. A newspaper has the task of informing and entertaining, often simultaneously. A basic article contains standard components that make up the entire article. Students learning about newspapers, or learning how to write a newspaper article, must learn to identify parts of a news story. With these separate parts, an article will catch the reader’s attention and provide the important details, presenting a well-rounded and complete piece of information.

Locate the headline of the article at the top, above the body of the article. This is usually in bold face and slightly larger font. A headline contains a concise statement that sums up the article topic.

Find the byline. The byline states the author or reporter who wrote the article, usually in a small font. The byline usually appears immediately below the headline, between the headline and the body of the article.

Discover the lead paragraph. This is the “hook” that captures the reader’s attention. The lead paragraph--two or three sentences--typically gives the main information about the subject, including who, what, when, where why and how.

Read the explanation following the lead paragraph. The explanation adds more details to the lead paragraph information. This includes supporting information and quotes that flesh out the lead paragraph, giving it more substance. The purpose of the explanation is to provide the remainder of the most relevant information.

Recognize the final part of the newspaper article, the additional information. This portion of the article contains the least important information pertaining to the event or subject. The author might add details about history or other events connected with the subject in these paragraphs. If the article becomes too long, the additional information is simple to remove without affecting the rest of the article.

  • Compare a newspaper article to an inverted triangle. The base of the triangle at the top represents the most important information--the headline and lead paragraph. The point of the triangle represents the least important information.

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.