Commissioned Writing - Creative Writing

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Task 2: sample exam question for an online article


The editor of a website aimed at teenagers is looking for articles for a new campaign, "Why Britain's kids are brilliant". You have complete freedom in your choice of form, but are asked not to submit a longer piece than 600 words.

Think about GAPS. You will need to include:

  • Clear headings: give your article a clear heading (and subheadings if you like) so readers know what it's about. Tabloid headlines often contain puns, but online headlines must stick to key subject words so they can be picked up by search engines.
  • Content links: give a brief introduction and list your key headings as hypertext links so readers can skip to the section that interests them.
  • Clear sentences and paragraphs: reading on a screen can be hard, so your article needs to be laid out in short paragraphs with lots of white space around them.
  • Bullet points and highlighting: Use bullet points and highlight key words or ideas in bold. This means readers (or 'users') can scroll down the page and see the key bits of information they want.
  • Personal style: The web is a personal medium, so you should sound like you're talking directly to someone. Don't be too formal. Think about your audience. If teenagers are your target audience then think how they will communicate. However, don't forget your audience may include adults as well - they are the ones who need persuading that British teens are great.
  • Call to action (CTA): All writing has a purpose. It always wants to provoke a response in the reader. Often that response is action, eg to buy something or donate money. The web allows readers to act right there and then by buying online, filling out a form or simply leaving a comment of their own. Think about what your article is doing and give the reader options to act at the end.
  • Useful links: If there's any evidence you can point to or websites to recommend, then always give the user somewhere to go.

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