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Researching the article

Even if you think you know everything there is to know about the topic, still research the topic. If it’s a current news item, read newspapers and see what other journalists are writing. Drop into the library and get some books out on the topic. Jump on the Internet and search for information on the topic using a search engine like Google. The chances are if you think you know everything about something, you’ll find that there are sources of information which reveal stuff you don’t know.

If the topic involves people, see if you can interview them. For instance, if you’re writing about an up and coming author, you may want to try to get an interview with them. Remember an interview doesn’t have to be face to face - you can do it over the phone or even via e-mail or a chat program on the Internet. Make sure you’ve got some good, interesting questions lined up well beforehand though, you’re not likely to get a second chance if you fluff your first interview. If it’s a sensitive topic, try to ask good questions but don’t be offensive or too prying.

Perhaps the topic is the new craze in sports or activities. If so, go do it and find out what it’s like for you. Maybe it’s a topic about how food prices vary between suburbs. Do the grocery shopping yourself in a few different suburbs and find out the real story.