general, personal or formal, humorous or serious. You
must also look for taboos on subject matter and content.
Some magazines will not print slang, for example, and
some will not mention their competitors.
When your research is completed, your story idea
firmly fixed in your mind and your market clearly
identified, you are ready to begin writing.
After having a few articles published by the same
magazine, you will have developed a feel, or sense, for
what that publication wants. Then you will be in a
position to work leisurely on manuscripts whenever
story ideas occur and you will be able to contact your
NAVINFO about ready-to-publish material.
You should also give internal magazines, such as All
Hands, the same intense study you give commercial
publications. Navy internal magazines, like their
civilian counterparts, have their own styles. Therefore,
contributors, especially Navy journalists, should be
aware of them and prepare their manuscripts
While the editors of internal publications are more
inclined to edit weak or unstylized copy than their
civilian counterparts, you should refrain from making it
necessary. You are expected to be a professional, and
anything other than your best effort reflects poorly on
you and your command.
As mentioned earlier, you are authorized to submit
articles directly to Navy internal publications in the
same manner your command makes routine news
releases. You may also deal directly with those
publications while you are developing a story idea.
Although a formal query is unnecessary before
submitting your manuscript, it never hurts to let the
editors know what you are planning.
Outlining Magazine Articles
Whether you are a seasoned writer or a novice, all
outline. Experienced writers may use rough, written
outlines or formulate them in their minds, but beginners
are wise to continue using the formal, written method.
An outline is a valuable aid in magazine writing. It
helps you organize and evaluate your information and it
makes writing an article easier and faster. You should
develop, thoroughly, the outline and include all the
specific details, explanations and anecdotes that
contribute directly to the article you are writing.
Once you prepare an outline, concentrate strictly on
the actual writing of your article. You already will know
what facts to include and where and how to use them.
The basic magazine article outline may be divided into
the following five parts:
1. Purpose. State the reason or reasons for writing
the article and what you intend to accomplish. This sets
a course to follow once you begin writing.
2. Market analysis. Study surveys that show
which magazines are read by the population segment
you wish to reach with your article.
3. Markets. List the magazines identified in your
market analysis that are most likely to publish the article
you are planning to write. Follow this up with queries
to those publications. (Note: Parts 2 and 3 are performed
by a NAVINFO when dealing with civilian magazines.)
4. Sources. List the people, reference books,
magazines, and so forth, from whom or from which you
expect to get the information needed for your article.
5. Plan of development. List pertinent facts, major
areas of coverage, subtitles, anecdotes, and so forth, in
the order you want to present them.
WRITING A MAGAZINE ARTICLE
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize the
fundamentals of writing a magazine article and
evaluate its components.
magazine articles should begin in the same way with an
Chapter 2 accuracy, attribution, brevity (to some
Except for style, most of the rules and information
concerning the fundamentals of newswriting presented
in Chapter 2 of this TRAMAN also apply to magazine
writing. You must be able to recognize the 10 news
element categories examined there. The presence and
intensity of any of those elements, other than
immediacy, determine the newsworthiness of magazine
articles as well as news stories. Furthermore, you
must apply the ABCs of Journalism discussed in
degree), clarity, inherence, emphasis, objectivity and
unity. You should also understand and follow the
guidelines provided under the heading The Language
As the categories of magazine articles overlap, so
do the methods of writing used in each. However, a
common pattern can be found.
A major element of most articles, one that gives
flesh and blood to the story, is the anecdote. An
anecdote is defined as any specific, short, significant
story or incident.