Popular culture topics like music, movies, books, and art are a staple in any magazine, and work extremely well in a school magazine project. They may seem a bit difficult to write about, but that depends entirely on the specific items (or subjects) you choose. With Jilster, you’re making your own magazine the way you want. That goes for the topics too!
How to make a school magazine project
Step 1. Brainstorm
Get together with your team or get somewhere where you can focus and brainstorm ideas for your school magazine project. What sort of project is it? What’s the theme? What subjects will you be writing about? Yourself or other topics? Write down a list of possible topics. Use this list for inspiration.
Step 2. Add content and edit
Adding content can seem daunting. Where do you start? You start by brainstorming ideas. For a school magazine it stands to reason you either want to inform readers about yourself or about a certain kind of topic. While topics for a college magazine and high school magazine can be the same, the difference will be in the kind of language used. Ask yourself whether the topic can be discussed generally or if the article has to be very detailed. This is will guide what sort of information you will add to your topics. To help you get started writing your articles for your school or college magazine, we’ve compiled a list of pop culture and history articles for a school magazine and how to find information you can use to write about each of the topics (see list below).
Once you’ve researched and written something about each of the topics. You can add them to your magazine pages in Jilster. Simply add a text block to a page and add the text you’ve written by copying and pasting it. Highlight the text and choose a size and font. Edit the page by adding a background, images, and other clip art and theme images.
Step 3. Publish or order
Once you’ve completed your magazine, you can publish the magazine online and share it wit a custom link. Send the link to your teachers, mentors, family members, or share it on social media. You can also order a professionally looking hard copy of the magazine you made. Show it off on your coffee table, in your bookcase, or on the go.
Before you can print and show off your hard copy magazine, you have to write the articles to go in it!
Write popular culture articles for a magazine project
Look for the latest trends in music by going to Youtube trending music or taking a look at Spotify’s official trending chart. Are there any songs or artists that you recognize. List the songs you like and don’t like and then explain why. Is there a particular sound that these songs have in common? What could the reason be that these songs in particular are so popular?
A good contemporary example is this song ‘Shallow’ by Lady Gaga (this is a popular song as of this writing October 9th 2018). She’s a famous artist with a very strong fan base, and her music, and this song in particular, can be said to be powerful, regardless of if you enjoy listening to it. That would explain why this song is doing so well.
While writing about the latest music a good choice for your school magazine topic, you could also choose to write a personal piece on a favorite artist, song, or genre.
For region specific trends you can set your location on Youtube to your own home country. On Spotify, a bit of research into their playlist section will reveal a list of trending tracks per country. Not all countries are listed, but yours might be, so it’s worth taking a look.
A quick search of movies that are currently playing at your local movie theatre will show you the most popular movies. Action or family friendly movies will almost certainly be the current favorites.
In order to write about popular movies, it helps to pick a movie you are interested in. You can be as detailed as you like, starting with what types of movies interest you and why. Then compare your own interests to that of trending movies. Do you see a correlation? Or is the difference very large? Do you enjoy the widely known blockbuster hits or prefer the more obscure indie films? Neither answer is wrong. Writing about these topics will help you reflect on your own interests and provide some insight on popular movie trends that will interest readers that are interested in the movie industry.
Websites like Goodreads and Amazon can help you find good books to write about. Do some research by browsing popular book lists. Goodreads has a popular by date list that shows you the most popular books by month and year. Amazon has a variety of options you can use to find books depending what sort of list you’re looking for. There’s a Fall reading, Best books of the month list and Best books of the year so far, just to name a few. These lists can be found on the Books on amazon page on the left.
Choose a book list to start with and scan it carefully. Are there any authors you recognize? What do you know about their writing and their latest books? If you’re not much of a reader, you can focus on what seem to be the genres that are most popular in the list. Is there a recurring genre or type of story? Take some time to read through the summaries of a few of the first books and see if you can find similarities. Compare different lists as well. Is there a difference between the Goodreads list and the Amazon book list?
Next choose one to three books and think about what makes them good. What do they have in common? What are the differences? Read through their reviews and try to find out what people love about reading these books.
If you are an avid reader, you can choose to write about your favorite books or authors instead of researching the latest and trending books. Write about what makes this particular author or book your favorite. What themes are present in the book? What are the characters like? What is the overall story of the book and what does it mean to you?
Pay attention to your surroundings. It may sound cliche, but art is everywhere. Architecture, graffiti, and advertising are just a few of the various types of art you will come across as you make your way through the city, streets, and parks to your destination.
Parks and locations of note often have artworks, and if these don’t get your creative writing juices flowing you could always choose to visit a museum. Enjoyment of art or what constitutes art largely depends on your own taste. Don’t feel limited by what art is ‘supposed’ to be. Describing what art means to you and giving examples of these kinds of art and why they appeal to you is a great way to get the ball, or rather, the words rolling for an art article for a school magazine.
For each of the topics above, you could also choose to do an in-depth review about one of the songs, artists, movies or books you’ve come across. A review is done by analyzing whether or not the subject is any good, and why. Write down why you’ve chosen the work you’re reviewing and explain the criteria you’re using. A good way to do this is by contrasting the work with another work in the same vein. Also, always remember who your audience is and keep in mind why they should be interested in reading your review.
This speaks for itself. What music, movies, books, and art do you recommend? Simply take the ones you enjoyed the most yourself and make recommendations based on why you like them. Try to be persuasive in your writing to practice your written persuasion skills. Think about how your favorites make you feel and try to write in a way that will entice the reader to want to feel the same way by listening to a song, watching a movie, or reading your favorite recommended book.