Thank you for your interest in writing and reporting for The Borgen Project! We are delighted at the possibility of having you join the fight to alleviate global poverty. The following test is meant to ensure that you have the skills necessary to be a valuable contributor to our content team.
Our writers have the tough job of reporting what can often be bland facts about poverty while making them engaging. We want our readers to not only take valuable information from each article we publish but to also enjoy everything they read so much that they can’t help but return for more.
Beyond just testing writing skills, this test is also meant to determine a candidate’s ability to carefully follow instructions while working independently.
Select a topic:
- Poverty in Egypt
- 10 reason to invest in foreign aid
- Water quality in Nigeria
- Top diseases in Ghana
We’ve given you the broad topic, now what? You don’t have to go too broad to do a good job, in fact, we recommend either choosing a listicle format or drilling down and selecting one area of focus that ties in with the overall subject area. Here’s an example below:
Topic: Poverty in India
Here are some options:
- 7 facts about poverty in India
- Access to clean water and poverty in India
- Technology services: Alleviating poverty in India
- Gates Foundation: Alleviating poverty in India
- 11 things to know about poverty in India
The topics provide you with a springboard to do further research and produce a piece that’s solutions-oriented and cohesive.
Research your topic of choice by reading credible news articles, government sources, and/or organizational websites. (i.e. UNICEF.org, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, etc.) Select two distinct sources to use in your article. You will need to cite these sources at the bottom of your article.
Your article should present the facts to your reader, so they can form their own opinions. We are not looking for opinion pieces.
Write an article that synthesizes your research in order to educate your audience about the topic while following AP Style. Please feel free to read articles on BORGEN Magazine for an idea of our style (we are particularly fond of these two articles).
A Few Tips:
- Article should be written in AP Style.
- Word count. 400-500 words
- Two or more sources. Use at least two distinct sources (borgenproject.org and borgenmagazine.com can not be used as sources). List hyperlinks for your sources alphabetically at the bottom of your article.
- Write in the “Inverted Pyramid.” Begin your article with a gripping lede under 35 words. Include the most important information at the top, and trickle down to your supplementary and supporting information.
- Avoid clunky paragraphs. This isn’t a college essay. Paragraphs should be short enough to keep readers moving to the next one, but long enough to give readers the information they need. Aim for 2-3 sentences. Be specific in your information, attributing your information when possible; don’t over-generalize.
- Concise content. Write in short, grammatically correct sentences. Do not use the passive voice. Use active verbs, good adjectives and not too many superlatives.
- Readers have a very brief attention span. Grab their attention with figures and information; provide fascinating facts. Use a list format or subheadings where appropriate.
- Titles should be short and very clear. Anybody reading your title should know what you’re trying to say.
- Report and write in the third person. You are reporting information and stating fact, not belief. Do not use “I,” “you” or “we.”
- Avoid long quotes and multiple quotes per paragraph. Be sure to properly attribute your quotes. Don’t rely too heavily on quotes; paraphrase when applicable.
- There is a time and a place for stylistic flare. We love to see the punchy, one-sentence-long paragraphs, the rhetorical questions, the em-dashes and other bits of stylistic flair, but only when it’s done sparingly. Do not rely on it as a crutch.
Once you’ve finished your article, please attach the file as a Word document and reply to the email sent to you by the hiring manager.