Guidelines for writing a Q&A article

What is a question-and-answer article and how to go about writing one? Read on!
Kuvituskuvassa kaksi puhelinta, joiden näytöillä kasvot. Kuvitus: Taru Happonen.
Image: Taru Happonen

What is a question-and-answer article? 

This type of an article highlights teaching, research or artistic activities in an interesting and easy-to-read way while also introducing the people behind the work. It is written in a simple yet conversational question-and-answer format. 

For example, if an interviewee is about to speak at Aalto Installation Talks, the article can be used to promote the upcoming event. This type of article works also to profile someone at the university who has received an award or been granted research funding, or even someone visiting the university.  


The headlines should follow this standardised structure: The name of the interviewee, a colon, followed by a brief, first-person excerpt from the interview, which summarises something essential about the story. 

  • Edward Example: I build robots to help people  


The subhead reveals the interviewee's area of research or teaching field and title. 

  • A professor of mechanics develops rehabilitation methods for people with reduced mobility 

Body text 

Start the text with a question and set the text style in Drupal as normal style in bold; all questions should use this style. Do not use subheadings. 

As a general rule, use the following standard questions (4-6 questions are recommended): 

1.    What do you research and why? 
2.    How did you become a researcher/teacher/xxx? 
3.    What have been the highlights of your career? 
4.    What is required from a researcher? 
5.    What do you expect from the future? 

The story should highlight something interesting or surprising about the research and/or the person being interviewed.  

Edit interviewee's responses for length and clarity while keeping the conversational tone of their speech. As always, prefer accessible, everyday language. 

Further information 

Add a reference to the context or upcoming event at the end of the story, which makes clear why the person is being interviewed.  

Use the people liftup component to link to the interviewee's Aalto profile. 


A photo of the interviewee, taken specifically for the article, is preferably attached to the story. The image can be taken, for example, at their favourite place on campus. In this case, describe the place in the caption. Official professor photos can also be used for professors. 

Instructions for writing news on cooperation

Utilise tips and write an interesting story about a new agreement or donation

Kuvituskuva, jossa kaksi henkilöä "heittää ylävitoset". Kuvitus: Vesa-Matti Juutilainen.

Guidelines for writing news on management appointments 

Follow these tips to write a slick news item about a new member of the management team or board of directors 

Kuvituskuvassa lamppuja. Kuvittaja: Taru Happonen.

How to write a news article

Brush up on your news writing in English to catch the readers’ attention.

Kuvituskuva mobiililaitteista. Kuvittaja: Taru Happonen

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