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4.1.2 Leads Worksheet

A feature story is different from a straight news story in one important way its intent. A news story provides information about an event, idea or situation. The feature does more it could interpret a story in the news, add more detail to that story and it could be written to entertain rather than just state the facts. Leads are important to a news or feature story because, if the lead isnt strong, the reader will simply not read past the first sentence. Below is an assignment with 3 strong leads from major newspapers. You are to decide why this lead is strong and whether it is a feature or news story leadand why. Below the 3 strong leads are 2 weak leads. You are to decide why this lead is weak and whether or not it is a feature story or news story leadand why. Youll also be asked to re-write it to make it strong.

Some of the terms in this worksheet might be unfamiliar to you. Below is a list of terms that might fall into that category. A website with information about that term is available so you can learn what that term means:

1.

Clich: http://grammar.about.com/od/c/g/clicheterm.htm Copy and paste a lead in the textbox in this website to find out if it contains a clich: http://cliche.theinfo.org/ List of clichs: http://www.e-messenger-consulting.com/clicheaday.htm

2. Passive voice: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/539/05/ 3. Expletives and conciseness: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ 4. Circumlocutions: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ 5. Infinitive phrases: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ 6. Active Voice: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/539/02/ 7. Noun form of a verb: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ 8. Third person: http://schools.fwps.org/kilo/teachers/smclaugh/skills/thirdperson.htm
Task for this assignment: 1. 2. 3. Table 1 lists 3 leads that are all strong leads. Analyze these leads by entering the correct information in Columns 2, 3, and 4. Table 2 lists 2 leads that are weak. Analyze these leads by entering the correct information in Columns 2 and 3. Before beginning this assignment, scroll to the last page to get an overview of how this assignment is set up.

Scroll down to Page 2 to find Table I

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4.1.2 Leads Worksheet

Table I: The 3 leads below are all strong. Follow instructions in Column 2 and Column 3 to indicate why the lead is strong and identify it as feature of news:

Column 1

Column 2 Which of the following makes this a strong lead? Highlight at least 2 of the items below that make this lead strong.

LEAD SENTENCE EXAMPLE

Lead 1: Why The Lead is Strong: a. Includes an interesting question. 1. Like manna from b. Includes a startling or challenging statement, such as a conflict. heaven, thousands of c. Includes an anecdote. dollars in new revenue d. Opens with a well-stated quote. e. Begins with figurative language, such as a simile or metaphor. is raining on a group of f. Verb in lead is in active voice. congregations here from (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/539/02/ the unlikeliest of g. Use of verb instead of noun form of verb. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ sources: the utility bill.
h. Uses the 5 ws and 1 h.

Link to the story:


http://www.nytimes.com/2011 /07/31/science/earth/31church es.html?_r=1&hpw

If you find something in a lead that you believe weakens that lead, enter the part you believe is weak and give the reason why from the list below:

Is this lead a feature story or news lead? 1. Highlight Feature or News. 2. Highlight 2 reasons why you identified the lead as strong or weak. Feature News Why this lead is a news lead: a. Includes the answers to the 5 ws and 1 h that are necessary to introduce the main point of the story. b.Include information about a current event. c. Include a reference to source used in writing the story. d. Use active verb, not passive verb: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/5 39/01/ e. Reveal the what of the story in the first 7 words. f. Reveal the name of the who involved in a story. g. Reveal the when, where, why and/or how if it is important to the main point of the story. Why this lead is a Feature Lead: a. Describes a person, place or thing. b. Includes an anecdote. c. Open-ended to make it suspenseful. d. Asks a question. e. Could be a quote. f. Could be a human interest story lead. g. Is written in third person. (http://schools.fwps.org/kilo/teachers/smclaug h/skills/thirdperson.htm

Headline for the story: Coming Together to Pray, and Also to Find Reduced-Rate Energy Deals
Article from: The New York Times www.nyt.com

Why the lead is weak. a. Sentence includes a clich. http://www.e-messenger-consulting.com/clicheaday.htm b. Use of general, not specific phrases (ex. a lot of, many, etc.) c. Verb in lead is in passive voice. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/539/05/ d. Lead is too long. Leads should contain no more than 25-40 words. e. Use of Expletive instead of a more concise construction. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ f. Use of infinitive phrases instead of a more concise construction.

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4.1.2 Leads Worksheet http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ g. Use of circumlocutions (open the website below for an explanation of circumlocutions) in favor of direct expressions in lead. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ h. News lead that doesnt answer most of the 5 ws and 1 h. i. Lead is a bad quotation (one that is rambling and boring).

Column 1

Column 2

LEAD SENTENCE EXAMPLE

Which of the following makes this a strong lead? Highlight at least 2 of the items below that make this lead strong. Why The Lead is Strong: a. Includes an interesting question. b. Includes a startling or challenging statement, such as a conflict. c. Includes an anecdote. d. Opens with a well-stated quote. i. Begins with figurative language, such as a simile or metaphor. j. Verb in lead is in active voice. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/539/02/ ) k. Use of verb instead of noun form of verb. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ ) l. Uses the 5 ws and 1 If you find something in a lead that you believe weakens that lead, enter the part you believe is weak and give the reason why from the list below:

Lead 2 North Carolina will not add any new school days this academic year, despite a law to increase the amount of time students are in the classroom, the state Department of Public Instruction said Friday.

Link to the story:


http://www.newsobserver.c om/2011/07/30/1378360/sc hools-wont-have-to-addclass.html

Headline for the story:

Schools won't have

Why the lead is weak. a. Sentence includes a clich. http://www.e-messenger-consulting.com/clicheaday.htm b. Use of general, not specific phrases (ex. a lot of, many, etc.) c. Verb in lead is in passive voice. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/539/05/

Column 3 Is this lead a feature story or news lead? 3. Highlight Feature or News. 4. Highlight 2 reasons why you identified the lead as strong or weak. Feature News Why this lead is a news lead: a. Includes the answers to the 5 ws and 1 h that are necessary to introduce the main point of the story. b. Include information about a current event. c. Include a reference to source used in writing the story. d. Use active verb, not passive verb: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resourc e/539/01/ e. Reveal the what of the story in the first 7 words. f. Reveal the name of the who involved in a story. g. Reveal the when, where, why and/or how if it is important to the main point of the story. Why this lead is a Feature Lead: a. Describes a person, place or thing. b. Includes an anecdote. c. Open-ended to make it suspenseful. d. Asks a question. e. Could be a quote. f. Could be a human interest story lead.

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4.1.2 Leads Worksheet d. Lead is too long. Leads should contain no more than 25-40 to add class time words. e. Use of Expletive instead of a more concise construction. Article from: (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ f. Use of infinitive phrases instead of a more concise The News and Observer construction. www.newsobserver.com http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ g. Use of circumlocutions (open the website below for an explanation of circumlocutions) in favor of direct expressions in lead. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ h. News lead that doesnt answer most of the 5 ws and 1 h. i. Lead is a bad quotation (one that is rambling and boring).

g. Is written in third person. (http://schools.fwps.org/kilo/teachers/smcl augh/skills/thirdperson.htm

Column 1

Column 2

SENTENCE EXAMPLE

Lead 3:

Life for me aint been no crystal stair. Link to the story:


http://www.washingtonpost.co m/business/theres-a-biggerhouse-of-cards-that-hurtminoritieswealth/2011/07/25/gIQAZXAnjI _story.html?hpid=z4

Which of the following makes this a strong lead? Highlight at least 2 of the items below that make this lead strong. Why The Lead is Strong: a. Includes an interesting question. b. Includes a startling or challenging statement, such as a conflict. c. Includes an anecdote. d. Opens with a well-stated quote. e. Begins with figurative language, such as a simile or metaphor. f. Verb in lead is in active voice. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/539/02/ ) g. Use of verb instead of noun form of verb. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ ) h. Uses the 5 ws and 1 If you find something in a lead that you believe weakens that lead, enter the part you believe is weak and give the reason why from the list below:

Headline for the story:

Theres a bigger house of cards that

Why the lead is weak. a. Sentence includes a clich.

Column 3 Is this lead a feature story or news lead? 5. Highlight Feature or News. 6. Highlight 2 reasons why you identified the lead as strong or weak. Feature News Why this lead is a news lead: a. Includes the answers to the 5 ws and 1 h that are necessary to introduce the main point of the story. b. Include information about a current event. c. Include a reference to source used in writing the story. d. Use active verb, not passive verb: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/5 39/01/ e. Reveal the what of the story in the first 7 words. f. Reveal the name of the who involved in a story. g. Reveal the when, where, why and/or how if it is important to the main point of the story. Why this lead is a Feature Lead: a. Describes a person, place or thing.

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4.1.2 Leads Worksheet http://www.e-messenger-consulting.com/clicheaday.htm hurt minority b. Use of general, not specific phrases (ex. a lot of, many, etc.) homeowners wealth c. Verb in lead is in passive voice. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/539/05/ d. Lead is too long. Leads should contain no more than 25-40 words. Article from: e. Use of Expletive instead of a more concise construction. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ The Washington Post f. Use of infinitive phrases instead of a more concise construction. www.washingtonpost.com http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ g. Use of circumlocutions (open the website below for an explanation of circumlocutions) in favor of direct expressions in lead. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/04/ h. News lead that doesnt answer most of the 5 ws and 1 h. i. Lead is a bad quotation (one that is rambling and boring).

b. c. d. e. f. g.

Includes an anecdote. Open-ended to make it suspenseful. Asks a question. Could be a quote. Could be a human interest story lead. Is written in third person. (http://schools.fwps.org/kilo/teachers/smcla ugh/skills/thirdperson.htm

Scroll down to find Table 2, with 2 weak leads for you to analyze:
Table 2: The 2 leads below are weak. Follow instructions in Column 2 to identify the reasons this lead is weak. Follow instructions in Column 3 to re-write the lead making it strong. In Column 4, indicate why the lead is either a news story of a feature story.

Column 2 Column 1 Why is this lead weak? Highlight 2 reasons this lead is weak. LEAD SENTENCE EXAMPLE

Column 3 Re-write this lead to make it strong. If this lead should have been 2 sentences, write both sentences.

Column 4 Is this lead a feature story or news lead? 1. Highlight Feature or News. 2. Highlight 2 reasons why you identified the lead as strong or weak. Feature News Why this lead is a news lead: a. Include the answers to the 5 ws and 1 h that are necessary to introduce the main point of the story. b. Include information about a

1. Due to the fact that people cant talk and text safely, its better that they dont do this when driving, said the states Safety Director.

Why the lead is weak. j. Sentence includes a clich. http://www.e-messengerconsulting.com/clicheaday.htm k. Use of general, not specific phrases (ex. a lot of, many, etc.) l. Verb in lead is in passive voice.

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4.1.2 Leads Worksheet (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/r esource/539/05/ m. Lead is too long. Leads should contain no more than 25-40 words. n. Use of Expletive instead of a more concise construction. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/r esource/572/04/ o. Use of infinitive phrases instead of a more concise construction. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/re source/572/04/ p. Use of circumlocutions (open the website below for an explanation of circumlocutions) in favor of direct expressions in lead. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/r esource/572/04/ q. News lead that doesnt answer most of the 5 ws and 1 h. r. Lead is a bad quotation (one that is rambling and boring).

current event. c. Include a reference to source used in writing the story. d. Use active verb, not passive verb: http://owl.english.purdue.ed u/owl/resource/539/01/ a. Reveal the what of the story in the first 7 words. b. Reveal the name of the who involved in a story. c. Reveal the when, where, why and/or how if it is important to the main point of the story. Why this lead is a Feature Lead: a. Describes a person, place or thing. b. Includes an anecdote. c. Open-ended to make it suspenseful. d. Asks a question. e. Could be a quote. f. Could be a human interest story lead. g. Is written in third person. (http://schools.fwps.org/kilo/ teachers/smclaugh/skills/thir dperson.htm Column 3 Re-write this lead to make it strong. If the lead should be 2 sentences, write both sentences. Column 4 Is this lead a feature story or news lead? 1. Highlight Feature or News. 2. Highlight 2 reasons why you identified the lead as strong

Column 2 Column 1 Why is this lead weak? Highlight 2 reasons this lead is weak. LEAD SENTENCE EXAMPLE

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4.1.2 Leads Worksheet Why the lead is weak. a. Sentence includes a clich. http://grammar.about.com/od/c/g/cli cheterm.htm b. Use of general, not specific phrases (ex. a lot of, many, etc.) c. Verb in lead is in passive voice. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/re source/539/05/ d. Lead is too long. Leads should contain no more than 25-40 words. e. Use of Expletive instead of a more concise construction. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/re source/572/04/ f. Use of infinitive phrases instead of a more concise construction. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/re source/572/04/ g. Use of circumlocutions (open the website below for an explanation of circumlocutions) in favor of direct expressions in lead. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/r esource/572/04/ h. News lead that doesnt answer most of the 5 ws and 1 h. i. Lead is a bad quotation (one that is rambling and boring). or weak.. Feature News Why this lead is a news lead: a. Include the answers to the 5 ws and 1 h that are necessary to introduce the main point of the story. b. Include information about a current event. c. Include a reference to source used in writing the story. d. Use active verb, not passive verb: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/ owl/resource/539/01/ e. Reveal the what of the story in the first 7 words. f. Reveal the name of the who involved in a story. g. Reveal the when, where, why and/or how if it is important to the main point of the story. Why this lead is a Feature Lead: a. Describes a person, place or thing. b. Includes an anecdote. c. Open-ended to make it suspenseful. d. Asks a question. e. Could be a quote. f. Could be a human interest story lead. g. Is written in third person. (http://schools.fwps.org/kilo/te achers/smclaugh/skills/thirdpe rson.htm

2. A meeting for students is being held at the high school today to them about programs for individuals to help them get better jobs and students can ask questions to about looking for jobs but this is just a drop in the bucket for what should be done with unemployment rates being so high.

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