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how to write a good lead for a news story

pauline c. tome
Posted: 2015-07-12

A lead is a very crucial part of a news story. It holds most, if not all, of the vital information of the story and should be interesting enough to catch the attention of your readers and urge them to continue on reading the whole news article. So how to you write a good lead sentence? Follow the steps below. 1. Should contain an intriguing angle The lead should not just simply state the five Ws and one H, it should contain the peg or the angle of your article. A peg is the one that sets your story different than that of the others. Granted, you are not the only one that will report this story, so you have to have a different angle from that of the others. Otherwise, people won't bother reading your work, as it would be the same story all over again. What makes the story interesting? It is the prominence of the person? The amount of damages? The number of affected people? 2. A Lead Should Not Contain More Than 35 Words If your lead sentence has more than 35 words, then it is a bad one. A lead should be informative and interesting, yet short and precise. Too many words will bore a person out and will end up not bothering to look into the rest of your article. 3. Make it Informative Enough as it is Being Incomplete In order to encourage your reader to proceed with reading your story, you may withheld some information. I don't mean be vague, 'cause a news story have to be direct. In writing your lead, you can place some of the Ws in the lead support and/or body. Take for example you are writing about a murder story, but about someone who is not exactly prominent. You can write it along the lines of: "A 35-year-old woman was stabbed and found dead in her apartment at 16th Street, Sunny City yesterday morning." You can write her name at the lead support, but people will be wondering at first who this woman was. Don't reveal everything on the first sentence; give the readers some mystery to urge them into reading further.

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