Blog 3.10 - Straight Lead


Draw Me In . . .

Journalism consists of three kinds of writing (click on links below)

  • Straight = Factual, No Color, about an event
  • Feature = Focused on a Subject (anecdote filled with voices, description, and emotion)
  • Editorial = Focused on Community (filled with opinion, comparison, causation)


Read the box below:

Most young writers lack passion because they do their thinking on the page; they summarize obvious information and reiterate an author's claims.  If they look for themes at all, they might highlight them as they write, or they may just gloss over them in the conclusion (if they take the time to think through their conclusion).  For our purposes, though, we want to "write backwards" -- we want to see the direction we are heading before we start writing.  If writers are to persuade, they have to know which way to point.  Aristotle calls this Invention, or "finding the argument" (SPACE, Rhetorical Triangle).

      See how long that took to read? Now, watch this (and see if you like it better): 

                          Get to the point!

      Which do you prefer to read: the long-winded one or the directive?  Here's the point: the better you know the topic, the quicker you can hook the reader.  If you want to hook the reader, you need to make a connection.  If you want to make a connection, know what you want to say!

      How do you know what to say?  Follow your initial (gut) reaction.


  •      Listen and Read: Amy Cuddy's lecture:  Power Pose - take notes as if in an interview (30 Minutes)
  •      Write: a straight news story with a Headline (about the subject from your perspective — not a retelling of facts) 

* Being a straight story, this will mostly relay facts (it will be summary -- Level 1: Recall Information)

© Jeff Thomas,