Start with a lead that immediately draws the reader to your news story.
A news story’s lead is the first paragraph, and it’s essential to a good news story. The lead should make an immediate impact on the reader—it should be short and specific, with the main point stated in its first sentence. The rest of the lead should provide detail that supports that main point.
The opening paragraph (which is also called “the nut graph”) tells readers what they need to know: who/what/when/where/why (W-H-W-W). When writing your lead, keep these simple guidelines in mind:
- Use active voice instead of passive voice when appropriate (“I saw” instead of “It was seen”).
- Don’t include unnecessary details or transitions; keep sentences short and sweet. Use simple phrases like “the most important thing,” “in brief,” or “as you can imagine.”
- Make sure each sentence makes sense on its own without relying on context from later paragraphs; don’t use too many dependent clauses (these are sentences within other sentences).
Put the most important facts first and serve the details later in your news story
Before you write, it’s important to pay attention to the details of your story:
- Who? This can be a person or a group of people.
- What? The actual news event, such as an accident or crime.
- Where? The location of the event—a street address, city name, state abbreviation, and country (if applicable).
- When? Date and time of the event. In most cases, these will be given in chronological order from earliest to latest; “Today” might come before “yesterday” in a story about events that happened on different days.
- Why does this matter for journalists writing news stories? By getting all these details down first—who, what, where, and when —you’ll have more room later in your article for details specific to your topic.
Use short sentences and paragraphs to say what you need to say.
The best way to determine the length of your sentences is to read it aloud. If you are having trouble getting through the sentence, or if you stumble over its construction, then it is likely too long. When writing for an audience that doesn’t know as much about your topic as you do, make sure to use shorter sentences and paragraphs than when writing for a more sophisticated audience.
Writing in short bursts is also easier on the reader’s eyes and brain—and thus easier for them to digest the information. When reading something with long rambling sentences that seem like they go on forever (no matter how interesting), we’re more likely to tune out what we’re reading and move on to something else—or even just stop reading altogether!
Quote your sources accurately and precisely.
Quote your sources accurately and precisely.
If you’re using a quote from a source, give credit where it’s due. You should also double-check that you’ve quoted them correctly before publishing their words—it’s one of the easiest ways to make sure that your readers trust what you write.
When quoting someone, use as few words as possible because this helps keep things consistent with the rest of your story. If possible, try replacing direct quotes with paraphrases so you don’t overdo it on the number of quotes included in each story. The same goes for any information related to another topic: if it’s relevant enough to include in your story but doesn’t need direct attribution from an expert or official source (like an expert report), then write something like “Experts say…” instead of using direct quotes from them (or even worse).
Don’t use adverbs or adjectives; let your nouns and verbs do the work.
In general, adjectives and adverbs are not as powerful as verbs and nouns.
Use action verbs instead of adverbs:
“The student ran quickly across campus to get to class on time.”
Use strong nouns instead of adjectives:
“The student sprinted across campus in a panic after missing the bus.”
Get out of your piece with a strong conclusion that demonstrates you’ve told your news story.
- Having a strong conclusion will give the reader a sense of closure and make sure your news story has been told.
- Remember that it should not be too long, or else it’ll feel like you’re trying to cram in more information than necessary.
- The conclusion should be a summary of the main points of your piece, although you can also offer an opinion on what they mean or how they could affect your readership (if appropriate).
- Use simple language so that anyone can understand it—even if they’ve never read anything longer than 140 characters before. This is especially true if you’re writing for the web: people are more likely to scan than actually read everything word by word when surfing online content at warp speed!
- Avoid clichés like “the bottom line” because they don’t say anything about what’s important in your story; instead, try phrases such as “my takeaway.” You want readers thinking about how certain things relate back to them or their lives rather than being able to recite lines verbatim from memory later on down the road—it shows that there was thought put into each sentence before being written down on paper (or pixels).
Pinewriters can help you write news stories today!
Although you can certainly do all this on your own, for the best results, it will be a great idea to outsource an experienced professional writer. And the best place with a glowing reputation for best writers is certainly Pinewriters. One thing that stands out for Pinewriters is we value customer satisfaction. Given the personal touch we have with our customers, we always ensure that whatever we deliver is up to the standards of our customers. We have a 24/7 support system to ensure that all your questions regarding your orders or our services are answered promptly and without delay. Also, our services are affordable to all clients making us the best place to help solve your writing problems (no contracts involved). We have served thousands of clients in the past 10 years, many of whom were satisfied with our services and kept coming back for more professional writing help. This is to show our value towards customer satisfaction.
For the best results in your news story, just place your order at Pinewriters by filling out our order form and let our writers work on your papers while you focus on other things that equally matter.