Exercises

EXERCISE W12-1

 

Write an alternative lead—that is, one that doesn’t immediately get to the most important information—based on the following facts and details:

 

a.  A Pew Research Center analysis of government data shows that the percentage of adults in the U.S. who are married is about the same as it's been for the last several years but is down markedly from what it has been in the past. 

 

b.  In 2016, about half of U.S. adults said that they were currently married.

 

c.  In 1960, about 72 percent were currently married.

 

d.  Two factors behind the trends are that people are waiting longer to get married, and the percentage of people living together and raising children without getting married has increased.

 

e.  In 1960, the median ages for a first marriage was 20.3 for women and 22.8 for men; in 2016, it was 27.4 for women and 29.5 for men.

 

f.  Of the people who are not married, 58 percent say they want to get married someday, 14 percent say they don't want to get married, and 27 percent aren't sure whether they do or don't.

 

g.  Mary Fidanque, age 32, and Martin Garcia, age 30, live together in a small house with their two children, a dog and a cat.

 

h.  They are not married.

 

i.  When they were roughly the same age, Fidanque’s parents lived in a house two blocks away with their two children, a dog and a cat.

 

j.  Fidanque’s parents married when they were both 22.

 

(The data and analysis in this fact set are from two Pew Reports "As U.S. Marriage Rate Hovers at 50%..." by Kim Parker and Renee Stepler from Sept. 14, 2017 and "8 Facts about Love and Marriage in America" by A.W Geiger and Gretchen Livingston from Feb. 13, 2019.)

 

EXERCISE W12-2

 

Write a transition and nut graph to go with the lead for Exercise W12-1.

 

EXERCISE W12-3

 

Write an alternative lead—that is, one that doesn’t immediately get to the most important information—based on the following facts and details:

 

a.  A recent study found that restaurant chains in the U.S. are trimming calories from their menu offerings.

 

b.  Some cities have required chain restaurants to include calorie counts on their menus.

 

c.  The Affordable Care Act also includes rules that will require calorie counts to be included in menus, and that legislation should take effect soon.

 

d.  At a local burger chain restaurant, you observe the following:  smells and sounds of frying grease, pictures of large burgers wrapped in thick slabs of bacon and coated with cheese, large milkshakes, overflowing bags of fries.  The menu on the wall has recently been modified, and there are now calorie numbers posted next to each dish.  Three people at the counter are looking at the menu posted on the wall.  The woman orders a chicken sandwich, fries and cobb salad, then hesitates.

 

“I think I’ll switch that to the mixed greens,” she says, and laughs.  “It has 200 fewer calories.”

 

(The information for this exercise is based in part on an NPR story by Allison Aubrey on Oct. 8, 2014.)

 

EXERCISE W12-4

 

Write a transition and nut graph to go with the lead you’ve written for Exercise W12-3.

 

EXERCISE W12-5

 

Write a lead that sets the scene based on any of the Denver Post photos from the 2013 floods.

 

EXERCISE W12-6

 

Based on the information at the website, write a transition and nut graph to go with the lead you’ve written for Exercise W12-5.

 

EXERCISE W12-7

 

Write a lead that sets the scene based on a photo of your choice at The Washington Post photography section.

 

EXERCISE W12-8

 

Based on the information in the cutline or accompanying story, write a transition and nut graph to go with the lead you’ve written for Exercise W12-9.

 

Chapter 12
 

LEADING WITH SOMETHING DIFFERENT

 

Examples

Exercises