Nut Graf: It‟s a Paragraph
Like a nut, it contains
Graf stands for
Stands for story in a
nutshell (sums it up)
Where & What
Follows the lede
Underlying idea of a
Gives essential theme
Adds more detail
Gives 5W‟s not in the
Often followed by a
good, flashy quotation
The nut graf purposes:
It justifies the story by telling readers why they should
Provides readers with the gist of the story up high
Tells the reader what the writer is up to
A transition from the lead explaining the lead and its
connection to the rest of the story.
Tells readers why the story is timely.
May have supporting material helping readers see
why the story is important.
Sometimes not all 5Ws are included in your news
lead, or what you write might not explain the
importance of the story, so you need a nut graf to
explain it in, well, a nutshell.
Can be longer than one paragraph, < 2.
Not all news stories need a nut graf, but it is
frequently required in feature stories that don‟t
have a definitive
Electricity was finally
restored for 3,000 shivering
Troutdale residents Friday.
Power repair crews worked
for more than 72 hours after
Monday night‟s ice storm
downed dozens of power
Sometimes a nut graf
is an expanded
explanation of the
„why‟ or the „what,‟
giving the lead some
Nut Graf Example
Sometimes a nut graf follows a scene-setting news
Dodie Griffin sits on her concrete porch, aims her
Mossberg shotgun across the way and blasts her target.
Over the last few years, she‟s bagged a slew of snakes
and rats that take refuge most of the time in an
abandoned house next door without much bother by
local health authorities
(Importance of nut graf here is a resident cannot get help
on an empty house.)
She told Putnam County commissioners Monday how
she had thought of gathering up her dubious bounty and
plopping it onto the desk in their chamber……..
Tad Pole Example:
When Tad Pole left the Lawton library last Tuesday
afternoon, he couldn‟t believe his eyes.
“My bike was gone,” he said. “That‟s the third bike
I‟ve had stolen this year. I had a huge honkin‟ lock
on it, too.”
Pole isn‟t alone. Campus bicycle thefts have hit an
all-time high this year. On average, 50 bikes are
reported stolen annually, but so far this year that
number is 230.
Having trouble writing nut?
1. Talk to someone who knows nothing about story
2. Concisely think what the story is about and why
they – or any other potential reader – should
3. If you can summarize the piece in a sentence or
a. have a good grasp of the idea
b. should be able to turn what you just verbalized
into a nut graph.
Don’t make your
Write a nut graf
The Nut Graf, Part I by Chip
“In a Nutshell” By Bobby
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