Nut Graf Writing, The Second Paragraph


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Nut Graf writing basics as used in journalism.

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Nut Graf Writing, The Second Paragraph

  1. 1. Nut GrafParagraph Two
  2. 2. Nut Graf: It‟s a Paragraph Name Meaning Like a nut, it contains the “kernel” (essential aspects) Graf stands for paragraph Alternate spellings Nut graf Nut graph Stands for story in a nutshell (sums it up) Where & What Follows the lede Underlying idea of a story Gives essential theme Adds more detail Gives 5W‟s not in the lede Often followed by a good, flashy quotation
  3. 3. The nut graf purposes: It justifies the story by telling readers why they should care. 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.
  4. 4. Nut Grafs 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 „when‟ or „where‟ or „who‟ or „why.‟
  5. 5. Example: Lede Electricity was finally restored for 3,000 shivering Troutdale residents Friday. Nut Graf Power repair crews worked for more than 72 hours after Monday night‟s ice storm downed dozens of power lines. Sometimes a nut graf is an expanded explanation of the „why‟ or the „what,‟ giving the lead some background and context.
  6. 6. Nut Graf Example Sometimes a nut graf follows a scene-setting news lead: Dodie Griffin sits on her concrete porch, aims her Mossberg shotgun across the way and blasts her target. Nut Graf: 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……..
  7. 7. Supply the missing nut graf
  8. 8. 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.” Nut Graf: 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.
  9. 9. Having trouble writing nut? Do this: 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 care. 3. If you can summarize the piece in a sentence or two, you a. have a good grasp of the idea b. should be able to turn what you just verbalized into a nut graph.
  10. 10. Don’t make your editor angry Write a nut graf Sources hat-is-a-nut-graf/ The Nut Graf, Part I by Chip Scanlan “In a Nutshell” By Bobby Hawthorne
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