You are a journalist who is sent to report on the death of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. You should include background information on the conflict between the two families, and describe the fighting and the rioting that has taken place recently on the city streets. Explain who Romeo & Juliet are, include brief interviews with Benvolio, Friar Lawrence (who maybe claims to know nothing?!), or any other characters you wish.
This will be a front-page news article. You will need to include the following:
- A catchy newspaper title at uses alliteration. For example: The Trojan Times.
- Accurate date and volume in the header
- Headline that catches the reader’s attention
- 12 point serif font for the body of the story and single spaced
- Headlines slightly larger than the story text and bold
- At least one image to accompany your story
- Lead sentence to catch the reader’s attention
- 5 W’s: who, what, when, where, and how
- Accurate events and characters
- Proof read for typos and grammar errors
- Column format
- Look like a front-page
Remember to submit your work by clicking on the “Unit 4: Writing Assignment” link above.
Please make sure you are submitting your assignment as an attachment in either .doc or PDF format. Assignments typed into the textbox will not be graded until they are attached.
Common newspaper names to create your alliteration:
- Bee Bulletin
- Sun Times
- Weekly World
News Writing Example
Wild pig causes two-hour traffic delay on I-94
By Joe Student
St. Paul– A 15-minute operation involving a forklift, 20 firefighters, seven police officers and one scared pig ended a two-hour traffic delay on Interstate 94 Sunday morning. The wild pig, whom the fireman affectionately nicknamed “Tailgate,” apparently wandered onto 1-94 around 8 a.m. and fell asleep in the middle of the two-lane freeway.
St. Paul resident Geoffrey Saint was the first to come upon the 200-pound animal. “He practically took up the whole road,” Saint said. “I barely slammed on my brakes in time.” Saint said the cars behind him followed suit, each stopping short after reaching speeds of up to 70 mph. Saint stayed in his car and phoned area police, who responded at 8:20 a.m.
Lieutenant Terry Frank was the first officer on the scene. “I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Frank said. “Here was this huge, sloppy pig, just napping in the middle of the road, oblivious to what was going on around him.” Frank said she attempted to rouse the pig by poking him with a stick. “He just kept on snoring,” she said.
By 9 a.m., three fire trucks and four patrol cars had responded to the “sleeping pig” call. “We just sat there and wondered what in the world we could do,” Frank said.
News Writing Instructions
Hard news articles are written so that the reader can stop reading at any time, and still come away with the whole story. This is very different from an essay, which presumes that the audience will stick around to the end, and can therefore build to a finish. There is no need to put a “conclusion” on a news story. Each individual reader will “end” the story whenever he or she gets bored. A particularly interested reader (and your teacher) will keep reading to the end.
The Headline: Convey the general message in as many words as will fit (usually quite a small space). A headline should be informational, and can be clever, as long as the cleverness does not interfere with the information or earn groans from readers.
The Lead: The lead, or the first sentence of the story, is arguably the most important part of the article. Based on the content of that first sentence, a reader will either look deeper into the story, or move on to the next one.
· The who, what, when, where, how, why lead.
· Experimental leads. If you answer the “5 w’s and one h” on the second or third sentences, you can be more creative with the first. The results can flounder and die, or have a great impact. Some examples for the pig story:
o Tailgate the pig lay snoring in the middle of Interstate 94, oblivious to the fire trucks and squad cars that had gathered around him.
o Geoffrey Saint never could have imagined what he’d meet in the middle of Interstate 94 during his drive to church Sunday morning.
Direct Quotes: Quotes breathe life into a story, but can be abused. Don’t quote material that isn’t quote worthy. For instance, if Frank had said, “Officers arrived on the scene at about 9:00 a.m.,” you wouldn’t quote that. If she had said, “That huge pig just sat there with tears running down his face and I thought my heart would burst,” well, that’s far more quote worthy.
Paraphrased Quotes: Here is where you could use what Frank had said and rewrite it: Officers arrived on the scene around 9:00 a.m., Frank said. No quotes needed, but the information still needs to be attributed to Frank– she’s the one who said it.
Inverted Pyramid: In a straight news story, it’s best to get the most important information in your story up to the top. Readers will often stop reading after the first few paragraphs, so it’s important that they have a good grasp of the story. Follow with the older or less important information. Omit unnecessary information.
Length of Paragraphs: This is different from a term paper for English class. Keep your paragraphs short (one to four sentences) and make each of your points concise. Readers grow tired of big blocks of text, so it’s best to break it up a bit.