This week I took the NewsU The Lead Lab. Throughout college I have taken various journalism classes where I have learned the basic of writing stories. This course was an excellent refresher as well as a source of new information.
The part of the course I found most beneficial was the section about creating good leads. Leads are very important because they are what starts out your article and draws the reader in. If you have a bad lead you could potentially lose many readers. One tip to follow is the “read aloud” rule. You should focus on the following elements when following this rule:
- Can you say it in a single breath?
- Do you stumble over the words?
- Does it sound like something you’d tell a friend over the phone?
- Does it put you to sleep or confuse you?
By answering all these questions, you can determine if you have a good, persuasive lead or if it needs to be revised.
While taking this Lead Lab I also learned the “Seven Hot Spots.” They are:
- So What
The best part of the course is the ability to work at your own pace. Students can spend as much or as less time on certain areas of the lab. It also had graphics that kept students interested and allowed those who took it to get feed back about their leads.