News and Feature Story Checklist
This checklist provides some pointers on basic edits for your news and feature stories.
- Insert your byline. Example: By Joseph Smith (Bold and center)
- There are two quote format sheets on my website. Use them to correct your quotes throughout the story. Be meticulous. Quotes should be in grafs by themselves. A complete quote should be one paragraph long and have two to three sentences.
- Use said only, not says, not commented, not remarked, etc.
- Your lede (first graf) on your story should not be general. (It should provide very specific information that either gives a summary of the main point of the story or tells specific information about a person who is a great example of your main point.
- There should be a GREAT quote in graf 2 or 3. A great quote is interesting, well-spoken, exciting, clever. It lets the reader know why this story is important.
- Newswriting grafs should be short. Short = about 40 words per graf. That means every graf in your story should be ABOUT 40 words.
- Make your lede (first) graf only one sentence in length.
- Write the word count in the upper right hand corner. (It should be about 400 words).
- Remember that a 400 word story will be about 10 grafs.
- Right below your last graf, type in a traditional symbol that indicates that the story is complete. The symbol is -30- and it should be bold and center.