25 responses to “Back to basics: the nut graph”

  1. Tweets that mention Back to basics: the nut graph | WordCount -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by michellerafter, ljthornton. ljthornton said: Nice resource RT @MichelleRafter: For new year, I created a new writing basics series. 1st entry: nut graph. http://wp.me/pEnRH-13x [...]

  2. Dave Doolin

    Very interesting. First time I’ve heard the term nut graph.

    What’s the difference between a nut graph, a teaser and a lede?

  3. Jack El-Hai

    “…it’s up to a writer to make it as easy as possible to figure out what’s happening and why [readers] should care.”

    Honest writing, strong characters, and a well-planned narrative can make all this happen without whapping the reader’s head with the wet noodle of a nut graph. Take a look at anything written by John McPhee and Joseph Mitchell.

  4. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by michellerafter: For the new year, I created a new writing basics series. The first entry: the nut graph. See it at WordCount, http://wp.me/pEnRH-13x

  5. Ernest J. Schweitg

    Bravo! A good lesson for any writer.
    I might add, though, that with the requirements of writing for the web–keywords mentioned high in the story to get exposure on search engines–nut graphs are a challenge. For print, the nut graph could come around graph three. But for the web, I’d vote to make it the lead, structured so the key words come as early as possible.

  6. Olivia

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how to create a structure for your writing, how to organize disorderly thoughts and how to shape your writing into coherent, stylish prose. It’s a topic that is rarely dealt with, but I think it is one of the secrets to effective writing, and an area I would like to work on in my own writing.

  7. Eric C

    I’ve never even heard of this, but I loved the concept.

    I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t use it with everything I write, but I think a lot of pieces could use the help.

  8. Olivia

    Thanks for your initial thoughts Michelle. I’ll keep checking back over the next few weeks in case you do decide to write a post on the subject.

  9. Ron S. Doyle

    Michelle: You’re nuts. ;-)

    This is great, but I’m wondering: how does this apply to the world of web writing? Many web writers eschew the nut graf because it doubles as an RSS excerpt or an article summary. Because web readers are so fickle and hurried, some folks think that a truly good nut graf eliminates the need to read the article—which reduces page hits, which drives down ad revenue, yadda yadda.

    What do you think?

  10. How to write a nut graf—and reel in the readers « The Doctor Writer

    [...] the, well, point. “If a writer has trouble figuring out what to say in a nut graph,” says journalist Michelle V. Rafter at her blog WordCount, “it could be because they haven’t figured out what the story [...]

  11. Julia

    Working on an article right now that needed a nut graph, but was at a loss to make it happen. And then I found you! :-) Thanks for an informative post.

  12. Sandra

    I need help writing a nutgraph! I interviewed a student and now I am suppose to write a feature story..idk how to write the nutgraph ..

  13. How to Write a Nut GrafProfessional Writing Services

    [...] the, well, point. “If a writer has trouble figuring out what to say in a nut graph,” says journalist Michelle V. Rafter at her blog WordCount, “it could be because they haven’t figured out what the story [...]

  14. Students join nationwide protest/Faculty to strike « The Lumberjack Critique Fall 2011

    [...] In this issue story organization was a common problem and it reflects your attempt at reporting more complicated stories with multiple elements. When you have multiple elements in a story you need a nut graph. For more on crafting a nut graph read this handy guide. [...]

  15. Dear WordCount: How do I break into freelance writing? | WordCount

    [...] college or university extension program. Not only will you learn basics like the inverted pyramid, nut graph, how to conduct an interview, etc., you’ll meet teachers who are likely to be in the business [...]

  16. Jessica

    Love this! Thank you! I’m exploring querying my first article to a publication and their guidelines said I may have to give them a nut paragraph – and I’ve never heard of this before! You’ve definitely clarified for me, and now I’m looking forward to browsing the rest of your site!

  17. About the focus news structure story you did in class « jms220spring2011

    [...] are some other [...]

  18. Everything you need to know about word counts (but were too afraid to ask your editor) | WordCount

    [...] used an anecdotal or “hook” style lead, is it necessary? Could you delete it and use the nut graph as the lead without changing the [...]

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  20. Everything you need to know about word counts (but were too afraid to ask your editor)

    [...] used an anecdotal or “hook” style lead, is it necessary? Could you delete it and use the nut graph as the lead without changing the [...]

  21. EP

    Interesting. Hooking the reader is what it’s all about, I guess. And that example with Motorola you used was perfect. You want to keep on reading. Exactly how to write a lead like that, that’s the art.

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