How to write a nut graf, or nut graph
The “nut graf (graph) tells readers what your story is about and where it is going. It sums up things and transitions from the lead to the rest of your story.
If you start with something interesting instead of the inverted pyramid, it helps explain what you are talking about. It gives the reader, viewer and listener the big picture.
It clearly states the point that you are making and gives the angle of the story.
The nut graf has several purposes, according to Poynter an organization that provides training for journalists.
- It justifies the story by telling readers why they should care.
- It provides a transition from the lead and explains the lead and its connection to the rest of the story.
- It often tells readers why the story is timely.
- It often includes supporting material that helps readers see why the story is important.
- Reveal your destination, or the essential theme of the story
- Set up the supporting material to explain the rest of the story
- Explain why the story is important to convince your readers to come along for the ride
To figure out what your story is about, write a one-sentence walkaway. That’s the one sentence you want your reader to — you got it! — walk away with after reading your piece. Then craft that so tightly that it will fit on the back of a business card:
Your walkaway sentence should answer the readers’ two most burning questions:
- What’s your point?
- Why should I care?
Stuck? Try telling a friend who knows nothing about the story what it’s about. Then capture that summary for your nut graph.
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