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1. Who wrote the book?
2. What was the sailor’s name?
3. What was the destroyer’s name?
5. How old was the sailor?
6. What movie did the sailor see that made him anxious?
7. What port did the destroyer leave to return to Colombia?
8. Why were the sailors in that port?
9. Where in Colombia was the destroyer going?
10. What was the “message of hope” the sailor saw when he was drifting?
12. What did the sailor have with him when he went overboard?
13. What did he put between his teeth when he swam to shore?
14. How many days was he shipwrecked?
15. Who discovered the sailor?
16. What did the sailor think about the idea of his heroism?
By Eduardo MedinaSept. 27, 2021
One student had several panic attacks a week, alone in his room. One felt her hands shake when walking on busy streets. Another hid in a bathroom while at a restaurant with friends, wondering why she was hyperventilating at her own birthday party.
They are all living with some degree of social anxiety, a growing problem among young people as the disorder, amplified by the pandemic and intensified through months of isolation, fuels social withdrawal and entrenches reclusive habits.
About 9 to 10 percent of young adults and adolescents in the United States have the disorder, defined as an intense fear of being watched and judged by others, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Now many have felt their extreme self-consciousness grow more severe, psychologists say.
That was the experience of Garret Winton, 22, of Tallahassee, Fla. He recalled an afternoon last May when he curled up in bed and placed two fingers on his neck. One hundred thirty beats per minute, he guessed. The sign of another panic attack, his fourth that week.
How to write a nut graf, or nut graph
Tell readers what you’re going to tell ’em
If I came to your house and told you to grab your things and follow me, how far would you go? To the front door? The driveway? Would you hop in my car without further explanation?
No matter how dazzling your scene-setting feature lead, at some point, readers want to know where we’re going with this story. And that’s the job of the nut paragraph, aka the nut graf. (This, by the way, is the nut graph for this story.)
The nut graph is the transition from the lead. In the nut graph, writers and editors:
- Explain the lead and its connection to the rest of the story
- 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
You don’t need a nut graph in news stories, but they’re essential in feature-style stories.
Let’s pause and ponder that for a minute too.
Here are four ways to crack the nut graph:
1. Tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em.
Remember the old writing guideline, “Tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em; tell ’em; then tell ’em what you told ’em?”
The nut graph is where you tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em.
The nut graph — aka the “billboard” or the “so-what graph” — is where you put the story into a nutshell. It explains why the story is timely and provides the kernel, or central theme, of your piece.
“Once you find that idea or thread, all the other anecdotes, illustrations, and quotes are pearls that hang on this thread,” says Thomas Boswell, a Washington Post sports columnist. “The thread may seem very humble, the pearls may seem very flashy, but it’s still the thread that makes the necklace.”
So the first step to writing a nut graph is to find that thread. In other words, you need to figure out your point, or story angle.
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.
What do we call people in prison or jail?
Said and Stated
From the Associated Press Style Guide
In general, spell out one through nine: The Yankees finished second. He had nine months to go. Use figures for 10 or above and whenever preceding a unit of measure or referring to ages of people, animals, events or things. Also in all tabular matter, and in statistical and sequential forms.
Use figures for:
ACADEMIC COURSE NUMBERS: History 6, Philosophy 209.
ADDRESSES: 210 Main St. Spell out numbered streets nine and under: 5 Sixth Ave.; 3012 50th St.; No. 10 Downing St. Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with a numbered address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Spell them out and capitalize without a number: Pennsylvania Avenue.See addresses.
AGES: a 6-year-old girl; an 8-year-old law; the 7-year-old house. Use hyphens for ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun. A 5-year-old boy, but the boy is 5 years old. The boy, 5, has a sister, 10. The race is for 3-year-olds. The woman is in her 30s. 30-something, but Thirty-something to start a sentence.
CENTURIES: Use figures for numbers 10 or higher: 21st century. Spell out for numbers nine and lower: fifth century. (Note lowercase.) For proper names, follow the organization’s usage.
COURT DECISIONS: The Supreme Court ruled 5-4, a 5-4 decision. The word to is not needed, except in quotations: “The court ruled 5 to 4.”
DATES, YEARS AND DECADES: Feb. 8, 2007, Class of ’66, the 1950s. For the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 9/11 is acceptable in all references. (Note comma to set off the year when the phrase refers to a month, date and year.)
MILLIONS, BILLIONS, TRILLIONS: Use a figure-word combination. 1 million people; $2 billion, NOT one million/two billion. (Also note no hyphen linking numerals and the word million, billion or trillion.)See millions, billions, trillions; dollars.MONETARY UNITS: 5 cents, $5 bill, 8 euros, 4 pounds.
SCHOOL GRADES: Use figures for grades 10 and above: 10th grade. Spell out for first through ninth grades: fourth grade, fifth grader.
SEQUENTIAL DESIGNATIONS: Page 1, Page 20A. They were out of sizes 4 and 5; magnitude 6 earthquake; Rooms 3 and 4; Chapter 2; line 1 but first line; Act 3, Scene 4, but third act, fourth scene; Game 1, but best of seven.See act numbers; chapters; earthquakes; line numbers; page numbers; scene numbers.
Recipes: 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1 cup of milk.See recipes.SPEEDS: 7 mph, winds of 5 to 10 mph, winds of 7 to 9 knots.
Active Writing Exercise
This is not a quiz. You will not be graded. Do your best
- This paragraph is from the Daily News. Use the active voice to make it better. You can break it up into more than one or two sentences.
The Empire State is one step closer to approving adult use marijuana after Gov. Cuomo released an amended version of his pot proposal Tuesday that would reduce criminal penalties for illegal sales, outlines how some of the tax revenue would be spent and allows for the delivery of cannabis products.
- This is from Vice. Use the active voice to make it better.
At least 2.3 million women have been forced from the workforce during the pandemic, many due to closed schools and a lack of child care.
So after one Ohio mother was arrested on charges of child endangerment for allegedly leaving her young kids in a motel room while she tried to go to her job at Little Caesars, sympathetic people rallied to support her.
- This is from me. Take out the clunky words and phrases and use the active voice to explain the problem.
Currently my boss won’t give me the extra money he promised and I really need the money and the job due to COVID and due to the fact that there are so few jobs available.
- From the New York Post. Use the active voice and rewrite the story.
Ryan Leaf is calling for the NFL to do more for retired players in the wake of Vincent Jackson’s death.
Jackson, 38, was found dead in a Florida hotel room by a housekeeper on Monday morning. There were no apparent signs of trauma, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Police are investigating and a cause of death has yet to be determined by the county medical examiner.
- This is from the New York Times. Use the active voice to rewrite it.
ALBANY, N.Y. — Admitting a degree of fault for the first time, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Monday that his administration’s lack of transparency about the scope of coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes in New York was a mistake.
When you sit down to write make, sure that each sentence reflects what you mean. Use active verbs and write clear concise sentences that convey your ideas.
The subject comes first in an active sentence.
Senate Republicans proposed a substantially scaled-back stimulus plan.
The city’s police chief and several of his department’s highest ranking officials resigned or were demoted on Tuesday in the aftermath of the death of Daniel Prude.
The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca halted large late-stage global trials of its coronavirus vaccine because of a serious suspected adverse reaction in a participant.
Murals thanking frontline workers popped up in neighborhoods all over New York during the pandemic.
Always look for an active verb to give your writing more energy.
Example:Avoid the passive “to be” verbs: be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been.
Murals thanking frontline workers were put up in neighborhoods all over New York during the pandemic.
You can use the passive verbs be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been when the subject of the action becomes the object.
Many Washington Heights residents are forced to move to other neighborhoods because landlords found tenants willing to pay higher rents.
We use the “to be” verbs to describe a state of being.
Dayan is a junior in college.
We use variations of the word have when we use it, like must, can or have.
Jorge has to reapply for DACA by October 5, 2017.
We might also use a passive verb when we talk about ongoing action.
The student was reading a textbook when the alarm bell sounded and everyone had to leave the classroom.
Sure, you may think it sounds better to use flowery language and fussy words. But you end up sounding pretentious.
When the scions of the elderly gentleman thought he had a female paramour, they pondered about their fortunes if he were to suddenly become deceased.
Use language that says what you mean.
The children of the older man thought he had a girlfriend and worried about their inheritance if he died suddenly.
Catch phrases, Cliches and Euphemism
You may think you can make a sentence sound important if you use phrases or words that only suggest what you mean. But fussy sentences confuse readers, listeners and viewers.
economically deprived poor
youths teenagers, young men, young women, young people,
chemical dependency drug addiction
downsize lay off
adult entertainment pornography
inner city give the name of the neighborhood
You also want to avoid fussy words that connect ideas
Avoid the Negative
Write sentences that avoid the negative.
President Trump not only picked a fight with NFL players who choose to protest, he ignored the hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.
President Trump picked a fight with NFL players who chose to protest and ignored Puerto Rico’s hurricane victims.
Write out numbers one through nine.
Write number 10 and up as you would in math.
Write percent rather than %.
Full Names and Acronyms
When you write for print, TV or radio, you separate the full name of an organization and its acronym with the word or, or commas.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACCA.
When you write for the web you put the acronym in parentheses.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
- Write your slug- the shorthand for your story at the top.
- Put your name and your contact information underneath.
- Give us a working title for your story.
- Then put your byline, by Alpha Romeo.
- Write all your copy flush left.
- Leave two spaces between paragraphs.
- Spell out numbers one through nine. Use numerics for 10 and up.
- Write percent instead of %.
- COVID is all caps. We follow the AP style.
- Give us a dateline rather than inserting a date at the top of your story.
- Dateline: Here’s what the AP says about datelines:
Datelines should convey the spirit of the reporting; they are not restricted to cities and towns. Census-designated places, townships, parks, counties, or datelines such as ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE or ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER may be used if appropriate. But do not designate neighborhoods or other places within a better-known jurisdiction as the dateline. For instance, NEW YORK should be the dateline, not BROOKLYN or CENTRAL PARK.For bylined stories, a reporter must be reporting from the dateline on the story. When there are multiple bylines, at least one reporter must have been at the scene, and a note at the end of the story should explain the locations of all bylined reporters. If the story has no dateline, no note is needed at the end of the story explaining the reporters’ locations.
8. How to write a dateline:
Datelines on stories should contain a place name, entirely in capital letters, followed in most cases by the name of the state, country or territory where the city is located.DOMESTIC DATELINES: A list of domestic cities that stand alone in datelines:
QUEENS, September 3, 2021
NEW YORK, September 23, 2021
ROCKLAND COUNTY, September 23, 2021
Stories from all other U.S. cities should have both the city and state name in the dateline, including KANSAS CITY, Mo., and KANSAS CITY, Kan.
2022 Best Colleges in the U.S.: Harvard, Stanford, MIT Take Top Rankings
Schools with the resources to deal with the fallout from Covid-19 dominated The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings this year
The rankings also measure the best value among the top 250 schools by dividing each institution’s overall score by its net price. By this measure, the No. 1 school is the of City College New York, the flagship of the public City University of New York (CUNY) system. The runner-up is another CUNY school, Bernard M. Baruch College, followed by Berea College, a private liberal-arts school in Kentucky that charges students no tuition. (The U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy, the two service academies on the list, also don’t charge tuition, but because students are obligated to enter active-duty military service upon graduation, these schools aren’t considered for inclusion in the best-value ranking.) Only two of the schools ranked in the top 10 for best value are private universities—Berea and Stanford.