News Appendix 10: Rubric for evaluating inverted pyramid stories

Appendix description or content:

 

Ace reporter 

Good 

Fair

Poor

 

This story — so professional one would think it were cut from a professional news publication — convincingly demonstrates mastery of the inverted pyramid form by doing the following:

 

 

with precision, arranges the key facts of the story from most important to least important

 

relegates background information — information the writer could have known before the event — to a place below all new information

 

is devoid of unattributed opinion

 

artfully illustrates points with interesting, well-punctuated and well-attributed quotations; a transition is used to introduce each quotation.

 

is a model of brevity, using few words to maximum effect.

 

avoids passive voice except in the rare cases when it is merited

 

  shows few, if any, errors in the conventions of written English

 

 

 

 

This solid inverted pyramid story, while not as impressive as that written by the Ace Reporter, consistently does most or all of the following:

 

 

arranges the key facts of the story from most important to least important

 

generally relegates background information — information the writer could have known before the event — to a place below all new information

 

is devoid of unattributed opinion

 

illustrates points with interesting, well-punctuated and well-attributed quotations; a transition is used to introduce each quotation

 

is for the most part concise

 

generally avoids passive voice except in the rare cases when it is merited

 

 shows few, if any, errors in the conventions of written English.

 

 

This story suggests general awareness of the requirements for an inverted pyramid story, but does not suggest great prowess in meeting those requirements. This lead does much or all of the following:  

 

 

unconvincingly arranges the facts of the story from most important to least important

 

in some cases, fails to keep background information in its place at the bottom of the story

 

may include minor unattributed opinion

 

sometimes illustrates points with quotations but may do so awkwardly and without adequate transitions or

 

shows too little attention to the need for brevity

 

may slip into passive voice

 

  shows some errors in the conventions of written English.

 

 

These story doesn’t meaningfully address the assignment. This lead does much or all of the following:

 

 

either does not have all the basic facts or shows clear errors in organizing them from most to least important

 

fails to keep background information in its place at the bottom of the story

 

is bereft of meaningful, supportive quotations; may fail to introduce quotations at all

 

includes significant unattributed opinion

 

noticeable over-use of the passive voice

 

is wordy

 

  shows multiple errors in the conventions of written English.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Note: The fact that a person is speaking to students is not in and of itself newsworthy; stories should focus on what a person says, not the fact that he/she has spoken.)

 

 

 


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