News Worksheet 8B: Writing a lead for a crime story

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Write a lead based on the following set of facts:

Who?         Two men

What?        robbed a jewelry story

Where?      Royal Gems, at 55 West 47th Street, in the heart of Manhattan’s diamond district

When?       Saturday, March 13

Why?         No information

How?         The men carried pistols, police said, adding that the men bound three employees and a customer and stole gems and money. The police also said that no one was injured in the holdup.



EVALUATE your lead by answering the following questions:


  • Are the 5 W’s and H stacked most important to least?
  • Is the lede free of unattributed opinion?
  • 30 words or less?
  • Active voice?
  • Free of unfamiliar proper nouns?