Lead with real people. Lead with what is most interesting. What would you tell your roommate? Make your reader care. Your lead must point to your nutgraph below. Sometimes you might incorporate a really good quote into your lead.
Nutgraph – A sentence or two that clearly states what your story is about.
Cosmic graph – A sentence or two that puts your story in a larger context. Why should reader care?
Your best quote – Something that reinforces the nutgraph and summarizes the story to come.
Methodology – A sentence or two that tells reader how you got these numbers. Keep it concise.
Finding 1 followed by…
- Example or anecdote to support Finding 1
- Quote to support Finding 1
Finding 2 followed by…
- Example or anecdote to support Finding 2
- Quote to support Finding 2
Finding 3 followed by…
- Example or anecdote to support Finding 3
- Quote to support Finding 3
(Continue this structure to cover your main points. I suggest fewer than five findings.)
Kicker – End your story with a take away. It might be a fact that points back to your lead. It might be another good quote. But have an ending. Don’t just stop.
Use subheads to break up large sections of text and guide your reader step-by-step through information.
Add hyperlinks to sources to your text. Anywhere that you refer to a website, a report, an organization, etc. link to it.
Put photos, graphs, charts, visuals in the appropriate part of the article. Use them to break up large blocks of text.
Add a link to your spreadsheet at the end of your article. At the end of your article, give people all of the data. Example: For a full analysis of …, see
For example, see