Grab their attention Begins sentences with specific, interesting words Avoid a, an, or the.
Avoid names and lists Avoid unfamiliar names (Only well-known people get to be in leads.) Don’t have a list of names You can mention the specific names in the 2 nd or 3 rd paragraph.
Tell us who that is If a name appears in the lead, do not assume that the reader knows who they are Identify them by title or reference.
Remember the “why” Don’t just say something happened. (Ex: “The new colloquium schedules were handed out yesterday.”) Emphasize its newsworthiness (Ex: “Ninety-five percent of LMSA students will have a new schedule next week.”).
Don’t always use a news lead School newspapers tend to use more feature leads (We’ll talk more about this later.)
Be appropriate The lead should reflect the mood of the story Example: Don’t start a sad story with a joke.
Never start with the when Preferably, start with who, what or why Avoid starting with when unless is it very important or unique