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.
Go Beyond the Pyramid
If so, please join me at Catch Your Readers — our two-day persuasive-writing workshop on Nov. 13-14 in New Orleans.
There, you’ll master a structure that’s been proven in the lab to grab readers’ attention, pull them through the piece and leave a lasting impression.
Save up to $100 with our group discounts.