Let’s Return to Direct Lead Paragraphs

A Wandering Lead and Three Revisions

Writers must compose direct lead paragraphs or risk losing readers. A wandering opening finds readers lost, wandering somewhere else. A direct opening can’t guarantee that a reader will continue but a clear, direct path provides an obvious trail.

Wandering lead from Salon (external link):

So lately I’ve had people passing around this article by Caitlin Flanagan about the p.c. police ruining campus comedy, which appears to be stage one of a one-two punch from the Atlantic about how p.c.-ness is ruining college in general, with the haymaker being Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s magnum opus about how p.c. culture is somehow not only killing academic discourse but also infecting us all with mental illness.

What a mess. Here’s one possible revision, guessing in part what the writer means:

Caitlin Flanagan writes in the Atlantic that the P.C. Police are ruining campus comedy and the college experience in general. Her piece builds on Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s earlier Atlantic article which asserted that P.C. culture kills academic discourse and infects us all with mental illness. I don’t agree. Let me tell you why.

Less abrupt:

Have the P.C. Police killed campus comedy and the college experience overall? Caitlin Flanagan thinks so. Writing in the Atlantic, her article builds on Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s previous piece which asserts that P.C. culture kills academic discourse and infects us all with mental illness. I don’t agree with this trio. Let me tell you why.

Salon.com style:

A poorly informed Caitlin Flanagan writes in the Atlantic that the P.C. Police are ruining campus comedy and the college experience in general. Really? Her piece builds on Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s earlier Atlantic article, also badly reasoned, which claimed that P.C. culture kills academic discourse and infects us all with mental illness. These three Trumpians are wrong. Sick and wrong. Here’s why.

Newspaper Leads

Here are some newspaper article leads I wrote for the West Sacramento News Ledger, a small town weekly. They respect a reader’s time by immediately telling them what the article is about.

The TBD Fest boomed into West Sacramento’s Bridge District this weekend, forming a youthful community centered on music, art, drink, and food. But noise complaints threatened to break up the sybaritic world its founders sought to create.

Social media and telephone lines blew up on TBD weekend to praise and protest the event. Common ground for all sides seemed reachable if noise levels could be better managed. Controlling that din, though, proved difficult, despite shorter hours and City monitoring. On the subject of noise that weekend, no one agrees.

California’s primary and general elections are six months and eleven months away, respectively, but political parties are busy preparing for these upcoming votes. The News-Ledger reports on three parties’ arrangements and how West Sacramento may be impacted.

If you want to get outdoors but don’t have much time, the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area the a perfect place to go. It makes up the entire area visible from the Yolo Causeway with its main entrance only three miles from West Sacramento. You’ll see birds, an unusual, intensely managed landscape, and experience a relaxing break from city pressure.

The old Washington District firehouse at 317 Third Street is being reborn as a bar and a restaurant. The once neglected landmark sits at the foot of the I Street Bridge, its renewal just part of the larger revitalizing Bridge District. The News-Ledger reached out to Bay Miry with D&S Development who answered several questions about the pioneering urban project.

Are you ready for a disaster? CERT members are. CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. There are teams across the country, often sponsored by a fire department. Here in West Sacramento, over 250 citizen volunteers in the last six years have trained in emergency preparedness and assistance.

The Sail Inn on Jefferson Boulevard is being reopened and rechristened as the Sail Inn Grotto & Bar. Launch date is late February. All aboard.

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer specializing in outdoor subjects, particularly rocks, gems and minerals.
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