Types of leads
Journalistic leads emphasize grabbing the attention of the reader. In journalism, the failure to mention the most important, interesting or attention-grabbing elements of a story in the first paragraph is sometimes called "burying the lead". Most standard news leads include brief answers to the questions of who, what, why, when, where, and how the key event in the story took place.
Leads in essays summarize the outline of the argument and conclusion that follows in the main body of the essay. Encyclopedia leads tend to define the subject matter as well as emphasize the interesting points of the article. Features and general articles in magazines tend to be somewhere between journalistic and encyclopedian in style and often lack a distinct lead paragraph entirely. Leads and book forewords vary enormously in length, intent and content.
In journalism, the lead paragraph should not be confused with the standfirst (UK), rider, kicker (US), bank head(line), deck, dek, or subhead (US). (See News style § Terms and structure.) These terms refer to an introductory or summary line or brief paragraph, located immediately above or below the headline, and typographically distinct from the body of the article.
The term is sometimes spelled "lede", with a claim it was a historical spelling intended to distinguish it from the homograph lead, a metal commonly used in typesetting in the early 20th century. However, the spelling "lede" first appears in journalism manuals in the 1980's, well after lead typesetting's heyday.
|Look up lede in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Introduction (writing)
- Abstract (summary)
- Opening sentence
- Inverted pyramid (journalism)
- Editorial (also known as a "leader" in British English)
- Nut graph
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- Peha & Lester (2006). Be a Writer: Your Guide to the Writing Life!: Proven Tips and Powerful Techniques to Help Young Writers Get Started. Leverage Factory. p. 125.
- "Standfirst". Double-Tongued Dictionary. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
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- "Owens, Howard" (September 18, 2011). "lede-vs-lead". HowardOwens.com. New York City, NY, US: Owens Press. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
- William Metz (1977). Newswriting: from lead to "30". Prentice-Hall. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-13-617514-8.
- Louis Martin Lyons (1965). Reporting the news: selections from Nieman reports. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. p. 286.
- Grant Milnor Hyde (November 2008). Newspaper Editing - A Manual for Editors, Copyreaders and Students of Newspaper Desk Work. Read Books. ISBN 978-1-4437-2632-0.
- Carl G. Miller (1962). Modern Journalism. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. p. 33.
- Frank Luther Mott (2000). American Journalism: A History of Newspapers in the United States Through 250 Years, 1690-1940. Routledge/Thoemmes Press. ISBN 978-0-415-22893-0.