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How a 3-Part ‘Inverted Pyramid’ Makes Your Writing More

The tried-and-true news writing formula, established in 1845, still works beautifully for bloggers and journalists alike

Journalists and editors who report the news need to land key points in the first few sentences

News writers are some of the best content creators on the planet, and often, their preferred format

An inverted pyramid communicates the most important information of the story first in a section known as

When you use the inverted pyramid effectively, readers are engaged — even if they have short attention spans

➡️ (Want a video walkthrough of one of my pitches that landed me an article with Fast Company?

The inverted pyramid style came about as a result of Samuel Morse inventing the telegraph in 1845

The key points were communicated in descending order by diminishing importance, with the least important information coming

Here’s some good news: you don’t have to be creative or at the level of

Inverted pyramid writing makes you land the main point in the first sentence or lead paragraph, and

As you might expect, the inverted pyramid method is illustrated as an upside-down pyramid with three distinct

The lead — sometimes spelled “lede” — contains the most important information in your article

You are front loading details into the lead paragraph, or even the first sentence

Although the inverted pyramid refers to news writing or web writing, it can apply to other articles

A lead communicates the essential information of a story through the ABCs of journalism: accuracy, brevity, and

Detailed explanations are for essay writing; in a lead, we want the main points explained in short

The Associated Press (AP) is famously down-the-line in its news writing, and these posts include 6–12 leads in

The IRS said Friday that savers with 401(K) and similar plans will be able to contribute up

People aged 50 and over, which have the option to make additional “catch-up” contributions to 401(k) and similar

The IRS also raised the annual contribution limits on individual retirement arrangements, or IRAs, by $500 to $6,500

Long paragraph, but that’s the whole story! Notice how you got what you needed in a

The body of your story gives additional supporting details about your story, but if the reader were

The body might take place in the opening section of your article, before the first subheadline, but

It ultimately depends on the story structure and your writing style

The tall expands on the details or motivations explained in the initial lead with supporting details

They may reach the conclusion of your article and then decide to go back to the top

Let’s look at an example of how news outlets publish in the inverted pyramid format to

See if you identify the break points between the lead, the body, and the tall in this

Johnson and his girlfriend began arguing over drugs Thursday evening, Columbia Police Sgt

Three children, two 9-year olds and a 4-year-old, were in the home during the attack, Hammond said

When Columbia police arrived, Johnson was driving away from the Greensboro Drive home with the three children

When police arrested Johnson, they found marijuana and cocaine, Hammond said

net, Johnson has pleaded guilty to third-degree domestic assault three times in the past four years in

He was charged with theft last October in Boone County Circuit Court

He faces up to 40 years in prison and up to a year in jail in connection with

Telling the Story: The Convergence of Print, Broadcast and Online Media (p

Together, the two communicate the absolute essentials of the story; you as a reader know what happened

Notice that these details are still about the incident at hand

They provide the chronology of the incident in more detail, but stick to one scene

Then, when we get into Johnson’s background and criminal history, we are in the tall

Where the tall goes really depends on the writer’s style of writing and research

Practice the inverted pyramid style often and you’ll see your overall writing improve