A kicker is an element of a newspaper headline that entices the reader to read on.
It is a creative way to use extra space and add some entertainment value to the piece.
Kickers are used in both entertaining and boring news releases.
A kicker can be described in two different ways: as an exclamation point or as an image or anecdote.
The Four Boxes story structure
When writing a story, it’s helpful to think of the story structure as a vessel with four smaller boxes inside.
Each box has a distinct purpose and is designed to tell a specific part of the story.
As a result, no single box can contain the entire story. Instead, each scene must be placed in a box appropriate to its purpose.
The first box in the structure consists of part one. The first twenty to twenty-five percent of the story sets up what happens in the rest of the story.
The antagonistic force is not fully presented in the first part. Instead, it’s portrayed in part, with only small glimpses of the conflict.
The lead box is a strong, compelling image that draws the reader’s attention.
The second box contains a “nut graph” or more compelling material, such as statistics or a bulleted list.
The fourth box is the less interesting material that follows. Finally, the fifth box is the “kicker,” the ending.
Another type of story structure is the inverted pyramid.
This style avoids chronological storytelling of events and is used most often in news writing.
It presents the most important information first, and then the less important information in descending order.
Inverted pyramids work best when the lead is the main focus of the story.
The nutshell paragraph
The nutshell paragraph, or nut-graf, is the meatiest part of the article, usually located after the leade.
It explains the context of the story and can be the equivalent of a thesis statement.
For example, a story about sexual inactivity among younger millennials might include a nut-graf describing the trend.
The point of view
When a journalist is writing a story, the point of view is an important component of the piece.
Often, a journalist’s opinion will come across in the words they use and in the choice of stories they publish.
Point-of-view journalism is a popular alternative to traditional, objective journalism.
It is based on the concept that journalists may have a point of view, and it is their responsibility to disclose this if it is possible or desirable to do so.
In journalism, the point of view of a story is essential because it is what frames the facts and information a writer gathers for their story.
This includes everything from where the story takes place to a person’s background, race, gender, and economic status.
In addition, a point of view can affect the overall tone of a piece.