Skip to main content
University of Texas at Austin
University Interscholastic League Logo
University Interscholastic League Logo

Checklist for News Stories

  • Does the story tell the most important facts in order of importance?
  • Is information gained from a source attributed to that source?
  • Are paragraphs short, averaging 25-35 words?
  • Is the story free from editorial comment and first person pronouns? Are style, spelling, grammar errors corrected?
  • Do all paragraphs follow one another in logical order, each one blending in smoothly with the one preceding?
  • Is sentence structure varied?
  • If the story is inverted pyramid, could the last paragraph or two be cut without damaging the meaning?
  • Do the vocabulary and style catch the spirit of the story?
  • Is the story concise? Can any words be eliminated or can any sentence be tightened by changing a sentence to a dependent clause, a dependent clause to a phrase, or a phrase to a word?
  • Does the story have unity? Is the theme properly supported and amplified in the body? Are unnecessary and irrelevant details omitted?

By Bobby Hawthorne
Former Director, Interscholastic League Press Conference
Please see that Bobby Hawthorne and the ILPC are appropriately credited.