Analysis: Obituary

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Look at a news obituary - not a paid death notice, but an obituary written by a reporter about the death of someone notable in the community. What sources are used? Does it have a standard obituary lead or an alternative? Does that lead work? How does the obit differ from a resume?

By Karen Elizondo

An obituary of Dorii Gbolo appeared in the Star Tribune on Thursday.

The sources of this obituary are U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., Gbolo herself, her sister Bettye Granger, Bill Gbolo.

This obituary does not follow the standard formula for an obituary. It does not have the standard lead -- the name, title, and age -- and her claim to fame section is mixed in with the chronology section. There is a vague outline of lead, then claim-to-fame then chronology and family but not like the New York Times format.

The lead works, but it is not as eye-capturing as it could be. I would say that if the standard obit format is not going to be followed the lead should be more colorful and descriptive about a major contribution that the deceased had on the community. It should not be a vague sentence.

This obituary differs from a resume because it shows her noteworthy actions and accomplishments in life but it includes comments and quotes that make it special. The comments from sources add emotion and life while the point of a resume is purely to show life accomplishments and skills.

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This page contains a single entry by elizo012 published on July 14, 2012 12:50 PM.

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