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Structure

Analyze the progression of information in a news story. How has the reporter summarized the important elements? How has the reporter ordered the information? Why? Is it effective? Could it have been done differently How?


The news story "Fossils of new meat-eating dinos found," at News Times, has an interesting structure. There is a lot of detailed information on the subject, a discovery of fossils in Africa, and therefore a lot of the facts had to be sorted through and chosen for greatest importance. The lead says that archaeologists found two carnivorous dinosaurs in Africa. This is the most important information, and it is therefore effectively structured. Next the reporter identifies the source, a journal of a fossil-hunter that made the discovery, and says what the dinosaurs are named and what they looked like while alive. This is important information as well, because it is one of the biggest questions that the reader would have after hearing the lead. The next information is about the what the dinosaurs mean to the scientific community and to understanding life 100 million years ago. These are also effectively structured because they are relevant addresses to questions readers would have.

Although the structure is quite effective, as a reader I thought it could have included more information on the paleontologists who discovered the dinosaurs. I knew nothing about the dig site in Africa, and that could have been useful information to know.