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Obituary Analysis

Obituary Analysis
New York Times: Ronald Tavel, Proudly Ridiculous Writer, Dies at 72
March 29, 2009

For an analysis of an obituary, I looked in the New York Times and found an piece on Ronald Tavel, a playwright and screenwrtier, who died.

Overall, the New York Times seemed to follow a pretty standard format for the obituary, with a few minor touches and differences. The sources for the story include Tavels only survivor, his brother Harvey Tavel; and Callie Angell, curator of the Andy Warhol Film Project; and that was it. The article was superfluous with information about Mr. Tavel, but I could only identify those two sources being referenced. As far as the lead, I thought it was pretty standard. The lead said his name, his importance and prominence, and where and when he died. The second sentence of the lead said his age and where he had lived, which was bit unique. The lead I think was very effective. If I had a limited amount of time, I would have been able to read that lead and be aware of this prominent writer's death, why he was prominent, and what happened; the crucial things I need to know. The obituary differed from a resume as it spoke in the past tense and not only listed his achievements, but implied and discussed what he leaves behind and the affect his work has had, as well as the other obvious components that make it an obituary. It had his achievements, a chronology, a lead, and discussed his only immediate survivor early in the article, all the basic components of an obituary. This was a quality example of standard obituary for the most part.


New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/theater/27tavel.html