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Analysis of Attribution

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The New York Times article entitled "Egyptian Soccer Riot Kills More Than 70," features a total of 10 attributions. They are spread throughout the story. When someone is directly quoted, the writer shows a tendency to partially quote and break up the quotes with his/her own writing throughout a paragraph. Sometimes the attribution continues into a second paragraph. The source is referenced on the first mention, then the person is referred to as he/she.

The reporter is successful because there is an extensive amount of information that is presented through the quotes, but the writing is not bogged down by an excessive amount of quoting. Also, the quotes are very carefully selected. They are emotionally impacting and powerful, and are from soccer players involved in the incident, along with government/health officials.

One example present in the text epitomizes the emphasis on using attribution to describe an incident that was a disturbing human tragedy: "Is life this cheap?" The reporter intentionally presented quotes such as this one (from a star Al Ahly soccer player) that would lend the story emotional impact. The sources are all people, lending the story even more of a human aspect.

The reporter avoids quoting when it is unnecessary, that is, when the attribution can be made apparent through summarizing a source.

Analysis of News Lead

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In the Barnes and Noble vs. Amazon story, the lead functions as the attention grabber. The location given (Silicon Valley) is fairly specific, but not completely so.

After asserting the date of the action in the lead as being March, 2009, the phrase "an eternity ago in Silicon Valley" is used. This serves to exaggerate the rapidly advancing field of technology, and creates a background foreshadowing the story's primary focus on expanding digital book technology.

The lead also includes the description: "a small team of engineers," which lends itself not to explicit specificity but rather a specificity that is appropriate in the fairly vague context of this lead. It is purposefully vague and successful in that the reader is excited and encouraged to read more in order to fill in the blanks.

The final part: "rethink the future of books" is monumentally important in securing reader interest and attention. This makes the reader intent on reading more to discover what the implications of such a dramatic allusion could possibly be.

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