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Analysis: Obituaries

There was an obituary written about a University of Minnesota professor at the Star Tribune.

The lead is relatively standard. It starts with the person's name, Peter Firchow, and then gives a detail about the person's life. The only part missing from the lead is his age at the time of death, but his age is given in the headline, so it would be repetitive if it were also in the lead.

"Peter Firchow, of Bloomington, was a native of the United States who spent much of his childhood in Germany during World War II," the lead states.

I think this lead is effective. It gives the name of the person who died, where he was from, and a fact that makes his life unique and interesting. His age was already given in the headline.

One of the sources used was Firchow's wife, Evelyn and daughter, Pamina. They are useful sources because they knew him well and can give insight to his personality and details about his life.

Other sources used were a retired University of Minnesota English professor and a former student who now writes nonfiction. They are useful because they can offer details about his career and the influence he had in his field and at the university.

The obituary differs from a resume because it gives information in a more interesting way. Rather than listing off the person's accomplishments in a bulleted format, it tells about that person's life almost like a story, especially in the chronology section.