feature Writing excercise

Saturday’s state university homecoming game will be the first one since St. Cloud State University banned alcohol at tailgate parties. Your editor wants you to hang out in the parking lot and write a 400-word story about what happens there. Here’s what you discover:

The announcement of the alcohol ban at tailgate parties came Friday, less than 24 hours before the homecoming game kickoff.

CHECKLIST: Does your story meet the following criteria?
A) Can you identify the hook? Does the story contain concrete, sensory, your-are-there reporting?
B) Does the story contain an effective transition from the hook to the billboard/nut graph?
C) Does the billboard/nut graf identify a clear focus for the story that grows out of the hook?
D) Does the body of the story support the billboard/nut graf well? Do all parts address the central idea put forward in the billboard/nut graf?
E) Do all quotes illustrate statements already made?
F) Does the wrap-up/ending work? It should have a sense of conclusion. It’s often best to end with a quote, not with the writer’s voice.

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