Journalistic Writing Mastery Quiz

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Journalistic Writing Mastery Quiz - Quiz

Welcome to the “Journalistic Writing Mastery Quiz”! This quiz is designed to test your understanding and mastery of key journalistic writing principles. It covers a range of topics, including the Inverted Pyramid style, the importance of a strong lead, and the use of the 5 Ws and H in news reporting. You’ll be challenged with questions that require you to identify the type of lead, evaluate the effectiveness of a lead, and understand the structure of a news article.

Whether you’re a budding journalist or an experienced reporter looking to brush up on your skills, this Journalistic Writing Mastery Quiz Read moreis a great way to assess your knowledge and learn more about the art of journalistic writing. Good luck!


Journalistic Writing Questions and Answers

  • 1. 

    Which type of article is best suited for the Inverted Pyramid style?

    • A.

      A personality feature about a movie star

    • B.

      A hard news article about a significant event

    • C.

      A classified ad

    • D.

      The horoscopes

    Correct Answer
    B. A hard news article about a significant event
    Explanation
    The Inverted Pyramid is a writing style employed in journalism where information is presented in descending order of importance. This style is particularly effective for hard news articles, such as reporting on significant events. The essential details are placed at the beginning, ensuring that readers grasp the most critical information even if they don't read the entire article. This approach caters to the busy nature of news consumption and provides immediate access to key facts.

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  • 2. 

    In the Inverted Pyramid style, what should go first when writing an article?

    • A.

      A quote

    • B.

      Fine details

    • C.

      The “who”

    • D.

      The most important information

    Correct Answer
    D. The most important information
    Explanation
    In the Inverted Pyramid style, the most crucial details are presented at the beginning, followed by less essential information. This structure caters to readers who may only read the opening paragraphs but still want the core information.

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  • 3. 

    When writing in the Inverted Pyramid style, how should the details be arranged?

    • A.

      Your details should build to a climax and resolution

    • B.

      Leave out all the details

    • C.

      The details should become less and less important

    • D.

      Always wear a fedora

    Correct Answer
    C. The details should become less and less important
    Explanation
    The essence of the Inverted Pyramid is to prioritize and present the most critical information first. As the article progresses, the details become less crucial. This structure is designed to accommodate readers who might not read the entire article but still want the main facts quickly, aligning with the fast-paced nature of news consumption.

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  • 4. 

    Why is the Inverted Pyramid style used in writing?

    • A.

      That shape is cool

    • B.

      Your editor might cut off the last part of your article

    • C.

      Not all readers will finish the article but they still want all the information

    • D.

      Both B and C

    Correct Answer
    D. Both B and C
    Explanation
    Writing in the Inverted Pyramid style considers practical aspects of journalism. Editors may sometimes need to trim the end of an article due to space constraints (option B). Additionally, acknowledging that not all readers will finish an article but still desire essential information (option C) justifies the use of the Inverted Pyramid. This style maximizes the chances that readers, even those who only skim, receive the critical information.

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  • 5. 

    When writing a news article, what should you include?

    • A.

      You should include the “who” and the “what”

    • B.

      You should include the “when” and the “where”

    • C.

      You should include the “why” and the “how”

    • D.

      All of the above 

    Correct Answer
    D. All of the above 
    Explanation
    A well-constructed news article should adhere to the principles of the "Five W's and H" - who, what, when, where, why, and how. Readers expect comprehensive coverage from news articles, and including all these elements as soon as possible ensures that readers have a holistic understanding of the story.

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  • 6. 

    In journalism, what is a “lead”?

    • A.

      The very last thing you write in an article.

    • B.

      The same as the headline.

    • C.

      The first paragraph of a story.

    • D.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    C. The first paragraph of a story.
    Explanation
    The lead serves as the opening paragraph of a news article. It plays a crucial role in setting the tone, grabbing the reader's attention, and conveying the most critical information succinctly. Journalists craft leads with the intention of providing a snapshot of the story's essence, making readers eager to continue reading.

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  • 7. 

    What is the purpose of writing a good lead?

    • A.

      Give readers the most important information in a clear, concise and interesting manner.

    • B.

      Establish the voice and direction of an article.

    • C.

      Grab the reader’s interest.

    • D.

      All of the above.

    Correct Answer
    D. All of the above.
    Explanation
    A well-crafted lead is multifaceted. It aims to deliver essential information in a clear and concise manner, establish the tone and direction of the article, and, crucially, capture the reader's interest. The lead acts as a gateway, influencing whether a reader continues to engage with the rest of the article.

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  • 8. 

    What is a “Summary Lead”?

    • A.

      Summarizes your article.

    • B.

      Always is phrased in the form of a question.

    • C.

      Includes several of the “Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How”.

    • D.

      Both A and C

    Correct Answer
    D. Both A and C
    Explanation
    A summary lead summarizes the main points of the article and often incorporates elements of the "Five W's and H." It serves to provide a quick overview of the story, making it valuable for readers who seek a concise understanding of the article's key aspects.

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  • 9. 

    Approximately how many words should a strong lead contain?

    • A.

      10

    • B.

      20

    • C.

      30

    • D.

      40+

    Correct Answer
    C. 30
    Explanation
    The strength of a lead lies in its conciseness. With approximately 30 words, a strong lead effectively conveys the essential information, ensuring that readers quickly grasp the core details without being overwhelmed by unnecessary length.

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  • 10. 

    Which of the following are real alternatives to the summary lead?

    • A.

      Analogy lead

    • B.

      Wordplay lead

    • C.

      Heavy lead

    • D.

      Startling statement lead

    • E.

      Quote lead

    • F.

      Leader lead

    Correct Answer(s)
    D. Startling statement lead
    E. Quote lead
    Explanation
    Both a startling statement lead and a quote lead are legitimate alternatives to the summary lead. A startling statement captures attention with a provocative statement, while a quote lead uses a direct quote to engage readers and introduce the article's main idea.

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  • 11. 

    Identify the type of lead in this sentence: “Twenty-eight passengers and a crew of four were killed last night when a single-engine plane crashed four miles south of Bloomington.”

    Correct Answer(s)
    Summary lead
    Explanation
    The given text is a summary or straight summary lead because it provides a concise and factual summary of the main details of the event. It states that a single-engine plane crashed, resulting in the deaths of twenty-eight passengers and a crew of four, and specifies the location of the crash as four miles south of Bloomington. This type of lead is commonly used in news articles to quickly inform readers about important events.

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  • 12. 

    Identify the type of lead in this sentence: “I don’t want to sound anti-American,” poet Derek Walcott told his audience at Illinois Wesleyan University, “but this country is the only nation that taxes the Nobel Prize.”

    • A.

      Summary lead

    • B.

      Quotation lead

    • C.

      Startling statement lead

    • D.

      Boring lead

    Correct Answer
    B. Quotation lead
    Explanation
    This is a quotation lead because it starts with a direct quote from poet Derek Walcott. The quote is used to grab the reader's attention and introduce the main topic of the article, which is the taxation of the Nobel Prize in the United States.

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  • 13. 

    Why is it not a good idea to start your lead with the “where” or “when”?

    • A.

      Because they are never included in a lead.

    • B.

      Rarely are place and time the most important aspects of the story.

    • C.

      Because it’s in poor taste.

    • D.

      Because this is rule number one in lead writing.

    Correct Answer
    B. Rarely are place and time the most important aspects of the story.
    Explanation
    Starting a lead with "where" or "when" is not a good idea because rarely are place and time the most important aspects of the story. This means that focusing on the location or timing may not engage the readers or provide them with the most relevant information. Instead, it is generally more effective to start with the most compelling or significant elements of the story to capture the readers' attention and draw them into the article.

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  • 14. 

    Does this lead start with the who, what, when, where, or why? “Reckless drivers who don’t seem to be drunk may well be high on cocaine or marijuana, according to roadside tests that indicate drugs may rival alcohol as a hazard on the highway.”

    Correct Answer
    Who
    Explanation
    The question is asking about the type of lead that is used in the given statement. The lead starts with the word "Reckless drivers who" which introduces the subject of the sentence, indicating that it is a "who" lead.

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  • 15. 

    Does this lead start with the who, what, when, where, or why? “Jars and cans tumbled off store shelves and telephone poles swayed when an earthquake that was a ‘real good shaker’ rumbled through Central California yesterday.”

    Correct Answer
    What
    Explanation
    The question is asking which of the five Ws (who, what, when, where, why) does the given lead start with. In this case, the lead starts with the word "Jars and cans," indicating that it is describing what happened during the earthquake. Therefore, the correct answer is "what."

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  • 16. 

    Does this lead start with the who, what, when, where, or why? “With more amateurs cutting wood for use as an alternative to high-priced heating oil, hospitals are coping with an increasing number of injuries due to chain-saw accidents, reported the American College of Surgeons.”

    Correct Answer
    Why
    Explanation
    The lead starts with the word "With," which indicates a cause or reason. The sentence goes on to explain that hospitals are coping with an increasing number of injuries due to chain-saw accidents caused by more amateurs cutting wood for use as an alternative to high-priced heating oil. Therefore, the lead is focusing on the reason behind the increasing number of injuries, making it a "why" lead.

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  • 17. 

    A summary lead should answer two or more of the 5 W’s and H.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
     True. A summary lead, which is the opening paragraph of a news story, should ideally address two or more of the key questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how. This is because the purpose of a summary lead is to give the reader a brief overview of the story, highlighting the most important points. By addressing these key questions, the lead can provide a comprehensive snapshot of the story, allowing the reader to understand the main points even if they don’t read the entire article.

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  • 18. 

    In deciding how to start a lead, ask yourself “What is the first thing you would tell someone else about a situation or event?”

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    True. When deciding how to start a lead, it’s helpful to consider what information is most crucial to convey first. Imagine you’re informing someone else about the situation or event - what’s the first thing you would tell them? This approach helps ensure that the most important and interesting information is presented at the beginning of the article, which can grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to keep reading. Remember, the goal of the lead is not only to summarize the story but also to engage the reader.

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  • 19. 

    Identify the issues with this lead: “Last Friday, March 18, all of the sophomore, junior and senior students assembled in the gymnasium. After Student Body President Gary Winchman led the students in the flag salute, Vice Principal Barry Jones presented Sen. Robert Brown, who talked about ecology.”

    • A.

      There’s nothing wrong, this lead is quite nice.

    • B.

      This lead is filled with unnecessary details.

    • C.

      The lead is dull.

    • D.

      The lead is too long and needs severe copy editing.

    • E.

      The lead has unnecessary details, is dull, and needs severe copy editing.

    Correct Answer
    E. The lead has unnecessary details, is dull, and needs severe copy editing.
    Explanation
     The lead has unnecessary details, is dull, and needs severe copy editing. A good lead should be concise, engaging, and only include the most important information. This lead is filled with details that aren’t crucial to understanding the main point of the story, it lacks an engaging hook to draw the reader in, and it’s too long, which can make it difficult for the reader to quickly grasp the main point.

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  • 20. 

    As a journalist, is it your responsibility to write a clear, fairly short lead that reveals the end result of the story, allowing someone to be informed about what happened without reading the rest of the story?

    • A.

      Yes, exactly.

    • B.

      No, this is not true.

    Correct Answer
    A. Yes, exactly.
    Explanation
    Yes, exactly. As a journalist, one of your main responsibilities is to write a clear, concise lead that provides the most important information about the story. This allows readers to quickly understand the main point, even if they don’t read the entire article. This is especially important in news journalism, where readers often skim articles and may not read past the lead.

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Our quizzes are rigorously reviewed, monitored and continuously updated by our expert board to maintain accuracy, relevance, and timeliness.

  • Current Version
  • Jan 17, 2024
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Sep 17, 2012
    Quiz Created by
    Lkubish
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