Nut Graphs

“The Globe has confirmed that Figueredo is now in Massachusetts, admittedly working for free for her daughter Johanna Herrero’s thriving immigration law firm. In New York, she was famous as Stella. But on Boston’s historic State Street, she goes by Julia.”

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This nut graph from the Boston Globe connects the story, about a former New York immigration lawyer, to the paper’s audience. While it does not contain all the information that is pertinent to the story, it expands upon the lead. The lead introduces the story in the context of why Figueredo is an important figure in New York and why she owes money, but the nut graph takes that information and places it in the context of Boston.

The author of the story uses an anecdotal lead to lead up to the nut graph. Since it’s anecdotal, the lead is longer than a traditional summary lead. The first quote comes a few paragraphs after the lead, but it doesn’t seem to me like it is too far from the nut. There is a quotation before the nut, but it’s not used in a traditional sense. Since it comes before the nut graph, it’s still more of a set up to the nut then a continuation of the stories main point.


“Clinton’s appearance, amid a breakneck tour of battleground states, was designed to fire up Democrats in advance of Tuesday’s balloting, with public polls showing that New Hampshire could break either way. She hit several progressive hot-button issues, ranging from paid family leave to affordable health care to quality public education. She drew a laugh when she joked that the state’s Democratic primary voters had “cleaned my clock” in her loss to Senator Bernie Sanders, who has since endorsed her.”

This nut graph comes from the third paragraph of the story. The lead the author uses is very traditional, a summary lead. What’s less traditional is that the author immediately follows the lead with a quote from Clinton and then this nut graph. The nut graph effectively summarizes the point of Clinton’s appearance, rather than just the point of the story. This serves to provide relevance to the story and establishing more interest for the audience beyond what a short summary lead every could do. The nut graph is also less rigid and structured, giving the article a more conversational flow then the lead provides.


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