On the left, write down every question you can think of, including readers’
questions, as well as any you brainstormed with your writers group. Then on the
right, write down every source you want answers from. You’ll sometimes find that
you identify sources and/or questions you hadn’t thought of. This is an efficient way
to keep track of what you know and what you need to know, as well as guaranteeing
that you touch all bases and produce a story that is fair, accurate and complete.
The following example is based on a news item about kids squirting bleach onto
neighborhood people and property with Super Soakers.
Beginning With Questions Beginning with sources
How do you feel this is an invasion of privacy? Parent of Facebook Student
Student Who Has Been Affected by
How are these searches conducted? Vice Principal Barbara Manfredi
How has students being involved in Facebook Student with Facebook Profile?
hurt their academics?
Mrs. McGill, Parent and Teacher
Is the website a bad idea? Miss Manfredi
How do students benefit from Facebook? Mrs. McGill
Parent of Student with Profile
How are administrators informed of any Mrs. Steffner
misconduct on the site?
How do you think it differs from younger Miss Manfredi
students with profiles from those who are
older? Mrs. Steffner
How have students gotten in trouble from Law enforcement officials
How do you feel that you’ve benefited from Student
having a profile?
What is it that attracts you to the site? Student
From Chip Scanlan’s NewsU Course: Writers@Work, Summer 2008.