James J. Kilpatrick

Good reporters learn in their cradles that every word must count in a good lead. Nancie L. Katz provided an admirable example in the New York Daily News some months ago: "A two-bit burglar wound up a three-time loser yesterday when he drew a sentence of 18 years to life for a bungled break-in that left him a broken man."

What a lovely lead! There's no way to stop reading Katz's story -- and the first aim of good writing, after all, is to make a reader want to keep on reading.


James J. Kilpatrick

James J. Kilpatrick has been reporter, editor, columnist, commentator, and briefly an adjunct professor of journalism.

Be the first to read James Kilpatrick's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.