TOW #8: The Lead Lab

I actually enjoyed the NewsU Lead Lab course! It presented all the necessary information needed to write an effective lead in an interactive yet straightforward manner. The concept of a virtual science lab is a neat idea, as lecture style learning methods have gotten old over the years.

I’m not sure that I learned any new information. However, the course did reinforce the five W’s, H, and SW of lead writing. These are seven questions that a writer should ask when crafting a lead. They include who, what, when, where, why, how, and so what? An effective lead answers all or most of these questions, and prompts interest in the reader.

I was surprised to find that someone had actually developed a way to present lead writing in an interesting way. Honestly, learning about leads in my journalism courses bored me. Like most things, it’s a necessary skill in journalism and public relations that you have to practice in order to learn. However, the NewsU course created an interactive way for the user to break down the components of different leads before ever writing one. In essence, this allows you to test the water before jumping in.

The best part of the course is the ability to work at your own pace. In my experience, students are rarely able to learn or work at their own pace. This is an aspect of education that has always bothered me. Obviously, students shouldn’t be able to do things whenever they feel like it, but more attention should be focused on individual needs and learning styles. Ultimately, I think this would make for a better learning experience for students.

Considering that this is the third time I’ve gone over leads in college, I think I’ve learned as much as I can in the information department. On the other hand, the application of my lead knowledge is a different story. I’ve written numerous leads in my classes, but I need a lot more practice. Considering my major, however, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities in the future.


4 responses to this post.

  1. I like you don’t think that I learned anything new when I took the course last semester after taking several journalism classes already. I didn’t really find the site to be user friendly and had a tough time navigating the site. Glad you had a better experience than I did.


    • You have a really neat blog! It includes some unique and attention-grabbing pictures. It’s engaging and interesting. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was a student blog! Obviously, you are more than just a student, but I am very impressed! It’s clear that you are passionate about public relations and will excel in whatever career you ascertain in the field!


      • I greatly appreciate this comment you made back in July! I checked my wordpress while I was in a hurry and totally forgot to respond. Thank you!

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