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Writing a News Report

Page history last edited by Mrs. Train 2 years, 3 months ago



Writing a News Report



Example of News Report

Examples of Levels 1 through 4

OSSLT Criteria and Assignment Rubric



The Grade 10 OSSLT – Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test– will be asking you to write a News Report based on a headline and picture. This assignment will help you practice for the test and at the same time give you an opportunity to share your knowledge about safety considerations in a technology (computer) environment.



1. Choose one of the headlines and pictures. Think of an event that relates to them.


2. Brainstorm ideas (the OSSLT has a rough notes section) to identify general and specific information based on the headline and picture.

  • Who or what do you see in the picture? Make up first and last name AND
  • Who is an “expert” that you could interview? Make up first and last names.
  • Where did this event occur? Provide the location (eg. high school, TBY).
  • When did this event occur?
  • What happened? Facts only, please.
  • Why did it happen? Was there a reason?
  • How? Any other facts of how it happened.


3. Make up one or two short quotations to make the report more interesting or support the details. Imagine what a person (a witness, a victim, an expert) might have said at the scene or during an interview. This gives the reader the feeling that they are at the scene.  Remember to either name the person or use an “anonymous source.” (Interesting fact: 3-5 quotations are often found in OSSLT’s most highly rated news reports!)


4. FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT: What safety advice relates to your topic?  You should offer at least 3 tips on one of the areas we discussed in class: passwords, protecting your identity, establishing a positive identity, safe online shopping, cyberbullying issues, protecting yourself against malware and other safety topics.  


5. Start Writing your paragraphs.

 The key elements of a News Report are illustrated at the right, in an inverted paragraph style.


  • The important information —the 5 W’s and How — can be found in the lead. 
  • Additional details and quotes are added according to their importance. 
  • The least important information can be found at the bottom of the story (or pyramid).


Format of News Report


Catches your attention, sums up a story


Indent or skip a line

Optional 1st sentence

This can be a way to get you interested in the rest of the story. Eg. “John never thought such a disaster could happen to him.”


Indent or skip a line


The opening section. Gives the most important information, such as answers to who? what? where? when? Why? How?  Write sentences about “what” is happening. You can quote what someone is saying about what happened or write a factual sentence about it.


Indent or skip a line


Continue to add details. Make sure that every new idea starts a new paragraph. Indent or skip a line between paragraphs.



Explain any loose ends. Are there next steps or suggestions for the reader?

Many news articles on technology offer recommendations or advice. Since your articles involve safety topics, please add recommendations for staying safe or what to do in case the reader has a similar problem. You may recommend a website for more information or offer specific advice.

For this assignment, please recommend a minimum of 3 strategies.

Last Sentence

Your last sentence can be a quote from someone or a sentence that ends the article.


Important Considerations

  • Make sure that your news report reflects the picture and headline.
  • Your lead, the opening section, should give the most important information (the 5Ws).
  • Write your report using the third person (i.e. “he said,” not “I said”).
  • Do not include your personal opinion.
  • It is acceptable for a paragraph to be only one sentence.
  • Are you using quotation marks correctly?  Here is an example: "Everyone should feel safe, especially in school," said Sally Smith, a student at Main Street Secondary School.  "We want bullying to stop and that is why we are protesting today."     
  • Check your spelling and grammar! Pretend that you are reading your story to someone else. Does it make sense? Does it sound right?
  • Your news report should be 225 to 250 words, typed on Microsoft Word, Google Docs or other word processor of your choice. (Note: on the Literacy Test, the report should be approximately one handwritten page. )



Knowledge & Understanding

  • Response follows the format of a news report
  • Response is related to the headling and photo, with a clear and consistent focus on the event

Thinking & Inquiry

  • Specific supporting details are thoughtfully chosen to develop the news report
  • Computer class: Student offers valid strategies and extra resources to the reader


  • Report is written in the third person
  • Report contains only facts and no opinion
  • Report contains at least 2 quotations to support the facts
  • The report is organized in a coherent and thoughtful profession of ideas related to topic


  • Grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct



Example of News Report

Examples of Levels 1 through 4

OSSLT Criteria and Assignment Rubric



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