How would I approach writing a news article about the mad dog incident in To Kill a Mockingbird? You are a Maycomb reporter and just witnessed first-hand the mad dog event in this chapter. Write...

How would I approach writing a news article about the mad dog incident in To Kill a Mockingbird?

You are a Maycomb reporter and just witnessed first-hand the mad dog event in this chapter. Write up a news story for the Maycomb Tribune newspaper based on your account of the event. You may include quotes from any of the characters—remember, you were there, so you probably interviewed some of the people on the scene! (2 paragraphs)

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A newspaper article focuses on answering basic questions and providing information.  Who was there? What happened and when did it happen?  Where did it happen? Why did it happen? How did it happen?  In this case, you probably want to focus on answering these questions because you only have two paragraphs to write your article.  Pretend that you are actually there, witnessing the event.

What happened, when and why: A rabid dog threatened Maycomb.  The dog, Tim Johnson, had contracted rabies and was seen walking down the street.  It is unusual to see a mad dog in February, and everyone is nervous.  The mad dog is contagious to people.  Sheriff Heck Tate is called.

Where it happened: The incident occurred on Maycomb’s main residential street.  The dog was finally confronted and shot in front of the Radley house.

Who was there: The main players in this event are Atticus Finch and Heck Tate.  Atticus is the one who shot the dog, and Heck Tate is the one who insisted he do it.  A good newspaper article might include a quote, such as what Heck Tate said to Atticus.

“Mr. Finch, this is a one-shot job.”

Atticus shook his head vehemently: “Don’t just stand there, Heck! He won’t wait all day for you—”

“For God’s sake, Mr. Finch, look where he is! Miss and you’ll go straight into the Radley house! I can’t shoot that well and you know it!” (Ch. 10)

A human-interest angle would also be good to include.  You might want to mention that Mr. Finch’s two children, Atticus and Jem, were watching their father shoot the dog.  The children and everyone else in the street were in danger. 

All of the neighbors were watching too, including Miss Stephanie Crawford and Miss Maudie.  The trash man, Zeebo, collected the dog afterward.  He made sure no one else touched it, because a mad dog is just as dangerous dead as alive.

 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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