4 Examples of the Inverted Pyramid Style of Writing

October 16, 2020
Education
Productivity
Examples of the Inverted Pyramid Style of Writing

The inverted pyramid style of writing is an essential tool for journalists, marketing professionals, and content creators alike. This particular writing method captures the attention of readers from the beginning by providing key details: 

  • who, what, when, where, and how. 

Readers are then given relevant details and background information to keep them interested. These additional elements help the reader form their own opinion before the article concludes with contact information of the writer.

For an in-depth explanation of the inverted pyramid technique, checkout our full article below.

The Inverted Pyramid Style on Content Writing - A Simple and Effective Method to Writing

To help gain a better understanding of how the inverted pyramid is executed, we’ll need to review several examples. This style of writing can be applied to press releases, news articles, blog posts, academic proposals, e-newsletters, email blasts, and countless others.

Reviewing examples can help you better grasp how to apply the concept to many different writing pieces.  

Example #1) News Report

Our first example explores the mystery behind a recently closed business. The title alone creates interest in the story and beckons the reader to find out more.


Breakdown :

The first two paragraphs delve into the who, what, where, when, and why.

This story quickly lets the reader know:

  • What the issue is (restaurant closing after critic’s writing)
  • Where it happened (Portland burger joint Bar Stanich)
  • When it happened (last January)
  • Who was involved (Kevin Alexander) 
  • How it happened (overwhelmed with business after the article).

The serious tone sets the mood for the rest of the article. We are educated on the main points of the story and are now ready to process new information to gain a better perspective on the situation.


Further Breakdown :

The next three paragraphs of the article include a breakdown of the details, additional background information, and quotes. Collectively these elements allow the reader to form their own opinion about why the restaurant really closed down. 

Further Reading: 

https://www.thecut.com/2018/11/the-dark-story-behind-americas-best-burger-place.html#_ga=2.199003112.694769978.1602637311-704410780.1602637311

Example #2) Blogger

The second example allows us to see how a blogger uses the inverted pyramid. The title asks a lighthearted question that makes the reader excited to learn the answer. 

Breakdown: 

With the first sentence of this blog post, the writer answers the initial question. 

However, this isn’t the only amusing answer she has to offer. The next paragraphs provide our: 

  • who (assorted business professionals)
  • what (work calls from unexpected places)
  • when (last week), and where (the bathroom). 

The “how” this is happening is because workers are trying to find quiet and private moments to make important calls while working remotely throughout COVID-19.

Despite the circumstances this was written in, these initial paragraphs set the humorous tone for the rest of the post. 


The next two paragraphs give us more insight on the author as she lets us know the weirdest place she’s seen a business call happen. We discover the author’s boyfriend has been making calls from a tent in the backyard, and it did not end well. 

These additional details let the reader determine which of the calls mentioned actually took place in the weirdest setting.

The post ends with a call to action to comment with your weirdest call. It also includes links to relevant blog posts. 

Recommended Reading: Funny Stories Example

Example #3) Press Release

The third example example illustrates how a public relations professional would use the inverted pyramid in a press release. This press release details Gerber’s Photo Search winner.

Breakdown:

This piece of writing gives the reader information in both a quick and concise manner. 

  • The who (Baby Kairi), 
  • The what (Photo Search contest winner)
  • Where (North Carolina), 
  • When (Feb. 26, 2019)
  • How (Instagram entry look of wonder in her eyes) are taken care of in the first paragraph.

The reader has the main information they need, and it was given to them in a short amount of reading time. Being upfront in a press release shows a sign of respect between a public relations professional and the journalists on the receiving end of their writing. 

This paragraph sets the warm tone for the rest of the press release, with phrases like “adorable new addition” and “delicate expression.” 

The second and last paragraph of the press release provides quotes that further drive home the point of how excited Gerber is about their new Spokesbaby.

The quotes add an emotional element to a piece of writing that began with mainly quantitative information. It also helps the reader decide how they feel about Gerber’s contest and its latest winner.  

Example #4) Email Blast

The fourth example shows our slimmest inverted pyramid yet: an email blast.

The inverted pyramid style of writing is a great format to apply to marketing emails because they need to grab the attention of your reader and keep it long enough to get your point across. 

Breakdown:

After an initial joke to pull the reader in, the first, very small paragraph provides all of the pertinent information: 

  • Who (you)
  • What (burritos, guacamole, etc.)
  • When (in minutes)
  • Where (to you)
  • How (only $4.99)

The second, very small paragraph provides relevant details, background information, and further details that drive home the good news in two sentences. The reader is informed of what’s been going on behind the scenes while being encouraged to give in to their cravings. 

While this particular piece of writing is light on words, it’s a good example of how the inverted pyramid technique can be applied to almost any writing piece. 

Conclusion

We reviewed an article, blog post, press release, and email blast which all utilized the inverted pyramid writing style. Each piece started by giving the who, what, when, where and how details of the story, then provided relevant details, background information which allowed the reader to form their own judgements, and additional details and quotes which drove the point home. 

They ended with sources if applicable and contact information of the author. Since these pieces were written in the inverted pyramid method, the reader can stop reading at any point but still have an understanding of the story. On the other hand, after the reader is done they will have a well-rounded understanding. 

After reviewing several examples, you’ll start to notice more pieces of writing in your everyday life that use this method. Whether you’re a blogger, marketing professional, or journalist, the inverted pyramid can help you create informative and engaging pieces for your readers.