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Writing an Obituary
(The Nelson Mandela Story)
On 12/5/2013 the world lost a great leader and man who inspired many, Nelson Mandela. Today in class we
saw part of a YouTube video on the life of Nelson Mandela, the abusive practices that caused his arrest and the
impact that the world involvement had on his release from prison, which led to his actually serving as the head
of South Africa.
Your assignment, and one that many beginning journalists must undertake, is to write an informative and
meaningful tribute about Nelson Mandela in the format of an obituary.
Step 1: Find a source, or sources, on the life and impact of Nelson Mandela.
Step 2: Watch several tributes to/about Nelson Mandela
Step 3: Create a feature obituary about Nelson Mandela
Use the following website ( to find examples of different obituaries. You
can also go to the Orlando Sentinel website and look at other obituaries.
I also recommend the website to find with tips for writing an
effective obituary. The “template” on this site provides you with the following tips:
Use this section as an outline, checklist, sample format, or template to writing an
The following headings are meant as a general guide. Make sure that you have
considered everything that is usually covered, then select what you would like to
include, and also decide what order you would like to use.
o Full name of the deceased, including nickname, if any
o Age at death
o Residence (for example, the name of the city) at death
o Day and date of death (remember to include the year)
o Place of death
o Cause of death
o Date of birth
o Place of birth
o Names of parents
o Childhood: siblings, stories, schools, friends
o Marriage(s): date of, place, name of spouse
o Education: school, college, university and other
o Designations, awards, and other recognition
o Employment: jobs, activities, stories, colleagues, satisfactions,
Writing An Obituary Template Sample
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