O SlideShare utiliza cookies para otimizar a funcionalidade e o desempenho do site, assim como para apresentar publicidade mais relevante aos nossos usuários. Se você continuar a navegar o site, você aceita o uso de cookies. Leia nosso Contrato do Usuário e nossa Política de Privacidade.
O SlideShare utiliza cookies para otimizar a funcionalidade e o desempenho do site, assim como para apresentar publicidade mais relevante aos nossos usuários. Se você continuar a utilizar o site, você aceita o uso de cookies. Leia nossa Política de Privacidade e nosso Contrato do Usuário para obter mais detalhes.
Hi, my name is Les Perelman and in 2005 I stumbled into getting myself and, more importantly, my critiques of standardized testing, in the news. Today I want to tell my story and give some tips for pitching stories and developing
The central element in selling a story to a reporter is the pitch. The pitch is a short one or two sentence statement that presents the essential information: the 5W’s and H of Journalism – who, what, where, when, why, and how. You do not need to present all 6 of these items
Steven Colbert also held up a copy of the Times article with my name. At the time, my teenage son thought this was the coolest thing I have ever done.
Dartmouth 2018 Using the media to publicize your research . Les Perelman
Show Don’t Tell
How to Pitch to the Media &
Their Care and Feeding
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• The beginning of most
news stories is the pitch
– You pitch a story to the
– A reporter pitches a
story to an editor
• The pitch should be
able to be condensed
into a one sentence
“lead” that presents all
Telling a Story -- Simplify
SAT Essay Test Rewards Length and Ignores Errors
By MICHAEL WINERIP MAY 4, 2005
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - IN March, Les Perelman attended a national college writing
conference and sat in on a panel on the new SAT writing test. Dr. Perelman is one of the
directors of undergraduate writing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He fears that
the new 25-minute SAT essay test that started in March -- and will be given for the second
time on Saturday -- is actually teaching high school students terrible writing habits.
"It appeared to me that regardless of what a student wrote, the longer the essay, the higher
the score," Dr. Perelman said. A man on the panel from the College Board disagreed. "He
told me I was jumping to conclusions," Dr. Perelman said. "Because M.I.T. is a place where
everything is backed by data, I went to my hotel room, counted the words in those essays
and put them in an Excel spreadsheet on my laptop.”
He was stunned by how complete the correlation was between length and score. "I have
never found a quantifiable predictor in 25 years of grading that was anywhere near as
strong as this one," he said. "If you just graded them based on length without ever reading
them, you'd be right over 90 percent of the time."
SAT graders are told to read an essay just once and spend two to three minutes per essay,
and Dr. Perelman is now adept at rapid-fire SAT grading. This reporter held up a sample
essay far enough away so it could not be read, and he was still able to guess the correct
grade by its bulk and shape. "That's a 4," he said. "It looks like a 4."
Dr. Perelman is now adept at rapid-fire SAT
grading. This reporter held up a sample
essay far enough away so it could not be
read, and he was still able to guess the
correct grade by its bulk and shape. "That's
a 4," he said. "It looks like a 4."
Next Stop an OpEd
May 29, 2005|Les Perelman
New SAT: Write Long, Badly and Prosper
When the administrators of the SAT announced that their new test would include a 25-
minute essay portion, writing teachers around the country were optimistic. We hoped it
would be a genuine test of writing ability, and that over time it would increase the emphasis
on good writing in high schools and lead to better-prepared, more-literate students being
sent off to college.
First, the test encourages wordiness. Longer essays consistently score higher. Shortly after
the test was first administered in March, I looked at scored samples that were made public,
including the set used to train graders. I discovered that I could guess an essay's prescribed
score just by looking at its length -- even from across a room. One verbose sample that
received a perfect 6 concluded with the ridiculous sentence: "If secrecy were eradicated,
many problems, such as internal division, but also possibly hate, might also be eliminated."
Just as disconcerting is the test's disregard for factual accuracy. The official guide for scorers
states: "Writers may make errors in facts or information that do not affect the quality of
their essays. For example, a writer may state 'The American Revolution began in 1842' or
'Anna Karenina, a play by the French author Joseph Conrad, was a very upbeat literary work.'
" One of the sample papers scoring a "perfect" 6, for example, described the "firing of two
shots at Fort Sumter in late 1862," even though it was in early 1861 and 4,000 shots were
Be Funny & Entertaining
Be a Showman Keep Trying to Be Funny
• “Stating that ‘the
War of 1812 began
in 1945’ usually will
get you a high
Show Don’t Tell
Example: My Spot on Japanese
Become An Asset to Journalists
Example: Marilee Jones
Dean at M.I.T. Resigns, Ending a 28-Year Lie
By TAMAR LEWIN APRIL 27, 2007
Marilee Jones, the dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, became well known for urging stressed-out students competing
for elite colleges to calm down and stop trying to be perfect. Yesterday she
admitted that she had fabricated her own educational credentials, and
resigned after nearly three decades at M.I.T. Officials of the institute said she
did not have even an undergraduate degree.
“It’s like a Thomas Hardy tragedy, because she did so much good, but
something she did long ago came back and trumped it,” said one friend,
Leslie C. Perelman, director of Writing Across the Curriculum at M.I.T.
But Don’t Get Into Trouble
Do Not Give Out Any Information You Would Not
Want on the Front Page of the New York Times
• Most of the conversation should be off-the-record
– The reporter can only use the information as background
• Negotiate for quotes and attribution
• But at the same time, if there is a story that you can
tip them on, do so if it will not harm you or your
• Only start on-the-record in radio interviews (where
there is no-off-the-record) and press interviews in
which you are sure you want your words to appear in