I found a great example of a crystallizing quote in this New York Times article about a Valentine’s Day ban on bad words at a middle school in Alabama:
“The small issue is cussing,” Ms. Ludgood said. “The larger issue is civility. As a nation, we have gotten meaner.”
This quote is placed relatively high in the story, and it does a good job of summing up what the story is about while also taking it one step farther.
This story in The Gainesville Sun is an example where a crystallizing quote is placed far too low in the story. The story is about Marco Rubio keeping a relatively low profile in the campaign. The story is pretty long, and the qriter decided to place this quote at the very end, as “the kicker”:
“While I want to work in Washington,” Rubio said, “I don’t want to be ‘Washington-ized.’”
The first quote, however, is from someone besides Rubio. I think the first quote in the story should be from Rubio himself, and I think this quote perfectly summarizes why he has been keeping such a low profile. Instead of saving this quote for a strong finish, this quote should be used to pull readers and keep them reading, especially because it is such a lengthy story.