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Journalistic Writing

INTRODUCTION TO JOURNALISTIC WRITING:Practical, THINGS TO KNOW

QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS >>
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
LECTURE 1
INTRODUCTION TO JOURNALISTIC WRITING
"The invention of writing is probably the most important tool for human advancement, making it possible for
each new generation to build upon the work of the previous, to transmit knowledge from person to person,
across cultures and time."
Donald Norman ­ Stanford University
You must be ready to learn from the first day of school. Don't you want to:
·
Do well in your studies
·
Enjoy self-expression
·
Become more self-reliant
You know how important writing will be to you and in your life. It will be important from first-grade through
college and throughout adulthood.
Writing is:
Practical
Most of us make lists, jot down reminders, and write notes and instructions at least occasionally.
Job-Related
Professional and white-collar workers write frequently--preparing memos, letters, briefing papers, sales
reports, articles, research reports, proposals, and the like. Most workers do "some" writing on the job.
Stimulating
Writing helps to provoke thoughts and to organize them logically and concisely.
Social
Most of us write thank-you notes and letters to friends at least now and then.
Therapeutic
It can be helpful to express feelings in writing that cannot be expressed so easily by speaking.
Unfortunately, many schools are unable to give children sufficient instruction in writing." There are various
reasons: teachers aren't trained to teach writing skills, writing classes may be too large, it's often difficult to
measure writing skills, etc.
Study after study shows that student' writing lacks clarity, coherence, and organization. Only a few students can
write persuasive essays or competent business letters. As many as one out of four have serious writing
difficulties. And students say they like writing less and less as they go through school.
THINGS TO KNOW
Writing is more than putting words on paper. It's a final stage in the complex process of communicating that
begins with "thinking." Writing is an especially important stage in communication, the intent being to leave no
room for doubt.
Writing well requires:
·
Clear thinking. Sometimes you need to have your memory refreshed about a past event in order to
write about it.
·
Sufficient time. You may have `stories in their heads' but need time to think them through and write
them down.
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
·  Reading. Reading can stimulate you to write about your own family or school life. If you read good
books, you will be a better writer.
·
A Meaningful Task. You need meaningful, not artificial writing tasks. You'll find suggestions for
such tasks in the section, "Things To Do."
·
Interest. All the time in the world won't help if there is nothing to write, nothing to say. Some of the
reasons for writing include: sending messages, keeping records, expressing feelings, or relaying
information.
·
Practice. And more practice.
·
Revising. Students need experience in revising their work-- i.e., seeing what they can do to make it
clearer, more descriptive, more concise, etc.
POINTERS FOR YOU
Remember that your goal is to make your writing easier and more enjoyable.
Make it real. You need to do real writing. It's more important for the child to write a letter to a relative than it
is to write a one-line note on a greeting card.
Suggest note-taking. Take notes on trips or outings and describe what you saw. This could include a
description of nature walks, a boat ride, a car trip, or other events that lend you to note-taking.
Brainstorm. Do it as much as possible about your impressions and describe people and events to you.
Encourage keeping a journal. This is excellent writing practice as well as a good outlet for venting feelings.
Write about things that happen at home and school, about people you like or dislike and why, things to
remember or things you want to do. Especially write about personal feelings--pleasures as well as
disappointments.
Use games. There are numerous games and puzzles that help you to increase vocabulary and make more
fluent in speaking and writing. Remember, building a vocabulary builds confidence. Try crossword puzzles,
word games, anagrams and cryptograms de- signed especially for this purpose. Flash cards are good, too, and
they're easy to make at home.
Suggest making lists. Making lists is good practice and helps to become more organized. You might make
lists of your records, tapes, baseball cards, dolls, furniture in a room, etc. You could include items you want. It's
also good practice to make lists of things to do, schoolwork, dates for tests, social events, and other reminders.
Encourage copying. If you like a particular song, learn the words by writing them down--replaying the song
on your stereo/tape player or jotting down the words whenever the song is played on a radio program. Also
copy favourite poems or quotations from books and plays.
Source: Learn to write; US Department of Education.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPEAKING AND WRITING
There are many differences between the processes of speaking and writing. Writing is not simply speech
written down on paper. Learning to write is not a natural extension of learning to speak. Unlike speech, writing
requires systematic instruction and practice. Here are some of the differences between speaking and writing
that may clarify things for you and help you in your efforts as a writer and speaker.
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
WRITING
SPEECH
1. Not everyone learns to read and write
1. Universal, everybody acquires it
2. Written language is more restricted and
2. Spoken language has dialect variations that
generally follows a standardised form of
represent a region
grammar,  structure,  organization,  and
vocabulary
3. Writers rely on the words on the page to
3. Speakers use their voices (pitch, rhythm,
express meaning and their ideas
stress) and their bodies to communicate
their message
4. Writers use punctuation
4. Speakers use pauses and intonation
5. Writers spell
5. Speakers pronounce
6. Most writing is planned and can be changed
6. Speaking  is
often
spontaneous
and
through editing and revision before an
unplanned.
audience reads it
7. Writers have a delayed response from
7. Speakers have immediate audiences who
audiences or none at all and have only one
nod, interrupt, question and comment
opportunity to convey their message, be
interesting, informative, accurate and hold
their reader's attention
8. Writing on the other hand is more formal and
8. Speech is usually informal and repetitive
compact. It progresses more logically with
fewer explanations and digressions.
9. Writers use more complex sentences with
9. Speakers use simpler sentences connected
connecting  words  like  however,  who,
by lots of ands and buts.
although, and in addition.
10. Writers are often solitary in their process
10. Speakers draw on their listeners reactions
to know how or whether to continue
11. Writers must consider what and how much
11. Speakers can gauge the attitudes, beliefs,
their audience needs to know about a given
and feelings of their audience by their
topic
verbal and non-verbal reactions
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO JOURNALISTIC WRITING:Practical, THINGS TO KNOW
  2. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
  3. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
  4. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Achieve appropriate readability:
  5. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Be concise, Be creative, Be correct
  6. THE PROCESS OF WRITING:INVENTION, WHEN YOU START TO WRITE
  7. THE PROCESS OF WRITING II:ORGANIZING, DRAFTING, REVISING
  8. ALL ABOUT WORDS:HOW WORDS ARE FORMED?:SUFFIXES
  9. DICTIONARY-A WRITER’S LANGUAGE TOOL:KINDS OF INFORMATION
  10. PARTS OF SPEECH:Noun Gender, Noun Plurals, Countable Nouns
  11. BASIC CLAUSE PATTERNS
  12. ACTIVE AND PASSSIVE VOICE
  13. MODIFIERS AND SENTENCE TYPES:COMPOUND SENTENCES
  14. REPORTED SPEECH:Indirect Questions, Direct commands
  15. GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES:SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
  16. GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES II:SENTENCE FRAGMENTS
  17. EFFECTIVE SENTENCE:PARALLELISM, NEEDED WORDS, SHIFTS
  18. STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS I:COLLOQUIAL VS FORMAL, CIRCUMLOCUTION
  19. STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS II:AMBIGUITY, REDUNDANCY, EUPHEMISM:
  20. PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:STRUCTURE
  21. PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:Putting on Our Play
  22. ESSAY WRITING:VARIOUS STRATEGIES FOR ESSAYS, PROMPTS
  23. SIGNAL WORDS:Non word Emphasis Signals
  24. EXPOSITORY WRITING:LOGICAL FALLACIES, APPEAL TO EMOTION
  25. THE WRITING STYLES: REPORT and NARRATIVE WRITING, SHORT REPORTS
  26. THE WRITING STYLES: DESCRIPTIVE AND PERSUASIVE WRITINGS, Observation
  27. RESEARCH WRITING AND DOCUMNETING SOURCES:Handling Long Quotations
  28. Summary and Précis Writing:CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD SUMMARY
  29. Punctuation:THE PERIOD, THE COMMA, THE SEMICOLON, THE COLON
  30. MECHANICS:ABBREVIATIONS, NUMBERS, SPELLING, THE HYPHEN
  31. READING SKILLS FOR WRITERS:EDUCATED READING, STEPS
  32. PARTS OF A NEWSPAPER:Box-out, By-line, Caption, Exclusive, Feature
  33. THE LANGUAGE OF THE NEWSPAPERS II:BROADSHEET NEWSPAPER
  34. News Writing and Style I:WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A NEWSPAPER
  35. NEWS WRITING II:Accuracy, Clarity, Style, Qualities of Effective Leads
  36. EDITORIAL WRITING:WRITING AN EDITORIAL:STRUCTURING AN EDITORIAL
  37. WRITING FEATURES:GENERATING FEATURE STORY IDEAS
  38. WRITING COLUMNS:Column and a news report, Purpose, Audience
  39. WRITING ARTICLES FOR NEWSPAPERS:The Heading, The Lead
  40. WRITING ANALYSIS:purpose, scope, method, results, recommendations
  41. LETTERS TO EDITORS:Four important aspects about letters, Organizing letters
  42. BROADCAST AND WEB NEWS WRITING:WRITE CONCISELY, BROADCAST STYLE
  43. WRITING PRESS RELEASE, REVIEWS AND OBITUARIES:Summary of Content:
  44. THE ART OF INTERVIEWINGS
  45. FINAL THOUGHTS:Practical, Job-Related, Social, Stimulating, Therapeutic