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Journalistic Writing

QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS

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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
LECTURE 2
QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
Good writers have two things in common: they would rather be understood than admired, and they do not
write for hairsplitting and hypercritical readers.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844­1900),
The qualities of a second-rate writer can easily be defined, but a first-rate writer can only be experienced. It is
just the thing in him which escapes analysis that makes him first-rate. Willa Cather (1873­1947)
Writing is an art as well as a science. Writing is an art since it has various styles to it and it is a science as you
would use different techniques to write it.
Good writing however has much more to it than just the common techniques used. [It depends on who your
target audience is and whether you know your audience well]
The parameters for a good writer depend on the audience who is going to read it.
For instance, the differences between the style content writers use and the style full-time is that the content-
writers mostly use first and second person; whereas a writer for a newspaper would use an objective tone
(third-person reporting). The language used is also different for different media of communication.
The general yardsticks to determine whether one is a good writer are to check whether his/her article has a
good flow, eye-catching content and the language. The sentence structure, grammar, ideas and the form used
are some of the other factors that play an important role in determining whether one is a good writer.
However, there is no one way to find out who a good writer is. Let's see what qualities do newspaper writers
display? Besides having
*
A lively interest in people, places and events
*
An ability to write in a style which is easy to understand
*
Good spelling, grammar and punctuation
*
An appreciation of the part a local newspaper plays in the community
*
A willingness to accept irregular hours
*
An ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines
*
Determination and persistence
You need to acquire the followings also:
A good journalist should be a good writer for sure. All journalists are essentially good communicators. Any
aspiring journalist can become a good communicator by learning the skills.
A Broad Range of Knowledge: Great writers have a broad educational background a wealth of knowledge and
experience to draw from to help make their writing more interesting and engaging.
A Good Grasp of Grammar: Great writers have a thorough understanding of correct grammar and write clear,
coherent prose.
A Sense of Ethics and Accuracy: Great writers choose their words carefully, always ensuring their work is both
accurate and meets ethical standards, whether personal or those of the organization the piece is for.
Context sensitive: All good writers write in contexts. They adapt their messages to sensitive or non-sensitive
situations and don't misjudge this.
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
Considerate: All good writers know their readers needs. They know what is "How much" for the `skimmers'
and the `skeptics'.
Dream and Reality: Writers live in a world of reality and the same truth they reflect in their writing also. They
know the success of a message depends upon four important communication ingredients: social contact,
common medium, transmission and understanding.
Persuasion: All good writers know their language and the trick of the trade. They know how to persuade their
readers. They know how to find the best available means of moving a specific audience in a specific situation to
a specific decision.
An Ability to Express Ideas: Great writers are able to express their ideas clearly in a logical format that is easy
for a reader to understand and follow.
An Ability to Write Well in Different Styles: Great writers can write well in a variety of formats, including
technical, persuasive, and descriptive prose.
An Understanding of Who the Audience Is: Great writers know who their audience is and write in a manner
that will appear to this base.
Creativity: Great writers have a strong sense of creativity and always have new ideas for material and can craft
interesting openings that draw a reader in
Interviewing Skills: Great writers have excellent interviewing skills and know how to make a subject open up in
order to get the best material
Research Skills: Great writers have savvy research skills and are able to quickly find the information they need
to make a piece more interesting.
Specific Subject Knowledge: Great writers are knowledgeable about the subject they write about. Science
writers, for example, should have a strong background and knowledge in the area they cover.
Source: R Jackson (journalists.net); Sharmila S (journalists.net)
http://journalists.net/index.php?news=2601
http://ezinearticles.com/?What-Makes-a-Good-Writer?&id=96221
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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