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Journalistic Writing

READING SKILLS FOR WRITERS:EDUCATED READING, STEPS

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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
LECTURE 31
READING SKILLS FOR WRITERS
Types of reading:
1. ACADEMIC READING:
Step 1: Read the questions carefully and underline the key words.
Step 2: Read the topic and then read the first and last sentences of every paragraph in the passage.
Step 2: Read the bold types inside the paragraphs. For example: bold, italic, underlined, bracketed, hyphenated,
words or information. Read any graphic representation or illustration like any pictures, graphs, charts, tables
etc.
Step 3: Now start answering the questions.
Example:
Hidden History: the beetle's secret cycle of life
The death-watch beetle is thought of as a devil's pest in churches and old houses, but in
natural habitats it infests a wide range of decaying hardwoods. It has been found in hornbeam, sweet chestnut
....and yew, but the two most commonly infested species in Britain are oak and willow. In buildings, oak timbres
are usually the focus of attack by the beetle, but alder, walnut, elm, larch and Scots pine can be affected too.
Death-watch beetles attack wood that has been decayed by fungi, so it is the damp prone parts of timbers, at
the ends and near leaking gutters and enclosed spaces that are normally attacked first.
Adult beetles emerge from holes in the timber in spring, or occasionally in autumn. They breed once
and a week or two later the females lay eggs, usually about fifty, in small cracks on the surface of the wood.
Adults depend on stored reserves; they do not feed, so the adult life span is largely determined by body size and
metabolic demands. Emergent females rarely live for more than ten weeks, and males eight or nine weeks, at a
temperature of about 20° C.
The eggs hatch after two to five weeks and the larvae then wander across the wood to find suitable
entry points through which to bore into timber. Then they take between two and ten years to complete their
development. The larvae pupate in late summer to early autumn, each individual .........the mature beetle
........emerges.......wood powder.
Questions to answer:
1. What is the subject of the passage as a whole?
2. Which paragraph contains information about the larvae?
3. Which paragraph contains information about the adult beetles?
4. Which paragraph contains information about where the beetles live?
5. The death-watch beetle is found most often in ...1... and ...2... They infest damp-porn timber which
has been affected ...3... Adults do not feed, so they survive on ...4... and live for only two or three
months. The larvae, on the other hand, live for up to ...5..., feeding on the timbers during that time.
They pupate in ...6... but the adult does not emerge until the following spring.
2. EDUCATED READING: Styles of reading are
1. Skimming (for getting the gist of something)
2. Scanning (for a specific focus)
3. Detailed reading (for extracting information accurately)
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
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Skimming: for getting the gist of something
The technique you use when you're going through a newspaper or magazine: you read quickly to get the main
points, and skip over the detail. It's useful to skim:
·  to preview a passage before you read it in detail
·
to refresh your understand of a passage after you've read it in detail.
Use skimming when you're trying to decide if a book in the library or bookshop is right for you.
Scanning: for a specific focus
The technique you use when you're looking up a name in the phone book: you move your eye quickly over the
page to find particular words or phrases that are relevant to the task you're doing. It's useful to scan parts of
texts to see if they're going to be useful to you:
·  the introduction or preface of a book
·
the first or last paragraphs of chapters
·
the concluding chapter of a book.
Detailed reading: for extracting information accurately
Where you read every word, and work to learn from the text.
In this careful reading, you may find it helpful to skim first, to get a general idea, but then go back to read in
detail. Use a dictionary to make sure you understand all the words used.
3. PURPOSE READING
Things you read:
·  A reading piece
·
A note book
·
A dictionary
STEPS:
·  Read a selected paragraph twice.
·
Underline the key words and read their meanings from your dictionary.
·
Read it once more
·
Decide about the text pattern
·
Find out the topic sentence, supportive details and the conclusion.
·
Underline the signal words
·
Find out the collocations
·
See the structural choices
·
Check literal and figurative use
·
Check any idiomatic entry.
·
Note these down and everyday revise them.
·
Rewrite the paragraph in your own words.
Exercise: Apply the above steps
Every day the factory whistle bellowed forth its shrill, roaring, trembling noises into the smoke-
begrimed and greasy atmosphere of the workingmen's suburb; and obedient to the summons of the power
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
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of steam, people poured out of little grey houses into the street. With sombre faces they hastened forward
like frightened roaches, their muscles stiff from insufficient sleep. In the chill morning twilight they walked
through the narrow, unpaved street to the tall stone cage that waited for them with cold assurance,
illumining their muddy road with scores of greasy, yellow, square eyes. The mud smeared under their feet
as if in mocking commiseration. Hoarse exclamations of sleepy voices were heard; irritated, peevish,
abusive language rent the air with malice; and, to welcome the people, deafening sounds floated about--the
heavy whir of machinery, the dissatisfied snort of steam. Stern and sombre, the black chimneys stretched
their huge, thick sticks high above the village.
(Excerpt from Mother by Maxim Gorky)
ACTIVE READING
When you're reading for your course, you need to make sure you're actively involved with the text. It's a waste
of your time to just passively read, the way you'd read a thriller on holiday.
Always make notes to keep up your concentration and understanding.
Here are four tips for active reading.
Underlining and highlighting
Pick out what you think are the most important parts of what you are reading. Do this with your own copy of
texts
or
on
photocopies,
not
with
borrowed
books.
If you are a visual learner, you'll find it helpful to use different colors to highlight different aspects of what
you're reading.
Note key words
Record the main headings as you read. Use one or two keywords for each point. When you don't want to mark
the text, keep a folder of notes you make while reading.
Questions
Before you start reading something like an article, a chapter or a whole book, prepare for your reading by
noting down questions you want the material to answer. While you're reading, note down questions which the
author raises.
Summaries
Pause after you've read a section of text. Then:
1. put what you've read into your own words;
2. Skim through the text and check how accurate your summary is and fill in any gaps.
A tip for speeding up your active reading
You should learn a huge amount from your reading. If you read passively, without learning, you're wasting your
time. So train your mind to learn.
Try the SQ3R technique. SQ3R stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recall and Review.
Survey
Gather the information you need to focus on the work and set goals:
·  Read the title to help prepare for the subject
·
Read the introduction or summary to see what the author thinks are the key points
·
Notice the boldface headings to see what the structure is
·
Notice any maps, graphs or charts. They are there for a purpose
·
Notice the reading aids, italics, bold face, questions at the end of the chapter. They are all there to help
you understand and remember.
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Question
Help your mind to engage and concentrate. Your mind is engaged in learning when it is actively looking for
answers to questions. Try turning the boldface headings into questions you think the section should answer.
Read
Read the first section with your questions in mind. Look for the answers, and make up new questions if
necessary.
Recall
After each section, stop and think back to your questions. See if you can answer them from memory. If not,
take a look back at the text. Do this as often as you need to.
Review
Once you have finished the whole chapter, go back over all the questions from all the headings. See you if can
still answer them. If not, look back and refresh your memory.
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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