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Journalistic Writing

SIGNAL WORDS:Non word Emphasis Signals

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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
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LECTURE 23
SIGNAL WORDS
Compare the following two paragraphs for signal words.
1. Benefits of Private Vehicles
Private vehicles play a key role in our lives. They provide independent transport, freedom and many
jobs. They cause pollution, traffic jams, noise and death.
Private transport, especially the car, gives us freedom to move. We no longer need to organize our
lives around our bus or train timetables. Many people think that their cars are indispensable machines. They
cannot live without them. People who live in rural areas need private vehicles to go to towns for shopping,
socializing, taking children to schools, etc. Without a car their lives would be very difficult. They would be
forced to rely on infrequent public transport, if it existed at all. Many families who live in the country have one
or more cars. They would be cut off from the rest of the world.
For many people a car is a necessity.
2. Benefits of Private Vehicles
Private vehicles play a key role in our lives, as they provide independent transport, freedom and many
jobs; however, they cause pollution, traffic jams, noise and death.
Firstly, Private transport, especially the car, gives us freedom to move, so we no longer need to
organize our lives around our bus or train timetables. Secondly, many people think that their cars are
indispensable machines and they cannot live without them. For example, People who live in rural areas need
private vehicles to go to towns for shopping, socializing, taking children to schools, etc. Without a car their
lives would be very difficult; as a result, they would be forced to rely on infrequent public transport, if it
existed at all. That is why; many families who live in the country have one or more cars. Otherwise, they
would be cut off from the rest of the world.
From this we see, for many people a car is a necessity.
To improve your writing you need to make sure that your ideas, both in sentences and paragraphs,
stick together or have coherence and that the gap between ideas is bridges smoothly. One way to do this is by
using transitions - words or phrases or techniques that help bring two ideas together. Transitional words and
phrases represent one way of gaining coherence. Certain words help continue an idea, indicate a shift of though
or contrast, or sum up a conclusion.
Check the following list of words to find those that will pull your sentences and paragraphs together.
List of Signal Words:
Continuation Signals (Warning-there are more ideas to come.)
first of all
also
more
secondly
likewise
one reason
thirdly
next
similarly
moreover
with
a final reason
furthermore
other
and finally
what is more
too
last of all
and
another
again
in addition
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
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Change-of-Direction Signals (Like contrasts; Watch out-we're doubling back.)
although
but
conversely
despite
different from
even though
however
in contrast
instead of
in spite of
nevertheless
otherwise
the opposite
on the contrary
on the other hand
rather
still
yet
while
though
Sequence Signals (There is an order to these ideas.)
first, second, third
A, B, C
in the first place
for one thing
then
next
before
now
after
while
into (far into the night)
until
last
during
since
always
o'clock
on time
later
earlier
Time Signals (When is it happening?)
When
immediately
now
lately
already
little by little
at the same time
final
after awhile
once
during
Illustration Signals (Here's what that principle means in reality.)
for example
specifically
for instance
to illustrate
such as
much like
in the same way as
similar to
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
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Emphasis Signals (This is important.)
a major development
it all boils down to
a significant factor
most of all
a primary concern
most noteworthy
a key feature
more than anything else
a major event
of course
a vital force
pay particular attention to
a central issue
remember that
a distinctive quality
should be noted
above all
the most substantial issue
by the way
the main value
especially important
the basic concept
especially relevant
the crux of the matter
especially valuable
the chief outcome
important to note
the principal item
Cause, Condition, or Result Signals (Condition or modification is coming up.)
because
if
of
for
from
so
while
then
but
that
until
since
as
whether
in order that
so that
therefore
unless
yet
thus
due to
resulting from
consequently
without
Spatial Signals (This answers the "where" question.)
between
below
about
left
alongside
here
outside
around
close to
far
right
over
away
side
near
near
in
into
beside
middle
next to
beyond
north
east
on
opposite
over
south
there
inside
in front of
under
these
out
behind
across
this
adjacent
above
toward
west
by
upon
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
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Comparison-Contrast Signals (We will now compare idea A with idea B.)
and
or
also
too
best
most
either
less
less than
more than
same
better
even
then
half
much as
like
analogous to
but
different from
still
yet
however
although
opposite
rather
while
though
Conclusion Signals (This ends the discussion and may have special importance.)
as a result
finally
from this we see
in summary
hence
therefore
consequently
in conclusion
last of all
Fuzz Signals (Idea is not exact, or author is not positive and wishes to qualify a statement.)
almost
if
looks like
maybe
could
some
except
should
alleged
nearly
might
reputed
seems like
was reported
purported
sort of
probably
Non word Emphasis Signals
·
Exclamation point (!)
·
underline
·
italics
·
bold type
·
subheads, like The Conclusion
·
indentation of paragraph
·
graphic illustrations
·
numbered points (1, 2, 3)
·
Very short sentence: Stop war.
·
"quotation marks"
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
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Practice with signal words:
Example 1:
Creative thinking usually involves five stages (classification). First (sequence), the problem is
defined. Second (sequence), creative thinkers saturate themselves with as much information as they can find.
Then (sequence) come the incubation stage. Next (sequence) problem solving moves to an unconscious
level as the mind ponders different possible, or even impossible, solutions. The incubation stage
(classification) is followed by (sequence) illumination. By illumination, we refer to (definition) a period of
sudden understanding or insight. Finally (sequence), there is the verification stage, when solutions or answers
are critically evaluated. (9 signal words)
Example 2:
If we study a child's handwriting, certain personality types (classification) are revealed. First
(sequence), if children have handwriting that is slanted only a little to the right or is straight up and down, they
have a moderate temperament and use good judgment. This type (classification) is usually affectionate and
sharing. Second (sequence), if the handwriting slants to the far right, they are usually emotional children who
react quickly. Their quick responses are often negative responses. The third (sequence) type (classification),
children who write with a backhand slant, are very logical, unemotional, and sometimes very insecure.
Therefore (stop), their world seems to revolve around themselves rather than around friends and loved ones.
(7 signal words)
Exercise on signal words.
Do as have been asked.
1. Make these two sentences into one using the conjunction "because":
a) The Harrison's were having a party.
b) Their daughter was getting engaged.
2. Join these two sentences into one using the transition "therefore":
a) The police issued a warning on the radio.
b) A dangerous man had escaped from hospital.
3. Link these two sentences using the transition "however":
a) Marie was worried about the killer.
b) Her husband was only worried about the car.
4. Link these sentences using the conjunction "so":
a) George went to find help.
b) The car broke down.
5. Link these sentences using the conjunction "since":
a) Marie could not walk in the rain.
b) Her clothes were not suitable.
6. Link these sentences using the conjunction "so that":
a) No-one could see her.
b) Marie hid under a blanket.
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7. Link these sentences using the conjunction "as a result":
a) Marie heard a strange sound on the roof.
b) She became very frightened.
8. Link these sentences using the conjunction "as":
a) The knocking continued all night.
b) Marie could not sleep.
9. Link these sentences using a conjunction:
a) Several policemen leapt out.
b) One of them rushed towards the car.
10. Link these sentences using a conjunction:
a) The policeman told Marie not to look back.
b) She could not help it
Source: Fry, Edward Bernard. `The Reading Teacher's Book of Lists' New York: The Centre for
Applied Research Foundation. 1993
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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