ZeePedia
Journalistic Writing

STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS I:COLLOQUIAL VS FORMAL, CIRCUMLOCUTION

<< EFFECTIVE SENTENCE:PARALLELISM, NEEDED WORDS, SHIFTS
STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS II:AMBIGUITY, REDUNDANCY, EUPHEMISM: >>
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
LECTURE 18
STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS I
Proper words in proper places. (Swift)
Thinking out into language. (Cardinal Newman)
To have something to say and say it as clearly as you can. (Arnold)
How to Convey a Good Message (Do's of style)
1. Omit needless words
2. Be sparing with adjectives, but lavish with verbs
3. Beware of your special words
4. Do not overstate
5. Remember your signposts
STYLE PITFALLS (DON'TS OF STYLE:
COLLOQUIALISM: This can best be described as "writing in the way that one would speak."
1. Avoid using "filler" words.
The following are overused fillers:
Basically ­ At best, it can be used to begin a sentence, but there are better choices available to replace the word,
if it is not omitted entirely. E.g. "A microphone is basically a device that is used to record sound."
Even ­ Often, this word is found as an "additive" to a series, as in the following example, but is generally not
needed. E.g. "The basket contained eggs, sandwiches, and even utensils."
Just ­ When used in the same context as BASICALLY, this is another overused filler word that one should
omit.
E.g. "When pouring the solution, just be certain, not to, spill its contents."
Well ­ Generally used to begin a sentence following a question. E.g. "Why is this problem? Well, one major
issue is the..."
2. Avoid contractions.
Replace can't with cannot, doesn't with does not, and so on. For example, instead of writing "Therefore,
this can't be used as evidence in the case", write "Therefore, this cannot be used as evidence in the
case."
3. Limit your use of subjective pronouns.
Use 3rd person perspective. Don't use 1st or 2nd person pronouns like "I", "Me", "You" and "We".
4. Avoid splitting infinitives.
For example: He tried to not sneeze (not to sneeze) in the library.
5. Avoid ending your sentences with a preposition.
Before: "What is the bag filled with?"
After: "What is inside the bag?
6. Avoid stage directions.
Do not commence by telling the reader what you are doing, or begin an essay by telling the reader
what the paper will discuss.
59
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
"I am writing to you to ask you to..."
"This paper is going to talk about how..."
7. Avoid vague words.
Vague words can be described as words that are open to interpretation or that don't express your ideas
as well as more precise words would.
There are a few ways to solve the equation.
She made enough food.
COLLOQUIAL VS FORMAL:
FORMAL
FORMAL
COLLOQUIAL
COLLOQUIAL
Do you have...
several
Do you got...
a lot
going to, want to
is not
gonna, wanna
ain't
type of
all right
kinda, kind of
alright
It is, as if, he never
anyway
It is like he...
anyways
existed.
could have
could of
pretty
would of
would have
very
real / really
should of
should have
very hot
sorta, sort of
Get it.
Understand.
similar to
CIRCUMLOCUTION: The use of many words where few would do. Circumlocution is a figure of speech
where the meaning of a word or phrase is indirectly expressed through several or many words. Its antonym is
brevity and conciseness.
Usually everywhere politicians and government officials adopt this circumlocution .e.g. the traditional red tape.
1. Before: The minister will cause inquires to be instituted with a view to ascertaining the views of the
general public upon the subject of national dietary standards.
After: The Minister will find out what people think about the national diet.
2. Before: All things considered, it seems like the new tax cut imposed by the administration will
without a doubt make the wealthy wealthier and the poor poorer. When the administration's new
tax cut is passed, the children living in poverty will be affected the worst.
After: The new tax cut imposed by the administration will undoubtedly make the wealthy wealthier
and the poor poorer. Consequently, children living in poverty will be severely affected.
3. Before: High-quality learning environments are a necessary precondition for facilitation and
enhancement of the ongoing learning process.
After: Children need good schools if they are to learn properly.
60
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