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Journalistic Writing

THE PROCESS OF WRITING:INVENTION, WHEN YOU START TO WRITE

<< QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Be concise, Be creative, Be correct
THE PROCESS OF WRITING II:ORGANIZING, DRAFTING, REVISING >>
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
LECTURE 6
THE PROCESS OF WRITING
The process includes Invention, Collection, Organization, Drafting, Revising, and Proofreading.
INVENTION
"A writer keeps surprising himself... he doesn't know what he is saying until he sees it on the page."
-- Thomas Williams
When you sit down to write...
- Does your mind turn blank?
- Are you sure you have nothing to say?
If so, you're not alone! Everyone experiences this at some time or other, but some people have strategies or
techniques to get them started. When you are planning to write something, try some of the following
suggestions.
EXPLORE the problem -- not the topic
1. Who is your reader?
2. What is your purpose?
3. Who are you, the writer? (What image or persona do you want to project?)
MAKE your goals operational
1. How can you achieve your purpose?
2. Can you make a plan?
GENERATE some ideas
1. Brainstorm
- Keep writing
- Don't censor or evaluate
- Keep returning to the problem
2. Talk to your reader
- What questions would they ask?
- What different kinds of readers might you have?
3. Ask yourself questions
A. Journalistic questions
Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? So What?
WHEN YOU START TO WRITE
You can try the textbook formula:
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
I. State your thesis.
II. Write an outline.
III. Write the first draft.
IV. Revise and polish.
. . . but that often doesn't work!
Instead, you can try one or more of these strategies:
Ask yourself what your purpose is for writing about the subject.
There are many "correct" things to write about for any subject, but you need to narrow down your choices. For
example, your topic might be "hostel food." At this point, you and your potential reader are asking the same
question, "So what?" Why should you write about this, and why should anyone read it?
Do you want the reader to pity you because of the intolerable food you have to eat there?
Do you want to analyze large-scale institutional cooking?
Do you want to compare University Hostel 1's food to that served at Hostel 2?
Ask yourself how you are going to achieve this purpose.
How, for example, would you achieve your purpose if you wanted to describe some movie as the best you've
ever seen? Would you define for yourself a specific means of doing so? Would your comments on the movie go
beyond merely telling the reader that you really liked it?
Nutshell your whole idea
Tell it to someone in three or four sentences.
Diagram your major points somehow.
Make a tree, outline, or whatever helps you to see a schematic representation of what you have. You may
discover the need for more material in some places.
COLLECTION
1. Internal source of information:
1) You yourself
1. free writing, brain storming, probing yourself
PROBING YOURSELF
1. What does X mean? (Definition)
2. What are the various features of X? (Description)
3. What are the component parts of X? (Simple Analysis)
4. How is X made or done? (Process Analysis)
5. How should X be made or done? (Directional Analysis)
6. What is the essential function of X? (Functional Analysis)
7. What are the causes of X? (Causal Analysis)
8. What are the consequences of X? (Causal Analysis)
9. What are the types of X? (Classification)
10. How is X like or unlike Y? (Comparison)
11. What is the present status of X? (Comparison)
12. What is the significance of X? (Interpretation)
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
13. What are the facts about X? (Reportage)
14. How did X happen? (Narration)
15. What kind of person is X? (Characterization/Profile)
16. What is my personal response to X? (Reflection)
17. What is my memory of X? (Reminiscence)
18. What is the value of X? (Evaluation)
19. What are the essential major points or features of X? (Summary)
20. What case can be made for or against X? (Persuasion)
21. (Adapted from Jacqueline Berke's Twenty Questions for the Writer )
LISTING:
For example:
HOLIDAYS is your topic and you list out the points to consider.
1. Good and bad holidays
2. School holidays
3. Family holidays
4. Holidays abroad
5. Plans and preparations
6. Special memories
CLUSTRING:
Holidays abroad
Bad
holidays
Plans &
Good
Holidays
preparations
holidays
Special
Public
memories
holidays
Source: Purdue University Sources.
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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