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{ Writing techniques Hofstra * JRNL 11 *Prof. Vaccaro.

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1 { Writing techniques Hofstra * JRNL 11 *Prof. Vaccaro

2  AP Style Quiz No. 1  Reminder to look for work outside of class  Recap last class  In-class assignment  Lecture  Next class Today’s road map

3  Writing a lead  Find the focus  Tells the reader most important part of story  Reporters should ask questions before writing  WHAT was unique or most important?  WHO was involved, or said it, or did it?  Is there a colorful word or phrase to work in?  Must contain  Specific information about what happened  When the event occurred  The location of the event  The source of the information (according to who?)  Keep the lead short (30-35 words)  Lead * Nut graph * Quote * Background  Inverted Pyramid Recap last class

4  Tips for finding your lead  Reader interest – do they care?  Memorable item from your reporting  Descriptive approach – will a description of the scene find the focus>  Mystery lead – Tease the reader with some info, finish the rest in nut graph. *very common!  Build on a quote – was the quote the real story?  Contrast – would then and now work?  Problem/solution – Set up a problem, reader can solve with solution? More on leads

5  Conceive the idea  What was most interesting?  Collect the information  Get the basics  Construct the story  Plan an order  Correct and edit  Context, accuracy, cut jargon, check grammar Stages of the writing process

6  See document on today’s class notes page on  Write a basic news story with the info presented In-class assignment

7  Guide to good writing  Make sure you understand the event  Start writing after you find the focus  Show, don’t tell  Put good quotes and human interest high in story  Put relevant illustrations or anecdotes high  Use colorful action verbs (just not over the top)  Avoid judgment and inferences – facts will talk  Don’t raise questions you can not answer in writing  Write simply, succinctly, honestly and quickly The writer’s art

8  Differences between Reporting and Writing  Reporting  Relevant factual material from personal observation and sources. Details, specifics.  Authoritative and knowledgeable human sources for additional information.  Significant and complete background information  Writing  Simple language  Illustrations, examples and quotes that document the lead.  Appropriate style (AP Style)  Human interest Writing v. Reporting

9  Things to think about  Clarity: must make sense for the reader  Punctuation: English class helps here  Sentence length: Each sentence should carry only one idea. Cut it if it’s not.  Transitions  Pronouns: Refer to nouns in previous sentences  i.e. “Dr. Baum began teaching in 1986. He took his Ph.D. that year.”  Additives: again, also, and, finally, furthermore, in addition, next, thus, so, moreover, as well.  Contrasts: but, however, nevertheless, instead, on the other hand, otherwise, yet, nonetheless, farther.  Comparisons: likewise, similarly  Place: adjacent to, beyond, here, near, opposite Writing tips

10  Interviewing techniques  More story forms  Wall Street journal technique  List technique  Hour glass technique  News Quiz No. 1 Next class

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