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Writing Process Tips

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Here are some other tips to help you during the writing process.

· Remember your focus: Put you focus graph (the “so what” paragraph) at the top of your story as a reminder to choose only material related to the focus for the body of you story. Then remember to place the focus within your story.

· Write many ideas: Instead of struggling to get the perfect lead, try writing several leads. Then write the rest of the story. Choose one lead when you’ve finished.

· Fix later: As you are writing, when you get to a sentence or paragraph that doesn’t sound right, write “fix” next to it to indicate that you want to return and polish it. Don’t get slowed as you draft your story.

· Use the question / answer technique: As you are writing, does one paragraph raise the point or question that should be answered or explained in the next? Try to anticipate the reader’s questions and answer them.

· Read aloud: If you are struggling with a sentence that doesn’t sound right, read it aloud. Also read your story aloud after you finish writing it. You’ll hear the cumbersome parts that your eye didn’t catch. Find and fix them.

· Check accuracy: Go back and check names, titles and quotes. Make sure you have the right person’s name attached to the quote you have used. Check for typos and spelling.

· Use active voice whenever possible: The active voice has more impact.

· Write short sentences: on average, your sentence should have fewer than 25 words.

· Write simple sentences: Keep the subject and the verb together.

· Vary the pace: Follow long sentences with short ones. If you use complex sentences, follow them with short ones.

· Avoid jargon: Translate bureaucratic terms into simple ones, define technical terms.

· Write the way you speak!


Answer these questions:

1. How long should a “brief” be?

2. What are briefs used for in the media?

3. How does and online story differ from a written one?

4. What stages does writing and online story involve?

5. Which of the advice, given in the last part of the text, concerns

- the writing process itself and its psychological aspects?

- the style?

- grammar and punctuation?

Practical exercises:

1. Using information for any story you have gathered, organize it according to the FORK method. Think of the order of your story. Make sure you have a clear nut graph (focus paragraph). Put it at the top of your story to guide you and in the body of your story where you think it is appropriate. Mark the key words that are important for your story to make transitions. Use the “kiss-off” technique.

2. Work in pairs. Read out your story to your partner, and listen to his notes.

3. Condense your story into a brief of one to four paragraphs. Read it out for the class.

Work in groups. For each group, choose one story to be presented online. Discuss, what additional information will the story have and the way it will be presented. Will there be hyperlinks? Audio / video features? Subtopics? Present your ideas in the form of a “storyboard” (organizational chart) for your class.

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