Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Few Thoughts from Faith:

Tip for incoming students: Make sure you understand why you got points off on each assignment. Professor will always write notes as to why you got points off, and make sure you understand them. The more that you make the same mistakes over and over again, the less that you’re allowing yourself to grow as a writer. If you do not understand his comments, email him, set up an appointment with the writing tutor, or even ask a classmate. It’s frustrating to get points off on something you felt you worked really hard on, and it’s even more frustrating to continue doing it over and over again.
Allie's Advice:

Make sure to do the homework on time. When writing stories, spend time and effort. These will not come easy the first time you do them and require a lot of editing. After receiving feedback from the professor, try to rewrite the story again to make sure you understood the comments.

Take advantage of every opportunity. Come to every class. Meet with the tutor. Go to the writing center. Write every story. Read the textbook. Staying on top of the material will help since everything in the class builds off each other.

Use the AP Style Guide online. It’s really easy to use and you can just type in something you have a question about into its search feature.

Stay organized and be prepared to learn a lot.
Sydney says:

My two tips are:

-In order to put the most important information in the lead and to maintain an inverted pyramid structure the writer must (say to) himself, "If I was the reader what would I want to know first?"

-The story ends when all the logical questions are answered and all the interesting information has been shared
From: Roxy
To: Next WFC Class

For this class I recommend two things: Listening and practicing.

  • A lot is being covered during these two hours, therefore, attending class and giving all your energy/ focus is crucial.
  • “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter”. This Mark Twain quote describes the class perfectly. If you want to do well, you will have to practice a lot. And, when you feel like you don’t get it, you will need to ask questions and continue pushing.

Finally, Professor Piacente and Sarah Baker are great resources to have. Do not hesitate to email or work with them.

Good luck, you can do it!

Rockyath Adechoubou

Tips from Alexis:

Writing is so important for school, work and your everyday tasks. Take this class seriously and take the time to learn what the professor has to teach you. I am an intern on the hill, and I can't count how many times my supervisor or communication director was impressed with a piece of writing because I followed AP style, or followed a piece of advice I learned in this class. IT WILL HELP YOU, SO PAY ATTENTION! Pay close attention to the assignment and mistakes that you make, don't continue to make the same mistakes. Apart of learning is recognizing mistakes and fixing them, luckily Professor Piacente gives you many opportunities to continue to grow as a student and writer. Grammar is super important, if you don't know it, learn it quick. Lastly, always ask for help if you need it. The professor knows and understands what you can be struggling with, he will help and walk you through something you just have to make the time and effort to meet with him or ask questions. Always read your work out loud and remember this quote by E.L. Doctorow "Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go." 

Tips for Future Students

Wow, you're going to learn a lot in this class. The most important thing to remember is not to take any criticism personally. Professor Piacente will critique every aspect of your writing extremely thoroughly--and this is a good thing! Be open to all the cool writing tips! 

Aaron's Tips

1.) Make sure to take extensive notes on the differences between the styles stories you will be writing.
2.) Show up to every class!
3.) Participate in discussions as much as possible. This will help engage you and will create a better understanding of the material.
4.) Go to class!
5.)Do the homework!
6.) Make sure the homework is on time.
7.) Pay attention in class.
8.) This course utilizes a different type of writing than you may be used to, so take especial note of these differences.

Future Tips

Dear Future Students,

Welcome to Writing for Communication! Please do the following-
  1. Read theSkimm and Washington Post
  2. Do all of the homework
  3. Know your grammer  grammar and spelling
  4. Present is broadcast 
  5. Past is print
  6. Numerical are spelled out for broadcast
  7. Make sure to read over everything before you turn it in- read it out loud!


Advice for Future Students

Writing for Communication does not follow your standard writing principals that you’ve learned in the past. Whether you are a communications major or not, writing is very important to any job. This course focuses on two mediums of writing for communication, writing for the eye and writing for the ear. Print writing and broadcast writing both follow specific formats that you will learn throughout this course. The best tip I could give to future students is to practice writing! Writing for communication is not easy and will take time to learn. You will not master writing for communication through this course but you will learn a lot about how it works and learn how to get better. All I can say is to be open minded to feedback and practice as much as you can. Practice, practice, practice! Professor Piacente is always open to talking and meeting with you to help you improve. You are also offered a writing tutor that you should take advantage of if you have any questions about your writing. There are many practice writing prompts in the textbook and you will also be given lots and lots of practice from the professor. Take advantage of this. Good luck!

A Tip For Next Semester's Class

A tip for next semester:
      In Writing for Communication, it's really easy to repeat errors that will lose you points on multiple assignments. So, it's very necessary to learn AP style and learn from the mistakes you make with that because you'll definitely make mistakes. Grammar is also super important in this course, so pay attention to any mistakes you constantly make. Reviewing assignments you've gotten back and the mistakes you see in them will ultimately help you write better stories by the end of the class.

Mikala's Tip

The biggest tip that I can offer is for students who might study something other than Communications. Writing for mass communication is very different than other forms of creative or academic writing. For example, you might be able to use something like the Oxford Comma in some forms of writing but not others. The biggest tip that I can offer from this insight is to ask lots of questions! Don't be too shy just because you are unfamiliar with something. Professor is really great about making things more clear or explaining them in a different way for you. The worst thing you can do for yourself is sit in the final with unanswered questions.

Leigh's Tips

  • Make sure that you stay on top of the WPost and Skimm reading. It's easy to fall behind and suddenly have 8 days worth of newspapers to read. 
  • Re-read the information sheet after you've written your story. It might remind you of an important detail you left out, or help you realize that some of your information was incorrect.
  • One of the toughest things for me to grasp was learning from my mistakes. Don't try and justify something if you got it wrong. Chances are, you really are wrong and need to fix it. Trust Professor Piacente's guidance.
  • Pay attention to the guest speakers. They have a lot of valuable information and they have experience. 
  • Don't rush when writing your stories. It might be tempting to finish up quickly, send in that email, and get the heck out. However, taking your time will allow you to catch your mistakes and ultimately get better grades.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lilly's Tips

Go to her office hours, she will give you a perspective on what you need to do in oder to become more critical writers.

E-Mail Steve:
He will reply and take into account what you have to say!

Read the notes Steve gives you:
They will help you identify what your strengths and weaknesses are, they will also help you become a more critical writer.

Miah's Tips

Whether working with print journalism or broadcast writing, your primary goal is to be understood. And this is something to keep in mind when writing each and every piece assigned in this class. I prefer creative writing, and I'm all for adding a bit of extra to keep things interesting. However, the type of writing covered in this class is different. You must write differently.

Below, I listed five things that I didn't care to pay attention to before this class but that I learned help make one's writing more understandable:

-Don't use extra words that aren't necessary. For example, the sentence "They met and entered into a meaningful relationship." could easily be written as "They fell in love."
-Don't write in the passive voice. It technically does make sense, but it can be confusing at times. And if trying to really reach your readers or an audience, why leave room for that?
-Avoid adverbs. You should write in a way that doesn't require you to over-explain in order to be understood.
-In regards to broadcast journalism, your tone and pace matter. You have to keep in mind what your listeners might be doing. And just like when having an actual conversation with someone, your voice and tone of choice have an impact on how a piece of information will be received.
-Don't begin with a question. The audience member whose answer is "no" will go on to tune you out or not read your piece. Open in a way that leads the reader/viewer to understand that the information is worthy of them knowing.

It may be easier said than done, and as with the majority of things, it'll take practice. The point of practicing is improving, though. So, good luck; you got this :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Karlie's Tip

My tip is quite simple: make friends with your fellow COMM 200 classmates! Your classmates can remind you of an upcoming deadline of a story or to keep reading the Skimm and Post everyday. Furthermore, your classmates can make the class time go by much faster. Our short breaks in the middle of class never stopped making me laugh.

Good luck on the final everyone!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Kari's Writing Tips

Learning from your mistakes allows you to continue to grow as a writer.
       This was extremely important to me throughout this course, as I made many mistakes in the beginning. However from these mistakes, as well as with Professor Piacente's feedback and guidance in class, I was able to overcome them and improve my skills tremendously.
       Meeting with Professor Piacente was one of the most helpful and insightful things I could have done this semester. Not only did he help me focus on what my flaws in writing are, but he gave me a very meaningful piece of advice: when you finish an article, take a step back and read it over like its the first time you are seeing it. This will allow you to check for errors and make sure the piece makes sense overall. I recommend to everyone to use this technique during the final exam, as well as to bring it into other aspects of writing.
       When preparing for the exam, it's important to look over all of your past work as well. It will show you how much you have evolved and help you remember any old mistakes you have made, so as to not repeat them again. Use all your resources wisely and to your best advantage.
       Good luck to everyone!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Aaron's Broadcast Writing Tips

By Aaron Walsdorf
Clarity is critical in broadcast writing. The person reading your report has to know what you mean. This is why it is important to spell out numerals, and write the word “quote,” instead of just putting quotation marks like in print. You want to make it as easy as you can for the anchor to read your report
Unlike print news, broadcast has to be read out loud by a reporter, so it needs to be in conversational style. Broadcast reports are meant to flow, not sound robotic. They are going to be read by a human being, not a robot. Maybe one day, when robots coexist with natural life, we’ll be able to get away with robotic sounding broadcast reports. But for now, broadcast reports are read by people, with emotions, hence broadcast reports should not be robotic.
Also, as Professor Piacente has made sure to emphasize, so I will do the same, remember to write broadcast leads in present tense. I will write that again. Write broadcast leads in present tense. Professor said that he will take 25 points off the final if we write our broadcast leads in past tense. So yeah, write them in present tense!!! Is saying that three times in one paragraph enough emphasis?
I’ll provide an example of present versus past tense, in case anyone is still unclear about the difference between the two. Present: “The robots have taken over! Send help!!” Past: “The robots took over! No one sent help.” In the second example, no one sent help because it was written in past tense. Don’t do that on the final.

I will leave you guys off on a quote our professor has made sure to say multiple times. As Mark Twain said, “I would have written you a shorter letter if I only had the time.”