Friday, September 25, 2015

Writing for Communication 9/24/15

Happy Friday!

Last night, we were lucky enough to have Michele Kayal as our guest professor. As an accomplished freelance writer, she was the perfect person to give us a lesson on feature writing.

After some introductions, Michele taught us about the anatomy of a feature story. Here were some of the main points:

  • News and feature writing have a common foundation (Lead, nutgraf, kicker)        
  • Both are like houses; The news is a small house that provides a roof over your head, whereas feature writing is a mansion that has a lot more going on
  • News is short, to the point, and efficient
  • Features take an angle/point of view, can entertain, and are detailed. They include more background and anecdotes
  • Because the two have different jobs, they have a different constructions
  • As we already know, news stories are constructed like inverted pyramids 
  • Features do not have a single structure, but many look like hourglasses 

  • Once we got through that, we went over the bank robbery assignment. Michele had each of us read our lead. Here were some common problems:
    • Making the lead too "new-sy" and not creative enough for a feature story
    • Not using the name, which was important because of status
    •  Not taking a point of view/angle
    • Making the lead less than 25 words, which isn't necessary for feature writing
    After reviewing all of our leads, we went to the computers and tried to re-write them to make them more feature-like. Once again, we went around the room and reviewed each other's work. Overall, we seemed to get a better understanding of how to create an interesting lead for a feature.

    Lastly, we began the "Student Sit-In" assignment with Michele's guidance. We worked on them until class ended.

    To do for October 1:
    • Do radio story (Page 243), "Historic Document"
    • Read chapters 11 and 12
    • Read Writing to be Heard (Pages 214-216)
    • Read Characteristics of Writing (Pages 233-235)
    • Finish "Student Sit-In" (Page 208) that was started in class
    Have a great week!

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