Thursday, December 3, 2015

Writing for Communication: 12/04/15

The Ending of an Era: 

We've shared some great memories. Who could forget Roxy's coy interaction with David Culver? Now sadly, our time together is coming to an end. There's just one thing stopping us from completing COMM 200our final exam on Thursday, December 10th during class time. Hopefully, if I've done my job correctly, this post, as well as the other posts from throughout the semester should help you pass.


  • The final consists of two stories: one print story and one broadcast story. You may use the whole class time, but may not need all of it.
  • Remember: Steve will take 20 points off your broadcast lead if it's not in present tense. 
  • In wake of the San Bernardino shooting and other disasters, it is important to note that with any kind of disaster, the most important piece of information is the number of lives lost.
  • You are allowed to bring physical copies of your graded stories to the final to use as reminders of mistakes you don't want to make during the final. Steve highly recommends that you do this.

Pages 233-236:

  • If you understand and have mastered what is in these few pages, you should be in good shape for the final.
  • See Aaron's post for more details.

More Practice w/ Print and Broadcast Leads:

1. Bulldozer Destruction

  • "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." The bulldozer is not alive. It isn't, "A bulldozer crushed cars." Instead, say, "Someone used a bulldozer to crush cars." 
  • "Brand new" versus "new": there is no difference between these two. Choose the shorter way of saying it, new. 
  • Remember, the lead should be in its own separate paragraph. 
  • Only use a throwaway lead if it connects directly to the story. (Regardless, I'm still glad that "Easy-A" and I wrote our Bob the Builder on acid lead.)
  • Don't use any kind of jargon, even cop talk like, "perpetrator." 
  • Use AP style. Don't lose easy points!
  • No abbreviations in broadcast stories
  • More than vs. over: use "more than" when talking about numerical values, not "over." 

2. Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Clarinet

  • DON'T WRITE IN ALL CAPS (sorry, I couldn't resist).
  • Check for spelling.
  • Always remember to put an attribution in your print leads.
  • Stress the unusual. In this story, the unusual was most definitely the fact this guy wanted his ashes buried in his clarinet. 
  • Don't put commas where they aren't needed. Read aloud to see if there is a natural pause. If so, put a comma there. If not, don't.
  • Don't put yourself in the story. Avoid, "we."
  • Don't switch to past tense in a broadcast story.
  • Print must be in PAST tense.
  • In print, use the days of the week to avoid confusion. Don't use "today" or "yesterday."

Videos: How to Interview

1.  John Cusack

  • In this video, a college student interviews John Cusack and mistakingly assumes that he's the actor from "American Beauty." I bet Kevin Spacey was salty. 
  • Takeaway: if you're not prepared, you'll appear to be an idiot. 

2. Senator Huppenthal gets schooled 

Extra Credit

  • Remember that you can get 2 extra credit points on the exam by posting a tip for the next class on the blog. In order to be eligible for the points, your tip must be posted at the earliest on Saturday, and by the latest, Thursday. 

See ya!

It's been real peeps. Best of luck with all your future endeavors.


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