Friday, January 27, 2017

1/25/17 (First Half of Class)

During the first half of class, we shared our takeaways from chapters 1-4 in the textbook with each other. Then, we looked at our articles from the Riss Mattress and discussed what to do and what not to do in our leads and the rest of the story. Here are some things to remember:

·      Use The five-minute stylebook to remember the stylistic elements of the Associated Press (it’s your bible).
·      When writing your lead:
o   Get to the point right away.
o   Prioritize the 5 W’s.
o   Stress the unusual.
·      Do not put yourself (your opinions) in the story, let the story speak for itself.
·      Use “said” when attributing information, it’s simple and neutral.
·      Always use the past tense for print.
·      Do not repeat information in your stories, once it’s stated, there’s no need to restate it.
·      Do not explain quotes to readers.
·      You don’t have to sum up the end of a story. When it’s over, it’s over.
·      Do not make up information.
·      Remember to use the Inverted Pyramid- the most important information comes first.
·      Avoid using a passive voice.
·      And finally: the reader must always be your main concern.

Homework for 2/1:
a.     Read Ch. 5-7, 9, Do: P. 12, 1.13 (brevity), 1.14, 1-5; P. 63, 4.1 (AP Style/ do in workbooks) Plus, top three takeaways.
b.     Read three articles by T. Rees Shapiro, Washington Post
i.               Write and be prepared to ask two questions that you cannot find the answers to online (Like, where did that story idea come from?)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Posted by Savannah Miller

Thursday, January 26, 2017

01/25/2017 (Second Half of Class)

After a bit of R&R, the students of COMM 200-011 returned to class to put their writing skills to the test
This week, students were prompted to write a news article about a baby that died after being left in a car. As always, they had to remember to use the inverted pyramid scheme–sorting the information by its importance, putting the most important information going at the top–while also writing as objectively as humanly possible
In addition to the writing assignment, students were given their homework assignments to do for next week's class:

  • Read chapters 5,6,7, and 9 in the textbook, and list top takeaways from each chapter  
  • Do writing prompt 1.13: Brevity (located on page 12 of the textbook)
  • Do problem 1.14, parts 1-5 
  • Do writing prompt 4.1: AP Style (located on page 63 of the textbook). As this is a multiple choice quiz, it is recommended to do this problem on a separate sheet of paper 
  • Read at least three articles authored by Taylor Shapiro from the Washington Post, who will be a guest lecturer during next week's class. Write down any questions to ask Shapiro based on these articles 
  • Students who did not have time to finish the Joy Baker assignment by the end of class should also finish that and e-mail it to professor Piacente by 5:00 PM on Friday, January 27

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Class 1/18

Welcome to “Writing Boot Camp,” which is Professor Piacente’s alternate class description, and it seems like it will be an accurate description.

Instead of starting the first class of with the usual procedures, the professor chose to give us a taste of what this semester will be like. We used a U.S. General Services Administration’s public service announcement promoting for a lesson about writing leads. This was then followed by the necessary first day introductions and going over the syllabus. After, we had a lesson on being concise in our writing.

After a brief intermission, we took a practice current events quiz, followed by practicing writing a story.

Recap on important things learned this week:
1)    Lead: the first paragraph of a news story
·      25 words or less
·      Cover as many of the 5 W’s, but remember to PRIORITIZE
2)    When submitting assignments, ONLY submit Word documents with 12 pt. Arial font, double-spaced. DON’T send in the email body
3)    Don’t forget to end a writing assignment with “-30-“
4)    Always check this blog and your email, as Professor Piacente will occasionally give hints for the quizzes
5)    Don’t forget to read the Washington Post everyday!

Homework for next week if exactly as it in the syllabus:
b)    Read in the textbook Ch. 1-4 & list top 3 takeaways
c)     P. 9-11, Do: 1.1 (Autobiography), 1.4 (Incident), 1.10 (Shoelaces)

d)    Read WPost section fronts (A, Metro, Style, & Sports)

See you all again next week!

Posted by Kendall Lawrence