A.P. Style Book by the Associated Press (also see online AP style resources listed below)
When Words Collide: A Media Writer’s Guide to Grammar and Style or a similar grammar/style text (a used or borrowed book is fine).
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer (available on reserve at the MLK Library — you’ll just need to read one chapter for one assignment).
Note: If you have little or no news writing experience (i.e., you did not take Journalism 61 or an equivalent class), you may want to review the links to basic news writing resources and news writing texts available online on the Resources page of Cynthia’s Journalism 61 blog.
Toward the end of the semester, I will provide a word count spreadsheet (an MS Excel document) for students in this class. You must submit a completed spreadsheet on the last day of class to demonstrate that you’ve fulfilled the 8,000-word GE requirement for this class.
AP Style and Grammar Resources:
- Quiz yourself on AP style on these websites:
- The Journalism Education Association website: http://jea.org/blog/2012/10/07/associated-press-style-quizzes/
- Platform Mag’s PR website: http://platformmagazine.org/2011/12/ap-styles-quiz/
- Quizlet: http://quizlet.com/2046964/ap-style-quiz-flash-cards/
- Publicity Club of New England: http://pubclub.org/node/538
- The Washington Post’s AP style quiz: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/ap-style-quiz-tests-your-editing-smarts/2011/07/28/gIQASfckfI_story.html
- Cynthia’sPunctuation Pointers (view or download the pdf)
- AP style review on SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/melissawantz/ap-style-quiz
- CubReporters.org’s Top 10 AP style list and online self-tests: http://cubreporters.org/AP_Style
- Cynthia’s Favorite Online Grammar Resources
- Daily Grammar – sign up to receive an emailed daily (M-F) grammar lesson (with follow-up self-tests every Saturday!) A good way to brush up on your grammar.
- The Inigo Montoya Guide to 27 Commonly Misused Words on copyblogger.com
- The Tongue Untied – A guide to grammar, punctuation and style
Lecture Notes in PDF Format for Download
- Feature story structure (download pdf version of Cynthia’s Powerpoint presentation)
- Working with quotes (download pdf of Cynthia’s presentation)
- Broadcast writing (download pdf version of Cynthia’s Powerpoint presentation)
- Interviewing: Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me (listen to the mp3), or watch “Interviewing: Better Questions, Better Stories,” the Pew Center for Civic Journalism video upon which my audio clip is based.
News Writing Resources
- Writing leads for feature stories (about.com-journalism)
- Interviewing: The Ignored Skill at Poynter Online
- Interviewing: New Questions, Better Stories — this 15-minute video, a project of the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, offers some of the best advice I’ve seen on conducting effective interviews. Highly recommended.
- Knight Digital Media Center at UC-Berkeley — free online journalism & tech tutorials
- Journalist’s Resource — a project of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, this web site is run by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.
- News University — free online journalism & tech tutorials
Samples & Examples
- How to write a memo (my memo on writing memos)
- Resume checklist on about.com (includes links to other resume-writing resources)
- Electronic resumes … and why you need more than one version of your resume (The Riley Guide)
- How to write a cover letter (from about.com)
- NEW! Journalism career advice at jobspage.com
- How to write a great press release (on Bill Stoller’s PublicityInsider.com — writing tips and good examples!)
- Finding a focus for your news release (@ PRweb.com)
- Mystery Character exercise and sample
- Tips on writing query letters (from freelancer Linda Formichelli — good stuff!)
- How to write a great pitch letter (on Bill Stoller’s PublicityInsider.com — writing tips and some good examples!)
- Sample classmate profiles:
- Focus stories — this blog post on structuring focus stories includes links to two examples
- Sample Final Features and Trend Stories — See what some other students have done … and get inspired!
- Journalism and mass comm research page at the ML King Jr./San Jose Library
- How can you tell the difference between a scholarly journal article and one that appears in a popular magazine or trade journal? Check out the MLK Library’s online guide to scholarly and popular articles.
- Assignment calculator (MLK LIbrary/SJSU) — You can use this calculator to develop a timeline (and a game plan) for completing a research paper … or your final feature or trend story.
- Prof. Bob Rucker’s tips on writing for broadcast
- Sample broadcast story showing broadcast style and format (Prof. Rucker’s website)
- Mindy’s McAdams’ tutorials on using the free program Audacity to record and edit audio
- Ira Glass, of NPR’s This American Life, talks about storytelling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7KQ4vkiNUk&feature=related
- Writers Resource Center at PoeWar.com, including job listings and average salaries for writers/editors
- SJSU Writing Center: Handouts, workshops, videos
- CSU and Calif. state Senate and Assembly EDU committee contacts (2013)