Story Practice article assignment

general article writing


Use attached file as the story. Please read instructions carefully please! Ask questions if confused 

For Story 2, you will write a 300-350-word meeting news story enhanced for an online audience based your choice of one of the following scenarios:

Meeting Story Practice Exercise8 (PDF)

Meeting Story Practice Exercise9 (PDF)

This assignment is due Sunday by 11:59 ET.

Keep in mind that Story 2 has two parts:

1) a 300-350-word news story based on the scenario or scenarios assigned by your instructor; and

2) Web or social media enhancements (i.e. links to relevant Web resources, tweets, Instagram photos, Snapchat texts, Pinterest posts, etc. ).

n.b. You must use one of these news scenarios for your assignment. Do not try to complete this exercise using a story you have selected from the news.

The assignment assumes you are a reporter for the Harkensville Daily Gazette. Your job is to assemble the information from one scenario into an inverted pyramid for a summary news story that will be published online and in print after midnight on the evening that the meeting was held. Assume Harkensville is in your home state. Make sure your story contains correct grammar, punctuation and AP style

Some tips for success:

Use The Making of a Summary News Story worksheet to organize your facts. Use the Checklist for News Story Exercises to help you edit and perfect your story. Submit the completed editing worksheet with your assignment.

The lead for your story should contain no more than 20 words and a single sentence. Write it in the active voice. Include the most important detail of the story.

Answer these questions in the lead: What happened? Who-did-what-when?

Use The Inverted Pyramid, The Central Point and The Body of a News Story lectures to help you write the story in inverted pyramid style. Start with the most important detail. Each paragraph should include the story's next-most important detail. The last paragraph should be unimportant.

Use the Transitions lecture to help you ensure every paragraph has something to do with the ones before and after it. Ask yourself: What does this sentence have to do with the one before it? If you can't pinpoint the relationship, you've got your paragraphs in the wrong order. Use the News Article Paragraph Organizer to help you figure out an appropriate flow for your story. The step-by-step instructions on how to organize a basic news story in this PowerPoint by a UMUC JOUR 201 instructor also can help.

If you use a quotation, make sure it is a direct quote. You may not put quotation marks around anything that you cannot attribute to an individual. If the scenario does not have quotation marks around a sentence, do not add them. It is inaccurate (and a serious journalistic offense) to enclose paraphrased material in quotation marks. Be sure to follow the rules for punctuating quotations outlined in the Newsgathering and Interviewing lecture.

You can learn about enhancing your story for online publication from the Packaging Online News lecture and this Tipsheet for Using Online & Social Media.

Do not offer any opinions or draw any conclusions. Do not wrap up the story in the last paragraph. Avoid adjectives; most are value-laden and may even be considered libelous. Use the Libel and Ethics lecture as a guide.

Delete any unnecessary words. Your goal: economy of language. Write short, simple words, short paragraphs, short sentences. (But try not to make your writing choppy.) Use the Concise Writing lecture to help you.

Look up all style points in the Course AP Stylebook lecture.

Check spelling and grammar. Use the Proofreading Tips to help you proofread for errors. A typo costs you as much as a misspelled word. Consider also using the free Grammarly software for a final double-check. And if your grammar needs a touch up, you can refresh your memory of basic English grammar rules with JOUR 201's grammar practice quiz under the My Tools > Quizzes link in the blue navbar at the top of your screen before you submit your revised Try It.

Make sure your facts are absolutely accurate. Do not add or assume anything that's not there in black and white.

Spell names correctly. For this exercise, the names in the police report are spelled correctly. You'll lose a full letter grade for a misspelled name.

Write literally. Avoid misplaced modifiers.

Instruction Files

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