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Journalism Subject Guide: Writing for assignments

Writing for news media

 Writing for news media

Ian Pickering, a journalist of thirty years' experience, offers the following advice for news writing:

  1. Accuracy is all-important: You must not get things wrong! This includes seemingly minor details. If you get the little things wrong, readers will question the accuracy of bigger ones.
  2. Know your audience: Understand who you are writing for. Audiences will differ by a number factors, including platform (online or print), ideology, geography, demographics, and interests.
  3. Perfect your introduction: Keep it to a single sentence of no more than 25 words, and apply some flair to draw your reader into the story.

The above advice is adapted from Pickering's Writing for News Media (pp. 74-145). Find more details and his seven other "golden rules" by downloading a copy of the book via the link below:

AP Stylebook:

The Associated Press Stylebook is an English grammar style and usage guide. It is commonly adopted in news writing.

Access the Library's subscription to the online version via the link below:

Write for academic assignment

 Writing for academic assignments

  • Your academic assignments will in general require you to present an "argument". In other words, you need to go beyond mere description and address the 'Why' or 'So what?' of the topic. 
  • Make good use of your sources to not only to provide evidence for your argument, but also to construct it. Your writing should be able to show where your ideas came from and how you built up your own original perspective on the topic.
  • It can be helpful to frame your assignment as a conversation with your reader where you deal with questions and disagreements in order to persuade them of the strength of your argument.

The above advice was adapted from Writing at University: A Guide for Students. The full text has plenty of practical advice and exercises/activities to help you improve your academic writing. You can consult the Library's online copy of the book via the link below:

Cite your sources

 Cite your sources

It is vital that you provide full and accurate citations for all of the information sources that you include in your academic assignments. There are many different styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) so check with your course instructor if you are not sure which style to use.

 Click here for the Library's Citation Guide