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Working With Words A Handbook for Media Writers and Editors

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  • Edition: 10th
  • Format: Spiral Bound
  • Copyright: 2019-09-23
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Supplemental Materials

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Regardless of the medium, from print to broadcast to PR to digital, Working with Words has you covered. With a focus on improving skills in both grammar and style, this book serves as an invaluable reference for students throughout their academic and professional careers. Helping students become better journalists and media writers, the text combines news writing acumen with good, journalistic form, covering the full spectrum of writing skills from understanding basic methods of style and writing to mastering English grammar and mechanics.

Table of Contents

Useful Lists at a Glance

1           Understanding Journalism and the News
 What’s News? What’s Journalism? What’s Opinion?
                             Defining News
  Defining Journalism
  Defining Opinion
 Confronting Perceptions of Media Bias
 The Political Climate and “Fake News”
 The State of the Media Industry
 The Importance of Newspapers
 Newspapers May Decline, but Journalism Thrives

2           The Basics of Writing for Journalism
             Journalistic Writing Versus Fiction Writing
                             A Clarity Checklist
                             Write Short Sentences and Paragraphs, and Use Common
                             Anticipate Readers’ Questions
                             Include Specifics
                             Explain Numbers and Statistics
                             A Correctness Checklist
                             Use Correct Grammar, Usage, Spelling and Style
                             Write to Your Audience and Purpose
                             Use the Right Story Formula
                             Maintain Objectivity in Your Writing
                             Rules of Objective Writing
                             Modifiers to Be Avoided
             JOURNALISM TIP: Writing for Eighth-Grade Readability
3           Writing News That’s Fit for Print

                Pick the Best Angle
                Types of News Leads
                Hard-News Leads
                                 Who Was Involved?
                                 What Happened?
                                 When Did It Happen?
                                 JOURNALISM TIP: Words to Avoid in Attributing
                                Where Did It Happen?
                             Problems with Hard-News Leads
                             What Comes After the Hard-News Lead?
                Soft-News Leads
                                Soft-News Clichés
                                What Comes After the Soft News Lead?       
                Using Paraphrases and Transitions to Build a Story
4           Writing News for Radio and Television
                 Print and Online Versus Radio and Television News
                                 Use a Conversational Style
                                 Personalize the News
                                 Make It Easy to Understand
                                 Keep It Short
                                 Keep It Timely
                                 Make It Clear
                 Radio and Television Journalists Must Know Grammar
                 Radio and Television Journalists Must Know Pronunciation
                 Radio and Television Hard-News Leads
                                  Starting With the Who
                                  What Happened?
                                  Other Points to Remember
                 Radio and Television Story Structure
                 Radio and Television Style Summary
                                   Preparing Your Manuscript for Radio
                                   Preparing Your Manuscript for Television
                                   Editing and Other Symbols
5           Writing News for Online and Mobile Media
             Online Media Are Unique
                             Be Clear
                             Be Correct (And Credible)
                             Be Concise
             Writing and Presenting News Online
                             SEO: Writing with Search Engines in Mind
                             Writing for International Audiences
                             Writing for Blogs
                             JOURNALISM TIP: Editing Your Own Copy
                             Promoting News on Social Media
                             Legal and Ethical Concerns

6           Writing News for Strategic Communication
 The Strategic Communication Process
                Setting Your Goal
                Choosing the Target Audience
                Designing the Message
                Determining Timing of the Project’s Launch
                Evaluating the Impact of Your Campaign
 How Public Relations Writing Differs From News Writing
                Essentials of a Good News Release
                Following Up with Media Contacts
 Legal and Ethical Issues in Strategic Communication
 Skills Needed by Strategic Communicators

7        Sexism, Racism and Other “Isms”
             Why You Are Where You Are in Today’s Language
                What Does That Mean to You?
                The Future Arrives on Little Feet
                A Shifting “Center of Gravity”
                Language Turns to the Future
                Update With Working With Words Language Triangle
1. New social change—to recognize current reality, look for the action.
2. New standards of language—the changing world and social media.
3. Resulting new video/content requirements.
                 New Players in the New Millennium
                 A Brief History of “Isms” in the U.S.
                 Dealing With Current Reality
                                 Other Stereotypes
                                 The Nonbias Rule
                Seven Ways to Be Up to Date Instead of Out of Date


8           Choosing Your Words
             Know the Meaning of Words Often Confused
                Choose Simpler and Clearer Wordings
                             Use Fewer Words
                             Use Simpler Words
                             Use Exact Words
                             Be Fresh, Not Stale

9           Grammar Basics
             Solving Common Problems
1. Use the right word.
2. Make sure your words agree and go together.
3. Make sure your words are in the right order
4. Use the right form of the word.
5. Punctuate according to sentence grammar
             Understanding in More Depth
                             Using Standard English
                             Why Don’t We Write How We Talk?
                             Conventional Wisdom
                             Competing Grammars and Stylebooks
                             When Is an Error Not an Error?
                             Grammar and Confidence
                             Communicating Well
                             Talking Shop

10           Phrases, Clauses and Sentences
             Solving Common Problems
1. Beware of common sentence errors.
2. Know the difference between restrictive versus nonrestrictive elements
                             JOURNALISM TIP: Punctuating Nonrestrictive Phrases and
             Understanding in More Depth
                             JOURNALISM TIP: Using Different Types of Sentences

11           Subjects and Objects
                Solving Common Problems
1. Choosing among that or which, or who or whom
2. Understanding how to use pronouns ending in self or selves.
3. Spelling singulars, plurals and possessives correctly.
4. Choose the right pronoun case.
5. Capitalize proper nouns (nouns referring to actual names).
6. Know when to capitalize names that are neither clearly proper names nor common nouns.
7. Make nouns and pronouns possessive before a gerund.
                Understanding in More Depth
                                 Kinds of Subjects
                                 Kinds of Objects
                                 Verbal Nouns: Gerunds and Infinitives
                                 More on Forming Singulars and Plurals of Nouns
                                 More on Forming Possessives of Nouns

12           Verbs
                Solving Common Problems
                           1. Know when there should or should not be an s
                                              at the end of a verb.
                                2. Don’t confuse the verbs can, may, shall and will with could, might, would and should, or with each other.
                                3. Don’t misuse helping verbs — the verbs added to a main
                                4. Don’t misuse irregular verbs – those that don’t make their
                                              past forms by adding ed.
                                5. Normally, avoid passive voice.
                                6. Avoid using nouns as verbs that editors dislike.
                Understanding in More Depth
                                 What’s the Difference Between a Verb and a Predicate?
                                 What are Helping Verbs and Main Verbs?
                                 What are Transitive Verbs and Intransitive Verbs?
                                 Understanding Verb Tenses
                                 Principal Parts of Common Irregular and Other Confusing                                              
                                 Sequence of Tenses
                                 Keeping Verb Tenses Consistent
                                 More on Active Voice Versus Passive Voice
                                 What Is Verb Mood?
                                 JOURNALISM TIP: Verb Moods
                                 What are Verbals?

13        Making the Parts Agree

                Solving Common Problems
                                1. Make sure each subject and its verb agree in number.
                                JOURNALISM TIP: Groups of People in the News
                                2. Make sure each pronoun agrees with its antecedent in number, gender and person.
                                3. Make sure each sentence’s words, phrases and clauses have parallel structure.
                Understanding in More Depth
                                More on Subject-Verb Agreement with Conjunctions
                                More on Subject-Verb Agreement with Uncountable Nouns
                                More on Subject-Verb Agreement with Other Confusing
                                More on Prepositional Phrases
                                More on Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
                                More on Making Verbs Parallel

14        Modifiers and Connecting Words
                Solving Common Problems with Modifiers
                                1. Use the correct forms of adjectives and adverbs.
                                2. Don’t confuse adjectives with adverbs.
                                3. Know the difference between coordinate adjectives and compound modifiers.
                                4. Know how to use articles correctly.
                                5. Set off sentence adverbs with commas from the rest of the sentence.
                                6. Don’t use double negatives.
                                7. Punctuate interjections correctly.
                Solving Common Problems with Connecting Words
                                1. Pay attention to how you use prepositions and whether the preposition is necessary.
                                2. Make sure that you use the correct conjunction to connect equal or unequal parts of a sentence.
                Understanding in More Depth
                                More About Other Kinds of Modifiers
                                More About Participles
                                More About Interjections
                                More About Correlative Conjunctions

15        Getting Words in the Right Order and Punctuation
                Getting Words in the Right Order
                Solving Common Problems
                                1. Place modifiers as close as possible to the word they
                                2. Adverbs require extra attention to placement in verb
                                                phrases because different orders are preferable here depending on the meaning.
                Understanding in More Depth
                                Understanding Preposition Placement
                                Understanding Split Infinitives
                Punctuating for Clarity
                Solving Common Problems with Commas
                                1. Know when always to use a comma.
                                2. Know when never to use a comma.
                                3. Know when you might want to use a comma.
                Solving Common Problems with Quotations
                                1. Know what and how to quote.
                                2. Know how to attribute quotations and paraphrases.
                                3. Know how to carry quotations across paragraphs.
                                4. Know how to handle these special issues with quotes.
                Solving Common Problems with Punctuating Pairs of Modifiers
                                1. Use the correct conjunction to connect equal or unequal parts of a sentence – a coordinating one for equal parts, a subordinating one for unequal parts – and punctuate them correctly.
                                2. Set off conjunctive adverbs with a comma after them.
                                3. Know the difference between punctuating coordinate adjectives and compound modifiers.
                Understanding Punctuation in More Depth
                                Periods, Exclamation Points and Question Marks

        Bias-Related Terms

         One Word, Two Words or Hyphenated?

         Spelling Rules
                   JOURNALISM TIP: Spelling and Your Career
         Hyphenation as a Spelling Problem
         Words Often Misspelled

         What to Tighten, A-Z

        Trademarks and Generics
                  Former Trademarks Now Also Considered Generic
                   Not Trademarks
                  Trademarks That Pose Other Spelling Issues
         Usage Differences
         Misused and Confused Words and Phrases        

Appendix: Associated Press Print and Web Style Summary
         Abbreviations and Acronyms
                  People and Titles
                  Proper Nouns
                  Geographic Regions
                  Government and College Terms
                  Religious Terms
                  Cardinal Numbers
                  Numerals With Suffixes
                  Numbers as Words
                  Other Rules for Numbers

Online Resources
Copy-Editing Marks
Overcome These Twenty Common Errors

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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