Accuracy and truth are the core principles of all journalists. Factual errors and misspelled names in your articles will cost you 50 points, forcing an automatic failure. Triple check all factual claims and names in your stories before you turn them in. As the old journalism standard goes, “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” You will also lose points for other spelling, grammar, punctuation and AP Style mistakes. And remember, missing a deadline will result in a zero.
Your writing assignments will be graded based on the following criteria:
- Accuracy: All your work must present factual matter correctly. All names must be spelled correctly. All stories should not present a bias, but rather should be an accurate portrayal of events. Again, misrepresenting false information as factual and spelling names wrong will cost you 50 points.
- Clarity: You may have done some of the finest reporting work known to man, but if you can’t present your information in a clear and coherent manner, then it will have no effect on your audience. Word choice, organization and simplicity all contribute to clarity. Be sure to use active voice. Get to the point. Give the details. Get out. People will always ask, “Why should I care?” If your article is clear, they’ll know right away.
- Style and Grammar: AP Style is the industry standard. Grammar rules always apply to whatever you write. You should be proficient in English grammar.
- Organization: Is your nut graf readily available? Do ideas flow naturally? Are your transitions intuitive and clear? Does the story move easily from idea to idea? All these questions are at the heart of a story’s organization.
- Completeness: You must cover completely any event to which you are assigned. Include all pertinent information. A cursory examination of a topic will leave readers questioning your credibility and your ability.
- Ledes, Quotes and Kickers: Always be sure to write a lede that best describes the event or situation. Don’t back-in to your story. Find telling quotes that advance a story and give some flavor to your readers. And be sure to end on a strong note. The lede sucks readers in. The quotes add the spice. The kicker leaves an imprint.