« So...I hope this is right. | Home | Animal Cruelty and Racial Acts »

September 20, 2007

"What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure." -Samual Johnson

As the quote (and now title of this entry) says, pretty much, if you want someone to read what you have to say, make it good and put in the time and effort so the reader stays interested. The three assigned chapters showed us how to do that, if we did not know how to already.

In chapter three, the chapter about leads, the main thing that stuck out to me was, well the first sentence; "In the beginning of every news story is the lead-the bait, the lure, the tender trap for the reader, a source of much fear and loathing for the writer." (Cappon, 23) Ummmm, what? Maybe it's just me, but I personally think the lead is the easiest part of the story to write, as long as you know what you want the story to say. I've really only started writing news articles last year in my senior year of high school, when I actually took a Journalism class and got to fit the school newspaper in to my schedule. So maybe I have less experience than everyone else but, I've never had trouble with writing leads. So this chapterwas just an overview I guess for me, but still was very informitive and anyone I think could get something out of it.

Chapter four however, I think ANY writer could learn from this chapter. I think that everyone has problems with sentence structure in some ways at some point in their writing careers. I know personally the rule of having an average of 16 words per sentence is kind of difficult for me. I usually have too many words and don't know when to end the sentence, or I just suck at making a sentence long enough to fully display my ideas. I really think I just need to work on the length of my sentences, based on my target audience. "Long, complicated sentences present no obstacle to professional readers (like ourselves). But we don't write for professional readers. And even they prefer the tighter prose that a preponderance of short, declarative sentences creates." So basically, I have to get in my head that no one likes to read long boring sentences, but don't make them too short that no one knows what I'm talking about.

So, chapter five confused me. Yeah I'm slow (or I've just been up too long) and didn't catch on to what it was talking about until the end of the chapter. "Even more coldly put, journalese means hack work." (Cappon, 48) So what I'm getting from this chapter is pretty much to catch the readers attention, and try to own it. I think that the entire class can learn from Cappon at the end of this chapter when he says, "To write well means to choose the right words for each occasion, not to fit the occasion to precooked words. That requires a thoughtful effort."

From these three chapters I learned that I am doing leads correctly; I can still work on proper sentence structure; and overall that good writing takes time, and effort. And if I want to be a good writer, and if I want to do better in the years to come, I need to take that time to do so.

 

Trackback

1 TrackBack

Just a start to the next four years. from Barely a woman, but 18 years in... on October 15, 2007 9:01 PM

This class has taught, and re-taught a few hundred great lessons for the field of journalism. In high school, I was only able to “join the journalism party, fashionably late” in the last semester of my senior year, so I... Read More

Leave a comment