"A man was killed on Friday. Police officals said he died on Friday."

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The most interesting section I read in Chapter 3 was "Pitfalls of Attribution".  Cappon talked about how authors of news articles will often make the mistake of repeating information, most often restating the lead in the second and third paragraphs.  The reason I found it interesting was because I was thinking of this problem in my writing the night before when I was completing the fictional accident report.

With the information that was given, I thought it would be best to keep the story as short as possible.  If it were a real-life situation, since the incident was very insignificant, a longer story might draw ire from either the victim or Cairo Transport (or both).  But in my efforts to stream-line my article, I noticed that I repeated some information from paragraph to paragraph.  While I can't think of any particular time when I made as bad of a mistake as some of the examples provided in the chapter, it is something I can recall being a problem in my writing in the past.  Details like making sure that you don't repeat information are what set apart the more talented writers from the adequate, and this article has made me take a look at how I can improve my writing.

Original Assignment


Derek Tickle said:

I see this a lot of newspapers. The information gets repeated after it is said in the lead. So why is this? To fill space or to make the reader remember it? The words "killed" and "died" are very different, but very alike because they have so much meaning. Killed would infer that someone else was involved in the death, but died would mean that the person lived a good life, but died. There are many ways that someone can interpret these two words.

Greta Carroll said:

It can be hard not to repeat things sometimes, even in academic essays. Frequently, we include more examples or proof than we need to simply because we are either trying to fill up space or feel too self-conscious about the examples we did use proving our point. However, in news writing, we will generally not have to worry about making an article longer and as I mention in my blog, there is no room for self-consciousness in news writing. As soon as we start doubting ourselves, the reader will too. Sometimes the repetition is just a simple accident. Doubtless, the best way to resolve such a problem is by being aware of our tendency to repeat or include unnecessary details and to revise our writing looking specifically for these repetitions.

Katie Vann said:

I had the same problem with my accident report and had to go back over it a few times. Even though the information I took out made the report more direct, I was worried that by not repeating some facts that the story wouldn't be as understandable. However it turned out okay and seemd a lot more clean cut without the extra repetitions.

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