Writing a short article: What you need to know
+ EXAMPLE OF A SHORT ARTICLE
Thesis Statement That tells the reader what the paragraph is about.
FIRST REASON OR EXPLANATION
EXAMPLE illustrating Reason 1
SECOND REASON OR EXPLANATION
Example illustrating Reason 2
THIRD REASON OR EXPLANATION
Example illustrating Reason 3
CONCLUSION summing up the reasons and restating the thesis statement in new words.
GMS JOURNALISM CLASS CREATES
ONLINE MAGAZINE Students in the Spring Journalism class have created an online magazine, Mustang News, reporting news that did not make it into the yearbook. Many important school events occur after the yearbook deadline and never get documented. Eighth grade grad is one example of a very important tradition that will be featured in the Mustang News magazine. Also, the yearbook is constrained to 48 pages and many features cannot be included. For example, all of the teachers at GMS
have interesting lives outside the classroom and some of our faculty will be profiled in the Mustang News. Using the website, Issuu.com, students will create a vibrant, colorful, publication for GMS students and family. Because the magazine will be online, it will be easy to share with family and friends who live far away. The Mustang News on Issuu.com will be a fantastic supplement to our yearbook and is sure to become a GMS tradition.
Don’t Miss Your Deadlines! What’s Due When? Friday, April 13 • Draft of one article • Pictures for that article
Friday, May 4
Friday, May 11
• All articles edited
• All work in
and corrected • You must edit the
Publication Template • All work saved to
Friday, April 20
work of at least one
server, flash drive,
• Drafts of both long
and turned in to
and short articles
• Pictures for both articles
Using Photos How to pick the best ones to tell your story
PICTURES – Use them Right! WHERE DO I GET PICTURES FOR MY STORY? •
Download them from YearbookAvenue.com
Journalism Class archive CDs
Take new photos
Images from the Internet
Are the subjects’ faces showing?
Is the photo in focus?
Does the picture have something
Each article should have at least TWO photos
to do with the article? (Is it relevant?)
Is the photo cropped correctly?
The Long Article: How to Do it Right & Tell a Story Students in GMS Journalism and in COTH 321 at Western State College are collaborating to learn more about how adolescents use social media. COTH 321 is a college class that explores how people communicate using different types of media. Journalism students worked with the college students to develop a survey to learn more about how GMS students use social media. The media being investigated in our research include Facebook, texting, and cell phones. We all know that social media has had a huge impact on how people
communicate; our study is going to investigate how. COTH 321 is a class offered in the Communication and Theater department at Western State College that investigates media use in society. Professor Terry Schliesman and his students began the project by doing a literature review and sharing their findings with the Journalism students. A literature review is the process of reading all of the research that has been done on a particular topic to
Mustang News develop good background knowledge when creating a research project. Together, the college and middle school students then brainstormed a set of questions about media use and the college students wrote a survey. The Journalism students administered the survey to all 7th and 8th grade students. The college students analyzed the completed surveys and will write a summary what was learned about GMS students’ use of social media. The 12-question survey developed for our investigation asked questions like, “What kinds of social media do you use?” and “How much time do you spend communicating electronically?” Students who completed the survey probably noticed that some questions seemed to be asking the same thing in a different way. Most surveys do this. It is a way of measuring reliability, or if the survey gets the same answer The term “social media” refers to electronic technologies used to communicate, maintain relationships, and form social networks. For most Americans today, social media include a cell phone, email, a Facebook page, and text messaging. Many people use other media like Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus, Spotify, Tumblr, blogspot, and many, many others. This kind of electronic
Spring 2012 commutation is very new and as a society we do not yet know how it will impact us. No doubt there will be many benefits and drawbacks to the widespread use of social media. Research by social scientists will help us better understand the impact of our new means of communication.
THE REQUIREMENTS •
The very first sentence must be a thesis statement that tells the reader what the article is about.
The first paragraph should provide the reader with at least 3 reasons or explanations directly related to the thesis statement.
Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 are the body of the article and each one should expand on reasons/explanations laid out in the first paragraph.
The last paragraph should summarize the article and conclude by restating the thesis statement in new words.
Tips for EDITING
1. Concentration is Key If you’re going to spot mistakes, then you need to concentrate. That means getting rid of distractions and potential interruptions. Switch off the cell phone, turn off the television or radio and stay away from the email.
4. Watch Out for Contractions and Apostrophes People often mix their and they’re, its and it’s, your and you’re and so on. If there is something that can hurt the credibility of your text, it is a similar mistake. Also, remember that the apostrophe is never used to form plurals.
2. Put It On Paper People read differently on screen and on paper, so print out a copy of your writing. If you read aloud, your ear might catch errors that your eye may have missed.
5. Check the Punctuation Focusing on the words is good, but do not neglect the punctuation. Pay attention to capitalized words, missing or extra commas, periods used incorrectly and so on.
3. Watch Out for Homonyms Homonyms are words that share the same spelling or pronunciation, but have different meanings. Switching accept with except or complement with compliment could be disastrous, so pay attention to them.
6. Read it Backwards When writing we usually become blind to our own mistakes since the brain automatically “corrects” wrong words inside sentences. In order to break this pattern you can read the text backwards, word by word.
7. Check the Numbers Stating that the value of an acquisition was $10,000 instead of $100,000 is definitely not the same thing. What about the population of China, is it 1,2 million or 1,2 billion? Make sure your numbers are correct. 8. Get Someone Else to Proofread It After checking all the previous points, do not forget to get a friend to proofread it for you. You will be amazed at the mistakes you’ve missed. A second person will also be in a better position to evaluate whether the sentences make sense or not.
Let the chart tell the story!
Graphs & Charts + How to turn your numbers into pictures Tools for Creating a Graph •
Kid’s Zone – Create a Graph
Microsoft Word or Excel o Video Tutorial for making an
Excel graph o Video Tutorial for making a Word graph
Which Chart to Use? •
Comparing Data? Bar Graph For example, Who is the tallest kid in the class?
Breaking data into parts? Pie Chart, Stacked Bar, or normal bar graph. For example, what is granola made of?
Showing change over time? Line Graph For example, how many chips were purchased in the school store each month this year?
See the examples on page 7 7
Who's the Tallest Kid?
Examples of Charts & Graphs
74 72 70 68 66 64 62 60 58 56 Judy
Bar graphs are excellent for comparing data.
What's in Granola?
Oats Nuts Honey Raisins
Pie Charts are great for breaking data into parts
1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300
Chips Sold in School Store
200 100 0
Line graphs are great for showing how data change over time.
Assignment Guide, GMS, Middle School