Student writers who are stuck on the five-paragraph formula often struggle. The introduction, three supporting paragraphs and conclusion format has been drilled into them through state tests for a decade.
However, there’s more to writing than the five-paragraph story. It’s as much art as science. And, while the process (background research, research including interviews, writing, rewriting and editing) is the same across disciplines from journalism to law to science, how much time writers spend on each step varies with writer and story.
No one said it was going to be easy. If it were easy, everyone would be a successful writer. They’re not. And it’s not.
Students have a tendency to spend more time editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation and style than they do doing good background research and rewriting. Certainly, they don’t spend enough time reading quality writing.
Here are some resources to improve skills in writing and reporting.
SCIENCE WRITING by Tyler Dukes
CULTIVATING SOURCES KEY TO SUCCESSFUL STORIES by Dale Harrison, David Knight and Bradley Wilson
THE COPY EDITOR CAN SAVE THE DAY by Bradley Wilson, Howard Spanogle, Anne Glover and Pam Nelson
COVERING POLITICS by Bradley Wilson and Howard Spanogle
COVERING AGRICULTURAL JOURNALISM by Bradley Wilson and Howard Spanogle
TIME OUT FOR DIVERSITY by Bradley Wilson
THE WRITING PROCESS by Janet Ewell
LABOR JOURNALISM by Bradley Wilson
FOOD WITH STYLE by Howard Spanogle and Bradley Wilson
WRITING LEADS by Bradley Wilson with Jack Kennedy and Val Kibler
CHOOSING THE RIGHT JOURNALISM SCHOOL by Bradley Wilson
ALTERNATIVE STORY FORMS by Andy Bechtel
October 12, 2014