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News Writing Tips
LEAD
1. Keep leads short. Those with 35 words or less are preferred.
Example 1:
All classes from elementary to high school in Metro Manila on Tuesday have been suspended
due to Typhoon Pedring, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced on Monday.
The Department of Education (DepEd) announced on Monday that all classes from elementary
to high school in Metro Manila on Tuesday have been suspended due to Typhoon Pedring.
Example 2:
The Department of Agriculture (DA) will lift restrictions on imported onions more than a year
after it stopped approving import permits —a move local growers claim is aimed at appeasing
the supermarket industry lobby.
Example 3:
Senate President Franklin Drilon on Tuesday urged Petron Philippines to compensate the
victims of a massive oil spill in Manila Bay that affected thousands of coastal residents and
fishermen in Cavite.
“I would suppose they will be compensated for the damage done. The fishermen of Cavite
deserve compensation,” Drilon said in an interview, speaking mostly in Filipino.
Drilon also asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and other agencies
to look into the maintenance procedures of Petron in its underwater pipelines to determine if
the oil giant has been remiss in any way.
Example 4.
The Philippine government has allotted P500 million for the Magna Carta Benefits to weather
forecasters and other employees of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the
proposed 2014 national budget.
However, the amount was part of a lump sum fund under the control of Malacañang,
prompting a partylist lawmaker to raise questions on the appropriation.

"Why centralize it to the MPBF (Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund)?" Bayan Muna
partylist Representative Neri Colmenares said.
Example 5.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council on Wednesday said the death toll
from typhoon "Labuyo" had climbed to six and the damage to property caused by the storm
had reached P816.504 million.
The two latest confirmed fatalities were Samson Dimante and Romeo Gonzales, fishermen
from Aurora province whose bodies were found early Tuesday.
"We suspect they drowned near the shore. Our investigation showed they were trying to take
shelter from the storm and residents tried to convince them to come ashore for shelter. But
they refused allegedly because they feared the boat may be stolen," NDRRMC spokesman Maj.
Reynaldo Balido said in a radio interview.
The NDRRMC said "Labuyo" also left six persons injured and five others missing.
The storm has affected at least 41,163 families, or 186,378 people, in 374 villages of 77 towns
and five cities in 16 provinces.
Of these, 3,296 families, or 15,011 people, are in 64 evacuation centers.
The storm also damaged 27 roads and 13 bridges while power was interrupted in 13 areas and
communication facilities disrupted in three more.
At least 519 houses were destroyed and 3,231 damaged.
Damage to property was placed at more than P816 million -- close to P701 million in
agriculture and P117.7 million in infrastructure -- in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon
and Cordillera regions.
Early Wednesday morning, the NDRRMC said at least 66 villages in Central Luzon remained
flooded.
Example 6.
Taal Volcano was placed under Alert Level 1 Wednesday morning after a volcanic quake was
detected over the past 24 hours, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management
Council said.
The agency reiterated of the six-kilometer permanent danger zone around Taal and warned
that “sudden steam explosions may occur and high concentrations of toxic gases may
accumulate.”

” Agustin said. Ang isang rice miller na nagmula sa Bulacan ang sinasasabing may pinakamaraming bigas na nabili. the Department of Budget and Management has released their package of benefits on the availability of PAGASA’s savings. Metro Manila. at maging sa ilang lalawigan sa Luzon. Aminado ang isang senador na kakain ng panahon at gugugol ng salapi ang paglilipat ng kabisera ng bansa at ilang pangunahing tanggapan ng pamahalaan mula sa National Capital . may also become hazardous when steam emission along existing fissures suddenly increases. president of the Philippine Weathermen Employees Association.“The northern portion of the crater rim. Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) have finally received their long-awaited share of longevity and hazard pay. A lead paragraph limited to one sentence is preferred. 2. a forecaster can receive at least P60. He lauded Secretary Mario Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology for the release of their Magna Carta bonuses. “For example. Example 6.000. he said. According to Ramon Agustin. Hindi naman isinama sa subasta ang mga bigas na nakalagay sa container van ng ninakaw ng may 200 sako ng bigas.000 perk for a period of six months. Ito na ang ikalawang pagsubasta na ginawa ng BOC-Cebu at magkakaroon muli ng pagsubasta ngayong Agosto sa sandaling matapos ang isinasagawang pag-imbentaryo. depending on their salary grades.000 to P100. Example 2. The employees’ benefits range from P20. Davao. Sumali sa bidding ang may 25 negosyante na nagmula sa Cebu. Employees of the Philippine Atmospheric.” it added. Example 1. in the vicinity of Daang Kastila Trail.

Antonio Trillanes IV. “The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne. . isinagawa ang international competition noong 1911 para idesenyo ang Canberra. Una nang sinabi ni Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto na nasa P150 bilyon ang nawawala sa ekonomiya ng bansa kada taon dahil sa problema sa trapiko. Para kay Sen. Partukular na tinukoy nito na tumagal lamang ng tatlong taon ang paglilipat ng kabisera ng Brazil sa Brasilia. “It’s ambitious but doable.” ani Trillanes sa isang lunch media briefing kamakailan. Mas magastos pa ang gagawing pagsasayos sa mga pangunahing lansangan sa NCR kesa sa paglilipat ng kabisera sa ibang lugar ayon kay Trillanes. "Kung hindi tayo mag-aambisyon. Sa ilalim ng panukala ni Trillanes. Layunin ng panukala na pag-aralan ang posibilidad ng nasabing paglilipat dahil sa talamak na problema sa trapiko at mga pagbaha sa Metro Manila na perwisyo na sa mga estudyante at mga manggagawa. ang ngayo’y kabisera nito. ganito na lang talaga tayo. maituturing na ambisyoso ang kaniyang panukala subali’t pwedeng isaalang-alang lalo pa’t sinubukan na rin ito ng ilang mga bansa. Ang Brasília ay ang pinakamalaking lungsod sa mundo na hindi nakilala sa pagsisimula ng 20th century ayon sa kanilang kasaysayan. Example 3. magtatatag ito ng isang komisyon na kabibilangan ng tatlong commissioners na i-a-appoint ng Pangulo at secretariat para sa suportang teknikal at administratibo sa komisyon." saad pa ng senador. Australia's two largest cities. Samantalang sa Australia naman aniya.Region (NCR) tungo sa ibang lugar. Tatsaga-in mo ang trapik arawaraw.

Nais ng isang kongresista mula sa Mindanao na isama sa curricula sa lahat ng paaralan sa bansa para maituro sa mga mag-aaral ang kasaysayan at kultura ng mga Muslim. Mary Jane Louise A. ang pinakamalaking balangay na natagpuan nila sa Butuan simula noong 1970s ay halos 15 metro lamang ang haba. Ang mungkahi ay nakapaloob sa inihaing panukalang batas ni Deputy Speaker at Lanao del Sur Rep. "That's just one of the treenails used in its construction. Pako. sa paniwala na makatutulong ito sa pagsusulong ng pagkakaisa at kapayapaan sa bansa. Paliwanag ni Dr. Ang natagpuang balangay na hindi bababa sa 25 metro ang haba ay ang itinuturing pinakamalaking sasakyang pandagat ng mga sinaunang Pilipino. Pangalian Balindong." aniya. inaatasan nito ang Department of Education (DepEd) at Commission on Higher Education (CHED) na isama sa aralin ng mga estudyante sa lahat ng antas ng paaralan sa bansa ang "history. wala nang mga klase ng puno sa bansa ang kayang gayahin ang naturang balangay. natagpuan nila ang isang mas malaking balangay na kasya ang mga naunang balangay na natagpuan nila.Maaaring mabago umano ang kasaysayan ng paglalayag ng mga Pilipino matapos matuklasan ang isang malaking balangay sa Butuan City sa Mindanao na tinatayang nasa 800-taong gulang. Subalit. Sa House Bill 1446. masyadong malalaki ang tabla na ginamit sa paggawa dito. Mas matanda pa umano ang balangay sa mga barkong ginamit nina Ferdinand Magellan na tumuntong sa bansa noong ika-16 na siglo. Ayon sa kanya. sintaba ng 'coke in can' Pinangunahan ni National Museum archeologist Dr. sintaba ng coke in can ang mga kahoy na ginawang pako sa nasabing sasakyang pandagat. noong 2012. “DepEd and CHED are likewise mandated to initiate and maintain regular programs and special projects to provide venues for information and discussion of Moro history. Bolunia. cultures and . culture and identity" ng mga Moro. Maaari umanong simulan ang pagtuturo nito sa mga paaralan na nasa Mindanao. Ayon sa kanya. Bolunia. Example 4. Hindi pa tapos hukayin ang ilang parte ng barko pero sa pag-aaral ni Dr. Bolunia ang pananaliksik at pagsusuri sa nasabing balangay.

including the peculiarities of the different Moro and Lumad ethno-linguistic groups. at mga Lumad. The first five to "what happened" makes a better story than the fact it did. Avoid starting leads with "when" or "where" unless the time or place is unusual. at ang epekto nito sa buong bansa. day (date) and place usually go at the end of the paragraph. Kasabay nito." 5. “The specific character of Mindanao as an island shared by these tri-peoples and thus the ideal of their equality." 4. hindi rin umano dapat mawala sa aralin ang positibong aspeto sa kasaysayan ng tri-peoples ng Mindanao na mga Kristiyano. Maaari umanong isama sa ituturo sa curricula ang pag-unawa sa ugat ng kaguluhan at problema sa Mindanao.” mungkahi ni Balindong. In leads about future events. In leads about past events. the time. Moro o Muslim. including the positive presentation of these people before the arrival of Islam and Christianity as well as the appreciation of the various cultures and ethnic identities are also some of the key points to be emphasized. Most leads start with "who" or "what. 7. 6. Example 1: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the various environmental stakeholders under its adopt-a-estero initiative on Monday at the Makati City Hall. “The identification of the common origins of the people of Mindanao and of the Philippines as well as other points of commonalities.” ayon sa kongresista. Avoid beginning leads with "there" or "this. co-existence and unity. Use quote and question leads sparingly. BODY . the day (date) of the event usually appears before or after the verb. including the utilization of informal education and other means to stress the importance of respect. 3. 8.identity. Sometimes the day (date) comes at the end of the first sentence or the paragraph if it is a one-sentence lead.” paliwanag ni Balindong sa panukala.

Example 2: The Department of Agriculture (DA) has earmarked P40 million for refurbishment and repair of the Agrifreeze Processing Complex at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga after years of “mishandling” by its previous management. Remember short paragraphs encourage readers to continue reading. Honesto Baniqued. Example 4: . president of the National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR). Keep paragraphs short. Each paragraph should contain only one idea. Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the program. (but one sentence is enough) 11.9. Those limited to 35 words or less are preferred. Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the project will kickoff on November or December for the whole National Capital Region. said they are now putting more effort to turn around the operations of the P190-million Agrifreeze facility and maximize its utilization after three consecutive years of losses in its operations. which forms part of the national food staples sufficiency program. will empower organized farmers’ groups and cooperatives to produce their own certified or inbred rice seeds out of the registered rice seeds that will be distributed to them for free. 12. Paragraphs limited to one to two sentences are preferred. which intends to undertake an inventory of greenhouse gases or carbon footprint down to the level of local government units. In a statement. 10. In a statement. Example 3: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has partnered with three private entities for the conduct of greenhouse gases (GHG) inventory in 16 cities and one municipality of Metro Manila . Example 1: The Department of Agriculture (DA) has earmarked P192 million for its community seed bank (CSB) and seed production program to enable farmers to produce their own requirement of certified seeds every cropping season.

" NOT "next Monday. report it will happen "Monday." NOT "last Friday.000 metric tons white and yellow onions – enough to meet the domestic requirement until the harvest season." Eliminate the word "last. 14." For future events. prior to the coming harvest for the wet cropping season." Eliminate the word "next. said that he has already signed last week permits for the importation of some 4. Alcala said they may seek additional budget from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to meet its palay procurement targets for this year." . Dr. Example 5: The Philippines expects palay production to grow by more than a fifth in the third quarter of this year because of expansion in harvest area and improvement in yield. DA-Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) director. For past events. Example 1: Meanwhile. Eliminate the word "that" whenever possible. Clarito Barron.The Philippines will start importation of white and yellow onions to augment the shortage in supply in the next two months. Example 3: The DA chief also said that he has already directed NFA administrator Angelito Banayo to provide a procurement and distribution plan for the whole country. the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Thursday. EDITING 13. Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala told reporters that the country’s palay production will not be less than 20 percent for the third quarter of 2011. Example 2: Alcala said he has arranged a meeting with the National Food Authority (NFA) Council to discuss the volume and funds needed for the procurement program this year. He also said that palay production could hit record-high this year. the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Wednesday. report it happened "Friday.

" 19. Revise. 26. Eliminate the "be" verb." These are weak transitions. Just report what was said. "He'd" can mean both "he had" and "he would. 17. 21. 22. Consult the AP Stylebook or Grammar for Journalists for more information." NOT they. 25. A long title should follow the name. Rewrite. Avoid the contractions of he'd and they'd. ONLY GREAT REWRITING.15. Someone once said THERE IS NO GREAT WRITING. Make sure verbs or other phrases are "parallel" or the same in structure when they appear in stories or list. Eliminate words such as "when asked" and "concluded. Edit. Always double-check the spelling of names. 16. . 18. If "none" means "no one" or "not one. A title that follows the name should be lowercased and set off in commas. Revise. Revise." and "they'd" can mean both "they had" and "they would. The location of "only" can change the meaning of a sentence. Write. Make sure numbers match the items listed. Read the story out loud to catch awkward sentence constructions. 23. Rewrite." use a singular verb. 20. Example: The team wants to improve its record. GRAMMAR 24. When you use a pronoun to refer to a team or a group. the proper pronoun to use is "its. Example: None was found guilty. Write "she will resign" instead of "she will be resigning. Shorter titles that precede names should be capitalized. Make sure "only" is placed properly in a sentence. "Write in future tense (will) instead of future progressive tense (will be "ing"). Edit. The first version of a story is NOT good enough to go into print. Edit.

injured 60 more and forced scores of residents to leap from windows. our. him. Use active voice vs. they.. The word "by" may also signal the sentence is written in passive voice. will be shot. Use THIRD PERSON (she. Example: Neither the coach nor the players are to blame. we. them. your. The passive voice is formed by using some form of the verb "be" with the past participle of an action verb: is shot. its. 29. The fire killed at least 12 persons. ours) or second person (you.Example: He likes gardening. MISCELLANEOUS . Only on rare occasions do you use first person (I. his. he. may be shot. passive voice. had been shot. Neither the players nor the coach is to blame. theirs) in news stories. mine. When "either . The judge ordered the city to make the payment. yours) in news stories. Rewrite sentences to eliminate the word "by.. her. nor" are used. Active voice . hers. it." Example: Passive voice . 27. 28.. The city was ordered by the judge to make the payment. has been shot. their. or" and "neither . was shot. the verb agrees in person with the nearer subject. fishing and hunting..

at sunrise. the SMALLEST. at the moment • Exceptions: at night.Prepositions of Time IN.The TOP (wider). in the afternoon ON. at lunch. in the future • Exceptions: in the morning. Years. which is BIGGER and more GENERAL: • Description: Bigger periods of time: Centuries. which is SMALLER and MORE SPECIFIC: • Description: Days. at dinner. cities.The pyramid’s BOTTOM (pointed). on time AT. in Miami. in March. at the start of the party. in the evening. • Examples: at 9:00 PM. in the 1980’s. and the MOST SPECIFIC: • Description: Specific times or small time periods. at the start of the movie. neighborhoods) • Examples: in the United States. at the weekend (England) Prepositions of Location IN . which is BIGGER and more GENERAL: • Description: In larger areas (countries. states. or periods of time shorter than three days • Examples: on my birthday. Months • Examples: in the 20th century. on Saturday. in my neighborhood • Exceptions: indowntown (“I work in downtown”) . on June 8th • Exceptions: on my lunch break. Decades.The pyramid’s MIDDLE part. in the third week of April. on the weekend (United States).The pyramid’s TOP (wider).

and the MOST SPECIFIC: • Description: the address or specific location.ON . IN – for enclosed spaces and personal modes of transportation • Enclosed Space:in the kitchen. • Examples: at 345 broadway street. in the house. street. beach. but it also introduces prepositions PLACE/PLACEMENT. which is SMALLER and MORE SPECIFIC: • Description: a longer area. on my street AT – The pyramid’s BOTTOM (pointed). on the beach. specific points. river • Examples: on Broadway Street. the SMALLEST.The MIDDLE. which we will focus on here. at the store. the water is in the glass . at my house Prepositions of Placement The mind map pyramid below explains TIME in the same way we did above (only this one is not inverted).

... large.... artificial... When something isn't clear....... on my bike (these are personal modes of transportation... man-hours .. staff.......... WHEN IN DOUBT..... NO mankind .... I put on my clothes (my clothes are on my body) • Public Modes of Transportation:on the bus.See more at: http://reallifebh... on a boat........ Avoid racial identification except when it's essential to communication........... on the wall...... manpower ... LEAVE IT OUT.. • Exceptions: on my motorcycle..... man-made .... work force. NONDISCRIMINATORY COMMUNICATION 32............... Substitute asexual words for "man" words or sexist words........dpuf 30.... on the plane....... at the mall .... Avoid words that reinforce ageist.... This has to do with questionable information that may be libelous.. humanity............ manufactured........ NONSEXIST...... man-sized .....• Personal Modes of Transportation: get in the car. requiring ...... the book is on the table........ 34..... 33................... sizable...........com/prepositions-made-easy-in-on-andat#sthash..DR5LUBgX... Putting it on paper can clarify the situation............. YES people.... make a drawing of it. racial and ethnic stereotypes....... at the corner.... of human origin workers........ 31........... NONAGEIST.. personnel work hours husky. on a ship............ at the top of the hill............. human beings. but we use “on”) AT – for specific point (the same as prepositions of location) • atthe bus stop...... human race synthetic... my friend is in the taxi ON – for surfaces and public modes of transportation • Surfaces:on the floor.... incomplete information and information the writer does not have a clear understanding of. on a page... at the cinema.....

........................................... exceptional ability pioneers..... staff the exhibit writer reporter letter carrier police officer salesperson ..................................................................................................................................................... cleaning woman .................................... custodian the English firefighter supervisor someone who run the exhibit............................ Englishmen ...... anchor advertising man ............................................................................ colonists................................................... for the lady of the house ....... patriots............................................................ advertising professional or practitioner chairman .............................. man the exhibit ......... for the man on the way up ......................... a man who ................founding fathers ............................. man of letters .......................................... salesman chairperson housekeeper................. policeman .......................... gentleman's agreement ............. foreman ............................ postman .................................................... newsman ...................................... forebears informational agreement or contract for the person or executive on his or her way up for the homemaker or consumer or head of the household anchorman .... fireman .....................

....................... workman ................................. the girls (for women over 18) .................. the ladies and the men ........................................................................................................................................................................................... the little lady... weatherman . consumer................................... women's movement the women and the men......... girl Friday ...................................... customer or shopper .. stewardess ............................................... housewife ............................ coed (for female students at a coeducational school) .......................................................... the ladies and the gentlemen....................) husband and wife you and your spouse student well-mannered homemaker (for a person who manages a home)................... man and wife ......................................... libber or women's lib . right hand feminist.......... you and your wife .................................... liberationist............... the better half .. in an economic sense............... the girls and the boys (Note the parallelism in structures........ flight attendant self-made person meteorologist worker the women wife secretary.... self-made man ......... ladylike ........... assistant..

an epileptic....... disabled or limited. mentally ill......... refer to the woman's profession or vocation .org/resources/press/tips... ........ who had epilepsy...seals.. Kathy Smith..... limited. The handicapped parents The parents.....easter.. or be specific emotionally disturbed... deaf. developmentally disadvantaged.... YES Mary.......... welder 35... half-witted........... exchange ideas.......... met to exchange ideas.. insane.seals. Professor Jane Jones.career girl or career woman ... paraplegic deaf and dumb. For more information..asp NO YES impaired... Separate the person from the handicap. had no trouble doing her job.. Be respectful of persons with handicaps.. each with some met to handicap.asp. retarded . For more information.. had no trouble doing her job.... error...... crippled disabled or be specific . The deaf accountant spotted The accountant spotted the the error.. hearing and/or speech impaired crazy.. deaf mute . go to www..org/resources/press/tips.. go to www....... NO Mary....... 36......easter....... dull..

. 40... Transitions are necessary to show the reader that the writer has a sense of direction. Instead of "tightly clenched teeth... 44." "their" or "theirs. 42.. .. phrase.. Verbs are a writer's most important tools.... epilepsy . Redundant adverbs weaken strong verbs.... "they. sentence or paragraph can move the reader from one thought to another.. "Active" verbs add pace.." write "the radio blared. 37.." "Like" is a preposition and takes a noun or pronoun object... 39.. clarity and vigor to writing... consider using a plural pronoun .. The concept is oftentimes already in the noun. however." Plural pronouns... All aspects of a story should usually be introduced or outlined in the first few paragraphs..... Avoid "be" verbs...... Make sure information introduced or outlined in the lead is covered in the same order in the body of the story... Avoid introducing new information at the end of a story. A word. Use adjectives sparingly.....slow learner fits.. ORGANIZATION 38... are weaker than singular ones. Most adverbs are unnecessary." Instead of "the radio blared loudly.. Example: It tastes like a peach. "As" is a subordinate conjunction that introduces dependent clauses. Most adjectives are unnecessary." If using "he or she" or "him or her" becomes cumbersome... Choose verbs that suggest what they mean... as he did in his youth.." write "clinched teeth." "them... spells seizures. PARTS OF SPEECH 41.." 43. The one-time millionaire now works from dawn to dusk.. Avoid using "like" for "as. Use "he or she" or "she or he" for "he.

a comma is NOT needed before the "and.") and periods (.) 49. 47.PUNCTUATION 45. A comma should precede "such as. entertainment and tips. When in doubt about the use of a comma.." Example: red. including the inverted pyramid. He likes fruit. There is no comma between time.m. the "i" on "it's" also needs to be capitalized. according to the news release. especially oranges. They go inside semicolons (". 50. it's in Russia. Quotation marks go outside commas (. leave it out.. students study various approaches to writing." Example: . (This is known as a run-on sentence. According to John Jones." Example: The Fountain of Youth. Monday one-half block north of Central Dairy on Third Street South. When "such as" is used with a restrictive application. . chronological.or ." "especially" and "including" when these words introduce examples. 52. Example: The advertised price of the tour does not cover some personal expenses. In a series.) and colons (":). . personalized and first-person. white and blue. ."). In newswriting. 46. Example: Magazines such as these should be thrown in the trash. is not in Florida. Example: The accident occurred at 4:32 a. (The comma is NOT needed." Example: The Fountain of Youth is not in Florida. If a period is used. There should be a space before and after the dash. 51. The dash is a long mark (-. date and place. If a comma is placed between the subject (noun) and predicate (verb). such as laundry. ). this is a "comma blunder" or "comma fault.. narrative. it's called a "comma splice. The dash should be used before words and sentences run as lists. A period or a semicolon should replace the comma. Avoid comma splices and comma blunders. 48. .) If two independent clauses are joined by a comma.. Use a comma with "according to. the comma is omitted.

Don't hyphenate adverbs ending in "ly" with adjectives. QUOTES AND ATTRIBUTION 55.53. 62. Use them to encourage the reader to continue reading. chairman of the department of English. This helps the reader know immediately that a different person is speaking. 57. scientists. 56. Let quotes begin the paragraph. "Said" is the best word for attribution. When one quote follows another but the second one is from a different source. 58. . Use an exclamation point in only the rarest of situations and only after brief interjections. Use attribution only once per paragraph. . 61." NOT "frequently-misused words. but they should accurately represent how something is said. Exclamation points are "graphic tantrums" and sometimes demonstrate a lack of control on the writer's part. The hyphen is a short mark ( . Attribution should be placed at the end of the first sentence when the quote is made up of two or more sentences. says) for attribution in news stories. Quote marks attract the reader's eye. Attribution is needed when policy change statements are made. Example: Jones said. Use past tense verbs (said vs. 63. Attribution is NOT needed when facts are commonplace and not subject to dispute or when they are accepted and historically true. 59. when opinions are expressed or when "professional" opinions from physicians.. 60. Other words can be used." 54. Attribution is usually noun + verb." said John Jones. attribution for the second quote should be placed at the beginning of it.) and is used to divide words or to link hyphenated adjectives. engineers and others are used. Example: . Show them off. Write "frequently misused words. It may be verb + noun when the source's title follows his or her name. The order of the words in a sentence should be arranged in such a way that they make the desired impression. Let the reader decide if the content is humorous or exciting on his or her own.. Attribution is also needed with direct quotations and indirect quotations (paraphrased information).

Ask for help. place a short sentence before and after it. 71. The optimum number of words to use in a sentence is 14 to 16.64. during." Start the sentence and then work "however" into it as soon as possible. Stories become dull when sentences are all the same length.) 75. for. SPELLING 73. down. Use "Spell Check" on the computer. turn one long sentence into two or three shorter ones. Avoid using the same word twice in a sentence. against. STYLE 76. If the answer cannot be found in the AP Stylebook. SENTENCE STRUCTURE 66. This word is intended to cause an interruption in thought. The average reader cannot comprehend a sentence with more than 40 words. Avoid the use of partial quotes. 65. until. . 72. through. up. between. If a long sentence must be used. like. Quote or paraphrase material. to. over. with . in. on. Consult the AP Stylebook and Libel Manual. 67. Prepositional phrases start with about. 68. toward. start a new paragraph. above. 69. Sentence length should vary. When writing becomes cumbersome.. Count the words in a story's sentences. 77. by. 74. Don't start or end a sentence with "however. upon. Don't call university libraries for assistance. consult a dictionary or a grammar book. Each time a different source is cited. Don't have more than three consecutive prepositional phrases in a sentence. Consult a dictionary. from. Don't mix the two. 70.. Public library information desk personnel can be resourceful and helpful. (Webster New World Dictionary is the preferred reference. at. under.

. very. Avoid technical jargon unless 95 percent or more of the readers will understand it. in a very real sense. identify a person by his or her first and last names. 87. VOCABULARY 82. pretty. refer to the person by his or her last name only. On second reference. . Never send the reader to the dictionary. 81. Avoid using them. day (date) and place. be sure to explain each term used. The meeting will be at noon Monday in . Words such as "thing" and "a lot" annoy some readers. Know the difference between its (no apostrophe for possessive pronoun) and it's (the contraction for it is). sort of. Avoid using words that qualify how someone feels.") 84.78. (Note the correct spelling of "a lot. 88. around. Examples: The dog has a thorn in its (possessive pronoun) paw. On first reference." These words are confusing to readers. 86. Use the day of the week for six days before or after a specific day. Be careful how the word "held" is used. much. "Little qualifiers" include the following: a bit. Mrs. Room 125. kind of.. thinks or sees. The meeting will be held at noon Monday in Anthony Administration Building. you don't need Miss. Ms. somewhat. a little. unless it's an obituary. 89. rather. Better . 85. Odds are the reader won't bother looking up the definition. 83. 79. bosses and executives. quite. Make sure the object can be "held" physically. If technical jargon is used and it won't be understood by the majority of readers. Example: Weak . Learn the difference between "affect" (usually a verb) and "effect" (usually a noun). 80. Use the date when it is seven or more days before or after a specific day. or Mr. Consult the AP Stylebook or a dictionary for more information. Never say "yesterday" or "tomorrow. It's (contraction) time to go. Use the day of the week.. The order for writing when and where is time. Use simple words. "Today" may be used. On second and all other references.

In obituaries." "after a long illness. Examples: It is their (possessive pronoun) project. The public relations group wants to go." 94. used died by suicide vs. In connection with suicides. Injuries are "suffered or sustained. too (adverb)." "apparently of a heart attack." "after a brief illness. The two (adjective) groups will go to Indianapolis. With murder. Some members are not going on the trip because it will take too (adverb) much time from their schedules." "charged with" or "arrested on charges of." "following or after an operation" or "of a disease. it is best to say the person was "found dead" or "fell or plunged to his or her death" until the coroner completes his or her investigation. "too" (adverb) and "two" (adjective). 91. When suicide is reported. Remember two objects must be moving to "collide. They're (contraction) working together on the project.html. Know when to use "their" (possessive pronoun). write "arrested in connection with. Know when to use "to" (preposition).suicidology." "sought in connection with. A person dies "unexpectedly. Examples: Whose (possessive pronoun) coat is this? Who's (contraction) going on the trip? 92. report only that the prisoner "has made a statement. For more guidelines on reporting and writing about suicide." NOT received. arrests are made "in connection with the death of. . "there" (adverb) and "they're" (the contraction for they are).org/media/7. say the vehicle "struck" the stationary one." It should not be reported that a victim was murdered until someone is convicted of the crime." 98." If a vehicle runs into a parked one or an object. 95. 97. go to www. it may be said the victim was "killed" or "slain. committed suicide." 96. 93." If a confession is involved but the confession has not been admitted as evidence in court. Examples: The advertising group is going to (preposition) Indianapolis.90." "of injuries suffered or sustained. The project is over there (adverb). In connection with arrests. Know the difference between whose (possessive pronoun) and who's (the contraction for who is).

a building is "destroyed. Buildings also are damaged "lightly.99." A fire may "gut" or "destroy" the interior of a building. ." NOT completely destroyed. If there are questions about where a person lives. report the person "was listed by police as John Smith" or he "gave his name as John Smith. Sometimes information cannot be verified. report "address not given" or "address unknown." "moderately" or "heavily. he or she is "unidentified." 100. If doubt exists regarding a person's name. To raze a building is to level it to the ground. With fires." If a person is dead or unconscious and there is no identification." NOT unnamed.