Comm 231: April 21

Tips for writing a digital story

Feature Writing 101:

– Be objective. You are the narrator, not the main character.

– Write in third person. Do not use: I, you, we, our, etc.

– Write in AP style.

– Use short paragraphs. Usually, one to three sentences. Five at the most.

– Write a lead that hooks the reader. Should be one sentence.

– Use quotes and attribute them. Start the sentence with the quote and then use saidExample: “This challenge is the real deal,” Chiara said.

– Hyperlink if possible. Especially, if it will clear up confusion or gives more context.

– Check for spelling and grammar. EDIT in layers.

AP Style GuidePurdue Online Writing Lab

Headlines: Only the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns should be capitalized.

Correct Example: How marketers can easily create infographics 

Incorrect Headline: How I Learned To Incorrectly Write A Headline

Names: Full name on first reference. Only last name with no titles after that.

Example: Adam Chiara, a professor at University of Hartford, taught a class on AP style. Chiara knew his students would dislike him for it. 

Titles: Capitalize a title if it’s before the name. If used after, it’s lowercase.

Example: Gov. Jane Smith is considering running for another term. Smith, who has been governor for seven years, …

Quotes: Commas and periods inside the quotation mark. If the quote is the beginning of the sentence, the first letter is capital. If the quote is a continuation, the first letter is lowercase. More details on quotes.

Example: “This challenge is the real deal,” Chiara said. He said it’s not the time that’s the problem but, “getting up in the early morning is hard for me.”

Location: Town, Conn. | Town, Conn., more text…  | However, if you just mention the state, it is written out. 

Example: He lives in Connecticut. He grew up in Hartford, Conn., before now living in West Hartford, Conn.

Dates: Oct. 21, more text…. |  He was born in October.

Example: He was born on Oct. 21, 2015. His mom is happy is was born in October

Numbers: Zero to nine is written out. 10 and higher is a number (unless the paragraph starts with a number, then write it out).

Time: 5 a.m. — 3 p.m.

Money: $100,000 — $1 million — $7.25. You do not follow the rules for numbers above. 

Example: First he owed him $7.25, then $100,000, and the $1 million.

In-Class Assignment

Interview your classmate, and write a 500-word story about why they came to CCSU, and profile who they are as a student.  

Include a picture, relevant hyperlinks, and quotes. Follow the feature writing 101 rules and use AP style. Also, follow the aesthetic lessons we’ve learned about creating a good visual post.

Homework: Write a 500- to 750-word feature story on your blog.

The story can be a profile of someone (cannot be a family member or friend – you won’t be objective), about an event, or profiling a business/organization.

It must:

  • follow the feature writing 101 standards
  • follow AP style
  • include at least two original quotes recorded by you
  • have at least one original picture shot by you (use the techniques we’ve learned in class)
  • include at least one relevant hyperlink
  • put in a category on your blog
  • incorporate other lessons we’ve learned in this class about aesthetics, SEO, etc.

Email me the post before the start of next class

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