How To Write Like A Journalist – 4 Key Elements

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Journalists are taught how to write news, which means writing no-nonsense copy that gets to the important information as quickly as possible.

In a hard-hitting news story, there is no room for opinion, advice, humor or commentary. Most importantly, you should dispense with flowery writing and twinkling prose. It is not a literary masterpiece that is going to impress your readers. It is the information you give them.

A news story is a stripped-down article that tells your readers what happened or who said what. Great news writing is as much an art as stringing together priceless prose for an elegant novel or thought-provoking poem.

And the best news writing involves the simplest words and the most basic of sentence constructions. You would be surprised at how much difficulty some rookie writers get into in trying to perfect this straightforward formula.

Journalists write to a set pattern most of the time. It is a tried and tested format that is pretty much unchanged for many years and successfully outlines key information in the correct order.

While journalists in different organizations around the world may tweak the formula here and there, news writing, by and large, involves for elements.

1. Angle – A news story without an angle is like pizza without cheese. Try biting into a pizza minus the cheese and all you get is …a sandwich. When you learn how to write like a journalist the first thing you should be taught is how to identify angles, which in effect is your topic and is the reason you are writing an article in the first place.

2. Introduction – Often called intro or lead, this is your first one or two paragraphs of your news story. While an angle defines what you are going to write, your intro is actually going ahead and putting it into words. Intros employ the who, what, when, where, why and how concept in order to get your story out quickly.

3. Quote – Almost all news stories have some sort of quote. A quote humanizes the story and also provides it with authority. The best kinds of quotes support what you write in your intro. Quotes should have the full name and title of the person being quoted. Less ideal is “reliable source” or “spokesperson” but sometimes it is unavoidable. News articles can be written without a quote but this is not ideal.

4. Attribution – Following on from quotes, you should do your best to make sure events are attributed to somebody, especially if you were not at the scene. In court reporting, this is of utmost importance, which is why in these types of stories you may see phrases such as “the court was told”, “he told the court” and “the court heard”.

News writing is not like informational articles. In a news story, you solve the problem as soon as possible. “How to” articles may identify problems and then offer a solution. In news writing, however, you do not have time for this.

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Source by Nazvi Careem

What Is a Bratt Pan?

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A Bratt Pan is very versatile piece of kitchen equipment that can be commonly used for eight different methods of cooking, although some have limited functionality. These methods of cooking are: Steaming, Poaching, Deep-fat frying, Stewing, Boiling, Braising, Roasting and Shallow frying. Some versions have limited functionality.

Bratt pans have deep rectangular cooking pots and pull down lids and can be heated by either gas or electricity. They are most useful for multi method cooking of one particular dish or food substance such as browning cubed steak with the lid open and on a high temperature setting, followed by then closing the lid, adding liquid and turning the heat down to then braise the browned meat. This method could also be used for creating soups and stocks.

Bratt pans get their names from the German word ‘brat’ which means ‘fry’, although in Germany they are actually called ‘Kippentopf’ which means ’tilting pan’. This name relates to the tilting feature that Bratt pans have than can either be electric or manual.

The tilting feature is used for both cooking and cleaning. When cooking, the lid of the pan can be closed and the pan tilted, enabling liquid and other food stuffs to be poured into the pan through a v-cut opening, ensuring that there is little risk of being burnt or scalded.

When cleaning the tilt mechanism can be used to aid rinsing by swirling water around the pan. Some pans even come with the added function of being able to be connected to the mains water supply so that water can be directly piped to the pan for cleaning or cooking.

There is also a version of pressurised Bratt pan that works much the same as typical pressure cookers. Because the lid can be clamped so tightly, water temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius can be reached and so cooking times are reduced.

Bratt pans are typically used for producing large volumes of food and so are almost always present in large hotels, restaurants, hospitals and universities. They are rarely if ever used for domestic purposes as their size and nature of use do not lend themselves to home cooking.

Because these items are essentially industrial or commercial equipment they are designed to last for some years. They do still however require continual maintenance and especially need daily cleaning to keep them working efficiently and to maintain health and safety standards.

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Source by Josh Regale Harding

Freelance Writers Must Deliver Unique Content

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With all the changes in search algorithms, many web content writers seem to get confused about writing quality and unique content. You can certainly write a quality blog post and still have it rank poorly in the search. The reason could be that the post, even though unique in nature, did actually provide any unique value to the user.

When people search the web, they are looking for specific information. They may want an answer to a question or advice on which to make an important buying decision. Let's look at some characteristics that indicate blog and web content isn't unique unless it delivers unique value to the reader.

The First Key To Successful Blog and Web Content Is Quality

Google's quality guidelines indicates quality content must be unique, valuable, and engaging. These guidelines also ask the question – "Would I do this if search engines did not exist?" Quality content provides real answers to people questions. It's content that people can easily digest and appreciate because it entertains them or tells them how to do something. Quality content is content that gets quoted, linked to, and shared.

Quality Content Must Be Unique

It's certainly not easy to come up with a totally original blog post idea. Chances are that if you Google the topic, someone has already written about it. The simple solution to this dilemma is to approach the subject from a different angle. Instead of writing "How To Write A Successful Blog", write about "5 Ways Your Blog Can Fail". If you make every word count in short sentences, using simple precise words, you are on the right track to being unique.

Unique Content Must Provide Unique Value

In order to deliver quality content with a unique value you must understand your audience. What questions are they asking in social media networks? What are their worries or goals? You can also share solutions to problems you've personally experienced.

People are defining the quality of web content in social media. It's very important that all content writers listen to what they are saying to their friends and co-workers.
We must give definite answers and not just direct them to another place where they can find the answers.

Your blog and web content must not appear to only be a sales brochure. Instead, focus on delivering quality content that helps build relationships. You must first build trust and credibility with your target audience. Once that is accomplished, the sales will come.

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Source by Ken Bradford

Good Writing Style in English – Using "Especially" and "Specially" Correctly

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The Problem

The words "especially" and "specially" can give native speakers of English trouble. Yet the careful use of these words marks us as educated and knowledgeable speakers and writers of English who pay attention to the nuances of grammar and style. Both "especially" and "specially" are adverbs; they describe a noun, adjective, or another adverb. However, we use "specially" in the following manner: "The artist used a specially-designed frame to deliver the painting." Many times "specially" is hyphenated and connects to the verb that follows. The word "especially" means "in particular"; It specifies a unique, special instance of whatever we are discussing. It is also used as an intensifier to increase the strength (intensify) of the adjective that follows, as in "especially good" or "especially bad." For example, "Daddy did an especially good job in building my desk and chair."

The Solution

In the case of these two words, solutions are tricky because both words are sometimes used in place of one another. However, a careful speaker and writer makes the following distinctions.

Use "Especially" As an Intensifier, Meaning Very Much

An intensifier is a word that makes an idea stronger. For example, "very" is an intensifier. In the expression "very good," the word "very" makes the "good" just a little better than it is without the "very."

In the same manner, the word "especially" can intensify the adjective or adverb it comes before, as in "an especially good book." If you can substitute the words "particularly" or "very" in the expression, then use "especially." To use a common American expression, "especially" amps up the term following it. We use "especially" when "very" seems just a bit too dull, too prosaic. Here are some examples.

  • Jill is an especially gifted dancer.
  • Raymond wrote an especially poor book report.

Use "Especially" to Single Out, Meaning "Particularly" or Unique

We use "especially" to single out or show the uniqueness of one thing over another. Here are examples.

  • Dad took me to Fenway Park especially to see Joe Mauer play the Red Sox.
  • Vivian baked the cake especially for me.

Use "Specially" Infrequently and When Hyphenation Makes Sense

The word "specially" should not be used too often. It makes idiomatic sense to use it as an adverb, just before a verb. Many times, we can hyphenate the resulting expression.

  • specially-designed house
  • specially-made gown
  • specially-cut flowers
  • specially-grown mangoes
  • specially-bought materials

Just remember the following sentence:

  • Karen bought a specially-made gown especially for her sister's wedding.

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Source by Jose M. Blanco

The Mayan Rabbit Scribe

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I first learned about the Mayan Rabbit Scribe back in 2000 when my husband and I traveled to Guatemala to explore the ruins at Tikal. I had been to several various sites in the past, including Chichen-Itza, Tulum and Coba because I’ve been fascinated with the Mayan culture ever since I was a child. Perhaps I even manifested these Mayan temple journeys as a teenager while coloring in the drawings of a Mayan-Incan-Aztec coloring book I bought at a second-hand store.

The amount of information that you can find about the Mayan culture online or in your local library is nothing compared with the facts and lore you hear from the tour guides onsite.

While visiting Tikal, I learned that the Mayans had kept journals of their history and culture, called “codices” most of which were destroyed by order of a Spanish padre, Father Diego de Landa, in a great bonfire in a central Yucatan town called Mani. The padre believed that the books were the work of the devil and were preventing the Mayans from becoming truly civilized. By his order, anyone caught with a codex was summarily tortured and or killed. Only four codices (some of them partial) have survived.

For generations, as the stelas and other stone carvings of the Mayans disintegrated, no one could understand what the carvings meant, and an entire culture was about to be submerged by the tides of history until a few archaeologists figured out the mysteries of the glyphs.

I met a couple of archaeologists who had come to Tikal to photograph artifacts and carvings. They had dedicated their lives to understanding the Mayan way of life. One, by the name of Eleanor “Bunny” Coates, had been coming to Mayan sites for many years. She told me about the Rabbit Scribe.

I glommed right onto that entity, as I’m a writer myself, and I know what it is like to be the family documentarian. I know how important the writer is – although unsung – in any movie or video production you will ever happen to see. Without the writer, nothing gets written down! Without the writer, the memory of an event or series of events loses detail and soon fades into obscurity

The rabbit scribe first appears as part of a scene on a painted Classic Maya vase (circa 300 to 900 AD), that may have been used to serve a chocolate beverage. Scribes conducted the important business of recording important events for royalty using a phonetically-based hieroglyphic script. These rabbit scribes appeared on murals and vases usually writing on a fan-folding book, or “codex,” that was covered with jaguar-skin. Writing was very important to the Maya and they recorded important events on everything – walls, stairs, sculptures, ceramics, plates and stone.

Fortunately, the plan of Padre Diego de Landa to completely destroy the written history of the Classic Mayan culture, has been foiled by diligent archaeologists who have, over last several decades, been able to decipher many of the Mayan glyphs. Dr. David Stuart of the University of Texas at Austin has been a prominent force in shining a light on the meaning and impact of Mayan culture, and continues to make inroads with his fascinating work.

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Source by Patty Mooney

3 Time Saving Tips When Looking For Ghostwriters

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Tell me if either of the following situations sounds familiar. You have a newsletter that goes out weekly and you still need to write content for it, but you’ve come up completely dry on ideas. You don’t want to rehash last week’s content, so you’re getting pretty frustrated.

Or, you’re struggling to get fresh posts up on your website. It’s been too long since you put something out because writer’s block has been happening big-time. What’s the solution to these all-too-common problems? Why, hiring a ghostwriter of course!

What Is A Ghostwriter?

If you aren’t quite familiar with ghostwriting yet, allow me to explain. Fundamentally, a ghostwriter is someone you hire to produce content for you, but this individual does not receive a byline or public credit on the work. In other words, the person doing the writing takes care of the bulk of the work, but you still get credit for it. It’s a pretty solid deal, if you know how to prepare and execute for it.

Ultimately, no one other than you and the ghostwriter ever know about that working relationship. At first glance this type of business transaction can sound scammy, but it’s really not. I’ll explain this in detail as well.

Many online writers are seeking out ghostwriting opportunities because they are plentiful. Hundreds of online business owners do not have the time or energy to constantly be churning out written content for their websites or other components of their business. Ghostwriting isn’t illegal because ghostwriters get paid for their work, and the person who hired gets a piece of written work in return.

1 – Look for ghostwriters in ideal places

Before we go further, it’s critical to embrace the hard parts. The easiest places to find ghostwriters right now are sites such as Upwork, Freelancer and other freelance contracting sites. You should set up your first project bid to be reasonable (so you can attract decent quality writers) but also modest (so you don’t spend a ton of money on a writer you don’t like or want).

This is the hardest part about building momentum with ghostwriters. You have to be patient in the beginning because you’re taking time to build a mutual relationship. You should be enjoying and appreciating the work the ghostwriter produces, and they should also feel like they’re producing their money’s worth, and experiencing a mutually beneficial relationship.

2 – Plainly ask for written samples

Also, before your project officially goes live for bidding, you should make sure to specify you’re asking for samples of writing. There won’t even be a remote way of finding out if someone is a good fit if you don’t get a chance to see their writing.

3 – Stick with your gut on written voice

You should look for a ghostwriter whose voice emulates that of your own, or a writing voice you want to be known by. You shouldn’t have to break your comfort zone on this element. The ghostwriter’s content should sound ideal and natural to you; if it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right for you.

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Source by Bradley P Johnson

What's the Peter Jackson Weight Loss Secret? Introducing the Skull Island Diet

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What is the Peter Jackson weight loss secret? The image most of us have of the Lord of the Rings movie maker is a portly, bespectacled figure reminiscent of one of his Hobbit characters.

In a fact, film industry insiders and Jackson fans started noticing a new-look Peter Jackson nearly a year ago. But it's only now with all the publicity surrounding his soon-to-be released feature King Kong that the public at large have woken up to the slim, spectacle free version of the man and begun wondering about the Peter Jackson diet.

And it's not difficult to see why there's so much interest. The Peter Jackson weight loss has been impressive – he's shed some 70 pounds (32 kilograms).

So what's his diet secret?
Was it the South Beach Diet? The Cave Man Diet? The Atkins Diet?

Obesitycures.com did some research and discovered that Jackson did not follow any of the popular fad diets. The real secret to the Peter Jackson weight loss phenomenon has been dubbed the "Skull Island Diet," after the fictional island home of King Kong.

Jackson, bemused by all the attention his new image is receiving, insists a lifestyle change, rather than a diet is responsible for his weight loss.

"I just got tired of being overweight and unfit, so I changed my diet from hamburgers to yoghurt and muesli and it seems to work," Jackson told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Jackson reportedly followed no specific exercise program either, but has spoken several times of his punishing 21-hour-a-day work schedule on the King Kong set, which no doubt accounted for part of the weight loss.

Jackson said he was cutting during the day and shooting during the night for months on end, surviving on three hours' sleep. “ I thought I was some kind of Superman, but it knackered me. ''

And what of Jackson new-found spectacle-free status? No, unfortunately losing weight does not improve your eyesight. Jackson underwent laser eye surgery, explaining that he had grown "tired of being outside with rain and dust on the glasses".

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Source by Alan Cooper

Book Ghost Writer: Ghost Writing Clients

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What is it like for a book ghost writer?

It’s an enlightening profession, laden with subtle nuances that typically fail to be properly expressed. Email, the “new” goldmine for information, isn’t being utilized to its fullest possible extent. Too many individuals pound away swiftly into their phones, handhelds and computers. They send out hard to understand messages, and don’t manage to read thoroughly through yours. It can make it difficult to deal with your clients, and also the fellow writers on your team. Phone messaging can also prove to be problematic. Therefore, how may you communicate best with your ghost writing clients when you’re a book ghost writer? How do you figure them out, when it’s tricky to communicate?

The key to ghostwriting or editing a book is to probe carefully for each client’s strongest desires, and to follow them as expressly as possible. You’re striving for steady pay in a “work for hire” category of a job, and each of your client’s needs are paramount. In short, a book ghost writer has to accomplish one main objective: staying within the client’s good graces. This can become unmanageable unless you know more about the type of person with whom you’re speaking. Emails and even phones or Skype are sometimes insufficient to discover everything. So, how exactly does a book ghost writer begin to interpret an incoming stream of ghost writing clients?

Any client has his or her own individual hopes and dream, plus highly personal requirements and expectations. Over the years, I’ve found that ghost writing clients tend to separate into two main groups. There are those with solid book ideas, having access to available target markets. They’re in a field where they offer expertise. They need to hire a book ghost writer to produce a professionally written book manuscript. Then there are those who hold close a cherished dream, such as writing a family memoir, a fiction novel, or a nonfiction book about something dear to them.

Whatever you think, both groups offer a book ghost writer good, potentially great clients! Stereotypically, the first group is easier to deal with. They tend to be salaried professionals, having the right amount of money to pay a professional book ghost writer. The latter group tends to be more ordinary folks, who vary extremely. Yet their pattern tends toward the pursuit of a dream, a personal set of ideas, or a deep desire to relate a story about how their lives were radically affected by other people.

Often, this group needs a book ghost writer to place their stories into perspective. Then they can put things behind them, creating a sense of closure. However, they also want their books to be uplifting, inspirational and helpful. They have advice to give, assisting others with similar woes. Their dream is to help readers overcome the problems they faced, getting them to commiserate personally with the book author.

What is it like for ghost writing clients?

Both groups are hoping to sell lots of book copies, or at least to get a family memoir prepared for their loved ones, friends and colleagues. The main idea for the first group is to produce a professional work that sells within target markets, while the main dream for the second one is to create the next million copy bestseller. Thankfully, these worthwhile goals are still within your reach. It all depends on the amount of heart, time, effort, thought, money and work you’re prepared to provide.

One important thing for ghost writing clients to realize is that their book ghost writers are merely people like them. We have financial needs, families to raise, computer problems such as Internet shutoffs, kids with health problems and sudden emergencies. So be prepared to deal politely with setbacks. Work in a timely, forthright manner with unexpected dilemmas, and do your best to solve them. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Follow the Golden Rule: do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. It’s the same as any other business or personal relationship: live and let live. Don’t accuse someone when you don’t know the circumstances yet, and don’t “read things into” what you don’t really know about. Ask questions, get answers!

Finally, there is one important thing for book ghost writers and their ghost writing clients to remember. No matter which group you’re in, write with your readers in mind. Don’t forget, you’re not writing a book for yourself; you want somebody else to read it. Be sure to make it a great, lasting, timeless book, well worth reading and reviewing.

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Source by Karen S Cole

Three Techniques for Creating Funny Characters and Funny Skits

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When writing a three to six-minute comedy skit to perform at church, school or some other organization, you need to move quickly into your plot and the theme of your skit. There's little time for developing funny characters.

But if your audience doesn't have some level understanding of your funny characters, your comedy skits will be dull and lifeless one-liners with no depth or the emotion that creates conflict and drives it meaningfully forward.

Therefore, your audience needs some idea of ​​where a funny character is coming from to understand the motivation behind what they say and do. So use these three techniques to create funny characters your audience relates to and comedy skits they'll enjoy.

Use Stereotypes to Create Funny Characters

The most obvious character that everyone already knows and understands in a comedy skit is the stereotype. The vain, female Diva, the dumb jock, the shifty guy who lurks in the shadows, the nerdy geek, the miserly accountant. And now that I've started you off with a few for your comedy skit, I'm sure you can create an extensive list.

Stereotypes make funny characters because your audience understands the character right away. The already know something of the character's motivation and reasons behind what they say and do.

Exaggerate to the Max

Now to make that stereotype character really funny and increase the laughs, exaggerate them. The female Diva is not just vain. She's so vain anytime her reflection presents itself, she stops to primp. The dumb jock is so clueless he doesn't realize the football helmet he misplaced is on his head. And nerdy geek is so socially awkward he talks to computers like they're people.

People laugh at stereotypes because the funny characters in your comedy skit are so exaggerated, they can't possibly represent anyone in the audience. Even though everyone can probably think of someone in the audience that is very well represented in that funny character.

In one comedy skit I wrote and directed for a church worship service entitled, Focused on Priority three out of shape suburban ladies sign up for a fitness class thinking it will be a relaxing time of easy exercise. Instead, their personal trainer resembles an in your face, military drill sergeant that pushes them way beyond their expectations and comfort zone.

Add Contrast to Funny Characters and Situations

In comedy skits, opposites don't attract, they create conflict. And conflict creates humorous energy in your skit. People in real life are never one-dimensional. And your funny characters shouldn't be either. Even your stereotypical characters can surprise your audience and take your comedy skit to a deeper level.

The easiest way to accomplish this is by thinking opposites.

So your stuck-up Diva volunteers at a homeless shelter. The dumb jock is good at chess. The nerdy geek skateboards while listening to hard rock music. The stingy accountant feeds premium dog food to a stray dog ​​that lives behind his office building.

You can also match-up opposite characters. This is the whole premise behind the odd couple. One guy is exceptionally clean and orderly and the other guy a complete slob.

When you drop your exaggerated, stereotyped characters into a situation together, you create instant conflict and the potential for great comedy skits.

What happens when a liberal atheist and conservative evangelical work together for a common cause? A church moves next door to a strip club? A crusty, negative old man adopts his innocent, faith-filled, eight year old grandchild who just lost both of his parents?

By creating exaggerated, stereotypical characters, adding contrast and combining them with opposite characters into various situations, you will create funny characters with depth and comedy skits your audience appreciates and enjoys.

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Source by Chip Tudor

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