Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How to write a news story/

When you are not sure how to construct a sentence, think the basic sentence structure, Subject + Verb + Object (eg. ‘He said this’ ‘he did this’).

Most news stories are a combination of present perfect, simple past and simple future (eg. XYZ Company has launched a new model; earlier the company invested in offset; the machine will help the company…). The quotes end with simple past (eg. He said.)

It is advisable to stick to ‘he said’ and ‘he added’ in the quotes, unless the sentence demands a different adjective. You can say ‘he argued’, only when it is an argument; you can say ‘he exhorted’, only when it is an exhortation.

Use of colon and semicolon can be confusing, avoid them whenever possible. A colon (:) comes between a grammatically complete introductory clause (one that could stand as a sentence) and a final phrase or clause that illustrates, extends, or amplifies the preceding thought. (eg. KBA has four unique features: this, this, this and this.)

A semicolon (;) is most commonly used to link two independent clauses that are closely related in thought. Therefore, whenever possible, instead of using a semicolon, use two separate sentences.

Try avoid using sentence with two verbs (especially one where a comma (;) is necessary after ‘is’) (eg. What I can confirm is, Sachin is going to endorse this product.). Instead, make it a statement. (eg. Sachin is going to endorse the product.)

The use of ‘that’ after ‘he said’ (eg. He said that he was going home) is not necessary. (eg. He said he was going home.).

If you are not sure, do not use compound sentences (where one or two clauses are used within a sentence.) (eg, Komori, the Japanese press manufacture, which came to India in the 1990s and has an installation base of 1000 kits, is planning something big for future.). It is always advisable to make the sentences shorter. (eg. Japanese manufacturer Komori is planning something big for future. The company came to India in the 1990s and has an installation base of 1000 kits.)

The key to writing a compound sentence is constructing the main sentence. In the above example, the main sentence is this: ‘Japanese manufacturer Komori is planning something big for future.’ If you have the main sentence ready you can keep adding the clauses within commas.

Remember, a comma means a short pause. So, use a comma only when you realise that a short pause is needed.

In a story, if you are talking about a company, it is advisable to use different adjectives whenever possible. (eg. In case of Komori, you can say ‘Japanese press manufacture’, ‘press giant’ ‘market leader’ and so on.)

Double quotes (“…”) are used only in quotations. If you want to quote something in the copy, in a sentence, it is always single quote (‘’).

Only proper nouns (names) have the first letter in capital. Try and avoid using capitalisation in other words. If you need to highlight a word within a sentence use the single quotes.

ALL CAP words are equivalent of shouting in a written copy. Please avoid.

The companies refer themselves both as plural and singular. We use company as singular. Stick to one variation. (eg. Its product unit has two floors, not, their product unit have two floors.)

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