Semester Exam Review

Spring 2012 semester exam for Journalism B, EMAC Advanced Reporting and EMAC Basics of Reporting


When finishing your story, please look it over and check for the following.
· Is the lead paragraph 1 or 2 sentences and totaling 35 words or less?
· Is each paragraph indented?
· Are the paragraphs following my lead 1, 2, or 3 sentences and not 4 or more?
· Are my sentences concise (25 words or less?)
· Do I have a minimum of three quoted sources? These need to be good, insightful quotes that do not state the obvious.
· Do the quotes follow the following style?
“Students at the high school who have turned 18 or will be by election day need to get out and vote,” school board president David York said. “This election is very important and will really benefit all of CISD. It would be great to see high school students voting.”
· Remember, it is not ,” said David York.  It is ,” David York said.
· Did you check for AP Style? All stories must comply with AP Style
· Avoid redundancies. For example, you would not say At the age of 16, instead say Joe Bob, 16, is the sports editor of the Sidekick.
· For dates, remember it is April 16, not April 16th .
· Did you start a sentence with It’s? If so, change it – we do not start sentences with It’s
· Did you use the phrase a lot anywhere in your story? If so, take it out. This is a weak, vague set of words we must avoid. Also avoid words like many and some as much as possible.
· Do NOT insert any opinion in a story unless it is a column/editorial. News stories must be objective without your opinion.



– Times: Is it AM, PM, A.M., P.M., am, pm, a.m. or p.m.?

– What is the proper abbreviation for months with specific dates? List all 12 months. (Note: do not use the abbreviations under “In tabular material”)

– When are numbers spelled out and when do you use the numerical figure?

– What is the form for the word “okay”?


–      Give each headline an action verb: “Attorney showdown heats up”

–      Do not capitalize each word in the headline; only the first word and proper nouns. Do not end with a period. Avoid articles (a, an, the) as much as possible

–      Use present tense for past events: “Coppell names new principal” rather than “Coppell principal named yesterday”

–      Use the following for future events: “Bush to visit Coppell”

–      Use short words. Be creative, especially with mascots or names: “Cowboys corral Dragons in upset win”

–      Use comma for ‘and’ and a semicolon for a period: “Parcells resigns; Phillips named new coach”

–      To preserve space, use the numerical figure regarding numbers: “Schools to close for 5 days”

–      Do not use more than one acronym (DECA, SADD, FCA, NTHS) per headline

–      Be careful with negatives. You want the headline to be objective

–      Do not repeat any words – this includes repetition from a main headline to a secondary headline


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