My Reflection on Taking Journalism
During this whole semester, I learned a lot of new things about journalism and writing in general. I learned how to write article leads, newspaper articles, and how to use the AP style of writing. These skills pushed my writing abilities to the limit, and I learned many new things about how I write and what my strengths and weaknesses are. First, I would like to describe which strengths I found in my writing while taking journalism.
Some writing skills I mastered were descriptive writing and narrative writing. These two categories for writing were easily my strongest suits, as I had already been used to doing the latter multiple times throughout my career. Descriptive writing was already a strong suit for me, and I had little to no problem mastering this type of writing skill. Narrative writing on the other hand took a little while to get used to while taking journalism as I prefer writing creatively, but the newspaper review assignment really helped my narrative writing skills shine. By the end of the class, I was able to write a well thought out narrative for an article and I now feel more confident and comfortable writing narratives than before I took this class. While I was glad to improve in some aspects of my writing skills, I did tend to struggle with others throughout the semester.
I had occasional struggles with introductions and writing leads. I was not particularly good at them early on into the semester and I continued to struggle them in later assignments. One mistake I made was in the interview assignment where I put two sentences in the lead instead of one. I also have trouble coming up with titles for the articles I am writing and at the end I usually wing the title which has led to some points being taken off for grammatical reasons. Despite all the downsides and struggles with this writing skill, it gives me insight to what writing skills I still need to continue practicing until it becomes natural for me.
Over the summer, I will need to improve my grammar and punctuation. In the lead assignment, I made a lot of grammatical errors and it put a downward spiral to my grade on the assignment. To work on this skill, I will practice reading my drafts out loud and after I finish, I will look for grammatical errors which will help the writing become more concise and more formal. I will also revise for punctuation and make sure there is a comma, semicolon, or period correctly put at the end of each word or sentence. With all these improvements I need to work on, there was a skill I learned in journalism in which I had no prior knowledge of the subject.
A writing skill I did not know prior to this class was the inverted pyramid. I had no idea a lot of newspaper articles used the inverted pyramid structure to convey their information to the public. At first, I did not understand how it worked but after looking at the lecture and a few examples, I began to understand the whole concept. Then I practiced writing some articles with the inverted pyramid style a couple of times, but when I read them out loud, they made no sense. After looking at professional and Associated Press (AP) examples, I began to see where my errors were and later, I was able to write a good enough article using the inverted pyramid scheme. Having learned this new writing skill, there is another writing skill I can improve upon when I start writing again over the summer.
The writing skill I will continue to improve upon this summer is comprehension skills. I can write leads well when my grammar usage is on point, but sometimes I hesitate whenever I am trying to write as I always have tendency to second guess myself before writing what I need to comprehend. For me to improve my comprehension skills, I will practice writing about the ideas for 20 minutes nonstop and not checking for any spelling or grammar errors, then when time is up, I read what is written and I will look over what makes sense and what does not make sense, before eliminating unneeded details and then finally I will revise the spelling, punctuation and grammar errors. While there is plenty to work on over the summer, I want to talk about a writing style which was the most intriguing to me.
The writing style I enjoyed the most during my time in journalism class was the interview. I have always wanted to try out an interview and I found the format and style to be very fun and I enjoyed interviewing another classmate for an assignment. The interview writing style also reminded me of all the TV interviews I see in everyday news I watch such as daily local news and sports news. After all, this assignment gave me my first taste in what it felt like to interview someone else about a certain topic. Despite the fun I had with this writing style in journalism class, I did struggle with one writing style which affected me early on into the semester.
Writing newspaper articles proved to be the most difficult of all the writing styles I learned. No matter what assignment I was doing this semester, the article leads for the newspaper articles were very difficult to execute at first as I had to be very precise with my grammar. The first time I did the leads, my grammar usage and punctuation errors were awful, and I got a terrible score on the assignment. When I got the assignment back, I carefully read the feedback and I managed to recover before promising myself to not let too many careless grammar mistakes bring me down while writing article leads. Next, I want to talk about how I learned about the Associated Press (AP) writing style.
I was able to learn AP writing style through listening to the lectures and doing some personal research. I noticed the AP Style is vastly different from what I am used to doing in writing, so I had to do a couple of exercises by myself to get used to it. Some techniques I used were learning to write the names of states after introducing the article from cities not as popular as major cities in the united states. I also learned how to write only two to three sentences per article by skimming through important details, before choosing the more important ones related to the subject of the article. Once I practiced it, I was able to get used to the AP writing style very quickly. Lastly, I would like to talk about the importance self-reflection has on both my writing and to writers overall.
Self-reflection has helped me become a better writer over the years through my work being reviewed, years of experience writing creative stories, and writing being a source to helping me convey information out to my peers. It is very important to learn from the common mistakes I make in my writing because it will help me grow as a writer and it will also help me show others what to do and what no to do in their writing. Everybody has a unique way of writing, and it makes sense some writing methods work well for others while other writers prefer to write in a specific manner. The most important thing however is, we all make mistakes while writing and when you learn from them, your material will be much better.