Week 9: The three-act structure

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The Three-Act structure is a model used in narrative fiction that divides a story into three parts (or acts), often called the Set-up, the Confrontation, and the Resolution.

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Week 8: Writing Satire

Every day can be red-nose day for satirists. Photo: Marco Verch/CC/flickr

Not all news writing and reporting has to be serious. Journalism isn’t all political scandals, court hearings, car crashes, special investigations and budget sums.

You can be funny too. And make a serious point at the same time.

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Week 7: Internet research

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Reminder: Assessment Part 1

The draft (part-time) and final version (full-time) of your news story (350 – 400 words) is due this week.

Time will be available during class to complete your story if required and extensions can be negotiated if you need more time.

Getting the good oil from the internet

Research and write a profile of a significant person from history using only Internet resources.

It’s a lot trickier than you might think finding the right information, ensuring it’s factual, deciding how much of it to use, and then writing a bio in an engaging style.

If you Google Jesus Christ, for example, you’re offered more than 542 million search results. How do you decide which ones to use?

It’s okay to start with Wikipedia, but you must also use other sites to build your research. The references and other links at the bottom of a Wikipedia page are often very useful first steps.

Diligent research will identify the sources you can trust such as experts in the field and specialist websites for biographical and statistical information. Building up your knowledge of reputable media outlets will also be of great benefit.


For an example of Wikipedia going wrong, see this entry on Ghana, which was edited during a soccer World Cup.

  • Write a 500-word profile of the person you chose
  • Include references to the web sites you used for your research, and 200 words explaining what, in your opinion, makes one site trustworthy and others less so
  • Post your profile on WordPress with a CC-licensed photo or illustration
BONUS CONTENT: Picks of the Week





Notes from a Small Island – Bill Bryson


(Thanks, Donna 🥰 )


Week 5: Writing for broadcast news

Al Jazeera English newsroom. Photo: Paul Keller/CC/flick


Writing for broadcast

Can be summarised as writing for the eye and ear or, in the case of radio, just the ear. You also are limited by time and your listeners can’t re-read a sentence they didn’t understand or missed the first time. So, there are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Keep your writing conversational
    • Each sentence should be short (20 words or less) and contain just one idea
    • Keep it clear and simple – no big words
    • For radio, your words must paint a picture
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