Online Writing: a new world of possibilities

Writing online opens a new world of possibilities for the journalists inside all of us. So take advantage of the extra freedom of online writing and follow some of these “do’s” and “don’t’s” when it comes to blogging:

Do: provide lots of links. It’s important to back up the information you claim in your writing and writing for online media provides opportunities to put links in your post that will directly connect your readers to a multitude of information that will also bring validity to your own writing.

Don’t: write in long paragraphs. If there is anyway to lose the attention of the reader is by writing lengthy paragraphs for no specific purpose. Break up paragraphs …even consider ways to add various list to your post. It’s about being concise yet inviting in your writing. You want your readers to find it easy to read your post from beginning to end.

Do: provide lots and lots of visual! I’m talking videos, pictures etc. With online readings, it’s about finiding the balance of a compelling article and visual aid to assist with that. The internet is a valuable source. Try looking up a video on YouTube next time you write your next blog post!

Don’t: regurgitate information. It’s important to research the topics you look up  but writing for online media isn’t the same as writing a research paper. Be sure to know enough about what you’re writing on but also apply it to yourself. Be personal in your writing! Readers will appreciate your honesty and find it a whole lot easier to read your blog.

Do: write often! It’s okay to have too much to say. A lot of information is better than no information at all. It will also help you become more comfortable writing for an online reading if you keep up with it daily.

Don’t: criticize others. It’s okay to give honest feedback and criticism but if it serves no purpose if it doesn’t advance what your saying in anyway. Leave the drama in high school not on your blog.

Do: give credit where credit where credit is do. If you take from other blogs or other resources be sure to credit them in your writing. You would want the same done for you!

Don’t: blog about yesterdays news. It’s important to stay up-to-date with what’s current in the news and reflect that in your writing. Readers will get bored quickly if what you’re writing isn’t relevant to them!

Do: have fun! Enjoy what you write. Pick topics that interest you to blog about. Your readers and yourself will enjoy your reading a whole lot more when you just let loose.

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The Myth Behind Prepositions

Prepositions have always been a struggle for me grammatically. From understanding where to place prepositions to simply even understanding what a preposition is, nailing down the exact formula to correctly using a preposition has been rough.

Grammar first step to clearing up any confusion in this area of grammer came when I read on Grammar Girl‘s blog that what she considers one of the top ten grammer myths is that you shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition.

What I learned is that this is only partially true. It is okay to use a preposition at the end of a sentence as long as it is necessary and effective. Otherwise, it is extraneous and only adds to the unnecessary amount of words in the sentence.  An example of an unnecessary preposition would be “Where are you at?” You could simply just ask “Where are you?” It is the same thing and adding “at” is unnecessary and should just be left out.

The myth is busted here, however. Sentences can end with prepositions for a number of reasons. English has a verb called a phrasal verb: “Cheer up,” “run over,” “log off,” and “leave off” are all examples of phrasal verbs.  Examples of phrasal verbs that end with a preposition include

  • I wish he would cheer up
  • You should leave it off.
So even though it’s not necessarily true that you can’t end a sentence with a prepositional phrase, you can’t just be throwing around prepositions expecting no consequences for your actions. There is a time to end a sentence and there is a time to not end a sentence with prepositions. It’s important to know the difference and use them effectively.

Week #2: Mainstream Media

Mainstream media is essential to keep up with not only for those studying in the field of Journalism or Public relations, but for everyone one way or the other. Technology is rapidly growing and evolving and with that comes the vast expansion in constant communication. Through twitter or blogs, the online presence of mainstream media helps the public stay informed on what is going on second by second.

One mainstream media blog that I have been looking at recently is one by NPR. What I learned was that NPR has diverse and unique online presence. There blog covers a wide-range of topics covering news, opinion, arts & life, music, programs, and an about NPR section for those wishing to know more about NPR.

College students can significantly benefit from not reading just this blog, but any mainstream media blog. I find it difficult for myself to simply sit down and watch the news or pick up a newspaper and catch up on the daily news. But mainstream media being available on blogs makes it easier for me to be aware about what is going on in the world in a bit more convienent setting.

Regardless of the conceive of mainstream media blogs, it is simply important for people to be aware of what is going on in the world. Mainstream media blogs is an effective news platform in that it opens up avenues for an endless supplement of information. This allows for people to be linked to a wide range of information. Therefore, news platforms such as this blog provides