Review of Newswriting, AP Style, Attribution and Commas

Common Errors

The most common errors that students make with the journalistic web writing assignment deal with: (1) Newswriting, News Editing (e.g., AP Style), and Attribution, and (2) Commas.

We will complete in-class assignments that are designed to test your skills in these areas.

A lecture on these areas will follow the in-class assignments. Download the Comma lecture from our class page link.


For direct quotes, follow this style: “I really love to learn about grammar,” said Kristen Landreville, a student in COJO 3530.

Rule: Insert quote punctuation within the quotation mark. Use a comma, unless you have a directly quoted question or exclamation, such as, “Do I really love to learn about grammar?” said Kristen Landreville, a student in COJO 3530.

Lead Writing

Hard News

See Ch. 6, p. 109-111 for examples of these.

Summary Leads: Who, what, where, when, why, how

Blind Leads: Focus on the summary, but do not give specifics of the “who”. Less “bulky” than the summary lead.

Impact Leads: Start with explaining why reader should care about the story.

Umbrella Leads: Combine concepts from summary and impact leads.

Soft News or Feature Leads

See Ch. 6, p. 111-112 for examples of these.

Anecdotal Leads: Provide short story that is a reflection of the larger story. Most common lead for features.

Descriptive Leads: Set a scene, paint a picture, off vivid detail to draw the reader in.

Quotation Leads: Generally, avoid them. If you have a very powerful quote that summarizes a dramatic experience, then perhaps it may work.

About The Author

I'm a faculty member in Communication & Journalism at the University of Wyoming. At UW, I have taught online journalism, advanced new media, introduction to mass media, politics and media, and alternative media. At Ohio State, where I got my PhD, I taught research methods, news reporting and writing, visual communication, and persuasion. My reserach focuses on political communication, emerging media platforms, and entertainment media. In my spare time, I love to play with my daughters, hang out with my family, cook, hike, jog, read, and blog.