Practical Advice After Grading Period #2

1. Make sure you have the basics.
The grading rubric is not just about grades. It is a guide to making your content effective.

2. Is it newsworthy?
Is it new? Is it informative? Is it something we don’t know? Is it surprising? Is it interesting? Why is it interesting? If you are not interested, chances are your reader will not be interested.

3. Seek out those you do not know and things you do not know. That’s journalism.
Avoid using people you know as sources. If you have a personal connection (friend, family, room mate) than you should disclose it to your readers.

4. You must hook your reader in your lead.
For example, see 10 Ways to Write a Great Lead for a Blog Post.

5. Use active voice.
My first trip to New York City will always be remembered by me.


I will always remember my first trip to New York City.

The ground was covered in dead leaves.


Dead leaves covered the ground.

6. Don’t mix past and present tense.
“Yesterday I went to the shoe store,” she says.

7. Omit needless words and phrases.
the question as to whether vs. whether
there is no doubt but that vs. no doubt
he is the man who vs. he
the reason why is that vs. because

8. Avoid “you”
Don’t assume to know what your readers are thinking or what their experiences have been.

Example: You know when you are jumping on your pogo stick and your foot slips off? I hate that. Here are five tips to avoid that unpleasant experience.

9. Format quotes in a way that gives power to the source and her/his words.

Jane felt like the luckiest girl alive when she smiled and with a glimmer in her eye told me, “This is the best day of my life. I think I finally found true love. I feel like a million bucks.”


“This is the best day of my life,” said Jane. “I think I finally found true love. I feel like a million bucks.”

10. Write the blog that you would read.

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