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Lesson: Why Style Matters

Title

Why Style Matters

Description

A lesson on editing basics

Summary

Students have been provided a newspaper story that they will edit for AP style, accuracy, attribution, correct paragraphing, grammar, spelling and redundancy. Students will be asked to locate and correct all errors. Students can use a current AP Stylebook for this quiz.

Objectives

  • Students will identify their strengths and weaknesses as they target a variety of proofreading errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling in a particular piece of news writing.
  • Students will help adviser and editors provide feedback to writer and staff.
  • Students learn to copyedit by recognizing flaws in a writing assignment.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills — Student Outcomes

Skills P21 outcomes
Critical Thinking Reason effectively
Use systems thinking
Make judgments and decisions
Communication Communicate clearly

Length

50-100 minutes

Materials

Class set: CJET Style

Class set: Style Prompt

Lesson step-by-step

1. Introduction and activity  — 30 minutes

First, have students read article, “Why Style Matters” from Communication: Journalism Education Today and take the accompanying quizzes. Discuss afterward what they learned from the article and what questions from the quizzes were most surprising and/or challenging.

2. Apply knowledge — 20 minutes

Afterward, or in the next class period, use the style prompt to assess their skills.

Explain to students:

You are a staff member of the Universal High School’s publication, “The Standard.” You have been assigned to edit the accompanying story. You may use the Associated Press Stylebook, a dictionary and/or a thesaurus. The instructor or moderator will tell students:

You are a staff member of the Universal High School’s publication, “The Standard.” You have been assigned to edit the accompanying story. You may use the Associated Press Stylebook, a dictionary and/or a thesaurus. Edit for style, spelling, grammar, wordiness, accuracy, use of opinion and libel. Use copy editing symbols wherever possible. You may write or word process your corrections above the line containing the error. Do not rewrite a headline or review the story.

School:  Universal High School, 741 Bancker Road, America, MT  (518)554-2334

Fax:  (518)554-2339  www.virginashs.edu

Mascot: Add A. Tude

School Colors: Orange and Blue

Location: America, Montana

School Size: 1,353 (9th-12th)

School Publication Name: The Standard