Online Training

Get Me Rewrite: The Craft of Revision

Time Estimate:

This course takes about two hours to complete.

About Self-Directed Courses

In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.

Since you are enrolled in this course, then you have already won half the battle — admitting to yourself that all writers need to revise their copy, no matter how good they are. This course will show you how to do it. And you’re sure to learn some amazing things about revising your copy, including less is often better.

What Will I Learn:

Upon completing this course, you will know how to:

  • Identify and tag problems in your copy
  • Identify weak verbs and other words in your text
  • Analyze the length of your sentences and paragraphs and determine how long is too long
  • Trim pesky and extraneous words and phrases that bog down your copy

Who should take this course:

Anyone who wants to make his or her writing better by revising it. It’s tempting to just write and submit or post, but by taking a little time to look over your work and bolster your words, you will end up with much better and stronger writing.

Course Instructor:

Chip Scanlan

Chip Scanlan is an affiliate faculty member of The Poynter Institute. From 1994 until 2009, when he retired as senior faculty for writing, he directed Poynter’s writing programs, co-directed the summer fellowship in reporting and writing for college graduates, and taught and led multimedia seminars. He has coached journalists around America, Europe and Asia. His three self-directed News University courses, The Lead Lab, The Interview and Get Me Rewrite: The Craft of Revision regularly rank among NewsU’s top courses.

http://www.newsu.org/courses/get-me-rewrite-craft-revision

 

The Lead Lab

Whether you’re reporting news or telling a story, you know you have to entice your audience instantly. That’s the job of the lead. The lead of a story makes a promise to the reader of good things to come. Do you deliver on that promise every time you write a lead? Have you ever wondered how to craft better leads? This course is here to help.

First, take a spin around the Lead Lab. Use your cursor to discover “hot spots.” Find something interesting? Click the hot spot to learn more. After you’ve explored the lab, you’ll get to write a few leads of your own based on facts from a real story. Once you’ve written your leads, submit them to the Lead Forum to see how your lead compares with other leads written by course participants just like you.

The Lead Lab course material is drawn from Reporting and Writing: Basics for the 21st Century, by Christopher Scanlan, published by Oxford Univeristy Press.

What Will I Learn:

Upon completing this course, you will:

  • Be able to craft better leads
  • Have refreshed your lead-writing basics
  • Dispel common myths about leads
  • Revise your own leads better

Who should take this course:

This course is for anyone who wants to write better leads on news stories, but it’s also for people who just want to write more compelling copy. No matter what you are writing, you need a hook to get readers interested.

Course Instructor:

Chip Scanlan

Chip Scanlan is an affiliate faculty member of The Poynter Institute. From 1994 until 2009, when he retired as senior faculty for writing, he directed Poynter’s writing programs, co-directed the summer fellowship in reporting and writing for college graduates, and taught and led multimedia seminars. He has coached journalists around America, Europe and Asia. His three self-directed News University courses, The Lead Lab, The Interview and Get Me Rewrite: The Craft of Revision regularly rank among NewsU’s top courses.

http://www.newsu.org/courses/lead-lab

 

The Interview

This module will teach you what you need to know about being a better interviewer and allow you to put those lessons into practice as you learn. With the aid of a virtual coach and a typical encounter with a, not entirely forthcoming source, you’ll have the chance to see firsthand how the kinds of questions you pose can stop or start an effective interview. During this interview, you’ll witness the power of listening and how to deal with a source who spills the beans and then says it’s all “off the record.”

What Will I Learn:

After taking this course, you will be able to:

  • Prepare quickly for an effective interview.
  • Recognize the difference between green light and red light questions that can keep an interview moving along or stall it in its tracks.
  • Learn the power of listening and avoid the pitfalls of “off the record.”

Course Instructor:

Chip Scanlan

Chip Scanlan is an affiliate faculty member of The Poynter Institute. From 1994 until 2009, when he retired as senior faculty for writing, he directed Poynter’s writing programs, co-directed the summer fellowship in reporting and writing for college graduates, and taught and led multimedia seminars. He has coached journalists around America, Europe and Asia. His three self-directed News University courses, The Lead Lab, The Interview and Get Me Rewrite: The Craft of Revision regularly rank among NewsU’s top courses.

http://www.newsu.org/courses/interview

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