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2020-11-23T14:47 [writing/fragment age/university]

Monday 01 Mar 2010

Reading Response:

Kramer and Call 104-109, 54-59, 148


Today’s readings were about how to write a person speaking, whether or not to directly quote them, and when. They also encouraged the journalist to research more thoroughly and demonstrated their writing/fragment process.


Today’s readings were a little scattered in subject material.

“Hearing Our Subjects’ Voices: Quotes and Dialogue” by Kelley Benham, is a bit schizophrenic on the first reading. First Benham tells us to limit quotations, then Benham says to use full on dialogue, and then demonstrates a full story. Benham is structuring the mini-lecture based on the most extreme example, the one word quote, first, to grab the reader’s attention, and then proceeds to show us longer and more involved quotations. Naturally, if one is looking for straight advice, this article can mislead with its scatteredness.

“Hearing Our Subjects’ Voices: Keeping It Real and True” by Debra Dickerson is not an article that was written for people like me. It was written for people trained in more traditional journalism. I already have the mental framework for recognizing non-Standard English and its values.

“Doing Enough Reporting?” by Walt Harrington actually held my attention for the short duration it lasted. The highest hope of anyone researching a subject is to understand it fully, and this article is a call to action for them, encouraging them to go further. Paul Hendrickson began with academia, just like most—but then he went further, buying a Speedgraphic camera just to make sure he knew exactly how it worked, he “touched the leather.” Without using many abstract rhetorical elements, this small article demonstrated what Harrington wanted to say with minimal words other than the important ones.

A step in the other direction is “From Story Idea to Published Story” by Cynthia Gorney, who takes us on a “tragic comedy in four acts” about writing/fragment an article for the New York Times Magazine about a knee injury. This article is a good contrast to Harrington’s piece, showing us what happens when one has too much information. The process of rewriting/fragment her story to allow for the narrative to show itself was a good journey to be on.

“How I Get to the Point,” also by Walt Harrington, tells us how he writes an article, tells us how he manages his work week. It is good to peek over a more experienced shoulder to witness these things.