Working with Words: A Handbook for Media Writers and Editors / Edition 8

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Overview

For anyone who works with words - especially journalists, writers and editors - this book belongs next to the dictionary and style manual on your reference shelf. Working With Words is a concise, thorough and up-to-date guide to grammar and usage that addresses the problems professional writers encounter every day. First, the authors review the basics of grammar and answer common questions about subjects and objects, verbs, modifiers, connecting words, sentences and punctuation. The book then covers the fundamentals of usage, with sound advice on issues of particular concern to writers and editors: tightening your prose, eliminating muddled language, avoiding linguistic bias and avoiding unintentional racism and sexism in your writing. For easy reference, the book includes time-saving lists of commonly misspelled and misused words, cliches and other problems with usage, diction, style and spelling, along with a summary of wire service style, a useful appendix that lists the most common usage mistakes and a full index. This practical, informative handbook synthesizes information from more than forty reference sources to help writers master both the essentials and the more sophisticated rules necessary for clear, effective communication in print.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781457604935
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 12/7/2012
  • Edition description: Eighth Edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 148,349
  • Product dimensions: 6.49 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

BRIAN S. BROOKS is associate dean for undergraduate studies and administration at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In addition to coauthoring Telling the Story for Bedford/St. Martin’s, he is coauthor of News Reporting and Writing, Ninth Edition (2008), Working with Words, Seventh Edition (2010), and The Art of Editing, Seventh Edition (2001).

JAMES L. PINSON has taught journalism for about 25 years — at the Missouri School of Journalism and at Eastern Michigan University — and has addressed various press groups on the subjects of grammar and other editing skills. He has also worked for newspapers in Colorado, Missouri and Michigan, and has a doctorate in journalism and a master's in creative writing.

JEAN GADDY WILSON leads executives worldwide in creating successful strategies for the future. While on the Missouri School of Journalism faculty, she founded three national journalism organizations: New Directions for News; Journalism and Women's Symposium; and the National Women and Media Collection. She was a founding member of the Council of Presidents, an organization of the leading editorial organizations in newspapers, and of the International Women's Media Foundation. She has served as a Pulitzer Prize Nominating Juror for Journalism, and currently serves as a consultant to international organizations.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Brief Contents

Introduction for Students

Why Does Grammar Matter?

What Makes Good Writing Work, Anyway?

How to Master Mechanics

[Part One] Grammar and Usage

Chapter 1: Grammar Basics

USING STANDARD ENGLISH

Why Don’t We Write How We Talk?

Conventional Wisdom

Competing Grammars and Stylebooks

Grammar and Confidence

Communicating Well

TALKING SHOP

KEY PRINCIPLES OF GRAMMAR

Web Resources: Grammar Help

Chapter 2: Phrases, Clauses, and Sentences

PHRASES

Phrases as Subjects and Objects

Phrases as Verbs

Phrases as Modifiers

Phrases as Connecting Words

CLAUSES

Independent Clauses

Dependent Clauses

RESTRICTIVE VERSUS NONRESTRICTIVE

Journalism Tip: Punctuating Nonrestrictive Phrases and Clauses

SENTENCES

Journalism Tip: Using Different Types of Sentences

SENTENCE ERRORS

Fragments

Fused Sentences

Comma-Splice Sentences

Run-on Sentences

Chapter 3: Subjects and Objects

KINDS OF SUBJECTS

KINDS OF OBJECTS

COMMON NOUNS VERSUS PROPER NOUNS

Journalism Tip: Using Trademarks

THE FORMS NOUNS TAKE

Forming Singulars and Plurals of Nouns

Forming Possessives of Nouns

PRONOUN PERSON, NUMBER AND GENDER

PRONOUN CASES

Nominative Case with Pronouns

Journalism Tip: Predicate Nominatives in Formal Writing Versus Broadcast

Objective Case with Pronouns

Possessive Case with Pronouns

RELATIVE PRONOUNS

Whose Versus Who’s

PRONOUNS ENDING IN SELF OR SELVES

VERBAL NOUNS: GERUNDS AND INFINITIVES

Chapter 4: Verbs

HELPING VERBS VERSUS MAIN VERBS

TRANSITIVE VERBS VERSUS INTRANSITIVE VERBS

TENSES

The Simple Tenses

The Perfect Tenses

The Progressive Tenses

Shall Versus Will

Regular Verbs Versus Irregular Verbs

SEQUENCE OF TENSES

Past Tenses

Present Tenses

Journalism Tip: Journalism and Sequence of Tenses

Future Tenses

MAKING VERB TENSES AGREE

ACTIVE VOICE VERSUS PASSIVE VOICE

Journalism Tip: When Not to Change Passive Voice to Active

MOOD

Indicative Mood

Imperative Mood

Conditional Mood

Subjunctive Mood

Journalism Tip: Verb Moods

NOUNS USED AS VERBS

VERBALS

Gerunds

Participles

Infinitives

Chapter 5: Making the Parts Agree

SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT

Conjuctions

Collective and Uncountable Nouns

Journalism Tip: Groups of People in the News

Names of Teams and Musical Groups

Other Confusing Nouns

Indefinite Pronouns

Intervening Nouns and Pronouns

Prepositional Phrases

Subject and Predicate Nominative Disagreement

Inverted Order

MAKING PRONOUNS AND ANTECEDENTS AGREE

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

Clear Pronoun Reference

MAKING SENTENCES PARALLEL

Make Items in a Series Parallel

Make Verbs Parallel

Chapter 6: Modifiers and Connecting Words

MODIFIERS

Forms of Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives Versus Adverbs

Coordinate Adjectives Versus Compound Modifiers

Journalism Tip: Compound Modifiers Without Hyphens

Articles

Sentence Adverbs

Participles

Double Negatives

Interjections

CONNECTING WORDS

Prepositions

Conjunctions

Coordinate Conjunctions

Correlative Conjunctions

Subordinate Conjunctions

Conjunctive Adverbs

Chapter 7: Getting Words in the Right Order

MISPLACED MODIFIERS

ADVERB PLACEMENT

LESS CONFUSING JUMBLED WORD ORDERS

Chapter 8: Usage: Finding the Right Word

Journalism Tip: Conservative Stylebook Rules

MISUSED AND CONFUSED WORDS AND PHRASES

[Part Two]: Mechanics

Chapter 9: Punctuation

COMMAS

Always Use a Comma

Never Use a Comma

Possibly Use a Comma

QUOTATION MARKS AND OTHER PROBLEMS OF QUOTING

What to Quote

Attribution of Quotations

Paraphrases

Quotations Across Paragraphs

Other Issues with Quotes

SEMICOLONS

COLONS

DASHES

PARENTHESES

HYPHENS

APOSTROPHES

SLASHES

PERIODS, EXCLAMATION POINTS AND QUESTION MARKS

Chapter 10: Spelling Relief

SPELLING RULES

Prefixes

Suffixes

Journalism Tip: Spelling and Your Career

The Silent e

Other Spelling Rules

WORDS OFTEN MISSPELLED

HYPHENATION AS A SPELLING PROBLEM

Looking up Words for Hyphenation

One Word, Two Words, or Hyphenated?

AMERICAN VERSUS BRITISH SPELLING

Web Resources: Spelling

[Part 3] Style

Chapter 11: Writing as a Journalist

KEYS TO GOOD JOURNALISTIC WRITING

CLARITY

A Clarity Checklist

Writing Levels

Unanswered Questions

Specifics

Math and Clarity

CORRECTNESS

Objectivity

Rules of Objective Writing

Web Resources: Writing Help

Chapter 12: Conciseness

TIGHTENING

Use Fewer Words

Use Simpler Words

Use Exact Words

Be Fresh, Not Stale

WHAT TO TIGHTEN, A TO Z

Web Resources: Concise Writing

Chapter 13: Sexism, Racism, and Other "isms"

DON’T BE RIDICULOUS

LANGUAGE TURNS TO THE FUTURE

NEW PLAYERS IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM

A BRIEF HISTORY OF "ISMS"

FUTURE REALITIES: MORE LANGUAGE TRANSFORMATION COMING

DEALING WITH CURRENT REALITY

Sexism

Racism

Ageism

Other Stereotyping

THE NONBIAS RULE

SYMBOLIC ANNIHILATION

DUMPING TODAY’S STEREOTYPES

Web Resources: Competent Language

[Part Four] Writing Methods for Different Media

Chapter 14: Writing News That’s Fit for Print

NEWS LEADS

PICK THE BEST ANGLE

HARD-NEWS LEADS

Who Was Involved?

What Happened?

When Did It Happen?

Where Did It Happen?

PROBLEMS WITH HARD-NEWS LEADS

SOFT-NEWS LEADS

SOFT-NEWS CLICHES

WHAT COMES AFTER THE LEAD?

Web Resources: Journalism Reviews

Chapter 15: Writing News for Broadcast

PRINT VERSUS BROADCAST NEWS

Use a Conventional Style

Personalize the News

Make it Easy to Understand

Keep it Short

Keep it Timely

Make it Clear

BROADCASTERS MUST KNOW GRAMMAR

BROADCAST HARD-NEWS LEADS

Start With the Who

What Happened?

Other Points to Remember

BROADCAST STORY STRUCTURE

BROADCAST STYLE SUMMARY

Preparing Your Manuscript for Radio

Preparing Your Manuscript for Television

Editing and Other Symbols

Pronunciation

Abbreviations

Numbers

Punctuation

Names

Spelling

Web Resources: Broadcasting

Chapter 16: Writing and Editing for the Web

ONLINE MEDIA ARE UNIQUE

Correctness (or Credibility)

Conciseness

Consistency

Completeness

The Fifth C

WRITING AND PRESENTING NEWS ONLINE

Writing With Search Engines in Mind

Legal and Ethical Concerns

Corrections

Hyperlinks to External Sites

Tomorrow’s Readers

Web Resources: Online Media

Appendix: Wire-Service Style Summary

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

Punctuation

Symbols

Dates

People and Titles

Organizations

Places

Miscellaneous

CAPITALIZATION

Proper Nouns

Geographic Regions

Government and College Terms

Religious Terms

Titles

Miscellaneous

NUMBERS

Cardinal Numbers

Numerals with Suffixes

Numbers as Words

Other Rules for Numbers

Web Resources: Associated Press Style

Bibliography

Index

Web Resources: Additional Sources

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