In this age of reality TV shows and social media, you may find it hard to believe that news style is still relevant and important to anyone, everyone. News writing is another kind of prose, which can be learned (and used) in universities. As a matter of fact, the skills that make news writers stand out are the very traits that can help students survive the term.
There's a thin line separating journalism and authorship. Many journalists have tried to pen a book. (A fine example would be "All the President's Men" by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, both of whom were writing for Washington Post. Those who were old and conscious enough during the 1970s have a thing to say about Watergate, but Bernstein and Woodward knew more than anyone else. It was part of the job.) It should make you look at it seriously, even if you've been sick and tired of tabloid. Likewise, a study on journalism could make you ashamed of your trivial complaints on the coursework. There's prestige in news writing, but it expects dedication and passion on anyone who wants to make a career on it.
Journalists thrive on pressure. They also follow certain rules, which differentiates news writing from other forms. They must have the ability to proofread their works on a short notice, even expect negative feedback (or criticism) from their editor and readers. Those who are start-ups know that the job doesn't pay much, but they love it. And journalists follow habits, which reveal their relentless pursuit to excel in their craft.
5 Things You Can Learn From Journalists
Journalists don't crack up under pressure. The brisk sale of newspapers depend on the headline news, which means that journalists must be on the alert 24/7. It can be an exhausting profession especially if there's a need to come up with the (headline) news in a few hours or less. It might prompt you to come up with excuses, which would justify your need to make the most out of your campus life. You may earn it, but you can't resort to procrastination whenever a deadline to your assignment is a day away. The demands of the coursework will leave you little time, so do it right away (if you have the free time).
Paper writing can be a walk in a park if you follow these rules. If you read the news carefully, then you'll notice that news writers stick to one verb tense. You can apply the same thing to your essay writing, as changing the verb tense will confuse your professors. The sentence structure will be another thing, where the first paragraph reveals the main idea of the news piece. The rest (of the news article) provide supporting information. It's not so different from your assignments, but you tend to compose longer sentences. Better keep it short and simple. Journalists try not to use the same word again (and again). This can be challenging to students, as it would require an online thesaurus to look at the synonyms (and antonyms) from time to time. Do it, and keep on doing it.
You must be an expert in proofreading. A news article littered with grammatical errors and faulty sentence structures is a sign of an incompetent journalist. It can lead to the exit door. You may get a second chance after getting a low mark (for an essay littered with grammatical errors and faulty sentence structures), but think of the time and effort wasted on coming up with a paper. Read your piece again and again until you're satisfied with the final draft.
You shouldn't take criticism personally. Let's put it in another way: You can't become a better writer if you can't have an open mind about change. If you keep on thinking that there's room for improvement, then don't be surprised if you'll be better sooner than you're hoping for. You can use these lessons when you learn how to write a critique paper on an article.
Writing is like a demanding mistress. If you can't love the writing process, then expect more struggles in your paper writing. Some journalists read a book during their idle time. It's more than a habit, as they try to learn other writing styles and words. You should follow their example, but better start with your favorite (literary) genres and authors.
Editors Expect Writers to Do the Following
Proofreading can take up much of their time, and they have other deadlines to beat. They may expect their writers to submit an almost-polished news article. Your professors might be feeling the same way, as checking a pile of papers can be distressing at times. Imagine if it would be the final month of the term, where the texts could come in succession.
Editors love writers who show the initiative (on what to write about). They also expect versatility (or the ability to write on a variety of subjects). This should give you a hint. (You can suggest a topic if this will help you finish the assignment ahead of the deadline. Likewise, your ability to write in different genres will prepare you for what lies ahead. How to write a critique paper on an article, if not a study on old manuscripts.)
Journalists never assume that their readers will understand the news, so they keep it simple and straightforward. Your professors may favor this approach, as you'll be able to present your arguments clearly. Never write to impress someone, anyone.