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Joe's Daily Grind

Week 12 Quiz Reflection

All of our quizzes are complete and the task this week is to look back on our experience over the last 11 weeks.

Most challenging quiz

Week 2

The material covered by this quiz was endless.  Great information but it was very concentrated.

The easiest quiz

Week 1

This week we had to rely on our powers of observation.  It was a good preview of the things to come.

The benefits

I really enjoyed the format of quizzes in this course.  They reinforced the reading material and looking over the question feedback after the quiz was very informative.

I believe that I am a better technical writer now than when I started.

I think this was achieved by reading the text and then practising the techniques when writing the required blogs each week.

There is a long way to go before I’m the editor of the New York Times; but the more practice I get, the more confidence I gain.

Image reference:

Quiz night (no date) Available at: http://www.tepahu.co.nz/event/quiz-night/ (Accessed: 5 October 2016).

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Week 12 Inquiry: Reflections on this course

Three things I’ve learned:

  • More of the technical rules of writing; things like grammar and punctuation.
  • To lead with who, what, when, where and how.  This should be closely followed by why.
  • To condense and simplify large amounts of information.

What was the most beneficial?

The practice!  I think good writing only comes with practice and each week I’ve been forced to sit down and take the time to write.

What was the most challenging?

Grammar and punctuation.  I’m feeling more confident with these but I know this will be a life long learning process.

Has this course changed you?

I’m more confident writing now, especially in the professional sense.  I’ve discovered that I enjoy distilling complex information down into simple and entertaining stories.

This course has introduced me to various forms of media writing and has helped to steer me in the direction of the styles that I like the most.

 

Lake Michigan images (no date) Available at: http://www.citieswelivein.com/lakes-horizontal.html (Accessed: 5 October 2016)

Week 12 Practical: Review your blog

This week we are to review all of our blog posts from the past 11 weeks and respond to the feedback we received from Assignment 1.

Review

I have gone through all of my previous posts and read them aloud.  This identified several sentences that didn’t flow properly or that were too long.

I then carefully checked all grammar and punctuation.  A big thanks to all of my classmates who reviewed my posts and pointed out errors.

Feedback

I appreciated the feedback that I received from Assignment 1 which covered the first six week’s of blog posts.

The two main recommendations were:

  1. Add a drop-down menu
  2. Use more cross-referencing between posts.

The drop-down menu has been added.

I have gone through all posts and used more consistent tags for better cross-referencing.  For example, all practicals are tagged practical and all inquiries are tagged inquiry.

It was also mentioned that I had several small grammatical and punctuation errors which I have endeavoured to fix.

Image reference:

5 year review (2016) Available at: http://researchpropertygroup.com/1534-2/ (Accessed: 5 October 2016).

 

Week 11 Practical: Rewrite a news article

Brisbane trains delayed by serious injury on the tracks

Sept 10, 2014

A woman was trapped under a train at Eagle Junction railway station in Brisbane just after 12pm today.

Four fire crews were able to free the woman, believed to be in her thirties, at 12:55pm.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said the victim is conscious.  She sustained lower leg injuries and was taken to the Royal Brisbane hospital in serious condition.

The Doomben and Airport trains are the most affected and commuters are experiencing up to 40 minute delays.  If you are travelling on these lines today check https://translink.com.au/ for the most recent information.

Police are continuing to investigate the cause of this incident.

References:

You can see the original article here

And the reason for the rewrite here

Image reference:

IMU 176 expressing past Edens landing on a Brisbane airport train (2016) Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/57081074@N07/6095898685 (Accessed: 28 September 2016).

Week 11 Inquiry: Review news article

This week we are analysing this news article published by the Courier Mail on September 10, 2014.

There are three main technical problems with this article:

1. Repetitive

The first four lines of this article, including the headline, repeat the phrase “under a train”.  This is redundant and distracting.

These first four lines also repeat the location multiple times.

2.  Missing words

The first sentence of paragraph seven is hard to read.  I think the author was trying to say: “The incident is having a flow on effect as rail commuters…”.

3.  Wrong verb tenses

Paragraph eight talks about a witness report and the verbs used should be past tense.  Also, this paragraph would make more sense higher up in the story.

Compliant with self-harm media guidelines?

This story concludes with the quote: “The police said they are treating the incident as one of self-harm.” (O’Brien, 2014)

Guidelines for media to use when reporting on suicide are posted here.  Is this story compliant?  Well… yes and no.

YES

These guidelines state that when covering a suicide, the story should contain information about where someone with suicidal tendencies can get support.  This article is compliant by listing three sources for support.

NO

However, the guidelines also state that when covering a suicide, the story should minimise details about location and method.  This story gives very detailed information about the location and method of this potential self-harm incident.

But…

Should self-harm even have been mentioned?

The guidelines also state: “Ensure the death has been confirmed as a suicide by official sources so that the report does not fuel speculation or interfere with ongoing investigations.” (Mindframe, 2014)

This story states that police are treating the incident as self-harm, not that this has been confirmed.

I don’t think adding that statement at the end of this news report has any benefit.  The main focus of this story should be informing the public that there has been a disturbance to public transport schedules and traffic due to a woman being injured by a train.

You can find my re-write of this article here.

 

References:

Mindframe (2014) Available at: http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media/reporting-suicide (Accessed: 28 September 2016).

O’Brien, C.  (Courier Mail. 2014) Woman stuck under train in Brisbane. Available at: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/woman-stuck-under-train-at-eagle-junction-train-station-brisbane/news-story/3fdffc6978a2cb47b0461d1dbb1177ad (Accessed: 28 September 2016)

Week 11: Quiz on Language Mechanics

The final quiz in this course and my last chance to get a perfect score on my first attempt.

I confidently took this quiz with the text open right next to me.  A 10/10 was virtually guaranteed.

Result:  7/10

Just like last week.

Here is what went wrong:

1. Mechanics

The first question of the quiz asked whether style has to do with the mechanics of language.

Skimming the first paragraph of the chapter, I saw the words: “Style has to do with the mechanics of language.”  I confidently clicked true for this question.

Apparently the textbook actually said, “Style is not so much the mechanics of language…”

2. Style

The second question was also true or false.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-11-23-40-am I think the sneaky word “cannot” got me here.  Grammar can be quantified, style cannot.  The question should be true.

3. Keyboard error

I must have accidentally hit the up arrow on one question because the answer submitted wasn’t the answer that I clicked.

 

References:

  1. Hicks, W. 2013.  English for Journalists: Twentieth Anniversary Edition (Media Skills). Routledge, New York.

Image reference:

Finding a mechanic Available at: http://fancygarage.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/finding-mechanic.html (Accessed: 28 September 2016).

Review three different headlines

1. From http://www.bbc.com

JAMIE OLIVER’S PAELLA RECEIPE IS PANNED ONLINE

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-12-54-53-pm

The purpose of this headline is to attract attention while also summarising the story.

Unfortunately, I’m not quite sure what it means.  The word “panned” is throwing me off because I keep thinking of the word “banned”.

But… maybe that’s the point.  I did click on the headline.  The article describes how paella traditionalists are not happy with Jamie Oliver’s take on this classic dish.

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-12-38-48-pm

 

2.  From the Sydney Morning Herald online:

ANZ admits to 750% increase in dodgy financial planners

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-12-42-11-pm

 

This is a clickbait headline.

It makes you interested in the increase in dodgy financial planners; however, when you click on the headline it takes you to the slightly different news story below.

 

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-12-45-31-pm

To find out about those dodgy financial planners, you have to scroll quite far into the article.

3.  From Elite Daily on a Facebook News Feed

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-12-48-12-pm

Again this is a clickbait headline that is used all of the time on Facebook.

It makes you wonder: “Why am I going to regret buying my iPhone 7?”

When you click on the headline you end up with this article.

It informs you by describing the new features that Google’s newest smart phone will have.

Whether you regret buying that iPhone 7 or not; that is up to you.

 

References:

1  BBC (2016) Jamie Oliver’s paella recipe is panned online. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37555389 (Accessed: 5 October 2016).

2. Christodoulou, M. (2016) ANZ chief challenged over $6.1m salary. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/bank-inquiry-anz-chief-executive-shayne-elliott-faces-parliamentary-inquiry-20161004-grv0hy.html (Accessed: 5 October 2016).

3. Silvers, A. (2016) Google’s new phone is here and you’re going to regret buying that iPhone 7. Available at: http://elitedaily.com/news/google-pixel-better-than-iphone-7/1633009/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=fbpost (Accessed: 5 October 2016).

 

Week 10 Practical: Photo Essay

GeoCaching Adventure

Our Sunday journey to Mount Tamborine, Queensland

img_1581
A lazy Sunday at home can sometimes get out of hand when you have three kids. Once they start wearing underwear on their heads, pretending to be ninjas, it’s time to get them out and about. It has become a GEOCACHING DAY!
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GeoCaching is an app you can load onto your phone that leads you to “GeoCaches” hidden around the world. Click on the green, blue or orange tabs on the map above and you will get directions and hints to lead you to that GeoCache. You can also use the GPS on your phone to guide the way. Once you’ve found the GeoCache the tab turns into a smiley face. These are the SIX Caches we found on Mt. Tamborine.
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We decided to warm up our GeoCaching skills on the way to Mt. Tamborine. Hidden through the trees, our first GeoCache of the day was near the Church of St John designed by John Buckeridge located in Mundoolun, Qld.
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We soon found our first GeoCache under a tree, right next to the driveway into the Church. Inside a GeoCache you will find a log book to write your name and several different little toys. Bring along your own little toys and you can make a trade.
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One of the great things about GeoCaching is discovering places you didn’t know existed. This little Church isn’t too far from where we live, is hidden back from the road and claims to be one of the best examples of Old World Masonry in the area. All of the bricks are made from local sandstone while the ceiling is local cedar wood. Who knew?
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This cache is hidden along a trail through the rainforest of Mt. Tamborine. Watch out for snakes!
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This second Cache was hidden at the base of this huge Yellow Carabeen Sloana Woollsii tree. We felt like we were looking for a Survivor hidden immunity idol but we persevered and found it.
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This cache was hidden in the fence outside of this fun looking Mount Tamborine Heritage Centre. We didn’t have time to check out the Centre but we will be back.
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Lunch break at the Mt. Tamborine Vineyard and Winery. Tasty food and we scored a parking spot right out front. Double shot coffee and ready to find more GeoCaches. Nope, there isn’t one at the bottom of that basket.
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The Mt. Tamborine Botanical Gardens had two GeoCaches hidden among their grounds. Thankfully they were both by a bench.
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Sometimes GeoCaching gets put on hold when more important things, like blowing dandelions, come up.
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Some GeoCaches are protected by mythical guardians.
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Six GeoCaches in one day for a family of five. That must be a record. Thanks geocache.com, from our whole family, for helping us have a memorable day.

 

 

Here is the link to see this story on Flickr.

 

 

Image reference:

Tourism, C.L.R. (2014) Holly jolly Geocache. Available at: http://www.lacombetourism.com/12-days-of-christmas-geocache/ (Accessed: 21 September 2016).

 

Week 10 Practical: Headlines

Back in Week 8, I developed a press release with the headline:

FAKECOMICCON INVESTIGATES INCIDENT

Here are three more headline alternatives and why each is a possibility.

1.  FakeComicCon: Not so fake

This is a possible feature headline meant to entice the reader by playing with the language.

2.  Top three things you need to know about the FakeComicCon brawl

This is a possible clickbait headline that grabs attention by crying out: “There are three things you NEED to know!”

3.  FakeComicCon devastated by incident

This headline puts the focus on the emotional state of FakeComicCon verses what actions they are taking.  It makes FakeComicCon appear more weak and vulnerable and may be used by a competing organisation.

 

Image credit:

Sterling, G. (2014) Study: What makes you click on A headline? Available at: http://marketingland.com/what-makes-you-click-on-a-headline-70364 (Accessed: 21 September 2016).

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