Training Tip of the Day

Each day, Poynter's News University will share a tip, a suggestion or idea to help your reporting, writing, editing, photography, design, and multimedia work better. We'll draw tips from our more than 150 training modules. Follow us on Twitter with our #nutip hashtag. Or subscribe to our RSS feed.

  • #613
    Use verbs in their strongest form, the simple present or past. Strong verbs create action, save words and reveal the players.
    Mar 26, 2013
    Writing
  • #612
    In the front of your notebook, write a list of the five or six questions that readers would ask about your story and number them in the order that readers would ask them.
    Mar 26, 2013
    The Interview
  • #611
    Multimedia stories should be nonlinear. Engage readers by letting them choose what elements to read and when to read them.
    Mar 26, 2013
  • #609
    Avoid large, meaningless numbers. Compare abstract numbers to something your audience can comprehend, such as comparing the number of gallons in the city’s aquarium to the number of average-sized swimming pools that would fill.
    Mar 25, 2013
    Reporting
  • #608
    Count the number of words in your lead and see how many can be eliminated. Practice on a previously published lead.
    Mar 25, 2013
    The Lead Lab
    Writing
  • #610
    Multimedia stories should be nonlinear. Engage readers by letting them choose what elements to read and when to read them.
    Mar 25, 2013
    Online, Multimedia
  • #607
    If you write something you haven’t clearly thought through, you will end up with gobbledy gook. When you don’t understand it, neither will your readers.
    Feb 27, 2013
    Journalism Basics
  • #606
    Begin sentences with subjects and verbs, letting subordinate elements branch to the right. Even a long, long sentence can be clear and powerful when the subject and verb make meaning early.
    Feb 27, 2013
    Writing
  • #605
    The biggest problem with revising is not the words, it's the attitude. So adjust the attitude, make the changes in your writing and learn from the experience.
    Feb 27, 2013
    Reporting
  • #604
    Put your leads on a diet. Replace verbs in the present continuous tense – “is planning,” “are hoping” – with shorter simple present verbs – “plan,” “hope.”
    Feb 27, 2013
    The Lead Lab
    Journalism Basics