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What makes a piece of journalistic writing a “good” story? What constitutes “good writing”? Put a dozen people in a room and you could get a dozen different answers. Nevertheless, for an academic course to teach about effective newswriting, and meant to help its participants become better writers, it’s worthwhile to identify a set of common standards. Then, each piece of work can be evaluated against the standards, rather than against other stories or against some icon that represents “the perfect story.” This set of assignment guidelines provides such a set of standards for evaluation of writing in a journalism class, focused on: - Technical quality of writing (especially lead, organization and narrative style) - Avoidance of mechanical errors (spelling, grammar, punctuation, AP style) - Completeness - Sourcing/attribution - Inclusion and quality of a “Web extender”