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Columns. Opinión Writing. Column Writing. While writing a column for any newspaper, these are the main things you need to consider: Content  - what you actually say. Is it 'right' and is it interesting? Organization  - how you lay out your writing. Is it 'right' and is it clear?

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Opinión Writing

column writing
Column Writing
  • While writing a column for any newspaper, these are the main things you need to consider:
  • Content - what you actually say. Is it 'right' and is it interesting?
  • Organization - how you lay out your writing. Is it 'right' and is it clear?
  • Accuracy - words, spelling and grammar. Are they the 'right' words in the 'right' style?
column writing1
Column Writing
  • Effect - how you create an impact. Have you grabbed the reader and made them feel what you intended?
  • Genre - what form are you writing (an article, script, poem, letter, story etc)?
  • Audience - who are you writing it for (kids, adults, males, females etc)?
column writing2
Column Writing
  • Purpose - why are you writing it (to persuade, argue, review etc)?
  • Once you can answer these questions, you will be able to work out the fourth key idea:
  • Style - how are you writing (formal, chatty, serious, comic, slang etc)?
column writing3
Column Writing
  • What newspaper are they writing for? Will the readers be interested in their story?
  • Which part of the paper are they writing for? How long does the article need to be?
  • What are this newspaper's readers like? (This helps identify what to style to use - eg formal/informal, simple/more complex language, young/older vocabulary.)
  • When the journalist knows the answers to these questions, he or she will be able to work out the style and word count. 
general style of the column
  • Five General Styles
  • There are five general styles, employed in the column-writing.
  • It now depends on the columnist to choose and select the style of a column according to his aptitude, personality and attitude in close consonance with the type of his column.
  • The selection of an appropriate style also depends on the nature of material a columnist desires to employ
unified style
Unified Style
  • When a column is desired to be composed and written on a simple subject throughout, a columnist is said to have utilised the unified style.
  • As per unified style, such column is in fact an essay formally or informally in order to attune his topic and approach.
  • A unified style is generally used by the political columnist, the sports columnist. These columnists used the unified style to discuss a single subject on each day. It is also useful for those who cater to single-idea columns.
anecdotal style
Anecdotal Style
  • In this style, a number of unrelated and related stories and a variety of observations are gathered in a single column. These unrelated stories and varied observations however could bear no similarities and have no bearing on each other.
  • By anecdotal style, a columnist is able to include several subjects ranging from six to ten anecdotes or observation in a single column.
departmental style
Departmental Style
  • When a columnist has arranged and managed such material, which can be easily divided and separated into different departments, it is known as a departmental style
  • It is most effective for random observation, little known information and provocative bits of news of general interest, which all collectively make the columns most popular and generally practised. The departmental columns may be given such names as, “in the mailbag”, ‘lest we forget”, “things to remember”, and “Passing Parade”.
question and answer style
Question-and-Answer Style
  • Under this style of column-writing, a columnist gives a question and then answers it. By this style, a columnist makes the columns easy to understand and intelligible even to the general readers. This style of writing a column gives ample opportunities to the columnist to raise questions of national and paramount importance, and then answers them in easy and understandable style and language.
be specific
Be specific
  • “Kareem was attacked by an animal” isn’t
  • nearly as effective as “Kareem was bitten on the knee by a Dog.”
  • Focus on things that can be seen or heard or measured. Give the reader specific people, places, sounds, colours, smells, scenes and sensations.
  • Generalities are too abstract.

use active verbs
Use ‘Active Verbs
  • It’s better to make the subject of your sentence do something, rather than let something be done to it.
  • “The owl hooted” is stronger than “An owl’s hoot was heard.” The first is active, the second passive.
use quotes
Use Quotes
  • If writing a profile about a specific person, by all means let the reader listen in on what the profile subject has to say. But quotes will enliven even if you it is not about profile.
  • If writing about a thing or an event or an idea, and refer to some authority to buttress presentation, open the authority’s mouth and let him or her say
  • something.

use characterisation
Use Characterisation
  • Not only do your readers want to hear a person talk, they want to see the person. Give them a glimpse, such as this example:
  • “Faraz is a short, rumpled little man who wears a blue beret and his collar turned up. He has a fat nose and big ears.
show don t tell
Show, don’t tell
  • So show the reader. Show the shy smile, or the shaking hands, or the gritted teeth or the long, low sigh. Don’t write, “The professor acted strange.” Instead, write: “The professor drooled on his tie, staggered against the blackboard and slid to the floor, moaning.” Now the reader knows what you mean by “strange.”

describe scenes
Describe scenes
  • Vivid, brief description of scene and setting can help immensely in holding readers’ attention and propelling them through a story.
use vivid figures of speech
Use vivid figures of speech
  • This device is handy, but it can be dangerous. Some figures of speech sparkle and are entirely appropriate.
  • The danger is that they often fall flat.
use analogies
Use Analogies
  • An analogy is a comparison of similarities.
  • Often, with technical information, the use of analogies can help explain complex ideas. The image comes to mind instantly, helping to clear away confusion.
use humour
Use Humour
  • Readers welcome the light touch. Even if subject is serious, slide a bit of humour into it.
use carry over transitional devices
Use Carry-Over Transitional Devices
  • His books depart from tradition in another way…
  • Perhaps so, but DEA officials say…
  • The Russians have other cards to play as well…
  • But that’s only half the answer…
  • Still not satisfied? Then try…
use carry over transitional devices1
Use Carry-Over Transitional Devices
  • But most circus fans were asking a different question…

• Meanwhile, a search for solutions continues...

use overlapping words or ideas
Use Overlapping Words or Ideas
  • This is another good transitional device. It calls for fashioning your link between divergent paragraphs by repeating words or ideas, even though the new paragraph will tackle a totally new concept.