Week Seven – Technical Activity: Quiz Response

I have just completed both quizzes for week seven.

One of the questions I got wrong this week, was in spelling minuscule. As soon as I saw the right answer, it just hit me. I think it comes from a strategy that I was taught in primary school, which was to sound words out. But as I am sure everyone knows that doesn’t always work. But oh, well! Hopefully I have learned my lesson! I did think it was interesting that the feedback suggested that more people are using the spelling I chose. I really like how language evolves over time and with use!

The second question I got wrong on my first attempt was the one relating to the use of principal. It just goes to show how important context is with the use of some words. It’s easy to trip up and not consider context when you are quickly reading over a sentence. This again reminds me that I really need to slow down when completing these quizzes, and take the time to consider all the elements individually.

In the second quiz I got 100% on my first attempt! I was really excited, especially because I really found the chapter on style interesting. I find the technical details of writing so tedious, so to read about style and the use of style in effective writing was a great change. I really enjoyed the details about style, and responded to the four key elements of suitability, simplicity, precision and poise (Hicks 2013). From this course I know that I will take away a better understanding and greater appreciation for the technical aspects of writing – but I also think I will become a more stylistically sound writer.


Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists, London Routledge, New York

Week Seven – Technical Activity: Quiz Response

Week Seven – Inquiry Activity: Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter

In this week’s inquiry activity, we were asked to review a newsletter by the Crocodile Specialist Group (Volume 23, No. 3: July – September 2004).

What kinds of stories are in the newsletter?

There are many different types of stories within the newsletter. Many of the stories focus on the current issues facing crocodile species across the world, as well as significant findings throughout the community. For instance, in this issue, there are multiple stories which talk about the population problems many crocodile species are facing around the world, as well as mentions of significant findings and crocodile sightings around the world. These stories quote both statistics and further research to support their argument, discussing their wider significance and implications.

How do these target the organisation’s audience?

The stories target the audience by providing information driven insight into the current issues and news stories surrounding the crocodile population (CSG 2004). The stories themselves are demonstrate key characteristics that outline them as examples of classic news stories. Informative, while engaging, the stories present to the audience all the newsworthy information over the last 4 months.

If you were a science journalist, is there anything you may be interested in following up as a story, and why?

As a science journalist, I would definitely be interested in following up one of the stories in the newsletter relating to the discovery of crocodiles on Mannar Island in Sri Lanka (CSG 2004). Where crocodiles have been poorly studied in this region, the story outlines a “spotting” of two crocodiles at a local waterhole known as Kora Kulam. The observers and the writers of this article, could not confirm what species the crocodiles belonged two (CSG 2004). They were unable to take a photograph of animals before they disappeared into the waterhole. The article also suggests that the only comprehensive study of crocodiles in this area was in 1888 by W.J.S Boake (CSG 2004). In 2001, a survey of the area was published which failed to mention crocodiles. The article suggests that it is likely thought that crocodiles were either absent or extinct in this area, until this recent sighting (Santiapillai & de Silva 2001).

What do you think is effective or otherwise about this newsletter?

Shackelford and Griffis (2006) suggests that successful newsletter should both engage readers through great content and great presentation.

I think one of the major strengths of this newsletter is its content. It is obvious that the writers and contributors to this newsletter are knowledgable in this area, and consistently use referencing of sources to back-up claims and support their content. The news stories themselves are informative, critically analysing the issues within the community and in the crocodile populations.

While the newsletter is filled with great content, a major weakness of the publication is its presentation. Shackelford and Griffis (2006) argue that presentation, especially in writing publications such as newsletters, is almost as important as the content itself. Where visual-appeal can entice and encourage readers to keep on reading, the CSG newsletter fails to deliver an equally visually interesting publication, to match the equally interesting news stories (Sunila 2011).


Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG), 2004, Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter, viewed 31 August 2015, http://www.iucncsg.org/365_docs/attachments/protarea/CSG%20-2c44bdd5.pdf

Santiapillai, C & de Silva, M, 2001, ‘Status, distribution and conservation of crocodiles in Sri Lanka’, Biological Conservation, vol. 97, p. 305-318.

Shackelford, R & Griffis, K 2006, ‘Creating an Effective Newsletter’, Tech Directions, vol. 65, no. 6, p. 15.

Sunila, J 2011, ‘Pain-Free Newsletter Writing’, Plastic Surgery Practice, vol. 21, no. 7, pp. 20-21.

Week Seven – Inquiry Activity: Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter

Week Seven – Practical Activity: Assignment Reflection

The practical activity for this week’s blog entry is reflect on our first assessment and make adjustments to it as required.

I have just spent some time going over my assessment in fine detail, paying special attention to spelling, style and punctuation. Having read on the forums, that there is a huge marking emphasis on technical detail, I wanted to ensure that I presented the most grammatically accurate news report and media release possible.

I also spent time going through the attached Marking Key Checklist (Ames 2015).

Marking Key Checklist

Quotations are correctly punctuated – Check. I know that this is where students in previous offerings fell down, so I tried to pay extra attention to this detail.

Use only says or said when attributing a source – Check. Similarly, I know this is where some students have gone wrong in the past, and I have made a really solid attempt to ensure I only use these terms.

A source is introduced using an indirect quote followed by a direct quote, and speech is not ‘mixed’ – Check. Avoided this completely within my news report/media report.

Numbers under 10 are spelled out, and numbers over 10 are figures – Check. Double and triple checked this.

Source attribution is consistent with news writing style – Check.

No semi-colons are used – Check.

Only proper nouns are capitalised – Check.

“I” is capitalised – Check.

Writing is active and succinct – Check.

There is no repetition in a story – Check. The only repetition in my assignment is in the talking points of the media release. Repetition is expected in this context.

Publication titles are in italics – Check.


Assignment Reflection

I found this assignment both straight forward and really complex. Where there was a clear direction in what we were required to write about and include, the devil was all in the detail in regards to technical and grammatical application.

I did not catch all of my issues on my first proof read, instead I went sentence by sentence for about a week; constantly refining my work. I didn’t find that there were that many initial mistakes, but it was more that I wanted to check with the textbook that I was using appropriate media writing style.

It was definitely helpful having a check list, and I think it will definitely make a difference to my result. On top of that, I think the check list reminds you not to overlook the simple things which can happen when you stare at the same assignment for so long.


Ames, K 2015, Week 7 – Marking Key Checklist, COMM11007: Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Week Seven – Practical Activity: Assignment Reflection