For my Writing for Publication class, I was told to answer a few questions.
To get one of my articles published, I emailed my longform article to an editor for a newspaper. I decided to email my article to Tom Waseleski who is the Editorial Page Editor for Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I did not get an email back from Waseleski. I don’t expect to get a response because I know my article can probably be a bit better. I chose the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette because the articles are always interesting to read. The writers keep my interest with the issues that they discuss. I thought my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder article would catch the readers attention who read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and they would possibly be able to relate to the issue. I didn’t do a ton of research for my article because I chose to write a personal narrative so the longform article was about my struggles with the issue. I did research some facts and statistics to find out how OCD is affecting the world. I allowed for my classmates to peer edit my paper and I read over it several times to make the article the best that it could be.
I think it is a challenge to be a novice writer attempting to get your work published. I think it is challenging because not everyone is going to think that your article is worth reading and publishing to show the world. It can sometimes be difficult to find a particular issue that someone hasn’t covered or being able to take the similar topic in a different direction. A plus to being a novice writer is because you can learn from your mistakes. You can learn what to do and not to do to become a better writer.
For my writing for publication class, I was told to respond to a few questions.
I think the personality traits a person needs to have to write creatively is just to have an open mind. A person has to be open to different things and exploring different situations to write something that is interesting to readers. Writers have to be willing to try new things that they have never tried before. The personality traits that someone would need to have to write journalistically would probably be someone that is fearless. A person who is not afraid to talk to people to find out important information. They would need to be outgoing and a sociable person so people would want to talk to them. The personality traits it would take to write academically would be determination and hard-working. It would be important for the person to be a hard worker to get the writing done.
The writing skills that I think it takes to write creatively is having a good use of descriptive words. Descriptive words make the stories a lot better for the reader. The writing skills it would take to write journalistically would be to take excellent notes. The person would have to be able to know the right questions to be able to interview people and get great information to write about. The writing skills it would take to write academically is being able to do the correct research. The person should be able to know exactly how to research information and gather it to make a great piece of writing.
The story that includes at least two of the three above is the story “School of Hate“ by Sabrina Rubin Erderly. Erderly made the story creative for her readers and also managed to get a point across to people. Erderly chose a variety of people to interview and it made the story even better because she was able to get different sides of the issue. I think the readers of the 21st century will be responsible in writing in one or more of the above ways. Writers have to use some of those skills to get a good story and to make their readers want to read what they have to say.
I am not really sure what kind of writing I expect to do after Cal. I will probably do most of my writing just for myself. I like to write in a notebook during my spare time so most likely something similar to that.
The article that I decided to do an analysis on is Tony Norman’s “Jordan Miles Case Testifies to a Harsh Police Reality.” This article was about an African American male, Jordan Miles, who was brutally beat by police officers because he was looking “suspicious.” Norman’s main point in this article is that people are not treated with the same respect. People treat other races differently and it should not be that way. Norman wants his readers to realize that everyone should be treated equally. Norman uses a great amount of points to prove his case on why people should be treated fairly. He mentions the police officers accusing Miles of crimes he did not even commit and that they were completely unreasonable. The police officers just wanted to accuse this man of anything so they continued to come up with crimes to accuse him for. Luckily for Miles, the cops accusations failed. Norman is not exactly fair to the other side. He makes his point that what the cops did to Miles was not appropriate and that should not happen to anyone. There is nothing I would have done differently to this article. I think he has a good amount of facts throughout the article to prove his point. Overall, I feel that Norman did an excellent job with the article. He knew exactly what pieces of information to add to the article to make people realize that what happened to this man was wrong. He does an excellent job on allowing people to see the bigger picture of the issue and that is to treat everyone with the same respect.
An issue that I have had to deal with is the bi-polar weather of California, PA.
For my opinion piece, I would look at previous winter storms that have happened in California, PA. I would look to see if the area is common for getting a continuation of snow. Since the winter/spring weather seem to feel similar, I would research previous years weather to compare. Along with my research of previous weather, I would interview a few students and possibly even faculty members to get their views on the constant change in weather. Once I decided to write the opinion piece, I would open the article by saying how I feel about the weather in California, PA. Once I made my opening statement, I would discuss the research that I found about the weather, including the interviews. When I finish adding the important information, I would end the article with a conclusion.
A struggle of an opinion piece is being able to keep the readers interested in the background information. A benefit of this opinion piece is that I am able to add interview information into the story. Readers would be able to relate to other people who have dealt with the same thing.
For my narrative piece, I would tell a story about my experience with the awful weather. I would explain the struggle of walking to class in the bitter snow and ice. The experience when I fell down the steps going to grab something to eat would also be mentioned. I would discuss how the snow gradually melted and walking outside slowly got better. I would not have to do any research on this article because I am talking about my experience with the harsh weather of California, PA.
A benefit to a narrative piece is that I could give a specific story that I experienced with the weather. This could also be difficult because some people might not be able to relate to what I experienced.
For my magazine story, I would interview a lot of students and faculty members. I would ask them to tell me their encounters with the constant change of weather in California, PA. I would allow them to tell interesting stories that they have experienced with the snow and ice. Along with interviewing people, I would try to find more interesting facts about weather around this area. When I decided to write the story, I would make sure I opened with an interesting lead to catch my readers attention. I would give the interview information and any other background information that I found dealing with the topic I chose.
A benefit to the magazine story is that I could add detailed interviews throughout the story. A downfall to this might be coming up with important information to go around the interesting interviews.
Welcome readers! My name is Spenser Scott and I am from Washington, PA. I am a senior at California University of Pennsylvania and my major is English with a concentration in Literature. The focus of my blog is to inform people of issues/topics they may not be aware of and to allow people to be able to relate to certain topics. I hope to be able to enlighten people of different issues/topics going on in the world. I also hope to gain better writing skills from my blog. Thank you for reading and enjoy!