Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

English For Journalists & Writers

Main Topics of Study

English Grammar – The Basic Rules

  • Nouns and pronouns (WH – p3)
  • Verbs, adverbs
  • Adjectives
  • Prepositions
  • Conjunctions and interjections

Spelling – Selecting the Right Word

  • Making the right choice
  • Words and their meanings
  • Keep it simple – fudge factor
  • Words with double meanings
  • Anonyms and synonyms

Punctuation and Beyond

  • Four main stops
  • Dot colon and semicolon
  • Other marks – the dash, the slash and hyphen
  • Apostrophes

Written English

  • Sentence construction (HE- p.17)
  • Active and positive (HE – p.22)
  • Writing with nouns and verbs (HE – p44)
  • Paragraphs
  • Writing styles
  • Choosing the right style for the right platform

English in the Newsroom

  • The structure of the newsroom
  • Copydesk
  • Newsdesk
  • Text Editor
  • Copy Taster
  • News Editor

Practical Application of English to a News Story

  • Context – making a newspaper, radio bulletin, television programme or web based artifact (HE – p.2)
  • News values, judgement and the writing process
  • The news lead
  • Reported speech
  • Direct quotes
  • The art of the precis
  • Bringing dead prose to life

Cliches, Jargon, Mixed Metaphors and Worse

  • Cliches
  • Metaphors
  • Similes
  • Redundancies (HE – p83)
  • Slang (WH 36 & 66 – & HE – pps57 & 246)
  • Wasteful Words
  • Stale expressions (HE – p87)

English in the Editing and Production Process

  • The news process and editing structure
  • The intro in print and text
  • The intro/link – audio and video
  • The intro online
  • The home page – internet and online
  • The headline – text, audio and online (HE – p204)

Spoken English for the Media

  • English for audio and video
  • Approaches to conversational English
  • Approaches to telling, not writing a story
  • Adapting written English for spoken presentation

English for Text, Online and Small Screen Devices

  • The home page
  • deconstructing text and other content
  • Headlines, captions and textboxes
  • Key words and their importance
  • Text for mobiles
  • Metadata, text and web optimisation

Specialist writing skills

  • Sports writing
  • Business News
  • Politics
  • Arts, Music and Entertainment
  • Critical Writing

Example Candidate Response Booklet

Example Candidate Response (ECR) Booklets are a source of crucial information for Centres and Candidates as they use real candidate responses. We ask Senior Examiners to comment on five or more responses in terms of why the mark was awarded with commentary about how to improve the answer (if necessary).

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

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Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers - Harold Evans (2000) - (Pimlico)

English for Journalists - Wynford Hicks (2007) - revised edition (Routledge)

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading:

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Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: 150th Anniversary Edition - Peter Roget and George W. Davidson (Jul 2006) - (Penguin )

Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus - Kipfer, Barbara Ann – editor ( 3rd Edition 2005) - (Dell)

Eats Shoots and Leaves - Lynn Truss (2003)  - (Profile Books)

The Broadcast Journalism Workbook - Rowlands, Sarah and Hudson, Gary (2006) - (Longman)

She Literally Exploded – An Infuriating Phrasebook - Christopher Howse & Richard Preston (2007) - (Telegraph Books)

OUP (1984) The Oxford Guide to the English Language (Oxford University Press)

Fowler’s Modern English Usage - R. W. Burchfield (Sept 2004) - (Re-Revised 3rd Edition)

Quite Literally - Wynford Hicks (2004) - (Routledge)