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Know Your Grammar

Grammar is extremely important when writing. A single typo or grammar mistake can ruin your credibility for the reader. Even if you think you’re a grammar master, Reporting will still pose some challenges. There are many differences in journalistic writing than there are in other types of writing.


One of the biggest rules involves the serial comma. The serial comma is the last comma used in a series. For example, in the sentence, “Apples, oranges, and grapes are yummy,” the comma after “oranges” and before “and” is the serial comma. In journalism, you never use the serial comma. If you’re used to using it, this will be a hard transition to make, so try practicing omitting it in all of your writing.


Another good practice is to try and cut the word “that” out of sentences when it isn’t necessary. Journalism is all about being concise, so cut down when you can. For example, in the sentence, “He said that the people were happy,” the word “that” could be cut and the sentence would still make sense. Cut it!


Grammar is extremely important in all writing, including reporting.

One of the biggest grammar rules students struggle with is agreement. This isn’t just subject-verb agreement—this also includes noun-possessive agreement. For example, in the sentence, “The team had their best game,” it should really be, “The team had its best game,” because “team” is a collective noun and requires a singular possessive.


If you’re not exactly a grammar whiz, here are some common grammar rules you should probably look up: