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How to Write a Good Writing Sample for Media Jobs

So you’ve been tasked with writting a media sample for an article or pitch, and you’re overwhelmed with excitement. You’ve got a story to tell, and you know that the only way to get the attention of an editor is through compelling copy. You’ve got high hopes for this piece, and you want to make sure that it exceeds your expectations. If you’re struggling to find the right words, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will teach you the essential elements you need to include in your writing to ensure that your sample is nothing short of perfect.

Clarity Of Purpose

Perhaps the most important thing to consider before you start typing is the clarity of your purpose. What do you hope to achieve with this piece? What makes you qualified to opine on this subject? What is your take on the matter, and what do you want the reader to gain from it? The more you can do to answer these questions, the more you can do to ensure that your article is engaging and makes sense. This will help guide your decisions on everything you write, including the headlines you choose and the order of the facts presented. Poorly worded pieces with no clarity of purpose often wind up being a waste of time. If you want to impress your audience with your writing skills, you need to ensure that your writing is the best it can be. Start by taking some time to think about what you hope to achieve with this particular piece, and make sure that your thinking lines with your goals and the plan you’ve laid out. If you need help figuring out your purpose, ask the question aloud. You may find that someone else has a similar goal in mind or that you’re both developing similar plans, in which case you can collaborate on your piece.

An Outline

As we’ve established, having a clear purpose in mind can help you decide what details to include in your piece and how to prioritize them. However, to truly excel at writing, you should always have an outline to guide you. The outline can serve as a skeleton for your piece, helping you to understand the structure and logic of your argument. Having an outline will also help you identify the most effective ways to present your ideas. The following are some basic principles that will help you create an outline for your writing:

  • Have a plan. Decide in advance how you will organize your thoughts. Be sure to follow the same logical step by step process that will bring you from starting point to the end. This will help you stay organized and on track
  • Make it a story. Your story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning should set the stage for the story; the end should bring the story to a close; the middle should contain all of the important details necessary for the story to be able to make sense. Make sure that these details bring the story from one point to the next. The beginning should end when the middle begins – this creates a sense of flow and gives the reader the best opportunity to follow the story as it unfolds
  • Be specific. Choose one or two main themes or issues you will explore in-depth in your story. These should be broad themes rather than events or individuals. This will help you focus your writing and ensure that your article is tied closely to your purpose. Your story should have a clear link to your conclusion (the punchline)
  • Make it unique. Your story should contain a unique element that will make it stand out from the rest. Think of something that no one else can say or do. This will make your story special and give it a competitive advantage over other stories. The more you can do to make your story stand out, the better your piece will read. This doesn’t mean that everything about your story has to be original, but rather that you should incorporate unique elements where you can.
  • It’s better to have an excellent story and no outline than to have a rough outline with an average story. Never lose sight of the fact that no matter how strong your writing is, until you’ve got an excellent story to tell, all of your writing will suck. Writing is a process of discovery. Your writing will never be perfect until you’ve discovered what works best for you and what your strengths are. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. In case you did not get the hint from the last point, good storytelling is all about expressing yourself authentically and clearly. The only way to get better is by telling your story over and over again. This is the only way you can make it perfect.

The Introduction

The introduction is a crucial part of any piece. It serves as the vehicle by which you introduce yourself to the reader and set the stage for what they’re about to read. The introduction should tell the reader something about you that would interest them, as well as provide them with enough information to understand what they’re reading. Remember, you’re writing for an audience that may not be familiar with your work, so you want to make sure that they understand exactly who you are and what you’re about. Your introduction should grab the reader and compel them to continue reading. In case you’re wondering, the intro is usually the first part of the piece, before you get into the meat of the story. Having a strong intro will greatly improve the quality of your piece. It can be the focal point, the turning point, or somewhere in between. It’s up to you!

The Body

The body is the part of your story that you actually report the events of. The body should consist of two parts: the first part should correspond with your introduction and establish the setting of the story; the second part should contain the details of what occurred during the events of the story and should help the reader understand your purpose. Your body should follow a logical order, beginning with your introduction and moving through the events of your story in a straightforward manner. Remember, you’re writing for a general audience, so you want to keep the language easy to understand. This means that you should avoid using words and phrases that are too complex or technical. Instead, you should aim to use plain, everyday words. Complex words only serve to obscure your meaning, and unless you’re a linguist or an expert in the field, your readers will be lost.

The Conclusion

The conclusion is a vital part of any piece. It serves as the vehicle for which you summarize your main points and hints at future developments. The conclusion should be short and sweet, and it should tie the story to the larger theme or issue you explored. The conclusion should leave the reader feeling as though they’ve learned something, and it should serve as a call to action for your audience. Think of your conclusion as the final blow that finishes your story. Your story should end on a high note and leave the reader wanting more. A strong conclusion will greatly improve the quality of your piece. It can be the focal point, the turning point, or somewhere in between. It’s up to you!

As you can see, there are many different aspects that you need to consider when writing a good piece. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to becoming a master storyteller.