AN EXAMPLE The first steps to column writing are remembering why you are writing and your audience. In the sample column, "Helpful Hints," the columnist has a general homemaker audience in mind. The style is light with personal pronouns (I, you, your) liberally included. The lead sentence clues the reader to the column's tone. The rest should continue to develop this tone. ｩ Copyrights Virtual University of Pakistan 155
Journalistic Writing – MCM310 VU Notice the entire name is given the first time. After that, it is only a first-name basis. Sentences are short and so are paragraphs. Credit is given when the columnist is quoting another source. One topic has been given primary emphasis. Shorter topics follow this lead topic. That means this column can be shortened by cutting paragraphs from the bottom up, just like a news story. Jamie Shanen Area home economist MU Extension center Macon, MO 63552 Helpful Hints If your bottom's bare, it's time to "beef up" your home freezer. I'm talking about your freezer bottom. In fact, you should keep that freezer at least one-third full to be economical. Anyway, bare bottom or not, this is a good time to buy beef. Mason Good, who operates Good Meat Storage and Packing, says prices are lowest on beef in the winter, generally between November and January. Mason said most of the county's farmers and cattle producers generally sell off their stock in the fall that means there's more beef available to drive prices down. While talking with Mason, Judith Ann Johnson, 335 Peabody Lane, came over. Judy said she found what Mason said was true. A few weeks ago she and her husband Tom decided to buy a side of beef. After checking around and talking with some of the University food scientists, they discovered mid-January was the best time for them to buy. So they did. I asked Harold Lamar about what to look for in beef. You may remember Harold. He came over to Macon from the University last spring and talked about pork and beef. Harold told me about a couple of good booklets you can get from the MU Extension center here in Macon. If you are going to buy a side, think about your family size and eating habits. They may prefer steaks and ground instead of roasts. Out of a 300-pound side you'll get 225 pounds. The forequarter will give you about 118, while the hindquarter will yield about 100. Good quality is important too. Our local people have good reputations, but what about elsewhere? Don't buy from people you don't know. Your meat should have two USDA stamps. Check to see if there is a round one for wholesomeness and a shield for quality inspections. Grading is optional with the processor both Mason and Harold said. A lot of people asked me about aging meat. Yesterday, Maude Grady, Oak Ridge Retirement Center, asked about some meat that's been in her freezer nine months. Aging helps meat develop flavor and become tender, but only ribs, and loins of high-quality beef and lamb are aged. If Maude had purchased "aged" meat, it is questionable whether she got her money's worth. After meat has been frozen six months -- it's already been aged enough.
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