'Bursts of life': How to use quotes.


We like the definition of quotes as “bursts of life.” Good quotes brighten up a story, speed it along and draw the reader in. Marcella Veneziale showed how to use a quote right after the nut graf – always a prime spot for a good “global quote” summing up the story – in her piece for Chelsea Now on the struggling art market:

“For this sector, I would not call this a recession,” said art economist David Kusin, founder of the art market research firm Kusin & Co. “It’s a full-blown, sustained depression.”

A Reminder: Doing Things the Write Way

Hemingway said good writers borrow, but great writers steal. Hemingway didn’t have the Internet, which makes borrowing – and stealing – both easier and more dangerous.

It’s tempting to cut and paste stuff from the Web into our digital notes – a quote from an e-mail, a stray statistic, some background from the “About Us” corner of an organization’s web site.

We as journalists must be very careful that these digital clips don’t find their way into our stories. At best, it’s laziness and sloppiness. At worst, it’s plagiarism. Either way, it’s trouble.


Here’s a fascinating site that lets you scan the U.S. map with your computer mouse – and up pops the front page of that’s day’s paper in that city:


That’s it for another fun-filled edition from your cheerful writing coaches. Come see us, or send us your stuff. We’ll try to help you improve it and/or get it published.

How to contact Writing Coaches:

Tim Harper Room 413 (or hanging out in the newsroom)
Tuesday noon – 5 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Thursday noon – 5 p.m.
Or by appointment: tim.harper@journalism.cuny.edu

Heath Meriwether heath.meriwether@journalism.cuny.edu

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