Journalistic Writing Exercises 1

I recently purchased Journalistic Writing by Robert Knight. I’m not a journalist, but I’m sure some of his lessons transfer to other areas of non-fiction writing. At the end of the first chapter, the author presents the reader with a number of sentences that contain unneeded thats, there is’s, there are’s, etc.; the goal of the exercise is to rewrite the sentences without them. Here is my attempt.

There were half a dozen vintage airplanes standing in the foreground of the museum.

Half a dozen vintage airplanes stood in the foreground of the museum.

He said that there was a 13 percent decrease in drunk-driving citations on the state’s highways, roads and streets last year, but there was a substantial increase in the number of accidents blamed on drivers’ cell phone usage.

There was a surgeon working intently on a prone figure.

A surgeon was working intently on a prone figure.

The president said that making the country greener is part of his plan to increase jobs.

Around the world there a millions of children that are starving.

Millions of children around the world are starving.

There are three things that can happen when you drive through a yellow light, and two of them are bad.

The police officiers said that they had a warrant and they wanted to inspect the house for weapons and drugs, but there was a pit bull preventing them from entering the front door.

The police officers had a warrant and wanted to inspect the house for weapons and drugs, but a pit bull prevented them from entering the front door.

There was Yogi Berra who said that “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over”

Yogi Berra said: “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

She quoted her grandfather, who said that “many a damned fool went to college.”

“Many a damned fool went to college,” her grandfather used to say.

The ambassador said that she wanted to know why there were not enough limousines waiting for members of the delegation.


27 Mar 2017