Writing is a part of our daily lives; many say that to write great is to think great. There are thousands and thousands of individuals who are struggling to improve their writing skills. With that said, certain studies show that a person who writes regularly is a person who performs better in day-to-day activities.
However, just because some people are not good at writing does not mean they cannot become as good as other individuals who are adept at the craft. The truth is, it is now relatively easy to study writing since there are community colleges that offer creative writing, journalism, or technical writing as a two-year associate degree. There are also online writing courses that provide comprehensive lessons to equip one to become a prolific writer.
Although writing is not typically included in the list of 2 year degree jobs that pay well, you can say that writing can be a lucrative profession if you genuinely know what you are doing. High-paying 2 year degree jobs revolve around computer and IT-related and healthcare courses, so it may be difficult for you to believe that writing can be profitable. Still, through proper training and practice, you can write professionally and earn comfortably.
What, though, if you can only attribute your knowledge of writing and its technicalities to online courses and workshops you took? Will potential employers still take you seriously even if you only have certificates of completion? Most employers are usually lenient with credentials as long as you can prove your proficiency in writing through the samples you will submit.
Nevertheless, if you want something more than certificates to prove that you have gone through formal training as a writer, you can buy a degree from a reputable source. There are many providers of the best two year degrees these days, and you can find them online. You would do well to read review about the provider first before you order a degree to find out how many have already benefitted from such.
Checklist to Improve Your Writing Skills
Of course, it is not enough that you complete writing courses if you want to start writing professionally. For instance, if you will be a press release writer for a public relations (PR) firm, you need to master several skills to develop, improve, and increase your writing ability. Here is a checklist of sorts to help you become a better writer:
- Spelling – Many individuals are still having problems with getting the correct spelling of certain words. Spelling is one of the vital aspects of writing. In writing, you use words to give meaning to different thoughts and ideas, and if you misspelled words, what you are writing may imply a different sense from what you truly want to convey.
- Grammar – It encompasses the various components of a sentence, including sentence structure and usage. Many people have mastered how to use grammar correctly, thanks to academic training. However, there are always late bloomers who can still develop solid skills in using correct grammar.
- Organization and Development – It is hard to read sentences or paragraphs that contain chaotic or unorganized ideas and thoughts. However, if you organize and develop your ideas smoothly, you can write a logical sentence that is much easier to understand than muddled sentences.
- Originality – There are millions and millions of different written outputs easily accessible on the Internet. Other writers copy some of these. Learning to write original thoughts and ideas is a better skill than copying another writer’s style. Original written pieces will prevent you from being accused of plagiarism. What is plagiarism? It is stealing other people’s works or ideas and presenting them as your own.
- Research – In writing, your research lays an excellent foundation to support the topic you are writing, and it is also considered a skill.
- Proofreading – Even good writers commit common mistakes. You must know how to proofread your work. You proofread to check if there are any mistakes in grammar, spelling, organization of thoughts, etc.
- Focus – Another vital element in writing is having focus. It helps you create and develop an excellent written output of ideas and thoughts, even if written simply.
- Read Books – You can significantly improve your writing skills by reading good books. Not only is it an excellent way to widen your vocabulary, but it is also a great way to learn new words and their meanings, sentence structures, and the author’s method of writing that you can adapt and apply in your writing.
Why is this checklist vital? Because you can use it as an excellent guide to producing great written output and at the same time mastering writing skills. It will help if you ingrain this checklist in your mind to improve your skills as a writer, especially when you start working as a press release writer.
Writing press releases can be a good source of income, especially if you have a flair for stringing words together to create a persuasive piece of writing in pseudo-news. The following section will show you some pointers on how to write an excellent press release.
Writing Press Release Samples
If you need to write a press release, some samples and pointers can help you with this task. Usually, press releases today are submitted electronically. Gone are the days when a press release was written on paper and mailed to the editor. Most newspapers require electronic material nowadays because it is easier to edit.
Prepare Your Story
A press release is simply a story, except that you write it in a particular format, and it follows specific rules. The report should focus on what your group is currently doing, the goings-on in the organization, or a future event. A press release does not discuss something that took place in the past. Writing press release samples is an excellent way to practice this.
How to Prepare a Press Release
When someone reads a press release, he should feel as if he is reading a news article. News articles discuss the five Ws and the H in their lead paragraph, the beginning paragraph. Here are some general guidelines for writing press releases samples using the following fundamental elements:
- What happened
- Who did it
- Why it happened
- Where it happened
- When it happened
- How it happened
What to Emphasize
As you write your press release, remember to emphasize the issues that make your release significant. In your press release, what is going to make people sit up and notice? Why is it essential to the community? Why should they care?
You can also emphasize one or two of the essential elements above. For example, if a celebrity will show support for this issue at your event, it would be a good idea to emphasize the “who.” Suppose your event is a first charity fundraiser at the new recreation center, the “where” would be a vital detail.
A good press release is provocative. Bear in mind that most media receive countless press releases every week, so you need to make yours stand put. Look for an angle or an aspect to your press release that will make the editor interested.
In both scenarios, the organizations holding the event may take advantage of their extraordinary situations to create press releases that the media would notice. Make the headline and lead as straightforward as possible. They need to hook the reader quickly, or the release will be skimmed over and forgotten. Writing press release samples will help the beginner master this.
Here is one illustration that shows how vital elements can be made to surface in a press release:
For every $5 granted to residents of Maplewood’s richer communities, area banks lend $1 less to residents of the area’s predominantly minority neighbourhoods. According to a finding made public yesterday during a press conference convened by the Maplewood Community Reinvestment Coalition held in front of a downtown bank.
The coalition called out the appalling pattern of the banks’ lending process and said it is the reason behind the nethermost home ownership rate of most of Maplewood’s marginal and disadvantaged neighborhoods.”
- What – Maplewood area banks loaned less money to minority neighborhoods than they did wealthier neighborhoods
- When – Finding made public yesterday
- How – During a press conference
- Where – Held in front of a downtown bank
- Who – Maplewood Community Reinvestment Coalition
How to Create a Good Lead
Press release samples continually show that a good lead is of the utmost importance. A solid and clear lead will carry a press release to success; a weak lead can bring it to the trash can. Here is an example of a strong lead: “Senior Citizens Advocates Group Releases study on elderly abuse in the county.”
Weak: “According to the report, a $4 billion community development effort has failed.”
Strong: “Preschool teachers from Palmdale, California submit counterproposition for proposed education cutbacks.”
Strong leads are the foundation of a press release that gets read and published. If you notice, the samples show that a lead needs to be specific, and they need to refer to actions rather than the status quo. These leads usually point to a conflict or a development that the community cares about.
All these qualities, combined with credibility and a professional writing style, will guarantee that a press release will be well received. Practicing by writing press release samples and referring to the checklist every so often will help you master the art of writing good leads and good press releases. So, get started with obtaining a writing degree now and start enjoying the benefits of one of the highest paying jobs with a 2 year degree.