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					      Media Writing Skills     In English
What is it about?
Basic Grammar Tools for Journalists.
What is Grammar?
The correct use of words in sentences.
Word order, tense…..etc.
a boy he is
He is a boy.
Is he a boy?
              What Is A sentence ?
A sentence is a group of words that expresses
a complete thought.

The Prime Minister (subject ) chaired a cabinet
meeting (predicate) in Amman last night.
Your name   Your position   Your Institution
        How to write your CV
•   Name:
•   Address:
•   Telephone:
•   E-mail:
•   Nationality:
•   Date of birth:
•   Marital Status:
Education :

 2003-2007    Islamic University of Gaza, M.A in
                   Islamic Law
                  (Media Controls & Restrictions)
 1998-2002     Islamic University of Gaza, B A in
                   Islamic Law.
 1983-1987     Islamic University of Gaza, B A in
               English Language.
2006-present   Vice Director of Public Relations
               Office (IUG) .
2008-present    Lecturer of Media Writing Skills at
               Journalism Dept.(IUG).
2003-2006      Head of Media Department in
               PRO at IUG.
1998-2006      Administrator at Public Relations
               Office at IUG.
1991-1998      Teacher of English language at
                Ministry of Education .

Computer literate, familiar with MS Programs,
Journalism and Project Management.

2003-2006    Chairman of Patient Care
              Charitable Society (PCCS).
1995-1998    Board Member of English
             language Teachers
   Types of sentences with respect to their use

           1. The Declarative sentence:

The conference discussed U.S – French
relations last night in the post-Iraqi war
            The Interrogative sentence:

Why did the Arab League postpone its annual
ministerial meeting?

           3.The Imperative sentence

 Vote for pan-Arab economic integration.
1.The simple sentence:
The Democratic Convention Opened yesterday
New York.

2.The compound sentence:
The President arrived and talks started with
local officials.
3. The complex sentence:
The battle was still raging in Eastern Timor
province when military commanders decided
to surrender.

4. The Compound – complex sentence:
As demonstrators marched by 10 Downing
Street in London they shouted
anti – war slogans.
Start       started
Fire         Fired         Regular verbs
Visit        Visited

Go      went        gone
spend   spent      spent    Irregular verbs
See      saw        seen
a. The Simple Present Tense:
To describe a repeated or habitual activity,
usually over an unlimited period of time.
Adverbial keys :
always , never , rarely , seldom , often ,
sometimes , usually, everyday.
E.g. :
_ Arab leaders meet every year.
_ The Gulf Cooperation Council seeks to foster
ties among its members.
b. The Present Continuous Tense:
To indicate a continuing activity, usually within
a limited period of time.
Adverbial keys:
Now , just , right now , at the moment , at this
_ Rescue efforts are continuing now in eastern
_ U.S aircraft are carrying out air raids on
Baghdad at this moment .
c. Simple Past Tense:
To describe an activity, a condition, or a series of
repeated activities or conditions completed at
a definite time in the past.
Adverbial keys:
Last, yesterday, ago, …etc
_ The meeting reviewed the situation in
Afghanistan last night.
_ Three persons died in a plane crash in Iran two
days ago.
d. The Past Continuous Tense:
To describe a continuing activity that took place
within a limited period of time expressed by
an adverbial
_ The president was giving his speech when
news of his cabinet resignation was
e. The Present Perfect tense:
To describe an activity that is completed as of
the present time, or the moment of speaking.
Adverbial Keys:
Already, ever, never, since, just, for.
_ Over 1000 persons have died from SARS since
December 2002.
f. The Past Perfect Tense:
To describe an activity in past time (activity 1)
that took place before another activity or
condition in past time ( activity 2) expressed
with past form.
_ The delegates has held (action1)preliminary
consultations before they met (action2)with
the Prime Minister.
g. Future Tense:
The verb forms most commonly used to
express simple future time are these:
(1) Future form: will +verb.
_ Voters in Greece will go to the polls
tomorrow to elect a new president.
(2) Present form of verb “to be” (am, is,
are)+going to+verb.
_ The Minister of Education is going to hold a
press conference this morning.
Nouns are names of persons, animals, ideas,
actions, qualities..etc..Nouns are said to have
properties like person, gender, and number.
There are two kinds of nouns: singular and
_Three U.S. soldiers were killed in Baghdad last
night. (countable)
_ Music was played at the opening ceremony.
Some nouns have both an uncountable and
countable meanings.
_ Fish is canned at a nearby factory.
_ Some fish are raised here.

    Singular    Plural    Singular   Plural
    Station    Stations     Toy       toys
      Bless    Blesses      City     Cities
      Chief     chiefs     Mary      Marys
      Thief    Thieves     Ratio     Ratios
  pronouns are words that are used in place of
nouns. They designate a person, a place, or a
thing without naming it.

   Personal pronouns
   Demonstrative pronouns: this, that, these.
  Indefinite pronouns: one, someone, both..etc
  distributive pronouns.
  Interrogative pronouns: who, which..etc
  Relative pronouns.
Adjectives are words that modify nouns, noun
equivalents or pronoun.
_ The United States is a wealthy nation.
_ Americans consider the Vietnam experience
_ The decision was outrageous.
ous    courageous
ful    wonderful
less   ceaseless
able   miserable
tual   habitual
ing    breaking
ed     demolished
ish    selfish
tive   destructive
An adverb is one word, a part of speech that
modifies verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.
_ The car crash took place here.(adverb of
_ The demonstration was politically motivated.
(adverb of manner)
_ The military post was raided twice last week.
(adverb of frequency)
_ The meeting should be held soon.( adverb of
Prepositions are linking or connecting words
such as : in, on, at, before, from, to, under, in
front of, with, of, into….etc.
There are two classes of conjunction:
1_ Coordinating conjunctions, which connect
words ,phrases, or clauses of equal rank.
And, but-yet, neither-nor, either-or, not only-
2_ Subordinating conjunctions, which introduce
dependent clauses, and join the subordinate
clauses to the independent clauses in a
Interjections are exclamatory word or phrases
that usually used to express strong or sudden
feelings to attract attention.


_ Good Heavens!
       Forms of Comparison
1_ Positive degree:
The base form of the adjective or adverb.
_ Canada is a large country.
_ The September 11 attacks were horrible acts
by all standards.
2_ Comparative Degree:
The base form of the adjective or adverb + the
ending “er” or “more+ the base form.”
_ Canada is larger than Egypt.
_ The September11 attacks were more horrible
than the Oklahoma explosion.
3_ Superlative Degree:
The base form of the adjective or adverb+the
ending “est”, or “most+ the base form.”
_ Canada is the largest country in North
_ The September 11 attacks were the most
horrible acts in decades.
Conditional clauses are complex sentences
made up of one independent clause and one
dependent clause.
_ If the European leaders meet as scheduled,
the problem will be resolved.

Simple present        simple future tense.
_ If the European leaders met as scheduled, the
problem would be resolved.

Past tense        simple past future tense.

_ If the European leaders had met as
scheduled, the problem would be resolved.

Past perfect      present perfect future tense
Questions can be classified into two categories:
_ “Tag” or “yes/no” questions.
* Oppression leads to rebellion, doesn’t it? Yes, it
_ Information questions: when, what, why, at
what time…etc.
* When did the attack start?
Punctuation refers to the use of certain marks
to clarify thought relationships in a sentence.
Periods: A period is used in the following cases:
(1) At the end of declarative sentence or an
imperative sentence that is not exclamatory.
_The Prime Minister chaired an extraordinary
cabinet meeting last night.
_Let’s work together to achieve peace.
(2) After most abbreviations.
E.g.: Ph.D., St., P.M., Dr., Jan.

(3) As a decimal point.
E.g.: $55.00 25.2%

(4) To indicate omission of words.
“ Let’s kick the………. aggressors out of our land,”
the commander said.
Commas: A comma is used:
(1) To separate two independent clauses joined
by a coordinating conjunction: “ and,” “or,”
“but,” “yet,” or “ for.”
_ The delegates arrived early in the morning,
but the meeting was put off.
(2) To separate words or figures which might be
_ What the demonstrators did, did not help the
(3) To indicate the omission of a word common
to both parts of a sentence.
_ Farmers in the Jordan Valley may grow sugar
canes; farmers in hilly areas, never.
(4) To separate words, phrases or clauses used
in a series when the coordinating conjunction
is omitted from the series.
_ France, Germany, and Japan import most of
their oil from Gulf countries.
(5) To set off a non-restrictive clause.
_ George W. Bush, Governor of Texas, was
elected president of the United States in
(6) To set off words and phrases that are used
as appositives.
_ Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter,
has set new records in economic
(7) To set off parenthetical words and phrases
that are not essential to the meaning of the
_ The French foreign minister, meanwhile,
declared his country’s opposition to any kind
of military intervention in Iraq.
(8) To set off the year in a date, and also to set
off the month and the exact date following
the day of the week.
_ The invasion started on Nov.29,1979.
(9) To set off nominatives of direct address.
_ As you know, Senator, the budget issue is too
(10) To set off the name of the state or country
when it follows the name of a city.
_ The summit was opened in Amman, Jordan.
(11) For most figures higher than 999.
_ Syria produced 100,000 barrels of oil a day.
(12) To set off an explanatory figures such as
the age of a person, or his address, or phone
_ Mr. Saleem Saif, 2230 Al-Nasr Street, was
badly hurt in the crash.
(13) To set off party affiliations, degrees, and
titles given after a name.
_ Yunis Ali, ph.D, has been appointed director
of the Department.
(14) To separate direction quotation from
explanatory matter.
_ “ Let’s give peace a chance,” the President
(15) To set off participle and infinitive phrases,
or long prepositional phrases which precede
the main clauses.
_ Prompted by rising opposition, the Prime
Minister abandoned plans for new taxes.
Semicolons: the semicolon may be used in the
following cases:
(1) To separate independent clauses that are not
connected by a coordinating conjunction such
as “and,” “but,” or “for.”
_ The rebels cannot keep on fighting; they are
(2) Between clauses of a compound sentence,
that are joined by conjunctive adverbs like
“however,” “therefore,” “otherwise,”
_ Ahmed Mousa appears optimistic about his
victory; however, polls indicate his chances of
winning elections are slim.
(3) To separate coordinate phrases or clauses
which are punctuated internally with a comma
or commas.
_ Mr. Hamid Ali, Chairman of the Bank’s Board
of Directors, is scheduled to announce new
austerity plans; and Mr. Salim Ahmed, head of
the Bank’s development department, is
expected to disagree with him.
(4) To separate independent clauses that are
joined by a coordinate conjunction, if the
clauses are long or have internal punctuation.
_ The movie star, who rose into prominence in
the 1940s, is regaining his fame; but critics,
skeptical of his performance, seem
pessimistic about his chances in the long run.
(5) To separate phrases which contain commas,
particularly when the meaning otherwise
would not be clear.
_ The delegation consist of Salim Odeh, the
Speaker of Parliament; Ali Mousa, the foreign
Minister; and Ahmad Rabie, the Minister of
Industry and Commerce.
Colons: colons are used:
(1) Before a long, formal quotation.
_ When questioned about his alleged role in the
plot, the army commander replied: “ I
absolutely have nothing to do with those
subversive activities.”
(2) After a statement that is followed by an
amplifying clause or expression.
_ President Bush explained U.S global strategy
as two-fold: to fight terrorism and to curb the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
(3) After a clause that introduces a list.
_ The Lower House of Parliament discussed the
following topics: foreign trade, educational
reforms and tax increase.
(4) To give emphasis to a word or phrase.
_ Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators
chanted one slogans: NO BLOOD FOR OIL.
(5) In writing figures that show time.
_ The investigation began at 10:15 a.m.
Apostrophes: Apostrophes are used:
(1) To form possessives.
_ Jordan’s exports of phosphates totaled 600$
million in 1989.
(2) To form the plural of single letters.
_ He got three B’s in the exam.
(3) To indicate omission of a letter or letters of
a figure.
_ Wasn’t, they’d, o’clock, I’ve, aren’t, spring of
‘76,hasn’t, don’t, it’s.
Quotation Marks: double quotation marks are
(1) To enclose direct quotations.
_ “Death to the aggressors.” demonstrators
(2) To enclose titles of books, movies, plays,
operas, songs, poems, TV program titles, and
the title of lectures, speeches and works of
_ Speaking on the NBC weekly “ Meet the Press”
program, the U,S Secretary of State insisted on
Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass
(3) To set off slang expressions or words that are
used ironically.
_ The candidate said he was going to “burn” his
rivals alive in the next round of elections.
(4) With nicknames, when they are inserted into
the identification of the individual.
_ Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Mazen, was appointed
Prime Minister in the palestinian National
Parentheses: parentheses are used to set off
loosely-connected parenthetical material that
is identical to the meaning of the sentence.
_ The delegates voiced (their) support for the
party’s program of action.
Dashes: Dashes are used:
(1) To indicate sudden breaks in the thought or
the speech.
_ He is greedy, lazy- and ruthless.
(2) Before a repetition, for effect.
_ There is but one immoral feeling-the feeling
of love.
(3) To indicate questions and answers in a
verbatim report testimony.
_ Q.- Did you make the phone call?
  A.- No, I did not.
Hyphens: hyphens are used:
(1) To form compound adjectives that precede
the noun they modify.
_ Oil-producing nations enjoy high standards of
(2) In suspended compounds.
_ The 300-page report was submitted to the
committee last night.
(3) In prepositional phrase combinations.
_ Mother-in-low out-of-door house-to-
(4) To distinguish different meaning in words of
like spelling.
_ He recovered in time to re-cover his account.
(5)Between some prefixes and nouns and
_ Ex-president
_ Anti- war
_ pan- Arab

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