what is a quote? – exact working of a statement from a source. may be fact or opinion.

best strategy is to fill your notebook with quotes then limit yourself after – sprinkle quotes throughout your story but don’t use them to carry a narrative, try and keep a balance between quotes and other sentences (paragraphs)

1. Direct quotes – quotes printed exactly word for word ; not doing so is misquoting

2. Indirect quotes – when you include info from a source without using the sources exact words (a summary,paraphrasing) – use when you want to express a fact stated by a source, when a direct quote is too long, dull, or confusing – no quotation marks are necessary for indirect quote

3.Partial Quotes – combo of indirect and direct quotes – used when you want to use a sources exact words but the direct quote is too long, confusing – example: Junior Ward said that tattoos are a ‘tribal thing” that unifies her with others of her generation. BE CAREFUL with partial quotes since you are paraphrasing. Something you said can change the whole quote from the source.

Attribution Verbs – in the past tense – ex: President Bush said …

Use asked when the source asked the question

Use stated when you’re using a direct quote

Where and how to Attribute – after the source and any standard identification – if the info in the quote is more important, attribute goes after quote – if the source is prominent, attribute goes before the quote – for direct quotes of multiple sentences, attribute after the first sentence

Punctuating Quotes – place the end punctuation of quotes within the quotation marks – when the attribution comes after a direct quote, use a comma instead of the end punctuation ” ,” said _.

Use single quotes if you need to put quotes within a quotation.

Begin a new paragraph each time the subject matter of a direct quote changes and each time you quote – leave off quotation marks at the end of a paragraph if the quote continues into the next paragraph

If a quote is a complete sentence, begin it with a capital letter. if its a fragment then don’t.


Attribute all opinions, attribute facts only when they’re controversial, use a variety of direct, indirect, and partial quotes, don’t use quotes to repeat info already in the story, don’t use quotes that state the obvious, to clarify a confusing, strange or missing word in a quote, use brackets, never use the phrase “when asked” or “in response”


Mark information down in your notes, such as quotes and facts, that you plan on using when writing your story, try and find a new angle or question they haven’t answered, always check the spelling of the sources name and the wording of job titles (age, hometown, etc), ask follow up questions: why and how?!

Listening tips – focus on the “hear” and now – concentrate on what they’re saying and not what you’ll say next, be quiet, be responsive with eye contact and head nods, listen for what isn’t said, be polite and sensitive, practice conversational and critical listening

Planning the interview – identify your focus, research the background, identify your goals, plan your questions, request the interview, dress appropriately, arrive on time

Conducting the interview – use icebreakers, plan your first question, ask the basic questions, ask follow up questions, be non-judgmental, control the interview, repeat questions (subject may dance around), ask about pros and cons, ask about definitions, verify info and ask for sources, ask summary questions (“so lets go over this again”), try to end on a positive note


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