Using News To Help With Writing Skills I Oxford Open Learning
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Using News To Help With Writing Skills


Wherever we look, we can access the news. Many of you probably have a news app on your phone. Social media bombards us with links to current affairs. We literally have the world at our fingertips and can access this wherever we are – pretty much. So, that’s all great – but how can you use the news to help with your creative writing skills? Read on to find out.

It’s All About The Headline

Next time you are in your local newsagent, look at newspaper headlines. ‘Boy munched by crocodile’ – scary, eh? ‘Dad of 8 wins jackpot’ – lucky him! Now, headlines like these might be dramatic – or exciting – or weird, or whatever. But regardless, they are great prompts for creative writing. Imagine writing a dramatic tale about a boy and a blood-thirsty reptile, or a man who has amazing luck. Just two ideas – there’s so many more out there! And, of course, you can find so many headlines online, from all over the world. What’s stopping you?

Snapshot Images

Photos on social media, in magazines or on the news can be fantastic for inspiring creative writing. Captions can help, too. Think about what the picture is showing, where it is set, who is in the image – but also, what might be happening outside of the picture. This is a great way of starting off on a creative writing journey.

Read All About It!

On BBC Newsround, one of the headlines for 1 December is ‘Is your Christmas elf back?’ Think about the fun you could have with a news headline like this. And what about the recent cold weather the UK has been experiencing? There are countless ideas for creative writing, from getting stuck in a massive snowdrift, to entering a magical kingdom after losing control of your sledge.

So, if you find yourself stuck for an idea, just look at what is going on in the world. Use a news app. Listen to the radio. Watch a TV news broadcast. It is all about ‘listening in’ and ‘looking out’ – take advantage of what’s there and you might have a scribbled-down masterpiece in no time.

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