In session four of the Sinelizwi citizen journalism programme, host and games master Duncan Masiwa, shares with candidates insights on how to craft paragraphs during the writing process. This includes going over how paragraphs should be structured and how to organise your ideas, as well as tips for great writing.

Tip of the week: How to organise ideas

Mindmaps are a great tool to organise your information and help you decide how to structure a story. Here’s a good way to do it:

  1. Think of what the most important, central idea is that you are writing about. Draw a circle and write that idea down inside it.
  2. Now ask all the questions you can about that idea, and write them down. Start with the Who? Where? Why? What? How? questions. Then go deeper. “How did this come about?” “What is going to happen now?” “What are the implications of this?” “Who are affected?”
  3. Write down notes answering each of these questions
  4. Now, assign numbers to the questions, starting with what is most important. Also, if one question leads on from the last one, the leading question gets a higher number.
  5. Now, when you start writing your article, give at least one paragraph to answer each question, starting with number 1.
  6. Now you’ve got a rough skeleton of your article. Next you smooth it out, clean up the language and reorganise paragraphs if you feel you need to.

See the full presentation on our Sinelizwi blog.