Get it right

English and writing skills

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Journalists must be able to use the English language with complete confidence in order to report the news and tell the public what’s happening in ways they can immediately understand.

The ability to write, punctuate and spell correctly is essential if you wish to be understood – and be taken seriously by your readers or listeners. Employers want journalists who can write clearly and accurately, and they can afford to be choosy about the people they take on.

These pages are intended to help you test and develop your knowledge of writing and grammar. To give you an idea of your current level we have devised a writing test. Try the test and find out just what you need to do to improve.

Basic grammar

A short refresher course in good grammar to help make you a better journalist – and more attractive to a potential employer.
Learn More about grammar


Bad English acts like a label that some joker has stuck on a friend’s back. The victim doesn’t know it’s there, so doesn’t do anything about it. It’s time that you did. Here is the lowdown on creating effective sentences.
Learn More about sentences

Collective nouns

Words which represent a collection of people, or things are called collective nouns. Here are the rules to follow when using them.
Learn More about collective Nouns


Misuse of the apostrophe is perhaps the most common error many people make when they write. But it needn’t be.
Learn More about apostrophes

Direct writing

In journalism we try to report the news as simply and clearly as possible, and our lesson in direct writing will teach you how do to this.
Learn More about direct writing

Reporting speech

As a journalist, the job you will find yourself doing most often is reporting what people say. You can report direct speech or a vivid phrase. Here, we show you how to do both.
Learn More about reporting speech

Difficult words

As the English language is renowned for being difficult to learn, we have highlighted some of the most troublesome words, so you can recognise them and use them correctly
.Learn More about difficult words