After an intense round of trying to read your handwriting – seriously! – I’m pleased to announce the winner from our session on taking notes today. Drumroll, please.But first, some of the most, and best, direct quotes were the following:
Newman: A second later, something happened that changed us in a deep and profound way from that day forward.
Kramer: He spit on us … and I screamed out: I’m hit!
Jerry: That is one magic loogie.
Jerry: I am saying that the spit could not have come from behind.
Newman: I’m leaving. Jerry’s a nut.
A few other notes:
- Some reporters tried to take down every detail of both accounts of the loogie’s flight and got a little lost. That’s fine, but remember that PROCESS often isn’t something you’ll need to use in a direct quote. Save your direct quotes for the message that ties together or provides commentary/perspective on the process. (Like the first Newman quote.)
- One-word quotes often aren’t good direct quotes.
- Anything in quotation marks MUST be word for word. Some people had quotes that were disqualified for being off by one word. The Shorthorn should not (read: does not) publish quotes that are not held up, word for word, in your notes. An exception is if your editor OK’s an electronic recording. However, you must still take notes.
- In stories, you should use direct quotes that are related to the focus of your story. Quote people because they SHOULD be in your story, not because they are “convenient.” In this case, quotes from Elaine aren’t relevant. She’s a player, but not a speaker in this story.
And, finally, your winner: With eight relevant, useful direct quotes, Chase Williams wins the grand prize – lunch, paid for by Beth. Hope you’re a cheap date, sir.
If you have tips for taking notes and keeping up with people as they speak, please share them with the staff below.