Obituary for Abby Potter

Note: This is a fictional story written for a college journalism course.

Abby Potter, 21, died of a heart attack at her home in Maryville, Tennessee, on Tuesday, September 25, 2017. Potter’s heart attack was caused by a poor health record along with stress from outside stimuli, doctors say.

Abby was born in Atlanta to her mother Laurie and her father Terry. She has two sisters, Hannah and Maggie, who she was very close with. After living in Atlanta for two years, her family ended up moving to Daytona, Florida. After five years of living there, she moved to her final location of Maryville, Tennessee.

Abby had a lot of hobbies that turned her into a very creative person. She loved to draw and create designs on her computer. Along with her creative hobbies, she tended to love all kinds of foods along with napping.

Abby was an undergraduate at Middle Tennessee State University. She was in her final year before getting her Bachelor of Science in journalism with a concentration of visual communications.

“After college, she was going to move to New York to go after her dream as a book cover designer,” Laurie Potter said.

Abby had job offers already lined up for positions as a book cover designer intern for places like HarperCollins Publishers and Kensington Publishing Corp.

Friends and family from all around have called to send their condolences to the family. One of these messages was from Stacy Williams who is a longtime family friend. “Today I feel so sad, but I’m also grateful to have known such a kind and generous soul,” she tweeted soon after hearing the sad news.

A memorial service for family and friends will be held at 2:30 p.m. on October 6, 2017. A buffet will follow the service with all of Abby’s favorite foods.


Questions for Class

Why did you get into journalism?

What inspired or pushed you to take the job positions you have had so far?

Do you prefer editing or reporting?

A Very Bad Lead

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This has a very bad lead. It is a pretty serious story with a really bad pun in its lead. People would not take this article as seriously.


Five Interesting Entries of the AP Stylebook

  1. Popsicle

– A trademark for a brand of flavored ice on a stick. Use ice pop or frozen pop as the generic.

2. Christmastime

– one word

3. Velcro

– Trademark for a nylon material that can be pressed together or pulled apart for easy fastening and unfastening. Use a generic term such as fabric fastener.

4. Ferris Wheel

5. T-shirt

– Acceptable to use tee on subsequent references.


Bad Grammar and Punctuation Examples from

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From the comments, you’d think humor didn’t exist for any generations before millennials. It’s a joke. Of course everyone doing it knows it’s stupid and not the real use of the phrase. That’s kind of the point. Can you please just let us live?

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His best movie, by far, was called “A Month in the Country” with Kenneth B. It was fantastic. I also loved him in “Donovan Quick,” which I saw on the television one Christmas and never saw again, sadly.

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I fell in love with young Colin in “Another Country,” back when we were both about 26. No one knew who he was in the states, back then. But, I didn’t care. He was my man then and still is to this day. I have been fortunate to meet him on several occasions. A man’s man. A gentleman. A dream.

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If someone said, “Guys, the Earth is flat,” and someone showed them the facts and that person replied, “Oh shit. My mistake. I thought it was flat, but clearly I lacked the knowledge,” then ridiculing them would be cruel. A blatant and stubborn disregard for science is why they are made fun of.

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That is a complete travesty.

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Example of Bad Punctuation

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There are quite a few punctuation errors in this post. There are also quite a few grammatical errors, but I will ignore those for now. The first error is the first comma. The comma is supposed to be there, but it is supposed to be “, and” not “,&”. The next one is the exclamation marks. Those should be taken out of the statement. If she is actually exclaiming this statement, then there needs to be only one exclamation mark. She uses them a little too often. Next, it should be “No color, religion or differences, just “Let Me Save You.” The quotation marks are only necessary if it is a song title. If not, it should read “No color, religion or differences, just let me save you.”

Example of Bad Editing


There are multiple problems with this post, in terms of editing. The words “there” and “waist” are wrongly used in the tweet. The correct words would be “their” and “waste” for this statement. The use of “was” in this tweet is used incorrectly. It should be “were” as this statement is hypothetical. Also, the phrase “Kaine stands for opposite!” is a very confusing phrase. There is not any context shown in the tweet to support it or to make it understandable.