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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "COM 221-1"
COURSE NAME: "Writing Across the Media"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Macias Gutierrez
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 10:00-11:15 AM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110
OFFICE HOURS: By Appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
The course introduces students to the various kinds of writing they will encounter in the media professions and in digital multimedia production, and prepares them for more advanced media courses in the Communications and Media Studies program. Students will also be introduced to basic legal and ethical issues, such as libel, copyright, privacy. Activities include writing for online media, press releases, strategic campaigns, and short scripts for visual and audio media as well as exercises to pitch their ideas. They will also explore issues concerning style, communicability, and effective storytelling.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
All students will be required to create an e-portfolio using WordPress. This is where students will post and share their work from class assignments. Throughout the course students will be required to maintain a blog, with at least one post a week. There will be additional writing activities, both inside and outside of class, consisting of various different projects, including a press release, media kit, and short scripts (audio and visual) for a public service announcement and podcast. This course will include guest lectures from different media specialists.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:

·      Learn legal and ethical principles of writing for the media

·      Demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of writing for various media professions

·      Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for a variety of communications professions

·      Apply tools and technologies appropriate for different communications professions

·      Critically assess institutional and individual media practices

·      Understand how to promote and share written works online

·      Conceive, draft, edit and finalize a basic script for visual and audio media

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The Basics of Media Writing: A Strategic Approach 1st EditionScott A. Kuehn and Andrew LingwallSAGE978-1506308104  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging Huffington PostSimon Schuster1439105006  

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
BlogMaintain a personal weblog (blog) throughout the semester. This will involve creating a personal website using WordPress, which will serve as a digital portfolio for class assignments.20%
Press kitCreate a professional press kit for a band, film or book that features different types of copywriting.20%
Spot ScriptWrite a short script for a video spot20%
Podcast ScriptWrite a podcast script based on your blog.20%
Digital Portfolio and Presentation 10%
Attendance/Partic.Attendance and participation is required. More than three unexcused absences will result in an automatic loss of a letter grade.5%
Final Exam 5%
 NOTE: The 20% of the main projects includes a 5% of assignment submissions. 

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY
You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until December 7.
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

This schedule is subject to change. Please check MOODLE weekly. Course textbook: The Basics of Media Writing by Kuehn/Lingwall. Book on Library Reserve: HuffPost=The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging 
Week Session  Topic Key terms Reading Textbook Assignment Activity
ONE   # 1








 #  2

     
Intro to Course, Ethics, Writing Boot Camp Choosing a WAM topic




Free speech, hate speech, censorship, 


Chapter 8  Kuehn/Lingwall 1. Buy course book ASAP

2. Read "6 Tales of Censorship in the Golden Age of Free Speech" from Wired Magazine

www.wired.com/story/free-speech-issue-censorship/

*Take short online course: Online Media Law: The Basics for Bloggers and Other Publishers

http://tinyurl.com/39ejw9x

Take photo of your grade result page and email to:
[email protected]

WAM Topic Workshop
TWO  


  #3







  #4

   
Ethics







Writing
laws and regulations:
fair use/copyright/creative commons









Writing Crash Course for Smarties  + AP Style

Chapter 3 & 5

 







AP Style


   Kuehn/Lingwall

*Chapter 3- Media Writing Style and Language Conventions

pgs. 62 -65; 71- 84; 86 - 95

(skip AP Style, p. 65 – 70)

+

Chapter 5 - Using Quotations
pgs. 157 - 161

*Writing Assignment 
+
Read AP Style, p. 65 – 70
Fill in ethics handout 







Writing handout
THREE     #5 MODULE 1: 
NEWS CURATION BLOG


What is news curation? 

Introduction to Blog project

Writing essentials for a killer blog (FAJA, Triangle, Writer’s Voice)

Specific content and writing strategies (from active voice to CTAs)


            
Chapter 2- Media Writing

Chapter 9- 
Target Audience
p. 297-299
Kuehn/Lingwall

*Find a favorite blog related to your topic and post it on MOODLE Lecture. Take notes.
   #6
Laptop

LIBRARY WORKSHOP 
News research


fact checking; fake news; objectivity; bias

Chapter 4
Kuehn/Lingwall *News Curation Assignment
+
Prepare for news pitch 
Research Activities. Examine bias coverage of controversial event.
FOUR
(three sessions)
  # 7 Blog Treatment and Anatomy  Blog title, motto, target audience and About Page
Chapter 5- Multiplatform Story and Leads
p. 142 -  151

+ MOODLE handouts

Read Blog Anatomy Infographics on MOODLE and Headline + Lede + Summary handouts. Come prepared for quiz activity News Curation Pitches

Treatment workshop: Blog title, motto, target audience and About Page. 

   #8
Laptop
Anatomy of a Blog
cont'd
Technical elements of blogs, blogging terms,

Headlines, ledes, summaries,
lateral writing
MOODLE


Chpts. 2-4
HuffPost (on reserve)
Open Wordpress account and create blog site (follow steps on MOODLE handout) Blog Anatomy (quiz activity) and seminar:

Write  headlines, ledes, summaries,
lateral writing
+Friday   # 9
Laptop
Wordpress  

embedding, inserting images; writing captions; hyperlinks
  -   - Begin writing draft of one blog post on Wordpress (400 words max.)

Refer to Chapter 10- Web Copywriting 
Wordpress: embedding, inserting images; writing captions; hyperlinks



FIVE   #10


LIBRARY WORKSHOP
the Review and
Organizational profile

MOODLE  Handouts Finish blog post draft on Wordpress
The Review: find suitable info; compare and contrast sources;
 
Organization research 




  #11
Laptop
Copywriting workshop: color coded blog draft in Wordpress due in class Revise for anatomy, content, syntax, design, attribution Chapter 10- Web Copywriting
Work on blog project. One week deadline. See MOODLE. Professor feedback of blog post drafts

Use rubric for copywriting
SIX  # 12 MODULE 2
Public Service Announcement (PSA)
 Critique and discuss       PSAs Chapter 11 Kuehn/Lingwall

 #13 Persuasion and Aesthetic techniques   Ethos, pathos, logos
   Advertising Motive Appeals
See handouts on MOODLE
and 

    +         Chapter 11


Topic selection Seminar
SEVEN
(three sessions)
 #14 LIBRARY WORKSHOP
Research activities: 
credible sources, publications, type of content Factsheet  Find suitable information; compare and contrast sources; research facts, statistics, data; audience research

  #15 Factsheet and Treatment 
audience, logline, video title, catchphrase, summary, channel platform, organization Chapter 13 Kuehn/Lingwall
Write PSA treatment Factsheet pitch. Treatment workshop.
+Friday
  #16

Technical terms for scripts: camera movement, camera shots, audio Visual and audio script cues SPRING BREAK!
Finish PSA treatment

Seminar
EIGHT  #17 Storyboard    MOODLE
+
Chapter 13- TV commercial 
pgs. 462 - 461
Read Script handout on MOODLE Video seminar
 #18 Script
Workshop
NINE   #19 MODULE 3
 PODCAST 

LIBRARY WORKSHOP
Scholar research

 Podcast guest and interview  Chapter 4: Interviewing
pgs. 121- 132
-  Scholar research Trace scholar's career (interview)
  #20

Guest interview contact (email, phone, facetime/skype, in person)  the interview, protocol, wording, voice, 
MOODLE handout

Chapter 14
- Writing the email
pgs. 479 - 482
 Email scholar (Plan A and B)
Refer to MOODLE handout and Chapter 14
 Seminar
TEN  #21 Writing for the Ear
 War of the Worlds: The Panic Broadcast

Podcasting 
Chapter 6- Radio
+
Fig. 6.3
Kuehn/Lingwall Find and listen podcast episode related to topic. Submit via MOODLE. Video seminars 
Lecture
 #22 Podcast Treatment   Segments,  Title, motto, audience, logline Chapter 13-
Writing the Radio Commercial 
pgs. 459 -461
Read MOODLE handout

+ Refer to Chapter 13
 Workshop
ELEVEN   #23   Podcast    Anatomy: the script    vocabulary for intro and outro, formatting, cues, types of music breaks, etc.
 See Moodle Handouts  Write script draft  Seminar

  #24
Laptop
Script copywriting  cont'd  
Finish podcast project  Workshop
TWELVE   #25 MODULE 4: Press Kit

 Event planning, news hooks, research media organization  Chapter 4-News Values and  5Ws
pgs. 110 - 111; 
116 - 117
Read MOODLE Handout   Lecture 
Handout activity

  #26
 Anatomy of Pitch Letter and Press Release

 News lead, Inverted Pyramid, Quotes, Boilerplate, hashtags, Bio/background; Other Info Chapter 12- The News Release pgs. 417 - 419  Prepare Event Pitch
THIRTEEN   #27 Event Pitch  cont'd Read and review materials on Moodle  Pitch Letter and Press Release rough drafts Presentations of Event
FOURTEEN  #28
Laptop
 Copywriting   Strategic communication   Study for Exam (5% of grade)  Workshop
FIFTEEN
Monday,
May 6
 #29 Exam on Last day of Class


Prepare eportfolio and presentation
FINALS WEEK  #30
eportfolio
and presentations