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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "COM 221"
COURSE NAME: "Writing Across the Media"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Macias Gutierrez
EMAIL: emaciasgutierrez@johncabot.edu
HOURS: MW 9:55-11:15 AM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
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. There will be additional activities, both inside and outside of class, consisting of various different projects including a blog, short scripts (audio and visual) for a public service announcement and podcast and a press kit.
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:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Blog Create a blog website on WordPress and publish 4 blog posts: 2 news curation, 1 review, 1 org. profile20%
Press kitIdeate a newsworthy event for NGO, artist or business and produce a press kit for the media. 20%
PSA ScriptIdeate a persuasive video spot for an NGO and produce a factsheet, treatment, script and storyboard.20%
Podcast ScriptIdeate a podcast episode and write a treatment, a script, and conduct an interview with a scholar.20%
Digital Portfolio WordPress site with the collection of course assignments: blog, podcast, PSA, press kit.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%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
A:Work 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.
B:This 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.
C:This is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
D:This 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.
F:This 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 14.

Students will not be penalized for three absences from classes meeting twice a week.

Participation grade will be deducted by 5 points for each additional absence beyond the three absences.

Three late arrivals (or early dismisslas) count as one absence.

Please refer to the JCU Student Handbook and Dean of Students communication emails for updates on COVID-19 protocol.


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 Fall 2020, our course consists of 26 sessions in 12 weeks of approx. 80 minutes each. Moodle and MSTeams will be the main platforms of the course.  

 

7_Blog sessions

6_Podcast sessions

7_PSA sessions

4_Press Kit sessions

1_Eportfolio session

1_Exam review session

 

Research workshops will be conducted by librarian* on four different sessions.

 

Please refer to our Moodle course for a detailed and bi-weekly syllabus breakdown of each session, with resources, activities and assignments and other course material. Content will be uploaded and updated on a weekly basis. 

 

Each in-class session requires both preparation and follow up (homework).  Please check Moodle for assignments and activities.

 

Office hours available via MSTeams via our Moodle class board. For questions, comments or discussion with professor, see office hours or use our MSTeams class chat. 

 

Projects Submissions (via Moodle every three weeks):

 

Blog (WordPress)

Week Four: W / Oct. 14

Podcast

Week Seven: W / Nov. 4- F/Nov 6

PSA

Week Ten: W / Nov. 25

Press Kit

Week Twelve: W / Dec. 9

Eportfolio (WordPress)

Exam Week

Exam

Exam Week

 

See general view of semester below. For details, please see Moodle regularly.

Syllabus may be subject to change. 

 

Week

Session

Date

Project

Topic

Course-book

Deadline

One

#1

M/Sept. 21

Blog

News Curation

Your WAM topic

Chapter 9 Target Audience

pp. 297-299

One

#2

W/Sept. 23

Blog

Blog treatment

Blog post anatomy (WordPress)

Two*

#3

M/Sept. 28

Blog

News research vs. misinformation

Two

#4

W/Sept. 30

Blog

Headlines, Ledes,

Summaries

Attribution

Quotes

Chapter 5 Multiplatform Story and Leads

pp. 142 - 151

Two

#5

F/Oct. 2

Blog

Writing Essentials: target audience &

opinion

Chapter2 pp.19-45-47/

Chapters3,5 Chapter10 Copywriting

pp. 330 - 360

Three*

#6

M/Oct. 5

Blog

the Review and Organization Profile

Three

#7

W/Oct. 7

Blog

Ethical Conclusions: Defamation, Privacy, Copyright, Fair use license

Chapter8Media Law & Ethics pp. 248 - 286

Four

#8

M/Oct. 12

Podcast

History, theory

Chapter 6

Radio 

p. 176+Fig.6.3

Four

#9

W/Oct. 14

Podcast

Treatment

Blog

Five*

#10

M/Oct. 19

Podcast

Scholar Interview

Chapter 4 Interviewing

pp.121- 132

Five

#11

W/Oct.21

Podcast

Anatomy & fair use

Six

#12

M/Oct. 26

Podcast

Writing for the ear

Six

#13

W/Oct. 28

Podcast

Script

Seven

#14

M/Nov. 2

PSA

Videos/

Persuasion

Chapter 11

Persuasive Writing

pp. 362- 389

Seven

#15

W/Nov. 4

PSA

Print Ads

Aesthetics &Empathy

Seven*

#16

F/Nov. 6

PSA

Factsheet

Podcast

Eight

#17

M/Nov. 9

PSA

Treatment

Chapter 13

Eight

#18

W/Nov. 11

PSA

Script

Nine

#19

M/Nov. 16

PSA

Storyboard

Nine

#20

W/Nov. 18

PSA

Workshop

Ten

#21

M/Nov. 23

Press Kit

Intro &5W+H

News Values

pp. 110–111,

116 - 117

Ten

#22

W/Nov. 25

Press Kit

News hooks& event

PSA

Eleven

#23

M/Nov. 30

Press Kit

Pitch Letter & Press Release

Chapter 12

Press Release

pp. 417 - 419

Eleven

#24

W/Dec. 2

Press Kit

Attachments

Twelve

#25

M/Dec. 7

Eportfolio

Instructions

Twelve

#26

W/Dec. 9

Exam Review

Review / Qs

Press Kit

Exam

TBA

 

Have a good semester. 

We can do it.