This site isn’t being maintained at this time. I’ve moved this course into Blackboard. Though I regret that this means I won’t have a public space for this course’s materials, there are some pedagogical advantages to what I can now do with Blackboard. However, if I get too annoyed with Blackboard, I’ll be back! Thanks for stopping by.
The time has come…your final portfolios are now your primary task for this class! We’ll spend both class sessions this week working together during class time to refine those portfolio assignments once more. Please bring work to each class, and be sure to use the opportunity to get help from me and your classmates to make your final drafts completely publication-ready.
I will also be calculating final tweet counts and extra credit this week, so we’ll call it quits on both of those assignments as of Tuesday, Dec. 4. However, I hope you’ll continue to use Twitter to build your public profile as an aspiring media professional.
See you in class, and thanks for a great semester!
This week, we’ll finish up our discussion of writing audio and video scripts, and also take some time to begin improving your assignments for the final portfolio (described fully on the Assignments page).
You’ll turn in your last first draft of a new writing style this week — an odd phrase, but it applies, and the time has finally come!
I’ll ask you during Tuesday’s class to work on this as well.
Let’s finish the semester strongly in these last two weeks!
This week, we’ll continue our discussion of PR writing and complete one more task in that area before we move on to our next writing style…your final style of the semester! On Thursday, we’ll look at writing audio and video scripts for news stories, and you’ll try your hand at that new style — which is challenging and different again from all of the others we’ve tried this semester.
You may also want to begin thinking about your final portfolio. You should definitely enjoy the holidays next week, but if you choose to work on anything, perhaps do a few revisions for the portfolio, or at least take the time to get everything organized. It’s going to be a hectic last two weeks of classes when you return from the break.
I’m looking forward to trying yet another new writing style with you, though I’m sad that it means our time together in this class is nearly over! Thanks for a great semester — let’s finish strong in these next few weeks.
After a week of working on your profile articles, you’re ready to change gears, right?
We start this week on PR writing. We’ll talk a bit about what public relations is and start exploring three forms of writing that PR professionals use every day.
Your assignments will be described in class, and are also on the course calendar. Don’t forget about the Grammar Quiz Assignment, too — your new task, now that you’ve completed the entire alphabet in AP style!
This week will be focused on developing your profile stories. On Tuesday, we’ll discuss a few different ways to think about the organization of your story — and yes, we’ll finally use the products of the craft project I mentioned a while back! On Thursday, we’ll have some free time in the lab to work on whatever elements of your story you’d like.
This week we’ll continue to make progress toward your profile story. We’ll discuss the freelance writing process we addressed last week with guest speaker Cheryl Wanner, and think about how you’ll pitch your story to a magazine or other publication. Some places you might look for suitable markets include All Freelance Writing, Writers Weekly, and Writers Market (subscription required; $5.99/month, with a 7-day money back guarantee). Some creative Google searching, some browsing of Amazon’s magazine listings, and some time at a large newsstand (as at a major bookstore) might also spark ideas for you.
We’ll also do some exercises on Thursday to re-invigorate the expressiveness of your writing. While news writing should be quite straightforward and plain-spoken, you can be a bit more original and creative in magazine-style writing. These exercises will be fun and will get you out of your writing comfort zone!
We’ll play catch-up a little bit this week to make up for our hectic evening of debate watching and live tweeting! The audience at the debate generated 519 #mscmprez tweets — that’s amazing. Great work on your tweeting! We’ll debrief on Tuesday.
We’ll also spend some time that day talking about interviewing strategies and research techniques. We may not have much time for the latter, so I encourage you to check out last semester’s MSCM 175 class wiki on the topic. They compiled lots of good ideas.
On Thursday, we’ll begin exploring the qualities of powerful feature writing — specifically, profile articles, because that’s your next major assignment. Read three of the profile articles linked below, and use them to complete the Anatomy of a Profile Article Assignment for Thursday. (I’ve tried to choose a variety of topics, so just select those that are interesting to you.)