Assignments

Regular in-class writing assignments and blog post assignments (see the class schedule for details and due dates) will provide you with opportunities to try out new writing formats and develop your “writing chops” before undertaking solo assignments. Outside writing assignments will include the following:

Ongoing Assignments

  • Copy Edit the World: Find and correct AP style errors, typos, grammatical errors, misused words and other mistakes in published materials (newspapers and magazines, PR and marketing materials, textbooks, greensheets, class handouts, menus, signage, newsletters, etc.). These must be errors you’ve spotted, not errors identified by others and posted online. (30 points total: see class schedule for due dates.)
  • Top News blog posts: Select a top news story and identify the news values that make this story newsworthy; see class schedule for due dates. Resources: See “What Makes a Story Interesting to Readers?” on the page 19 in the text. (2 posts @ 10 points each)

Outside Writing Assignments and Projects

  • Short news story (300-350 words, topic TBA). You may publish this assignment on your blog [on a separate “blog page” rather than a a blog post, if possible], or submit it via email.
  • Profile (350-500 words, submit hard copy): Review info in the text on interviewing and working with quotes, as well as on writing profiles (p. 124-125). Then interview someone (not a close friend or family member) and write a profile of that person. Be sure to include some description and direct quotes.
  • Broadcast story (125 words; see Ch. 9 for formats and examples, submit hard copy script)
  • Online Package (750-1,000 words, group project): Online news or feature package with live links, sidebar/graphics, photo(s) and multimedia element (see online package planning guide, Inside Reporting, p. 175). You’ll need to create a new group blog to publish this assignment. Use a WordPress blog and choose a “blog theme” that includes “pages” so it will work more like a web site.
  • Column/Commentary: Write a topical commentary, personal meditation or “slice of life” column (200-250 words, post on blog, see IR pages 134-135 (p.131 in 1st edition) and links on this blog’s Resources page for examples). This assignment offers you an opportunity to express yourself.
  • Long-Form/Multimedia Story (750-850 words, post on blog or submit hard copy): An original feature story, trend story or enterprise story (75 pts.), with a short-form sidebar (25 pts., see p. 132-133), photo(s) or art or graphic (10 pts.), and accompanying 45-second or 60-second broadcast script (15 pts., submit as a hard copy).
  • The Long-Form/Multimedia Story is a solo project. See the Package Planning Form (IR p. 131) and/or the Online Package Planning Guide (IR p. 175) for an overview.
  • Please hand in a copy of your Package Planning Form, along with your broadcast script, on Wed., Dec. 7, even if the rest of your project is posted on a blog.
  • If you’ve set up a separate blog for this project, please make sure I can find it — put a live link to it in a blog post on your main class blog.

NOTE: The class schedule and assignments are subject to change to meet student needs and/or to take advantage of news opportunities that arise during the semester. You are responsible for regularly checking the online class schedule.

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