Elon University School of Communications

Sample Schedule, JCM 110

[Each course is set up individually, according to the available reporting and writing opportunities each semester, and each semester's schedule is posted in the Blackboard site custom-built for that particular group of students. This is simply an example of a typical semester.]

Bring your AP Stylebook and a flash drive to every class session. Back up all work twice. Keep copies of all writing assignments. You will be expected to go back over previously submitted work from the semester and copy edit and improve it and compile your corrected versions and turn them in at the end of the semester as a work portfolio that will be graded. You must take your own photos to accompany each assignment, and you are encouraged to shoot video, make infographics and do other things to make the work multimedia. BUT REMEMBER that this is a writing course FIRST and FOREMOST, and the writing must be of the highest quality.

* Jan. 31, Feb. 2: Introductions, Syllabus Familiarization - Bring your flash drive and be ready to write for most of these class periods. You WILL be behind in the course if you miss these classes. They are not optional. They lay the groundwork for the entire semester. Read AP Style Letter "A" and Punctuation Style for Friday, when there will also be a diagnostic grammar test. (Don't forget to bring your flash drive for storage to every class, so you can safely back up your work in a portable form.)

* Feb. 5, 7 & 9: Style, Language - Monday quiz on your reading/current events: read Fedler pages xi, xii, Ch. 1-3 and Appendix B; AP Style "B" section; and Working With Words "Wire Style" section. In-class writing assignments every session. The USA Today headlines and leads assignment begins this week; your work is due at the start of class each Wednesday, formatted as I requested it.

* Feb. 12, 14 & 18: Leads and Structure - Monday quiz: read Fedler Ch. 4, 6, 7; also read AP letter "C." Wednesday NO story assessment - you will be doing a special activity in class instead that day. SPECIAL EVENT FOR THE WEEK: You will attend a press conference at 3 p.m. in Studio B and a speech at 6:30 p.m. Friday in McCrary Theatre with Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 astronaut, and e-mail to me a 500- to 600-word newspaper-style, double-spaced article on these events by no later than 2 a.m. early Tuesday (yes, that is very early the morning of the evening of the event). Don't forget that you should be taking photos at the events you cover! Bring two printed-out hard copies of your Aldrin story to class Wednesday - we will discuss them, and you will do peer editing. Expect in-class writing exercises every session.

* Feb.19, 21 & 23: Print Writing - Monday quiz: read "News Reporting" pp. 111-136; also read "Working with Words" pp. 55-101. NO story assessment this week. SPECIAL EVENT FOR THE WEEK: You will attend the event "Will Read for Food" at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Cannon Room at the Center for the Arts. E-mail to me a 500- to 600-word newspaper-style, double-spaced article on the event by no later than 2 a.m. early Tuesday . Bring two printed-out hard copies of your McCourt story to class Wednesday - we will discuss them and do some peer editing. USA Today headlines/leads assignment due at start of class Wednesday. Expect in-class writing exercises every session.

* Feb. 26, 28 & March 2: Interviews, Speeches, Quotations, Attribution - Monday quiz: read Fedler 9, 10, 12; also read AP Style "F" and "G." USA Today headlines/leads assignment due at start of class Wednesday. The C-SPAN Campaign 2008 bus will be at Elon Friday. SPECIAL EVENT FOR THE WEEK: We will have guest Rob Kennedy, C-SPAN co-president and School of Comm Advisory Board member, in our class to talk about cable/satellite television. You will write a print-style feature story about Kennedy and the bus (with photos) and turn it in by Monday. Bring two hard copies of it to class March 5 for peer editing. Expect in-class writing exercises every session this week.

* March 5, 7 & 9: Public Affairs and Civic Journalism- Monday quiz: read Fedler 5 and 15; AP Style "H, I and J"; also read "Working with Words" Ch. 1 and 2 for the quiz. SPECIAL EVENT FOR THE WEEK: You will attend the Town of Elon Board of Aldermen agenda-setting meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the town hall across the street from the post office. E-mail to me a two- to three-page newspaper-style, double-spaced article on the event by no later than 2 a.m. early Tuesday. Bring two printed-out hard copies of your meeting story to class Wednesday. USA Today headlines/leads assignment due at start of class Wednesday. Expect in-class writing exercises every session. We will have a quick intro to Broadcast writing as part of our class Friday to prep for next week's outside assignment.

* March 12, 14 & 16: Careers - No Monday quiz, but do read Fedler Ch. 22. SPECIAL EVENTS FOR THE WEEK: 1) Monday in class, guest David Douglas, Elon alum and broadcast reporter, will talk about campus media work, getting internships and broadcast writing. Capture at least 10 telling quotes that convey the content of his entire class presentation, type them up and submit them by 9 a.m. Wednesday. 2) You will attend the leadership talk by Medtronic president Bill George at at 6 p.m. Monday in McCrary Theatre at the Center for the Arts. E-mail to me a broadcast-style story on the event by no later than 2 a.m. early Tuesday . Bring two printed-out hard copies of your George story to class Wednesday - we will discuss them and do some peer editing. No USA Today headlines assignment this week. Bring two hard copies of your resume and 2 copies of a cover letter that could be used for application for a summer job to class Friday for peer editing. 3) Wednesday in class, Elon alumna Lindsay Porter, a top corporate communicator for VF, the world's largest clothing manufacturer, will talk about corporate writing and careers. 4) Friday in class, Elon alumna Samiha Khanna, a reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer, will talk about working as a journalist.

Spring Break - No class March 3/19-3/23

* March 26, 28 & 30: Specialized Reporting - No quiz Monday. Wednesday quiz: Read Fedler 13, 14; AP Style "K, L, M" and Working With Words Ch. 3 and 4. Expect in-class writing every session. There will be an in-class guest, and you will be writing a feature story this week, tailored to a print style - this can be a long-form magazine piece, online story with multimedia elements, corporate publication style or traditional newspaper piece. No USA Today headlines/leads assignment this week.

* April 2, 4: Broadcast Writing - Monday quiz: read Fedler 18, AP Style "N, O, P" and Working With Words 5, 6, 7 and 15. No USA Today headlines/leads Wednesday. Expect in-class broadcast writing exercises each session. Bring digital files of previous writing for the course and be ready to reformat them to broadcast style.

Easter Break - No class April 4, 9

* April 11, 13: Broadcast Writing - No quiz. No Wednesday USA headlines/leads assignment this week. SPECIAL EVENT FOR THE WEEK: You will attend the event with Ambassador Dennis Ross discussing "Making the Peace" at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Whitley Auditorium. E-mail to me a broadcast-style story on the event by no later than 2 a.m. early Thursday. Bring two printed-out hard copies of your story to class Friday. Expect in-class broadcast writing exercises each session. Spot-news event coverage in class Friday.

* April 16, 18 & 20: Public Relations - Monday quiz: Read Fedler 19, AP Style "Q, R, S" and Working With Words Ch. 8, 9, 10. Expect intense in-class writing exercises each session to practice additional public relations formats, including writing a pitch and structuring formal news releases. Alert: Your edited work portfolio is due on a Web site and/or on hard copies in a binder with clear plastic sleeves by 9:25 a.m. April 26. It MUST include photos accompanying three of your assignments.

* April 26, 28 & 30: Multimedia Reporting - Monday quiz: Read Fedler Ch. 16, AP Style "T, U, V" and Working With Words 12, 13, 16. Expect in-class writing exercises each session. Alert: Your edited work portfolio is due on a Web site and/or on hard copies in a binder with clear plastic sleeves by 9:25 a.m. Monday. It MUST include photos accompanying at least three of your assignments.

* April 30, May 2 & 4: Ethics/Law - Monday quiz: read Fedler 20 and 21 and AP Style "W to Z." Expect in-class exercises each session.

* May 7: Wrap-up and Review for Final Exam.

The final exam will take the FULL three hours to complete, from 8-11 a.m. May 12

 

E-mail:
andersj@elon.edu