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CA 317 Feature Writing
Lofflin, John


Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

Course

CA 317 Feature Writing

Semester

SP 2009 HO

Faculty

Lofflin, John

Title

Professor of Journalism

Office Location

Copley 1-South

Office Hours

Posted

E-Mail

john.lofflin@park.edu

Semester Dates

Spring 2009

Class Days

-M---F-

Class Time

12:25 - 1:40 PM

Prerequisites

Reporting I CA 201 is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:

COMMON TEXT:

·         "The Last American Hero Is Junior Johnson, Yes?" by Tom Wolfe, Esquire Magazine, July 1965 (provided for download)

·         Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

·         Selected articles from current magazines, newspapers and Websites.

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
CA317 Feature Writing: This course provides an opportunity to develop writing skills in the gathering and creation of in-depth magazine and news features. Primarily focused on writing, it aims to develop the students voice and style in print. This course will satisfy the EN306 requirement for Communication Arts/Journalism majors. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

Engagement with the ideas of the course is the essential prerequisite for higher level learning. The teacher serves as a guide to the construction of meaning, the development of skills and dispositions, the recognition of what constitutes excellence, and the consideration of ethical issues. Reading and writing are essential tools to achieve depth of understanding and criticism.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will...
  2. conceptualize at least three doable journalistic features stories -- one newspaper length (about 1,000 words) and two magazine lengths (about 3,000 words).
  3. obtain solid interviews for these stories.
  4. write appropriate, vivid, thought-provoking leads for these stories aimed at the needs of specific publishers
  5. add appropriate research to make the stories substantial.
  6. weave stories that are compelling, thoughtful, and elegant from the voices and the material.
  7. polish these stories for economy and power minimizing mechanical mistakes in final drafts.


  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. 2009 Outcomes: 1. Conceptualize two or three doable journalistic features stories -- one newspaper length (about 1,000 words) and one magazine length (about 3,000 words). 2. Obtain solid interviews for these stories. 3. Write appropriate, vivid, thought-provoking leads for these stories aimed at the needs of specific publishers and readers 4. Add appropriate research to make the stories substantial. 5. Weave stories that are compelling, thoughtful, and elegant from the voices and the material. 6. Polish these stories for economy and power minimizing mechanical mistakes in final drafts. 7. Stand as witness, in William Least Heat Moon's words…
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

We will work by establishing a schedule for each story by producing drafts. I will be tough about these draft deadlines – for your good and for my good. I will comment on drafts if they are turned in on time. Major stories in final form will be due around four weeks and 12 weeks. Papers turned in on time may be recast for higher grades. Late papers may not be rewritten. Grades will be lowered one letter each session a final paper is late. Of course, this will not happen.

 

In an effort to simplify the grading process, I will not accept stories pinned to my door, slid under my door, handed to me in the hallway, left in my mailbox or sent via e-mail. To secure a grade for your paper, you must hand it in on time during class except in extraordinary circumstances. Athletic trips, weddings, vacations, car trouble, or printer problems will not be considered extraordinary.

 

Feature writing is designed as a mastery course. The idea is to write a good first draft then spend plenty of time revising until the final draft is perfect.  A student may rewrite as many times as she wants, seeking mastery. Mere rewriting, however, does not ensure a higher evaluation -- some rewrites are simply not successful. But most are. Take advantage of this rare opportunity of spirit and time to do something of which you are proud.

 

CORE ASSESSMENT:

 

The instructor will choose one of your two stories as the core assessment.

Grading:
Stories will be weighted equally.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Grades will be lowered one letter each session a final draft is late. This policy is more merciful than the policies followed by most editors and managers in the commercial world.


In an effort to simplify the grading process, I will not accept stories pinned to my door, slid under my door, handed to me in the hallway, left in my mailbox or sent via e-mail. To secure a grade for your paper, you must hand it in on time during class except in extraordinary circumstances. Athletic trips, weddings, vacations, car trouble, or printer problems will not be considered extraordinary.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Civility and participation will be required.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

·         Week 1 Drawing with words -- family portrait

·         Week 2 Conceptualization and interviewing / Conceptualize newspaper length feature

·         Week 3 The lede revisited – FIRST LEDE due Friday

·         Week 4 Organization / Newspaper length feature ROUGH DRAFT due

·         Week 5 Editing the first story / editing for Associated Press style. FINAL DRAFT due Friday.

·         Week 6 Conceptualize magazine length feature Reconsidering the lede /the organization

·         Week 7 Clearing away the dead wood / Adding research

·         Week 8 Reading aloud to clarify, simplify and smooth language / SECOND LEDE due

·         Weeks 9 - 14 will roughly follow the scheme above, with surprises – SECOND ROUGH DRAFT due at the end of Week 9; FINAL DRAFT magazine length feature probably due at 12 or 13 weeks

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Additional Information:





THE MISSION
OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION ARTS / JOURNALISM


The communication
arts graduate in journalism is a thinking


journalist capable of
adapting to change and creating change in the profession,


open-minded,
committed to truth and the empowerment of all citizens through the


arts of journalism.
The graduate recognizes excellence and strives


to produce it. The
graduate’s professional and personal ethics are in harmony,


motivated by a sense
of purpose for good in the community. The graduate


celebrates
individuality and respects differences while searching


 for the common good.


 


     “...the
purpose of media education is to produce well-rounded graduates who have critical
thinking skills as well as practical skills, and who have an understanding of
the philosophy of the media and a dedication to the public service role that
the media have in our society.”


--
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication


Curriculum
Task Force, 1996, p. 106


 


HOW THIS COURSE FITS INTO THE DEPARTMENT MISSION


 


This course is an
upper division excursion in writing the major print or Web feature story, or --
with approval -- producing the major broadcast documentary feature. It seeks to
improve your writing skills. You will develop criteria for excellence in the
field. The course will improve your interviewing skills. The course will help
clarify your sense of purpose in the profession. The course will call on your
analytic skills in fact-gathering and focus extensively on conceptualization --
a key skill for happy journalism.




The course no longer
satisfies the requirements for En 306, Writing in the Discipline.

Copyright:

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Last Updated:1/11/2009 4:47:38 PM