CA311 Editing, Layout, & Design

for SP 2010

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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.


CA 311 Editing, Layout, & Design


SP 2010 HO


Lofflin, John


Professor of Journalism

Office Location

Copley 2 South

Office Hours


Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

Spring 2010

Class Days


Class Time

12:00 - 1:15 PM

Credit Hours



The Associated Press Stylebook

  •             Working materials will be available in document sharing on e-Companion when needed.
  •             You will also need a pica pole and a picture wheel or a calculator, believe it or not.

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.
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Course Description:
CA311 Editing Layout, and Design: Study and practical application of editing news, features, and investigative stories. Includes rewriting, headline writing,and principles of layout and design. 2:2:3

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. The essence of a course is contained in the questions it raises for students and for the teacher. Questioning is a critical skill in learning and practicing journalism.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Edit copy for mechanical problems
  2. Make thoughtful editorial judgments
  3. Conceptualize stories and guide writers
  4. Write professional headlines
  5. Design clean, attractive, readable pages
  6. Edit, design and manipulate photographs on the computer
  7. See copy through from assignment to production

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. CONSIDERATIONS FOR EDITORS IN 2010:  The technological world for editors is changing almost daily. Consequently, our focus should be on the underlying principles of written and visual communication. Those principles are best identified as the elements of writing and design which promote clarity, understanding, accuracy and the strength of the message.  From a practical standpoint, it is important to know why we are taking on certain tasks in this course. What will we learn from them?  Here are my ideas:  We will learn to write headlines to a count. Why? • It is a challenge. • It will teach us to value words. • It will give us strategies we can use when the computer does the counting. • We will be faster at writing headlines. • We will be better at saying what needs to be said in a given space.  We will learn to design on paper. Why? • We will develop abstract visual skills. • We will see balance and effect when we still have time and energy to change them. • We will make rough drafts before plunging into the computer, which will actually make us faster to the finish  We will edit language. Why? • Editing to strengthen language and to make it more graceful is a lost art. • Editing language carefully matters to readers … and also to writers. • Editing language is necessary no matter what platform we present the work on.  We will learn the rules of style and headline writing. Why? • Consistency and care promote meaning. • The professional world demands it. • Consistency and care honor the reader.  We will learn to conceptualize journalism. Why? • What is journalism is easily the most important question in 2010 and beyond. • We have the opportunity in the university to consider these questions in a non-charged environment.
  2. AIMS:  The role of the editor has diminished in recent years, to the detriment of the profession. Editors stand guard for the news organization or the public relations staff, providing quality control and shaping the focus of the work.  Because the role of the editor has diminished – a blogger, for example, answers to no editor – the course must also be recast to address self-editing. Learning to think like an editor about your own work will help you communicate better and more accurately. It is not easy to be your own editor, but the future appears to demand it.   The successful graduate of this course will be able to step into a newsroom situation or a public relations organization and function well both in copy preparation and at higher levels of conceptualization, design and oversight. The successful graduate will be able to edit press releases, understand the needs of communicators, design materials and provide quality control for the organization.  This is my standard for the course. Success means you are ready for editing in the professional world.
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Stylebook = 90 points

Headline Scavenger Hunt = 100 points

Magazine spread = 100 points

Analysis of a Publication = 100 points

We may have some in-class projects for points during the semester as needed


Final grade based on the traditional 90% - 100% A; 80% - 89% B; 70% - 79% C; 60% - 69% = D

Late Submission of Course Materials:

No late papers will be accepted. I do not plan to make exceptions to this rule, for your good and for mine. In a newsroom or a public relations organization late assignment are not acceptable.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  • Absolutely no texting in the classroom.
  • All cell phones off during class unless discussed previously with the instructor.
  • All work must be original. If the same work appears on papers from two or more students, all students involved will receive no points for the assignment.
  • All work will be placed in the appropriate e-Companion dropbox for the assignment or presented in hard copy in class.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

(You can count on changes in this as we move through the semester…)


·    The editor’s role and the nature of journalism as a form of communication first two sessions.

·         Copy editing will be first. We will begin Stylebook quizzes Jan. 20 and continue with them each session through Feb. 22 , worth 10 points each for a total 90 points

·         Copy editing discussion and practice Jan. 13 – Feb. 10; begin editing spreads Feb. 10

·         Begin discussion of HTK Feb 1 – 10. Headline Scavenger Hunt assigned Feb. 10 and due March 3

·         You get first copy for your spread Feb. 17

·         Discussion of design begins Feb. 22; design practice through March 17 when spread design begins

·         Scavenger Hunt due March 3. 100 points

·         All materials for spreads in your hands March 15; Spreads due March 31. 100 points

·         Analysis of a Publication assigned April 5; Analysis due April 30, last day of class 100 points

·         Spreads refined and integrated into magazine April 7- April 21.

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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: .

Additional Information:

INSTRUCTOR'S NOTE ON PLAGIARISM: I don’t intend to get into a debate about the
definition of plagiarism. If you appropriate someone else’s work without
attribution, that’s theft. If caught, you will be given an F on the paper or
project. Period. If you don’t understand the nature of plagiarism, ask me. We
will discuss this in class.

If I discover the paper is not your work, I will
treat it as an act of plagiarism. If I even suspect the paper is not your work,
I may ask you to prove you wrote the paper.

YOU ARE HERE: Editing,
Layout and Design is a course in communication arts for journalism,
photojournalism and public relations majors, focused on mastery of editing and
design skills for use on many platforms.


If you are a journalism or photojournalism major you should save your
cumulative magazine spread and your analysis of a newspaper for your senior


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

Task Force, 1996, p. 106

Department Mission:
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. Specifically, the graduate exhibits excellence in craft and an
analytical approach to problems. 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.

  • Editing skills are central to the craft of writing.

  • Editors are the conscience and the soul of communication outlets,
       establishing the quality, accuracy and accessibility of the endeavor.

  • Designers produce attractive, readable communications, completing the
       process of empowering readers and viewers.

  • Editing skills are central to the craft of writing.

  • Editors are the conscience and the soul of communication outlets,
       establishing the quality, accuracy and accessibility of the endeavor.

  • Designers produce attractive, readable communications, completing the
       process of empowering readers and viewers.


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Last Updated:1/12/2010 10:56:29 PM