Specialized Topics in Journalism
Prerequisite: satisfaction of the upper division composition requirement. (This course does NOT satisfy the upper division composition requirement.)
- SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENTS:
Developing ideas for meaningful journalism. Analyzing audiences and markets. Practicing investigative research methods, such as doing background research, securing and conducting interviews, and using public records. Understanding elements of style and tone, such as active prose, levels of formality, and objective v. subjective points of view. Developing narrative techniques, including finding the story within the facts, control of dramatic structure, and the effective use of character, dialogue, and summary. Learning about legal and ethical considerations relative to sources (rights and responsibilities) and learning about accuracy in structure, scene, quotation, and attribution.
- ILLUSTRATIVE READING:
Readings will vary according to the particular course focus but will include outstanding models of advanced journalism and advice from leading editors and journalists. These may include a text on style, e.g., "On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction" by Zinsser, and/or a writer's handbook, e.g., "A Writer's Reference" by Hacker. Instructors may also prepare a reader of illustrative articles or select a published collection of articles, e.g., "The Best American Essays 200X."
- FINAL EXAMINATION REQUIREMENT: Yes
- JUSTIFICATION OF UNITS:
UWP 111A is a four-unit course. Three hours per week is lecture/discussion. Six hours of outside prep time are required for the three hours of lecture/discussion. As with all upper-division writing courses, the additional unit of credit is justified by the significant amount of work (additional three hours per week) that students must do outside of class to plan, draft, and revise two major stories: a four-to-eight page in-depth article and an eight-to-twelve page article. In addition to this substantial written requirement, students will meet individually with the instructor for discussion and evaluation of their work. The estimated time of preparation of the writing assignments (research, consultation, drafting, revision) is thirty hours, an amount consistent with the Carnegie Rule guidelines.
- POTENTIAL COURSE OVERLAP:
UWP 111A does not overlap with any other courses. UWP 111A is distinguished from other writing courses, particularly 104C (Writing in the Professions: Journalism) by its focus on a specialized topic within the field of journalism and on more advanced aspects of narrative style and structure.
- GENERAL EDUCATION JUSTIFICATION:
Writing experience: Grades will be based on the students' performance on in- and out-of-class writing assignments and on a final project. The number of assignments and weight of each assignment may vary according to the instructor. Typically, however, students will write two major stories: a four-to-eight page in-depth article and an eight-to-twelve page article. Each assignment will be thoroughly introduced by the instructor, using models of successful work as appropriate. Students will receive frequent feedback on drafts of assignments through instructor commentary, conferences, and peer response. Students will have frequent opportunities to revise drafts. All assignments will be graded on content and style.
- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS: