Specialized Topics in Journalism: Science Journalism
Prerequisite: satisfaction of the upper division composition requirement. This course does NOT satisfy the upper division composition requirement.
- SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENTS:
Focus on the advanced principles of writing science feature articles. Finding the story within the facts. Identifying and developing ideas for articles. Analyzing various non-specialist audiences and ways to communicate effectively with them. Developing research techniques, including how to read and synthesize scientific articles. Developing effective angles and leads. Providing appropriate evidence and strong organization. Developing effective interview techniques and research strategies. Learning about professional concerns of freelance science writers, including analyzing science markets and legal and ethical issues.
- ILLUSTRATIVE READING:
Instructors will typically select a text on writing science articles, e.g., "A Field Guide for Science Writers" by Blum and/or 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 by local and national science writers or select a published collection of articles, e.g., "The Best American Science Essays 200X."
- FINAL EXAMINATION REQUIREMENT: Yes
- JUSTIFICATION OF UNITS:
UWP 111C 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 time to plan, draft, and two major stories: a four-to-eight page in-depth investigation and an eight-to-twelve page multi-part project investigation. 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 111C does not overlap with any other courses. UWP 111C is distinguished from other advanced writing courses, particularly 104E (Writing in the Professions: Science) by its specific focus on science journalism and on more advanced aspects of journalistic 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 investigate and write two major stories: a four-to-eight page in-depth investigation and an eight-to-twelve page multi-part project investigation. The instructor will thoroughly introduce each assignment 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: