Weekly assignments

Required readings
You are required to read each day’s assigned chapters and/or other materials before coming to class each day. This will prepare you to ask intelligent questions during lecture sessions and offer meaningful comments during discussions. It will also prepare you for pop quizzes.
Current events quizzes
We will have current events quizzes each week.  It is imperative that media professionals know what is happening in the world, from international events to local news.  You are not required to have subscriptions to any newspapers for this class, but you are required to keep up to date on the latest news.  The current events quizzes are worth 10 points each and usually will be written quizzes but may also be administered as a class discussion with points assigned for your contributions.
Newspaper critiques
A significant part of an editor’s job is to read material written by others, looking not only for grammar and style errors, but also for missing information and awkward/confusing passages. The University Star offers us an excellent opportunity to be editors, even if it is after the paper is published. We will conduct critiques of the paper’s Thursday issue each week. You are required to read the newspaper before coming to class and be prepared to contribute to our discussion. Make notes of questions you have after reading a story, any mistakes you notice, as well as any particularly well-written passages or other positive comments. You will be required to lead the class discussion with a partner at least once, and a schedule will be handed out later in class. Grades for newspaper critiques will be based on your contributions throughout the semester and figured into your participation grade at the end of the semester. Critique contributions are half of the participation grade.

Blog project
Many organizations — those in the media and beyond — engage consumers through blogs. For the second half of our class, each student will create a professional-looking blog on a news topic of his or her choosing (e.g technology, sports, local news) and make at least two posts each week. Weeks will begin when class ends on Mondays and end the following week when class starts. Posts cannot be made within 24 hours of each other. Each post should contain at least four complete sentences, giving some sort of an analysis or evaluation of a current topic relevant to your blog, and must link to another blog or Web site that contains information regarding your post. More details will be discussed later in class.
Each blog post is worth 10 points (for a total of 20 each week). Grades will be assigned based on the appropriateness of the post (news judgment) as well as correct grammar, punctuation, and AP style.

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