MCom 100w

Writing Workshop

Archive for the tag “Writing”

Writing Center

good-writing-is-hard-workIf grammar is not your game, and I’m starting to bug you about writing problems such as sentence fragments and passive voice, you might to consider visiting the SJSU Writing Center. Located in Clark Hall, the Writing Center offers one-on-one tutoring, skill-building workshops, and online writing resources. Check them out at:

If, on the other hand, writing is your game — and your writing, editing and communication skills are pretty darn stellar — you might be interested to know that the Writing Center is planning to hire some new tutors. Here’s the link to the center’s jobs page:


Feature story checklist

imagesAs you work on your final feature or trend story, here’s a feature story checklist you can download to make sure you’ve got all the bases covered.

I recommend that you use this checklist to review your draft of your final feature or trend story before you bring it in to class for peer editing, and again before you submit your completed feature or trend story package at the end of the semester.

Writing Tips

If you want to become a better writer, but you don’t want to have to read a whole darn book about it (or take another class … or do anything else that requires a major time commitment), I’ve got a suggestion: read On Writing Well, a blog post by a student in my MCom 63 class.

Alexis’ blog is called “It’s Story Time,” and it’s a good read. Check it out.

Welcome to 100W

This blog serves as the home page for MCom 100W, sections 2 and 7.

Everything you’ve heard about this class is true.

Yes, you have to write a minimum of 8,000 words. Yes, there’s no let-up in assignments. Yes, it’s a lot of work … but it can also be a lot of fun.

I like to think of 100w as a “sampler” class because we get to do a little bit of everything. The best way to make sure you pass this class is to complete all of the assignments on time. The best way to fail this class is to miss a bunch of classes and assignments. If you fall behind in this class, it’s really hard to catch up … so stay on top of it.

You’ll find links to the course syllabus, class schedule and list of assignments at the top of this web page, as well as in the sidebar to the right.

If you’re new to blogging, be sure to check out the “Starting a Blog” page.

See you in class,
Cynthia Fernald

Query letters, “enterprise” articles and final features

I’ve been keeping things interesting (that’s one way to look at it!) by making a few changes to our class schedule. Please check it out.

I know there’s been some confusion about query letters, enterprise articles and final features. We talked about it in class today, but let me also put it in writing. Here’s the scoop:

Query Letter: You will be graded on one query letter. It’s worth 25 points. You can use your query letter to pitch either your enterprise article or your final feature — your choice. Be sure to specify your intended target publication.

Since I want to review your topic for each of these pieces before you get started, please write me a short topic memo or email about the other one (the one for which you aren’t writing a pitch letter). If you haven’t yet submitted your query letter and/or topic memo, please do so by 6 p.m. Sunday, 10/21.

Alternatively, if you want more practice writing query letters, you can write query letters for both of these assignments. I’ll use the best one for your grade, and give you 5 points extra credit for the second optional one.

Enterprise Article: This 300-500 word article is due Nov. 14. It’s worth 50 points. See Assignments tab (#7) for details.

Final Feature: This 1,000-1,200 word feature, trend story or profile (a.k.a. #9, the “Term Paper”) is due 12/5, the final day of class. It’s worth 100 points. The description of this assignment also includes information on the query/pitch letter assignment. You’ll also see a “Term Paper Research Memo” listed as a separate assignment — I will instead ask you to bring a list of your sources for this story (people you’ve interviewing, articles you plan to cite, etc.) to class along with your first draft of this story on Nov. 21 for peer editing.

Getting Published: I know it’s not easy, but try to get either your Enterprise Article or your Final Feature published in the Daily, Access magazine, or a local daily newspaper or magazine. Getting published is worth 25 points extra credit. If you make a good faith effort (submit a query letter and get a response, but don’t get in) it’s worth 10 points. If you get a letter to the editor published, it’s worth 10-15 points, depending on the letter.

I hope that clears things up. Email me if you still have questions.

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