Course Outline – Fall 2013

Course Outline

COURSE OUTLINE

WRITING FOR THE WEB /CEJN 144/A1

INSTRUCTOR: Melora Koepke

Email: cejn144@gmail.com

LOCATION, DATE, TIME: Room CL235, Monday, 18:00 – 20:00

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

This class will give students a practical understanding of techniques and approaches for writing for the web and other Internet formats and social media.

For the class, students will be responsible for the creation of their own WordPress blog, and will post all assignments in the context of this blog. Students will also be responsible for the creation and use of their own Twitter account.

PRESENTATION OF MATERIAL:

The material will be presented through in-class workshopping of student writing posted to their blogs. Each student will also present their own blog work to the class twice during the session: Once in class 2 and once in class 10. There will also be guest speakers and additional assignments. Students are responsible for taking notes during each class and completing all assignments on time as instructed. If they are absent during class, they are responsible for collecting class notes and assignments from another student (i.e. NOT emailing me and asking me to write them a personalized essay about what transpired in the class they missed.

Finally, one major element of Web writing is to share and network with others– students are expected to pay attention to each other and to their classmates’ work, and to give constructive feedback during class and via the web.

Class 1/September 16

Introduction to the course, subject matter overview.

Homework: Create and name your blog + research your counterparts on the web.

Class 2/ September 23

In-class discussion: Writing for blog posts, intro to editorial perspective, writers’ “voice”.

Each student will present their blog to the class and discuss five related blogs written by others that they’ve found on the web.

Assignment 1: About page.

Class 3/September 30

In-class discussion: Understanding how readers read on the web + implications for web writing styles.

Guest Speaker: TBA (Advanced WordPress)

Workshop: Assignment 1 – About page

Assignment 2: Blog post – Aggregate/Top 5

Class 4/ October 7

Workshop: Assignment 2

Assignment 3: Themed blog post I

October 14 – THANKSGIVING – No class

October 21 – No class (Melora at a conference)

Class 5/October 28

Workshop:Assignment 3

In-class discussion: Writing blog posts / articles for the web. Your web presence as a writer.

Assignment 4: Quick guide – Explain an area of expertise in a blog post.

Homework: Establish your blog’s social media presence, think about strategies to share/promote your blog in preparation for guest speaker in class 6.

Class 6/November 4

Workshop: Assignment 4.

Assignment 5: Blog post  - Profile/Q + A

Class 7/November 11

Workshop: Assignment 5

In-class discussion: A layered approach to writing for the web

Assignment 6: Themed blog post #2

Class 8/November 18

Workshop: Assignment 6

Assignment 7:  Blog post (breaking news) + social media cross-promotion

In-class discussion: Features  - Expanding and refining writing techniques.

Class 9/November 25

Workshop: Assignment 7

Assignment 8: Feature blog post, incl photos, source review, links etc

In-class discussion: Line-editing

Class 10/December

Student in-class presentations

Wrap-up + conclusion: Where do we go from here?

TEXTS AND READINGS:

Some required reading will be assigned during class sessions, and will be posted on the class blog. Additional reading and research is expected of all students, to be detailed in class.

STUDENT EVALUATION:

Students’ work during the term will be evaluated on the following basis:

Blog posts:

7 x 10% each = 70%

Feature post: 15 %

Class participation (incl. social media, seminar feedback, class presentations, etc.) = 15%.

CLASS PARTICIPATION:

Students’ participation during classroom sessions is highly encouraged. You are expected to read ahead and come to class ready to discuss the previous week’s work and other pertinent issues.

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