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ENGL 2601

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at
Credit Hours 3
Course Title Features Writing
Prerequisite(s) JOUR 1613
Corequisite(s) None Specified
Catalog Description
This is an advanced writing course which allows students to strengthen professional writing and reporting skills while exploring current models of creative applied nonfiction writing: journalism features writing, literary journalism, broadcast journalism, article writing for magazines, and writing for e-zines and other online or electronic endeavors.

Expected Educational Results
After completing this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Research, write, edit and prepare for publication a human-interest style journalism news feature, a broadcast news story, a news story suitable for online or electronic publication, and a nonfiction magazine article.
  2. Demonstrate ability to produce to deadline, professional-quality, audience-oriented information, formatted to meet professional journalism standards, and free of errors in style, grammar, punctuation and spelling.
    1. The writing product will contain no errors of fact and no contextual or editorial irregularities, with adequate sourcing and attribution.
    2. Both the product produced and the writing process employed will demonstrate full adherence to professional and personal standards of ethics and probity, and will present a timely, fair and balanced approach or discussion of personalities and issues.
General Education Outcomes
  1. Students develop and practice individual professional writing skills in the following ways:
    1. As reporters, they produce and submit for grading, four professional-quality writing products: two journalism news features, a broadcast news article, and an article intended for online or electronic display.
    2. The articles are produced to deadline, employing professional writing and reporting techniques including interviewing, advanced research techniques, fact-checking and copyreading, with skillful and attractive assembly of facts and attributed testimony or evidence that meets professional standards of fairness, ethics and probity.
  2. Working in 3-4 member creative or collaborative groups, the students also produce for individual submission, magazine-style creative nonfiction pieces that are tailored to meet the publication requirements, professional standards and audience or market characteristics of a selected periodical.
    1. The assignment requires: selection by each student of a periodical, research of its intended audience or markets, researching, writing and proofing the article to meet the periodical's publishing requirements, and preparing a query package to support submission.
    2. Each student submits for grading a report on the periodical, a report on its intended audience(s), a completed article in ready-for-publication form, and the query letter and other materials developed to market the article to the intended target periodical and audience.
Course Content
  1. Review of basic journalism techniques, including stylebook use, formatting for publication and production, and article construction.
  2. Review of basic reporting skills, including source-development, interviewing, note-taking, basic and electronic research techniques, prewriting, outlining, drafting, copyreading and editing.
  3. Development and practice of professional writing skills, including use of narrative techniques such as dialogue, descriptive language and story-telling, scene re-creation, voice, point of view, and audience-centered presentation.
  4. Introduction and practice of news features writing techniques: event and activity reviews, personality profiles, and focused human-interest features.
  5. Introduction and practice of basic writing techniques and formats for broadcast journalism and online or electronic production.
  6. Introduction and practice of commercial or applied nonfiction writing techniques, to include production of marketable magazine and literary journalism articles.
  7. Creation and maintenance of professional writing tools, including work area managers, schedules, journals, article and market development files, and writing portfolios.
Assessment of Outcome Objectives
  1. Writing Assignments: The course grade will be developed from consideration of the professional quality of the five individual writing products produced and submitted to deadline by each student and of the process by which they were developed.
    1. After being submitted to deadline, the articles will be returned to students for further revision before being placed in a student portfolio.
    2. The completed portfolio will be submitted for assignment of a final overall grade at the completion of the course.
  2. Class Work: Also considered will be the interaction and participation by students in the class writing groups and the relative marketability of the nonfiction articles to be researched, written and proofed by each student for publication in selected periodicals. A portion of the assigned course grade should also consider overall student participation and timely submission of publication-ready class assignments.
  3. Final Exam: The course will include a final exam, which will count for no more than 20% of the course grade.
  4. The weights of the assignments will be stated on course syllabi.


  1. A mini-assessment of the course results will be produced every three years and a major assessment every five years. The mini-assessment will be conducted during fall semester and will begin with evaluation of all supporting materials, including textbooks. It will include administration and evaluation of a special, ie., not-for-credit, examination at course end that will test student knowledge of fundamentals of reporting and professional writing techniques.
  2. The major assessment will be conducted at course end during spring semester. It will examine all aspects of the features writing course. Emphasis will be on the course's continued effectiveness in preparing students for further development and advancement as journalists and professional writers.
Results of the course assessments will be reviewed by members of the current journalism or professional writing discipline committee.
  1. A report of committee findings will be forwarded by the committee chair to the college's Curriculum Coordinator for the Humanities.
  2. Faculty who teach the course also may be given an opportunity to analyze the results and recommend changes to strengthen the course and assure its continued usefulness in preparing students to become journalists and professional writers.
Last Revised: Sep. 08, 2011
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