Communications Writing

CMMN A101, Communications Writing, is designed to help you improve your writing skills and, in so doing, to prepare you to do the writing required in any field of mass communication. It centers on the principles of descriptive writing that will apply whether you write scripts for radio and television, advertising copy, public relations proposals, or newspaper stories. The course is also aimed at helping you improve your command of grammar and syntax.

Readings from two texts are assigned on the course calendar:
Strunk, William and E. B. White. The Elements of Style (4th ed.) (Shown as S&W on the calendar.)
Zinsser, William. On Writing Well (6th ed.) (Shown Zinsser on the calendar.)

Additional required readings
, examples of the kinds of writing you will do during the semester, are compiled in a packet that you are to purchase in the Department of Communications office. (Shown as Examples on the calendar.)

Quizzes on the readings will be given periodically.

Writing constitutes the heart of the course. Each week you are to write one brief paper that will be due on Thursday. It must be handed in at the beginning of class. No late paper will be accepted. Topics are shown on the calendar.

Papers must be typed, double-space, in 12-point Times, and you are to turn in two copies. The instructor will grade one and return it to you; he will keep the other.

Spelling, grammar and neatness will be considered in the evaluation of each paper. Be sure to proofread your paper to catch any spelling or typing errors (keeping in mind that your computer's spelling and grammar checker will not catch all problems).

Attendance is crucial. If you have perfect attendance, you will receive a five-point bonus when grades are figured. More than one absence will be penalized: one point for the second cut; two points for the third; three points for the fourth; four points for the fifth (absences, of course, will also negatively affect your class participation grade). For every cut over five you will be penalized 10 points. Arriving late will cost you 1/2 point.

Grades will be based on your participation in class (10 percent), your performance on quizzes (10 percent) and your written work (80 percent).

The university's policy on integrity of scholarship and grades will apply to all work. (see Undergraduate Bulletin 1999-2001, p. 45-6)

The listserv for this course is cmmna101006, Everyone should subscribe to it and regularly check for messages.

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Men: please do not wear your hats in class.

The schedule for the semester will be as follows, though it may be adjusted occasionally.

Date S&W Zinsser Examples Writing assignment
Date S&W Zin Examples Assignment
1/17 Introduction
1/22 I: 9-11 Introduction: White
1/24 II:12-16 Personal description
1/29 Part I Places: McPhee
1/31 II:17-22 The room you live in
2/5 Part II Crowds: Lind, Reed; Hemingway
2/7 III Lunchtime in the O R
2/12 Mardi Gras
2/14 IV A Mardi Gras scene
2/19 9 Outdoors: White; Stegner
2/21 V:1-5 A scene in Audubon Park
2/26 V:6-10
2/28 V:11-15 Free - your choice
3/5 13 Travel: Hemingway; Handlin; Kramer
3/7 V:16-21 St. Charles streetcar ride
3/12 12 People: McPhee; Fallaci; Mitchell
3/14 20 A person you know
3/19 14 Memoir: Cowser; Reston; Trillin
3/21 21 A personal remembrance
3/26 - 3/28 Easter/Passover
4/2 Streets: Arfwedson; Hearn
4/4 22 A New Orleans street scene
4/9 15 Process: Mitchell; Fortune; White
4/11 23 How to . . .
4/18 24 Free - your choice
4/23 Review Review
4/25 Review Review A favorite Internet site
4/30 Review Review
5/2 Review Review Student life at Loyola
5/7 Review Review

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