Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tips for Success

Be concise! You may need to, "kill your darlings," or eloquent, long sentences.  But, you can still have style in your writing when being simple.  Making big concepts easy for everyone to understand is just good writing.  Hopefully though, in full sentences.   
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Be sure to read the Washington Post each day instead of waiting until the day before class so you are able to retain more of the information and be informed of current events! – Mary-Margaret Koch

If you have trouble reading on  a screen, they have the Washington Post in the basement level of the library every day!  I would also highly recommend getting both the Washington Post app as well as the CNN app, and signing up for the updates that show up on your lock screen to get constant updates. – Grace Goulding

It’s really easy to lose points for silly formatting things, and it will be a lot easier to keep those points if you just commit to learning all of the style conventions as soon as we go over them. – Lindsey Grutchfield

Make sure to always reach out to Professor Piacente with any questions you have. He is more than willing to teach you the tricks of the trade and how to critically read articles online. If you ever find something interesting online and have questions about how it was written, definitely ask, he’ll provide you with good insights. – Andrew Eversden

Be sure to meet with Sarah even though you might be doing well in the class. She was very helpful in making you think out loud and recognize your mistakes. Also do not give up so easily, writing any news story can be hard but it does take a lot of practice. Look at your writing piece over and over again and catch for any silly mistakes. – Yaniza Creamer 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Tips for Success in COMM-200

Practice, practice, practice. It sounds cheesy, but practicing each type of writing will help you rule out common mistakes. Also, getting them marked by the professor will help you get a feel for what your grade in the class is! There are plenty of examples of fact sheets in the textbook.

- Lauren Beeslee, Spring 2016

Tips for Comm 200

Writing for Communication is an essential and mandatory course for students in the SOC programs at American University. Professor Piacente provides a path to success in class as long as you do the following:

- Run multiple edits on your assignments
- Often times, writing assignments are follow-ups on previous assignments. Carefully review Prof. Piacente's comments to ensure success.
- Set reminders in your phone for random due-dates. Assignments are not always due during the next class period. For example, my class is Monday at 5:30 p.m., but sometimes work was due on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Journalists have random deadlines, and so will you.
- Keep the AP Style manual handy. I bought the text edition, but the short-list he gives you in class is very helpful.
- Pay special attention the grammar lectures. These are probably the most difficult for students, but will really help you in the long-run.
- If you are struggling, utilize office hours! Your professor is here to help you.

Enjoy your semester!

-Emily Foster

How to Succeed in Writing for Communication

The best advice that I can give about this class is to take your time but to not overthink. You have all read news stories before, and you have all seen news broadcasts before. This class is just letting you see those things from the other side. Write your stories like you would want to read/hear them. The writing you will do in this class is the type that is meant to be consumed with pleasure. It's not supposed to sound awkward, wordy, or redundant. Before you write, make sure you have decided what information is important. If you know the general outline of your piece, it can write itself. Also, consult the AP Styleguide for any questions you have. All you have to do is Google your questions and you can nail your grammar and style easily. And last but certainly not least, WRITE "-30-" AT THE END OF YOUR ASSIGNMENTS!

Advice for next semester

Something that really helped me be more successful in this class was to proof reading. Most of the time you lose points on assignments because of silly mistakes that could easily be fixed if you look over your work more than once. Also, I would say understanding that practice makes perfect is a big part of this class. News writing is not the most natural type of writing and you're not going to get it right the first time. Keep practicing and definitely read your professor's comments on any work that you hand in so you don't repeat mistakes.

Class Tips

Hi guys!

Congrats on taking the class! It most definitely will be an extremely helpful and beneficial part of your semester and learning experience.  As a non-comm major, I definitely struggled to catch up to the pace of the class. I would highly suggest seeking out help as soon as possible.  Sarah Baker is very knowledgable and so is Professor Piacente.  However, what you get out of the class is what you put in.  Sarah and Professor are only good resources if you actually use them! So, seek them out, ask questions and be open to suggestions.  The only way to improve is through practicing and being open to feedback.  Take every opportunity to hear other classmate's suggestions, take note of Professor's assignment feedback and go to Sarah if you need some extra help.
Good luck!

Tips for next semester's class

Welcome to Comm 200! This is a great class and you'll learn a lot. Make sure you read the news EVERYDAY because trying to catch up on a week's work of news the day of the quiz is really not easy and the quizzes are a big part of your final grade. If you're having difficulty remembering the news stories you've read throughout the week, make an outline with the headline and the general gist of what the article said an then review your outline the day of the quiz.

As for the class assignments, Professor Piacente's critiques are really helpful and clear. Read his comments thoroughly and you will learn how to improve and see what you can do better for next time. If you're having difficulty definitely reach out to him, he was able to sit down with me and clear up questions I had on an assignment. The writing tutor is also a great resource for assignments and stories. Best of luck and enjoy Writing for Communications!

Becca Hernandez

Future Tips for Students

Dear future students for the Writing for Comm class with Prof. Piacente,

Some tips I would like to give you to do well in this course. Firstly, make sure to read the Washington Post daily to succeed in the current event quizzes (make sure to not try to read a weeks worth of news right before class). Secondly, understand the feedback Professor Piacente gives you on all of your assignments, as they will be really helpful for future writing exercises. Make sure to also see Sarah Baker, the class writing tutor, she gives really helpful advice, especially for any necessary rewrites that you may have to do. Finally, make sure to do practice writing responses (which can be found in the textbook), they will really help build on your expertise with the in-class writing assignments. 

Wish you all the best of luck and make the semester worthwhile!

Feiras A.R.

Advice to new students

Future students taking Writing for Communication with Professor Piacente,

First off, I want to extend my congratulations on taking this course!  Make sure to take full advantage of the resources offered in this class.  You should always make time to meet with with Sarah Baker, and be sure to ask the guest speakers plenty of questions!  Make sure that you reach out to Professor Piacenete if you need any help, but never forget to also ask your classmates for guidance.  I received great advice from my classmates throughout the course of the semester that helped my performance in the class.   Finally, don't be afraid to try writing responses to the prompts that won't be graded.  The experience that you can gain by just practicing will pay off in the long run.  

Enjoy the semester, and make the best of it!

Nicholas Kram Mendelsohn

Advice for New Students

First of all, always look at the feedback on your articles because it really does help you with your next articles. Professor Piacente's different pointers are always clear and it will not only improve your grade, but your writing skills as well. The other piece of advice I would give is to take the time when you're writing your articles to go back through and confirm with the AP style guide that you have formatted things correctly. This is a silly way that I lost many points this semester and it can be fixed easily by putting in the effort to double check. Best of luck!!