Friday, May 5, 2017

Top Tips for Next WFC Class (5/5/17):

Elly Murray-Mendelson: My tip for students next semester would be to always do the rewrites and extra stories. Receiving and utilizing feedback is the only way for your writing to grow, especially with the new styles we learned in this class.

McKenna Roper: The advice I would give to your incoming students is to really look at your feedback and redo old assignments because that's the only way to improve.

Meghan Howie: If I had to give any advice to an incoming class of comm-200 Writing for Communication, I would say that learning the AP Style guide one rule at a time is key. This guide is important in nearly all careers following SOC, so learning the rules about specific titles and organizations and dates as you use them will be extremely helpful. 

Savannah Miller: My tip for this class would be to really pay attention to the feedback that Professor Piacente gives on writing assignments because it’s helpful and there to improve your writing. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification because that will also help you succeed in this class.

Camden Marcucci: The most important thing that helped me improve my writing in this class was reading the textbook. Although this seems like a given, I have had a lot of friends in other classes who have rented or purchased textbooks and never actually read them. This textbook was filled to the brim with useful information on various types of writing and AP style tips.

Sierra Schmitz: My tip for your students next semester would be to make their own study guide by printing out their graded assignments with your comments and tracking what mistakes they are consistently making so they can practice to fix them!

Karissa Waddick: My one piece of advice for next semesters Writing for Communications class is to take full advantage of the guest speakers. The speakers give a lot of insight into the media world and are interesting to listen to so pay attention to what they say. Do research on them and ask questions.

George Gerardi: My tip for the next class is "study for the current event quizzes with a friend". It's always good to have an extra pair of eyes on the material and you can have lengthy discussions about it.

Marco Perasso: One recommendation I would have for the next class you teach is to include a vocabulary sheet, which could include different ways of structuring the lead and phrasing key details. I understand that students will not have to think as much, however, I certainly believe this would be beneficial for the student at the beginning of the semester.

Chris Cassidy: My tip for next years class is to practice writing stories as much as you can. It is really the only way to get better.
Laila Rosenthal: If it isn't too late, I would like to offer my tip for next semester's students. They should not try to cram a week's worth of the Washington Post in an hour. It doesn't work.

Joieann Graves: Be confident in yourself and keep trying. Also, go out of your comfort zone and talk to the speakers that come in. They're very cool and offer great advice.

Tugba Guner: Use the AP Style guide and the press release outline you’re given!

Oakey Daskas: Be sure to stick to deadlines!!

Anna Cho: My tip for next semester is: Don't miss class; it's not worth it-- you miss so much in one class period. Also, take in and understand all the feedback Professor Piacente gives back for each assignment because that is essential to improvement.

Natalie Ravis: My tip for them is to practice writing stories because it's the only way to see where you went wrong and to see the differences between the types of writing. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy Friday!

We started off class talking about our morning Skimm quiz, specifically talking about a question from an article Professor Piacente had us read called; “The Hatemongers Call for Unity, And Why I Cannot.”

Professor Piacente then handed us out a broadcast story prompt, from which we had to write a catchy broadcast lead and another more formal lead. The prompt was about the driver of a stolen bulldozer who crushed 20 new cars behind a car dealership. For homework we have to choose one of the leads we wrote, write a broadcast story with it, and bring it in for class on Wednesday for peer review.

After we were done with the broadcast prompt, Professor Piacente gave us a separate PR prompt. He told us that we were to write as the head of PR for a zoo (the name of which we were to make up) and write a press release headline and a lead based upon the prompt. The prompt was about a new gorilla born at the zoo for the first time in 10 years. After we were all finished writing, Professor Piacente said that we were to finish this press release as homework and bring in a hard copy into class for peer review. After that we went to break

When we came back from break we talked more about the article we had to read for homework. First, we went around the room discussing what the positives were about it. Many found the short punchy sentences were really effective of delivering a powerful message. Others thought that the details of his family’s life were really good ways of backing up his statements. We also discussed the negatives of the article. Some found some of the techniques the writer used such as repitition were too cliché while others felt like it could’ve been shorter in order to be more powerful. Overall the class really liked the article.

Next, Professor Piacente left the room and came back with the actual author of the article, Jeffery Blount. Blount than told us that he and Professor Piacente have known each other for a long time. Blount also told us about his history in journalism as a director of Meet the Press and the Nightly News. After teeling us about his life, Blount opened up for questions.

When asked about covering Trump, he saw that people never realized that he could’ve won and never took his campaign seriously until it was too late.

When asked about his intro in the paper, Blount said, “The intro came from being able to pull on heart string and showing people when you wake up intellectually and realize how things effect you.”

After being asked about his objective when he writes pieces like this, Blount says his goal is to make a difference.

Blount also talked about his upcoming book called “Crabs in a Bushel Basket,” exploring multidimensional issues in African American social justice movements

Friday, April 14, 2017

4/12/17 Class Notes

Hi everyone!

We started the class with a comparison example between past and present tense:
Present - Gail Baker works at Wendy's
Past - Gail Baker worked at Wendy's

After our pop quiz on the present tense, we moved on to discuss the recent incident with United Airlines. I have a feeling some PR jobs will be available soon so look out for postings. We continued by analysing the CEO's comments, published below:

"As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right."

Professor Piacente then instructed us on how to handle a situation similar to this: 
1) Make a statement immediately after the incident 
2) Apologize for the situation
3) Offer proposals to change
4) Improve the situation and then make sure it never happens again.

We discussed some problems we had with broadcast. It is important to keep the lead in present tense and try to use present as much as possible. Using phrases like "officials say" helps maintain the present tense. When it comes to introducing quotes, paraphrase the quotes and remember to stress the unusual. When using the conversational tone, do not include your opinion and use easy words people use in everyday conversations.

We then analysed leads on the Busdicker story, a 89-year-old jazz musician who passed away playing his clarinet.

After the break we returned to looking at press releases and researched reasons for the Skimm's increased popularity. Examples included, how it's free and conversational.

For Friday's HW (4/14/17) due at 5pm is the press release announcing the Skimm in the correct format.
Also remember next week's current events quiz with from the Skimm not the Washington Post!

Have a good weekend everyone!