Preparing for #JOU3109 for Fall 2015 — purchase your texts to be ready for start of semester

I’m looking forward to having you as a class member in Multimedia Writing (JOU3109) this fall.

Classes start at UF on Monday, Aug. 24. Our labs start that week (with three JOU3109 labs on Monday), and our first lecture is Tuesday, Aug. 25.

I’d encourage you to make arrangements now for your textbooks so you’ll have them for the beginning of the semester. As you know, textbooks are expensive, so planning ahead can give you some options. You may want to purchase the eBook version or rent the books to save money. Another option is to purchase the books with a classmate and share the cost. You will need to take the books to lab for reference, so consider that as you make any textbook-sharing arrangements with a classmate.

Writing and Reporting News,  8th editionWriting and Reporting News by Carole Rich (required) – This is the primary textbook for the course. You’ll be reading chapters in this textbook throughout the semester to help you prepare for the variety of writing assignments we’ll have.

The 8th edition is the latest version and is the one that is ordered for the UF Bookstore — ISBN 9781305077331.

You may purchase the 7th edition, but don’t buy an earlier version than that, as the book was significantly updated in the 7th edition. If you use the 7th edition, be sure to check the chapter assignments, as I’ll be referring to the 8th edition page numbers.

Associated Press Stylebook 2015

Associated Press Stylebook 2015 (required) – The Associated Press (AP) is a worldwide news-gathering organization that provides news coverage (i.e., news stories, photos, video) to news outlets.

To provide consistency in writing style, the AP developed the AP Stylebook. The stylebook is the guidebook not only for AP reporters but for the communications/media field. So whether you are writing a news AP Stylebook appstory, a caption for a photo or a news release, you’ll want to follow AP style.

The AP updates the stylebook every year — adding new terms and making changes (such as going from Web site to website). I’d encourage you to get the 2015 edition so you’ll have the latest version. Two options are the spiral-bound book (ISBN 9780917360619) or purchasing an online subscription and using the AP Stylebook Online app.

When Words Collide, 8th editionWhen Words Collide (recommended) – In the communications field, you can set yourself ahead of others by having a strong command of the mechanics of writing — knowing how to use commas correctly and using the correct word (it’s vs. its or stationary vs. stationery, as examples). Your weekly writing assignments will have points deducted for mechanics errors.

You already may have a grammar book or a favorite grammar website to assist you with your grammar. If so, that’s great. But if you don’t have a system for checking grammar, I’d advise you to obtain “When Words Collide.” This is the recommended grammar book for the College of Journalism and Communications.

The newest edition is the 8th edition (ISBN – 9781285052472). However, any edition will work, as no new comma rules have been invited. :)


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Tips for calculating your #JOU3109 grade and for having productive summer

The JOU3109 teaching team for Spring 2015 (left to right): Dr. Julie Dodd, Kéran Billaud, Rich Shumate, Nicki Karimipour, Steve Waters and Earlesha Butler. Photo by Audreyanna Loguerre

The JOU3109 teaching team for Spring 2015 (left to right): Dr. Julie Dodd, Kéran Billaud, Rich Shumate, Nicki Karimipour, Steve Waters and Earlesha Butler. Photo by Audreyanna Loguerre

The JOU3109 teaching team wants to thank each of you for your work in the course this semester.

We know the course has been a challenge in a number of ways, including:

  • Learning a variety of new writing forms — from news stories to Twitter, from news releases to blogging.
  • Having your writing evaluated in a more “intense” way than you have been graded before.
  • Writing on deadline and writing in a group setting.

We also hope that you have seen a number of improvements:

  • Being able to develop interview questions and conduct interviews.
  • Being a better editor of your own writing.
  • Having materials (i.e., résumé, cover letter and portfolio) to help you in seeking out internships and jobs.
  • Having an online presence with Twitter and your blog that shows you know how to use social media in a professional way.

Here’s an update on course grades:

  • Your lecture grade is posted in Canvas.
  • You should pick up your lab grade from your lab instructor.
  • Use the formula in the lecture syllabus (pp. 5-6) to calculate your grade and then determine what letter grade you have earned.
  • Once you receive your grades from UF, contact me if you have a question about your grade.

Summer plans

We’ve heard from quite a few of you that you have internships for the summer. That’s great. I’d also encourage you to:

  • Create or update your LinkedIn profile
  • Keep blogging and tweeting (in a professional) way to add to your online persona.
  • Work on your grammar and AP style skills.

Best wishes for a good summer!

Posted in lab assignment

Create or improve your LinkedIn profile — one of our topics for #JOU3109 lecture on Thursday

LinkedIn.comThis semester as a JOU3109 student, you have taken steps to prepare to apply for an internship for job.

  • You’ve created a résumé.
  • You’ve written a cover letter for a potential communications-related volunteer opportunity or job.
  • You’ve created a paper-based portfolio of your work.
  • You’ve participated in a mock job interview with your lab instructor.

Quite a few of you have told me or your lab instructors that those materials have enabled you to secure a job or internship. That’s great!

One of the next steps you can take to enhance your professional presence is to create a LinkedIn profile. Creating a profile is free and provides you a way to post your résumé and examples of your work.

In lecture on Thursday, I’ll offer some tips for creating your LinkedIn profile and adding to you profile if you’ve already set up an account.

LinkedIn blog postThanks to former students Andrea Carroz and Erica Hernandez for writing three blog posts about developing a LinkedIn profile. I’d encourage you to read these posts before class to help you have a better background on LinkedIn, which will help you in asking me better questions during our discussion.

You can learn more about using LinkedIn by checking out the free tutorials that UF faculty and students can access on, such as Up and Running with LinkedIn (2014). Log on to UF’s e-Learning to access

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Learn about broadcast news from @WUFTNews multimedia news director Bridget Grogan in Thursday’s #JOU3109 class

Bridget Grogan in Innovation News Center

Prof. Bridget Grogan works with students to edit their newscast in the Innovation News Center. Photo by Julie Dodd

As you’ve been learning this semester, jobs in the communications field — from public relations to news to entertainment to blogging — require a range of skills. Many communications positions now include shooting and editing video or being able to do a standup for a news or feature story.

Prof. Bridget Grogan, our guest speaker in Thursday’s class, will talk about what’s involved in storytelling in broadcast news, which will help you understand the broadcast news process and the skills needed.

Bridget Grogan interviews Mark Little

WUFT Multimedia News Director Bridget Grogan prepares to interview Storyful founded Mark Little as part of the College of Journalism and Communications Innovators Series. Interviewing for live broadcast is even more challenging than interviewing for a print story. Photo by Julie Dodd

Prof. Grogan is the Multimedia News Manager at WUFT-TV, working with students who create the evening newscasts and also teaching TV1 and Online Performance (the one-credit course I’ve encouraged you to take).

We’ll talk about similarities and differences between interviewing, writing and telling a story in print/Web versus video. She will show and analyze two student videos that demonstrate the kind of work that students create working for

I’d encourage you to read Chapter 11 on Broadcast News Writing to have that background as you hear Prof. Grogan discuss the news process.

You can follow her on Twitter — @NEWSGAL100.

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Make the most of #JOU3109 Lab 13’s professional opportunities — blog, Twitter and portfolio interview

mock job interview in Multimedia Writing

Nadene Reynolds (left) conducts a mock job interview with Elena Castello during Multimedia Writing. Students listened, took notes and tweeted during the interview. Photo by Josh Williamson

You have several professional opportunities with Lab 13.

Portfolio-interview – You have the option of participating in a portfolio interview with your lab instructor. This is a great opportunity to create a portfolio of your work to be ready for opportunities for volunteer and internship experiences. Thanks to the Career Resource Center’s Nadene Reynolds and our own Elena Castello for the mock interview to demonstrate a 10-minute job interview. The portfolio interview is worth a maximum of 20 points of extra credit. portfolio_directions_S15

Your blog is due – Your grade (out of 100 points) for Lab 13 is your WordPress blog. Your blog has been a work in progress, with you getting your blog topic approved in Lab 5 and then making at least seven posts. Your blog should be a good additional to your online professional persona and should include relevant links and at least two of your own photos. Use the blog rubric as a checklist. One great aspect about blogs is that you can make corrections or change headlines for posts even after they are published. blog_rubric_sp15

Your Twitter account will be reviewed – Your Twitter account will be graded out of 50 points. You will be assessed on the last 10 tweets that you create — not retweets. Remember that you want Twitter to add to your professional persona and not just provide newsy updates on your activities, favorite foods or TV viewing. Use the Twitter rubric to evaluate your Twitter account. twitter_rubric_S15

Your blog and Twitter must be printed and turned in to your lab instructor. Your blog and Twitter account will be reviewed online, but your lab instructor will use the printouts you provide to write comments to you. You are to take the printed materials to turn in during Lab 13. Here are the directions of how to print the materials — lab13_blog-twitter-printing

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