Media Writing is a mandatory class for any Communications major at Elon. This class incorporates analytical journalism, as well as covering the basics in how to write a story of a planned event. This is not the hardest class, but in order to succeed you should follow these five steps:
1. Start off Strong
This class is evenly spread out in terms of grading. There is one final project that accounts for a decent chunk of your grade, but aside from that, weekly assignments and projects add up for the majority of your grade. Starting off the semester strong is a great way to ensure you do well in the class and will allow for minor slip ups later in the semester.
2. Check Your Work
Most of the work is done outside of class, and you should be sure to turn in pieces with no grammar mistakes and that flow well. There is no reason why there should ever be a grammar mistake outside of a comma or two, and this should be done by checking your own work repeatedly and possibly asking roommates or classmates to help as well. Feel free to use sites such as Grammarly (which is free) to ensure minimizing possible mistakes.
3. Use Elon’s Resources
Elon’s Resources refers to your professor’s office hours, the writing center in the library, and tutoring for this class. If you are struggling or want to exceed expectations, using one of these resources will likely give you that result. Getting an A in any class is a difficult task, but with the help of these resources, you will be guided through the process: from selecting a topic to editing the final piece before you turn it in.
4. Understand, Don’t Copy
You’re going to have to do a lot of writing, and use different styles throughout the semester. Some of this is group work, and it is easy to let others take the reins. But remember that you will eventually have to do it alone. So understand the writing style, where you get the information from and how you set up a writing piece. This will allow for a strong performance throughout the semester, specifically on the midterm and final.
5. Read the Newspaper
Elon hands out the New York Times in the Comm building, along with other mainstream newspapers. Grab one on your way to class and find one article that sounds interesting. Read the article and try to figure out which style that author is using (ethos, pathos, etc.) as well as the structure. This extra step before class will allow for you to see the real world application and help you in your writing in this course.
Media Writing is intimidating to some Comm students as they do not consider themselves writers. This class is not intended to be difficult, but you need to put in a decent amount of effort to succeed. The teachers are as enthusiastic as one can be about media writing. As long as you bring some energy to class and engage in class discussions,your enthusiasm be reflected in your final grade.