[JRN 1000]
Foundations of Journalism


Assignments and Grading

Writing/Lab Assignments


Quizzes (Chapter and AP Style) - 3 lowest or missed quiz scores will be dropped 15%



Mid-term Exam


Final Exam



Lab Assignments

Writing and other assignments will be given every Friday during the lab. These assignments will be based on the course lecture material, textbook readings, other assigned readings and online tutorials. You want to arrive for lab prepared: Complete all reading assignments before coming to the lab and review your notes from the week's class lectures. Arrive early: Several of the lab assignments involve writing news stories on deadline. Save all your lab assignments to a flash drive or to your e-mail account; you will be rewriting several of these assignments. Every lab assignment will be graded, so it is important to do your best on every assignment. All lab assignments must be placed in the E-Learning Dropbox by the end of your scheduled lab. You are responsible for making sure the assignment has been placed in the E-Learning Dropbox by the deadline. You may NOT submit a lab assignment for a grade if you do not attend lab in person.


Make-up lab assignments and extensions will not be given. If you miss a lab, you miss the opportunity to turn in the assignment for feedback and/or a grade. Two lab assignment grades will be dropped in the event that you have to miss lab. If you do not miss lab, your two lowest grades will be dropped. If you are a student athlete and anticipate a conflict in meeting the scheduled lab time, please meet with me.


Lab assignments will be graded on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the high score. The lab instructor will grade all lab writing assignments. If you have questions about a grade you received on a lab assignment, you must send an email to the lab instructor within 48 hours with the following information: 1) a copy of the lab assignment and 2) a brief statement indicating your concern(s) about your grade. You will receive an e-mail response to your questions within one week. If you have further questions, please schedule an appointment with your lab instructor.



Regular class attendance is crucial for doing well in this class. An assigned seating chart will be used for class sessions. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of every class. Points will be deducted from your final grade for class and lab absences.


Regular attendance is required and is important for preparing for a successful career as a journalist and PR professional. You will not be able to report the news or meet deadlines if you are not there to cover the news or do your work.


Please notify Dr. Steinke about extended absences (missing a week or more of class) resulting from illness or other emergencies as close to the time of absence as possible.


If circumstances require that you miss four or more classes during the semester, it is unlikely that you will be able to pass the course and it is highly recommended that you enroll in the course at a time when regular attendance is possible.
In the event that illness, a death in the family, an excused campus/sports activity, an emergency, bad weather, a job interview, extended vacation plans, scheduling conflicts or any other event prevents you from coming to class,one absence will be excused without penalty. Additional absences will not be excused except when written documentation is provided for prolonged illness or court appearances. Your final grade will be lowered proportionately based on your attendance.


NOTE: Perfect attendance does not mean a grade of 100 percent toward the attendance/participation/professionalism portion of your final grade. You need to take an active role in class and small group discussions. Your active participation in class discussions is required and expected.


Please note that attendance is part of your final grade.



Two types of quizzes will be given this semester.


1. Chapter Quizzes - These must be taken online OUTSIDE OF CLASS TIME

These quizzes will OPEN after the scheduled labs on Friday (noon) until 5 p.m. on the next day, Saturday. You may use your textbook and class notes.


See the course schedule for specific deadlines. It is the student's responsibility to keep track of these deadlines.


2. AP Style Quizzes - These must be taken online DURING CLASS TIME WHEN YOU ARE PRESENT.These quizzes will OPEN during class time. You may use your AP Stylebook.


AP Style quizzes will not be announced in advance.


Three (3) of the lowest or missed quiz grades will be dropped from your final grade.

If you are ABSENT, you may NOT make up a quiz given during class and you will NOT receive credit for the quiz if if you did not attend that class and you take the quiz outside of class time.



The mid-term and final exams will be closed-notes/closed-book. The exams will be based on the lectures, class discussions, textbook readings, videotapes and in-class assignments. The final exam covers course content from the entire semester.


Grading Scale


Your final letter grade will be calculated using the scale below.



93 - 100


88 - 92


83 - 87


78 - 82


73 - 77


68 - 72


62 - 67


61 and below


Students should be aware of the guidelines that are used to evaluate work for this class:

Work that is truly outstanding and consistently exceptional will receive an “A” (93-100%).

Work that is outstanding in most areas, and good in others, will receive a “BA” (88-92%).

Work that is good in most areas, and significantly distinguishable from average work, will receive a “B” (83-87%).

Work that generally meets the expectations of the assignment, and in some areas exceeds those basic expectations, will receive a “CB” (78-82%).

Work that generally meets the expectations of the assignment will receive a “C” (73-77%).

Work that only meets the most basic standards in most areas will receive a “DC” (68-72%)

Work that overall only meets the most minimal standards will receive a “D” (62-67%).

Work that does not meet the most minimal standards of the assignment will receive an “E” (Below 61%).



Class and Lab Rules


Please do your part to make this a positive learning environment. Be respectful of others in the class.


Food and drinks are not allowed in the classroom or the computer labs.


Please keep the computers and lab in good condition. Please do not deface the computers or computer desks.


DO NOT LEAVE AT ANY TIME WHILE CLASS IS IN SESSION UNLESS IT'S AN EMERGENCY. Moving in and out of the class room during class is EXTREMELY disruptive to other students and your instructor.


ARRIVE TO CLASS AND LAB SESSIONS ON TIME. You are responsible for arriving to class on time and staying for the entire class period. Please attend to any unrelated business either before or after class, not during class time. Late arrivals and early departures will result in a reduction in your attendance/participation/professionalism grade. DO NOT INTERRUPT CLASS IF YOU ARRIVE LATE.


Absolutely no cell phone, laptop or electronics use during class or lab sessions unless you are taking a quiz or exam. Cell phones chould be turned off or placed on "silence" during class time. No texting or listening to ipods during class or lab sessions. If you use any electronic device other than the computer for writing assignments during lab, you will be marked absent.

Journalism Resources
Research Projects
Current Projects
Dr. Jocelyn Steinke
School of Communication
Department in Gender and Women’s Studies
Western Michigan University
E-mail: jocelyn.steinke@wmich.edu

Revised Date: August 23, 2017 2:11 PM
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