Students will create a magazine-length piece of narrative non-fiction using a sub-genre of their choosing on a topic of their choosing. In general, these projects will encourage writers to step out of their comfort zones and pursue a piece of reporting that allows them to use narrative and detail to tell a story. These projects will also demonstrate strong effort in reporting, though the type of reporting will vary from project to project.
- Length: 1,500 words or more
- Sources: Roughly 10 sources. A source is something or someone that appears in the article - to which information is attributed.
- All deadlines for this project are firm. No late work is accepted. See class schedule for details.
- These works will be published either on Lakevoicenews or another publication. This must be made clear to sources - this is not simply a class project. This is public writing.
- Any issues involving sources that may suggest "contaminated access" must be discussed with me before pursuing. See "other ground rules" on class syllabus for details to be wary of.
- All projects must include a source list with contact information for all sources.
Tentative rubric for final writing project
Sources/Reporting (40 points)
The article draws on details from documents, observation and interviews with people who are multidimensional characters to tell a story that is rich in detail and shows considerable reporting and research effort by the writer.
Focus/tension/complication (20 points)
The story is driven by a keenly focused hook that draws the reader into the story. This is done using techniques such as story tension and story complication that help the reader and the writer understand how all elements of the story fit together and why all elements in the story connect to one another.
Voice/Style/Structure (10 points)
The story unfolds in a logical and graceful way, anticipating the readers' questions and presenting information in a way that reflects the appropriate voice for the topic and the story.
Quality/craft/accuracy (20 points)
The story adheres to all the basic tenants of good journalism. It is free of grammatical errors. All information has been verified and is accurate.
Ethics/attribution (10 points)
All information is sourced in a way that is transparent to the reader. All aspects contaminated access are made apparent to the reader so they can judge whether these relationships affect the way the story is told.
Total points: 100