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EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignments

EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignments

EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment - How to write an excellent column piece?
EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment – How to write an excellent column piece?

The EAC 411 NBA NBB assignment you see here is a complicated column writing assignment. The whole course is based on writing a successful column piece. Of course, there are various criteria that one should focus. If you find it hard to write a column piece, get guidance help from PureAssignment today.

Assignment Type: Writing Assignment.

Assignment Category: Writing Assignment Help

Platform: MS Office, University Dashboard

University: Seneca College

Template: Provided by the assigned professor

Assignment Size: 300 words + 300 words + 300 words + 300 words 10 hours of research

Attached files for the EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment

Welcome to EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignments tutorial. This is just another reminder that whenever you see words that are capitalized, in big letters, have been bolded, coloured, underlined, or highlighted, I am simply trying to emphasize something. Please don’t assume that I’m writing in anger here. Thanks.

There Is NO Final Exam For This Course.

This is just a reminder that there will be no final exam for EAC 411. Instead, you will be submitting a Final Journalism Style Column Piece Assignment worth 20% due on xx. If you are studying somewhere other than here in xx, you still have to submit in this time zone.

In previous semesters, when I taught EAC 411, I had a Final Exam. This semester, there will not be one. I have gone over this document multiple times but still, being a human being and all, if for some reason I mention that there is an exam for this course, it is wrong. Ignore this but let me know where I said it so that I can remove it and not confuse any other student. Again, there is NO Final Exam for EAC 411. Sorry for this repetition but I don’t want any of my students to panic near the end of the semester.

Please Note As Well:

I have made major revisions on the assignments. Ignore any document that asks you to do a book or novel review. The books and novels that I provided in the Weekly Outline document are suggested readings that I used to use in this course but reading them is not mandatory and there definitely is no Book or Novel Review Assignment. If you see in my notes me mentioning this, please let me know so that I can remove it. Thanks.

One last repetitive point that I will be making in many of my documents is that all assignments are due on Mondays at 1:00 pm unless stated otherwise in the Weekly Outline (Addendum) document. The reason for this day is so that I can start marking submissions as soon as possible in order to meet my goal of handing back your work one week upon receipt.

A Very Quick Summary Of What We
Will Be Doing For Assignments This Semester

Quick Reference for the EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment

Since you will be using this document many times over this semester, let me give you a quick reference on where to find specific information on each of your upcoming assignments.

Topic suggestions for Assignments are found on Page 32

  • Information on your Annotated Bibliography and Plagiarism Question (Assignment 1) (Worth 20%), begin on Page 14.
  • Information on your First Draft Column Piece (Assignment 2) (Worth 20%) begins on Page 21.
  • Information on your Second Draft Column Piece (Assignment 3) (Worth 25%) begins on Page 28.
  • Information on your Third And Final Draft Column Piece begins on (Assignment 4) (Worth 20%) begins on Page 28.

I provided some optional reading on The Writing Craft of Journalism at the end of this document on Page 45. Reading this section could significantly boost your grades.

EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignments Weighting

Assignment 1: Annotated Bibliography and Plagiarism Question (15% + 5%) 20%


(This assignment helps prepare you for your next two assignments by having
you research information on your topic choice for this semester and totally
prevents any student from claiming that he or she did not know what plagiarism is).

Assignment 2: First Draft Column Piece 20%


(You are going to do 3 draft versions of the same Journalism Style Column Piece.
Each draft should be better than the one before. This assignment will be your first
draft version of it. You must use the same approved topic choice that you used for
Assignment 1 for this assignment as the goal here is to help you improve on each
subsequent submission).

I provided some optional reading on The Writing Craft of Journalism at the end of
this document on Page 45. Reading this section could significantly boost your grades.

Assignment 3: Second Draft Column Piece 25%


(This assignment is a second draft version of your Journalism Style Column Piece.
You must use the same approved topic that you used for Assignment’s and 2 as the
goal here is to help you improve on each subsequent submission).

EAC 411 NBA NBB Homework Final Draft of Column Piece 20%*


(After receiving more feedback from me from Assignment 3, this assignment will
contain your final revisions. Like Assignments 2 and 3, do not change your topic.
You have to use the same one all semester).

  • This Online Assignment Will Take The Place Of A Final Exam. Failure To Submit Your Work By The Deadline Will Result In A Dramatically Lowered Grade (5% per half hour after the assigned deadline due date time). For example, anytime past 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm = a 5% deduction. Anytime past 1:30 pm to 2:00 pm = a 10% deduction and so on) Eastern Standard Daylight Time.

Quality of Discussion Forums 10%


(You will be asked to write on the topic that you chose for Assignments 1-4)

Online Participation/Interpersonal Communication Skills 5%


This is an ongoing grade determined at the very end of the semester based
on how you communicated both with your fellow students and your professor).
100%
On Page 32, you will find a list of potential topics to choose from for your assignments. Pick just ONE of them. This topic choice will be the one that you use for ALL of your assignments. So, your topic choice for your Annotated Bibliography, will be the same one that you will use for your Discussion Forum, your first attempt at writing a Journalism Style Column Piece, the second one as well as your Final Draft Journalism Style Column Piece (which is basically, your finishing touches on your first and second attempts). Do Not Do New Topics For Each Assignment. Pick one and just stick with it for the entire semester. Why?

Every assignment builds from the previous one with the goal of producing a publishable, quality Journalism Style Column Piece. I find that when you can repeatedly identify your areas of strength and weaknesses in your writing, you can then better focus on ways to improve on your delivery. If I had you write 4-5 essays on totally different topics, you likely would not get the same focused help from me that is possible. For example, if you have a problem with repetition or verb tenses or the use of the articles “the” and “an,” I will be able to guide you away from making these common errors by having you repeatedly notice the corrections. I explain this matter in greater detail in the section titled “Scaffolding” on Page 14.

Here are samples of how your assignments should look like from other courses. I just want you to get a quick general understanding. The details on all of these assignments follows after these examples.

A Sample Submission For Assignment 1

Part I: A Brief Annotated Bibliography How Bacteria Communicate To One Another

The topic that I will be covering for my 3 columns concerns how bacteria have a language in which they chemically communicate to one another. This was covered in Lecture 5. The three main areas that I will be focusing on is 1, how scientists are starting to learn their “language.” 2, how understanding it could be used to stop their negative actions on us by “telling them to stop hurting us” or tell “good bacteria” to do good things in our bodies. And 3, provide examples of people being cured of major illnesses by manipulating their language.

Works Cited

  1. University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Learning the language of bacteria.” ScienceDaily. 2010. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101206161820.htm
  2. Schauder, S. and Bassler, B., “The Languages of Bacteria.” Genes and Development. 2001.
    http://genesdev.cshlp.org/content/15/12/1468.full
  3. Ludwig Maximilion University. “Novel bacterial ‘language’ discovered.” Phys News. 2013.
    https://phys.org/news/2013-07-bacterial-language.html
  4. Alatraktchi, F.A. “To detect diseases earlier, let’s speak bacteria’s secret language.” Ted Talks. 2014.
    https://www.ted.com/talks/fatima_alzahra_a_alatraktchi_to_detect_diseases_earlier_let_s_speak_bacteria_s_secret_language
  5. Trafton, Anne. “A programming language for living cells. New language lets researchers design novel biological circuits.” MIT News Office. 2016.
    http://news.mit.edu/2016/programming-language-living-cells-bacteria-0331
  6. Tenenbaum, David. Learning the language of bacteria. University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2010.
    https://news.wisc.edu/learning-the-language-of-bacteria/
  7. Olewitz, Chloe. “MIT biologists have developed a programming language for bacteria.” Digital Trends. 2016.
    https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/programming-language-custom-code-bacteria-heal-body/

EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment Part 2: What Is Plagiarism and Why It Is Unethical?

What is plagiarism? I define plagiarism as______________. It is unethical because __.

I can’t write out the answer here- as I want you to write it in your own words. So fill in these blanks.

Once you write this, you will have NO excuse for committing this serious offense.

A Sample Submission For Assignments 2, 3 and 4
Mike Tyson’s Unbelievable “Bite Night” In Vegas
When people hear the name Mike Tyson, one of the most appalling moments in sports history usually comes to mind.

On June 28, 1997, Tyson did the unthinkable. He actually, bit off a piece of his opponent’s ear in the boxing ring! That’s right, Evander Holyfield’s ear.

According to SI’s Gabriel Baumgaetner, the sellout crowd, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, “were about to get a show that no one saw coming.” And did they ever!

During this much anticipated rematch between Evander Holyfield, Tyson got his opponent in a clinch and then, well, the rest was history.

I did not see the episode but columnist Frank Lotierzo mentioned that Tyson, on an appearance on the then Oprah Winfrey show, said that he couldn’t stand the idea of losing to Holyfield again; so he did whatever it took to get disqualified.

The ex-Champ did the unimaginable and it would take years until he truly fessed-up on his actions.

What a pathetic explanation from what was then a broken human being.

Actions like this automatically induct people like Mike Tyson as first ballot entries into the “Sports Hall of Shame.”

One word describes this disgusting event:

Unbelievable.
Works Cited

  1. “23 years after, Holyfield, Tyson eager for third ‘bite at it.’” Vanguard.com. 14 May, 2020.
    https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/05/23-years-after-holyfield-tyson-eager-for-third-bite-at-it/.
  2. Baumgaertner, Gabriel. “An oral history of the infamous 1997 Holyfield-Tyson ‘bite fight’”.
    Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. SI. 29 June 2012. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/the_bonus/06/28/tyson-holyfield-oral-history/index.html#ixzz2s28olBVk.
  3. Chakraborty, Sujay. Why Did Mike Tyson Bite Evander Holyfield? Tyson Speaks On ‘bite Heard Around The World’ 30 Republicworld.com. April, 2020.
    https://www.republicworld.com/sports-news/other-sports/why-did-mike-tyson-bite-evander-holyfields-ear-in-1997-boxing-news.html.
  4. Lotierzo, Frank. “Mike Tyson Tells Oprah Why He Bit Evander Holyfield”. Thesweetscience.com. The Sweet Science. 12 Oct. 2009. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
    http://www.thesweetscience.com/news/articles/7287-mike-tyson-tells-oprah-why-he-bit-evander-holyfield.
  5. Lotierzo, Frank. “The Fascinating Dynamic between Evander Holyfield and Tyson”. Thesweetscience.com. The Sweet Science. 2014. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
    http://www.thesweetscience.com/columnists/ronan-keenan/7324-the-fascinating-dynamic-between-evander-holyfield-and-tyson.
  6. Mansfield, Mollie. “Ear To Ear: Evander Holyfield about infamous Mike Tyson ear bite after meme suggests he can’t wear face mask.” The Sun. 13 May, 2020.
    https://www.the-sun.com/sport/825460/evander-holyfield-coronavirus-mask-mike-tyson-ear/.
  7. Dalton, Kyle. “What Happened to the Piece of Evander Holyfield’s Ear After Mike Tyson Bit It?” Sportscasting.com. 17 April, 2020.
    https://www.sportscasting.com/what-happened-to-the-piece-of-evander-holyfields-ear-after-mike-tyson-bit-it/. Where Are Assignments 2, 3 and 4? I Only Just See One Here?

You are probably looking at the sample assignment above and saying to yourself, why didn’t xx, provide examples for all three assignments here? Why did he only have one sample? Believe it or not, it’s to prevent you from getting confused in terms of my expectations for each submission.

What I have here is a fully polished/completed column. This would be an ideal version of Assignment 4. I don’t want to provide you with poorer draft versions that are Assignments 2 and 3. This column is the result of three attempts on the same topic choice. It is what you ultimately should strive for.

If I showed you what was written in Assignments 2 and 3, you would likely be confused in terms of the ultimate goal here which is to produce high quality submissions from Assignment 2 onwards.

Experience has shown me that only a few of my students have a writing skillset that is capable of producing high end columns on their first or second draft attempts. Most of you need guidance to get to this level. And thank goodness! I would be out of a job otherwise. 😉

And even those of you who have advanced writing skills, you still need some additional help fine tuning your writing. Most professional journalists do not peak in the writing component of their craft until their late 30s and early 40s. So, my job then, is to help every one of my students to improve their skills in this area regardless of what level they are currently in. 3 kicks at the can, should help in this regard.

Important Information About EAC 411 NBA NBB Project

Before I give you detailed information on what you have to write on for your essay (column) assignments, you first need to read this very preliminary information on the technical and administrative requirements for each assignment as well as useful tips on how to write very short columns. Please read this section first. It is VERY important.

Please don’t skip this next section. It will be a big mistake to do so. You could lose a lot of unnecessary marks.

It contains important information on:

  1. Plagiarism.
  2. How to submit an assignment.
  3. The due dates for all assignments.
  4. Whether you should take this course or not.
  5. Examples of bad writing and how to improve in this area.
  6. How to communicate with both me and fellow students so as to not jeopardize your online communications grade. And,
  7. A quick understanding of what it is like on my end in terms of marking your work and why it is so important that you follow instructions.

Let’s start with a discussion on plagiarism.

Read This To Prevent A Zero Grade Or Being Reported To The Dean.

I have had enough from 15% of my students claiming that they “did not know” that they plagiarized. That’s why on multiple documents and platforms I have stated what it is and why it is wrong and why you will get a zero grade and potentially have this incident documented on your transcript if caught. I even have you explain to me what plagiarism is in your Annotated Bibliography assignment. Your answer to the question that I provided is worth 5% of your final grade. This is how serious I am on this matter.

I’m going to start by giving you a very simple and clear story as to why academic honesty is so important. Later on in this document, I will provide more detail. But first, here is a big picture explanation of why plagiarism is totally unacceptable:

Imagine that you are at work and have come up with a really good idea. A coworker overhears it and he or she goes to your boss and mentions it and never says that you were the one who thought it up. How would you feel?

Now imagine how someone would feel if you copied and pasted his or her words, ideas or facts/statistics from a book or article that he or she wrote and you did not say where they came from?

xx College demands that ALL students, when writing essays or in our case, columns, must, whenever they use someone’s words, ideas or facts/statistics tell their professors in TWO places:

  1. At the bottom of your assignment in the Works Cited section. And,
  2. In the assignment itself, the body, (the written part) by using “in-text” citation. For essays, this is to be done preferably using MLA format in which you use parenthesis with the author’s last name followed by the first three words of his or her article. For example, (Costaris, “The first three”) For columns, you simply have to clearly state your source.

Cheaters either hide where they got their information from or just write a bibliography in their Works Cited section and try to fool their professor that all the words that they wrote or ideas or facts/statistics were their own. Doing this is a really bad idea!

Don’t be a thief by stealing what is not your own. Plagiarism is a SUPER SERIOUS OFFENSE and you will be punished if you do it. Am I clear?

Everyone in our class needs to read my short, to the point document: What Is Plagiarism. It has a mini-quiz at the end to make sure that you know what is expected from you. There are several ways to get caught plagiarizing beyond copying and pasting someone else’s writing. Don’t get a low or failing grade because you “didn’t know.”

O.K. That’s enough for now on plagiarism. Let’s now discuss how to submit an assignment.

How To Submit An EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment

You have to do 5 simple things:

  1. Write your assignment.
  2. Copy and paste it on an email.
  3. Write your name, the course, the section that you are in (it’s either NBA or NBB you can know for sure by looking at what is written in your Blackboard account) and the assignment number in the subject heading of your email.

For example if your name is Jack Vanderlay and you are in section NBA and were submitting assignment 1 then you would write:

Jack Vanderlay Re: EAC 411 NBA A1

If you fail to provide me with a proper subject heading, you will lose marks. I need all of this information for tracking purposes.

  1. ALSO, DO NOT SEND ME ANY ATTACHED DOCUMENTS. I will not grade them. Attachments pose the risk of me receiving a worm or virus and take longer to mark.
  2. Hit “send” and patiently wait for me to mark it within a week of submission.
    That’s it. Do this exact same thing for ALL of your emailed assignments to me.

Here’s how your assignments should look like as emails on my end. And yes, I am joking about the content that I provided here (sort of ;-)):

In the past, I used to have students send me something called a “grading template.” Far too many could not properly send me their work so I have decided to keep things simple. If I mention the term “grading template,” ignore it. I must have forgotten to remove it. Please let me know which document you found it in and what page number. Thanks.

ALSO, DO NOT SEND ME ANY ATTACHED DOCUMENTS. I will not grade them. Attachments pose the risk of me receiving a worm or virus and take longer to mark.

If you fail to provide me with a proper subject heading or give me an attached document, you will lose marks.

“Addendum” (Weekly Outline) Document Only

The Due Dates On The “Addendum” (Weekly Outline) Document Are The Ones That You Must Follow. Ignore any document that says anything else. (Every semester is different so my due dates change. Sometimes, I miss a few of them). The Addendum is the only place where you need to look for due dates.

Are You An Average To Poor Writer? For A 14 Week Course This Is A HUGE Problem.

Before discussing the specifics concerning your assignments, let me say the following one more time:

EAC 411 is only 14 weeks in length. There simply is not enough time to teach you basic English grammar and writing principals. You either have these skills and are ready to take this highly compressed course or you don’t. You need to be very realistic with your abilities and expectations. I cannot simply pass you because this is the last credit that you need or because I personally like you. You have to earn your marks and if you have struggled with grammar or writing fundamentals, then this course is definitely not a good fit for you. I am not saying this to be rude but to manage your expectations.

In general, and let me emphasize, in general- if you received a solid B grade or higher in EAC 150 or COM 100, you should have no concerns in terms of succeeding in this course. If you received a C grade, you MIGHT have some struggles. Else If you received a D grade- this will LIKELY be a very tough course for you. If you are the type of student who spends a lot of time at the Writing Centre getting help on your essay assignments, I strongly recommend that you do not take this course.

However, don’t be surprised if you see your grade drop from what you got in COM 100. This is still a new course and we have yet to standardize our grading. In addition, the expectations are lower than those in advanced GEN EDs. Think of this in terms of how much easier high school was versus college.

You should also note that this is not a regular GEN ED subject such as history, sociology or psychology, where a professor tends to grade using a 65:35 ratio. That is, he or she weighs the value of your content at around 65% of the assignment’s value and your writing at 35%. For communications themed courses, it’s the other way around.

When I mark your essays, nearly 65% of it is based on the quality of your writing. After all, the number one objective of all EAC subjects is to improve each student’s writing in order to better prepare him or her for the workplace. So do not assume that just because you got an “A” in Psychology, Political Science or “Contemporary Martian Issues,” you will get the same mark here if the quality of your writing does not meet the School of English and Liberal Studies standards. This 65:35 ratio makes us professors appear to be “tough markers” when we’re just doing our jobs.

I am not saying this to scare anyone away. I simply want to avoid any misunderstandings down the road.

O.K. I have hammered away on this point. Now there are a few things that Muhammad Ali would like you to be aware of.

“Read this one tiny section shaded in gray so that you can move up from an ‘C’ to a ‘B’ or a ‘B’ to an ‘A.’”

“I think that Ali was the greatest in the history of sport. The way Ali fought in the ring was amazing. The way Ali handled himself with the media was also amazing. I am amazed that some people do not consider Ali to be the greatest in the history of sport.”

This is an amazingly repetitive piece of “_,” right? It’s extremely unclear. How many times did you have to read it before it made sense?

Why is this writing so awful? Because it’s PAINFULLY REPETITIVE. When something is stated a lot, our minds assume that it is for emphasis. However, being smart like we are, we know that in this passage, the person just loves saying things over and over again. Unfortunately for us, we can’t filter out this repetition. It’s like trying to watch a movie in a theatre while some obnoxious person is talking out loud. This is VERY distracting.

Avoid Using The Same Words Or Phrases In A Sentence Or The One That Follows. Unfortunately, 75% of students do this. If there is ONE thing that I am going to beat out of you is painful repetition.

If you did not get my movie theatre analogy, then think of repetition being like a speed bump for your reader. It seriously slows down a person’s ability to quickly go through your message.

You can’t do this in workplace communications. And this is what I am principally training you for.

All semester, I will be tracking who is guilty of this MAJOR writing sin and will deduct marks for not correcting it. For each assignment, you will lose more marks for repeating the same words or phases in a sentence or the one that follows.

Here are the next most common writing sins that I will also be beating out of you:

• Avoid As Much As Possible Writing Sentences Beyond 18 Words.
• Don’t Try Writing Like A Professor. You Can’t. Write Clear And Simple Sentences. Say Things The Way You Would For A School Presentation.
• A New Idea = A New Paragraph. Don’t be afraid to have multiple paragraphs, even some as little as one sentence to help clarify your writing.
• A Period Signifies A Complete Thought.
• A Comma, Oftentimes Signifies A Pause In Thought.

Just to let you let you know, the over use of the word amazing was not the only thing that was repetitive here. The phrase, “greatest in the history of sport” and the name “Ali” was used a gazillion times. The phrase “the way Ali” was stated twice as well. There are other ways to say “Ali” such as Muhammad Ali, “this boxing legend” or simply “he or him.” Be creative here. Also, avoid as much as humanly possible referring to an athlete or celebrity by their first name. For example, do you personally know “Kobe” or “Shaq?” And for goodness sake, never refer to a world leader such as Barack Obama as “Barack.” For those of you insulted, trust me, I would not say this if it was not a common problem.

On Week 1 you will get more details on this matter in the section entitled “Journalism 101.”

Here is a great website that can help you concerning repetition: http://www.writewords.org.uk/word_count.asp

It basically scans your document and points out which words you are saying over and over again. Give it a try.

The Difficulties of Communicating Online for the EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment.

One of the greatest difficulties that an instructor has in teaching a course online is that it is very difficult to express both one’s personality and sincerity. Written text lacks both body language (gesticulations) and vocal tone. According to studies, 93% of a message is interpreted by these factors and only 7% by words. For this reason, one can more readily misinterpret some of my comments and personalize them.

Let me emphatically state that any comments that you receive on your work are intended for constructive purposes- pure and simple. Please do not interpret them to be anything more than this. Don’t try to “read between the lines.” I will not play any sarcastic or mean-spirited head games with you. If I am disappointed with your work, I will clearly state that I am disappointed.

I try extremely hard to use language that is not intended to come across as if I am being rude when grading your work.

I value the dignity of each and every one of you. If at any point in this course you feel that I have crossed an inappropriate line, please tell me so.

It’s A Two Way Street: Be Nice To Me Also.

Likewise, every semester, there are 5-7 students who drive me bonkers with their poor online manners. As a person who owns a business and in partnership with several others, and someone who knows plenty of others not to mention many managers, VPs and Presidents, the biggest killer in terms of getting a job interview- let alone a job- is having poor interpersonal communication skills. DO NOT treat me like a punching bag. It’s a really bad idea. I expect that you treat me the way that I will treat you: with courtesy.

For example, if you are unhappy with your grade, politely let me know. I am willing to hear your concerns. I will not however, tolerate being shouted at. For the vast majority of you, this is obvious. Unfortunately, a tiny minority needs to know this. So I apologize to those of you who have more common sense.

Remember, 5% of your grade will be determined by the quality of your online interpersonal communication skills. Are you sure that you want to yell at me? This is totally unacceptable in the workplace; and likewise, it is totally unacceptable at xx. If you are unhappy with your grade, politely let me know. I am genuinely willing to hear your concerns. All that I ask is that you just be civil about them. I will not tolerate being shouted at. Would you? The way you express your views will largely determine your future employability. This skill is that important. For the vast majority of you, what I am asking is obvious. Unfortunately, a tiny minority needs to know this. So I apologize to those of you who have more common sense.

If you are going to complain, please wait at least 3 days after I have marked your assignment. My first priority is to grade every person’s submissions within a week and a half after the due date. Answering your questions and getting into a potential mini email battle back and forth slows down my marking. If I graded your work on time, then it’s only fair that you allow me to mark everyone else’s. Thanks.

It’s Not Your Opinion That Matters To Me. It’s How Well You Argue Your Points.

I am not grading you based on your views. I believe that opinions are like noses. Everybody has one. My job is not to shape your opinions into my own. You will quickly learn this truth when you hand in your first few assignments.

Don’t Send A “EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment First Draft” “Midnight Special” To Me

It’s hard to get an “A” on an assignment that you did an hour before the usual 1:00 pm Monday deadline. BTW: If you see a different day and time on this or any other document, it must be a mistake. Last semester, I used a different one. I must have missed removing it everywhere. If you notice something wrong, please let me know and thank you for having such eagle eyes. If in doubt, always refer to the Addendum document. It is the final authority.

The best way to do your assignment is to produce it early and do some final reviews before submitting them. I highly recommend that you first write your work on a word processing software program such as Microsoft Word or Word Perfect. Make sure to run it through a grammar and spell check. Make sure as well to read it out loud. If you detect something that sounds strange to your ears, there is an excellent chance that you have committed a grammatical error.

I Will Not Accept Attachments. This Is A BIGGEE!!!!!!

I do not accept attachments because they seriously add to my grading time and make me vulnerable to receiving a virus or worm from you. I did this once and was out of commission for 2 weeks and had to fork out $700 in repair and data recovery costs. I’ll never repeat this same mistake again.

Submit your e-mail to me.

Tracking And Labeling

For tracking purposes it is absolutely essential that you make sure that you properly label your assignments stating 4 key pieces of information:

  1. Your Name
  2. The Course Code
  3. The Section that you are in and
  4. The Assignment Number.

I will not grade your work unless you do this. I will also not respond to any e-mail message that has not been properly labeled and contains your full name in the “subject” heading.

Make sure to print out all of your graded EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment in the event that you want to contest a mark.

Do Not Submit Assignments Using Hotmail, Gmail, @Rogers, @Bell, @Sympatico Etc!

xx filter tends to block out messages from other email accounts. Send your work using your xxemail ONLY. This is college policy.

Make Sure To Constantly Check Your My xx Account.

I, along with all of your other professors will be sending important e-mails to you throughout this course- including what you need to know for your final exam. Saying that you did not read them is inexcusable.

These are the main points that I want you to be aware of. Now, let’s move on to your assignments.

EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment Assignment I: Annotated Bibliography For Your
Journalism Style Column Pieces (First And Second Drafts)

Before I explain what an annotated bibliography is, I need to explain something called scaffolding.

Scaffolding

Scaffolding is a term used in education that involves having students gradually “build up” certain skills from previous assignments. It is similar to what construction companies do. That is, they use temporary scaffolds to allow workers a platform to build-up condos or office. In your case, I’ll be your scaffold in order to help you progressively learn how to “build” an ultimate final Journalism Style Column Piece.

Many students struggle in grammar, phrasing and analysis. I am not convinced that doing 4 unrelated columns is the best way to help you isolate the areas that you are weak in.

For example, if you have issues with the use of the definite article “the” as many of you do, as I keep pointing it out from one assignment to the next, you likely will begin to understand what you need to do in this area of grammar as you progress this semester. This is just one example. There are many more.

For instance, most of you, will have issues with repetition. Again, sooner or later, you will start to see why this is a problem in terms of clearly expressing your viewpoints.

As another analogy, think of scaffolding like being an athlete such as a tennis player. All players need coaching but some more than others. Some have great arm strength but a part associated with their legs- it could be their knees or ankles need to be stronger. Others are fine here but not in their positioning. While still others are not as physically fit. Still others, are really, really good but a fractional improvement here and there makes them into superstars.

I could give you a very large list of all the little things associated with good writing here- and you will see one when I provide you with my rubrics, but the point that I am make is you are better off working on the same thing over and over again so that together, both you and I will be able to fix your “knees” or “forearms.”

I believe that this scaffolding approach will enhance your learning of the fundamentals in grammar, phrasing and guide you in terms of better understanding the lectures and what is involved in quality writing and analysis.

For EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment 2, you will write a First Draft version of your Journalism Style Column Piece based on the topic choice from your Annotated Bibliography. Your topic choice for your Annotated Bibliography will be the same choice for your first draft version of your Journalism Style Column Piece. For Assignment 3, you will submit your second draft version- again based on the same approved topic choice that you started with in Assignment 1. Likewise, for Assignment 4, you will be producing a final draft version of your Journalism Style Column Piece based on the same topic choice for Assignments 1, 2 and 3. If all goes right, you should see yourself improving throughout this scaffolding process and build something that is beautifully written.

Well, enough teacher stuff. Let’s now discuss what is an annotated bibliography and how do you write one.

Very simply, an EAC 411 NBA NBB annotated bibliography assignment is basically a research assignment which prepares you for your future assignments. It is not an essay. It like a simple “blue print” or plan of action for Assignments 2, 3 and 4.

Without it, some students might leave things to the last minute and earn lower grades for the next three assignments. I want you to earn the highest grade possible. This assignment then, allows me a chance to see if you’re on the right track to help you maximize your future marks.

This is a very simple and easy assignment. Try to be as brief as possible. Do not write lengthy information. All that I want to see is if you’re on the right path in terms of having strong, logical, tightly connected ideas in order to do well on your upcoming assignments. If, after grading your assignment 1 I tell you to avoid something, then do so. If I tell you to cover something different, then do so. Do not ignore my advice or your scaffolding will “collapse” and so too will your “building”/next assignment.

I provided a sample EAC 411 NBA NBB assignment below but first please continue reading the following important information.

You are required to answer ONE of the questions that I provided starting on Page 32. You are also expected to read the lectures on this topic. Very simply, do the following five things:

  1. In 100 words or less, state which question you have chosen to write your Journalist Style Column Piece on (Assignments 2, 3 and 4) from the topic list that I have provided.
  2. State which lecture your topic is found in.
  3. Very briefly state what your three main arguments are going to be.
  4. Find 7 articles on the topic that you selected in order to get a better understanding of your topic choice.
  5. Then answer the following question:

In 50 words or less, explain what plagiarism is and why it is unethical to commit it. Base your answer on what is written in the document “What is Plagiarism” found when clicking the course documents button. DO NOT PROVIDE ME WITH A DICTIONARY DEFINITION. Tell me what it is and why it is unethical in your own words. Explain it to me as if we were having a conversation.

For task number 4, at the end of your assignment, simply write Works Cited and then underneath it: the name of the author (the last name first followed by a comma and then his or her first name if available), the title of his or her review, the publication source, the year that it was written and underneath, the exact link to the website so that I can easily access it.

For example,

Works Cited

Vanderlay, Jack. “1984, The novel that describes today.” Sparks Notes. 2017.
http://vanderlayjack1984,thenovelthatdescribestoday.com

YOU DO NOT NEED TO WRITE ANY COMMENTS CONCERNING YOUR 7 RESEARCHED SOURCES. This is what you normally do for Annotated Bibliography but I do not feel that this is necessary for what we are trying to ultimately accomplish. I simply want to see if you are on the right track in terms of research and making appropriate connections to the lectures.

Think of research like receiving extra sets of eyes. You might have a strong knowledge on any given topic but everyone benefits from hearing what others- especially experts- have to say in order to improve their knowledge and arguments concerning it. Look at all of my lecture notes. Do you think that that they would be as knowledgeable and insightful as they are without all the research that I conducted in order to write them?

Here now are my recommendations to most efficiently do well on both this and future EAC 411 NBA NBB assignments related to your topic choice:

  1. Scroll down to Page 32 and select one question that interests you.
  2. Go to the “Weekly Outline” document and see which lecture covers this theme and read it.
  3. Find 7 articles on the topic that you selected in order to get a better understanding of what it is about.
  4. Write your Annotated Bibliography.
  5. Then write your Works Cited Section
  6. Underneath, answer the question that I provided above concerning plagiarism.

Again, your question choices for this assignment (which will be the same for ALL of your other ones) can be found on Page 32.

Sample EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment

Here is a sample assignment for you to consider from another course. I did this because sometimes, students literally copied what I provided and expected me to accept their submission. Using an unrelated example prevents such things from happening. Please note how little spacing that was used here. There was no double spacing. No cover page or cover page information. Just the assignment. When grading online, I want as little spacing as possible as it reduces the amount of scrolling up and down that I have to do. As much as possible, make your submission look like what you see here. Thanks.

Part I: A Brief Annotated Bibliography How Bacteria Communicate To One Another

The topic that I will be covering for my 3 columns concerns how bacteria have a language in which they chemically communicate to one another. This was covered in Lecture 5. The three main areas that I will be focusing on is 1, how scientists are starting to learn their “language.” 2, how understanding it could be used to stop their negative actions on us by “telling them to stop” hurting us or tell “good bacteria” to do good things in our bodies. And 3, provide examples of people being cured of major illnesses by manipulating their language.

Works Cited

  1. University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Learning the language of bacteria.” ScienceDaily. 2010. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101206161820.htm
  2. Schauder, S. and Bassler, B., “The Languages of Bacteria.” Genes and Development. 2001.
    http://genesdev.cshlp.org/content/15/12/1468.full
  3. Ludwig Maximilion University. “Novel bacterial ‘language’ discovered.” Phys News. 2013.
    https://phys.org/news/2013-07-bacterial-language.html
  4. Alatraktchi, F.A. “To detect diseases earlier, let’s speak bacteria’s secret language.” Ted Talks. 2014.
    https://www.ted.com/talks/fatima_alzahra_a_alatraktchi_to_detect_diseases_earlier_let_s_speak_bacteria_s_secret_language
  5. Trafton, Anne. “A programming language for living cells. New language lets researchers design novel biological circuits.” MIT News Office. 2016.
    http://news.mit.edu/2016/programming-language-living-cells-bacteria-0331
  6. Tenenbaum, David. Learning the language of bacteria. University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2010.
    https://news.wisc.edu/learning-the-language-of-bacteria/
  7. Olewitz, Chloe. “MIT biologists have developed a programming language for bacteria.” Digital Trends. 2016.
    https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/programming-language-custom-code-bacteria-heal-body/

Part 2 What Is Plagiarism and Why It Is Unethical?

What is plagiarism? I define plagiarism as______________. It is unethical because __.

I can’t write out the answer here- as I want you to write it in your own words. So fill in these blanks.

See how simple this assignment is? Do not go beyond this example. Save your explanations for your first draft columns due a few weeks from now. If you are using any sources from the Web, please include the EXACT link that you retrieved the article from. For example, I do not want a generic link such as “www.ehow.com” for an article that you read on say, photo journalism for sports. I want to be able to instantly access it. For instance, if you took your source from this site then here is exactly where I can find it with a click of a mouse: “http://www.ehow.com/how_6399334_become-sports-photojournalist.html”.

Yes, I know that the recent MLA formatting promoted by our college does not require this added detail but the people who put it together clearly do not teach online courses. For a hard copy paper, the exact link is pretty useless. For an essay sent online though, a professor can instantly visit the site and review it right on the spot. So for this course, make sure to include the exact link in your Works Cited Section. Thanks.

Again, the sample that I used here was from another course. DO NOT USE THIS ONE FOR EAC 411.

How To Submit Your EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignments

I know that I am being repetitive but many of you will only read this document one stage at a time. That is, when the first assignment is due, you will read the information concerning it. So just to make sure that you know what you need to do, here again, is how to submit an assignment.

You have to do 5 simple things:

  1. Write your essay (column) in Word.
  2. Copy and paste it on an email.
  3. Write your name, the course, the section that you are in (it’s either NBA or NBB you can know for sure by looking at what is written in your Blackboard account) and the assignment number in the subject heading of your email.

For example, if your name is Jack Vanderlay and you are in section NBA and were submitting assignment 1, then you would write:

Jack Vanderlay Re: EAC 411 NBA A1

If you fail to provide me with a proper subject heading, you will lose marks.

  1. ALSO, DO NOT SEND ME ANY ATTACHED DOCUMENTS. I will not grade them. Attachments pose the risk of me receiving a worm or virus and take longer to mark.
  2. Hit “send” and please patiently wait for me to mark it within a week of submission.
    That’s it. Do this exact same thing for ALL of your emailed assignments to me.

Again, here’s how your assignments should look like as emails on my end. And yes, I am joking about the content that I provided here (sort of ;-)):

How Your EAC 411 NBA NBB Project Will Be Graded:

This is an advanced level General Education Course. This will be your last stop in terms of honing (sharpening) your writing skills. As a result, 65% of your grade will be based on your writing style. That is, you are expected to write an assignment that is clear, to the point, flowing, and with few grammatical/structural errors. The remaining 35% of your grade will be based on your analysis, research and documentation.

For more information on grading, see the “Know Your A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and F’s” section below.

REMEMBER: These are RESEARCH assignments:

Just because the writing style is a bit more casual than a typical essay it does not mean that you do not write something that is intelligent. I want you to have fully informed opinions. If you just provide your own points of view on any of these EAC 411 NBA NBB assignments and do not mention any of your sources as I showed you how below then, you will pay dearly for this mistake. Yes, these columns are short in length but this does not mean that you should treat them like a discussion board post. These are RESEARCHED Assignments.

Let me emphasize this again, these are RESEARCH Assignments. The bare minimums of sources that you must read from are seven. This does not mean that you have to include all seven of your sources in the body (written part) of your column. Don’t just quote them for quotation’s sake. What I want is a well- argued and thought-out column piece. Having seven more opinions beyond your own will likely get you there.

A good EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment will not just have your own point of view. It will contain in the body (the written part) of your column, where possible,

  • quality quotations
  • facts/statistics and
  • paraphrased (taking someone else’s words and change them to your own) ideas from your sources.

Do not just tell me what you think about the topic. And do not just copy and paste 7 sources in your Works Cited section. Remember, this is not a discussion board posting but a COLUMN. Even though the length is short, this is still a RESEARCH assignment- not a discussion forum post.

For Assignments 2, 3 and 4, you need to provide a “Works Cited” section. Please do not call it “Work Cited” or fail to Capitalize the W and C here. You have 7 sources so this is plural- thus, you have “works” not work. I would not say this if 30% of my students keep getting this wrong. Do not write “Sources” or any other term- just Works Cited. Thanks.

You just do not need to use MLA or APA in the body of a column like you would for an essay. All you have to do is tell me where your information came from. Look at the example column that I provided below for more details on this very important matter.

Never Cite For Citation’s Sake

Of course, the last thing that I want is for you to just throw in a bunch of citations in your column.
Sometimes, students will string together a bunch of quotations from all of their sources to show me that they researched their papers. The problem with this is that pasting quotations in a paper only for this purpose may seriously fog-up the clarity of your column. Anything that gets in the way of the clarity of your message must always be avoided.

You will receive an automatic 5% deduction in your grade for failing to provide at least 7 sources and failing to use MLA Style.

Journalism Style Column Pieces EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment 2:

Your First Draft Version Of Your Journalism Style Column Piece

Word Limit: 200 Words. If you exceed this limit, marks will be deducted. Please continue to send your assignments using the 5-step process that I provided in this document. Also, I provided some optional reading on The Writing Craft of Journalism at the end of this document on Page 45. Reading this section could significantly boost your grades. Now let’s discuss this assignment.

This Assignment Will Be Graded By Promoting Self-Discovery

What does that mean xx? Relax. It’s a fancy term for learning on your own.

The best way to learn anything is to figure it out by yourself. So, when I get your assignment, I will write in some comments, I will highlight areas that have issues and cross out sections that are unnecessary but I will not make any grammar or phrasing corrections. I will point them out but for this assignment, but for this first submission, you will have to figure out how to fix these things on your own. This will force you to learn how to write better on a deeper level. On your next draft, Assignment 3, I will then show you what the proper grammar and phrasing corrections you need to make. In this draft though, I want you to first try figuring it out on your own.

Remember to make the edits that I suggested on this first draft for Assignment 3- which is a continuation of Assignment 2. Do not come up with any new topic unless I told you to.

Continue to have 7 sources in your Works Cited section for ALL of our remaining EAC 411 NBA NBB assignments.

If I told you to get rid of something then get rid of whatever it is. If I crossed out something, then don’t include it for your second draft submission.

For the most part, I will be pointing out where there are problem areas that need to be fixed and you will attempt to fix them on your own.

As I said above, for Assignment 3, I will edit your work in order to show you what the problems were and how to improve on your next draft version which is Assignment 4.

Columns Vs Essays. What’s The Difference?

So, you’ve picked your topic choice from the list of questions starting on Page 32, wrote it in your Annotated Bibliography and then discussed it in the Discussion Forum. The next step is to write your first draft version of a mini version of a journalism style column piece. So what’s a column?
An essay is a formal piece of writing giving a person’s argument. A column is less formal. One is for academic purposes and the other is for media such as newspapers, magazines, their online versions, blogs and the like. For better clarity, columns also have significantly more paragraphs. Learning this style of writing will better prepare you for the workforce- which will maximize the value of your diplomas.

Let me give you two examples. The first is what a typical essay looks like. The second, is a converted version of this essay into column style. The first one was written by a student.

Here Is An Example Of An Essay. Do Not Write Your EAC 411 NBA NBB Writing This Way:

Mike Tyson’s Despicable Act
When people hear the name Mike Tyson, one of the most appalling moments in sports history usually comes to mind. On June 28, 1997, Tyson did the unthinkable, he actually, bit off a piece of his opponent’s ear (Evander Holyfield) in the boxing ring!

The sellout crowd, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, “were about to get a show that no one saw coming” (Baumgaertner, “An oral history”). During this much anticipated rematch with Evander Holyfield, Tyson got his opponent in a clinch. He then spit out his mouth guard and did the unimaginable by biting off a portion of Holyfield on the ear. The fight was stopped and Holyfield’s injury was examined. The referees signaled for the bout to continue.

One has to be a quite a sore loser to resort to such desperate un-sportsman -like measures. Indeed, during his appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show, the ex-Champ said that he could not stand the idea of losing to Holyfield again; so he did whatever it took to get disqualified (Lotierzo, “Mike Tyson Tells”).

This pathetic explanation behind the most appalling moment in sports history is utterly unacceptable. Actions like this can never be condoned. They are reprehensible acts of poor sportsmanship. Thankfully, nothing similar has happened since.
Works Cited

  1. “23 years after, Holyfield, Tyson eager for third ‘bite at it.’” Vanguard.com. 14 May, 2020.
    https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/05/23-years-after-holyfield-tyson-eager-for-third-bite-at-it/.
  2. Baumgaertner, Gabriel. “An oral history of the infamous 1997 Holyfield-Tyson ‘bite fight’”.
    Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. SI. 29 June 2012. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/the_bonus/06/28/tyson-holyfield-oral-history/index.html#ixzz2s28olBVk.
  3. Chakraborty, Sujay. Why Did Mike Tyson Bite Evander Holyfield? Tyson Speaks On ‘bite Heard Around The World’ 30 Republicworld.com. April, 2020.
    https://www.republicworld.com/sports-news/other-sports/why-did-mike-tyson-bite-evander-holyfields-ear-in-1997-boxing-news.html.
  4. Lotierzo, Frank. “Mike Tyson Tells Oprah Why He Bit Evander Holyfield”. Thesweetscience.com. The Sweet Science. 12 Oct. 2009. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
    http://www.thesweetscience.com/news/articles/7287-mike-tyson-tells-oprah-why-he-bit-evander-holyfield.
  5. Lotierzo, Frank. “The Fascinating Dynamic between Evander Holyfield and Tyson”. Thesweetscience.com. The Sweet Science. 2014. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
    http://www.thesweetscience.com/columnists/ronan-keenan/7324-the-fascinating-dynamic-between-evander-holyfield-and-tyson.
  6. Mansfield, Mollie. “Ear To Ear: Evander Holyfield about infamous Mike Tyson ear bite after meme suggests he can’t wear face mask.” The Sun. 13 May, 2020.
    https://www.the-sun.com/sport/825460/evander-holyfield-coronavirus-mask-mike-tyson-ear/.
  7. Dalton, Kyle. “What Happened to the Piece of Evander Holyfield’s Ear After Mike Tyson Bit It?” Sportscasting.com. 17 April, 2020.
    https://www.sportscasting.com/what-happened-to-the-piece-of-evander-holyfields-ear-after-mike-tyson-bit-it/.

Here It Is In Column Form; Which Is The Style That I Want You To Write In:

Mike Tyson’s Unbelievable “Bite Night” In Vegas
When people hear the name Mike Tyson, one of the most appalling moments in sports history usually comes to mind.

On June 28, 1997, Tyson did the unthinkable. He actually, bit off a piece of his opponent’s ear in the boxing ring! That’s right, Evander Holyfield’s ear.

According to SI’s Gabriel Baumgaetner, the sellout crowd, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, “were about to get a show that no one saw coming.” And did they ever!

During this much anticipated rematch between Evander Holyfield, Tyson got his opponent in a clinch and then, well, the rest was history.

I did not see the episode but columnist Frank Lotierzo mentioned that Tyson, on an appearance on the then Oprah Winfrey show, said that he couldn’t stand the idea of losing to Holyfield again; so he did whatever it took to get disqualified.

The ex-Champ did the unimaginable and it would take years until he truly fessed-up on his actions.

What a pathetic explanation from what was then a broken human being.

Actions like this automatically induct people like Mike Tyson as first ballot entries into the “Sports Hall of Shame.”

One word describes this disgusting event:

Unbelievable.
Works Cited

  1. “23 years after, Holyfield, Tyson eager for third ‘bite at it.’” Vanguard.com. 14 May, 2020.
    https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/05/23-years-after-holyfield-tyson-eager-for-third-bite-at-it/.
  2. Baumgaertner, Gabriel. “An oral history of the infamous 1997 Holyfield-Tyson ‘bite fight’”.
    Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. SI. 29 June 2012. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/the_bonus/06/28/tyson-holyfield-oral-history/index.html#ixzz2s28olBVk.
  3. Chakraborty, Sujay. Why Did Mike Tyson Bite Evander Holyfield? Tyson Speaks On ‘bite Heard Around The World’ 30 Republicworld.com. April, 2020.
    https://www.republicworld.com/sports-news/other-sports/why-did-mike-tyson-bite-evander-holyfields-ear-in-1997-boxing-news.html.
  4. Lotierzo, Frank. “Mike Tyson Tells Oprah Why He Bit Evander Holyfield”. Thesweetscience.com. The Sweet Science. 12 Oct. 2009. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
    http://www.thesweetscience.com/news/articles/7287-mike-tyson-tells-oprah-why-he-bit-evander-holyfield.
  5. Lotierzo, Frank. “The Fascinating Dynamic between Evander Holyfield and Tyson”. Thesweetscience.com. The Sweet Science. 2014. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
    http://www.thesweetscience.com/columnists/ronan-keenan/7324-the-fascinating-dynamic-between-evander-holyfield-and-tyson.
  6. Mansfield, Mollie. “Ear To Ear: Evander Holyfield about infamous Mike Tyson ear bite after meme suggests he can’t wear face mask.” The Sun. 13 May, 2020.
    https://www.the-sun.com/sport/825460/evander-holyfield-coronavirus-mask-mike-tyson-ear/.
  7. Dalton, Kyle. “What Happened to the Piece of Evander Holyfield’s Ear After Mike Tyson Bit It?” Sportscasting.com. 17 April, 2020.
    https://www.sportscasting.com/what-happened-to-the-piece-of-evander-holyfields-ear-after-mike-tyson-bit-it/.

Yes, I know that in a column piece you don’t provide a Works Cited Section at the end. However, for a college submission, this is necessary. It shows me where you got some of your ideas from and discourages plagiarism- which is a major problem here at xx.

Did you notice in the body (the actual written part) of this column, that I managed to still identify my sources but I did it in a way that flowed smoothly? So, I prevented any plagiarism and yet did not cite things in the way you would normally do for an essay.

One of the main goals is this course is to teach you the journalistic style of writing in order to communicate better in the workplace. The standard essay does not do this. It’s too formal, long-winded and rigid.

In what universe, for instance, is it a good idea to always communicate using 5 and only 5 paragraphs?! Doing so is impractical and does not add to clarity to your message. The formal essay style is far too mechanical. It does not feel as if a regular human being is communicating to another.

Over the years, you have learnt more than enough times how to write an essay. I now want you to learn something new and practical. Basically, how to get to the point with the utmost focus and clarity.

The main difference between the essay and this column is formality. The first one sounded a bit professorial while the other sounded more conversational.

Good writing in the workforce and in the media is more casual. The sentences are breathable, short, clear, simple and to the point. They are also less robotic.

When writing, follow the expression, “let down you hair.” Try to write as if you are speaking during a presentation.

Whatever you do, don’t get fancy for fancy’s sake. Leave that for standard essay writing. And above all, make sure that your reader immediately understands what you are trying to say and does not need to work for it.

The worst style of writing in the office setting is when someone takes seemingly forever to finally say what they wanted to say. The same applies to those of you who trying to sound almost poetic in your delivery. Be more blunt.

I know that for some of you, this is not culturally appropriate -but in the business setting, especially here in North America, beating around the bush, that is, taking unnecessarily long to say what want to say, is a career killer. Be clear and precise and get to the point.

Multiple paragraphs, even as short as a single sentence- if done right, help in this regard.

Anything that makes your ideas easier to understand is a good thing. Multiple paragraphs- so long as they are new ideas or for emphasis accomplish this.

Really.

See what I did above?

And the sentence above as well? As was also done in the one below?

Again, a new paragraph = a new thought.

Also, note how this submission has a thesis, body and conclusion- just like any other essay or communication message.

Did you notice the good title? Your columns should have one as well. The title here TOTALLY connects to the main thesis/core idea- as does every sentence and paragraph in this sample column.

Writing is a lot like music. If you listen very carefully to a song and are not tone deaf, you should be able to hum a single note that is in harmony with the every note in a section of a song. This single note is known as the key note.

When writing a column or essay, you need a key note. What is the central, core argument or idea that you are going to focus on? Every sentence and paragraph has to be in harmony with this core argument. If you don’t have this level of focus, you will produce a confusing column. Keep this in mind going forward.

The “Art” Of Writing A Great EAC 411 NBA NBB Column

I have provided a number of writing tips on Page 45. Please make sure to read them. These will provide you with the fundamentals of getting your ideas clearly expressed. Right here though, I now want to help you with the “art” side of producing a great column.

There is an expression in journalism and television production:

“Garbage in, garbage out.”

If you start something off poorly, it will finish poorly. This is especially true concerning your topic choice.

If you scroll down to Page 32, you will see the topic choices that I have provided. You should notice that they are very general. They are your starting points for the unique columns that each of you will ultimately produce.

If you want to impress me, you will need to find a new insight/perspective from your general topic choice. This usually comes from researching the topic and then formulating, that is, coming up with a new “angle” or main point or thesis (all of these mean the same thing) that readers will WANT to read.

Try to provide a unique opinion on your general topic choice that stands out from what everyone else is saying.

Think of this like the following scenarios:

Imagine being at a party, family gathering, sitting with a group of friends during lunch or while reading the comments section of a website where people are discussing or debating some topic or issue.

During such gatherings, if you were to participate in them, would you just repeat all that has been said? Maybe. But would your views stand out simply by saying what has already been said?

Boring. Right?

If you wanted to be noticed, wouldn’t you instead offer a fresh opinion, something new that adds to the general views provided or perhaps politely argue a strong and logical counterpoint?

The same thing should apply when writing your column. Don’t just say what everyone else is saying. Come up with a new “spin” or key idea.

It is really important that you strongly believe your opinion. So much so, that you desperately want others to know it.

If your column lacks passion, no one will read it. Ask yourself why you so desperately want to express your opinion on this topic?

Having a strong and clear opinion on a topic means that it will be a lot easier for you to write a column since you truly care about the subject. It also means that you will be more focused and less likely to struggle in terms of getting your words out.

Make sure that your arguments are strong and logical and will not easily be counter argued.

If you were a journalist filing a news report, you would just report the details and facts. (Sadly, with the increasingly biased reporting taking place these days, many news reports fail to do this).

A column is very different to a report because it is supposed to be biased and opinionated. However, when writing one, you should still have journalistic integrity. That is, whatever you argue should neither be deliberately deceptive nor should it maliciously slander anyone.

Carefully, think things through. Use facts, examples, perhaps simple analogies and/or personal examples. If what you are arguing is a problem, then don’t just complain and whine about it. Provide a solution.

It is extremely important that you know what the opposing points are and be prepared through research to argue against them. You are to be like a prepared lawyer in a courtroom arguing either for or against the prosecution.

Feel free to use the personal pronoun “I.” After all, you are expressing a personal opinion here based on the research that you have gathered and perhaps what you knew beforehand. And as a side note, avoid though using a person’s first name as you do not personally know these people.

Again, work within the word limit. This will teach you how to get your points across without losing your audience.

Finally, have a good title that cleverly/creatively summarizes your proposed column piece. Coming up with a great title draws readers and forces you to stay focused- as every paragraph in your piece has to relate to it.

Think of this like a “key note” in a song example that I provided earlier in this document.

A good title is like an anchor that prevents you from straying away from your core message/thesis.

I showed you how to do this in the “Writing Tips” section found on Page 45.

Also beware Of Plagiarism. There are four major ways that you can be caught stealing other people’s words or ideas. I produced a very short document entitled “What is Plagiarism” (it should take up no more than10 minutes of your time) that you need to review. It even has a mini-quiz at the end. 5-7 of you will not do this and likely fail an assignment. Bad idea. Read this document ASAP.

The 4 main types of plagiarism are:

  1. Directly copying and pasting someone else’s words and not saying where you got them. Basically, you are pretending that they are your own.
  2. Directly copying and pasting someone else’s words and simply putting quotation marks but not saying where you got them.
  3. Taking someone else’s idea and not admitting that it was not your own. And,
  4. Citing an unusual fact or statistic that is not common knowledge. For example, if I were to say that today’s temperature was 20 degrees C; that would be common knowledge. If however, I were to state that today’s temperature was the result of cyclonic movements of Northerly winds interspersed with a barometric pressure drop due to the El Nino affect, you got this from somewhere. Tell me where. Otherwise, you are cheating.

Writing A 200 Word Essay Or Column Is Tough, But It Can Be Done.

In this section, I have provided some information on how to write a 200 word column (which is basically an essay but less formal). 90% of my students think that this is an impossible task and yet the last 20 years, THOUSANDS have manage to do it and do it well. It’s Ok if you are initially a bit nervous. Just trust me when I say that you can do this.

Let me first explain why I want you to do this type of an EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment. Then, I will provide you with a 5 step process to help you followed by a sample essay.

Hey Are You Crazy?

What is the thinking behind me giving you these tough assignments anyways? It’s not because I enjoy torturing people. O.K. Maybe a little. 😉The number one reason that you are asked write them is that in the real working world, your boss will expect short, clear and precise communication from you. It’s better to learn how to do this from me now than later. I want you to be job ready. The second reason is that this is a sports journalism course and the clearest, most precise style of writing is that used by the news media.

Most students have a hard time on their first assignment. By the second one, they find it a bit easier. By the third, all the light bulbs are lit on and they’re on a good roll.

If You Write More Than 200 Words, Marks WILL Be Deducted

Let me clearly state right from day one that I will not be impressed me with long winded essays. As a matter of fact, I will deduct marks if you exceed the word limit. Most students stick to this limit. Some won’t. Here’s the problem with those of you who break this unbreakable rule: it is just is plain unfair to all of the other students who busted their butts to meet the tight word deadline to give someone else a huge competitive advantage by exceeding the word count. I just can’t do this. Sorry. This rule is the rule.

Here’s A Four Step Process On How To Efficiently Write An Essay

So what’s the best way to do these EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignments? I suggest that you follow a four step process.

First, do your research. Give yourself a few days to think things through. Come up with a clear thesis or basic idea/argument that you want to convey in your essay. You should have a better idea of this after your Annotated Bibliography is graded and you received some input in the Discussion Forum.

Then second, write everything that you want to say as a rough draft. You may want to “speak” your column into text form on the notepad program on your smart phone and then email it to yourself where you then convert it into a Word file.

Third, add in good quotations to support some of your ideas (only where necessary- never quote for quotation’s sake).

And, finally, start to cut back on material that is unnecessary, repetitive, is interesting but does not strongly support your thesis or can be said with less words.
Whatever you do, don’t just write everything in an hour or two before the deadline and hope that this will be an A quality paper. This is nothing more than a first draft and I likely will write a comment that says something along the lines of “this appeared to be a rushed effort.”

It’s much less stressful on you if you just write and don’t think things too deeply on your first draft. By just writing, you are helping to get rid of some of your nervousness. Once you have something, anything, you can then build from this.

Before handing in your column, read it out loud.

If any sections seem “off” to you- that is, they don’t sound right in some inexplicable way- then they likely will be 100 times less clear to me. Highlight these sentences or paragraphs and give your mind a day or two of rest and then go over them again.

You will actually save a ton of time by doing this as editing after a rest period tends to go very quickly. I do this with all of my lecture notes. If I need to, so do you.

EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment 3:

Your Second Draft Version Of Your Journalism Style Column Piece

Word Limit: 200 Words. This assignment is a continuation of what you wrote for Assignment 2. The word limit remains the same for this second draft version of what you tried to write in your first draft submission. If you exceed this limit, marks will be deducted. Please continue to send your assignments using the 5-step process that I provided in this document.

On the first draft, I simply highlighted, removed/crossed-out sections that were unnecessary, and commented on your work. For this submission, you are now to send me an improved version of what you wrote for Assignment 2.

In terms of grading, I will provide even more detailed feedback with the hopes that you will make more refinements to your column and produce a final draft version as explained below. Make the edits that I suggested for Assignment 3.

Again, do not come up with any new topic. If I told you to get rid of something then get rid of whatever it is. If I crossed out something, then don’t include it for this final submission.

If I added something, or told you to add something. Then do so.

EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment 4

Your Final Draft Version Of Your Journalist Column Piece Based On What You Wrote On Assignment 3

Word Limit: 300 Words. This assignment is a continuation of what you wrote for Assignment 3. The word limit is a bit higher but only add in things if you feel it will benefit the message that you are trying to convey. In communication, “Less is More.” Do not add in 100 more words to meet this limit. Only do so if I told you write more or if you feel that it will make your column better.

If you exceed this limit, marks will be deducted. Try to write less than this limit.

After you write Assignment 3, you will get it back fully graded with feedback from me. You are to follow my advice and make the necessary edits and ideas that I gave you. Think of me as your editor at a newspaper or magazine. It’s my job to help you get the most out of your message. So, follow what I say and you will produce a better version of what you gave me for Assignment 3. I am giving you an extra 100 words to work with but you should only write more if you absolutely feel that you must do so. Again, “Less is More.”

This assignment should be much easier than Assignment 3 because, you are working with your same your topic choice as that for your Annotated Bibliography, your Discussion Forum and Assignments 2 and 3. Remember, you are building on your learning by focusing on just one project all semester rather than a more scattered approach. Your areas of strength and weakness are being improved on by this focused learning technique known as scaffolding.

Make the edits that I suggested for Assignment 3. Do not come up with any new topic. If I told you to get rid of something then get rid of whatever it is. Else If I crossed out something, then don’t include it for this final submission.

If I added something, or told you to add something. Then do so.

As mentioned at the very top of this document, there will be no final exam for EAC 411 this semester. As a result, this Final Draft Version Of Your Journalism Style Column Piece Assignment worth 20% will act as one. It is due on Monday November 30th by 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Daylight Time- even if you are taking this course in another country or time zone. Unlike previous assignments, if you do not submit it by the deadline, you will lose significant marks. 5% per half hour that it is late. This is not a regular assignment. It is more like a take home Final Exam. If you arrive late at an exam, you suffer the consequences. The same is true here. Do not make this terrible mistake.

As I wrote in the Weekly Outline Document:

“Again, There is NO Final Exam for this course. Instead, you will be writing a Final Column. This Online Assignment Will Take The Place Of A Final Exam. Failure To Submit Your Work By The Deadline Will Result In A Dramatically Lowered Grade (5% per half hour after the assigned deadline due date time). For example, anytime past 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm = a 5% deduction. Anytime past 1:30 pm to 2:00 pm = a 10% deduction and so on).”

For nearly 20 years, I had an exam for this course. Given that I have written multiple documents, I may have accidentally failed to remove the word “exam” in some of them. Please let me know where and I will edit them out. What I want to emphasize though is that there will be no formal Final Exam for this course.

Again, think of this assignment as a continuation of what you did on Assignment 3 but an improved version that includes a few more edits and touch-ups. YOU DO NOT NEED TO COME UP WITH A NEW TOPIC. CONTINUE TO USE THE ONE THAT YOU USED FOR ASSIGNMENT 1,2 AND YOUR DISCUSSION FORUM.

When I graded Assignment 3, I provided detailed feedback. I likely made edits to your submission. I might have advised you to not cover certain sections for Assignment 3. Basically, fix whatever I edited or highlighted and follow all of the advice that I offered. I spent at least 40 minutes going over your work on Assignment 3 in order to help you out. Please do whatever I told you to do in order to maximize your mark.

You are basically being asked to fix or polish-up what you wrote for Assignment 3. Assignment 4 is basically a final version of Assignment 3. Most of the hard work has been done then. So there are NO excuses for failing to submit your work on time. Sorry.

You must submit your work before or no later than the deadline written in the Weekly Outline document or you will receive a 5% deduction in mark per half hour that it is handed in late.

Given:

  1. How similar Assignment 4 is to Assignment 3, plus
  2. All the detailed feedback that I provided to you when I marked Assignment 3 in preparation for this Final Column Assignment, plus
  3. The reasonable amount of time that you have had to make the necessary adjustments for this column,

There is NO excuse for submitting late.

It would therefore be really smart to hand in your work earlier than the due date than risk having some technical problem like your “hard drive failing” or your “WIFI” was not working which thus prevented you for handing it in on time. As I said above,

You must submit your work before or no later than the deadline written in the Weekly Outline document or you will receive a 5% deduction in mark per half hour that it is handed in late. Sorry. This is like an exam and submitting late is no different than walking late into your exam room. I’m giving you nearly 5 weeks to prepare for this assignment through you writing multiple guided drafts, an EAC 411 NBA NBB Annotated Bibliography assignment plus a Discussion Forum on your topic question choice. It is very obvious that I REALLY want you to succeed then. I have made it virtually impossible for you to not be able to submit the final assignment on time. There really is no excuse. Right?

SO Please DON’T ASK FOR AN EXTENSION
You knew that this assignment was coming up well in advance.

Topic Suggestions For Assignments 1, 2, 3 and 4

You need to select One of the questions provided in the topic suggestions below for Assignment’s 1, 2, 3 and 4. All of your assignments will be based on your one topic choice.

IF you want to write an alternative topic, I need to approve it. Oftentimes, students pick topics that are far too broad or complex to be written within the tight word limits of these assignments. Others just pick something completely unrelated to this course. If you want to do something outside of the suggested topics that relates to this course then I do not need to be informed about what you plan on writing on.

Also, you are to write on one question- not everything found in the category.

For example, under the first major category heading, “Leadership/Administration In Sports,” there are 13 potential essay (column) topics here. Given the very tiny word limit, no one could possibly write a decent column on all of them. Pick just one of the potential column topic questions.

There is a lot of variety to choose from. Take advantage of it. I want you to enjoy taking this course!

Topic Suggestions for EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment 1, 2, 3 and 4

Remember, you can only cover ONE of these questions for ALL three of your Assignments plus The Discussion Forum. The reason for this is we are using the learning tool of scaffolding where you experience concentrated/focused learning.

In one of my other lives, I used to produce a comedy show. I was so funny, that I now teach this course. It makes sense. Right? 😉

One of the things that I did well was save time on producing really bad material. I had a rule with my team of writers that before committing a budget for any sketch, they would first have to pitch their ideas to all of us. If everyone in the room laughed, then I would give the green light to write a script. If no one laughed, the project died right there.

The thinking was, if the idea was not funny to begin with, then devoting a ton of resources to it would be a waste of time and effort.

Prior to this, writers would spend days putting together scripts and we would then shoot their pieces where a lot of the time, the material was so bad, it never made it on the air.

If you start off with an idea that is not funny, you will likely produce a lousy skit.

“Garbage in, garbage out.”

In one of my other lives as a journalist, whenever I wanted to write on something, I first pitched my idea. If my editor liked it, I would then go on to write it. This too, lead to better columns.

The lessons learned in these two former lives of mine is that teaching is more fun, a steadier gig and the benefits plan is awesome. Summer vacations are great. 😉 Also, if you start off with a poor or weak thesis/core argument for a column, you will not produce an excellent one. So everything begins with what you start off with.

Does this make sense?

The topic choices that I provided here tend to be general. What I want you to do is find something unique and appealing about the topic provided here that interests you and then write about it. First in your Annotated Bibliography and then, after further refinement with me, in your three column pieces that follow.

The more focused your topic choice is, the better. This will allow you to meet the very strict word limit that you are given plus it will make your job of writing it much easier.

When coming up with your topic choice, think of the following:

A column piece is intended to attract an audience while an essay is not. What perspective (in the industry, we call it an “angle”) could you provide that would make your column more appealing? What would make people say, “I HAVE to read this?”

This concept of having an appealing angle, along with clear writing, is the key to producing a good column. If you start off with something that appeals to a reader, you are 75% there in terms of writing something good.

Finally, before choosing your topic, please make sure to read once more what I wrote about this on Page 25 under the heading, “The Art of Writing a Great Column.”

Advertising And Marketing Issues

• Are political “attack ads” affective? Explain your reasoning and provide specific examples from a CANADIAN perspective. If they are affective, how do they work?

Journalism

• Write a column on an award winning photo journalist. Just to let you know, this is one of the hardest topic choices. What were the essential reasons for his or her successful works? Far too many students simply describe a person’s work and accomplishments but do not analyze them. Why are the photos of this person worthy of such praise? Think of this like one writing on the topic of art appreciation. What aspects of his or her work stand out and compel people to view it? Great photographers are not simply at the right place at the right time. They have also captured the essence of the moment with incredible aesthetic aspects to their work. Please include photos in your submission so that I can easily view them. Also, as back-up, please provide website links of these photos.
• Discuss a journalist or columnist that you admire either past or living, and explain why he or she is/was so good in his or her craft.

Social Issues

• A few years ago, Author Gil Reavill wrote a book titled, Smut: A Sex-Industry Insider (and Concerned Father) Says Enough is Enough. This former writer for the pornographic “Screw Magazine,” strongly argued in favour of press freedoms. However, he also argued that while there should be freedom of the press, there should also be “freedom from the press.” Assess the merits of Reavill’s arguments.

• Trash TV: Have programs such as Jerry Springer and Maury Povich “amused our culture to death?” Explain your reasoning.

• “Reality” TV: Have programs such as “Love Is Blind,” “The Batchelor,” “The Kardashians,” “amused our culture to death?” Explain your reasoning.

• New York Times columnist Alex Kuczynski published a book called Beauty Junkies: Inside our 15-Billion Dollar Obsession with Cosmetic Surgery. In a CBC radio interview on November 27th, 2006, Kuczynski argued that a major reason for the increased number of women doing breast and genital augmentations is due to the increased presence of pornography in our society. Read her book and book reviews on it and then analyze the validity of her arguments.

The Internet And Electronic Media

Privacy Issues

Please answer any one of the questions from a Canadian perspective.

• Do you feel that government should impose stricter laws protecting our privacy here in Canada? Explain your reasoning.

• Has the Federal Government of Canada gone too far in its legislation to combat terrorism with regards to our privacy rights? Conversely, is it appropriate? Explain your reasoning.

• If you subscribe to a digital cable or satellite TV service here in Canada, how secure is the information concerning your viewing habits? Are the privacy measures they offer sufficient? Explain your reasoning.

• How are phone lines and e-mails “monitored” here in Canada. How and by whom? Pick a specific example. Are you concerned? Explained your reasoning.

• How have political parties used “data mining/analytics” techniques to get Canadian voters to support their parties?

• Is Google becoming “Big Brother” in terms of the way that it surveils us here in Canada? Explain your reasoning.

• The media has recently been covering a number of stories related to privacy. Choose ONE story here in Canada covering a single aspect of this debate and articulate your position.

• Which country offers its citizens greater privacy protections: Canada or the United States? Which country offers the best privacy protections in the world? Can Canada improve in this area? If so, how? Explain your reasoning.

Attention All Computer Geeks 😉: Read what I wrote up above in large font concerning plagiarism. Thanks 😊

Stereotyping

• I have not been able to find any research information on the topic of what I call “screen tickers”- text based news stories that crawl at the bottom your television screens during broadcasts from all news networks. Have there been any studies done on their use in terms of generating stereotypes and/or manipulating public opinion? If so, what have been the conclusions?

Conspiracy Theories

• Read Lecture 9’s discussion on conspiracy theories. Now do some research and provide alternative ideas concerning them. That is, explain why people are prone to believing in such theories beyond what was covered in this lecture. Please do not prove to me that 9/11 was an inside job or that COVID-19 came from the “deep state.” Focus on the theories concerning why people believe in conspiracy theories (the psychology of conspiracy theories). Thanks.
• Read Lecture 9’s discussion on conspiracy theories. Now pick a conspiracy theory that has been proven to be false that was widely spread and discuss how this happened.

Make Sure To Use Reliable Research Sources On This Topic.

Media Bias

• What have the major political parties been doing to win over the favour Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) and CanWest (now Shaw) Communications?

• Does CTV News Net, Global Television or CBC News World have a bias in favour of the Liberal Party of Canada? Explain your reasoning.

• Now that Sun TV is long gone, explain what happened. Did the CRTC kill this channel by making it harder to access or did it die on its own? Explain your reasoning.

• Did the news media provide a fair representation for all of the federal political parties during the last election? Explain your reasoning.

• What types of “dirty media tricks” did the political parties pull on one another during the last federal election that the news media ignored or downplayed? Explain your reasoning.

• Do you believe that Canada’s media has a liberal bias on social issues such as abortion, the decriminalization of drugs, euthanasia, sexuality etcetera and a conservative bias on economic issues such as corporate control of the media, its influence in government, taxation, and globalization? Explain your reasoning.

• Persons who hold traditional conservative views (social conservatives) on social issues such as abortion, the decriminalization of drugs, euthanasia, sexuality etcetera, argue that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, provides biased news coverage on these matters. They feel that they are either “demonized,” ridiculed or have their perspective ignored. Does the CBC have a bias on social issues? Explain your reasoning.

• Since its inception, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, has been accused of favouring the Federal Liberal Party. Does the CBC have a Liberal bias (i.e. shows favouritism towards the Liberal Party of Canada)? Explain your reasoning.

• Pick a specific example of supposed bias by the CBC and discuss it.

• The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC has often been accused of religious bigotry. Is this true? Explain your reasoning.

• The news media in general has often been accused of religious bigotry. Is this true? Explain your reasoning.

• Do you feel that the CBC has been unfairly picked-on by corporations who have a dislike of its investigative news reporting on them? In addition, is this criticism self-serving the interests of large media companies that do not want this government owned entity to siphon away precious advertising dollars? Explain your reasoning.

Artificial Grass Roots Organizations and Front Groups

• Discuss the methods of manipulation used by a special interest group in re-shaping public opinion here in Canada. How successful was this effort?

Political Manipulation

• Come election time in the United States, two groups seem to attract a lot of negative media attention: Christians and labour unions. Is this true? Explain your reasoning.

• Provide a recent example in the art of “spin doctoring.” Explain your reasoning.

Language and Reality

• Discuss how language can shape one’s view of reality? Historically, many of my students have chosen to write on this fascinating topic. Many have also struggled to produce quality essays related to it. My main concern for your EAC 411 NBA NBB assignments are focus and clarity. You only have 200 words to work with and this is a very complex topic. A good column piece is clear and highly understood. Some of you with very strong writing skills, may end-up writing something that is more like a university paper for a linguistics department but not for a magazine, blog or newspaper reader. Remember, you are asked to write a column- not an essay.

If you believe that you can simplify the complicated then go ahead and write on this topic. Just please make sure that you narrow things down. That is, pick a specific language and then discuss how it shapes the cultural mindset those who speak it. You may want to consider what ways those who speak this particular language “see” other cultures. That is, does this language bring about “barriers” in terms of how one interacts with other societies? In what ways might it bring positive change to other societies.

Again, this is a very tough topic choice. If you are not confident with the quality of your writing skills, then this would likely be a poor topic choice to work with for the semester. Trying to write both on a tough topic choice plus do so in a way that challenges your writing skills, makes this choice twice as hard as most of the others. Make sure that you are absolutely confident that you can produce a clear, interesting column piece on it. Most of my students do not thoroughly think this through.

Finally, I am very tired of hearing on the TEDTALK by Lera Boroditsky- especially mentions of directions using North, South, East and West rather than right or left. Do not include her in your research. And do not include her in your columns. My lecture notes include Boroditsky. Please be more original in your analysis. Thanks.

Concentrated Media Ownership

• Should the Canadian federal government intervene and limit the amount of media that any corporation can own? If the Federal government did intervene, would this be an attack on press freedoms? Explain your reasoning.

• Have some of the recent actions by the federal Trudeau government threatened press freedoms or the flow of negative news concerning it? Explain your reasoning.

Still Not Happy? Drop this course. Just kidding 😉

If you have alternative topic please let us know as soon as possible. I do not want you to produce a paper that is unworkable with the tight word limits that have been imposed. You will need your instructor’s approval.

Assignment Due Dates

See Your EAC 411 NBB NBA Addendum.

Late Submissions

You will receive an automatic 5% deduction in your grade for each day that any of your submissions are handed-in late.

How Will You Be Graded?

I don’t want to sound repetitive but what the heck. The grading ratio for assignments in advanced English literature courses is 65-35 in favour of the written component of your submissions. For other courses such as history, social studies, psychology and the like, it’s the opposite. I did not make up these rules. That’s what I am told to do. So they are what they are.

I have this bad rap as being a “hard marker” when all that I am doing is following the rules set out for a course like this. I give way more A’s in my presentations course than I do here because the grading expectations are very different. Someone has to truthfully tell you where your writing is at in terms of what’s expected of you in terms of the college’s standards as well as those required for success in the workforce. This puts me in a tough situation.

Now throw in the fact that virtually all my communication with you is online and every once and a while I get some pretty angry students who through their imaginations have made me out to be one mean person. Please try to remember that I am just doing what I am told to do and my marking is never personal. If you have an issue with it, why not set up a meeting or give me a phone call? I will not ignore you. If long distance charges apply, I will happily pay them out of my own pocket.

Here now is information on how I grade your EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignments.

Know Your A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s and F’s

So what’s involved in getting high or low grades? Here are some general elements.

As pointed out in the Addendum, the grading system is as follows:

Letter Grade Percentage GPA
A+ 90%-100% 4.0
A 80%-89% 4.0
B+ 75%- 79% 3.5
B 70%-74% 3.0
C+ 65%-69% 2.5
C 60%-64% 2.0
D+ 55%-59% 1.5
D 50%-54% 1.0
F 0%-49% 0
An “A+” quality paper is something that is truly exceptional. It is well written in terms of clarity and flow. It is superbly analyzed, researched and has proper referencing. “A+” papers are exceptionally strong in ALL four of these key categories.

An “A” quality paper is also an exceptional work but is slightly weaker in comparison to that of an “A+” assignment in any or all of the four key categories of grading.

“B+” papers oftentimes are very strong in many of the four key areas but fall short in one- or at most- two categories.

Think of these papers like a figure skating performance in which a skater carried out a number of very difficult maneuvers but fell a few times. These falls would immediately exclude him or her from winning a gold medal. Likewise, if you researched, cited and provided analysis at an A+ level but your work had some significant grammatical or structural writing errors- it no longer can be considered worthy of an “A” (gold medal) grade.

For instructors, these are the most difficult papers to mark since we tend to feel quite sympathetic to students who provide exceptional efforts. Unfortunately, based on xx uncompromising standards, we simply cannot give a grade that is higher than a B+ grade or 79%.

A “B” quality paper is something that is above average. It is better than a work produced by a “typical” student in terms of analysis, research, and documentation. In terms of writing style, “B” papers have a “smooth” writing flow to them. That is, a reader does not need to re-read sections several times in order to understand what has been written. These types of papers are generally well written but contain some grammatical or structural writing errors that might affect the overall clarity of the message.

A “C+” paper is a slightly above average work. It is a touch better than what a “typical” student is expected to produce in terms of research, referencing, analysis, and writing. It may involve using a few extra references- relative to an “average” submission and contains a touch more analysis. Its writing style is slightly clearer or more flowing than the “average” counterpart.

A “C” grade paper is an average piece of work that the basically “meets the standards” set out by a professor. It is what a “typical” student should produce. These types of papers are not “exceptional” in terms of research, analysis or writing. In general, “C” papers are identified by the level of work that students put into them. That is, they do not reveal an “extra mile” effort.

For instance, on matters such as references, students will only provide the minimum number asked by an instructor. “C” papers contain some grammatical and structural writing errors to them but overall, their messages are understandable and clear. They typically exhibit repetition, a glossing over of minor details and some sentences might not be tightly connected.

A “D+” grade is below average work. It is below the quality of a typical student. There are some significant grammatical and structural writing errors or it may contain poor research, documentation and/or thin analysis- that is, it significantly lacks substance or quality in this area.

A “D” grade is just barely passable work. It is extremely close to an unacceptable submission. In general, it contains significant grammatical and structural writing errors with poor research. The analysis is very thin- i.e. lacking much in terms of substance or quality. The overall message is just understood in terms of clarity.

An “F” grade is work that does not meet the expected criteria set out by the college. In English courses, it is typically filled with numerous grammatical and structural writing errors. The overall message is hardly- if at all- understood in terms of clarity. It may have poor or no research and extremely weak analysis.

Referencing

It is expected that every student properly reference his or her work. You must use MLA style for all of your EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignments. You were instructed on how to do this in your introductory College English course.

At xx College, the most commonly used English reference book is A Canadian Writer’s Reference by Diana Hacker. Hacker covers almost every conceivable way to reference a source using APA style and also offers a some additional Websites on this matter. We highly recommend that you either purchase or peruse this text to help you during your assignment submissions.

Hacker, D. A Canadian Writer’s Reference. (2001). Toronto: Nelson Thomson Learning.

Another excellent reference book is:

Maimon, E.P., Peritz J.H. & Rubens, M. A Writer’s Resource: A Handbook for Writing and Research. (2006). Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.

This too is also an excellent reference source.

MLA Style

For research essays, you need to properly cite your sources. The two most commonly used ones are MLA and APA style. xx online library has an excellent link on this matter.

To access it, log on to your xx account.

Scroll down to the link that says “xxLibraries” and click it.

Go to “xx Libraries MLA Style Guide.”

Depending on what types of sources that you are using, for example internet based or a book, click to the appropriate link and you will find examples that to assist you in citing them.

For example, here’s the link to show you how to properly cite a source from the internet:

The format is very straight forward and numerous potential examples have been produced for you.

Always remember to begin your MLA bibliography with the term “Works Cited.” Do not write “References” or “Bibliography.”

The following two links can automatically arrange your sources using MLA style. All you have to do is input the information and they take care of the rest:

http://webapps.calvin.edu/knightcite/

http://citationmachine.net/

Please note that there are some discrepancies between what one hand book and another in terms of what constitutes proper MLA. Some professors are VERY particular as to what constitutes proper MLA. Others are not. I tend to believe that so long as you have the most important information documented, I will not freak out if you fail to provide <>. between a link or not. Make sure to ask your professor if he or she has any specific preferences.

Help Concerning Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a very serious matter. I want to make sure that you have no excuses in terms of “not knowing” what you can and can’t do. Let me repeat that I have put together a mini-exercise entitled “What Is Plagiarism?” It contains a short book review by a “typical student” and the four main types of plagiarism. Do this exercise. It should take you no more than 10 minutes of your time and will ensure that you do not get a zero grade on an EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignment.

Discussion Forum And Online Participation Grade

Worth: 15% of Final Grade: 10% for Discussion Forums + 5% for Online Participation.

Numerous e-learning studies have shown that online courses which provide interactivity produce higher learning outcomes than those that don’t. Participating in the Discussion Forums will therefore better prepare you for your future EAC 411 NBA NBB projects. These forums will also make your online experience feel more “human-like.”

I calculate the Discussion Forum and Class Participation grades at end of the semester. I generally do not disclose this grade until the exam has been written. The reason is that if I give a student their grade then they are locked into it. That is, I no longer have the ability to bump them up from say a 69.9 to a 70 or a 79.9 to an 80.

The grade is calculated in several ways. 10% will be based on the quality of your discussion forum posts and replies. 5% involves the quality of your general online interpersonal communication skills both in the forums and with me. Specific details concerning these two grades is found in the “discussion forum information” document.

For the discussion board, I examine the actual amount of participation according to the online statistics tracking software provided by BlackBoard. This makes sure that I have actual hard data to work with here. I do not want to mistakenly assume that some student did not actively participate in forums.

I then re-examine all of my notes and grades from each forum participated by my students. Again, I go through each and every forum that you will post a comment on as well as all of your replies. This makes sure that I completely examine the “quality” of your posts- not merely the “quantity.” Some students provide multiple posts that have been poorly written. At the same time, their active participation is a sign of hard work and enthusiasm for the material being discussed and thus, I have to also take this into consideration.

Finally, I assess the “quality and quantity” factors in TOTALITY and provide a letter grade. Once all of your marks have been calculated I then see if there is room to bump you up by a percent or two.
I have taught online courses now for 8 years and not once over this time span has a single student complained about their online participation grade. The reason for this is that a lot of thought goes into keeping both fairness and the student’s best interests in mind.

How You Will Be Graded For Your Discussion Forums:

Grading for your discussion forums is analogous to the measures often used in regular in-class courses. Over the next 13 weeks, I will be monitoring in totality

  1. The quantity of and,
  2. The quality of your participation in the Discussion Forums.

Approximately every 3-4 weeks, your will be expected to post a 150-250 word commentary on at least one of the Discussion Forum questions that you will be provided. In 75-150 words, you must also respond to at least one posted by a fellow student.

I will also be electronically tracking which weeks you participated and which ones you did not on their respected due dates. Additional participation is encouraged. Remember an average “C” student merely complies with what is expected of him or her but does not go beyond these expectations. If all you do is post 4 very average discussion threads and replies, don’t be shocked if all that you receive is a very average “C” grade. After all, you have not done anything beyond what is expected of an average student. An above average “B” student gives an above average effort- meaning he or she is a more regular participant on the forums and provides higher level insights. An “A” student exceeds all expectations of the instructor. He or she is a regular Discussion Board participant with very well written and strong analyses.

Given that this is an English course, merely complying in terms of regularly posting comments and replies within the suggested word content limits is not enough of a measure for your over all participation. Neither are frequent but empty messages such as “Yeah I agree with you on that one Sammy. LOL. Leafs Rule.”

For this reason, the remaining 60% of your grade here will be based on the over all quality of your messages. This quality will be subjectively determined based on the following criteria:

  1. Your use of critical thinking skills (i.e. your analysis).
  2. The quality of your writing- including grammar and spelling and NO text message style communications such as IMO, LOL, etcetera and,
  3. Your use of courteous communication with your classmates.

Here is an example of a quality Discussion Board submission by a student named Claire and an excellent response by another named Kate.

Commentary:

I believe that the government should do everything in its powers to protect our privacy. Would you allow someone to step into your home, rummage through your personal items, check out what magazines you read, figure out where you work, and then sell this information to the highest bidder? What’s the difference if this type of tracking is done electronically?
If the government doesn’t do something about this soon, we will lose our democratic freedoms.

Imagine if a dictator can predict with pin-point accuracy who we voted for based on following our consumption patters? What would he do with this information? How many people would he round up, imprison or make “disappear?” Even if it’s not a dictator, what if the government decided to help and reward only those who likely voted for it?

Our privacy is sacred. It needs to be preserved. If we don’t do something and fast, I fear that our democracy will soon disappear.

Response:

Hi Claire, You are absolutely right here. I might add a few more points though. Many Canadians gave up their lives in World War I and II to preserve our democracy. No one should be allowed to know anything about us unless we allow him or her this privilege. I still doubt though that the government will use this information against us.

I wouldn’t want to take the chance though. Pierre Trudeau once said that “the government has no right to enter into the bedrooms of our nation.” Can’t the same be said about data miners? They have gone way beyond the intimacy of our bedrooms. They are selling information on “who” we “are” to the highest bidder- be it a corporation or political party.

I don’t want someone from a political party calling my home to vote for it because this person knows that I visit certain websites, read particular magazines, like to wear specific clothing and drive a certain car.

It’s high time that we say to these miners, get out of our lives or go to jail for breaking into our homes and lives!

Both Claire’s commentary and Kate’s response were well written, concise, clear, spelling and grammar mistake free, and within the word limits. Their critical thinking skills in terms of analysis were very strong. And even though Kate disagreed with Claire, she showed courtesy in her counter arguments.

Try to base your online discussions along these same lines.

More Information On My Grading Of Your Discussion Forums And Online Participation

Your online participation grade involves your over all online interpersonal communications skills employed in this course- and not just your discussion forum posts.

As much as possible, I am trying to simulate a business/work environment in this course. You are principally attending xx College to start a career and move up the ranks. At this college, we do not teach you which buttons need to be pushed. We teach you to think; be job ready employees; and act as excellent ambassadors for your various programs. Understanding the importance of strong interpersonal communication skills- especially online ones will give you an edge beyond what I plan on showing you in the area of writing. People who are liked, go far in life. Knowing how to say things politely gets you hired. Not knowing these things keeps you unemployed for long stretches of time and gets you fired. So yes, online participation skills are a big deal here.

If you communicate in a rude or offensive manner with me or a fellow student, it is like doing this with your boss or co-worker. In the workplace, such inappropriate behavior is documented. I will do the same thing here.

Now everyone messes up once and a while but if rude, inappropriate, disruptive online behavior is detected, you will be warned by me to stop it. If you do not 1) take ownership and fail to apologize and 2) stop repeating it, these actions will be reflected in this aspect of your grade. Sorry.

If you have behaved in appropriately, I will inform you by email and copy and paste this section for you to review. Hopefully, you will take ownership of your behavior, apologize and we can move on towards having a more harmonious relationship both with myself and your classmates.

If your online behavior has been polite, courteous, positive, encouraging and the like, you will be rewarded for exhibiting this extremely important element of workplace success.

Final Examination

There is No Final Exam for this course. Your Final Column acts as a Final Exam. This is why it is so important that you submit your EAC 411 NBA NBB project before the 6:00 pm deadline.

The Writing Craft of Journalism: Very Useful Writing Tips

It takes years of practice to be able to communicate at the same level of clarity as that of a professional journalist. Many of you will discover just how hard it is in your first writing assignment where I only give you 200 words to work with. If you can master this skill, though, you will become a very valuable employee in the workplace. Over and over, employers keep telling us to produce graduates who can write and communicate well in their businesses. That’s why this course puts such a high emphasis in this area.

In this section I am going to teach you 15 things that will dramatically change your writing skills. You’re going to learn:

  1. The 100 Rule: If you are not 100% sure that what you wrote is clear then it will be 100 times less clear to your reader.
  2. Avoiding Information Overload: Keep the number of ideas in a sentence to one. Don’t stuff/cram many ideas into them.
  3. Avoiding Academese: Stop trying to sound like a professor. Likewise, you should never get fancy for fancy’s sake. If there is a simple and clear way to say something then do so.
  4. Filling-In the Blanks: Never skip key bits of information or assume that your reader knows everything that you are writing about.
  5. Eliminate Repetition: Avoid saying the same word or phrase in a sentence or the one that follows.
  6. Bridging: Ideas should logically flow in an A goes to B goes to C like manner. Never skip steps.
  7. Paragraphing: Forget The 5 Paragraph Rule. A new idea = a new paragraph. Some paragraphs are even a single word.

Really.

  1. The Rule Of Eighteen: Avoid sentences that have more than 18 words.
  2. Avoiding Run On Sentences: If you struggle to breath while reading a sentence out loud, then it needs to be cut down for clarity.
  3. Proper Use Of Periods and Commas: A period is a complete thought. A comma, though, is a pause in thought. Periods are stoppages. Commas are meant to slow things down so that your reader can process your complex idea.
  4. Introductions: Always begin strong. First impressions are VERY important. Put around 30-40% of your time and effort in your introduction. It matters this much.
  5. Conclusions: Never ease-up at the end. Always finish strong. Everyone remembers what you said at the beginning and how you finished- the middle stuff, not so much. You want to leave your reader with a lasting final impression. Try to have one final knock-out punch statement at the very end.
  6. The Inverted Pyramid (Lead Sentence) Technique in Communication: This is the extremely clear Who, What, Where, When and Why approach to journalistic writing where the most important information is presented at the beginning and the details are provided as you build your report.
  7. Delayed Lead Sentence Technique in Communication: This technique is used to “entice” your reader into reading your message/essay.
  8. How To Produce Great Titles: You start with a “seemingly” vague but interesting opening which is then followed by an extremely clear statement that shows why this opening made excellent sense.

Here now are detailed explanations for each of these techniques.

The 100 Rule

As you are reading your sentences out loud to see if they are too long, pay attention if any of them sound strange to you. As a general rule, if something does not sound right to the writer, then it will be 100 times more confusing to the reader. After all, the he or she does not have the luxury of entering your mind to figure out what you are trying to say. If it sounds strange, then re-write it.

Avoiding Information Overload:
How Not to Drop the Ball When Tossing Your Message

Imagine we are in a classroom and I ask you to come to the front. I then pull out 5 sponge balls and then ask you to catch them all at once. What would likely happen?

Now imagine that I carefully toss each one to you one at a time. This should be a whole lot easier to catch. Right?

This same principal applies to writing. If you “throw” a ton of ideas in a single sentence, your reader will have a hard time handling the information. He or she will suffer from what is known as information overload. For this reason, it is critical that you write short, directional sentences that make it easier for your reader to “catch.”

Avoid “Academese”

Many of you are attempting to communicate to me in a form of writing that I have termed “academese.” This is a style that focuses more on sounding “sophisticated” than delivering sophisticated ideas.

Don’t bury your intelligent ideas underneath a “veil” of words.

Again, to quote the ancient philosopher Aristotle, the secret of communicating with excellence is:

“Think as wise men do, but speak as the common people do.”

Avoid Using a Thesaurus Just to Sound Fancy

For the same reasons as explained above, never, ever, ever, use a thesaurus to find a word that will make you appear “sophisticated.” More often then not, you will end up looking quite silly. Make sure to look up the word to determine its exact definition. A thesaurus gives out lists of similar, but not exact words. If you need to use a thesaurus then use it to find the “right” word, not the most “sophisticated” sounding one. At the same time, don’t be afraid to use a fancy word if it is the RIGHT word.

The Big Three:
Filling-In the Blanks, Repetition and Bridging

There three main areas that news and sports editors complain the most about the writing of co-op student journalists. These areas involve their tendency to skip key details in their writing, how they produce sentences that do not always logically connect and excessive repetition. As an instructor, these same problems exist with students. I’m going to break you out of these habits.

Repetition

Consider the following sentence:

“I think that Ali was the greatest in the history of sport. The way he fought was amazing. He was also amazing when he was not fighting. The way he handled himself with the media was also amazing. I am amazed that some people do not consider him to be the greatest in the history of sport.”

Aside from saying that this was an “amazingly” bad sentence, what went wrong here?

“I think that Mohammed Ali was the greatest athlete in the history of sport. The way he fought in the boxing ring was amazing. He was also amazing when he was not fighting. The way he handled himself with the media was also amazing. I am amazed that some people do not consider him to be the greatest athlete in the history of sport.”
Yes, it was grammatically correct. However, the most obvious problem here was that there is a ton of word and phrase repetition. And this leads to a very important general rule that I will be monitoring in your writing throughout this course. Namely, avoid as much as humanly possible repeating the same word or phrase in a sentence or the one that follows. And definitely do not say the same thing three or four sentences in a row.
Students that do this are producing the reading equivalent of a “speed bump.” Repetition also shows a lack of creativity. There are other ways to say amazing. Remember, anything that slows down the flow of your writing is to be avoided like the plague. Good writing flows as naturally as water. Never make a reader “work” at trying to read what you wrote.

Fill In The Blanks

In addition to extreme repetition, what crucial information was missing in this paragraph? Without looking at my answer, place the words and phrases below and into the correct spots for the sentence above.

  • in the boxing ring
  • athlete
  • professional boxer Mohammed

If you placed them as follows, you were correct:

“I think that professional boxer Mohammed Ali was the greatest athlete in the history of sport. The way he fought in the boxing ring was amazing. He was also amazing when he was not fighting. The way he handled himself with the media was also amazing. I am amazed that some people do not consider him to be the greatest athlete in the history of sport.”

More often than not, students tend to ignore placing tiny but necessary details in their writing. That is, they fail to properly “fill-in the blanks” with their messages. Without them, their ideas become unclear.

“I think that professional boxer Mohammed Ali was the greatest athlete in the history of sport. The way he fought in the boxing ring was amazing. Outside the ring he dazzled and charmed the public with his charisma. No one has ever handled himself with the media as well as Ali. He was the complete package and as such, should be considered one of sport’s finest athletes.”
Notice that the repetition employed here was reduced to the point where it did not affect the flow. Notice as well that rather than saying Mohammed Ali, I simply said “Ali”.
If you were to use a famous name such as U.S. President Donald Trump, you could call him, Mr. Trump, President Trump, Trump, the U.S. President or the President. Simply calling him President Donald Trump over and over again will irritate your reader to no end.
If you were to use the book “The Game” by Ken Dryden in a book review, you could refer to it as:
“The book, The Game, Dryden’s book, and his book, or it.” And Ken Dryden can be referred to as “Ken Dryden, Dryden, The former goaltender for the Canadiens, This Hall of Fame goaltender, or he.” What ever you do, never refer to someone by their first name unless you personally know them or they are universally known this way such as Pele.
I also used the term “the ring” because there are few other expressions to clearly imply “the boxing ring.” I could have used “it” but I felt that this word might have made the sentence less clear. Again, though, I limited my use of this term in the revised sentence. Remember, the rule of repetition is a general rule- not a law. Language is flexible and not bound by absolute rules. (As is evidenced by this sentence)
Bridging

Finally, take a look at the sentence highlighted in bold:

“I think that professional boxer Mohammed Ali was the greatest athlete in the history of sport. The way he fought in the boxing ring was amazing. Outside the ring he dazzled and charmed the public with his charisma. No one has ever handled himself with the media as well as Ali did. He was the complete package and as such, should be considered one of sport’s finest athletes.”

What purpose does this sentence serve?
It is intended to bridge idea “A” (Ali was the greatest athlete in terms of skill and dominance) and idea “C” (He was equally amazing as a media personality). Had I removed this sentence, there would be a gap here in terms of the flow of ideas. They would not connect as tightly.
Ideas need to logically flow in an Idea A goes to Idea B goes to Idea C like manner. If you skip any of these ideas- say jump from A to C, your reader will be confused. A confused reader = a lost reader. Never do this.
In summary then, make sure that you always fill-in missing details in your writing. Avoid repetition as much as humanly possible and make sure that your ideas connect tightly. Otherwise, your readers will be confused. And never make people work to understand you.

Paragraphs: Forget The 5 Paragraph Rule

Multiple paragraphs- where appropriate, also lead to clearer messages. Don’t compress a bunch of ideas into a single paragraph. This is making your reader work at what you are trying to say and this is the worst thing that you can do. NEVER, EVER, EVER, make your reader work at trying to understand what you are trying to say. Here’s what you should do:

For every new idea, provide a new Paragraph.

A paragraph is a completed idea. It is not uncommon for journalists to produce paragraphs that are single sentences in length if they enhance a message’s clarity. One can even produce single sentence ones.

Really.

See what I just did?

Doing this really helps clarify your writing. So let yourselves loose and produce more paragraphs.

Many of you have been taught to write essays that contain five paragraphs. From a communication perspective, this is silly.

Journalists do not confine themselves to a silly numerical formula.

So aside from the concept of having an introduction that lays down what you are about to argue or discuss and definitely conclude by not adding new info, focus on clearly delivering your information with as many paragraphs as you will need. In the “Assignments” document, I provided a sample 200 that shows how multiple paragraphs work. Make sure to review it.

Eighteen

18 is a magic number. Not only does it make you legal in a number of areas but it’s also the word limit as to what most people can endure. Media consultants to politicians advise them to never produce sentences that exceed 18 words. According to their research, the majority of the public has a difficult time understanding anything that exceeds this number. This includes those who are very well educated. You’re not alone in having to re-read some of your textbooks 5-6 times to understand what some professors have written with their 100 word sentences. Ay carumba!

Closely related to the rule of 18 involves avoiding run on sentences. As you’ll see below, the use of periods and commas significantly help clarify sentences. But before showing how, Let me give you a good general rule: Read your EAC 411 NBA NBB Assignments out loud. If there is any section in which you can’t breathe while reading, you most likely have produced a run on sentence that has multiple thoughts in it.

Else If there are some sentences where you just manage to breathe, once again, you’ve likely produced a run on sentence.

If you have even the slightest struggle to read it out loud what you have written, chop-up your sentence into something that is more breathable.

Periods And Commas

A big problem with most students is that they oftentimes don’t know the difference between periods and commas. In general, aA period signifies a complete thought. A comma signifies a pause in thought.

Look at the two previous sentences. They were complete thoughts. I therefore used periods.

Commas, though, unlike periods, involve brief pauses.

Can you detect the differences?

Sometimes a comma may even save a life:

Let’s eat grandpa.

Let’s eat, grandpa.

BTW: My apologies to the cannibal community that may find this grammar lesson offensive. I also want to apologize to pedestrians in the sign above. 😉

Great Introductions and Conclusions

Many students underestimate the importance of strong introductions and conclusions in their essays. There is an expression, “you only have one chance at a first impression.” Indeed, in a job interview, your first 30 seconds are critical. The same can be said about your resume. If a human resources person does not like it right away, it gets filed under “G” for garbage.

If you start your column with a weak introduction, you are establishing a negative the tone for your reader. He will assume that what lays ahead will be lousy.

Similarly, some students like to ease-up on the finishing line when concluding. Never do this. Your last sentence should be the strongest one. If you were a boxer, this sentence would be analogous to a knock out punch. “Finish your opponent off” by ending your column on a powerful note.

A great way to conclude is by “book ending.” That is, you finish by tying in either your column title or delayed lead introduction (see re: delayed leads in below). This is a very sophisticated way to end your message.

The Inverted Pyramid (Lead Sentence) Technique in Communication

The fastest and surest method of delivering information by journalists is by using the inverted pyramid style technique. This style of writing gets to the point right away. You should learn how to write using the inverted pyramid- especially for e-mails where people want/expect a quick bottom line statement of what you are trying to communicate.

An inverted pyramid is basically a summary of the most important information of a news story using the five W’s.

The Five W’s consist of:

Who
What
Where
When and
Why

Sometimes, there is also a “How” and a “So What” which explains the significance of the story.

Oftentimes the 5 W’s are in the first sentence. These types of sentences are known as lead sentences. That is, the lead sentence is right at the front and the rest of the story follows it.

Information is usually presented in this order- however, language is flexible.

The bottom line is that the most important pieces of information need to be mentioned in descending order.
Review the following example:
Leafs Blown 16-0

Toronto- The Toronto Stun

The Toronto Maple Leafs were blown away in a 16-0 trouncing at the Air Canada Centre by the Montreal Canadiens last night. The Habs out-played the Leafs in every facet of the game. If tonight is any indication of what lays ahead, it looks like Leaf Nation is going to have a very long winter.

NOTE: You do not need to cram all of this information into a single sentence. You could present it in a more breathable three as I did here.

See if you can pick out the: who, what, where, when, why, so-what of this story.
Answer:
The WHO in this story is: The Toronto Maple Leafs
The WHAT is: “were blown away in a 16-0 trouncing” (Yeah!!!!!)
The WHERE is: the Air Canada Centre
The WHEN is: last night
The WHY and How is: The Habs out-played the Leafs in every facet of the game.
The SO WHAT is: “If tonight is any indication of what lays ahead, it looks like Leaf Nation is going to have a very long winter.” (In my deepest fantasy)

Sometimes this inverted pyramid includes one H: The How (In this story it would be the offensive strategies used by the Canadiens).

The inverted pyramid may also include one “S-W” or “So What?” That is, what is the significance of this report? (In this story, the Leafs were dramatically inferior to the Canadiens and should move to another league). 😉

The SO-WHAT portion of a news item usually happens when there is more time to analyze what has just happened. If it is an immediate late breaking news story, the opportunities for analysis are usually limited.
Introduction to Delayed Leads

What do fishing lures and “A” level students have in common? Fishing lures? What the heck or you on now xx?

My best students always start off their essays in a way that gets my attention. It takes a sentence or two to see where they were going but like fishing lures, they to pull me in terms of wanting to read what they are about to discuss.

Journalistic style writing is not always deliberately simple. It often uses sophisticated techniques to capture a reader’s attention. The one that really shows how journalistic writing is a craft worthy of admiration is its use of delayed leads.

This is a writing device employed in print, television, radio and webbased journalism captures one’s attention in a tease-like fashion. Yes, it breaks the clarity rule but only for a brief minute and only to make what you are about to read more interesting. It’s like when a waiter brings over to you a sizzling steak. It must makes the meat taste better.

A delayed lead in print journalism is usually a sentence or two of cleverly spun writing that gradually delivers the reader to your inverted pyramid/lead sentence. At first glance, the first sentence does not appear to be related to the lead. However, as each one unfolds, the reader quickly sees where they indeed are tied together.

The use of this technique is great for essays. Be careful though in terms of using it in your business communications. One place where you might employ it is when delivering bad news where you first want to soften it up a bit or a sales pitch.

Here’s an example of a delayed lead used for a column (opinion piece) in sport:

A Bitterly Long Cold Winter?
by Art Vanderlay
Toronto Stare

It’s only the first week of October and the leaves throughout our city have already fallen down. There is something very ominous about this weird weather. Maybe it explains what happened at the ACC last night.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were blown away 16-0 by an infinitely superior Montreal squad. In every aspect, the Leafs were overmatched by their relentless Hab opponents. If yesterday is any indication of what lays ahead this season, then the fans of Leafs Nation are heading into a bitterly long cold winter…

Did you see how I tied in falling leaves with the Maple “Leafs?” Did you see how the weird weather was connected to a symbolically “bitterly long cold winter” for Leaf fans. The delayed lead style adds more writing flair to the formulaic “meat and potatoes” style of inverted pyramid/lead writing.

Sometimes, providing a bit of “bait” will “tease/coax” your reader into wanting to know where you’re going with a brief but very enticing delay. And these types of hooks don’t actually hurt. Try using this technique. This is what my “A” students tend to do.

Great Titles

Closely related to the topic of the delayed lead is the use of titles. It’s always a good idea to have a title for your column.

It should be representative of your central thesis. The best ones tend to have two components. The first part is a bit vague but when combined with a specific thesis summary, you end-up with something that will likely catch your reader’s eye.

For example, let’s consider the topic: “Using Titles For Your Column.”

I might go with:

“Yes I Should: The Importance Of Having Titles For Columns.”

The first part is a vague (and on its own, it would come across as strange sounding) but when combined with a specific statement that’s basically a thesis summary, you end up with something that will likely catch your reader’s eye.

Here’s another example. Let’s say that you are going to write about the affects of violent video games on children and your research convinces you that such games are bad for them, then you may want to have as your title:

“Game Over: The Research Is In. Stop Your Kids From Playing Video Games.”

“Game Over,” just like “Yes I Should,” on its own appears meaningless or strange. At the same time, a reader might be enticed by it. He or she may say, “O.K., this person has my attention now where is he or she going with this.” Once you add a more specific second statement though, it makes total sense and further entices this person to read what you wrote. If this were fishing, a good title is the bait to hook-in your audience.

Try this technique when coming up with a column title.

One last bit of advice, my personal preference is to first write a column and then come up with a title. It seems to come easier this way for me. However, if after doing your research you have a very clear idea of what it is that you are going to say, then go ahead and try writing your title right away. Doing so will help keep your column’s message focused. There are no hard or fast rules here. Pick whichever works best for you.

I have now revealed to you the fundamentals of good journalistic writing. Throughout this semester, I will be monitoring your writing for:

  • Breathable, Clear Sentences
  • Proper Periods And Commas
  • Eliminating Repetition
  • Filling-In-The-Blanks
  • Logically Connecting Your Ideas So That They Flow With The Same Ease As Water
  • Producing Better Introductions And Conclusions, And
  • Employing Inverted Pyramids And Delayed Leads.

Once you learn how to employ these fundamentals, I guarantee that you will do phenomenally well workplace. I’m really looking forward to seeing your first columns. Show me that you read this section.

The Art of the Interview

Great journalists are great interviewers. The master of this trade is ESPN’s John Sawatsky. He began his career as an investigative reporter for the CBC and then became a professor at Carlton University. His research attracted a ton of attention in the industry. So much so that he began training CBC reporters on the art of interviewing on the side.

An executive at ESPN read some of his work and met up with Sawatsky. He gave the professor an offer that he could not refuse. Sawatsky left his job so that he can train ESPN reporters and interviewers. His interviewing techniques go way beyond the craft of journalism. Non-journalists who have received his training say that they have improved their communication skills both at work and in social settings. If you are interested in learning more on this topic, visit the following website at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5625218

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(1) Yer sağlayıcı, yer sağladığı içeriği kontrol etmek veya hukuka aykırı bir faaliyetin söz konusu olup olmadığını araştırmakla yükümlü değildir.

(1) The site provider is not obliged to check the content it provides or to investigate whether there is an illegal activity. (Translated by Google Translate)

(2) Yer sağlayıcı, yer sağladığı hukuka aykırı içerikten, ceza sorumluluğu ile ilgili hükümler saklı kalmak kaydıyla, bu Kanunun 8 inci ve 9 uncu maddelerine göre haberdar edilmesi halinde ve teknik olarak imkân bulunduğu ölçüde hukuka aykırı içeriği yayından kaldırmakla yükümlüdür.

(2) The site provider is obliged to remove the illegal content from the publication; if it is informed in accordance with the 8th and 9th articles of this Law. And to the extent technically possible, provided that the provisions regarding the criminal liability are reserved for the illegal content it provides. (Translated by Google Translate)

Pure assignment offers the Site and Site Services for clients to be able to share any freelance job to let them find the help from the right expert they need with their business or assignments; papers and projects; either for business purpose or educational purpose. Pure assignment aims to get clients and freelancers together to be able to help them each other. In this case, Pure assignment works as a service provider as mentioned in law (law number 5651).

Engin

Author Since: 08/08/2020

Hi,
My name is Engin. I am the founder of pureassignment, a traveller, fitness lover and a cat person.

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