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 n this class, you will learn how to write news stories, features and editorials. The major part of your grade will be original journalism articles written as homework and during class time. They will be real news stories submitted for publication in the school newspaper. You will email your stories to each week. You will be expected to interview sources, take notes, and keep those notes in case your reporting is questioned.


In the past, students have failed this course because of lack of ability to complete publishable stories. Many have told me they need a weekly deadline to get things done. With this in mind, I have changed my grading system from ones I have used in the past.


This semester, students will be expected to complete 2 stories per week. 012 students will be expected to create original stories; 123 students will be able to substitute a fictional story for one of the 2 required.


All student will be required to word-process the stories and send the attached file to: and Stories will receive one of two grades for publishable stories—A or B.  Unpublishable stories will receive an Incomplete (I) grade. Incomplete stories can be rewritten for a publishable grade, but only within one week of receiving the grade. These stories need to be handed in attached to the original, unpublishable version. Students will have 21/2 to 3 blocks per week to complete their stories. I will compute your grades weekly for sharing on Tuesdays, so the deadline will be Sunday morning of each week to email story files.


Stories will count for 60 per cent of your grade. Another 30 per cent will be short papers on videos, classwork and assignments, editing packets, bi-weekly tests and class participation.  Attendance will count for 10 per cent of your grade. I will try to post your grades weekly on Mondays.


The Attendance grade gives you credit for attendance to class and for the activities and discussions that take place in class. When you are absent from class you cannot make up for the educational opportunities lost in most cases.  Every one will start with a grade of 100 %. Students will receive two absences without penalty. After those two absences, 10 points will be taken away for each absence, excused or unexcused. Tardiness to class will result in 3 points taken off your attendance grade for each tardy.


To put this in perspective, a grade of 95 with an attendance grade of 85 becomes a 94. A grade of 95 with an attendance grade of 75 becomes a 93. A grade of 95 with an attendance grade of 65 becomes a 92. A grade of 95 with an attendance grade of 55 becomes a 91. A grade of 95 with an attendance grade of 45 becomes a 90. A grade of 95 with an attendance grade of 35 becomes an 89. A grade of 95 with an attendance grade of 25 becomes an 88. A grade of 95 with an attendance grade of 15 becomes an 87. A grade of 95 with an attendance grade of 0 becomes an 86.


To get a zero, you would need to be absent 12 times, or absent 10 times and tardy 7 times. Given that absences and tardies affect the entire class, this policy seems reasonable.


All stories must be word-processed and emailed to me at Make up work with the original story must be either handed in during class or faxed to me at the number below.



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