Social Media Writing – JOUR 356

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 05/18/2022

Course Description

This course explores writing for various social media platforms and how they fit into a marketing plan. Students learn practical techniques used in producing social media content that promotes audience affinity and loyalty.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

Today is not the day of specialist. It is the day of the person who can do many things—and do them well. Students who desire a life in news/strategic communication will find a time when it is necessary to present information across various platforms. The idea behind this course is to introduce the student to the purposes, methods, and techniques of creating social media content that satisfies a specified audience and achieves organizational objectives. Students will learn the use of the tools and techniques that allow the creation of engaging social media content. Knowledge and a skillset of this type is a great addition to one’s professional toolbox.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Possess a practical working knowledge of the basic reporting and writing practices and techniques for producing social media content that drives engagement.
  2. Apply foundational knowledge of reporting and writing for social media sites and devices to target specific audiences.
  3. Develop a social media writing style and approach that is engagement driven.
  4. Complete practice drills and take current events quizzes each module/week. The drills are about AP style and the current events assignments are from the day’s news.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussion: Class Introductions

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for this forum. For the thread, the student must record a short video introduction answering the questions in the prompt. In addition to the thread, the student must respond to at least 2 classmates’ video introductions in written replies of at least 150 words each. Each reply must be supported by at least 1 course textbook reference in current AP style.

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for this Discussion. Within the initial written response of at least 200 words, the student must include 2 unique course textbook references and 1 outside credible reference in current APA format. For the thread, the student must write an initial post answering the questions in the prompt. In addition to the thread, the student must respond to at least 1 classmate in a written reply of at least 150 words. Each reply must be supported by at least 1 unique course textbook reference in current APA style.

Social Media News Story Assignments (4)

The student will create news videos intended for social media and write corresponding and engaging text appropriate for a social media post during the course of the semester. Due dates are listed in the course outline. These will follow assigned topics. These will be readable videos on traditional news, entertainment news, etc. Each Social Media News Story must follow AP style. All social media news stories must contain a video, post text and hashtags.

Multiplatform Story Assignments (2)

During this course, the student will put together 2 non-breaking stories. These packages will include a story, rich text, video/audio, slide shows, etc. as appropriate to the content and the audience. The stories will follow assigned topics and be based on data, academic research, local news, etc. (The student may seek the instructor’s approval for each story, but this step is not required.) Each Multiplatform Story much include:

  • A blog post with at least 1 video and written text following AP style
  • Social media post text that is engaging (e.g., encourages your audience to click on the blog post link - if it were to be posted to a social media platform) with multiple hashtags

Reading Quizzes (5)

There will be quizzes about each of the Module: Week readings. Each Reading Quiz is open-book/open-note and contains 5 true/false and fill-in-the-blank questions. There is a 60 minute time limit for each quiz. All quizzes will be provided at the beginning of the term.

Weekly News Update Assignments (5)

The field of communication requires a love of news and information. Media members are the best party guests because they can talk about everything. They can talk about everything because they are tied into the news. For each Weekly News Update, the student will provide their own news quiz, complete with 6 questions and answers. Two questions/answers must be related to national news. Two questions/answers must be related to the student’s local news. One question and answer must be related to international news. One question and answer must be related to a genre of news the student chooses (e.g., sports, entertainment, etc.). This is not a partial credit assignment. All 6 questions and answers must be provided to receive points for this assignment. Each Weekly News Update must follow AP style.

Midterm and Final Quizzes

There is a midterm and final quiz during this course. They will be non-comprehensive, covering a small portion of the course material. Each one is open-book/open-note and contains multiple-choice, true/false, and/or short essay questions. The midterm quiz has 46 questions, including 2 short essay questions. The final quiz has 35 questions and 1 short essay question. The time limit for each is 1 hour and 45 minutes.