Friday, October 23, 2009

Research and Feature Articles

Unfortunately, we can't spend a ton of time in-class researching. This means that you will have to research at home, in the media-center (open to Journalism Students during 6th period lunch on Friday) and at the library.

However, research can get a little easier if you use some of the "useful sites" posted to the right side of this blog entry: IS 145 Media Center (scroll down for databases, and magazines), Internet Public Library and Teenspace, and PBS Newshour.

The best and most thorough search engine though, is EBSCO. Go to this site- and type in jp145 in both the username and password to begin searching.

Monday, October 19, 2009


834 & 831

Please complete a final draft of your pitch letter. Your final draft should include your pitch cover sheet, and a sketch of your article's layout. (ALL PITCHES MUST BE HANDED IN THIS WEEK!)


You must have a sketch of your article's layout to be handed in on Wednesday.
Your final draft, cover sheet and layout sketch are due on Thursday this week.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Specialized High School Exam

I am still waiting for approval from Dr. B (I should have it tomorrow), but once given I will be holding after-school Specialized High School Test Prep in my room on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:45 to 4pm starting on this upcoming Friday, October 16th. These classes will run up until the day before the test (Nov. 6th) and will cover the ELA portion of the test and time-management skills to use during the testing.

Please see me tomorrow after lunch to get a permission slip. NO ONE will be permitted to this tutoring program unless they have a signed permission slip from their parent/guardian!

I look forward to working with you.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Homework Assigned for the Weekend (QUIZ WORDS & DEFINITIONS)

This week we went over what a pitch for a magazine is and how a writer needs to constantly think about the target demographic of the magazine. A writer's pitch is used to convince the Editor-in-Chief that his/her article is worthwhile and beneficial to the magazine. To practice, we created a mission statement and pitch for the magazine as a whole and many of our groups did an excellent job pitching their magazine. To practice further, your homework is to read your Independent Reading book over the weekend and create a title, logo and mission statement for your book (What is the purpose of the book, what demographic is it trying to reach? If your book was a magazine, what type of magazine would it be?) For those classes who were given an outline for your pitch, make sure you complete this outline for class next week.

Quiz Words

Pitch: to sell or get approval for something
Demographic: A statistic about a group of people (ex- Women aged 30-60)
Bias: An unfair or unreasonable judgment of someone or something (usually a pattern of judgements found in the news)
Angle: the interesting approach to a general topic of study (the article isn't just about makeup, it's about how makeup should be applied for day or nighttime use)
Objective: A fair or balanced understanding, recognition of the truth without judgment
Caption: Written explanation of a graphic
Graphic: photos, graphs, illustrations used in a magazine
Sidebar: a section of an article separate from but related to the article.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Interviewing Possible Demographics (HW for 831 & 832)

So far in our unit of study on Feature Articles, we have discussed the ways in which a writer will think carefully about their demographic (or their target reader) to figure out the topic and angle of their feature article before writing it. Today, we went over the 7 types of feature articles (listed below) and we worked on figuring out our ideas. However, before we do our research, we should test out our ideas with the public available to us.

SO, 831 and 832 your assignment is to interview one family member and one friend. Tell them your thoughts about your article and ask them what they would like to know about your topic. Why might they seek out an article like this? What type of information would they want to find in such an article? What do they find interesting about the topic and can they tell you anything about the topic that you might not have thought of yet?

Try to get your relative and friend to be as thorough as possible. You want them to talk to you so you can get good information from them.

The 7 Feature Types


• This is the most common type of feature article. It describes an unusual aspect of the life of the very ordinary -- something that makes this individual interesting to others.

• This type typically reports on someone’s success in spite of great odds.

• It may recall a tragic predicament.

• It may share a continuing struggle supported only by hope and faith.


• The subject of the article may be famous or not so famous but has done something of interest

to others.

• This type usually shows how a person gained recognition.

• The personality feature is very much like a character sketch.


• Many magazines have a column that publishes reviews of the “best” products of all kinds.

• This type of article usually includes the writer’s personal experiences with the product.

• It includes proof and examples that the product is the best of its kind.

• The article includes information about where to get the product and how much it costs.


• This type of article shares the author’s experience of something interesting or unusual

• It allows readers to do something through the eyes, ears, experiences and reflections of the author


• This article explains how to do something – usually a complex process that most people

would not know how to do.

• The best how-to articles begin by telling the reader why it is important or beneficial for him

or her to know how to do this.

• The article explains the steps of the process in enough detail so that another person can do

this process.

• This article also includes a list of all of the materials needed to do this process.


• This article focuses on an historical event or historical celebration.

• The article typically includes research but is not like an encyclopedia report. The article

serves as a human interest history lesson.

• This type of writing is usually puts a “human face” on history. In other words, it lets the

reader know something about the people who were part of history.


• This type of article shows insightful coverage of a topic.

• It gives detailed information focused on one aspect of a given topic.

• The article often refers to sources of research but is not like an encyclopedia report. Instead,

the writer makes a personal connection to the subject and includes his/her voice.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Homework assigned for the weekend (AND QUIZ NOTICE)

831-32: Read 40 pages of your IR book and write the opening to an objective news story to an event that you read about in your book. Write an outline of the different perspectives found in this conflict. Any Alien Reports not handed in on Monday will receive points off for lateness!

833: Finish your Alien Reports

834: Those of you who haven't handed in Alien Reports must have them handed in on Friday or I will start taking points off! Read 30 pages of your IR book and rewrite a conflict in the book from another character's perspective.

QUIZ COMING SOON: Vocabulary words for the unit at the end of the week!

Objective (as in this new story is objective)