Chabot College
Fall 2012
Course Outline for Mass Communications 3
Catalog Description:
3 - Journalism: Magazine and Newspaper Feature Writing
3 units
Feature writing, free lance journalism and how to get published in newspapers and magazines and
online opportunities. 3 hours.
[Typical contact hours: 52.5]
Prerequisite Skills:
Expected Outcomes for Students:
Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to:
Write compelling and interesting long-form features for newspapers and magazines;
Demonstrate mastery of journalistic critical thinking and writing skills needed for publication;
Demonstrate ability to recognize story ideas and opportunities for different writing markets;
Write professional and appropriate query letters to sell pieces to designated market
5. Write all copy conforming to current Associated Press style
Course Content:
1. Analysis of current U.S. writers' market by geographic area and subject matter
2. Use critical thinking skills to develop, research and interview skills, such as asking closedand open-ended questions
3. Writing standard feature articles totaling 6,000 words, including profiles, service features,
news features, lifestyle features, timeless features, and critical reviews
4. Completion and submission of a major feature article of the student’s choice suitable for
5. Use of critical thinking to write a plan for suitable graphics and typographic presentation of
the student’s major feature article, employing photos, original drawings, photo illustrations
and informational graphics
6. Writing an accompanying query letter for marketing the course's major feature article
7. Demonstrating knowledge of basic U.S. libel and privacy laws, elements of journalism,
journalistic ethics, especially plagiarism, and copyright laws
Methods of Presentation:
1. Lecture and discussion
2. Guest speakers
3. Evaluation of student work and professional pieces by peer discussion
4. Development of writing skills with diagnostic testing and appropriate practice in word use,
grammar, etc.
5. Individual conferences
Assignments and Methods of Evaluating Student Progress:
1. Typical Assignments
a. Given a magazine story written for publication, write a query letter aimed at informing
potential editors about the story, promoting the story and securing a contract for getting the
story published for payment
2. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
a. Correction and editing of major writing assignments
b. Verbal discussion, class participation
c. Quizzes and exams, including final exam
Chabot College
Course Outline for Mass Communications 3, page 2
Fall 2012
d. Evaluating students' ability to meet deadlines
Textbook(s) (Typical):
The Art of Feature Writing, Earl R. Hutchinson. Oxford University Press, 2008
Feature writing: The Pursuit of Excellence, 7th ed. Allyn & Bacon 2011
Special Student Materials:
USB drive, access to radio, television and the Internet.
Course Outline MCOM3
Rev. 11/18/11
L. Leach

Journalism: Magazine and Newspaper Feature