Sampler of photos, features and news with a digital twist

MCOM356 Assignments

Name: _____________________________

Rubric: MCOM356 Feature Story #4

Value: 100 points

Due: Thursday, May 10 through Blackboard submission no later than midnight. Click here to see Rubric.

Any assignments submitted to Blackboard after that time and date will be considered late. Late assignments will only be accepted up to 48 hours after that and will be automatically lowered by one full grade.

I will be looking for your best work and I expect your story to be of final draft quality.

This is a feature story that is about 800 words in length. It should fall under the broad topic of a lifestyles feature, specifically in sports features, fashion/beauty or any of the categories listed on the  syllabus that you haven’t written yet. To earn at least a C, you must interview a minimum of four expert sources with credentials who are professionals. Do not interview your family members. The exception will be if you are writing a profile and you decide that your story will be best with only the primary person. In this case, you may include just the one expert source but the details that you provide in the story should be enhanced and more extensive.

Feature story has narrow, focused angle       5

Story has narrative tension                              10

Story has action           5

Story uses anecdotes               10

Story has nut graf                    10

Includes four expert sources with credentials   OR

One expert source with credentials and enhanced details about that source     15

Correct word count at 1000 words with word count stated at top left above byline 2.5

Byline bold and centered above story  2.5

All writing is in complete sentences. Do not include sentence fragments.   5

Includes at least six direct quotes that are strong, relevant, appropriately placed, correctly formatted.       10

There are attributions throughout.     2.5

Story flows smoothly with logical order of ideas     2.5

strong transitions from paragraph to paragraph       2.5

a strong closing (kicker)      2.5

No errors in fact, grammar or AP Style 15



MCOM356 Feature Writing Spring 2018

Assignment: Lynsey Addario memoir, “It’s What I Do”

Value: 50 points


Why it is important for us to read about Lynsey Addario in Feature Writing class?


Lynsey Addario is a storyteller. She is a combat photojournalist whose reporting skills make her a role model for young reporters. By reading her memoir, watching her multimedia stories and following her example, we can improve our own storytelling and interviewing skills. These two skills are important to successful feature writing and we can learn a lot from Lynsey Addario.


Learning objectives:

  • To find the inspiration and passion you will need as a reporter to become a great storyteller.
  • To learn how to improve your interviewing skills by connecting more deeply with your sources.


  1. Introduction to assignment: In class on Jan 30, we will watch a brief multimedia feature story told by Lynsey Addario, “Maternal Mortality in Sierra Leone.” If you do not see the video in class, be sure to watch it on your own.
  3. For homework starting on the first day of class, Jan 30, read Prelude, Chapter 2, Chapter 4.
  4. As you read, take notes that will help you answer these questions:
    1. How does Lynsey Addario bring inspiration to her reporting? Why is it important for reporters to be inspired about every story they write about? What have you learned from her that would help you to be more inspired about your reporting and feature writing?
    2. What can we learn from Lynsey Addario about interviewing for a feature story? What have you learned from her that would lead you to change your personal interviewing style for feature writing?
  5. Finish the reading and bring your typed or written notes from the reading questions with you to class on Tuesday, Feb. 6. Turn these in after the discussion. Be prepared to discuss these questions in class in a Pair-Share Activity. (Activity will start with class teams of two talking together about the questions under the direction of our two class leaders. After five minutes the leaders will end the small group discussions and bring the entire class into discussion of the two questions.)  The two class leaders will be selected on Tuesday, Jan 30 during the first class.
  6.  Using your own thoughts from the reading and additional ideas from the class discussion, write a typed, single-spaced,  (double-spaced between paragraphs, please) 250-word journal entry with six paragraphs (grafs) that discuss Questions 1 and 2 above. This is due Wed, Feb 7. Submit on Blackboard.
  7. Turn in grading rubric before class starts on Thursday,  Feb. 8.

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