4201 Lecture Syllabus

JOU4201 Editing Lecture
Florida Gym 280
11:45 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday
Dr. Ronald R.Rodgers
3058 Weimer Hall
Phone: 352-392-8847

"We journalists make it a point to know very little about an extremely  wide variety 
of topics; this is how we stay objective."
                                                                                                           Dave Barry

E-Mail Policy
To deal with the chaos of life, the many messages I get every day, the expectation that I will respond within minutes even if the e-mail is sent at 3 in the morning, and to promote a sense of professionalism, I have established an e-mail policy. It is thus:

  • First, use the Sakai e-mail system only.
  • You should note  that  I check my e-mail  once in the morning and once in the evening  Monday  through Friday.
  • The subject line should include your full name.
  • Your e-mail should open with a salutation (Professor Rodgers, Dr. Rodgers).
  • The body of the message should open with something like "I'm in your JOU4201 lecture, section XXXX."
  • The e-mail should be as specific as possible about your concerns or questions. For example, if you are asking about a lab exercise or quiz, clearly identify what exercise or quiz or whatever you are talking about.
  • Your message should be written and edited flawlessly and should contain no chatspeak truncations or contortions.
  • Your e-mail should close with your full name, student ID number, and class name and section
  • An e-mail that does not comport with these instructions has a good chance of either falling into my spam folder or of being deleted before being read.
  • You should also note  that  I check my e-mail  once in the morning and once in the evening  Monday  through Friday.

Course Goal
This course’s goal is to help you become a careful and precise editor of your own writing and that of others. While this is a basic journalism editing course designed to acquaint you with the skills you will need to master in order to work on a newspaper, magazine, online site, or broadcast newsroom copy desk, what you learn in this class will (1) help you excel in any media field and (2) make you a better writer and editor of your own copy

Description of Course
The lecture portion of this course will offer a major emphasis on the nuts and bolts of editing and writing -- spelling, grammar, punctuation, word usage, style (in this case, AP) and math-for-journalists skills.
Own Your Own Education
But ultimately, the onus is on you to acquire these skills outside of the lecture. If you believe you have some weak spots in these skills, then make a point of studying the sites listed below, many of which have programmed quizzes in different areas of grammar and punctuation that will offer you explanations. I note this because these are skills you need to succeed, but also because 40 percent of your overall grade for this course comes from the lecture, which emphasizes these skills. Link to Helpful Grammar Sites:

Classroom Meetings
The lecture portion of this class meets twice a week. The grade you receive in this lecture will be combined -- in consultation with your lab instructor -- with your editing lab grade in figuring your final grade. Your course grade is 40 percent lecture and 60 percent lab.
Office Hours
I am available to you this semester – and beyond – to talk about this class, to talk about journalism and communications, to talk about your career, or to just talk. My office hours are on my schedule:
  • Here is a Link to my schedule
  • Or just stop by – my door is pretty much always open, and if I am in and I am free, we can talk.
  • You should also note  that  I check my e-mail  once in the morning and once in the evening  Monday  through Friday.
Pre-requisites for JOU 4201
MMC 2100 – Writing for Mass Communication – and JOU 3101 – Reporting. If you have not taken and passed these classes with a C or better, then you are not supposed to be in this class.
Required Texts and Supplies
Class attendance is required.  More than three absences may result in an incomplete for this course. For sure, after your first absence, every lecture you miss means your grade drops a level – A becomes B+ and B+ becomes B- and so on. Arriving late or leaving early will be considered an absence. To receive credit for tests and quizzes, you must attend and be on time. No make-ups will be arranged for unexcused absences or tardiness.  In addtion, whether the absence is legitimate or not, there will be no classwork make-ups. Life is just too darn complicated as it is, and when I have 80-some students juggling deadlines - well, it is just too complicated. The key here is whether your absence is legitimate or not.
Note: University-approved absences must be documented (in advance, if for an approved university activity) according to official university policy. Obtaining written verification for an excused absence is your responsibility.
As noted, your course grade is 40 percent lecture and 60 percent lab. The lecture portion of your grade will be determined based on:
  • Two  tests worth 100 points each. Tests are always comprehensive and  will come from anything discussed in class and the readings, which you need to not only read, but study. However, as noted, they will strongly emphasize the nuts-and-bolts.  Tentative test dates are listed on the schedule below.
  • Your class participation, which will be determined by such things as your attendance and your preparation to answer questions regarding the issues of editing.
Grade Scale for the lecture portion of this course
See Grades and Grading Policies regarding UF's new policy on minus grades

A = 100 to 93 B+ = 89-87 C+ = 79-77 D+ = 69-67 E = 59-0
A- = 92-90 B = 86-83 C = 76-73 D = 66-63

B- = 82-80 C- = 72-70 D- = 62-60
Your final lecture grade is based on:
  • 80%  On the two tests 
  • 20% Such things as your attendance,  your  participation, your classroom demeanor, your willingness to work with and collaborate with others, your participation in class discussions, and your contributions to the class in whatever form that may take.
Please let me know immediately if you have any kind of problem or disability that would hinder your work in this course. I will do my best to help you. Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office, which will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

Campus Helping Resources
See links on front page.

Academic Conduct
Commit yourself to honesty and integrity if you haven’t already. If you engage in any form of academic misconduct, including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, and aiding and abetting, the penalties could be severe You are required  to read Academic Honesty. I will work under the assumption that you have done so. In addition, go to  link to Honor Code on front page and read this.

Sometimes a class such as this will deal with controversial topics, so be warned that words that may be considered offensive or even ideological may be spoken in the context of the subjects we are discussing. As a teacher, I have no political or social agenda, so do not try to answer in a way you believe might comport with what I want to hear or read. Feel free to advocate any position as long as you remain respectful of others' opinions, and always be able to defend your point of view.

Policy on Electronic Devices
I do not allow electronic transmission devices, such as beepers, cellular phones and computers of any size in my classes. You must have all such devices in the "off" mode and stored away when in class. When I do what looks like the gator chomp, I am saying close your cell phones and laptops.

Policy on Indifference
I do not allow indifference in my classes and instead require that you be engaged. How does indifference manifest itself? It includes:
  • Chatting during class, which is rude
  • Arriving late or leaving early, which is rude
  • Doing homework or scrolling the ’net during class, which is rude
  • Nodding off or sleeping, which is rude
    If you cannot check your indifference at the door, then drop this class.  I and your fellow engaged students do not have time or the inclination to accommodate your behavior.