Assignment details

Audience Analysis Presentation

Questions for analysis: Who reads this magazine? Look at both the physical copy and the online information on reader demographics (Dr. Google probably has this information). What kinds of products does this person buy? What kinds of content does this person want to read? What does the design tell you? Length of articles? Regular features? Feature articles? Does the production value look expensive (eg, heavy, glossy paper, full-bleed spreads, etc). Where do most readers encounter this publication? Do they subscribe, pick it up off the rack in a book-store, grocery store, or convenience store, or do they read it in their dentists' waiting rooms? Do they read it online? What kind of content appears in this specific issue? How timely are these articles? Why are readers interested now? What is the standard tone* or "voice" of the publication? Give examples.

 

Presentation: Come in character as the ideal reader of your magazine--appropriate wardrobe choices are encouraged (highlights from previous semesters have included tattoo sleeves, a flowery apron, yoga clothes, and a Daniel-Boone-style 'coon skin cap). Use the visual aid of your choice: Prezi, Power Point, YouTube Video, sock puppets, or whatever is relevant to your content. Tell the class about this magazine's reader. Presentations should be about 10 minutes long.

 

Submit: Upload your notes and presentation on Canvas. Don't forget to put your name and the name of your publication on it. Otherwise, it can be as casual as you like. You can even hand write it if you think I can read your writing.

 

Feature Analysis

Project Overview

The feature analysis is the academic paper that you will write for Magazine Writing. The research question is “what makes this feature rhetorically successful in light of its audience, purpose, and occasion?” Consider the publication’s readers’ demographics, the publication’s brand and voice, the purpose and “angle” of this feature, and the context of its date of publication. Support your claims with evidence and examples such as references to demographic information and where you found it and quotes from the feature. Make sure to provide a synopsis of the article as part of your introduction and to evaluate its effectiveness as part of your thesis and conclusion.

Submission requirements

  • 5-6 pages

  • MLA style

  • Canvas

  • Letter of transmittal

  • Copy of the feature if it is not one of the ones on my website

Due Date

 

Profile

Project Overview

Conduct and take notes on an interview. Write a "classically structured" profile of your subject (details under "Class Notes"). The piece should have a clear angle or focus (expressed in a subtle, but easily identifiable nutgraf) and exposition that builds upon and supports that angle. It also should include appropriate description of your subject and his/her environs. You should include basic biographical information (age, hometown, etc.) as well as personal and professional information that might help a reader to get to know your subject. Your profile should be thematic: what is unique about this person, what makes this story worth telling, and was is this story really about? Is it a critique of popular culture? a story of overcoming adversity? a story of hard work or commitment to public service? Once you've identified that key element, you should weave it throughout the biographical elements; the personal and professional background information support the larger story.

Submission requirements

  • The length and format will be dictated by your publication’s Writers’ Guidelines. Include a screen shot of these with your submission.

  • Submit your interview notes with the profile. These can be informal and a GeniuScan (or other pdf converted file) is fine. 

  • Canvas

  • Letter of transmittal

Due Date 

March 6

Column (Comedy, Voice, and Tone)

Project Overview

Look at columns--short, regular features--that are characteristic of particular publications. I recommend humor publications like The Onion, The Reductress, Cracked.com, McSweeney's, or VerySmartBrothas.com, but you may use any publication you like as long as it features regular column content that has a distinct voice and tone. Write a piece that you think would be appealing to the readers of this column. In your letter of transmittal, acknowledge your rhetorical and stylistic choices and how you have aligned them to sound like the voice of this column and publication. 

  • The length and format will be dictated by your publication’s Writers’ Guidelines. Include a screen shot of these with your submission if they are available. 

  • If your column typically features images (photos, illustrations, etc.), you may include these. 

  • Canvas

  • Letter of transmittal

Due Date

March 27

 

Feature (with query and letter of transmittal)

Project Overview

You will write a full-length feature article for a specific publication. The publication will dictate everything from the topic to the tone and the word count. Your final feature should incorporate the best elements of story-telling: character, voice, theme, conflict, and ultimately, resolution. Great features, such as the ones we've considered in class, inform and energize true stories in ways that draw readers into the immediacy of the narrative and show us as much as tell us. See class notes under Literary Non-fiction for a refresher on the form and what makes a successful story.

Submission requirements

  • The length and format will be dictated by your publication’s Writers’ Guidelines. Include a copy of these with your submission if it's available.

  • MLA style if the writers' guidelines do not specify otherwise.

  • Canvas

  • Letter of transmittal (One for both feature and query)

  • Query letter/email

Due Date

April 17

 

Final Group Projects (Issuu.com)

Project Overview

Here's your chance to publish your work and create a magazine. You will work individually or in groups of 3 or 4 to compile content, design, and publish your own magazine on Issuu.com. The departments for your magazine will be the assignments we've completed for this class. How you organize them is up to you.

  • Feature analyses

  • Profiles

  • Columns

  • Features with queries

Magazines should also have the following components

  • Cover design

  • Letter from the editors

  • Table of contents

  • Masthead

  • Contributors bios

  • Mood boards

Submission requirements

Because Issuu.com hosts your publication free online, all you have to do is paste the link onto Canvas. 

Due Date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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