标题: [CSA] New Writing Course offer
作者: Chinese Student Association
Dear CSA Members,
Recently we were contacted about a new writing course that some of you may be interested in taking. Here is the proposal sent to us:
This notice announces an exciting, valuable new option for students wishing to improve their writing skills. I am Senior Lecturer Mike Henderson, a 19-year writing instructor in the University of Washington Department of Communication. I’m now offering a 15-part online-only version of my highly popular Writing for Mass Communication course (COM 359, which I’ll be teaching live for the final two times this summer quarter).
I launched the course Winter Quarter of 1998. It was developed after numerous requests from our general communications majors who, prior to 359, had no other comprehensive writing course available to them.
Since then I have taught the course nearly 60 times. (I have with this notice scanned copies of student comments from recent course-evaluations.) Students have found it to be highly instructive as it affords them the chance to not just find out about the various mass-media writing fields but to learn from a long-time professional and get immediate feedback when they complete each of their 15 writing assignments. The course has repeatedly proven to be ideal for students ranging from professionals to those for whom English is a second language.
My background (in brief):
I grew up in Portland and graduated from the University of Oregon. I started writing professionally for my community newspaper when I was a junior in high school. I would later work at the local paper in Eugene. Then, upon graduation, I worked as a writer, reporter, critic and editor at newspapers such as the Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Weekly. I have been affiliated with a professional news outlet at least part of every year since 1964, accumulating more than 6,000 bylines and editing literally millions of words by way of professional and student-level content. I’ve also written several book-length works of fiction and nonfiction.
You may read more about me by following this link to the Department of Communication newsletter:
It is the above experience I bring to my UW classes. I’m the only COM faculty member to have taught all the key required journalism courses, typically teaching nine or 10 classes per year. Courses include an Opinion Writing class that I have taught with a Seattle Times professional for most of the past decade. During that time I’ve also overseen our Olympia Legislature-coverage program.
My greatest fondness has been Writing for Mass Media. I hear from a lot of past students, many of whom have gone on to rewarding careers in communications-related fields.
Because I genuinely relish helping improve writing skills, I have finalized plans to offer my online-only course. Let me note that this course is in no way affiliated with the University of Washington or any other institution. Consequently those who take the course will not receive any academic credit (COM 359 has been a five-credit course at UW).
Participants will, however, receive at least two benefits that they may soon regard as much more valuable than another five college credits.
First and most important: They will gain skills as writers in the English language. I’ve taught more than a thousand COM 359 students and each has improved his/her skills; many have improved considerably.
Second: Students will be able to use completion of this course as a valuable item for resumes along with being able to cite me as a reference when they apply for jobs.
Those who enroll will receive from me a set of instructions taken directly from my classroom lectures. At the end of each set of instructions will be a writing assignment (most are between 300 and 400 words) to be completed by the student. When students return exercises to me via email I will edit the work and make comments, returning compositions either the same or next day.
Participants will be welcome to ask any questions about their work. They also may proceed at any pace they wish (COM 359 usually is a 10-week course but I have taught it successfully during five-week spans).
A key benefit of the course, here again, is that participants get to learn vital information about various professional fields associated with writing for mass media. After a couple of introductory exercises, students will be writing in the style of professionals.
The 15 exercises will include:
Introductory writing sample
Punctuation/writing as craft
Public Relations (two exercises)
Jobs: Resumes, Cover Letters, Interviews
The cost of taking this course will be less than one-third the approximate $1,900 my summer-quarter COM 359 students will have paid at UW. For my online program I’m charging $750. That works out to participants paying $50 per exercise. This is a bargain compared with fees charged by purported “tutors” who may be only marginally qualified.
Those who are interested are encouraged to contact me if they have more questions. I’m hoping to start welcoming participants right away. Now and in “retirement” I’ll continue to prefer using my familiar UW email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) but you also may reach me email@example.com and at 206-940-2451.
Because of the labor-intensive nature of being a professional writing mentor, I’ll need to limit the number of participants. If you’re interested, contact me right away. Why wait to start becoming a much better writer?
Mike Henderson, Senior Lecturer, University of Washington
We have attached some of his reviews as a professor for those interested. Hope you all are having a wonderful 3-day weekend!
Chinese Student Association
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Attachment: student evals for COM 359.pdf (zipped)
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