Story 2: Due dates and requirements (Total 150 points)

As I mentioned in class on March 21, I’m changing this assignment — and giving you an extra week to turn in Part 1 as a result of that change. For those of you who were NOT in class last week, I will explain more this coming week, or you can email me for details.

Your second “story” for this class will be a curated story that incorporates a number of other informed sources that can be research-based, educational or media-based in nature.

Due April 4 (15 points):

Pick a topic — most of you have already talked about what you what to do — and answer the following questions in text or in a word doc in Canvas by 6 p.m. April 4.

What is your basic story concept? (For example: The health of the Great Lakes, in light of the oil pipeline that goes under the Straits of Mackinac and efforts to shut it down; or, the state of NCAA sports in light of a series of scandals).

Why is it relevant now? What makes this a good story? It should fit one or more of these categories: Timeliness, newsiness, a threat in some way, a controversy, a turning point in society.

What informed and reputable sources will you use to help tell this story? List at least three, and give links if they are online.

Is there data — numbers, research or studies — to back up your story? 

What questions will you need to answer? Who or what sources can help you answer them?

I’ll go over the story ideas during the April 4 class, so be sure to have yours in before class. If there’s a problem with your idea, I’ll let you know by Thursday, April 5, so you can revise before doing the final paper.

Due April 11 (135 points):

Your final paper. This one is graded all at once, for all 135 additional points. You will have the opportunity to add extras — photos, video, graphics — for additional credit, based on my grading of your paper, which will be returned on April 18.

Requirements for the paper:

The full curated story should meet the following guidelines:

Format: Word document, double-spaced, 600-1000 words.

Data addendum: List of resources and how you used them (including those not used directly in the story)

This “curated” story should include at least 10 links to other sources. The story should:

  • Be contextually linked throughout — all links should be “woven” into your narrative
  • This story, although curated, needs to have a lede and a theme. There should still be a “why should I care” element to the lede. A reason for the reader (in this case me) should care to read beyond the first paragraph.
  • Links should be to at least FIVE different sources (in other words, not every link should be to one article or study).  Use your links to help tell a story, and to do it by making a case for whatever your story is about.
  • All sources need to be verified and respectable. You will be graded on the veracity of your source and how you ue them to tell the story.

Write this story as you would any other — but use OTHER sources to help take it forward.

Grading rubric:

Story idea, 20 points: Does this idea have relevance, timeliness and depth? Is it well-developed and supported by good sources? Is it original enough that you are not replicating someone else’s idea?

Story organization, 20 points: Is the story well organized? Does it flow, and is it easy to follow? Is the lede strong and does it set up the entire story? Does the rest of the story live up to the lede?

Sourcing and linking, 30 points: Are the sources used for the story strong and reliable? Are there primary sources among them? Are there at least 10 sources linked throughout the story, and are the links contextual and based on key words?

Mechanics, 20 points: Is the story free of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors? Does it adhere to AP Style? Is sentence construction strong? Is use of language appropriate? Are paragraphs broken up to present the story in small, digestible chunks?

Format, 10 points: is the story presented in the format required — word or text doc, double-spaced, 600 to 1000 words? Is it professionally presented. Is the data/source addendum added to the end of the document? (the length of the paper shouldn’t include the addendum)

Timeliness, 10 points: Is the story on time? Every day late will cost an additional 10 points. We are near the end of the semester, so timeliness is important.

Writing style, 15 points: Is the story well-written? Does it exhibit some complex thought? Is it polished and reasoned?

Total: 135 points

Extra credit: Due April 25

You will be eligible for extra credit if you turn your paper in on time. No papers turned in late will be eligible for these extra points. We will discuss the options for EC on April 4 and April 11.

Your version of the paper must earn a passable grade to be eligible for this added EC. I’ll have more details later — but I wanted to include these thought-starters, because often you need to gather photos, video, data materials for graphics AS YOU GO, and not after you are done reporting.

Photos: Single image, or images added to a photo gallery or timeline.

Audio: Audio uploaded to Soundcloud or elsewhere, or submitted as an MP3.

Video: Original video to accompany your story, or a composite created to help tell the story.

Timeline JS: A timeline to accompany your story

Fusion Table: Google fusion table map or chart

Graphics or interactives: Using the various other graphics and interactive tools available, create something that visualizes your data

Wildcard: Do you have something else you want to try? Send me your proposed idea or talk with me during class before April 18 and if I approve it you can do something other than the above.