With the unbundling of Mass Communication programme in Nigeria, the face of communication education in the country has changed. The programme has transited into a full college/faculty while individual courses have adapted to the change. While several new courses now exist in the seven new departments, some of the courses you used to know before have also taken a new shape. We have done a thorough research on what these courses offer in universities across the world; and we have provided prototype syllabus for students to study ahead. This is also to assist lecturers who might be facing new challenges with several new courses to have an idea of what the syllabus of each course offers.
Faculty: Communication and Media Studies Department: Journalism & Media Studies
Course Code: MAC 201 Unit(s): 2 Semester: First
Course Title: Feature Writing
Lecturer: Programme: B.Sc.
(A). BRIEF OVERVIEW OF COURSE
This course is designed to train students to have an in-depth understanding of feature article writing. It provides practical and informative knowledge on feature writing concepts, types, techniques and approaches, including how to write featurized reports for various media. It is a practical course structured to enable students to become proficient in preparing a publishable feature articles. Emphasis is on writing, analysing and marketing feature articles for offline and online newspapers and magazines. Students will also receive basic training on subject research, investigation of editorial needs, ethical and legal problems and manuscript preparation. It further provides distinctive features of good feature writing and basic steps in investigative reporting required in writing a rich feature story.
(B). COURSE OBJECTIVES/GOALS
By the end of this course, students will have learned:
- Meaning of basic concepts in Feature writing and magazine reporting.
- The difference between news stories and features
- Structure and contents of features
- How to write features
- The different types of features
- Writing featurized stories for various media (online and offline media)
(C). METHOD OF LECTURE DELIVERY
- Practical Classroom Sessions
(D). COURSE OUTLINE
Definition of concepts (Feature Story, Magazine reporting)
Why journalists write feature stories
Difference between feature stories and straight news reports
Characteristics of a feature story
The importance of proper reporting and research in constructing solid features
2. Types of Feature Stories
3. Approaches to Feature Story Writing
4. Sources of Ideas for Feature Stories
5. Structure of a Feature Story
The head (Caption)
The Neck (Lead)
The Body (main story content)
6. Writing a Feature Story: Basic Steps
Choosing a topic
Writing the story
Effective writing: color, details, anecdotes, improving quotes; leads and story beginnings.
8. Investigative Reporting for Writing Features
What is investigative reporting?
Basic steps in Investigative reporting
Terrains of Investigative reporting
Relevance of investigative reporting skills to Feature Writing
9. Interviewing For Feature Story Writing
Definition of Interviewing
Kinds of Interviewing
Relevance of Interviewing in Feature Story Writing
Using Interviews in a Feature Story
Writing the Personality Profile from an interview
10. Class activities and Assignments
(E). RECOMMENDED TEXTS
Pape, S. & Featherstone, S. (2008). Feature Writing: A Practical Introduction. London: SAGE Publications.
Nwabueze, C. (2014). The Art of Investigative Reporting: A Practical Guide (2nd Edition). Owerri: Topshelve.
(F). IMPORTANT LINKS