Variety Built Upon Shared Goals

When the original 15 teachers met at Marquette University in 1988 to create a course that would combine an English honors-level composition course and a journalism course, it soon became clear that no one curriculum would serve the needs of all schools.

Some school systems would add the intensive journalistic writing approach to their program of studies if it were a sophomore honors course. Others required that it be part of an established American Literature (English 11), British Literature  (English 12) or World Literature (English 10 or 12) course. Other schools had approved an AP English Language and Composition course with a journalistic writing approach.

What would define an Intensive Journalistic Writing course? The 15 teachers agreed on seven goals that would form the foundation of all IJW classes. Teachers have found many ways to incorporate these into their curriculum.

  1. To teach the writing process using a journalistic process mode
  2. To correlate and integrate journalistic and rhetorical modes
  3. To use journalistic techniques to write clearly and succinctly
  4. To teach students to observe, to research, to interview, and to organize
  5. To provide a variety of classical and contemporary models
  6. To develop students’ critical reading and thinking skills
  7. To teach students to compose in a variety of modes for different purposes and audiences
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