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English 395/396 – Writing Workshop

Please click here to see when ENG 395/396 is offered during the year.

Instructor: Jody Biehl

The best way to learn journalism is to do it. In this course, students work as reporters for The Spectrum, UB’s student newspaper. The paper, the largest independent student newspaper in New York, comes out three times a week and has a circulation of 10,000 copies. Students in this class will be doing daily reporting, interviewing and writing under deadline pressure.

Each student will choose (or be assigned) a desk (campus news, features, arts, sports or photography) and must write 12 stories for that desk by the end of the semester. Articles accepted for the student paper usually need to be rewritten several times and editors often require students to make additional phone calls or do additional reporting on pieces. Students must also attend weekly classes taught and overseen by the course instructor. Each class covers a topic pertinent to journalism and to the week’s coverage. Editors and the course instructor discuss problems they see in coverage and technique and the course instructor critiques student work. Every week, students also take an in-class quiz on recent Spectrum articles and on the assigned reading (pages of the Associated Press Stylebook, handouts distributed in class or in the class course pack). Student reporters must attend at least one production session per semester so they can see how the paper is edited, layed out and produced. At the end of term, students submit a portfolio of all work completed.

Students should take ENG 201 and ENG 193 before signing up for the course.  

The Journalism Certificate Program