Motivating performance in class and outside of class

After teaching Writing for Mass Communication for several semesters, I realized that we needed to start the course with the last chapter — “Media Jobs and Internships.” Most of the students in the course have no experience working in the media (i.e., a high school publication, the college publication, an internship at an ad agency).

After they read the chapter, we discuss strategies for writing resumes and cover letters. The second lab’s assignment is for each student to develop a resume and write a cover letter for a specific media-related internship or job shadowing.

For the rest of the semester, most of the students are more focused on not only learning media writing skills but on doing what is needed outside of class to have a stronger resume and portfolio.

Every semester, dozens of students report success from their resumes and cover letters — using those materials to apply for and obtain an internship. And I tell their stories the following semester to promote the value of this assignment.

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