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Journalism 132 Magazine Writing

Professor Shirley Biagi



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Catalog Description

What will I read?

What else will I do?


Why should I attend class?


How do I get to know the teacher?


Catalog Description:
This course covers the process of writing and submitting feature articles as well as analysis of markets for freelance magazine articles. In addition to improving writing skills, students prepare and submit professional quality manuscripts for publication. Note: computer familiarity (Mac-PC) recommended. Prerequisites: Journalism 30 and Writing Proficiency Exam. 3 units.

What will I read?

How to Write and Sell Magazine Articles, Biagi (or a facsimile)

Interviews That Work, Biagi (including InfoTrac supplement)

Writer's Market 1998, Writer's Digest Books

PLEASE PLAN TO BRING How to Write and Sell Magazine Articles and Writer's Market to class for the first eight weeks because we often do in-class assignments based on material in the books. We will also do in-class assignments. If you are not in class on the day we do an in-class assignment, you lose the opportunity to do the exercise, and therefore will lose the points possible for that assignment.

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What else will I do this semester?

The major goal for this class is for each student to write one publishable magazine article (a minimum total of 2,000 words) and to learn how to market the article. We will have regular class discussions as well as workshops to smooth out your writing.
A secondary goal is to help you
understand the magazine publishing business and what makes an article saleable.

A third goal is to help you learn how to research articles using on-line resources.

Class assignments are listed on the Assignment List, although additional assignments may be added, as needed.

Due Dates for Your Magazine Article

Especially important to remember are the due dates, as assigned:

1st article drafts due: as assigned.

Final articles due: as assigned.

Magazine Queries You Will Send

You also will send individual queries to 18 magazines, based on article ideas that you will initiate. For this you will need thirty-six 32-cent stamps, 40 sheets of 20 pound bond letter paper, thirty-six #10 envelopes.

Research, Interviewing, Writing and Due Date Requirements

You will do research, you will conduct interviews, and you will write and rewrite and rewrite.

I DO NOT ACCEPT LATE ASSIGNMENTS. I DO NOT ACCEPT COMPUTER EXCUSES. I'm very mean about this because I believe it is unfair to other students in the class who manage to make the deadlines. All assignments must be typed double-spaced.

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Will I have tests?

There will be no midterm or final, but we will have tests on How to Write and Sell Magazine Articles and Interviews That Work. The schedule of tests is:

Test (30 points) How to Write and Sell

as scheduled

Test (40 points) Interviews That Work

as scheduled

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Why should I attend class?

You receive 2 points each time you sign the attendance sheet in class. If you attend every class and sign the attendance sheet, you also will receive 10 bonus points at the end of the semester for perfect attendance. If you miss class, you still are responsible for any assignment due and it is due on the date it is due for everyone else.

Do not count on me to remember to tell you that you have missed class work. Please call or email a classmate. If you cannot attend class to turn in your assignment, give it to a friend to deliver or mail it. To receive credit, mailed assignments must be postmarked the date they are due. I do not accept faxed or emailed assignments.

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How will I be graded?

Each assignment and test carries a point value, and at the end of the semester, your grade is based on the total points you have accumulated through attendance, assignments, and quizzes.

Grades will be assigned as follows:

93%+ = A

90%+ = A-

87%+ = B+

83%+ = B

80%+ = B-

77%+ = C+

73%+ = C

70%+ = C-

67%+ = D+

63%+ = D

60%+ = D-

59% and below = F

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How do I get to know the teacher?

Please talk with me if you have any problems or questions. My office is in Mendocino 5003. My student office hours are: Mondays and Wednesdays 1:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.. You also can call me or leave a message on my voicemail at 278-7894, leave a message in my mailbox in Mendocino 5014, or send me an email at:

I usually read my school email at about 7 a.m. on weekdays. If you send me an email after that time, I will not read it until the next day. Also, please state in the subject line of your email the class about which you are communi-cating. Since I have the same students in more than one class, this will help me to better answer your questions.

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University Drop Policy

1. All drops after the second week of instruction must have the approval of the instructor and the department chair and are allowed only for "serious and compelling reasons" (usually illness, change in employment schedule). A written verification is required.

2. All drops during the final three weeks of instruction must have the approval of the instructor, department chair and shcool dean and are allowed only in extenuating circumstances.

3 The department chair will respect the faculty member's judgment of serious and compelling reasons.

4. Dropping a course because of failing grades is not considered a "serious and compelling" reason.

I want you to do your best work, and if for some reason you can't, I would rather that you drop the class than get a bad grade. Please pay attention to university deadlines (listed in your class schedule and online at to avoid serious penalties.)

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What Are My Assignments?

1. Article ideas

2. Marketing Analysis

3. Market List

4. Online Assignments

5. Research Exercise

6. Queries - 1st draft

7. Class Query Editing

8. Final Queries

9. Article Interview Reports

10. Article 1st draft

11. Class Article Editing

12. Final Article


25 points

50 points

25 points

10 - 30 points

100 points

25 points

25 points

40 points

30 points

50 points

25 points

100 points


Last day of class is when we have our pizza party. Attendance will be taken. There will be no class held during finals week.


Good manners are important. Online this is called Netiquette .
Please read this page to understand your responsibilities online.

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Page updated: May 28, 1998