Your midterm exercise is just another release assignment, but it's your opportunity to find out how well you have been absorbing the material in the lessons, and whether you have benefited from comments and edits on your PR writing. It is valuable preparation for the timed final exam you will take in the final week of this course.
The midterm is good practice for your final exam. But you will find it very much like a regular press release assignment. You will write a message planner and press release, plus two delayed leads within the 3-hour span of your classroom experience.
How do you take the midterm online?
Easy. You have your choice of three options. Email me no later than Monday March 16 to let me know which option you'd like:
- Come to a computer in our classroom on Tuesday, as usual, and check your email for midterm information. Complete your midterm between 12:30 and 3:20, and return to me by email.
- Stay home -- or go to Starbucks, etc. -- and check your email at 12:30 for midterm information. Complete your midterm from any location, before 3:20, and return to me by email.
- If you have a strong preference for another time, let me know by email, and you may take your midterm at a time of your choosing, after the noon class time (not before).
Your midterm exercise consists of
You have already had an opportunity to study the Press Release
Checklist, and you know "How I Grade a Press Release"
from the information you found in the "Examples" link (some of
which is reprinted below). In the lesson material you have all you
need to do a thorough self-edit of your work. Self-editing
is very important to your success as a PR writer, and in an online
course it's especially necessary.
When I grade your midterm, I give about 25 percent
weight to the Message Planner. The Writing
Process is one of the most important objectives of this
course, and if you have skimped on the Key Ideas, or skated on the
organization of paragraphs, or missed the point on the angle or
message or 5 W's, that will affect your grade -- usually by one
grade point (a "B" turns into a "C") -- or worse.
Grading the press release itself is a matter of looking
at five main elements. Grading written papers is less
scientific than teachers like to admit. Here is what I use as a
guide to evaluating your press release.