Public Relations Writing Online

Information on your Midterm Exam
for the week of Sunday, June 18-25

    How do you take the midterm online? Easy. It's an open book exam. Do it at home, at Starbucks, or come in to the computer lab on campus -- anywhere you can set aside three hours to complete it.

    The Midterm link is primed to take you to the assignment information. Do not click the yellow link until you are ready to start the clock on your three-hour time limit.

    Midterm Link

    Read this page carefully and copy it if necessary. When you're sure you're ready, you click the yellow midterm link. The clock starts running when you click that button. You should regard the midterm as 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's valuable preparation for the timed Final Exam.

    The timed 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 (summary lead), plus two delayed leads within that 3-hour span. When you're done, email the exam back to me at amiller@colum.edu

    *(Don't forget to put "PRW" in the subject line)

    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 pre-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.

    Click here for more detailed information on grading

    Take a look at your press release drafts with these points in mind. How does your work compare? What can be improved? clarified? made stonger? You must learn to be your own best editor, and by now you should be clear on what we're looking for in an effective press release.




    Alton Miller

    amiller@colum.edu