Hello and welcome to Feature Writing! 

Journalism: Feature Writing

ENG 304-1400

Spring 2021

Mondays 2:00PM – 3:40PM


3 Credits/3 Hours

Instructor: Prof. Syreeta McFadden

Office Hours:


Course Description:

Feature Writing (English 304) is designed to help you enhance your reading and analytical skills in reading and writing of works in narrative journalism. To accomplish this goal, we will examine popular mass media and alternative broadcast, audio, print, and digital news organizations and sources, and read each other’s writing. The intent is to foster an inclusive community of student journalists, one that encourages honest and open discussion.

This course provides further opportunities for students to explore the role, profession and craft of journalism. Students conduct interviews, cover stories around the city and write feature articles. Opportunities are provided for specialized coverage in areas such as politics, mass culture, science, education, economy and finance, arts and entertainment, social change and family life.

Evaluation and Requirements of Students –Course Student Learning Outcomes & Measurements:

Students who successfully complete this course can expect the following learning outcomes:

  1. Learn fundamental journalistic values and principles, including distinguishing fact from fiction, verifying assertions, identifying sources, and understanding journalism’s role in a democratic society
  2. Demonstrate competence in deep listening and community engagement
  3. Gain experience with research, observation, and interviewing
  4. Organize, develop, research, report and revise driven articles that include substantial support
  5. Craft leads and headlines, collect quotations, and learn that a story is more than an idea
  6. Develop competence in generating and synthesizing ideas
  7. Explore the contemporary news ecosystem: how news gets made, shared, and consumed
  8. Reflect on the reader experience

Pre-Requisite/Co-Requisite: ENG101 and ENG201 or ENG121

Required Text: This course is part of the Open Education/Access Resource and Zero Textbook Cost program. All materials will be made available to students via Blackboard or the course website.

Subscribe to WNYC’s On The Media through podcast streaming apps. New Episode airs on Fridays.

Class Assigned Readings: will be available as handout, link or PDF posted on class website/Blackboard.

Other Resources: Blackboard and the class website:

Use of Technology: We are a digital classroom. You are free to use devices like tablets and  You’ll need them to support your work to complete assignments. Blackboard access is required. You may use laptops and tablets in class.

  1. You are required to sign up for free subscriptions to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. You can use your BMCC-CUNY emails to do so. 
  2. Create/join  hypothesis account for digital annotation

Requirements – Participation, Presentation, and Class Attendance:

  1. Complete participation in the reading, research, and writing required in ENG304. 
  2. A function of this course is the development of reporting skills.  Understanding the importance of listening closely to a variety of arguments, especially those you may find yourself in disagreement with, is a crucial component in the execution of your responsibilities.  You will be expected to participate in discussion in thoughtful ways. 
  3. You are responsible for the timely completion of assigned homework and for meeting the deadlines for each draft of your articles.  Identifying what student journalists do in and out of the classroom, knowing their goals, and understanding their external responsibilities will help us create an environment that can enhance learning, development, and publishable student writing. 
  4. Class Participation

BMCC is committed to the health and well‐being of all students. It is common for everyone to seek assistance at some point in their life, and there are free and confidential services on campus that can help.

Single Stop, room S230, 212‐220‐8195. If you are having problems with food or housing insecurity, finances, health insurance or anything else that might get in the way of your studies at BMCC, come by the Single Stop Office for advice and assistance. Assistance is also available through the Office of Student Affairs, S350, 212‐220‐ 8130.

Counseling Center, room S343, 212‐220‐8140. Counselors assist students in addressing psychological and adjustment issues (i.e., depression, anxiety, and relationships) and can help with stress, time management and more. Counselors are available for walk‐in visits.

Office of Compliance and Diversity www.bmcc, room S701, 212-220-1236. BMCC is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive learning environment free of unlawful discrimination/harassment, including sexual harassment, where all students are treated fairly. For information about BMCC’s policies and resources, or to request additional assistance in this area, please visit or call the office, or email, or If you need immediate assistance, please contact BMCC Public safety at 212-220-8080.

Office of Accessibility, room N360 (accessible entrance: 77 Harrison Street), 212-220-8180. This office collaborates with students who have documented disabilities, to coordinate support services, reasonable accommodations, and programs that enable equal access to education and college life. To request an accommodation due to a documented disability, please visit or call the office.

BMCC Policy on Plagiarism and Academic Integrity Statement

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s ideas, words or artistic, scientific, or technical work as one’s own creation. Using the idea or work of another is permissible only when the original author is identified. Paraphrasing and summarizing, as well as direct quotations, require citations to the original source. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. Lack of dishonest intent does not necessarily absolve a student of responsibility for plagiarism. Students who are unsure how and when to provide documentation are advised to consult with their instructors. The library has guides designed to help students to appropriately identify a cited work. The full policy can be found on BMCC’s Web site, For further information on integrity and behavior, please consult the college bulletin (also available online).

HELP WITH WRITING: If you need help, make an appointment to see me. If you need help with grammar and diction, make an appointment at The Wring Center located in Room S-510 or call (212) 220-1384 during our business hours. You can also reach the center by email:

Staying in Touch: Feel free to email me if you need to discuss anything. In addition, if you must miss a class, contact me at

A Word About Open Pedagogy:

Grading & Assignments: You will do at least three types of writing in this course:  in class flash assignments/analysis, pitches, and feature articles.

At the end of the semester, you will have completed a portfolio of at least two pitches and two feature articles.

You will be assessed holistically: In this course you will be graded holistically; this means that I am measuring your written work and your  most concerned with improvement across the semester in the quality of your thinking and your writing, and most importantly the accuracy of your research and reporting.

Grades will be determined by your effort and fulfillment of class requirements as well as writing ability. Late articles and assignments, however, will result in a lower grade.

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