Comm 231: 9-27

Blog Feedback

Preview your posts:

  • Image issues
  • Hyperlinks and subheads
  • broken links


Header Image


How small screens impact photojournalism — and tips for adapting

Rule of Thirds

Vantage points 


Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 9.52.28 AM

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 9.52.51 AM

Wide, Medium, and Close Shots

Class assignment:

With your partner, you are going shoot a scene that “tells a story.”

You need three shots: a wide, medium, and close.

Try to incorporate all the lessons we learned in class today.

Then in Photoshop, create a visual that has all three photos on it, and:

  • have a colored background
  • have text next to each shot
  • export it as a png
  • email it to me

Assignment 2: Create an slide show. How-To, Top 10, Informative

You must:

  • Assignment 2: Create an slide show. How-To, Top 10, InformativeYou must:
    • have five- to 10-original pictures (shot by you and incorporating the techniques we learned this week)
    • create informative slides using Photoshop
    • Using Powerpoint, put each image on a separate slide. The Powerpoint file is what you will upload to SlideShare. We go over this next week.
    • have informative facts (researched) on each slide
    • include a source slide (this slide does not count as one of your five)
    • have no spelling/grammar mistakes
    • have consistency on each slide. Background color, font style and size, image size
    • be uploaded to SlideShare and embedded on your blog. We go over this next week.

Submit the link to your home page on Blackboard before the start of next class on Oct. 11.


Comm 231: Sept. 18



Photoshop Help

Blog header 

You will create an original header for your blog. Make sure to use the dimensions 2000 × 800 pixels for the canvas size.

While I’m not requiring anything specific to be on your banner, it must:

  • be visually pleasing
  • conform with the rest of your blog (color, style, voice)
  • be evident that a true effort was made
  • not have copyrighted content

Submit the link to your home page on Blackboard before the start of next class.


Comm 231: Sept.13

Content Manager

About Page Feedback:

  • Make sure you are sending a working URL
  • OPEN link in a new tab/window
  • When in doubt, break up that paragraph.
  • Picture up high in the post. Should be the first thing you see.
  • Spacing issues because of the image.
  • Grammar
  • Text widget: Visit CCSU


“Long paragraphs are a visual predictor that a story won’t work. You must cut the meat into little pieces.” — Jon Ziomek, professor at the Medill School of Journalism


Follow the 1-2-3-4-5 Rule

Your paragraph should contain: 1 main thought, expressed in 2 to 3 short sentences, taking up no more than 4 to 5 lines on the page.

Content Chunking


5 ways to trim the fat from your writing


Blog SEO for the Modern Marketer: How to Optimize Your Posts


Stock photos

Creative Commons Search

A Checklist Before You Publish


  • What is your dream job or type of career?
  • How will you get there?
  • What have you done, or what you are doing, to achieve this?

– should be around 500 words

– must include at least one picture (must be high in the post and not copyright protected)

– must include at least one relevant hyperlink (open in a new window/tab)

– must follow the aesthetic structure we have talked about (short paragraphs — generally 1-3 sentences, no dead space, text wrap, visual is high in the post, chunking and subheads are used when appropriate, etc.)

– should be written concisely

– must not have any grammatical or spelling mistakes

Assignment 1: Blog Post

Have an opinion about something and back it up with research. 

Your post must:

  • be between 500-750 words
  • include at least one picture (must be high in the post and not copyright protected)
  • include at least one relevant hyperlink (open in a new window/tab)
  • not have any grammar or spelling mistakes
  • follow the aesthetic structure we’ve talked about (short paragraphs—generally 1-3 sentences, no dead space, text wrap, visual is high in the post, etc.)
  • demonstrate good SEO practices
  • be put in a category


Post the link to Blackboard before the start of next class. 

Comm 231: Sept. 6

What do you observe?

Theme: Karuna

About Page

Edit your blog’s About page so that it has your bio.

It must:

  • include at least one hyperlink (which opens in an new window/tab) and one picture (it doesn’t have to be a picture of you, but it should be relevant to your bio). Place the/a picture high in the post.
  • be at least 350 words.
  • not just be a block of text. People won’t read through it (see example). Make sure you’re breaking up your text into paragraphs.
  • have short paragraphs. Paragraphs on the web are short. Keep them one to three sentences. Especially the first paragraph (the lead).
  • have words text wrapped around the picture. This prevents “dead space” on the page.
  • use proper grammar and have no spelling errors.

Submit your About page’s URL on Blackboard in Assignments.

Comm 231: April 21

Tips for writing a digital story

Feature Writing 101:

– Be objective. You are the narrator, not the main character.

– Write in third person. Do not use: I, you, we, our, etc.

– Write in AP style.

– Use short paragraphs. Usually, one to three sentences. Five at the most.

– Write a lead that hooks the reader. Should be one sentence.

– Use quotes and attribute them. Start the sentence with the quote and then use saidExample: “This challenge is the real deal,” Chiara said.

– Hyperlink if possible. Especially, if it will clear up confusion or gives more context.

– Check for spelling and grammar. EDIT in layers.

AP Style GuidePurdue Online Writing Lab

Headlines: Only the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns should be capitalized.

Correct Example: How marketers can easily create infographics 

Incorrect Headline: How I Learned To Incorrectly Write A Headline

Names: Full name on first reference. Only last name with no titles after that.

Example: Adam Chiara, a professor at University of Hartford, taught a class on AP style. Chiara knew his students would dislike him for it. 

Titles: Capitalize a title if it’s before the name. If used after, it’s lowercase.

Example: Gov. Jane Smith is considering running for another term. Smith, who has been governor for seven years, …

Quotes: Commas and periods inside the quotation mark. If the quote is the beginning of the sentence, the first letter is capital. If the quote is a continuation, the first letter is lowercase. More details on quotes.

Example: “This challenge is the real deal,” Chiara said. He said it’s not the time that’s the problem but, “getting up in the early morning is hard for me.”

Location: Town, Conn. | Town, Conn., more text…  | However, if you just mention the state, it is written out. 

Example: He lives in Connecticut. He grew up in Hartford, Conn., before now living in West Hartford, Conn.

Dates: Oct. 21, more text…. |  He was born in October.

Example: He was born on Oct. 21, 2015. His mom is happy is was born in October

Numbers: Zero to nine is written out. 10 and higher is a number (unless the paragraph starts with a number, then write it out).

Time: 5 a.m. — 3 p.m.

Money: $100,000 — $1 million — $7.25. You do not follow the rules for numbers above. 

Example: First he owed him $7.25, then $100,000, and the $1 million.

In-Class Assignment

Interview your classmate, and write a 500-word story about why they came to CCSU, and profile who they are as a student.  

Include a picture, relevant hyperlinks, and quotes. Follow the feature writing 101 rules and use AP style. Also, follow the aesthetic lessons we’ve learned about creating a good visual post.

Homework: Write a 500- to 750-word feature story on your blog.

The story can be a profile of someone (cannot be a family member or friend – you won’t be objective), about an event, or profiling a business/organization.

It must:

  • follow the feature writing 101 standards
  • follow AP style
  • include at least two original quotes recorded by you
  • have at least one original picture shot by you (use the techniques we’ve learned in class)
  • include at least one relevant hyperlink
  • put in a category on your blog
  • incorporate other lessons we’ve learned in this class about aesthetics, SEO, etc.

Email me the post before the start of next class


  • Infographics are still due by Friday, April 14.
  • You will have the option to do redo the assignments you got the two lowest grades on (the redos will not replace that grade). You do not have to do this. At the end of the semester, I will divide your grades by however many you turned in. You can start one of your assignments now, but wait to see what you get on your infographic before starting the second.
  • If you want to do a video assignment instead of a redo, please email me, and I will send you the instructions.
  • We will have one more additional assignment due before the end of the semester, but we will start and do most of it in class next time we meet.
  • The last class will be a working session where I am here to help.

P.S. I’m ending class 20 minutes early today, but you will get to keep working in the room.