2021 – Spring

Elective Reporting Topics: Writing the Think Piece

Course Number: JOUR-UA 204, section 5

Day & Time: Wed | 4:55 PM – 8:35 PM

Location: 20 Cooper Square, room 657

Instructors: Mathew Rodriguez, Mathew Rodriguez

Prerequisite: Journalistic Inquiry: The Written Word (JOUR-UA 101)

Without fail, behind a huge cultural event – the Oscars, a Beyonce album drop, a global pandemic – comes a deluge of think pieces. To craft an effective think piece, a writer must be able to draw from their own experiences, research their opinions, offer confident analysis and weave these elements together into a coherent narrative.

The goal of a think piece is not to win an argument. Rather, it’s successful when it helps the reader understand why using certain GIFs might perpetuate racist stereotypes, why it matters when you’ve decided to dress more visibly queer or why it’s not OK to point the finger of blame during a pandemic.

In this class, we’ll work to define a think piece, examine the 24/7 news cycle and cultural calendar for story ideas, hone our voices and write and rewrite. We’ll also read some of today’s most well known writers like Roxane Gay, Lindy West and Rebecca Solnit. Students should leave the class with several pieces of polished, publishable work.

Notes: Counts as an elective for the journalism major and both journalism minors.