2023 – Spring

Profiles: Lives on the Brink

Course Number: JOUR-GA 1231.001

Day & Time: Tue 1:30pm-4:30pm

Location: 20 Cooper Square, Rm 700 (Library)

Instructor: Rachel L. Swarns

An actor poised to step on the stage. An athlete bracing for a make-or-break match. A lawyer steeling herself for the first day of trial. A homeless woman entering a shelter. In this course, we will focus on profiling people at pivotal moments of change and bringing them to life on the page. We will write a series of profiles, from a short feature of 300 words to one magazine length story of 3,000 words. Students will learn how to use a range of public records and other tools to deepen their reporting, gain skills in preparing for and conducting probing interviews and learn how to write with power, detail and urgency. Students will also practice pitching their stories to a journalist at a major news organization and learn how to use social media for reporting and promoting their work.