Senior Production

Course Details

Course Number: MCOM 4243  Section Number: 001

Spring 2014

Location: Fain Fine Arts Center

Classroom Number: B127

Days & Times:

Class Time: 12:30-1:50 p.m.

Course Attachments


MSU Faculty Member
James A.  Gorham   
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Course Objectives

The creation of a television documentary incorporating written, oral and organizational skills. Emphasis will be applied on media aesthetics.

Course Expectations


Course Conduct/Requirements:  This course will consist of a documentary, two exams, readings, lectures, quizzes and a weekly log.  All coursework must be completed to pass the class.  Participation and attendance will directly influence your grade.  A peer evaluation will be distributed at various times throughout the semester.  DO NOT LET THE OTHER MEMBERS OF YOUR GROUP DOWN!  DO YOUR PART! And remember, just because you worked hard on this project does not ensure an “A.” Effort is necessary to achieve an “A” but it does not guarantee it. Be sure to make all deadlines because they are graded as either full credit or a zero. A zero on any deadline will almost assuredly lower your final grade by at least one grade.

Grading Standards

Grade Breakdown:


Documentary                                                                        50%

Weekly Report & Deadlines                                              15%

Exam       1                                                                              10%

Exam       2                                                                             10%

Quizzes/Participation/Cooperation                                   15%

*Avid Proficiency Test                                                       Pass/Fail


*These are approximations and subject to change. You will have a shooting and editing proficiency exam. These will occur on the same day as your midterm and final exam. Failure on either test will result in being dropped from the course. Senior Screenings time and day TBA.  

Submission Format Policy


Documentary Grading Criteria


(The project will involve approximately 200 points)


Editing                                                 65 points

Shooting                                              65 points

Story Structure                                     20 points

Informational/Persuasive Value       10 points

Participation/Cooperation                    40 points

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements


Attendance: You are all set to graduate at the end of the semester; consequently this class should be a conduit into your professional lives. In short, consider this your job and be in class and be on-time. On the fourth absence I may drop you from the class. Finally, it is imperative that you treat all broadcasting equipment with care. In short, if you break it, you buy it.

Other Policies




Plagiarism comes from the Latin word plagiarius, which means kidnapper.  Webster’s Dictionary defines plagiarize as to take (ideas, writings, etc.) from (another) and pass them off as one’s own-plagiarizer. Plagiarism includes the deliberate as well as inadvertent failure to properly attribute:  1) material taken directly from a source (including work done by other students or Technical Assistant); 2) paraphrasing of a source; 3) use of the same or very similar organizations of source material; 4) any submission that contains the thoughts or work of others.  Copying of a substantial portion of material without acknowledgment is plagiarism and a violation of copyright law.  Plagiarism applies to print sources, electronic/digital sources, and materials obtained through the Internet.  In short, everything you do in this class should be the work of either yourself or your fellow group members. Anytime anyone outside the group produces any part of your documentary you have committed plagiarism.  Violation of this policy will result in the student and/or group receiving a failing grade for this course.  IF IN DOUBT-ASK!  Students in this course should adhere to the MSU Student Honor Code.


Privacy: Federal privacy laws prohibits me from releasing information about students to certain parties outside of the university…thus, in almost all cases I will not discuss your academic progress, academic matters, or grades with anyone including your parents. Do not have them call me! You are college students and adults and therefore will be treated as such. Finally, I will only correspond with you via email if your name is in your email address.


Disability Services: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information that needs sharing, or if you need special accommodations in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss.


Final Caveat: The professor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus for any reason.  Sufficient notice will be given if changes are deemed necessary.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.