Introduction to Journalism

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 150

       Course Name: Introduction to Journalism

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

EGL 101 or placement in EGL 101.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces students to news writing and history and continuing role of the newspaper. Content includes theory and practice in writing stories, leads, editorials, features and reviews; copy-reading and make-up; particular problems and requirements of local journalism; introduction to principles of newspaper design and current technology.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Apply skills in writing clear, concise, accurate, complete, balanced and readable news stories, according to standard news writing guidelines.
  2. Apply journalistic questioning techniques while conducting interviews with news sources.
  3. Demonstrate basic journalistic skills to news lead writing.
  4. Demonstrate introductory skills in electronic copy preparation through standard word processing and page layout systems.
  5. Define the elements of news and how news differs from features, opinion pieces and other forms of journalistic writing.
  6. Apply journalistic research skills to write publishable, balanced and multi-sourced news stories.
  7. Compose a variety of news story types.
  8. Compose assignments under deadline pressure.
  9. Demonstrate knowledge of Associated Press stylebook rules as applied to print journalism style.
  10. Demonstrate an understanding of the laws and ethics of news writing.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Below is an example of a possible sequence of topics for this course:

  • The Story of Journalism
  • Newsroom Organization: staff guidelines, AP style
  • News Writing Basics: credibility, accuracy, objectivity
  • Reporting Basics: interviewing techniques, lead and headline writing
  • Covering the News
  • Beyond Breaking News: sports and feature writing
  • Law and Ethics
  • Using the Internet
  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Business of Newspaper Production: public relations and advertising
  • News, Audiences and Everyday Life
  • Realities of Journalism: race and gender
  • Good Journalism vs. Popular Culture
  • Changing Media and Media Careers

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture and discussion focused on professional and collegiate newspapers, films and student writing. Hands-on production of writing assignments and news stories that conform to Associated Press style guidelines.


Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Reading and critiquing works of student and professional news writers. Weekly writing assignments, including news features, film reviews and editorials that conform to AP guidelines.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

To be selected by instructor in consultation with department chair.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Evaluation methods include grading of student writings, exercises, and other class activities. Examinations are optional.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Attendance Policy
  2. For whatever information/procedures the instructor holds the student accountable.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.



If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.