With a new semester beginning this week at Marquette University, and me once again teaching Digital Journalism III (JOUR 2100) in the Diederich College of Communication, I want my 14 students to focus on grammar all the time. Hence my Facebook message last night:
A #loweclass rite of passage will happen tomorrow morning. The much-appreciated, nowhere-else duplicated, 50-question grammar, spelling and punctuation quiz is locked and loaded in D2L. It is set to begin at 10 and end at 10:25. As stated Monday, 50 extra-credit points to each student who answers at least 40 questions correctly. Only two students -- Alec Brooks and Rob Gebelhoff -- have earned such glory in five prior semesters.
Several of the questions relate to what's in the Associated Press Stylebook, the "journalist's bible" in newsrooms across America. I insist that my students know AP Style because it helps to teach how to write with clarity, consistency, accuracy and authority. There will be more AP Style quizzes soon as well as the ever popular "AP Style Bowl" that's designed to make it fun to learn.
So, how did the class do with today's quiz? Regretfully, no one scored the requisite 80 for the 50 extra-credit points. Two students were two correct answers shy of the magic number, with both earning a 72. As in past semesters, I will give the quiz -- and another chance at the extra credit -- again near the term's end. Hopefully, then someone else will earn grammar glory.